13 February 2017



I've started painting up some Westfalia hobbits. 16 figures. 13 crossbow, 1 gunner, and the wizard & apprentice. I think I've hit a turning point in my painting "career": I don't think I can paint the eyes.

I mean, I *can*. And I may paint the apprentice's eyes. But for most of the rank & file they're just too damn small. That's a good thing, in terms of the sculpting proportion & scale. Beautiful figures. But I don't generally paint eyes on 15mm figures, and although these are still a bit bigger than that, I don't think I'm willing to invest the time in it. My own, actual, functioning human eyes are aging. I'm in my mid 40s and I've recently been experiencing some changes in my eyesight (and general eye health, which I won't go into) and I've been trying to just take it as part of the natural aging process and not freak out too much. I did paint the eyes on the sample figures I got from Westfalia last year. I can actually see the eyes on these hobbits just fine, and my hands are still steady enough to do it. But as my time shrinks and there is some extra focus (haha) required to do these details well, I think I'm going to pass on painting eyes on some 25/28mm figures for the first time in my life. I know a lot of people don't bother, even on the human sized figures. And I understand and appreciate the logic behind that, especially in the greater context of what we see at various sizes & perspectives, and the representation of that in any art form. But I've always prided myself on doing a decent job with eyes, and always painted them. Until now.

(The previously painted hobbits.)


I've run into a bit of a paint problem. There are a few off-the-shelf paint colors that I can't live without. I sometimes get a bit OCD about this, and go on epic quests or start hording paints in order to stay supplied One is a sort of dark burnt sienna color whose use evolved from an old Poly S color, which I then found a good equivalent in Ral Parha's (I think) Minotaur Fur Brown, briefly I may have used a Citadel color, but then switched to a Vallejo Game Color equivalent. I can't read the label of the almost empty bottle in front of me, but looking online maybe it's Pestilent Brown? Sort of frustrating, because I need more. I am literally stretching the last bits of paint & pigment as far as I can. But I don't really have any good options (that I am aware of) for buying Vallejo locally. I've been trying to find more accessible alternatives but that has not worked out. I now have an Imperial ton of brown paints of various shades and qualities. I'm on the verge of just trying to mix my own. Like I said, it's sort of like a burnt sienna... but not quite. It's darker, but still retains that subtle reddish color that gives it a great touch of warmth.


I've also been thinking about my plans for the Year of Gaming (aka my mid-life crisis, gaming style, in 2021 ;) ) and have some thoughts. Our new house isn't really a great space for gaming. But one of the trade offs we made with the small house, is a larger yard than our previous homes. And our garage is pretty clean and has, thus far, been unused (by us) for cars. So maybe I could try inviting some friends over for some Garagehammer in the summer. Long day of gaming, cook out on the grill, etc. My table tops are already stored in the garage rafters at the moment. I'm even tempted to make one or two more in order to accommodate larger games. If they're going to be out there, I may as well take advantage of the space, right? Especially if I want to try some all-day gaming. So... just something else I'm thinking about while hoping to get back to some sort of gaming ASAP.

(Previous photo from the old attic.)

Oh, the drama of a dedicated lifetime miniatures painter. ;)


  1. I put a lot of thought into that, but the biggest problem is the climate. Might see how some garagehammer goes, and if that sets a fire under me to try a shed, the option is still open.

  2. garagehammer seems like a great compromise, and if you have the lighting should be doable.

    You could probably rent a portable heater/air-conditioner for the "convention" days too if the weather is not cooperating.

    1. Open rafters (where the tabletops are currently stored) with a bunch of power receptacles already installed, so arranging lighting should be simple.

      The difficult part will be cleaning out the garage and keeping it clean. We never unpacked everyhing from moving before winter hit, and more junk has collected in there since. Big Spring project coming up: clear it out!

  3. i would be up for some summer garage gaming. Let me know when

    1. Right on - I may try planning a big afternoon multi-player game after I get the garage cleaned up and the weather gets warmer.

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