Monday, December 15, 2014

HOBBY: Knowing When to Adapt Your Project

We've all done it, started on a project with an idea that may have been a little over ambitious. There comes a point where you must either concede and adapt or push through and finish it regardless. The trick is knowing when to pick which option.

This has happened to me several times. I'll go into a hobby project with some grand idea and about half way through realize it either won't work or I just don't have the skills yet to pull it off. The later is the harder to admit. While you need to practice something to get good at it, a competition model or center piece for your army may not be the best choice to practice on. It always hurts to paint a model to the best of your ability and there is just that one part the doesn't live up to the rest of it in quality.

My concept I made in Photoshop

When I started on this Chaos Lord for the 2013 Golden Demons what I originally envisioned was somewhat different from my final model. As you can see he was originally intended to have a banner. I even bought the parts for the banner and started painting it. The problem came when I got to painting the design on the banner. I couldn't come up with an idea I liked enough. I like my banners to fit in with the idea of Warhammer being a "real world." That means none of that heavy metal inspired stuff that shows off your freehand skills so well but makes absolutely no sense for a warrior of chaos to be carrying. I don't think they know who Iron Maiden is.

Without any solid ideas I knew the banner would end up hurting the model more then it would help it. So I ditched it, half painted and all. At this point I ordered some of the Chaos Knights weapons and found a suitable ax head to replace the banner. Luckily for me I had painted the model in parts, which meant the banner top was already separate so I didn't need to tear it off. By knowing when to give up on my initial idea and adapt to something new the model ended up being a very strong piece and is still one of my favorites that I have done.

You can see there are other things I changed along the way as well, such as adding fur to the cloak and the base from lava to snow.

My entry that actually ended up winning that year, my Plaguebearer squad, had a somewhat elaborate display base. You can see my initial sketch above. I made the whole trench and elevated ground and decided that it just wasn't working. The idea was fine, but it was the materials I had used to make it that didn't work. The edges just weren't smooth enough. So after asking around for some advice I started from scratch. 

My aborted attempt.
This time I took a little more time getting the basics right. I used wood for my frame instead of plasticard so I was able to sand it as smooth as I needed. All of the other ideas and concepts carried over into the new one. 

It took a lot more time to completely re-do it, but who knows if I would have won if I had just kept going on the first attempt. I know for sure that I wouldn't have been as happy with the final model. 

Lately I came across this issue again with my newest project. Without giving too much away, I had to completely re-do one part of the model three times before I was happy with it. If you follow me on Twitter or check out the Forums you'll know what I am talking about (hey, what a great reason to do both of those things!). It may be hard to admit defeat and either start over, or at the very least tweak your project, but more often then not it will result in a stronger finished model. When you are already investing all of this time and energy into painting you may as well ensure you're happy with it in the end.

In other news, I have added an End Times button to the top of the page. Now you can now easily peruse all of the End Times related articles on the site with one click. Once the End Times wrap up this may go away, but we'll see how popular it is.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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