Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back, sorta, looking for some non-standard modeling ideas/advice...

I know the topic is rather vague- but the issues I'm looking for help with arent exactly typical modeling issues of what glue, or how to prime something etc etc. Ive been modeling for many years and am rather competent at it, better than most- but not perfect in any regard.

Some of you may have noticed I sort of stopped posting rather abruptly at the end of the summer. And thats because Ive had some health issues that went from mild nuisance, to signifigant problem. Now, Im not gonna die, or anything like that.

But long story short, my hands have gotten a bit twitchy, and I drop things rather often. So, lookin back, thats probly why I dropped a rather large pair of hardware shears into my big toe in july (I even started an injury thread off that one lol). So, one of the obvious problems of the hobby- is all the sharp stuff that one can injure themselves with.

The other obvious problem to deal with is detail work on painting, and sculpting. Its probly still doable, but incredibly frustrating having to do over & over what used ot be simple just a few months ago. I mean, just hitting the raised egde on a SM shoulder pad right now has become a challenging prospect where I used to be able to hit a dozen of them cleanly on the fig in less than 10 minutes.

So, what Im looking for I guess, is are there any other gamers that have, or had to transition into any sort of disability with thier modeling skills? Im sorta going nuts with nothing to do, and I cant really play video games because of the same problems(except turn based stuff- and Civ 4 is gettin old!) but every time Ive sat down and tried to use the same techniques that have just sort of become habit over the last 10 years or so- the pitiful results Im getting have me fail my Ld check and I flee for a week or two.

So, any brainstorming on how to get the modeling & painting done while working around shaking hands?


  1. Howabout air brushing tanks? Weathering with oils is supposedly pretty forgiving time-wise too.

  2. I think Mr. Esty is on to something! How difficult is it to put kits together? Could you pick up an airbrush and become a tank fiend?

  3. I haven't had to deal with any kind of disability yet, but in terms of getting detail painting and the like done...well, I'm a bit lazy.

    It depends on the models and the schemes, but washes can go a ways towards bringing out the details without a lot of fine brush work. I mean, for something like a head: start on the face (the innermost part), hit it with brown, hit it with your flesh tone of choice, hit it with a devlan mud wash. It's not as detailed as, say, layering or drybrushing, but you can get a decent level of detail in there. Then you work outside, and hope for the best.

    Good luck.

  4. Yeah you can work around it, I dunno if these concepts will help, but..

    Put all of your sharp tools into a vice and drill a hole through the non sharp end, then thread them to a bracelet or something, that way if you drop it, it doesn't get to hurt you.

    As for the detailed painting.. Hm.. I don't really know if you can.. Maybe you could have something hold the paintbrush while you move the part?

  5. Its very difficult to put small part together when your hands dont want to hold still. putting together larger parts that fit precisely isnt any easier.

    It doesnt seem difficult- but think about the process. the parts come on sprues. need them sharp things to get them off the sprues.

    then you have to get the pieces toether and lined up- then ideally stay in place long enough for the glue to set in place.

    Normally this process isnt an issue. But when you start droppin the exacto into your toes, or dropping the entire model- without knowing why- it gets kinda frustrating.

    And tanks actually require alot of detail work beyond weathering, theres insignia, the stowage bits, any crew etc etc.

    I think I might have to try something differnt, maybe go organic and maybe try tyranids with lots of washes. Less precision needed and theres less preconception of how things are supposed to look.

  6. Hm, how about Greenstuff and Nurgle guys? The more random you'll put vomit on them - the better, and rust and green-brown vomit is also doable by washes.

  7. For cutting the sprues, I use jewerly side cutters. As long as I am at a desk, my toes are safe. To clean the lines, what about a potatoe peeler? I haven't tried it but it might be worth a shot. Other than that, I echo the ideas of drybrushing and washes. Hang in there!

  8. i think washes would be a good way to go regarding painting. they're a great way to bring out detail without needing to do edge highlighting, etc
    ork and nid armies can be done quite nicely with only basecoats and washes
    best of luck

  9. Clippers for sprues and patient use of ultrafine sandpaper or a file to remove mold lines should reduce knife injuries.

    To hold parts while glueing have you considered a helping hand:

    There is a simple fairly mechanical painting system at which appears to produce good results without requiring painting dexterity.

    Also I know this sounds obvious but have you considered bracing your hands against the table edge and walling them in on either side with heavy books or similar. Tremors can often be reduced if you can push against a resistance at all times.

  10. I will echo what Justin said about bracing, with a slight modification. Press your elbows into your stomach (more to the front than the sides) and press your palms together tightly. I don't know where the tremors originate, but minimizing the "free floating" part of your arm/hand might help isolate the tremors from the work.

  11. try an acupuncterist they might help.

  12. Try to put the mini on vice... it stays still. The hands are different issue... Justin was on to something with bracing your hands against something.

    Don´t give up anyways..! You will find a way.

  13. Due to the consumation of alcohol and the ever growing pain of old age i experience some involuntary shaking alot of the time.

    what i do is that i work with it, not against it. i created a technique and a look that i liked using it rather than getting irritated about it. now i dont know how "bad" your shakes etc are but i guess you could try. my paintjobs are messy but still detailed i just have to really concentrate and get lucky to get the eyes correct etc.

    you can check my stuff out at: i use alot of glazing and washing techniques to get some smooth transitions in bigger areas etc....
    (im still adding tutorials based on my condition)

  14. What about teaching? You could help young amateur artists with their skills. I know it's not the same but you are still watching the hobby being done.

    twitter: rpthomps

  15. @ Mistress of Minis, the question of "where the tremors originate" might help a bit, depending on if it's wrist, fingers or arms I have a couple suggestions.

    In general I have a friend who now has to take some serious drugs, a couple of which have side effects that cause almost palsy like tremors. He has switched to mainly dry brushing, changing the size of the brush to control some basic details, and washing.

    Assembly can be an issue at times, but slower drying glue and rubber bands has helped.

  16. Attching the model to an old paint pot with blue tac may help as you can then cradle it in your hand without relying on soley on your finger tips to hold it.

    I have problems with my blood sugar levels and this stopped me from dropping minis all of the time (not a good thing to happen when working on commisions!)

    Hope you find a solution :)

  17. This'll probably sound weird, but find a chair w/ armrests about table-level, and an old belt that you can put holes into. If the twitches are coming from your arm, not your wrist, you can strap down one arm and use the other hand to put models into a vice or other such contraption