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Facing my shelf of shame

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Back on track!


Didn't get much done due to other things coming in the way, but I'm back at painting and having fun!


Squigs basecoated (colours included in the picture for me to remember later...):



The lumberjack visited the serpent with a file and a pair of tweezers. Also some more work on the sand because it lacked contrast.


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22 hours ago, Samedi said:

Thanks for the kind words, @Glitterwolf! After a day off, my motivation is back and I'm looking forward to painting some more! There's just another little project to get under way...



On Sunday  I watched some videos about painting motivation and shelves of shame.There was some good advice on youtube, namely from Vince Venturella of Hobby Cheating (a channel I highly recommend) and Brent of Goobertown Hobbies (watch his videos if you ever feel bad about painting!). 


I realised a few things. Since this is sort of a tangent, I put it in a spoiler, for all those who just want to follow the painting progress. Also - is't quite a lot of text. But it is also about facing the shelf of shame:


  Reveal hidden contents

I really do have two shelves of shame. One that made me start this project, with all the unfinished minis, and another, much bigger shelf: All the blisters and boxes I bought, but never even started. Both shelves drain my energy by making painting a chore for me rather than something I look forward to.


Ideally, I should find a miniature I like, have an idea on how to paint it, AND THEN DO IT. With all the other minis lying around, however, I feel I have to finish them also. And then the initial energy for the new mini wanes over time, until it just becomes another one in the long queue of minis I "have" to paint. Then the original idea of how to paint it suddenly doesn't seem so good any more. To distract me from this "new chore" into which the mini has now turned, my mind has a wonderful trick: I just get all hyped up over another new mini I absolutely have to buy. I buy the new one, and the unfinished project becomes part of my shelf of shame (in case I started) or ends up in one of the boxes (because I never even started, that ist the mostly the case).


Quite a few minis ended up here because of other reasons: 

  • That battle troll, for example, was a gift. I felt compelled to pain it, but my heart was never in it.
  • Other minis were freebies added to an order. I never chose to buy them or paint them.
  • A lot of my old Ral Partha minis I bought when I saw them In a shop. Even if I didn't connect with the mini I bought them out of sentimentality - I played a lot of AD&D 2nd Ed. back in the days and the sculpts reminded me of that time. Also, they all were OOP, meaning if I didn't buy them now, I would never have the chance to do so later.

To address this problem I went through my collection and sorted out all the minis that were doubles or that I didn't connect with any more. I'm planning to give them away here in the forums, to find them a happier home with more love.


I'll only buy new minis in an emergency (meaning, I need them for an immediate project or they are really, really cool and I can't live without the particular sculpt). Bought minis will be painted as soon as possible and get to jump all queues.


Concerning the painting itself I am planning to focus on only two projects at the same time. This is according to the hobby cheating video - having two projects simultaneously is supposed to be the most effective way to work. I'll try that.


And when I get to pick a new mini from my collection, because I have finished two (as are the rules I set for myself) I will start with that mini immediately, to keep the initial enthusiasm for as long as possible.


Alright, that's it with the theory. Now I'll organise the giveaway and then it's back to painting. And I'm looking forward to it!



I get that..


I have recently gone through my stuff and threw a lot in a Box of Goodwill ( EU version) and now I've put up a bunch on Ebay.

Sometimes it's a good thing to cull the hoard.


I have started several ongoing projects with my favorite themes/settings.

That way when I look at a mini I think, in which one will it fit?

And then I get ideas and paint it.


I have to admit I still have minis that I really think I will paint some day and keep around, that I bought decades ago...

All part of the hobby.


Try not to think that you have a hoard you must paint.

You have a private stash from which you choose from to paint what you want!

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3 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

Try not to think that you have a hoard you must paint.

You have a private stash from which you choose from to paint what you want!




The moment I decided to give those "unwanted" minis away was the moment I felt free and somehow experienced the point you just made. Now, I might give them away to charity or I maybe I'll keep them anyway. It's not important anymore. The act of deciding lifted the burden for me. Funny thing, the mind... :lol:


Anyway, Ulthalokh will be up in show off!

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The stonemason is cleaning up the tilework for the serpent, some shading done for the squigs and Laurana is ready for the next attempt in painting her eyes.


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Today I tried another attempt with the eyes of Laurana. Nope, another fail. At least I managed to save the paint on her face this time. That means she definitely goes back on the "I'm not good enough"-shelf. But with all the training at the moment I'm sure my brush control will improve enough for another attempt in a few weeks.


I started with the mummy instead, walnut basecoat an heavy dry brushing with russet brown and oiled leather. /I'm just taking my painting notes here in the thread, because I'm lazy ::D:).


