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Project: Desert Astra Militarum #1

It's been a case of all-hobby, no-bloggy for the last few months. The new edition of 40k has reinvigorated my motivation to build a...

Friday, 6 February 2015

Hobby: Setbacks and Motivation

My hobby time is rare and precious. I try to make the most of it: I keep my workspace tidy and organised, I plan ahead with my projects, I work on several models concurrently so I'm not waiting around for glue/paint to dry. I strive for perfection in all my modeling and painting. So how do I find the will to keep pursuing this hobby when it all goes horribly wrong?

I have been working on my Astra Militarum Taurox conversion for weeks now. Modeling the conversion was a nightmare. Hours were spent basecoating and adding character with weathering and stowage. Today I took one of the final steps: washing with Quickshade.


If you've ever worked with Quickshade then you'll know that it can ruin a model just as easily as enhance it. Especially if you are impatient or ill-prepared. I was both, and I'm now facing the prospect of dropping weeks of work into the paint stripper.

I'm not posting any photos. I don't want any reminders of this fail. Suffice to say, I'm pretty fucking shattered.

When it comes time to repaint this model I don't know how I'll alter my technique to get a better result. Until I get it right I can't speed up my painting, I'm stuck in the experimental phase. At this rate it'll be 9th Ed before I get a 1000 pts game in with my Guardsmen...

So how does one recover from these kinds of setback? How do you find the motivation to 'get back on the horse' and keep on painting?

I honestly don't know. I'll let you know if I figure it out.


  1. Hi, sorry to hear about the quick shade disaster.

    If I can give you some good advice on an alternative shading method :
    agrax earthshade. Its great for adding this instant shading, gives a warm hue, adds a sort of instant dirt (without being dirty) and dries quickly. It doesn't shine and any mistakes can be quickly fixed.

    I've included an example of stuf I did using this method, after adding some simple highlights and details...

  2. Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation6 February 2015 at 22:19

    Also sorry to hear about the disaster. I would leave it a week or two before doing aything as your perspective may change, or you may find a way to correct without stripping, like just redoing highlights, adding edge highlighting, drybrushing with light grey etc.

    BTW the Army Painter water based shading paint (not dip) is very similar to Agrax Earthshade (actually its almost a clone of the old Devlan Mud) and works just the same. One good thing about these compared to quickshade is that you can water them down and apply several thin coats until you get the required effect.


  3. My advice is to take a few days off from painting, allow yourself to be pissed and give up for a bit. Then, return to the painting table, but paint something entirely different. Start up a totally new project, or return to one that you've always wanted to finish. Variety! Thats the key for now. One day, you'll muster the oomph to tackle the taurox again.

  4. That's a frustrating story, I've had annoying errors, but that would be hard. What I'd do is follow Ian's advice, give it a few days and then buy a beautiful miniature that would be a totally self-indulgent painting exercise. Something unrelated to an army or project and just have fun. It'll remind you why you enjoy the painting and then you can get back on the horse. Either that or alcohol, your call.

  5. Albert (The Last Heretic 40K)6 February 2015 at 23:48

    I simphatize with making the most out of the little precious hobby time we get, and I also strive for the best (though I'm far from reaching it!). Unlike you my work area is very messy though!
    My experience with failures is that they stick around in a corner of the desk, then in a cabinet, later in a box and years later finally end in the bin. So I think it's best to deal with them now: if it can be paint-scrapped or re-basecoated (being a vehicle this might well be possible), then do it. Otherwise either give it away, sell it or dispose of it. You now have a clean sheet to start with another project and you have learned something to avoid in the future. Just my 2 cents

  6. Well shit happens, that's what I said. There are many miniatures that I regret the result but well... we're starting in this, this is gonna happen. My last grey hunters looks better than my rune priest, of course I want to change it but I can because is a reminder of my progress.

    Yeah, shit happens but we need to continue and carry on so, keep calm and continue painting.

  7. Great topic. I've written about coping with disasters myself. It was kindled by dropping a miniature I'd spent a lot of time layering and had it explode at my feet. http://www.wargamingtradecraft.com/2013/08/coping-with-disasters.html

    Basically, I try to prevent any long term damage to the model, then walk away for a while, find a movie / tv show / game to unwind with. At this point, you're not in the mindset to fix it.

  8. I feel your pain, bro. If it makes you feel better, check out a post I did about my cursed Imperial Knight project. I have to tell you, it put me off the project for a little while, but then I came back to it with a vengeance after working on some other stuff. After it fell on the floor and shattered, I didn't even want to look at it. Eventually, though, I honestly think it deepened my connection with the piece. I really wanted to do it right after that. You'll get through it on your own, but by all means set it aside for a bit and work on something else. You'll know when it's right to come back.


  9. This disaster plus all the issues I had with the Saim Hann Jetbike last month are making me think that I really should just reserve the Quickshade for infantry-sized models. I've also been thinking about maybe trying an oil wash technique, since that should give me similar results to Quickshade while being more forgiving and allowing mistakes to be corrected.

  10. Yeah I might get back to the Guardsmen and try to finish a whole squad before working on its transport, which was my original plan...

  11. Sounds like a good excuse to grab some of those new Harlequins ;-)

  12. Yes I might be stripping the Taurox asap, then putting it aside for a repaint at some point down the track. Good advice!

  13. You're exactly right about needing to walk away for a while. Now that I've had 12 hours without looking at my ruined Taurox I feel better. We'll see how I feel when I do look at it again...

  14. Ok, after reading that, I don't feel as bad anymore. Thanks!

    But damn, you're unlucky... I really hope it came good in the end!

  15. Sorry to hear about the disaster :( I've had weathering powders do the same thing...tried to remove them, ended up fixing them in place. Oops!

    If that happened to an entire model, I think I'd cry. So I definitely feel your pain.

  16. Sorry to hear about your problems, I too had a paint related disaster a couple of months back, though mine was varnish based.

    I solved it by swearing quite a bit, kicking the wall (not a good idea btw) and then deciding to start my whole army scheme again from scratch. Best decision I could have made, I'm much more satisfied with my new scheme, though I'm staying away from the varnish spray until summer!

  17. Oh yeah, I've made some costly mistakes with spray varnish too!

    Even worse, a friend of mine told me last week that he once finished a large commission job, went to varnish them on the morning prior to delivery was due, and realised after the first pass that it was a can of white primer...

  18. Congrats on the Top X