Friday, 29 August 2014

Is this the End? Maybe for a While.

Some of you are probably wondering why there hasn't been any updates on the website for a while? Well, it's because I'm winding down Lead Legion Painting Service. I'll begin studying for a Nursing course at Christ Church University in a few weeks. I've been turning away new orders as a result (and because I'm still behind on existing commissions).

Given that I might not be able to take on any more orders for a while (we'll see how my academic workload goes, once I've had a chance to settle in) there doesn't seem to be any point in advertising for my services. So for the last few weeks I've slowly watched my webpage fall off the front page of google searches for "miniature painting".
If you have an order with me at present, don't worry. You should have already heard from me long since via a personal email from the Lead Legion account. I may not be taking on any more orders for the time being, but I am working steadily on completing all the existing orders I have (not to mention the last minute orders many of you sent me to finish off your armies before I temporarily retire).
I've loved every minute of the last 30 months or so. Living the dream has been wonderful, but as I've said to every perspective commission painter who has contacted me in the last two and half years, it's not a job that will ever make you rich. At least not in terms of cash. Seriously, if money is your only object, painting miniatures for a living is not the way to go about it. (Speaking of which: I haven't forgotten about the gentleman that emailed me for advice on getting started as a commission painter last week. That advice is on the way. It's just a long email, so bear with me while I finish it).
This experience has, however, made me rich in terms of friends met and experiences shared. My clients are universally a wonderfully group of people. I've become friends with many of the over the years and I'm going to miss them all a very great deal. Through my work I've met and spoken with people living on every continent of the world (except Antarctica), and it's been an incredible time.
There have been low points too. Several of my clients have dropped of the radar over the last few years. One of them, I know for certain, passed away and others currently live or work in various war-zones around the world. I have to admit, being ex-military, I worry about them all. And I wish them all the best, wherever they are, and regardless of which war they are caught up in; whose side they are fighting on. Sometimes, as we move our little lead men around the table, it behoves us to think about the real men and women being moved around real war zones, voluntarily or otherwise. I often stop and think of them for a moment or three at quiet points during a game, and wish them all a safe return home.
Most of all though, I've loved the opportunity that this line of work has given me to spend more time with my family. Particularly my wife. For the first four years of our relationship, when I was throwing the same thugs into the same cells day after day, we barely saw one another for weeks at a time. We had days off, family events and even holidays cancelled on a regular basis. Just so that I could sit in a court room for days, just to be send home when the ned in question pled guilty. My wife dreaded the late night and early morning calls from my shift sergeant or the duty inspector. The good calls were just to tell her that I'd be working overtime writing crime reports, taking statements or covering someone on sick leave. The bad ones, as happened roughly once every six months or so, that I was in Accident and Emergency getting treatment for yet another minor injury, needle stick, dog-bite or suspected concussion.
Ironically, now we've come full circle. I'll once again be working shifts and spending a great deal of my time in hospitals. But at least this time, she won't have to worry so much about the phone ringing late at night.
Not unless I've forgotten my keys, anyway.
But don't turn off the lights in the painting studio just yet. I still have orders to finish. More importantly,  I love painting, and it's not as though I'm going to spending my own cash on miniatures when I'm a poor student living in poverty!
Watch this space. I may be back.

Monday, 30 June 2014

White Scars Stormcaller and Sternguard

I'm a bit rushed today, so I'll be keeping this short. Here we have a group of the new(ish) Sternguard plastics built as sergeants alongside a Stormcaller/Librarian. Sergeants normally have red helmets, but in this case they've been painted white to keep the miniatures as multi-purpose as possible. The red robes mark them out enough that the red helmets are a bit redundant. Not to mention the fact that they would swamp the models with red.

Whte Scars' Storm Caller

White Scars' Sergeants/Sternguard

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Reikland Raiders

Still not quite back to my usual 12-16 hours a day of painting, but I'm certainly back into working at a fairly respectable pace. I won't be taking on any more commissions for the near future though.

Next up, we have the classic plastic human blood bowl team from the 2nd edition box set plus a couple of 90's era Star Players. Real Golden oldies and a pleasure to paint.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting up some more Dreadfleet ships.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Lizardman Blood Bowl Team

It's been a rough month painting wise. Instead of my usual 12-16 hour daily marathons I've struggled to paint for more than a few hours at a time. Over the last week or so I've consistently managed to paint for 6-8 hours at a sitting, so I'll soon be back to my regular routine. 

Unfortunately, the result of this last month of inactivity is that I'm way behind on all my existing orders. So for obvious reasons I won't be accepting any more commissions for a while. Not until all the existing one are finished, at the very least.

In the meantime, here's another finished Blood Bowl team. These guys were a real challenge to pain. Purple and blue is not a colour combination I've ever worked on before, and i took a good few attempts (and a lot of stripping) to find tones and hues that worked well together. Once I've received final approval from the customer, these little guys will be winging their way half-way around the world to Australia.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Nurgle Blood Bowl Team

I lost my painting mojo for about a week after my holiday. Just sitting and staring at the paint pot and brushes for hours on end. Tried all my usual motivation techniques, but just couldn't get back into the swing of it. Not wanting to force myself to paint (because I doubt my work would have been up to much) I refreshed my batteries by doing lots of the non-painting aspects of the wargaming hobby. That seemed to work, and here are some of the results.

Nurgle Warriors

Nurgle Beastmen

Nurgle Rotters
All of the models had a similar, static pose so to help the owners opponents tell which is which on the board, I've used different flesh tones for each. The Nurgle Warriors received the traditional nurgle ochre. The Beastmen were painted a "cold corpse" blue. The rotters were painted with an old school "ghoul grey" rotting flesh tone. The colour variety also helps to break up the "wall of rust effect that presents itself when the team is set up for play. Not that a wall of rust is a bad thing where Papa Nurgle is concerned.....

Friday, 25 April 2014

Last of the Holiday Painting

Here are (probably) the last photographs I'll be posting of the miniatures I painted for myself during my brief holiday. These are additions to my existing Space Marine/Dark Angels army for 40K in the form of a Tactical Squad armed with melta-guns. Actually, it's 8/10's of a squad plus 2 spares. The bloke with the power sword is actually an HQ and the little guy with the black powerpack is headed for another squad. I already have a "stable" of painted sergeants and another stable of special weapon gunners. One from each is slated to join these guys.

Space Marine Captain

Tactical Squad

Tactical Squad

Up until now, I've been using decals for the squad symbols and painting the chapter symbols in freehand. I've recently come across a good looking fan-made decal sheet which I'll be getting printed off and using instead. So the shoulder pads will have to stay blank for a while longer.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Back at Work and Fully Booked

Hello all. I'm now back at work. That's some good news. The other good news is that I'm once again fully booked for the next two months or two.