New Stuff, New Job

No miniatures today, but some updates for my hobby table and a development in the real life.

The old setup

First up, I’ve updated my lighting setup. My old setup had two lamps, but they were wildly different from each other. The other was a desk lamp with really warm, comparatively dim light. The other was a floor lamp with a bright white light, but the light cone was so tight that at times it was difficult to keep the model under it. The differences meant that I often had (harsh) shadows on the figure, and that when I was taking photos I had trouble with white balance as I had two lamps with different temperature values.

The new setup

I’ve thought about the update for a while now (well, basically since I got back to the hobby a couple years back), but after I recently saw a video on the subject and noticed how affordable the update could be, I decided to pull the trigger. I got two Tertial desk lamps from Ikea and two led bulbs from the local automotive store. These bulbs are nice as they have three temperature settings: warm, white and daylight. After installing the two lamps (had to modify the clamp on the other one slightly), I’ve gotten rid of most of the shadows. This obviously makes painting, as well as photography much easier. I think the lights could be even brighter (the video recommended 13W, whereas I found 9W bulbs), but for now I can certainly get by with these. They’re a big improvement!

My photography “studio”

Secondly, I’ve made myself some new brush pots! Okay, this is probably not that interesting, but whatever.. Some time ago I found some very decent (good even?) cheap brushes from the local super market. They come in packs of five, and I’ve bought four so far. My old Coca Cola cup started to get a little small for the lot, so I decided to get a second container for them. I then realised that I could make it myself, and ended up doing a bunch! I’ve worked as an insulator (/scaffolder) since last summer, so I’ve got access to all the aluminium that I could ever need and the tools to work it. Now, these pots could be described as prototypes, and aren’t really too nice. But they work as intended and are a nice memento from the insulation work. I made some others as well, a bit neater even, but my wife took them to her work before I could take a photo of them 😀

New pots, some new brushes and a sneak peek of an upcoming model

Never one to pass an opportunity to fill a hobby bingo square, I’ll claim the “something for the hobby that’s not for battlefield” with these pots!

Finally, I’ll be starting a new job next week, and this time it’s on my own field of work! I’ll be a substitute English teacher until the end of May, which should be interesting. While this is definitely a good thing for my career, it probably means that I’ll have less time to work on hobby projects. The job is also on the other side of the country, so I’ll lose access to some equipment for some time. I’m taking some minis and paints with me, however, and we’ll see how it goes. Expect fewer updates though, especially on new finished minis.

Wrapping Up 2019

All right, one final post to finish the year. Let’s look at what I managed to paint during 2019!

Above you can see the tally (apologies for the photo quality, my setup still isn’t ideal for big group shots). When they’re all brought out like this it.. Doesn’t actually look like much. But I’m very happy with each and every one of them, and with space (and wife’s tolerance) being a limited commodity I think my output has been just right!

All in all, I finished 57 models, which was about the same as last year, and more than a model per week on average, which was my target at the beginning of the year. Here’s a list of all the models and links to their corresponding showcase posts:

So yeah, not too shabby. During the past year I’ve embarked on a number of new (slow-grow) projects, such as the Astra Rodentia and Orks. I’ve also continued adding to older ones, such as my Revelators Space Marines, Underworlds warbands and working on the AoS 1st edition starter set. I’ve upped my weathering game and dabbled on more complex freehand designs than last year. I got to say that painting various projects with different color schemes and mixing things up with new techniques definitely helps to keep things fresh and motivating.

Speaking of motivation, there were/are two bloggers that deserve much credit for influencing me to pick the projects that I did and actually getting them done in a timely fashion! One is of course Azazel with his monthly hobby challenges. I did have a little time management mishap and missed one month’s deadline, but for the other 11 I got at least one miniature done.

The other blogger is Rob Hawkins, whose hobby bingo card has been a fun additional game on top of finishing models. Below you can see my finished card for the year. After finishing my last miniature of 2019 I looked at the card and noticed that I had painted some models that hadn’t been used for the card even though they could’ve been. I used the two SCE squads to cross off two additional squares, but even with that I couldn’t get a bingo. No matter though, I’ll try again next year with a little more ambition, and try to get at least that one bingo!

Of course, there’s still one more blogger that I shouldn’t forget when it comes to motivation: me! I started the blog this January, and actually have hard time believing I’ve gotten it this far. Sharing my work here and getting amazing feedback from you guys has pushed me to paint and finish stuff much more consistently than I otherwise would. So thank you, reader, for taking a look and commenting!

Going forward, I don’t think I can keep up the “almost weekly” post schedule for too much longer. This year, pretty much half of my posts have been showcasing my older work from 2017-18, and even my teens. While I still have some of those left, I won’t have many “padding” posts to put in between new finished models. Most likely my posting will just get more sporadic, but we’ll see how it goes in time..

And that’s it for 2019! Here’s hoping for an even better 2020! I already have some great models in the queue and many plans in my head, hopefully I’ll have enough time to transform many of those into finished minis!

