Saturday, 28 May 2011

So what's the problem... continued

Ok, took me longer to carry on than I said. Not as if anyone is reading this, I'm just talking to myself....
So, pricing. I went down to GW today to look at Finecast stuff. Generally, I was impressed. There were some dodgy things, particularly the Autarch I wanted was cack. But some of the other stuff was so much better than the metal I was fairly convinced. That said, I still thing they have a cheek putting the prices up. Resin is cheaper, lighter to transport, won't destroy their moulds as much, easier to pack... etc. On the other hand there is more wastage because of the sprues. I just wish a basic box of Aspect Warriors hadn't gone up five fucking quid. I can't afford this hobby any more. They've passed their startup costs straight to the consumer...

Also, the Golden Demon Winners Open Day. I came away from it feeling disillusioned, angry and used. I'm not sure I'm in the right; I tend towards being anti-social so any gathering like that is bound to set my teeth on edge. See what you think, here's the general timeline:

1) I win Gold last September, and get invited to a day in April, so they can put my model in their Museum. I am fucking made up. It's like being invited to see the Oompa-Loompas.
2) I hold my breath until april. I drive two and a half hours to Nottingham, using petrol money we don't have. My wife insists I should go even though we really can't afford it.
3) I get there after awful Nottingham traffic. The lobby is nice, and we are greeted by a fairly nice but slightly prickly bloke I think is called Brian, don't quote me. We are taken to the boardroom. we better get used to this room, we'll be spending a lot of time there.
4) Brian insists we leave all of our phones in the boardroom, so we can't take any naughty pictures. I agree to this, fair enough, except at no point during the day are we taken anywhere where we could have taken naughty pictures.
5) There are two tours in the morning, one in the factory, one in the distribution centre. I have to miss one because I agreed to be interviewed by White Dwarf, fair enough, they are busy guys.
6) I do the factory tour. It's fairly impressive, if rushed and amateurish. The machines are cool. At this point, I see the only model all day that isn't out for public viewing, the new Dark Eldar flyer. It's lovely, I want one. I repeat, THIS IS THE ONLY THING I SEE ALL DAY THAT NO-ONE ELSE WOULD HAVE ALREADY SEEN.
7) After my interview, we break for lunch. Not in lovely Bugman's, no, but in their staff canteen. That said, it was free, and it's a fairly nice canteen.
8) Our time is our own for about 2 hours. I have seen all Warhammer World has to offer in 1 hour. Half the museum isn't even there. I am bored.
9) We go back to the boardroom. We have been promised opportunity to speak to Painters and Sculptors. This is about 1.30 ish.
10) Painters turn up, talk to guys they already know for 5 minutes, talk to no-one else, fuck off back to their desks.
11) Sculptors do same thing. I am very bored. No-one has spoken to me for an hour.
12) Forge World guy gives talk. Seems imprompu. I have sense that something is being covered up, suspect day has not gone to plan.
13) Boardroom descends into, I kid you not, an argument about Golden Demon entry rules. It gets quite heated. I d onot join in. I am texting my wife now, telling her how bored I am. She is gutted for me.
14) At 3pm, after Question Time with Brian, we go to the museum to put our models in the cabinet - great. We are given an envelope, with a tiny brass plaque to go on our trophies. Great, I am please they have at least spelled my name right.
15) 3.30, I prepare to drive home. The M6 is awful, and it takes fucking hours. I am seething the whole way.

I won't be going again.

Right, just in case anyone from GW is reading this, let's get some things straight. I am grateful that you gave us an open day. I am grateful for the free food. I am most grateful for being able to speak to the guy from White Dwarf, he was a really nice bloke and that was the highlight of the day. I am grateful for my plaque.
However, I am not 12. Getting to put my model in your cabinet at my expense does not impress me. You asked me, had me drive down there, and then showed little to no interest in my presence. A structured talk with the painters and sculptors would have been enough - in fact, some structure at all would have been enough. My STRONG suspicion is that we were supposed to have more interaction with the design studio, but that that plan was changed at the last minute. IF that was the case, all you had to do was tell me. I am a grown up - I may play with toys, but I have a wife, a job, a car, a mortgage and kids. I fucking know that things do not always go to plan, but in that situation you need to be honest.
Finally, to my fellow competitors. Some of you are really nice, friendly open guys and girls. I met some sound people, who put up with my nerves and tendency to babble. I felt I was the worst painter there, but at least I got a sense of where I was at. However, there were a couple of 'those' guys. You know the ones. They know they are it, that they are the top dogs. Well, whoop-de-fucking-doo. The only reason I paint at the level I do - not that I'm saying I'm brill, just that I'm competent - is because I've put the time in. But, I've put all the time in I'm going to. What I mean by that is, I have a certain amount of time I can dedicate to doing geek stuff before I am guilty of being a selfish, obsessive prick. I can't do it for a living - it just doesn't match my current wage. I can do maybe eight hours a week, if I'm lucky, and the last big project took 150 HOURS. If this limit means that I never win at these competitions again - then so be it. I'll try, fuck me I'll try, but I don't measure my worth in trophies, or hours spent doing something.... I measure it by the look in my wife's eyes.
Rant off!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

So what's the problem?

Ok, so.... I've started my demons project. I'm not gonna post any pictures until it's finished, and I can't give too much away either, 'cos it's real easy to get your ideas knicked, and also it would be really easy to talk myself out of finishing it. It doesn't help that I've taken on some commission work at the same time, although it's for a mate so it's not too bad. I've agreed to paint his whole Cryx army for him, starting with Epic Skarre, which is a cooool model. Luckily, because I have two of her, I'm painting two at the same time, so one of them will hit ebay at high speed. Should finish them tomorrow 'cos I'm on holiday, so I'll hopefully get photos up this weekend.

Anyway, the demons thing. I wasn't going to do it. I felt that last year was luck, and I didn't want to put myself through this shit again. Games Day was a really stressful day for me; that probably sounds stupid, but I've wanted to win a trophy since I was 14, and had only really put my mind to it in the last couple of years. I am not a GREAT painter; I can be good, when I really try, but frankly I've got too much stuff going on at once to really be able to put the time in. I'm a musician and a writer too, and my different interests fight each other all the time, in a tag team match of death. Tickets are available.

Another problem is GW. I'm not sure I like them very much. Don't get me wrong; they have some beautiful models, some games I like, I read the fiction, yadda yadda, but the corporate air they have now sets my teeth on edge. It's easy to let the rose-tinted specs of nostalgia fool you into thinking the past was better, but the old-school GW from the late eighties WAS a nicer company to deal with as a consumer than they are now, in my opinion. I thought they had been turning it around lately, but two things have changed my mind: 1, the price hikes, and 2, the Golden Demon Winners Open Day.
I'll talk about that tomorrow.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Eldar Wraithlord

This is the model that got me the trophy. Still suspicious that I got lucky, so I'm going to try to go back this year and have another crack. If I can at least get through the first round this year I think I'll be happy....

Focus, Jay, focus!

Well, hello there. My name is Jay and last year I very surprisingly won a Gold Golden Demon Trophy for my Eldar Wraithlord. This has made me want more - partly because I like trophies and medals (my wife calls me Muttley) and partly to prove it wasn't a bloody fluke. I'll be posting up pictures of stuff I'm working on, plus pictures of stuff I'm flogging, starting with this one; and I'll be cataloguing all of my projects and attempts to improve, as well as moaning about my inability to improve, how my eyes and hands are going, and how there are 14 yr olds who have painted for 6 months and are better than me. Here you go: