Monday, 17 February 2014

Updates and the result of the Spencer Smithing

It is Monday in Tradgardland and I am on Half Term hols. Jan had her last chemo last Wednesday and is slowly recovering from it. She has a scan tomorrow and the consultant in nine days. I am so glad to be off.
Although wet our skip came today and I got started-
The debris was left from the patio and extension work last year. We intend to level it (hence the skip) extend the beech hedge ,curving it round the corner a bit, and add raised borders to grow veg in. The view shows things as the project begins. I spent part of this morning moving soil,stone and turf. Here is how things stand now-
Half of the 3 ton (?) capacity skip is filled and I am pleased with my work so far.

The Spencer Smithing has not gone well ( not to mention the Garrison Vendhyans I butchered with a disastrous ink wash today having worked on them over the weekend)  I tried a variety of approaches including white undercoat. I am giving up with them for the moment .I am just too tired I think. I will retain them and recommence the project later. In the meantime I will concentrate on painting wee skirmish projects and playing some solo games with  current armies. I have been tempted by the Donnybrook rules but at £31 including postage I just can't contemplate it at present.


  1. Think you have done the right thing with the Spencer Smith's sometimes returning to a project after a break is a good thing

  2. Take heart. Good work in the garden is more useful than finely painted figures (mine own patch is a complete mudbath and disaster and it's my profession). Take a break from the SSM's and have a crack at something else (the Mythical Earth stuff perhaps?). Bear in mind the figures you have done were trial pieces and the point was to try out different methods to see how they turned out. Washes are funny old things, and can often look bad to the painter but fine to an observer :-).

  3. Well done for getting out in the garden for a bit of spadework! Although my garden is ok, and showing signs of (bulb-related) spring all round, my allotment plot is absolutely awful - the worst it's been for years. Quite despair-making!

  4. Ms. Padre and I were admiring your work, and are rather envious. We figure we have at least two months until the snow recedes and we see our garden again. Jan is in my prayers for a quick and full recovery - I didn't realize until today that she was on chemo.
    Could you kindly email me off line at madder (at) gmail (dot) com about a personal matter?

  5. Best way to go about it. I hope Jan is improving.

    Brave Heart Tradgradland.

  6. I come late to this blog, but I feel that I must add my litt;e bit to the Spencer Smith chat. I had considerable armies of these, and swapped the last ones for 7YW metals. What everyone says about ignoring such modern techniques as washes and drybrushing is correct. My technique was to prime in white, block paint in solid colours, then - take ONE figure and look at it. Decide what colours and areas need separation. Follow someone's (e.g., John Preece's) advice about ink lining, but don't use black - it's a brutal contrast (in fact, I've completely given up black for all my figures) Use sepia instead. Take another look. OK? Then see if you need to separate other areas. Eventually, you come to a point where a line doesn't work. Paint it out with the original colour. Now you have a master lined out to your requirements. Copy it on to the rest.

    Of course, once you've done one unit, you've got a pretty good idea what works for you and what doesn't. For instance, separating the arm from the body never looked right for me.

    Whatever - good luck.


  7. I long to see bright green grass again. When you that that much going on in life, you don't need to add frustration from a hobby. Good call putting them aside for now.

  8. Having recently completed supporting my wife through the chemo cycle, of course I can't begin to feel what is was actually like for her, but cumulatively it all puts a certain amount of stress on the partner too. Probably the last thing you need is adding self-imposed hobby stress.

    On the Spencer Smiths, all I can advise is to not overthink it. Although they pose a completely different technical challenge, they can be rather like flats in that people allow themselves to be intimidated by the prospect of painting them to a high standard. I am not Douchkine and you are not Henry Hyde but we are still painters !

    My advice is the same, just paint them to please yourself. Of course, if they look like sorry blobs of plastic, something will have to be done suggest the missing details but the key is to not trying to radically alter your painting style - continue to work within your comfort zone.

    Best wishes to you and yours,

  9. Instead of Donnybrook why not just use Legends of the Old West or the High seas? Or alternatively you could use the Savage Worlds skirmish rules, which are a free download. Donnybrook uses the same priniciples as these. Card based turns and different dice depending on ability etc.

  10. Forgot to add this