Over the last few years I have suffered from clinical depression. For a while it was very severe and it was difficult to do any of the things I would normally enjoy. During this period one of the things that helped me cope was taking up painting miniatures, something I hadn’t done since I was a pre-teen. The active but somewhat mindless state I could get in while painting helped me to relax a bit and even if I wasn’t capable of enjoying myself, I felt like I was doing something I had been meaning to do for years and at least being a little creative.
Sometimes it was too hard to do any painting and I have to thank my best friend Olaf, co-author of this blog, for always encouraging me and reminding me that it helped.
I’m doing a lot better these days than I was then, but I still find I succumb to “painter’s block” for long periods – I feel unable to actually start painting, even though I keep making plans to do so. “This weekend I’ll definitely get my paints out of the box” I’d say, then find some reason not to. I’m fond of telling people “try doing something for 5 minutes and then letting yourself stop if you want”. It’s good advice for overcoming mental blocks, but it’s also very hard advice to follow sometimes.
Anyway yesterday I overcame the block and actually painted a miniature, the fancypants Fer de Lance of the Southern Republic, from Heavy Gear Blitz by Dream Pod 9. If history is any guide then I’ll probably paint several more in the coming weeks/months, and it will be as therapeutic as it always has been.
I’ve been doing some more painting, this time of an old Tactical era King Cobra model I got super, super cheap from well known French gaming site Ludik Bazar. Now the model itself I would consider quite a bit worse than the excellent modern Blitz era metal King Cobra – the key differences are that the pose is very static, the weapons are smaller, there’s a little less detail, the stylised look of the Heavy Gear illustrations aren’t really captured, the shoulder rocket pack is different/worse, the hands are normal sized rather than the massive an iconic manipulators, the artillery rocket system is missing entirely, and there are no ears at all!
Still for the price they were a bargain and with some modifications (modded artillery rockets, newer mortar, modified cut down rotary cannon, a pair of old tac era knife blades stuck on as ears and a few other minor changes) I think the model ended up looking pretty good.
Here he is without his weapons (both hands are magnetised). Click on for plenty more pics.