Wednesday, 24 August 2011

On to the Demons...

So, it's that time of year. Golden Demon approaches so I must prepare to take yet another stab at winning that elusive Slayer Sword...

... oh wait, hang on. Nope, can't do that anymore as staff can't enter. Fair enough.

This leaves me with the Open competition and it's reputation for being fiendishly difficult bringing in many of the ludicrously talented Eavy Metal painters and Citadel Design Team. Time is fairly short and I'm considerably busier than I was. Tempting to just say 'don't bother' this year. But, I like a challenge so I'm going to try and get something done.

And so we get to the point of this post. How does one approach a painting contest? Obviously there's fun to be had but contests are a lot of work and personally I enter to win (though always prepared to lose without a major strop. I'm usually fairly calm when I get brutalised by better painters).

I always like the targeted approach to such things. I break things down and try to come at it from the right angle. This year I have the Open to contend with and this has it's own challenges. If I assume that I want a shot at winning I immediately can't just enter an unconverted single figure on a slotted base. Last year, Kornel Kozak won third place doing exactly that but I'm not that good at painting. And there are multiple regular entrants who are ridiculously better at painting than me. So, how do you proceed? Well, you look at the fact that it's not all about painting.

I can sculpt a bit so I will bring that particular part of my arsenal to my assault. I would make the immediate plan for there to be something that is an obvious demonstration of my sculpting (rather than lots of subtle details).

And the second prong of the assault is to be appropriate to the imagery of the system you are painting for. I would try to make the judges think 'that's so Warhammer' or 'that's so 40K'. For me, the master of this is multiple Slayer Sword winner Jakob Nielson who produces entries that just ooze with the atmosphere of GW's worlds.

I think doing both of these along with the best I can manage painting wise hopefully offsets the fact that there are better painters. As said, I can live with not winning (and it's a bad idea to enter anything if you can't handle losing) but don't want to put all that time in without at least having a shot.

So, what am I going to do? Sorry, not telling. As is traditional for me, I don't publically show my entries until the day. You want a clue? Okay... Squelch, squelch, crack, squeek, MOOOOO!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

So I lamped him...

A lot of my latter freelance and independent sculpting days were spent working on finer details than my normal blank canvas style. I commented often about practically living under my optivisor and I was developing a hump for all the leaning forward...

Now I'm working under new lamps and it's been something of a revelation. My previous setup was two angle poises with 32watt daylight bulbs in each. Seemed pretty good. Now I'm using a non-flicker strip light with three tubes in it. More light and it's setup for minimal glare. It's been an utter revelation. Even working fine detail I rarely have to resort to the optivisor. It should say something that I'm feeling more comfortable now sculpting 9-5 than I was before sculpting intermittently.

So, whether sculpting or painting, be good to yourself and get proper lighting. It can get pretty expensive but it's money well spent if it makes your work more comfortable and better with it.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Coming up for air...



... GASP!!!

And, despite all rumours that may circulate to the contrary, I'm not dead yet. I have, however, moved 300 miles with only the possessions that would fit in the back of my brother-in-law's car. But I'm now in the wilds of Nottinghamhamshireham or whatever it's supposed to be called and am... in a twist that nobody saw coming, actually working for a living. Going to a place of work and everything. And not wandering off into town for a coffee three times a day when I'm supposed to be making a toy soldier or whatever.

So, what now?

Actually it's something of a difficult question. I find myself in a rather awkward position in many ways. At this point it's rather harder for me to continue exactly as I have as this blog was very much set up via my position as a source internal to the industry but with my ability to be totally impartial as someone with no industry ties. This is not the case anymore as I now have some lovely people employing me (it's a rather less evil place than some might suggest).

In my position as a company man now I'm currently trying to figure out precisely what kind of thing Spyglass Asylum will contain from now on. I want to remain relevant and interesting without just being a mouthpiece for whatever mini I just painted (for obvious reasons I can't post what I'm sculpting now).

So, please be patient while I work this stuff out. Maybe some kind of hobby thing will mutate out of all this. Have been told many times I should do some sculptural jewellery. Maybe I'll do something off the wall like that and share it. Or something else equally as mad. Watch this space... err... please!