First highlight on the squigs.


And the stone mason finished his work on the serpent, so the gardener came back. I told him to try grass this time. I like the base a lot better now. Next I'll clean up the grass, then some final tinting of the plants and the stones. After that it's just a coat of matte varnish and then I finally get to the water effects!



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It's snowing outside and really cold. I took a risk and sprayed the serpent with a coat of anti shine on my terrace. I shook the can for ages and heated it in warm water before spraying. And it worked! Yay!


After that I put down the first coat of water effects. I used Vallejo still water, tinted with a tiny drop of blue ink. Now I'm waiting for it to set. Sorry, no pictures today, I don't want to touch the mini and ruin the water effect. 

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After a coat of anti shine and two coats of still water, today I sculpt some ripples on the water. They don't show too well on this picture, but I'm pretty happy how it all turned out. In hindsight, I probably could have skipped the still water, but I like how the slight blueish tint adds to the depth of the water. Probably I'll pick out the waves with some white to make the crests more visible. 


I'm absolutely not happy with the rim of the base. The blue is much too aggressive. I'll repaint it in either walnut or pure black, after it has completely dried.

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I went a bit heavy on the seafoam there. Note to self: Use less, next time! Apart from that I'm quite happy with the water effects. And it was a lot of fun - probably my favourite part of this mini. I call it done, now just a coat of varnish for the rim, and some paint and varnish for the bottom of the base.


Don't ask...


I started to do that with the broccoli base minis, where it made a little sense, maybe, and now it feels wrong if I don't paint the base completely. I know it doesn't make sense.


Got a little work done on the little mummy.





Guess you just have to wait your turn... :blush:

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Some work on the mummy. I attempted to pick out the bandages with my brush rather than by drybrushing (which I would have done in the past). It's not as clean as I would like it to be, but my brush control has definitely improved in the last few weeks, thanks to all the training. After that I basecoated the scrolls. Had to concentrate very much so after the scrolls I ended painting before the mistakes would begin.


For motivation I made myself a random challenge table. I got the Idea from Goobertown Hobbies (a Youtube channel that I use to lift my painting spirits up and that I highly recommend) and adapted it for my needs. I don't know when (or even IF) I'll use it and to what extent, but it was fun to make and it made me reflect about where I'm at with my painting. Feel free to copy and/or adapt it for yourself, if you want!


(For clarification: I have attributed numbers to all my minis and my paints, so I can random roll a specific mini or a specific paint, should I feel the need to do so.)

Edited by Samedi
Found a typo, and probably missed a lot...
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Lockdown until February 28th, at least! It seems I was just given some more time for my shelf of shame.


Today was very productive (by my standards, at least). I finished highlighting the squigs and base coating the scales of the orange squig. Which took ages! How do you paint an army of those, anyway?

Also, the mummy is done, at least for this thread. The little guy still needs some varnish before he can go over to to show-off.



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Not much progress, but I got to go to work today, if only for a few hours!


With Ulthalokh and the winged serpent both in show off I now have finished two minis. So, according to the rules I set for myself, I get to choose another mini to add to my work-in-progress pile - if I want to. And I absolutely want to see something new on the shelf and take a break from the same old faces I've seen for years!


So what to choose? I'll ask my radom challenge selector and roll for each category and see what I end up with. Maybe I won't commit to all the challenges though.


Since this is going to be a lot of text I'll hide it in the spoiler below.



Alright, first: The mini.


A five, that means I get to open a new blister! For the minis In the new pile I roll a 28 - the fairy hunter by dark sword miniatures! Yes! It's one of those minis that somehow ended up in my shopping card while I was looking for something else. Definitely going to paint that one! This is going to be great!



Next: The mood.

Another five. Our little fairy will be a victim. Ugh, this is going to be hard, the sculpt shows her very triumphant and victorious. Now, what do to with that?


Onwards to basing.

Rolled a six for a water base. I can definitely live with that! I love water bases!


Now let's see about the technique. Ten. Weathering. Not my strong side, I fear. And there is not much to weather on this tiny sculpt. Maybe if I include the base? How do you weather water?


And the colours?

Two. Noooo! Limited palette! With ... RMS Dark Highlights ... RMS Palomino Gold ... and ... RMS Deep Red. For a limited palette, that is actually not completely catastrophic. I will try what colours I can mix up with those three paints. But I fear this is a bit too much of a challenge for our poor fairy (or better: our poor painter...). I'll probably skip this step.


Alright, time to prepare the mini for painting. And to find the answer to this question:

If our fairy is not the victor, who IS?


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Just some quick prepping today. And a lot of research!


First: Samedi the mini is back! Either I used the wrong super glue in the past or I became more patient, but he is back on his feet. He will skip the queue, so  painter Samedi finally has a painted Samedi!


