Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Adepticon Cometh

A friend of mine went up to Chicago this past weekend.  In a twisted, evil moment, he sent this image in a text to myself and some of our friends.

Mmmm… Portillo's Italian Beef.

What does this have to do with the hobby, you ask?  Well, this is where we eat pretty much every lunch while we're up at Adepticon!  Then it hit me…

CRAP!  Adepticon is only 4 and a half months away!!!

Why am I panicking, you ask?  Or more specifically, "Tim, you've got about 30 Grey Knights to paint, you have no reason to panic."

Well, you'd be right, except for the fact that I'm going to venture into the the waters of what is arguably the most competitive painting competition since Golden Demon, The Crystal Brush.  So not only do I have to worry about painting my Grey Knights to at least my typical standard, but I have to plan out and begin my entries for the competition as well.  Each entry should take about 80 hours from start to finish, including the building, converting, sculpting, basing and painting.  I'm planning to enter at least two pieces intuit he competition.

What are my entries you ask?  Good Question!

…I don't know…

See, I'm also planning on entering the Golden Demons in Chicago next year too, so I'm planning entries for that as well.  Those are coming to me fairly easily, at least the concepts are.  But for the Crystal Brush in April, I'm drawing a blank.  Do I stick with my comfort zone and play it safe with GW-based miniatures as a starting point?  Do I brave new waters and try out other systems, or manufacturers figures for this?  Do I keep it simple, and do the figures I chose justice with just the paint job, or do I flex my converting muscles and increase my time investment as well?

I'm finding myself perusing CoolMiniorNot's store and looking at figures there, and attempting to think outside that safe comfort zone for some entries.  I'm even considering some more modern or historical 54mm range figures.  Maybe a tribute to the men and women who protect my freedom to paint little plastic army men?

So here's a call to the Blogosphere.  Who's going to participate in Crystal Brush at Adepticon?  Do you know what you are bringing?  Heck, do you know what I should bring?

- Tim


  1. Oh, man! I love Portillos. Nothing better than the Big Beef with sweet peppers, cheddar cheese and a nice, refreshing beverage. There's one only a few feet away from the Chicago Battle Bunker!
    I won't be participating at the Crystal Brush, but I will be at Adepticon on Thursday, Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. Will be running Special Operation KILLZONE on Friday and Sunday, playing at the Team Tournament on Saturday. We should totally play a game or something, don't you think.

    And I'm very sorry about the Ogre Project. I have been extremely busy and the fact that I'm now a co-author of KILLZONE and will be working with Brian and Frozencore Joe on TEN (10!!) Killzone 3'x3' tables.. plus.. rules.. plus.. errata.. has thrown a wrench in my Fantasy mojo. I hope you'll understand.

    I think you should stick to something in your comfort zone for the Crystal Brush. Maybe wai a month and a half for the Januay/February new releases - there will have got to be a few sweet miniatures to inspire you?

  2. I have to paint 2200 points of WoC for Fantasy, 1500 of Dark Angels, and whatever force I need to bring the narrative event on Sunday. Trust me, I feel your pain. On top of that I just discovered Skyrim.

  3. Skarvald: No worries on the Ogre Project, my friend :) We'll get to it. Priorities allow for only so much, and I don't blame you for the devotion to KillZone. I'm hoping there's an opening left and I can get into one of the events for that myself. Need to read the Grey Knights Errata on that. We'll definitely get a game in, you and I :) Thanks for the input on my Crystal Brush entries. I'm leaning towards my comfort zone for this go-round, though some of the Studio McVey stuff is just soooo sweet.

    Josh: Umm, you're crazy, you know that? Wow that's a chunk of figs. And yeah, I discovered Skyrim myself. That's a time sink for me too :P

  4. Hey Tim,

    I’ll tell you what you should bring to the Crystal Brush – whatever you darn well please. Borer’s First Rule of Miniature Painting is “Paint what you want to paint”. There’s almost no accounting for judges, conditions, photography, other painters in your category, and least of all – internet voting; so pick a project that you’ll enjoy working on. A new technique you want to master, a project from the back burner, an especially impressive character for an army.
    If there’s a non-GW mini(s) you’ve always wanted to work on, the Crystal Brush is a great excuse to paint that/those to the best of your ability.
    Or if GW minis make you want to pick up a brush, start one of those GD entries early and enter it in the Crystal Brush. If you’re happy with the result, you’ve got a double-duty entry and one GD project done in April with time to work on others. If you’re not 100% happy with the Crystal Brush version, you’ll have time to re-tool it for GD.

