So, I was sat there last night, cheerily drilling out the gun-barrels and exhausts for the Predator Destructor I've just started, and I had an odd moment of "what the hell am I doing?". Not in a "oh this is a waste of time" sort of way, more a realisation that it's been less than a year (about 10 months) since I started painting again and and I'm sat here with a hobby drill and a selection of bits cleaning up a model, pre-assembly, surrounded by paints and brushes of all sizes and a load of other paraphenalia. And I've pondering on it a little ever since.
I was moved to start painting again after we did a big clear out of the loft and came across a large amount of figures and ships from my during-and-after university days. I was a decent painter, if not spectacular, and in a burst of nostalgia I ordered the GW Marines "starter pack" which comes with 5 Ultramarines and 8 paints and a brush, just for a bit of a dabble. Seeing as they didn't turn out too terrible, I've just sort of carried on picking up and painting whatever takes my fancy and really a lot of blog sites for tips and tricks. The latter I've found especially helpful, and one of the motivations of setting up this blog was that if I somehow manage to help or inspire even a single other hobbyist I'll have felt like I've given something back.
The point I want to share is this: 10 months ago I was slapping on paint to an Ultramarine and now I'm doing detailed prep on unassembled kits. My last Blood Raven Tac marine figure uses (I counted) 18 different paint or ink colours. Thats not a lot of time for a big improvement in both the quality of the work I'm going and the confidence with which I'm doing it. And I'm not that great - not compared to some of the work you'll see with a quick google or on many of the blogroll links on this site or others.
It's daunting starting out - it costs a lot just to get a fairly basic set of gear, before you've got a single figures - but there are a lot of basic tricks that make a huge difference and you can make that first wave of improvement in a short period of time and a good amount of reading...