The money pit

I heard one time that smartphone owners spend more money on phone-based accessories than they ever do on their expensive phones. I know I fall into that camp, and I’ve realized that my Imperial Knight is the hobby equivalent of a shiny new tech gadget for me.

When I decided to take the plunge on a $140 model, I knew I wanted to make it something special. I knew I’d be trying new techniques and going all out on it. What I didn’t realize is how much I’d be willing to add to my order, bit by bit.

I’ve purchased, specifically for this kit, so far:

  • Airbrush stencils from overseas
  • New airbrush primers
  • Maybe a half-dozen pots of paint
  • An expensive sable brush
  • New brush cleaner station and brush soap
  • Tiny crafting microbeads
  • A green stuff tube maker
  • Milliput White
  • Tamiya White Putty
  • New supplies including plastic and CA glue
  • Mail-ordered floor polish
  • Food coloring
  • Neon tempera paints

And I plan to buy still:

  • New airbrush (wishful thinking)
  • Airbrush compressor
  • Weathering pigments and powders
  • Who knows what else…?

When all is said and done, I will have doubled and probably tripled my initial investment. While I’ll be able to use just about all of this for other stuff, there’s no denying this is one expensive project. Why am I okay with this? Because I’ve been inspired to go places I never thought my hobby would take me.

I’ve invested a lot more than money and even time into this massive model–I’ve invested my hobby pride.

So much so that it’s really changing the way I look at it altogether. I’ve been reading a LOT of scale modeling blogs. The Forgeworld Masterclass books are really good for a start, but honestly a lot of it is taken straight from what military and train modelers have been doing for many years. Seeing how far people like Mig Jiménez (look him up, right now) can push the boundaries of scale realism makes me ache with envy.

I’m realizing that, for once, I have a kit that can actually handle some of these complex effects and weathering. Forgeworld shoppers have probably felt this way forever, but I’ve never had the money to spend on their stuff. Well, actually as you can see that’s not entirely true. I just didn’t THINK I had the money. My eyes are open now, but convincing my fiancé to keep the wallet is another matter entirely… She did tell me that if I actually get all my current gray plastic assembled and painted I could get a titan. Maybe you could click on some ads while you’re here to help me out. 😀

How about you? What’s your most expensive hobby purchase and was it worth it? 

Armor color and weather test pieceP.S. I’ve started doing  a bunch of coloring/weathering tests now. I need to pin down what I’m doing for the armor plates and that’s pushing me forward. Have a look at this latest one and tell me what you think. There were a few techniques here. Let me try to break it down. First off, there are patches of ‘mapped’ paint where layers have chipped and been painted over again. I used silly putty (best masking material known to man) to mask and applied thin layer of Tamiya White Putty. I took off the putty and sanded down the bits that were left. I then took a sharp knife and peeled up some bits around the edges to add a harder edge in some places. After that I laid down the base paints on both sides. I highlighted the black side at this point. I probably should have waited. I took a sponge and dabbed on bits of brown/orange paint. I used a brush to make a few larger patches if this. Then I put down some Leadbelcher in the larger chips and scratches. I highlighted them with Runefang Steel and then put a bit of that on a sponge as well and lightly dabbed it around the edges for fresh chips. I highlighted the yellow side at this point as well, trying to get some around the larger chips. I then laid down some Burnt Ochre oil paint, heavily thinned down into a wash, and let it try for a bit. After it was tacky, I wiped the excess off with a towel in a downward motion. I went back in with Burnt Sienna and added it to the largest chips, and then streaked it downwards with a brush dampened with mineral spirits.As an afterthought, I added a few of the blue swirls to the right panel. I’ve since decided I’m going to ditch them completely. That’s why I do these tests…

Next time ’round I’ll make sure I highlight the black after the chips, for starters. Also, looking at it now I think it makes sense that the most heavily rusting bits shouldn’t have bright steel in the chips. I should have a mix of rust patches and some newer steel chips that haven’t yet started to rust.