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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Which way the lead mountain?

After a decades long layoff, I came back to miniatures as a father-son project.  My son wanted to play Warhammer Fantasy so I bought unpainted collections at Bartertown. In short order, I had a plastic mountain of Orcs & Goblins, Dwarfs, and Tomb Kings.  Being new at this, my son and I were very slow painters. That plus assembling the figures meant it took us many sessions to finish a single unit.  And there were so damned many GW boxes! What was I thinking, buying 3 armies at once?  Every time I got a peek at the plastic mountain, my enthusiasm for painting sunk.  When my son moved onto the world of music, I was left to finish the lot myself.

I did eventually finish at a rate of an army a year but the experience left a mark.  When I quit fantasy for historicals, I decided to avoid this mistake.  I use an accountant's precision to plot my purchases.  I keep a first in, first out (FIFO) painting system. Before I start a new project, I finish the old one.  With this push, my collection of unpainted 28mm minis is down to 6 figures.

These fellows fill some  gaps in my Viking and Anglo-Danish warbands for Saga.  I used triads with the cloaks but I toned down my color jumps and washed to flatten them out for a more gradual transition.

The slingers add an important shooty element to the Anglo-Danish warband. Being levy, they're quite dull to look at.  

Running out of things to paint, I also finished some Saga color items including aditional fatigue counters. 






With my Just in time inventory system maxed, I'm back to sifting through unpainted lead at Bartertown and browsing Architectsofwar.  I've got my eye on more Dark Age figures.  It can't hurt to keep a lead molehill, can it?

70 comments:

  1. A wargamer with out a lead pile unheard of!!! Nice work Monty very nice indeed!!!

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    1. Thanks, and it is a bit sad, isn't it? I need to change my ways. I need a Big Project…let's call it The White Whale.

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  2. Lovely work Monty, nothing wrong with a molehill or two!

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  3. Six minis? I would estimate I have about 3000+. I know that is way too many, but I am a lead (and plastic addict)!

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    1. 3000? WOW! But you are a young man and there's hope that you might actually paint them all up!

      Gamers are a fickle bunch and tastes change. If I was that deep in a mountain, I'd worry that my tastes might change, or the gamers I game with will change and some of those figs will fall off the plate. I'd love to know whats in that store-like collection!

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    2. To be honest... I am a bit worried since I would estimate that roughly ½ to ⅔ of that are Napoleonics. The metal should be easy to sell if I loose interest, but the plastics might be a problem.

      But I have been down that road with my ACW minis before. Huge stock (although not quiet as huge as this one) and lost interest. But most of that has been sold off. What remains now are the minis to paint a few regiment should I want a few more, lots of dismounted cavalry and/or the odd rare mini.

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    3. No worries! As you've said, if you change your mind, the collection still has a sale and trade value! And you have plenty of time to work that mountain. If I ever get into Napoleonics (not likely, it scares me), I know who to ring up and buy lead from!

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  4. My word you've been busy; great work Monty.

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    1. Thanks Michael and your dino is fantastic. I can't eat dinner and look at it. That speaks volumes!

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  5. Since I have... many unpainted plastic armies to work through, I am envious of your being able to finish yours! I did take a stab at them this weekend though.

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    1. Well done! Looking at your big push, I do remember the blessing/curse of GW assembly. Lots of variety and customization versus lots of extra work! The skellies were the absolute worst! Got a chill just thinking about it!

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    2. Thanks. 4.75 hours of assembly did make me long a bit for one piece lead figures, where you just pop them out of the blister pack and get to priming. (although the last set of lead I worked with needed a good deal of clean up)

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  6. Running out of things to paint! That's rare.. Time for a serious bit of shineyitis

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    1. Dave! Yes, the Just in time method means I'm nimble and able to jump aboard whatever train comes through next. Problem is, I do tend to over think things and wonder if theres a better train around the corner. ;-)

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  7. "With this push, my collection of unpainted 28mm minis is down to 6 figures."
    I don't get it. My brain simply cannot comprehend what that means! ;-)

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    1. I was hoping to finish the last six figs and call it complete but they're pretty boring. I put them down and started fiddling with some 15mm stuff.

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  8. You know that when you paint your last figure, the Keeper takes your soul, right?

    FMB

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    1. LOL! It's a good thing I didn't get those last 6. :-)

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  9. Nice additions to the warbands Monty! Time to build up the lead and plastic mountain...

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    1. Christmas is coming and my wife would like some present ideas. They'll be hobby related for sure!

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  10. Very nice work!

    I did a survey of my lead mountain today as I was worried I didn't have enough figures for the Analogue Painting Challenge. I needn't have worried!

    I admire your method.

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    1. Thanks Edwin! The huge GW pile put me off but now, Ive fallen to the other end of the spectrum!

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  11. only 6 28mm figures left to paint.... I have 3 times that may just in my paint stripper plus about 400 based and awaiting undercoat, plus 400-500 plastic to make up and I have one of the smaller lead mountains I know of.
    Peace James

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    1. Well, you are a painting machine! If I were to do like you're doing with the 400 prepped and waiting to paint, I'd have to hide 350 of them. ;-)

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  12. Six unpainted figures? Unbelievable! If you need a care package, let me know.

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    1. If we put ourselves down on a bell curve representing The Lead Mountain, you and I would be at opposite ends, wouldn't we? :-)

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    2. If not opposite tails, at least in different quartiles!

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    3. I was a Liberal Arts major … and it shows!

