A state of the painting table, plus bonus ponderances

Morning, all. Let’s catch up a little, shall we? The Covid pandemic continues, and getting together is still being discouraged by the powers that be. While some communities are opening up more and more, there are still guidelines for social distancing, and masks continue to be the order of the day.

My FLGS has opened again for in-store gaming (with limited capacity), but while I’m pleased to be able to browse the shelves in person once again, the idea of leaning across a table to play with someone outside of my bubble just doesn’t sit right, even with masks in place. Gaming tables are generally 4′ across, and if two players are leaning in to measure, move models, check lines of sight – well, they’re well within the 6′ social distancing limit at that point. I get that everyone has their own comfort levels, but reducing possible infection vectors is the priority. I wear a mask whenever I’m in public not to protect me, but to protect everyone I come into proximity with. Anyone can be asymptomatic, and if wearing some material over my face means I don’t inadvertently infect someone who passes it on to their grandparent who then dies, well, the entire point of all these precautions is to protect the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society. That’s important.

So in the absence of getting any actual gaming in, we turn to the other side of being a tabletop wargamer: The hobby aspect. Collecting, building and painting the miniatures that we hope to be able to game with once all this is over and done with. As a grade-A squirrel, I have several different projects on the go simultaneously, and I flit between them as whims take me. Currently my painting efforts are divided between:

Warmachine – Scrutator Potentate Severius and a Shrine of the Lawgiver

Grand Scrutator Severius was the first Menite warcaster that I really sank my teeth into. The old man was squishy, but Eye of Menoth and Ashes to Asheswon me many games back in Mk2. When they released Scrutator Potentate Severius, a version of the old man back when he was spry and his lumbago wasn’t playing up, it was only a matter of time before it ended up on the painting table. Other projects have taken precedence for awhile, but it’s time. I’ve had to redo some portions after one of the birds got ahold of the model and decided to remove one of the arms, but he’s progressing well and should be finished soon.

The Shrine of the Lawgiver is primed and in the queue. It may not have the organic beauty of the Well of Orboros, but there’s a degree of gravitas in the standalone tower, a landlocked lighthouse casting aside the shadows of the devourer wurm and sharing Menoth’s light with those in need. Or zotting them into oblivion. You know, as you do. If Severius hangs out nearby, its Divine Wrathzap becomes a boostable RAT 7 POW 15. I picked up two shrines when they released, and not just because they came with Black Anchor Oven Mitts and I wanted a pair.

Age of Sigmar – Terrorgheist and Endless Spells

The Flesh-Eater Courts were my main pandemic project. At the start of it all, I had five Crypt Ghouls painted, and the Charnel Throne. I hadn’t put any real time into pushing for a fully painted Age of Sigmar army since the late 1990’s, before I immigrated to Canada, and I’d done nothing more than paint a couple of test models for the scheme to see how it would work out. Now? Over 70 Crypt Ghouls, a dozen Crypt Horrors, a half dozen Crypt Flayers, the Grymwatch character unit, a battery of heroes (Archregent, Varghulf, Ghasts, Haunters and Infernals), and all three Endless Spells. The only models remaining unpainted are the most daunting – the Abhorrant Ghoul King on Terrorgheist, and the Zombie Dragon (with or without Ghoul King). The Terrorgheist is fully assembled, which will make it that much harder to paint, but it’s primed and ready to go. The Zombie Dragon is unassembled.

I’ve been knocking out the occasional generic Endless Spell as well, and right now the Aethervoid Pendulum and Malevolent Maelstrom are primed and ready to go.

Monsterpocalypse – Yasheth and Blastikutter

When Monsterpocalype dropped with its newest incarnation, I decided to cast my lot firmly with the Destroyers. I painted up Gorghadra (and even tried teaching some of the parrots to say it) and the Planet Eaters, but painting up the limited edition Brewgrosh made me happy and the Lords of Cthul became the hot favourite. I still need to pick up Ulgoth, mind you.

Once Hammerklak breached the surface, the only possible rival for my MonPoc affection was clear. The Subterran Uprising needed a champion, and by gum was in. I’m still waiting for a second unit blister and a new version of Drillcon-Vorionnik, but when our new overlords from underneath are ready to claim the surface world for their own, I will be ready.

Warhammer 40K – Primaris Marines

I’ve struggled with 40K since selling off all my old models back in the old country to finance my immigration. Still, one of the realities of tabletop gaming is, you can’t play without an opponent. The local Warmachine community took a hit when The Hobby Kingdom shuttered its doors, and the change to Mk3 and the change in release philosophies also had an impact. Fact of the matter is, 40K’s the biggest game in town locally. I’ve picked up models here and there, and after waffling back and forth on what marine chapter to commit to, I ended up with the Flesh Tearers. Yes, I know. Flesh-Eater Courts for AoS, Flesh Tearers for 40K. I didn’t name either faction, ain’t my fault.

A big part of the appeal was the deeper red and black armour. Aesthetic is always a huge thing for me, and while I’ve never been a fan of the Blood Angels, the character of their successor chapter appeals, and the glimpse of insanity behind the eyes of chapter master Gabriel Seth as he tries to redeem a chapter on the cusp of exterminatus? Well… one can only resist all the hype that’s surrounded the 9th ed release for so long. Five primaris intercessors are on the table as I get familiar with the scheme.

Marvel Crisis Protocol – Okoye and Shuri

I have a lot of MCP models to get to, and the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Defenders are the two affiliations I intend to focus on, but I’ve had Wakanda’s general and princess primed and waiting for paint for far too long. Before I tackle Gamora and Nebula, I intend to get these two ladies done to round out their faction. I confess, this is more of a muscle-through-so-I-can-reward-myself duo, but it still needs to be done. Ronan is judging me for letting them languish in the to-do bin for so long.

Necromunda – Ambot

As indicated by Monday’s post, I’m hearing the call of the Underhive, and the Ambot kit that’s been sitting in my drawer for months is finally seeing daylight. Do I have any idea what I’m doing with the newest iteration of Cawdor? Nah, not really, I’m just playing for fun, but you can be damn sure I’m going to be fielding a massive thug of a mining robot with buzzsaws attached to its servo claws.

Riot Quest – Master Gurglepox

The last model in the current to-do list, Master Gurglepox is a necrotech riding a Deathripper. I don’t know how else to explain that to make it sound any cooler than it already is. A chattering, maniacal surgeon with a buzzsaw, mounted on the back of a bipedal chompy robot with an underbite. I’ve got plenty of Riot Quest models to get through, but there’s something about Gurglepox that got him slotted into the current array.

Now, with so many projects underway, how do I decide which to work on at any one time? Some of you have been around long enough to be familiar with the Wheel.

The Wheel Knows All. The Wheel Is All.

The Wheel is actually the Decide Now! app on my phone, which lets you make custom spinning wheels to make decisions for you when your brain is either squirreling all over the place or just plain blank.

The Wheel has been used over the years to determine Paint The Target winners, to choose which theme forces to play in a pick-up game, to select warcasters and warlocks for Who’s The Boss tournaments, even what to have for dinner once or twice.

Slotting each of the painting options into the wheel means if I’m not inspired to work on any particular model, I can let the vagaries of fate decide for me. As I finish a model, I also have the option of replacing it with something else, to keep the productivity train rolling.

One day, this whole pandemic thing will be done. We’ll have a vaccine, or will otherwise have eliminated it in our areas, and be able to gather again with our friends and family. We’ll be able to socialize and play games face-to-face again. I intend to be painted and ready when the time comes.