Power Through the Pain – Lifehack for Painthack

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No, folks, this is not one of those rant about the nastiness that are the Eldars’s weird emo cousins.  That saying, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”, well, it’s true when painting minis.

Back from the touchy-feely post of last week, I want to share a trick that perhaps helped me more than anything else learn and grow as a painter: Trust the process.

Fancy name.  Sounds clickbaitey.  It’s got moxy.  What’s up wittit?  Tell me more, tell me more, like does he have a car?

Trust the Process

I’m going to share a secret with you all:  most miniatures I paint look ugly at some point.  A lot of them, until the very end, even.

But sometimes, you gotta trust the process.  That leap of faith that at some point, that butt-ugly of a trainwreck you’re painting is going to turn out mighty fine.

I’me sharing this because I’ve seen a lot of people try 6-7 different ways to paint models and get discouraged when they’re a couple of steps in and it’s not looking like a masterpiece.

The Bee’s Warlord’s Knees

To show you what I mean, here’s a couple of WIPs from the warlord titan.  Let me tell you, if you’re painting a Warlord Titan, you really don’t want to screw up.


It’s frustrating when you get something looking like this at one point.  1200 British pounds worth of WIP looking like that.

So you add some more.  Still not looking anything remotely close to decent:


Trust the process and keep going, even if it’s not anything close to presentable.  Which made sharing those WIP even more dreadful at the time.


But eventually, you get to that point where it’s alright, alright alright…


This is on a quite large scale, where the trim and shade made all the difference.

You get that look with armies too.  Quickshaded armies like my IG and Ultramarines are another prime example of wondering exactly what train wreck you’re heading into until you varnish them and put them on proper bases.


I played a few games with my models at the left-picture stage, and let me tell you, my friends, who know I don’t usually turn out ugly models were questioning what I was doing big time.

But, lo and behold, now when people see it, they don’t feel like throwing up anymore.


Trust the process, you’ll be surprised.

The Process, it has failed me!

So, maybe that light at the end of the tunnel, this time, actually was a train, and the dreadful train wreck is nigh.  You’ve done everything, and it still looks atrocious.  Butt-ugly.  Hugs in the ugly.  It’s mom wouldn’t even call it pretty.

The first step – and don’t worry, it’s much easier than those 12 steps you discuss on Tuesdays in a church basement – is stopping before the irreversible.

Lucky for us, very few things in painting are irreversible; unless you plan on dunking your models in quickshade, and even then, you can repaint over most things.

You can remove the base if it’s already done and super awesome but your model isn’t.

Some of my prettiest minis I’ve primed more than once or repainted over varnish.

But this is last resort.  I’m telling you this because you don’t have to do everything perfect all the time.  It’s okay for models to look a little weird from time to time.  So don’t start over at the slight imperfection.

Power through it and see where it leads you.

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