Second: The fairy is cleaned and assembled. So tiny! I won't even attempt to paint her eyes, that's for sure.


Concerning the challenges for her:

  • I paint her up - mini challenge accepted. ::):
  • I found the reason for her being a victim. She does not look where she is flying, so she will head straight into a spider web. That means I have to build two small dead trees, and the spiderweb. I did a lot of youtube research today, so I have about an idea where to begin. However, if anyone has good tips for trees (I'm thinking about wire and green stuff so far) or spider webs, I would be happy. Mood challenge accepted. ::):
  • The base will be a murky pond, which means I will just flood everything in UV-resin. I'm very excited about that step! Basing challenge accepted.
  • Then there is the weathering. Let's see what's there to weather. Probably not so much. BUT: There could be a lot of blood. I'll just include that in the weathering challenge (although I had it as a separate challenge). So, technique challenge accepted, sort of... :ph34r:
  • Colour challenge: I'll politely decline that. There is so much going on, and I have an idea in my mind of where this is going. And for that I'll net a few more colours, sorry. :blush:


Here they are: The fairy and Samedi, ready for priming, with the licence for queue-skipping. Together with the two squigs that gives me three very different projects to focus on. This should be good!



Edited by Samedi
Proof reading is important...
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I haven't tried spiderwebs before, but here is how I go about trees...


Starting with floral wire, I get the base...


Then I add strips of contour putty, usually one at a time along short sections of the tree, using the tip of an exacto knife to shape it and blend it into the previous line. This can be a bit fiddly at first, and it can be difficult to keep branches thin at first. The secret there is to have only one or two strips of putty on opposite ends and stretch them into coming together around the sides, adding a bit more where needed in very small amounts. The putty dries in about an hour and in the begining it's stickiness can make it hard to work, but that phase doesn't last long. After doing this with a test piece, you'll learn the handling quickly enough.


The end result gives a nice gnarled bark look, and the putty holds paint well, although due to the nooks and indentations, it'll take two or three coats to get paint into the inner recesses, and washes help a great deal there. After I get the tree pinned down to the base, I use the same methods on the roots. Granted I went abnormally long on the roots, so for a regular tree, a bit of touch up with the putty at the bottom might be all that's needed. As to durability, they don't like to be dropped, but repairs are easy enough, just a small putty bit and paint. 

I can't say how this compares to the use of Green Stuff for making trees as I haven't tried that yet.

Edited by Lord of the Dish Pit
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Thanks @Lord of the Dish Pit, that was really helpful and inspiring! The tree bark looks great! 




Here's what I did today:


I took out my green stuff to see if it is still good, it's been lying around for a few years. Sculpted some spider eggs for the fairy (don't know if I will find a space on the base, but it's good to have them, just in case) and a tombstone for samedi. The tombstone is the first "real" thing I tried with greenstuff. We all have to start somewhere. ::):




Then, inspired by the above post, I started with the trees for the fairy. That was a LOT of fun. I hope I will enjoy the modelling part as much. I test fitted the trees to the base. I probably have to reposition some branches to make room for the web.

For the spiderweb there are three ideas I have right now:

  • Using UHU glue
  • Using the webs you use for halloween decoration
  • Making the web myself out of fishing line (if I really feel adventurous)




Next I did some experiments with the color challenge I declined. I have to revise that decision. The three colours result in a very workable palette. So, for the record: I hereby accept the colour challenge (if I'm also allowed to use weathering products and tint the water effect with inks and washes :blush:). Here is the palette, wonderful soft colours!

That also means I have to bring out the wet palette. Another first. As if I'm not in way over my head already...



Finally I primed the Samedi. In black. Another first. I've always used white primer before. And I did some work on the squigs. I must say, that was a successful day for me. Now I'm off to another buying spree. I need some weathering products. And I try not to buy any more minis, I promise :lol:!


Group shot of my work today:


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Alright, back at my painting desk!


I spent the last days rearranging my room. Now I finally have a dedicated painting space! Also I set up some of my music instruments again. That was another hobby I've ignored for far too long. Feels great to have all my hobbies so accessible now! So that's at least one positive aspect of the lockdown.


I'm almost finished with the squigs and I'm really begin to hate the orange one. Good thing he will be off my working shelf soon! I've decided not to push the standard with those two. Only some drybrushing of the base left and they're gone.



Then I called the bonsai lumberjack to prune my copper trees. They will stand in the water, that means they are dead and have lost a lot of branches already. I test fitted the fairy and the trees on a smaller base. I like that version much better. I'm still very excited about this project. And still undecided how I'll do the spider web.


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