Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Tough Pill To Swallow

This week's hobby goodness features one of my ten favorite Citadel miniatures of all time, Brian Nelson's incredible orc shaman. To me, this mini always stood as a kind of island of old-school character amid an ocean of slack-jawed, GIANT-AXE!!!'d, skull-festooned silliness that the greenskins turned into at Citadel circa 1997.

Citadel Orc Shaman; sculpted by Brian Nelson

My copy, bought as usual at great discount on eBay, lacked the sweet short sword on his back, so I had to sculpt a wee waterskin to hide the peg and open area on his back where the sword was supposed to go:

Given my extremely limited sculpting skillz, I am pretty happy with how the flask turned out.

The reason for the post title today, though, is because of an utter failure on my part to see this great mini through to its planned finish. I really wanted to do a nice checkerboard pattern on the hood opening around the face and on the sleeve ends, but after attempting said pattern six separate times, re-basecoating and starting over each time, I finally threw in the towel and went for this rather drab finish instead.

A few years ago now, I painted these Harlequins up, and they were covered almost head to toe in various check patterns:

So, I thought I'd be able to paint a little black and white patterning with no problemo. Perhaps it was the extremely folded and curved surfaces on the orc's robes, but I think my utter failure has more to do with my advancing age/decreasing eyesight/failing patience .No matter what I tried, or how slowly I went, I ended up each attempt just looking like a very messy painter. Oh well. The shaman will fit into a Skulldred warband just fine as he is. Alas.

It was not an easy thing for me to decide mid paint-project that my plans were too ambitious for my talent and skill to see through. I am sure it won't be the last time, unfortunately. . .

On the topic of Harlequins (by the way), GW finally listened to the 4 bajillion email, forum posts, and comments made in retail stores I have made over the years on the subject and announced this week that the Harlies are finally going to be their own army, with a brand-new hardbound codex (do they still call them that? Dunno.). I assume that there will be several plasticrud sets released as well, to go along with the $60 army book and $30 painting guide coming out in a few weeks.

Too little, too late for me, I'm afraid. I admit I got a little excited at first, but those price tags just hammered home how done with the current iteration of GW I am. When I paint more harlies, it will be my old metal Jes Goodwin figs languishing for too long in the pile. My checkerboard patterns will probably end up looking like crap, but I'll still love them so much more.

//End grumpy old man rant.

Until next time, brethren- may the paint brush gods grant you a nice pointy, hairy bit every time you need it.


  1. Checks-or-no that shaman looks great. I'm sure that any Harlies you paint in the future will be equally brimming with awesomeness and, price notwithstanding, Goodwin sculpts are always gonna excrete over multipart plastics from a great height indeed!

    1. Thanks very much for the encouragement. As for prices- the crazy thing is that one can still score metal Goodwin Harlequins at lower prices than the newer-but-far-inferior plastic multipart kit troupers. Ridiculous.

  2. Those harlequins sport an impressive array of checks and diamonds. I'm sure your free-hand mojo has been temporarily misplaced, not forever lost. The shaman looks great regardless.

    1. Much, much appreciated Finch. Perhaps a mauve and taupe checkerboard pattern would have turned out on the old fella. . . or pink hearts on white leather, perhaps?