As mentioned on Monday I've had a rough Christmas and consequently not got a lot done on the paining front. I'm feeling a lot better now and Monday I actually sat down and did a bit of painting, moving one small step closer to finishing my latest project. I also spent time carrying out what has become something of a New Years ritual; tidying up my model box.
I keep a 'working' box of tools and materials close to my desk but I also have a much larger toolbox filled with models and scenery yet to be worked on. This is where my Lead Mountain lives and like many embarrassing secrets it spends most of its time hidden away in the cupboard under the stairs. I pull it out several times a year to put new stuff in it and (rarely) take models out to paint. Now it doesn't take a physics genius to work out that it would take internal dimensions like the TARDIS to accommodate a lifetimes worth of collecting. I periodically have a sort out of models and - like thousands of painters before me - silently rebuke myself for buying so many when I never stood a chance of painting them all.
Last year I was ruthless in my sort out, and gave a lot of models to the kids in an attempt to encourage their own painting. This year I found it much harder to thin the ranks because I think 2010 is the first year when I haven't added to the Lead Mountain. There are two reasons for this (trust me I will get to the point eventually). First I've been trying to only buy miniatures to paint for current projects, only making new purchases when needed and painting almost immediately. This has taken some self discipline but clearly the policy has worked. The second reason for my static Lead Mountain is that a lot of what I have bought isn't lead or even metal!
It suddenly dawned on me that a large part of my Lead Mountain is actually Plastic or Resin. Obviously I've been aware of the trends towards these materials but I never truly appreciated just how much of what I purchase was not white metal. Which of course begs the question: Is it still a Lead Mountain if half the models are not metal?