My enthusiasm for painting a team is composed of three separate impulses: the quality of the models, the colour scheme and my level of playing skill/results.

With the recently finished Chaos Dwarves that I knocked out in a little over eight weeks, the weakest of those three was model quality. I love the Houston colours and I like playing the team a lot. I will admit that despite owning every 2nd Ed Blood Bowl team and liking the characterful masks of the Chaos Dwarves, there’s no hiding the fact – even behind stripes and complex schemes – that they are very basic miniatures by today’s standards. The beards are particularly difficult to render because the dwarves’ hair is so blunt and ill-defined. There are also detail gaps around the gloves – you just have to guess what colour to paint where at times.
I am definitely proud of them – they’d be getting a bath if I wasn’t, but I’ve had a degree of gnawing dissatisfaction lately that needs to be addressed.

My painting techniques are derived from the same era as these minis. There really is only one technique – I layer from dark to highlight. Sometimes I use a wash or glaze but mostly I just put paint on paint, and it is a slow process.

In the long decade that I didn’t touch a brush several techniques have developed and are no longer news, or even old news. They just are, and they need to be learnt by me. Its going to be painful (not literally), but worth it ultimately as todays painters achieve better and faster results blending than I do layering. I also want to try NMM (non-metallic metal) as well at some point.

Part of the reason for such a sorry-ass, navel-gazing post like this is that I am attempting to resume my Necromantic team which stalled just before I went on holiday last year. Returning to the three drivers of painting enthusiasm I am finding them lacking in all three areas: there are a lot, of old blunt miniatures, a complex colour scheme which doesn’t excite me greatly and easily most damning is their indifferent form on the Blood Bowl pitch.

For some reason I can’t warm to the team. In playing terms Necro’s are expensive and lacking in basic skills, which can be accounted for in early results as is the learning curve that comes with playing a two-speed side that consists of either very fast or very slow players, however I’m eleven games in with a 3-5-3 W-T-L record and still very much in second gear.

Its fair to say I’ve suffered some bad luck this season, spending one game swamped with Skaven in my own half after a series of bad kickoff table results, and then having my best player – a werewolf get killed in my most recent match while also being robbed of victory via a cursed “ball clone” courtesy of dear Tzeentch. A good result against another Skaven team next round may lift me from the crisis of enthusiasm I am labouring under currently, but in the back of my mind is a sense of forboding that just may manifest into a dislike of this roster. I like playing Orcs, Dwarves, High Elves, Chaos Pact, Chaos Dwarves – I figured I’d like playing any team, but I am struggling to enjoy playing these dead-ites and its a bit of a strange feeling.

Maybe I’ll start on a Nurgle team then…