Thursday, 9 August 2018

Hobby Pitfalls - 10 Things Not to Do!

This picture has nothing to do with the topic. I'm just resurrecting a classic. Jessie and Chester said it best.

So, when you've been around this hobby long enough you see some junk and some stuff; I wouldn't recommend it!

Hobby Pitfalls - 10 Things Not to Do!

1) Don't leave your paintbrush tip down in the water pot!

I know that water pot looks like a nice clean place to leave your paint-covered brush, but leave it in there too long and the water is going to seep into the bristles and wreck them. If the brush is tip down, the contact with the bottom of the pot will splay everything out and leave you with a useless twig headed with something that looks like the ass-end of a witch's broomstick.

Wash it out in the water, re-point the head and then put it back in the little plastic sleeve it came in for next time. You'll thank me for it later.

2) Don't leave bare metal/plastic/resin showing because you were going to paint it grey/metal anyway!

I actually remember an article in an old White Dwarf advocating leaving the new "white metal" on show as it was such a nice metallic tone. I've seen the same thing with plastic though, and occasionally I see marines that are supposed to be grey in bare plastic with one or two yellow details painted on. I feel like it shouldn't be necessary to pint it out, but don't do it. Don't even think about it. Are you thinking about it? Train your mind!

If you want grey, use a grey primer and then paint over it. Trust me the finish is going to be a lot less embarrassing, and you'll be able to effectively add washes and things to get a better tone too. Plus, that sprue-grey isn't fooling anyone.

3) Don't touch someone else's models without asking!

People can be quite particular about their models, and they don't necessarily want your sticky peanut-butter sandwich fingers all over them!

Lets be honest, people's miniatures have a lot of their time and effort put into them, so it makes sense that they value them. Even the crappiest battered and chipped grot might be their favourite, so remember to be respectful.

4) Don't be a bad sport!

We've all seen it. That guy who gets all bent out of shape and upset when he loses. You don't want to be him, it's embarrassing and takes the fun out of the game for everyone.

Worse than that though, it the guy who cheats, and who everyone knows is cheating, and who then brags about all the games he's won. Well, I've got a news flash for you buddy; everyone knows and they're not impressed, so knock of that junk right now!

5) Don't think that you need a wet pallet and a Windsor and Newton Series 7 to paint!

I encourage everyone to try everything in painting, but conventional internet wisdom seems to boil down to telling everyone that they need to be using a Series 7 and a Wet Pallet. How this myth got started, I'll never know, but I have absolute faith that the people recommending this stuff have never actually painted a model to a standard that would be deemed acceptable even among 12 year olds.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with either item, and I'm painting with a Series 7 detail brush myself. The thing that annoys me is that this isn't beginner stuff. You don't need expensive brushes and techniques to get a good finish. If you're just starting out, you'll probably knacker your first brushes anyway, and you don't need a wet pallet or a Windsor and Newton fancy pants brush to learn how to apply basecoats, washes and maybe have a go at dry-brushing. The rest can come later.

6) Don't think you can't paint out of the pot!

Open up that pot. See that little thing in the lid that looks a bit like a tray. yeah, there's nothing stopping you from adding in some water to the paint right there and then painting with it. Heresy? I call it living on the wild side. It's how we did things in the 90s and you too can learn this master level secret technique. Paint with your honour and you will win.

I did it. Dare to be different.

7) Don't do freehand without thinking!

"Yeah dude, I was thinking of freehanding like a wolf or something right across his face … and then like a blazing sword right across the shoulder guard … with lightning bolts and junk".

Stop right there weekend warrior, that sounds like a bigger mess than Giorgio Tsoukalos' hairdo. You need to plan things out and then draw them out before you approach that model with the paint brush, or you're about to make a big mistake. And if you suck at freehand, then don't do it. It works for me.

8) Don't build large resin models without pinning them!

Should be a given, but pins are really essential for large heavy parts. Resin tends to be expensive and fragile too.

