I've spent the past few days clipping, gluing, and smoothing down mold lines. It's really amazing how long just putting together models and cleaning them up is. When you do one box of 12 figs, it really isn't that bad. An hour, maybe 2 if your a perfectionist. When your doing an entire army comprising of many boxes with numerous bits and pieces, the time really adds up.
Here's a look at the progress I've made...
Not a "gi-normous" army, but pretty well sized. A box of chaos hounds, a box of chaos knights, a box of forsaken, two boxes of chaos warriors, a box of dragon ogres (my fav thus far), a demon prince, and a few special characters to lead this rag-tag band of misfits. Will I ever play them or even WFB? Probably. If Adepticon taught me anything, its that I need to diversify my tastes in miniature wargaming. I'm not going to forget of LotR SBG, and I still plan on doing my corsair army sometime this year. In terms of gaming, I have plenty of armies to play basically any point match that comes my way, so this diversion shouldn't change the plans I still have for SBG.
With all that being said, I think its time to reflect on the other 95% of my hobby.... the painting. Its funny, because you really don't realize how far you've come as a painter until you do a direct comparison of your work with something from the past. Its like when you look at yourself in the mirror, and you really don't realize how different you look from 10 years ago. You look in the mirror daily, and you don't really notice the subtle changes happening day to day until you whip out a picture from years ago. Then it really becomes evident. In terms of hobbying, its kind of the same way for me.
I think the above pictures are a good example of what I'm talking about. On the left is a test figure I did last night to get my color schemes down for my Khorne themed Chaos Army. On the right is an old Heroquest chaos warrior I painted roughly 3 years ago when I rediscovered my love of this hobby. You can really see the difference in both model quality on GW's part, and the progression of my own painting abilities. The figure on the right represents a skill set at the very basic levels. I understood the core concepts, but actually physically doing them was a challenge. Only thru hours and hours and countless miniatures did I develop into the painter that I am now. I'm not a golden demon or crystal brush quality painter, but I'm getting better with every miniature I do.
I think its important to go back and look at work you did when you first started painting. Nobody starts out as a world class painter. Only thru actual experience do you progress in skill level. Sure, after awhile, the progression slows down as you try to master different hard-to-do techniques. But do yourself a favor, and when your struggling on a project or having problems getting motivated, take a look back and just see how far you've come. I know from looking at the two mini's in the picture I've come a long way, and still have a long way to go to reach my ultimate painting goals.