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"Keep a Journal!" Topic

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Dining Room Battles15 Feb 2021 7:29 a.m. PST


I don't remember exactly when I starting keeping a journal of hobby information, but it was in the mid 2000's and I was working on the 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 15mm for Flames of War. I usually do not work straight through a project so I had painted one unit, did something else and then came back to the Highlanders. Hmmm . . . how did I paint them? Thus the journal. I highly recommend keeping a journal, it's not hard, and it can be a real memory jogger!





tomrommel115 Feb 2021 7:33 a.m. PST

I am already in my second booklet of notes. Very recommended to do this!

Lascaris15 Feb 2021 7:39 a.m. PST

I do this for 3D printing but not for painting. I think I'm going to start as it seems really valuable especially, as you say, when returning to a dormant project.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Feb 2021 7:59 a.m. PST

I keep sorta of a notebook…yes it's a big help.

Must Contain Minis15 Feb 2021 8:01 a.m. PST

So smart! I keep a notebook too for helping me with how I paint the figures. It is organized by genre, but sometimes I just wished I wrote it chronologically instead.

rustymusket15 Feb 2021 8:27 a.m. PST

I finally started keeping notes on the paint I used for different figures a couple of years ago. It makes coming back and adding to the unit so much easier!

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2021 10:06 a.m. PST

Paper journals are an interesting choice.

They have the advantages of never crashing and never losing data, unless the journal itself is lost. Paint or other substances spilled on them might not cause any significant damage, except in the area of the spill itself (and even then, that spot might be usable after it dries).

On the other hand, they are not readily searchable or sortable, and they require ever-increasing amounts of physical space for storage.

I take notes in Word and upload pictures when I want to record what I'm doing with a project. This thread makes me realize that I have never actually gone back to look at those notes or pictures.

Grelber15 Feb 2021 10:09 a.m. PST

I've been keeping a series of logs on the computer for the armies I'm working on. I include what I buy, what I painted, what I saw or heard of that might fit in or I didn't know I needed, rules and reference books I might want. Sometimes I include accounts of battles I've fought. If I am painting figures who are at all uniform, I try to include the paints I use (haven't always, so I'm in potential trouble if I go back far enough).

One thing I haven't done that I like from your log is including pictures. Since much of my research is done on the internet, I need to save at least some of the pictures I find to the appropriate log (Dark Ages, Pirates, Ancient Egyptians, etc.) Instead, I've saved them to separate folders. No reason I can't do both, and then I'd know which picture influenced me most at that time.



Blackhorse MP15 Feb 2021 10:48 a.m. PST

I use 3"x5" cards but the concept is the same. Very helpful as my memory ain't what it once was.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2021 10:50 a.m. PST

I treated myself to a beautiful Journal from Il Papiro in Florence. Blank pages and a watermarked cover. But I wondered what to do with it at first.

Then the penny dropped. It is now filled with everything from painting Prussian Uhlans to Free French M4A3 details and VN War Hue Marines flak jackets. Good excuse to cross the Ponte Vecchio again one day… day.

BuckeyeBob15 Feb 2021 12:58 p.m. PST

Excellent suggestion Thanks for sharing that

SHaT198415 Feb 2021 3:05 p.m. PST

Well, some of us just had to go hi-tech since the brain cells database weren't controlling the data after 40 years of development etc.

So since 2019 I've used multiple applications (we used to call them programmes) on my Mac to solidify the information holding process, more toward identification and 'location' of unpainted or partly painted 'WIP' from over the years.
Though my comments are about uniform and colours once depicted or decided upon.

Below is the munged screenshots of how, using a graphics prog and a database prog:


by DaveW, on Flickr

Take photos of your beloved, I just use the photo ID as Project Code number, in this case you can see that they are contained in a specific plastic tray storage drawer.

Over to the database and each gets its own page, both as record and reduced size pix from originals. Notes are then added as to origin, plan and/ or completion prospects, and actual WIP or 'To be Started' status.

Just to prove I'm not just a francophile, but developing the 'enemies' now for 20 years as well, cheers

Zephyr115 Feb 2021 3:49 p.m. PST

The advantage for paper is that you can paint a swatch of a color onto it (say, a certain shade you mixed) for later comparison/matching. Can't do that with a computer, it'll cover the screen eventually… ;-)

SHaT198415 Feb 2021 4:46 p.m. PST

>>The advantage for paper is that you can paint a swatch of a color onto it…

I didn't show you my 40+ year old paint palette, now did I…?
Some things you don't just let out in publick Sir!

DHautpol16 Feb 2021 4:06 a.m. PST

A very sensible idea.

I've done something similar with side projects that I know I'm not going to complete, or attempt to complete, in one go. I make a list of the colours used for each item to ensure uniformity, as I know I'm painting one or two units only and that it may be several weeks before I return and paint a couple more.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2021 7:24 a.m. PST

I'm afraid that I'm not that organized.

SHaT198416 Feb 2021 9:16 p.m. PST

>>that it may be several weeks before I return

Hahahhahahahahaaaaaa, I count my 'delays' in decades!

>>I'm afraid that I'm not that organized.

Come forth 79thPA, The Force will help and protect you,; Organise we must!


Legionarius17 Feb 2021 7:54 a.m. PST

I would rather paint that write about painting! There's only so much time. :)

DHautpol17 Feb 2021 8:19 a.m. PST

Well I say "several weeks"; for some Pendraken 10mm Federal infantry I started, it's been so long that the blue I used for the jackets isn't even made anymore – so writing it down was no help whatsoever!

bobspruster Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2021 10:58 a.m. PST

I've been telling myself to keep a journal for a very long time. I've even collected an assortment of blank books for that purpose. Well, I recently lost some organizational notes to do with Napoleonic armies. Time to start that journal.

SHaT198417 Feb 2021 3:30 p.m. PST

>>I would rather paint that write about painting! There's only so much time. :)

I wonder what you do for 'real work'?

If you do not organise, you do not control.
Have so many projects you lose track? Then control is needed. You may be young enough now, as I once was, to have memorised every detail. But believe me, after waiting 10-20 years that flash past as life and others***** happens, you will not.

Hence, the need for detail…. cheers dcup

huron725 Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2021 7:36 p.m. PST

I must be the odd man out. I don't record what miniatures I painted what. If I take time off between projects I just go look at what I have finished to get a close idea on what colors to use. And I prefer to have variations in my painting especially in my 40mm AWI British for example. I use all sorts of shades of red for the Brits.

General Kirchner05 Mar 2021 9:14 a.m. PST

i take photos and photos of the paint pots i was using while i painted

i started usign this really nice little phone app called model colors.

its got paint manufacturers loaded already and you create your inventory as well as specific unit color mixes, photos, shopping lists etc.

i highly recommend it.

wizbangs19 Apr 2021 9:05 a.m. PST

A couple decades ago a friend told me how he did this. I was in denial & did not feel it was necessary for me since I paint an entire unit in one go. Many years later I have half-completed units or armies that I want to have identical uniforms that are incomplete. I end up going through my paints dabbing a dot here or there trying to match what I did before.

Long story ended, this little reminder was all I needed. Will get me a nice journal book (like a reader mentioned above) and keep a log for unfinished business. As it is I have scattered notes regarding skin tones for different races, etc.

Jack Jones20 Apr 2021 11:10 p.m. PST

This is how I use my blog really … notes about plans, photos of work in progress … eventually I'll add photos of the little fellows in action …


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