Thursday, September 12, 2019

Picking Up The Thread: Continuing an Old Project

As much as we may intend to finish an army or project in one go, life often complicates things. It's not uncommon to have to set aside a project and revisit it at a later date, or maybe you just want to add something new to an older army. This can present its own set of challenges to overcome though, so today we're going to take a look at continuing an older project.

We've all been there, you had an army you were building to 2,000 points, but something happened, maybe just a new army caught your eye, and you set the original one aside. Now several months, or even years later you return to the first army with fresh impetus and the determination to finish it. What now?

This happened to me with my Nurgle Demons (well, a lot of other times to, but lets focus on the demons). I built them to 1,000 points and got them all painted for Adepticon's Vanguard tournament in 2018 when the Maggotkin book first came out. I was so enamored with them that I went ahead and planned the army out to a full 2,000 points and bought and built all the rest of the models I would need. After Adepticon I even had a ton of motivation for them and got another character (one not in my list) and 10 more Plaguebearers done, but then the Nighthaunt arrived. Those poor smelly bastards didn't stand a chance against my spooky boys. I set the Nurgle army aside and dived into the Nighthaunt full force.

3,000 some points of Nighthaunt later as well as taking them to several events in a row and I felt ready to go back to my Nurgle demons. I had already built and primed all of them, so that was at least out of the way. All I had to do was start painting them, but it had been close to two years since I had painted anything for them. It's pretty important to try and keep some consistency in your force, so how do you go about doing that?

1. Keep a Written Paint Recipe

Now, if you didn't do this the last time you worked on the army it's too late now, but this is a good idea for all future projects. For myself, I just look up my old painting tutorials and follow along with my own steps. I pulled up my Plaguebearer tutorial on the Warhammer Community site and read through it. A lot of it came back to me as I went over it, but I still referenced it a few times as I was painting. A simpler way of doing this is just to keep a written recipe or guide for personal reference. Even just knowing exactly which colors you used goes a long way to keeping a consistent look.

2. Have an Already Painted Model Nearby

I almost always do this when I haven't painted something for an army in a bit. I grab one of my completely finished models and set it on my painting desk as reference as I work on the newer stuff. This way I can make sure I keep the levels of shadows and highlights to the same consistency. I even do this when I'm painting stuff for a current army. Whenever I worked on my Nighthaunt stuff I almost always had a finished Nighthaunt nearby so I could make sure I was shading it all to roughly the same level. With my Nurgle stuff I had several Plaguebearers on hand so I could look at a few different examples. When your scheme has multiple layers of shading or drybrushing it's important to how heavy to go. You don't want to accidentally do a heavier drubrush then you did on the rest of your army.

3. Don't Be Afraid to Deviate

While it's important to keep a consistent look, you also don't want to constrain yourself too much. If it's been awhile you may have developed new techniques, an easier way to tackle a certain color, improved your skills, or had the most dreaded things ever happen; had one of your paint colors discontinued. As long as it doesn't look to wildly different it won't be a huge deal. In the case of discontinued colors all you can do is color match it the best you can and move on. My Tomb Kings have at least two different shades of gold in them due to this. Remember, this is a fun hobby, so have fun with it. You may also find a way to streamline a certain color or technique, which is never a bad thing as long as the end result looks similar enough.

While my Maggotkin are a good example of this since it's been so long since I've painted anything for them, I follow a lot of these steps for even smaller gaps. When I'm working on a project I like to scatter other projects in between them to keep it fresh. For example, when I was working on my Daughters of Khaine I was painting Nighthaunt between some of the units. This meant I would sometimes go a month or two between painting my ghosties and it never hurts to give yourself a bit of a refresher before tackling another unit.

What are some tips and tricks you use when revisiting an old project? What's the longest break been for you with a single army? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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