The Anatomy of Shame

Patheticus Maximus
(Click to Enlarge, but you won't like it...)

There's this cycle I go through about 4 times per year. I organize my workspace, get a plan together. Start assembling and painting. Then there will be one night when I fall asleep in the chair, and I go to bed without straightening up. A week later, we have the result of this lack of dilligence, the trashed workspace.

Here at Hive Zero, I like to show my mistakes more than my successes, since I truly believe you can prevent errors by watching others' solutions. Let's see the issues in my workspace, shall we? In a near-future post, I will show you how I remedy these issues (if I can get around to it):


1) Hydrocal. A Huge freaking carton of Hydrocal. This is a remnant of my "building a modular table" phase. I was going to use this, plus a bunch of rubber molds I got on clearance from a local model train store (yes, there are still model train stores in existence) to create a bunch of rocks, cliffs and hills.
Procrastination index: 15 months.
Remedy: Buy some Hirst Molds and just get to it!

2) Lord Draigo and Inquisitor Coteaz, both New in Blister. You can guess what the deal is here, right? I've been on the fence with Grey Knights for months. I bought these dudes at Adepticon for a steal, and I've been waiting to get through my Blood Angels to begin building a contingent. But it was not to be. A deal I made went south, and it has soured me on GK. I leave them out because I don't want to lose them in the mess.
Procrastination index: 8 months.
Remedy: Just trust Bartertown and sell 'em off.

3) Heads of 5 Sanguiary Guard, unpainted Dragonforge bases, and various unfinished dreadnoughts and models. The Sanguiary Guard are the next part of my Blood Angel speed painting project, but I have stumbled. I have 5 impaled death masks drying on top of the spray can top. But nearby, there is a disjointed mess of models that are in various states of preparation. This is the crux of the problem. If I would just put each WIP away before taking out the next project, this would not be an issue at all. As it is, this part of the desk really bums me out. It overwhelms me with the tasks at hand. There's also a really bad thing I did with the Sanguinary Guard sprues that I am going to regret (see 4).
Procrastination index: 2 weeks - 18 months
Remedy: Put projects out of sight when not working on them.

4) Sanguinary Guard sprues. So I did something here that I said I would never do. I primed on the sprue! Heretic! Sacrelige! Honestly, I'm seeing if this is actually a fast way to paint. Stay tuned for a comparison report.
Procrastination index: 5 days.
Remedy: Just do it.

5) Space Marine Bike, unassembled. I was talking to my wife, and I absent mindedly clipped all these pieces off of their sprues. WTF?
Procrastination index: N/A
Remedy: Ziploc bag

6) Lemartes and a Generic Chaplain with Jump Pack. These gentlemen are two of my favorite models. The skull helmets and boots really evoke a Euro-Gothic aesthetic. I started speed painting them after my debacle with Armory primer, but I found that the top of the jump packs were too thick with primer. Sigh.
Procrastination index: 4 days.
Remedy: Simple Green, start over.

7) The Bins of Misfit Toys. Termagants with mold lines. Half built CSMs. Unpinnable arms and hands. These yellow bins and some of the drawers to their left, are full of "in progress" stuff. This is not to be confused with the boxes and boxes of NIB and NOS stuff under the desk. I don't feel terrible about this, because there is no real urgent need to deal with them, but it still makes things cluttered.
Procrastination index: forever.
Remedy: none.

8) Dirty Water. THIS, my friends, is the most egregious offense. Well, actually, it's my second most egregious offense. The worst is number 9. But once in a while, I get lazy and I reuse water, despite the face that there is a utility room sink AND a bathroom both within 25 feet of this picture.

There are few things that can ruin a paint job faster than dirty water, especially if you are mixing regular acrylics and metallics. If there's anything you can learn from this mess of a desk, I beseech you: learn to regularly change water!
Procrastination index: 2 days
Remedy: More cups, more jugs of distilled water.

9) Messed up brushes. I have to admit that I don't ever use my Kolinsky Sables. I don't use bottom of the barrel brushes, either, but they are definitely affordable. That said, I really should take better care of them. I get lazy, and I load up the brush too much so it dries in the metal ferrule. I forget and leave them in the water container, making the bristles right angled nightmares. This is really the only saving grace of being old. I can buy brushes in bulk.

But I hardly ever throw out brushes. All messed up bristles make unique stipplers or dry brushers.
Procrastination index: 3 weeks.
Remedy: Patience, a methodical technique, and another trip to the art supply store.

So what are your most shameful 40k secrets?


  1. Mine's terrain.

    I'm not wealthy enough to just go out and buy things, and I don't have a dead lead pile because dead lead gets sold (obviously it has to go, if I were interested in it I'd paint it). I take reasonable care of my brushes and I have to put everything away when I'm done because three people in my house share the craft table.

    But terrain... oh, terrain, my nemesis. There's a crate of begged, borrowed, stolen and hoarded gubbins for terrain in my room. Some of that stuff has spent ten years down the back of a wardrobe. I eventually built a battlefield after years of procrastinating, and I'm stalling on doing much more than hills and woods to go on it.

    It's probably because I move house a lot (I go where there's work for me). Terrain tends to be bulky and awkward and fragile, which means bad times if you have to transport it...

  2. I might take those GK dudes... gimme a holler you know where to see if we can make a deal.

    Um. Mine is never finishing something I start. For all my kvetching at TheDude for the hundreds of undone projects, my painting projects make me seem quite hypocritical.

    I have a very large collection of Khador that's in various states of paint-ed-ness. I have BT who need a lot more black to be Templars. I have several contingents of SpaceMarines that could be any variant I want, but they're currently covered in grey primer. I have Harlies I am supposed to paint for a friend, but I have only done one coat so far.

    And then there's TheDude's oodles of Menoth, who need paint, too. I think I've gotten one guy basecoated.

    Solution? I think more hours in a day might do it. Maybe servants? I dunno. It sure isn't going to change any time soon.

  3. I hide away mine in shame so that no one (especially myself) will ever ever see again. Maybe after a year.

  4. I really like this. I may have to "borrow" this idea for a post.

    That said, my shame spreads out from my desk. I have a top shelf on my desk for "current" projects. Current being relative, since I have models up there that I haven't touched in over a year.

    I also have a bunch of Eldar that still need to be painted, but they are packed away at the moment. There's the Space Wolves that are "in progress" and have been for about a year now. I tend to bounce around between projects. I have Malifaux, Warmachine, Firestorm Armada and Warhammer 40k stuff that I am constantly jumping around to keep things fresh.

    Finally, like Von, terrain is my worst offense. I have so many half finished terrain projects it's not even funny.