Ok. I couldn’t resist a little Star Wars inside joke on today of all days.
So, the world is still spinning off its axis and into oblivion. COVID-19 is still going strong. The orange idiot in the south is still suggesting to his cult that they should inject themselves with bleach and UV light as the cure and the rest of the world watches in dumbstruck awe at the shite that pours from his mouth unfiltered.
Thankfully some parts of the world are showing signs of coming out on the other side of this. Lots of places are starting to reopen, though quite frankly, I think it’s too soon. Still no legible cure in sight and the best we can hope for is more social distancing and lots of PPE?… Not the best plan guys.
Anyways… I had originally decided to do a dorky Star Wars pun and make a post about Miniature painting. I hadn’t intended this post to go off the rails and be a state of the world post, though with as pervasive as this thing is, it colours everything we do these days whether we realize it or not. So before I get distracted any further, back to the original plan.
Since the lockdown and stay at home order, I’ve really tried to find something that centers me and calms me down. Too much shit going on in the world these days. I’ve stepped back from most of my video game time (plus my wife has been addicted to Sims4 on the PS4 lately so sharing a console can be a pain) and went old school. I read. I work on my Star Wars campaign and I paint miniatures.
I’ve been painting minis since my AD&D days back in grade 5 (thankfully none of those paint jobs survived) and after a 15+ year hiatus, I realized I missed it and decided to get back into it. I’ve had my new paints and miniatures for a couple of years now since I got back into the hobby but I can’t ever seem to get motivated to start painting with the same sort of passion that I used to. I’ll paint a base coat here, a shade there. One brushstroke on and off every other week sort of thing. I’ve used the excuse that I didn’t have enough time, or that maybe my passion had faded. I certainly don’t have the same skill I had back then and my eyes and hands aren’t as deft as they once were.
During this silly stay at home lockdown, I came to realize that my passion hadn’t faded, I did have the time, and sure my hands and eyes weren’t as young as they used to be but I wasn’t dead yet. As for the skill and “muscle memory”, after a few false starts I came to realize, that yeah I didn’t have the same skill I did before, I actually was better than I used to be. I just needed to do what everyone does… practice.
And practice I did.
After about 6 hours of futzing about, I finally came up with the first model in about 20 years that I have actually completed and am satisfied with.
Now, I can’t say that I’m 100% happy with him, and I could go on and on about what I see wrong about him still, but I honestly learned to accept when I’m done, rather than he’s “finished”. I could fiddle about with him for another 20 years and still not be finished.
I actually went well outside my comfort zone and posted this guy on one of the painting groups I’m a part of on Facebook and it was the weirdest feeling. First, I rarely post anything other than a positive comment here or there and I mostly lurk and admire all the amazing paint jobs and painters whose skill I won’t ever achieve. Yet I took the risk and I was amazed at the feedback and response. It’s the oddest feeling to have a 100+ random strangers like and comment on a piece you worked on. I got a ton of great feedback and it helped a lot to rebuild my confidence in my abilities and the realization that it didn’t have to be perfect, just better than the last one.
Yay me. Since I posted the pic on Facebook, I’ve put more paint to models than I have in years and I look forward to posting more of my work in the near-ish future.