Well, it happened.
After a few weeks on holiday, I returned to discover that I simply couldn't face painting any more of my Skaven army. My painting mojo had deserted me.
Ever had that feeling? I'd open the cupboard where I keep my models, and unlike the way I would look forward to seeing them only a few weeks before I now found myself aghast at the number of unpainted models. I'd close the door, annoyed at my own self-loathing for not being able to just get on with it.
So what did I do?
I reached out by email to some friends in the gaming group I'm lucky enough to be a member of and they gave me some great advice over the space of a few hours. I thought I would share it with you (grouped together for your convenience...)
1) PLAY MORE:
"Play some games; that always makes me want to paint."
2) COMPROMISE IN THE NAME OF PROGRESS:
"For core troops it can sometimes be good to give them a quick basic coat of paint first, especially big units. Then you can always go back and shade with some washes and add highlights. If you are going to field 50+ clan rats no one will notice if 40 of those are half done. Remember that with big units like your clan rats one of the key things that makes them look good is the huge numbers.To this I would add that having a standard simple paint scheme helps, line up all your paints in a row ready to use. I have used 3 spare pots to mix up the reds I use so I can just dip and paint, saves me some time seeing as I use 6 shades of red."
"The only thing I can say about your skaven...being a massive painting procrastinator myself is look at how godamn sexy the new skaven models are and if I was you clanrats and slaves painting needn't be more complicated than base colours then wash, repeat 100+ times..."
3) VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE:
"Take a break from troops and paint something easy or fun. Think we can often get tired of painting the same, so doing a monster or a character is a good way to relax. Once I have finished my spear elves I plan on doing a mage, and after that 8 archers. Sooner or later, before my HE army is done, I will get tired of elves, then I will do a few daemons I think, perhaps one of the Forgeworld greater daemons? This is also the reason why I started a Vampire Counts army, just got so tired of painting humans..."
"Take long breaks to work on other armies, terrain, etc."
"Buy 15mm models and paint a few. Surprisingly satisfying. Then when you go back to 25/28mm it will feel like you're painting giants - it's weird. Plus, the 15mm lines for, say, Flames of War are inexpensive and fun."
"you could try modelling some unique scenery especially now that objectives seem to be the order of the day and you need an army tower. As an example I reckon you could make some good tunnels out of wood filler bolstered with cocktail sticks or them Starbucks sticks for the frame."
4.) BE EFFICIENT:
"Pre-mix and store your mixed shades. You can buy paint bottles cheap... and it saves a lot of time."
"After much trial, I have found that simple block coloring and washing looks great en masse for earth-toned models. No real highlighting, minimal drybrushing if any, just block in the colors and give it a hearty swab of the good old Devlan Mud. It's like magic sauce."
"Don't obsess. Table quality is fine for your troops, spend extra time on the signature units. My parachute rifle company has three platoons of parachute infantry as its core; if I obsessed about every time I painted outside the lines on those guys I'd be in the nuthouse by now."
7.) GET SOME EXERCISE:
"As for painting. While I'm not much of a painter myself I have found that I focus better after some light exercise. A brief walk or some stretches wake you up and help get you in the zone. Without them I often feel like a lump sitting at the painting table..."
and possibly my favorite...
8.) SPEND MONEY:
"What you really need is some retail therapy. Let me know if you want to split a starter set"
A big thanks to my friends for their awesome advice - you know who you are!