Monday, 6 September 2010

The tragedy of a failed painter (TOFP)

Huff...pufff...pant..Ok, stop charging now. It's over.

Well, after my last over-confident post, it's maybe with no surprise that I reveal I didn't manage to complete my 2000pts in time to complete the Tale of Fantasy Painters (TOFP) 2009-10. Not for want of trying, though. I worked long into the wee small hours for weeks, right up to the very last day, but alas, two things stopped my completing on time (apart from the fact that I should never have left myself 700pts to do in one month):

1. Since having a kid, my body clock has changed. I didn't want it to change, or mean it to change, but lo and behold, all those mornings of getting up early to look after baby have transformed me from a night owl (usually going to bed at 4am), to a begrudging morning person (usually falling asleep on the sofa by 10.30pm). A "lie in" used to mean "get up at lunchtime". Now a "lie in" means "get up at 7.30".

This is a disasterous development for my painting ambitions, because 10pm - 4am has traditionally been my time. Not wifey's time; not baby's time; my time. Without my time, when the hell am I ever going to find time to paint?

2. While it's generally a good strategy to paint all your boring rank and file troops at the start and reward yourself with the more spendid pieces at the end (heck, if TOFP is good for nothing else, it makes you slog through those hard-to-complete core troops), it's easy to underestimate just how much time you need to work on the juicy projects.

After months of trying to paint as fast as possible, you're suddenly faced with painting models that people might actually want to look at; that your reputation as a painter might actually rest on. So the thought of rattling through your elite troops and your general just doesn't sit well.

I tried to rush them through and cut corners, but I just couldn't do it. As I worked, new ideas for converted details occured to me and I experimented to see if they were worth pursuing (some were, some weren't). But faced with a 700pts-in-two-weeks deadline, you're not allowed the luxury of experimentation. Convert by all means, but only iof you're very fast, experienced with the old green stuff, and you have a clear idea of what you want the finished thing to look like (I tick the "none of the above" box).

So I failed. My final total was 1305pts and I requested to be moved from the so-called 200pts-in-a-year "men's" league to the paltry-1000pts-in-a-year "boys" league (adding imasculating insult to injury).

But hey, that's 1305pts that I definitely would not have painted if I hadn't joined. And I'm really proud of whatI've done. And it was great being part of the community too.

So what if I failed? I've signed myself up for 2000pts more Dark Elves next year, so I'll just carry the remainder over.

Keep painting!