I have a sort of love-hate thing going on with Keith. Allow me to explain.
Right now I'm saddled with the job of creating a game table for the 5 of my friends who are coming over in... (checking watch...) 4 days. If you follow my blog, you already know this. As a result, I've been burning the midnight oil to make sure I get something decent on the table, and so far I'm happy with my work. I don't think I'm the only one, either; today I got a comment here on Hammerblog about my Striking Scorpion shrine. "Corey my man, this is some of the best terrain I have ever seen - and I've been doing this for over 15 years!" See, that's the sort of thing that keeps me going. Right now with so much to do in so little time, I need everything I can get to keep me going.
So tonight I'm talking to Keith on MSN and I ask him what he thinks of my Scorpion Shrine (as it is depicted in my in the "Temple Of Chocolate" post). He says it's the best out of all of them. This puzzles me because I think it's the weakest of the three, and it's been driving me crazy trying to think of how to improve it. He then explains to me that he's "disappointed" with my work on the Dark Reaper shrine, as he thought I would have taken the time to position all the skulls so they were face-up. When I asked about the Dire Avenger shrine, he explained that there "wasn't much there to hate" (meaning that it's too sparse) and that the red of the gate doesn't work with the table. Keith has a sort of "tough love" thing that he likes to do which is one part backseat driver, one part drill sargent and two parts genuine desire to help. Basically, Keith expected better of me for these shrines.
I asked him what he thought of the Scorpion shrine, as I myself was not fond of it and I thought maybe he could help me put my finger on what was wrong. He sort of did, sort of didn't; he said "loose dirt". Those two words got me thinking...
See, this is where I ended up with the shrine since we last spoke:
Drybrushed, but not looking like stone. Not looking like anything other than a bunch of chocolate hunks stacked in a pile.
Keith's comment "loose dirt" set in motion a chain of events that turned me on to something more than what I'd been doing. Loose dirt. He was right. Loose dirt. The shrine needed to be busted. It needed to be broken. It needed to be rough. I noticed how the jagged rock under the Karandras statue looked great, and I decided it was time to make this thing look lived-in.
That wasn't enough. I then carefully tried to figure out where on this shrine one would fine piled-up sand, and then got to work with the glue. I also added bits of torn foam to make it look like bigger rocks had come loose. This is what I ended up with.
So now I wait while the glue dries. I will then apply the brown paint, do some drybrushing and generally get it looking like it's been blown to smithereens and then worn down over hundreds of years of disuse.
Keith fails to understand several things about my current situation:
- I actually want to quit Warhammer 40k. Motivating myself to do this wasn't like falling off a log. I consider doing this stuff as "taking one for the team".
- Over the six months that we've been planning this game, I am the only one of the planned participants who has worked on the table or the scenery.
- I have about four days to finish all the terrain and my own army. Alone, without help.
- I keep getting reports about how the other participants are currently working on things like Space Marines, which suggests to me that their Eldar armies are done and, with their spare time, they are turning their attention to other things instead of helping out with the table or whatever. I try not to let this bother me because, hey... I volunteered.
- I lack certain personality traits which would motivate me to fiddle with 25mm scale skulls in wet drywall compound (that dries while I'm using it) as I attempt to keep the plaster out of the eye sockets just so someone can glance at it from 6" away and notice the skulls all face up.
- I like the red. Anyone else who would like to make a Dire Avenger shrine to use instead is welcome to. My psychic powers tell me that no-one is likely to step forward. There are Marines to paint, after all.
So is it time to say "FU" Keith? Not exactly. There's no denying that he got it bang-on about the Scorpion shrine. He was right about that. I can't deny it. I wanted to... but I couldn't. So I got down and dirty and made that bitch into all it could be rather than just all I could get away with. Without Keith I wouldn't have gone that extra mile. Without Keith I wouldn't have been motivated to go back to the drawing board and demand better of myself. Without Keith I would have just rested on the accolades. In short, the fact that Keith took a dump on my terrain made me determined to make it better, and that will create a better experience for everyone on Saturday.
So do I owe Keith a "thank you" or a "FU"? Keith would say the former. I believe a bit from column a, a bit from column b.