From the Archives: Grot; A Married Man

To top off Orktober 2018, I painted an old metal Grot from my teenage years.

While I couldn’t quite get the Uruk-hai Warrior painted up in a day, this one I did! It’s the first and so far the only model that I’ve managed to paint in a day (not counting some models in my teens), which makes him quite special.

When painting the Grot, I had two main goals: to practice painting pale Ork skin, and to not use any washes on the metals. As the model is mostly naked, there was plenty of space to practice painting skin. I think I managed pretty well, and painting just one tiny model I had the patience to mix the skin tones and thin them down more than usual to get some nice layering/blending going. Not using washes on the metal was both an attempt to preserve the shine of the metallic paints and to try an old school method of painting metals: starting with a Tin Bitz equivalent and drybrushing silver colors on top. It works fine, but is a bit messy if you’re going for a more refined look.

This was a fun little project and great practice for when I eventually treat myself to Zarbag’s Gits. And I got to say that the sculpt was pretty fantastic: really crisp detail and next to no clean-up needed. I can definitely see why folks look back at metal minis with misty eyes..

But enough about the Grot, and on to the other news. I’m now a married man! I and my fiancé/wife got married during this last weekend, and everything went even better than I could’ve anticipated. Didn’t forget my lines in the church, and the reception afterwards was brilliant. Delicious food and drink, our families and friends, dancing, and the photography left to a professional. A wonderful weekend, and of course the best thing is that I got a wonderful wife out of it!

As you might have noticed, my hobbying and blogging has slowed down quite a bit during September, which was of course due to the wedding planning and preparations. I hope to get back up to speed soonish, though I know that our honeymoon will eat a week of painting time this month. Not the least bit sorry about that though 😀 Hopefully I’ll get the Cursebreakers done this week, and an Ork or two before the month’s over.

From the Archives: Tomb Banshee, Birthday, Update

It’s been a bit longer from my last post than I’d hoped, and I was supposed to have something new to show, but since I’ve been slacking a bit on the painting front lately, I’ll give you a previously painted Tomb Banshee. Additionally, as per the title, I’ll give you an update of what’s been happening in the ‘real world’.

But let’s start with the Banshee. It’s my birthday today, and I though she would be an appropriate model to showcase, as she was a present from my lovely fiancé last year. She was a bit unsure of what to get me, so helped her out a bit and gave her three options: the Lord of Plagues, the Wight King or the Tomb Banshee. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she picked the Banshee. While I don’t really collect any armies, I love this model and am very happy to have it in my collection. Painting her was also really enjoyable!

As I recall, it only took me a couple of days to paint her (that’s fast for me..). The model was primed in white, and the skin was basically just Nihilakh Oxide, a bit of Coelia Greenshade and a highlight. The face received a bit more attention, but nothing too dramatic. I wanted the clothes and the leather to look worn, and this was my first attempt at doing those tiny “scratches”. Very subtle, but I still like it! And finally, as you can see the paint scheme was inspired by the box art, apart from the hair. The distinct red hair was changed to blonde (a suggestion from my better half:), and even though I’m biased, I think I like it more like this.

The base was another new experiment. I wanted to do something a little more scenic than just sand that I had been using previously. I started with the model’s original square base that had some stones and the skull, and blended it on to a 32mm round base with a bit of greenstuff. I then dug an old chaos accessory plate from my bits box, made it a bit thicker with plasticard and stuck it to the base to act as a tomb stone or something. So it’s not too adventurous or elaborate, but it gave me a taste of a little more interesting base.

So, having talked about the model, what’s been going on in my life recently? In regards to the blog, the most important thing is that I got a summer job and started it last Monday. Naturally, that has cut into my potential hobby time a little. And blogging/commenting on other people’s post as well, sadly. Realistically, it shouldn’t affect me too much, but there might be (even) longer gaps between posts from now on. Especially in the next couple of weeks, as I’m still getting used to the new daily routine.

Another noteworthy thing is that I got my master’s degree last week, and with it, graduated from University. Not directly relevant to this blog, but needless to say I’m pretty chuffed! I did take my sweet time with it, but it’s done now!

The All-Important First Post

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m mcmattila, a miniature hobbyist from Finland. I’ve been pondering about starting a blog to showcase and keep a record of my hobby accomplishments for some time now, and what better time to start than at the start of the year.

So, the aim of the blog is to showcase my miniature painting and modelling work. At this time I collect Games Workshop models, so the majority of the models in the blog will be from Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar and Warhammer Underworlds. That being said, there might be the occasional model from other manufacturers, game systems or perhaps even scale models or such. We’ll see where this goes. My plan is to keep this blog for finished work only and try to update weekly, but me being a relatively slow painter, I might not be able to keep that up for too long. Again, we’ll see where this goes.

I also have to note that this is my first crack at blogging and WordPress, so the outlook of this site might change as I figure how stuff works, and how I’d like the pages to look.

To finish this post, I’ll leave you with a picture of my workspace. A proper showcase post to follow soon(ish).

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