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  13. You need at least 200-300 unpainted figures as a safety against the ills of the world or a blizzard. Excellent Vikings.

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    1. Here is a voice of reason! I do think I should load up and lord knows we have frequent blizzards here!

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  14. Lovely work with the figs there Monty!

    But only having SIX unpainted figures... can a painter do that and live...?!
    ; )

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    1. And I just couldn't bear to paint the last 6. I suspect those 6 might never get painted. I bought a Norse Gael set today, and I've got a friends Scots to paint. I'm trying to get my Saga "painted all war bands!" card punched. Still a long way to go and I won't run out lead any time soon!

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    2. I knew you wouldn't last a day before just nipping out for a quick boxed set!

      "I can give up any time I want to..."

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    3. Well, the guy at Bartertown was dumping loads of GB Saga sets. I had wild visions swirling through my head. But then I though, exactly how many war bands can a fellow have, and bought only the Norse. Dammit! DOn't over think it, Monty!

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  15. Nice work Monty - I too started painting as a cool thing to do with a kid I mentored. I of course got hooked and he went back to x box. I started with Lord of the Rings and bought a huge number of Rohan and Uruk hai on ebay that took me almost two years to finish. Now I play FOW and Empire of the Dead, I am like you careful to buy only what I paint so I don't sink beneath the lead mountain. You are pulling me into Saga, as are others - though I need to finish my current projects before I can look at that! Great work by the way - don't know about triads, so might look that up.

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    1. Dan! I'm going to have to go back to your blog and look up your LoTR work! As a huge fan, it's amazing I haven't fallen for it. Triads is just a stye of painting -base color, mid tone and highlight-nicely demonstrated by Kevin Dallimore. I don't have Foundry paints so my color jumps are eyeballed. And I flattened it out at the end anyway…so, what was I trying to do again? ;-)

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  16. I have nothing like your discipline. My lead mountain is enormous. Very nice work!

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    1. I can't help but think the old Scott Michael phrase, "that's what she said!" There is nothing wrong with being a collector! It's only when you find you can't move about the house that you've fallen into the danger zone.

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  17. Very impressive indeed, Monty. A lead mountain of 6 figures? Well done!

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    1. It doesn't take long to get to the summit of that one!

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  18. Great painting Monty! I really like those small "extras" like animals and fatigue markers – they are a nice way to bring the table to life.

    And I can't even comprehend having only 6 unpainted miniatures in your lead pile ... ;)

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    1. Thanks Jonas! They've sat for quite awhile but now I'm ready to get them out on the tabletop. If I was really ambitious, I'd copy you and Michael. You guys have loads of extras in your battles!

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  19. Nice work, I am pretty controlled but not that controlled.

    John

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    1. That's it! I do suffer from a bit of, shall we say, control issues. ;-)

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  20. Fantastic looking Vikings, counters and animals, another great work!

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  21. Absolutely awesome! The choice of colours is superb and I especially like the blue/ yellow trousers from the second guy from the left on the first pic.

    Only 6 figures left? You know what happens to a wargamer when he runs out of lead? Hurry up and get yourself some lead-infusions :-)

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    1. Thanks Moiterei! With practice, I'm getting better at those Rus pants!

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  22. Reading this post brought tears in my eyes! What a poor guy, only having six more figures to paint!I almost started a charity for Monty campaign! Almost I said! Then I realised you were talking about your 28mm figures, and that you have a load of 15mm ones left to paint!
    Great work on this warband and scenery. And the casualty markers of course!

    Greetings
    Peter

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    1. Peter! I sure hope no-one felt sorry for the lack of a lead mountain. That's by choice! 28mm is a bit pricey and I do worry about what people will turn out to play, and all that. I do have plenty of 15mm on ice. There is a half painted Dailami army I might turn my attention to. Finishing the 28mm lead mountain just opens up other mountains.

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  23. Impressive, most impressive! Great brush work on the SAGA fellows and only 6 28mm figures left!! How? I have tried your approach but as there is too much unpainted I tend to move around a lot. Its what works for you that is most important.

    Cheers, Ross

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    1. Thanks, I have really enjoyed SAGA this year. I am thinking of branching out next year. No lead pile to hold me back as I strike out! ;-)

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  24. Excellent work Monty.

    And I really should start doing the FIFO myself. Gosh it's hard.

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    1. Thanks Seb! You're about to enter a competition so I'm thinking you need to double your mountain!

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  25. Very nice! Only six unpainted though? I didn't know that was even allowed...

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  26. Running out of things to paint....what language is that Monty....Greek? That for sure is an alien concept to me my friend.:-)

    They look absolutely wonderful and your SAGA expedition has been a joy to follow!#

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher! I've had a chance to play DB lately and I'm really impressed by the reviews of TFL CoC. Maybe some WW II painting ahead? So many choices!

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  27. Great looking figures. Excellent idea for the fatigue counters.
    I hear you on that mass painting thing. Turns into a chore. Yuck1
    cheers

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    1. Thanks Kiwi! I admire those painters who can bite down on a huge project and see it all the way through!

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  28. Great looking stuff Monty and I think maybe it's got me re-thinking my next purchases since I have so much unpainted stuff lying around.

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    1. Thanks Sean, and no worries! As Burkhard pointed out, that mountain has a value and if your tastes change, you can always trade or sell!

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  29. Fantastic work!I love this brave warriors!

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  30. Thanks Michal, they do look like killers. ;-)

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