Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Monday, 12 March 2012


So how is your painting mojo doing? Looking around a few blogs some people seem to be losing thier painting mojo as the days lighten (well for us N Hemisphere lot). So what is you recipe for keeping those brushes working?

Mine is doing just fine I could happily paint all day - damn the day job! Having had a long break from hobby  I have come back and I actually really enjoy it , more so than gaming I guess . The community of shared interest enabled by blogs and forums seems to put like minded people in touch which can be very inspirational . I enjoy the challenge of creating new units something with a bit of unique value. Variety does help as i am sure you will have seen from me of late there has been more than usual Napoleonic fare - I have to thank Curt from Analogue Hobbies for this his Winter Painting Challenge has been fun, and I look forward to catching up with some of the guys at Salute.

A few people have asked me about how to keep focus when doing larger units so here you are :-

Method 1
Do all the prep and undercoat on them all , and then some major block work. I will then split in to sections , suchs as the officers , the grendiers and lights , then the others to finish them off, this breaks it into manageable chunks.

Method 2
 I paint listening to music , or radio - i love BBC iplayer and after a while just end up tuning out of concentrating on progress and before i know it another chunk is done.

Method 3
Plan how I am going to paint the unit. Write down all the individual processes or colours that need to be done and then start ticking them off as they go. I find this sometimes help to structure the way I paint the figure , and can mean less rework - rework and touching up is all wasted time and effort which you can mostly get rid of with planning and it also speeds up the overall process.

Method 4
Reward yourself by having something you really want to paint up next, a special , or command stand.

Mehod 5
Don't stress too much if you don't make the progress you want - enjoy the journey - it is supposed to be FUN!

So how about you? Any stratgies for getting through "the block" you would like to share?

Oh and here is the picture. I completed the 2nd Vistula Infantry (Elite Miniatures) for John D back in Janaury (thanks for the photo) , and he's got them based and flagged - and very nicely done that is too.

Proper old school gloss boys.. go on you know you want too..

Photo courtesy of JohnD
And my inane ramblings are coming up on it's first birthday - I will have to work out a giveaway for those of you mad enough to stick with me.



  1. Beautiful work of a great unit. BTW, who is the maker of the figs? Thanks, Dean

    1. Dean - thanks - they are Elite Miniatures Vistula Legion

  2. Yes! Were I to return to Napoleonics, I'd go in for 25mm old school figures (Hinchliffe or Connoiseur for instance) this time around, and one of the first units I'd tackle would be these very same Vistula infantry. Yours above are very spiffy. Good pointers for keeping the brushes moving too. Reading lots of blogs and discussion boards over the last five-six years or so leaves me with the impression that there is much more figure buying and hoarding out there than there is actual painting to completion of units, or games played with them. Wargamers' conspicuous consumption, or something like it?

    Best Regards,


  3. Dave, they look really great. Lovely to see the old Elite Miniatures getting some love. Also great to see figures just glossed, like in the 80s. They certainly look very fine. As for your mojo-maintaining mantras, I think you're spot on. Break things down into bite-sized chunks and you can't go wrong, that's how I try and do it.

  4. Happy blog birthday!! And some sound advice too! I'm quite lucky, I do most of my painting at work, with relatively little being done at home. I love to listen to music as I paint, or a book tape, I always seem to get more painted. One thin I do is never give myself a time limit, if the figures get done they get done, but as you've already mentioned Curt's painting challenge has certainly pushed me on to get more painted. I wouldn't have got the amount done I have if not for the Challenge, can't wait for the next one!!!

    1. i tend to work at work :-) lucky s@d -

  5. A splendid unit they are! Great advice too although I've not really tried to paint a large unit in one go. I break my painting down to monthly chunks and only have those on the table so the end is always in sight. Just like you I try to reward myself by doing fun a different miniatures every so often.

  6. Good advice,the blog thing has really increased my painting output!

  7. Happy birthday blog, as for that guy that rambles inanely on your pages, good job.

    Why doesn't Ray bait you about shiny figures, should I feel special..... :-)

  8. I think it's just that time of the year really. I sleep a lot and work too much. Total of 16 painted Miniatures for that year...

  9. Hi Dave, pretty much follow the same pattern as yourself. Only difference is I'm too lazy to write my process down 1st. When you move to something you would like to paint this is what I call my "jump", usually it is another Napoleonic nation. Nice looking unit!!!

  10. The mojo can be a strange thing as it comes and goes, I find mine gets hinky when I do too much of the same thing.....

    1. Yeah - variety - the spice of life and painting

  11. I prefer the gaming but have now started o paint after a break of 30 years!
    I'm fortunate in that I can paint or game all day. Like Dave and a lot of guys who have posted, I have my own "mantra". Mine is that at the end of a paint session everything has to be left tidy. I put away all the brushes, tools etc. That way, come the next day, It gives me the impression of a fresh start rather than just picking up where I lefy off.
    Current project is painting 200+ German WWII vehicles. Not sure the eyes will cope!

  12. Thanks Ged, I really need to teach myself the tidy up one!!

    it starts tidy and goes down hill until a project is completed

  13. Interesting post Dave, I believe I have fallen off the last couple of months. I am about to submit an unit to Curt's challenge, and realized it has been a month since my last unit. I think I burned myself out in the fall with a lot of Prussian Infantry. Although I find when I start painting I am good. I listen to classic rock when I paint, although I quite like the BBC. I have also really focused on being tidy so I do not have to go over things. I do 6 figures at a time, and I find this is rewarding in itself.

    My big reward is a game though, and hoping to get up to Montreal for some soon.

    Great blog, added to my list.


  14. Great post, Dave.

    I listen to audiobooks when I paint, usually on a topic related to the what's on the desk. I find it very relaxing and I get two things done at the same time (figures and 'reading' books)! Just finished a bunch of Vietnam stuff listening to Stanley Karnow's 'Vietnam: A History' and am just about to embark on some WWI stuff while listening to Barbara Tuchman's 'The Guns of August'.


Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

28mm Sudan
28mm Necromunda

On the PREPATION table.
28mm Sudan
15mm WW2 Landing craft
1/200 ME262

WW2 D Day game