Conquest: The Miniatures that got me re-interested in painting

So, it’s been a minute to say the least. The past few months I’ve been in a massive slump. Like many, I suffer from some pretty hefty seasonal depression as well as focusing issues. Those combined, plus an overall apathy from lack of free time kind of resulted in a lot of things getting pushed to the side.

My partner told me that I need to start taking Vitamin D, which, she’s probably not wrong. BUT, I also think a healthy dose of something interesting helped.

Several months ago, someone was selling a nice sized lot of Conquest minis on Facebook for a steal. I picked them up. Assembled a few, painted a few, then, left it on my shelf in a box. Awhile back I was cleaning and saw that box and thought to myself, “Well, I should probably move these. I’m never gonna get to them.” The box had the Conquest starter plus a few additional kits, so I thought I could flip it for a quick profit. However, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Every time I went to take pictures, I looked at the quality, the sculpts, and the artwork and said, “Damn, these are nice”. Then put them back in the box.

It took a few months of this back and forth for me to bring them all back out of the box and start working on them. Specifically, the Spires (I’m currently working on the Hundred Kingdoms, but that’s for another day).
I couldn’t get over how cool they looked and the overall ‘sci-fi fantasy’ vibe they had. After learning the lore behind them, and how they’re pretty much an alien elvish race that creates their own soldiers from the bio-mass of a planet… I was hooked. It was just such a refreshing take on them.

I started really churning threw them after that. I started with the Abomination first, and came up with the scheme I’ve got, and then the rest fell into place. I will say, the drones were a bit of big mouthful since there were so many, and since I already knew they were there to die, I didn’t really want to spend too much time on them.

But, the Avatara, oh, the Avatara are beautiful. The sculpts are unique and uncanny valley, slightly creepy, and just, wonderful. These were the models that completely fired me up about painting and minis again. With their odd proportions and hidden details, I couldn’t stop painting them.

So ultimately, I just want to say thank you Para Bellum. Even though I have yet to play a game of Conquest, I know if it’s anything like the miniatures, it will be a delight to do. I only wish I could find a group near me that does.

The Beauty of Loving What You Do

A few weeks ago, actually, a little after my last post, I was scrolling through Instagram, looking at all the finished projects that were on my feed. Not my projects, but, professional painters projects. Many of them were simply stunning. Work that combined blending, shading, and every other technique in such a fantastic way, creating a product “worth viewing”.

Instead of inspiring me though, it completely demotivated me.

I have very little time to devote simply to painting, learning new techniques, and lack some of the technical resources to get a really fantastic painting. It also doesn’t help that I have a million hobbies and interests due to what I’m pretty confident is undiagnosed ADHD. Truthfully, the fact I’ve focused this long on painting miniatures really astounds me.

But, as stated, it demotivated me. I was looking at my miniatures and simply wondering why. Why am I spending this time and money on something that I’ll never be THAT good at. I know I can paint to an above tabletop standard, but, I will never win a Golden Demon, as much as I’d love to see that on my shelf.

Due to these feelings, I decided that I was going to start selling off everything and only paint very select few miniatures. Hell, I had even gotten rid of 99% of my Warhammer Collection. All due to the feelings I was having above

I had allowed this societal pressure to make me think that I had to be the best or that this was a waste of time. And that’s very true of modern day society. We’re all programmed to think that we’re less of a person if we don’t monetize everything we do, including our hobbies (at least, that’s how I feel). You have twitch streamers playing their favorite video games, people on Etsy selling their craft, and people doing commission painting. You have a million side hustles, and all any of us want is the chance to do what we enjoy without feeling that pressure.

At least, that’s what it feels like to me.

Fast forward to yesterday. Yesterday was shit. Very little sleep, kiddo was cranky as hell, and the wife and I just weren’t in a great mood. We kind of forced ourselves to do stuff simply because we’re on vacation damnit.

However, I saw on my FLGS Facebook, Golden Rhino Games that they had gotten in Piety and Pain. I initially missed out on that release and wasn’t going to pursue it any further. In seeing this post, I felt myself get legitimately excited. I love the two factions included, and truthfully, felt pretty free in not having any Warhammer back log to crank through before starting something new. So, I called, and they said they’d hold me a copy.

After getting my Covid poke this morning, we spent the day up in Ann Arbor, got the kid a hair cut, got Thai, and went to the park. All the while, there was a gnawing at the back of my head. A gnawing that was just giddy to get my new box set.

After picking it up, I had a realization about everything I stated above. Why I had purged everything, almost impulsively, all to get back into it, genuinely excited.

I guess what I’m saying is, it’s okay that you or I will never be the best painter. All that really matters is if you enjoy doing it, and if you enjoy what you’re painting. Don’t listen to people that tell you that you’re painting isn’t good enough and you need to get better. If all you can do is slap one thick layer on, then slap it on! If you’re not digging something, take a break, come back to it later. Start a new project, just clear out your pallet.

But, as for me, it’s getting late and I must rest.

So, until next time, happy painting!