All miniatures are from The Assault Group and can be purchased HERE.
Apologies for the slightly serious nature of this post. I've been a very difficult 21 months with having to deal with isolating during the pandemic; I'm sure many of you are experiencing something akin to this to one extent or another.
Due to a serious medical condition I have been shielding since March 20th 2022. Unable to see in person another human being except when I went to get my three vaccines. Suffice to say the isolation has been emotionally devastating digging deep into my psyche. It has definitely taken a heavy toll on my mental health. I was so ill/hyper anxious last year I was unable to take part in the AHPC. Although I have lived with quite a high background level of anxiety most of my adult life, this was something very new, much more intense and crippling than anything I had experienced before. I just couldn't find the strength to go about my daily routine never mind paint.
Gradually over the months things have improved for me. With the help of some serious therapeutic interventions I was able to drag myself forward. I'm very far from being where I want to be and there have been many times when I have really struggled and painting has felt impossible which I usually find quite meditative activity ergo helpful for anxiety related issues. I made a promise to myself that I would take part in The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge this time around after missing last year's challenge. Starting in 2021 would be a perfect time to challenge myself, but more than just putting the brush to a miniature; to challenge myself psychologically too, to challenge the hyper anxiety. I am constantly experiencing. The sense of companionship, humour and sense of community that the challenge always provides will hopefully be enough to keep me going. Community is everything; we are social animals.
Soooooo, I started prepping miniatures for a Late Roman army way back in early November of last year struggling a little through some quite rough castings, mostly pitted, lovingly cleaning them up and filled in the many gaps with ProCreate putty. Then primed. I had all the units ready for the go come December 21st and made a good start with the brush. Starved of the varnish I use all the time during the "Great Windsor and Newton Professional Matt Varnish Drought" I did some shopping around and was assured that a certain matt varnish spray was a "dead flat matt" by the vendor. That is where my troubles started. To cut a long story short, the varnish was far from matt and after spending two weeks painting up my first unit of Cataphracts, ready to make a "bang" with my first post, the final layer of varnish penetrated not only the solid brush on DIY Enamel Humbrol Gloss coat (left a week to fully cure which has never let me down) but down into the paint, blistering and cracking the finish. The result was extreme frosting with the paint cracked, then flaked and all my hard work went down the pan. Devastated does not even begin to describe my feelings. With the first unit of the project now ruined, and only large units to paint, I had no time to paint anything else up to reach the deadline so opted to box up all the Late Romans and save it for another year when I can face stripping the Cataphracts down to the metal.
A couple of pics of the varnishing disaster can be found at the bottom of my post. Curt suggested to me that I might include a few as a precautionary tale! I am not going to mention any names but the results are plain to see. I have never had such a varnishing disaster anywhere near as bad as this and I'm just shy of painting for three decades.
The composition of of the gun, crew and accoutrements were all worked out in the picture below. I wanted to emphasise the discussion between the Leonardo da Vinci miniature and the chap with the linstock as if discussing the maths of the matter at hand! I think that this was largely achieved.