As of this writing, I’ve spent about two-and-a-half to three hours over the last two days assembling and priming the Mortarion model from Games Workshop. I bought it a month or so after it was released last year, and it’s been sitting in my “to build” bin since then, waiting earnestly for me to decide when the big day would be to finally break it out.
Now, besides a scratchy crust of Loctite glue residue on my fingers, what Mortarion has given me so far is a sense of accomplishment. I finally got him put together, finally got across that hobby hump of actually getting the mini out of the box and starting it.
It’s also given me a feeling of dread. Because, you see, now there’s no turning back. Now I have to paint the darn thing. And it’s not going to be easy.
Now, certainly, none of us got into the wargaming hobby because we though it was going to be some walk in the park. We started painting tiny soldiers, at least partly, because we enjoy the challenge that it poses to us. Each model is its own unique problem to solve, its own theorem that has to be proved before we can finally put it in our “finished” box and move on to the next one.
But some minis are absolutely more challenging than others. They’re larger, more detailed, have many more pieces and, what’s more, they’re usually more expensive, meaning there’s more at stake if you screw up.
I remember when I purchased The Glottkin kit with my Christmas money a few years back. Amazing model. But it sat for more than 18 months in its box simply because, despite having bought it, I was terrified to try and paint it.
Finally, though, I did it. I unboxed the thing, assembled it, and in a blind leap of faith and really without any real set plan, I started in on the painting.
From start to finish, painting that model alone took me a solid month of hobby time. That doesn’t include the two weeks I took off where I just had to step back from it and regroup a bit.
But it turned out better than I had imagined, and I ended up winning a painting contest with it at my FLGS last summer.
Now, you might say I was being silly and didn’t need to worry about it, but these “big boy” models nevertheless pose unique challenges because they are such an investment in time, money, and creativity.
But the only way to win these challenges is to actually DO them, to attempt, attack, and strive through. Starting is the better part of valor.
So tonight, I’ll start basecoating Mortarion. No excuses, it will just begin.
And it’s going to turn out just fine.
About the Author;
Peter Kuebeck is a writer, gamer and award-winning mini-painter living in the Midwest. He wages a constant battle against the ever-growing tide of unpainted minis in his basement, and occasionally GMs role-playing game sessions with friends. Catch his hobby shenanigans on Twitter at @popculturecube
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