Sometimes, when you see a new miniature, it resonates with you in such a way that you simply have to have it. I imagine anyone who collects wargaming models is familiar with the feeling. A mixture of fascination and appreciation, combined with just a hint of dread, knowing that you will end up spending cash on more tiny toys that are likely to sit around unpainted for much of the foreseeable future. Not just a wonderful opportunity to paint something beautiful, but also the burden of another unfinished task.
Or is that just me? Am I wracked by some strange negativity? A sense of apprehension or foreboding, like shadows reaching out of darkened corners?
Could it be the nature of the models themselves?
You see, recently a new set of miniatures has been triggering that desire to acquire, quite overwhelmingly, in me. It's the skeletal Sepulchral Guard for Warhammer Shadespire. I can hardly stop looking at the pictures of them in White Dwarf. I find myself browsing the GW website late a night, looking for additional information. I'm convinced that if I wasn't in the middle of my Addiction Challenge, I would have bought them already, and they'd be sitting in another box on a shelf in my house somewhere.
But, as I am prevented from 'investing' in any new toys until I've fully completed 100 old ones, that's not the case. I am both happy and sad about this restriction, so I have decided to turn these tumultuous feelings to my advantage.
Instead of buying new miniatures I've gone through my boxes and boxes of old ones and dug out everything that could be classed as undead.
The first thing I discovered was this little squad of skellies that I had converted and repainted about a decade ago. I brushed them off and decided to swap their bases to match the Sepulchral Guard's round Age of Sigmar ones. That way if this project gets off the ground, these guys will be the vanguard of the new force.
Then I dug a bit deeper and found some miniatures from way back when I was a small child – probably about 30 to 40 models in total, mainly from the mid to late eighties. Most of them were in pretty bad shape, broken and covered in thick paint, but a few were box-fresh, still on their sprues.
These excited me, so I snapped off a quick picture. But I was clearly so horrified by the terrible condition of the other models that I didn't want to document them. They weren't fit for public consumption. Just small amounts of metal and plastic, soaked in thick globs of glue and paint. I left these ones to soak in two different baths of paint stripper. Dettol for the plastics, and acetone for the metals.
And finally, for now, I decided to have a quick stab at converting some of the parts off one of the sprues. I upscaled the weapon with a cleaver from the plastic beastman sprue, added some plasticard belts, and sculpted a tiny bit of green stuff into some fur and torn fabric. This last addition being more about giving the flimsy model some internal solidity than anything else.
So, although I have ended up adding 30 or 40 more models to my painting backlog, I have at least cleared some old boxes from my shelves. Hopefully there will be something worth seeing within in a month or two.