    My intended Crystal Brush project may be a full sculpt, so if I don’t get it painted, I can still enter it in the new “sculpted mini” category and then paint it for Games Day – two birds with one very slow moving green-putty stone.

    I’ll also be demonstrating my [lack of] tactical acumen at KillZone; 0-5 last year and geeked for more. I hope the KZ tables are right by the Crystal Brush again so I can buoy my spirit between defeats by looking at miniature eye-candy.

  5. Hey Chris!

    You know... thanks for the reality check with regards to Borer's First Rule of Miniature Painting. Not to mention the advice to use this as an opportunity for double-duty, as well as learn from the entry in April and improve on it for July!

    Maybe this is when I start my Ogre project and kick it off with a figure I'd not only be proud to see in a case full of other miniature eye-candy (well put, by the way), but one I'd be friggin thrilled to field on the table too.

    Done. Now to start sketching out the concepts on paper and planning out the conversions.

    Thanks for the advice again, Chris... and don't be surprised if I try and catch you for a moment at Adepticon to tap into that mind of yours for some in-person input. Your critique in Chicago this past July of my Inquisitor was greatly appreciated. Can't wait to see what you bring in April!

    Oh.. and after checking, looks like KillZOne is all sold out... for the whole weekend! Dangit. and here I was hoping to jump in on Sunday's event. Ah well. I'll just come and visit the tables anyway. I love the small, unit-based tactical games :)

  6. Hey Tim,

    No worries, I’m always happy to tell people what to do (mostly a joke), so feel free to show me what you’re working on. Adepticon’s a big hobby vacation weekend for me, and talking to other painters is a big part of that.

    What I work on is generally dictated by what I want to accomplish, and since this is a hobby for me rather than a job, enjoying my free time is a priority.
    Even painting for a competition, I’d pick something you like rather than what might be competitive – win, lose, or draw, at the end of the day you’ll have spent a lot of time on that mini; hopefully it’s something you enjoyed and are glad to have when it’s finished.

    As for KillZone,
    1. It’s the 40k I always wanted to play – skirmish scale, scenario driven, and highly customizable, thematic forces. I kind of expect to lose all five games again this year while still having fun.
    2. You may have noticed from past Adepticons that people frequently bite off more than they can chew in terms of events, especially by Sunday. I’d *highly* recommend stopping by your chosen KillZone time slot to see if they have any no-shows you could step in for. The worst that can happen is they say “sorry, no.” Best case, you just saved some poor, tired event organizer from running a ringer force because they had a no-show and an odd number of players. I don’t know if they have a waiting list of that event (they do for the big ones), but it’s probably worth an email to Adepticon. KZ sold out really fast.

  7. What can I say? I just wanted to make everyone feel better by ensuring that Portillo's was still putting out quality food.

    Mmmmm... success.

    Juicy-O's was also fantastic by the way...

  8. Kevin... you're just evil. We know darn good and well they put out quality food. That's why I had Chili Dogs every day last Adepticon, and an Italian beef! :P

    Chris: I actually hadn't considered the fact the people no-show for stuff. Heck, Mattheu Fontaine's class I took this past time was 'sold out' but there were like 4 to 6 chairs open... so it's not like I haven't seen that before. Good thought. I'll have to make sure to read the Grey Knights Errata for KillZone now :) Some of my favorite 40k genre gaming has always been Necromunda and Kill Teams, so yup, KillZone fits right in!

    Tell you what, Chris. When I win my first Slayer Sword, I'll ask that you politely suggest to me what to do, until then feel free to just out and out say it ;) Seriously though, to me the advice and critiques of anyone I ask them of is invaluable to me. I would ask for it if I didn't want it.

    "win, lose, or draw, at the end of the day you’ll have spent a lot of time on that mini; hopefully it’s something you enjoyed and are glad to have when it’s finished" I couldn't have said it better. Perfect way to look at competition figs, and it's what I needed to hear getting started in the painting competition realm :)