I wrote the body of this post in early October and then hit exactly what I'd described: the second I got into the tedium of bulk modelling, the less I wanted to do it. I got to the point where all I seemed to be doing was cleaning, sorting, black undercoats, gluing to bases and gluing sand. On lots and lots of miniatures.
How to deal with it? I think I need to take a break from the dark elves and start another small project before going back. I'm thinking that switching it up will help, so if I get tired of the prep, I can go to a painting project, go from units to individuals, armour to flesh, predominantly black to green, and so on and so forth.
The first decade of the 21st century was a decade of false starts when it came to painting. It was a decade of false starts for so many things in my life, from career to personal to interests. But let's stick with painting.
I want to say that the last time I painted miniatures was a decade ago. Though it was, in reality, 2006. This was the disastrous year that I was unemployed and depressed and wanted to do something. I found a Tyranid army going for $100 in a local pawn shop and I had 2 or 3 boxes of tyranids already and I thought rather than dig out my Skaven army that I had last touched in 2001, I would paint Tyranids. I repainted about 12, and then stopped. I liked the minis, I enjoyed the painting, and I liked how they looked at the end. I just wasn't into it.
The Tyranids ended up next to the years worth of the Deagostini Lord of the Rings fortnightly magazine and minis which was next door to my largely unpainted skaven army. Which was next to the gray knights. Which was next to the Plague Marines. Which was next to the dark angels. Which was next to an accumulated 20 odd years of miscellaneous plastic and metal miniatures. All for the most part either badly painted or badly unpainted.
These all hid the largely painted Eldar army. This was the one army I had finished and played with. All infantry. Three jet bikes. I didn't do vehicles. All helmets. I didn't do flesh. Most of the army wasn't even undercoated. I just leapt straight into painting base colours onto the metal and plastic. I don't think I removed flash. Some of them I glazed with inks. Some of them I base coated and drybrushed. Some I simply base coated. The bases were painted black and then flocked.
Viola, my most complete set of painted miniatures.
I realise now, after a long time of soul searching in many areas of my life, that my biggest stumbling block with becoming a better miniature painter was stickability. It's obvious, right? But, like so many things in my life, when you're stuck in the rut all you can see is rut. I was only able to concentrate on painting for very short bursts, and I quickly became discouraged. Whether by the sheer magnitude of paintng a unit of 20, and knowing that there were 80 more to be done or by the way miniatures look like crap almost all the way up to the very end or by the fiddliness of plastic kits or by the amount of detail on metal. There are all kinds of things that frustrate, and it's only now I realise just how blind I was to them.