Christmas is approaching (already?!) and I will be once again be embarking on my totally random six paint mini painting challenge. This is the 3rd year I’ve done it so it really feels like a tradition now. In this blog post, I’ll explain the challenge, why I’ve made this a yearly tradition and give you the lowdown on the rules if you want to take part yourself.
It all started when I saw what Sam Lenz had done with Katakros – a mini that featured on the Warhammer Community website – I’ve linked to the article there. Not only did he do an incredible job, but he only used six colours to paint it. That really rang my hobby challenge bell, and so I decided to give it a go over the Christmas break a couple of years ago though I gave myself six colours plus black and white just to make this a little less torturous. This is what I came up with:
Why this mini? Why these colours? Well, that all came down to the rules I created for the challenge, prompted by my own indecisiveness. See, when it came to picking a mini, I just couldn’t do it. I had reservations, apprehensions or pre-existing plans with every mini. So as I stood in the Warhammer World store one lunch time, I asked two friends to give me a number between 1 and 100 (or so – it was a while back). I don’t recall what it was, but I walked around the store, counting off clamshells until I arrived at the number the said and that made me pick the Succubus. Then an idea came over me – make everything random.
There’s an incredible freedom afforded to you when you make every aspect of choice about a mini random. You’re cut free from your safety nets. You can’t rely on the same techniques you’ve leaned on all year (or for years) and the expectation from yourself is minimal. And an character that doesn’t fit into an army or project you’re working on, a one off piece, pushes you to try new things. I still have no interest in ever painting a Drukhari army, but that Succubus was a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll draw an Archon one year – i’d be happy with that. But, I digress.
So I had a random mini, and then I got some friends to give me random numbers and I counted through the Citadel paints until I had my 6 random paints. Six paints by the way that would never have been my chosen paints for this particular job or miniature, but that’s the point of this – it’s a refresher, a palette cleanser.
The next year, I took it a bit further. I got a friend to randomly pick a number and counted through the web store until I landed on the Lord of Plagues. I then turned to Twitter who gave me my random numbers for the paints, and by the end of the Christmas break, this was the result:
I’d have never picked those colours, or tried to do all NMM on a mini like this before. But I didn’t have any metallics this year so what could I do but try? It turned out to be a lot of fun, and I learned a lot from the experience. Is it the perfect mini? Hell no, but it kept me learning new things and it pushed my brush skill and imagination.
So in preparation for this year, I rolled a die and got the 40k range, before using a random number generator to land on the Adepta Sororitas Imagifier in the characters list on the web store. I then turned to my Crusade campaign buddies (because the dice said they’d be the honoured ones this year) and got them to pick some random numbers and I used these to select 5 paints from my collection, while a few dice rolls got me my 6th. This is what I’ll be working with:
An interesting selection for sure, and while I can see bits of it in my mind already, there’s still a lot for me to work out with the brush in my hand in a few weeks when I get cracking with this.
Now, it may be that you (yes, you… that’s right; you… yes, you!) might be interested in doing something similar. It’s a great way to give yourself a break from your current projects, learn something new, and work on something you would never usually think of trying. So for the first time, I’ve formalised the rules for this so you can use them if you want to give it a go. Here they are:
The 6 Colours Random Mini Hobby Challenge Rules:
- Select the mini at random. Use whatever method you wish to make the choice random and not yours or anyone else’s.
- Ensure it is a single mini. If your chosen method produces a result that is too expensive, something you have painted before, or you really hate the mini, you can use a single mulligan to change to a different randomly selected mini.
- Use any method to randomly select 6 paints. Exclude technical and contrast paints from the challenge, and there is a hard limit of one metallic paint and/or one shade/wash paint.
- You are allowed to take a black and a white paint, but you may not use these on their own or unmixed on the mini – they must always be combined with at least one other colour.
- You can mix your paints however you like with each other and/or with black and white.
- You may pre-base your mini, but you can only use your six random paints and black and white paints to paint the base.
- There’s no official time limit, but try to complete your mini within 2 weeks (just so you never forget which paints you used!)
And that’s it! When you’re done (if you choose to give it a go) please let me know – I’d love to see your results. And just because I do this over the Christmas break, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it in August or May or whenever. Have fun with it!
So when you see me post up a randomly coloured Imagifier after Christmas, you’ll know why I did it and the thinking (or randomness) behind it. I hope you have tonnes of fun with the challenge, and until next time, onwards!