9) Don't buy more than you can handle! (and don't fall for those new releases!)

Easier said than done, I know that much. You need to have  reasonable chance of finishing this stuff. I always see people clambering for the next box-set, but next week's set is last week's forgotten memory or unfinished project. Don't get tricked into backing yourself into a hobby corner as it can cause burnout as sure as anything else. Nobody likes to look at their huge "to do" pile and realise they'll never see the end of it. I've known a lot of people who end up selling unopened kits by the dozen for armies they never even started, and all it does is cost them money and cause misery.

That said, sometimes you need a change of pace, or just deserve a present. Just try to be sensible about it!

10) Don't buy competitive units just because they're powerful! 

The rules change so often that it really is pointless to power play like a freak unless you're a dedicated tournament player. After a long time in the game, I've seen a lot of armies hit eBay 5 minutes into a new edition because they were created only to abuse an obviously under costed unit. Remember the Dark Eldar Venom Spam? If you don't, it's probably going pretty cheap right now. Just remember to pack them full of Trueborn with blasters!

The good thing about a balanced force is that as the power levels of different units wax and wane, the force tends to remain more or less level and perfectly playable in any edition.

11) Don't use exclamation marks on the end of every sentence to try to make an impact!

If you've made it this far, I salute you. You've run off the bottom of actual advice and reached the reflective part of the article where I consider my own writing style..... Not really.

Y'know this week, I was walking to work. I look down the road, and there's a car full of stuff parked up by the pavement. As I approach, I notice a few things on the ground. It looks like makeup or something. A few more steps and my eye follows this trail of so called "breadcrumbs". Then I see it. Right in the middle of the footpath; this big honkin' flesh coloured dildo just flappin' about in the sunshine. It's times like those that inspire me to write Bungo. 

Ok, not really but it did happen and it was weird. Well, the flapping part was pure artistic licence, but the rest is true.

Oh, and number 12 would've been - Don't make 40k/Jamie Oliver crossover memes! (No matter how diabolically delicious it may seem at first)


  1. I am the avatar of numbers 5 and 6! I do a ton of my work with brushes I picked up at Rite Aid or Ace Hardware, that come in packs of 3-5 for a couple of dollars. Actually, some of it, I do with brushes that were intended to be used for house painting. I have some better brushes for doing detail work, but nothing beyond GW/Army Painter quality. And yes, I almost always paint straight out of the pot. I came in as second best painted at the last event I went to.

    1. I like your style. That model pictured underneath the painting out of the pot section won me a local competition too (I actually came first in both categories painting out of the pot with a regular GW small layer). It annoys me every time I see something on Reddit where someone wants advice as a beginner and all I see coming back is "Wet Pallet" and "Windsor and Newton". They're good brushed and all, but I use more cheap brushes than I do expensive ones (basecoats, washes etc). Certainly, a good brush is only really needed for fine details and highlighting. As for always needing a pallet, not really. Especially when you're not mixing colours.

  2. Some great advice there! I think we all fall victim to number 9 at various points.

    1. Personally, I fall for number 12 more often than not!

      Buying too much stuff is pretty much the hobby way, as is an extensive cupboard of shame. That said, some people I've known have taken it to whole new levels and spent a lot on money unnecessarily on stuff they can't actually afford.

  3. People don't paint straight out of the pot? Hell, that's been standard operating procedure for years...

    1. Well, I did say it was a master-level technique. Who better to perform it than Da Masta Cheef!

  4. I’m a victim of No.9... and a veteran of No.6

  5. Great points, especially #5 & #6. When you're still learning the basics it's going to hurt more messing up a really expensive brush. I'm a heavy user of cheapo brushes and painting out of the pot lid ;)

  6. I have been especially guilty of No.8 and 9. As for the former, I'm slowly trying to make it a habit to pin the resin figurines. In fact I'm thinking to try out some neodymium magnets for the joints in the future.