‘This is the voice of MayaCast’

MayaCast LogoIf you have been listening to any Infinity pod casts over the last few years you are probably used to listening to the dulcet tones of Tom Schadle. Co-host of MayaCast and previously one of the hosts on O-12. Tom has been a big part of the Infinity community for a few years. Aside from being a big advocate for Infinity, he also happens to be an award winning painter, whose work has graced a number of companies. If you’re not aware of his work, check out his blog and his Facebook page.

Pan O modelsTom took some time to answer some half-baked questions from Corehammer, so without any further ado:

Without blowing too much smoke up your proverbial, you’re a very talented painter. Now I know everybody always says how did you get that good, and the answer is ‘practice’; but were you one of those annoying kids at school where everybody else was turning out abominations of paint jobs, and you were turning out master pieces? And, seriously, is it just practice?

Practice is certainly necessary. At first I fumbled around on my own, only having the AD&D “Battle Systems” painting guide and then pictures in White Dwarf Magazine as a guide. When I started hanging out at the local comics and game shop, there were two good painters, and seeing their models in person, close up was what took it “to the next level.” There’s no substitute for seeing well-painted models in person. Despite this new Internet thingy, and all its pictures, seeing it in hand is a whole different thing.

Also, while developing your own personal style and way of doing things… Copy. Find stuff you really like and try to copy it. Eventually, you’ll make it your own, but find some inspiration and blatantly steal it to get you on your way!

And while reading tutorials to learn techniques is a great start, the only way to get good at them is, yes, Practice!

I gather from listening to you for a good few years now that you used to be a teacher. How did you make the jump from school teacher to pro painter?

I became disillusioned with the education system in America, and needed a new job. So I thought while I look for a “real job,” I will try painting for money. Then it became a full-time thing.

Was it the miniature painting that got you into the hobby, or the gaming side? It’s obvious from listening to you on MayaCast that you are completely into the gaming side too, but what drew you in?

I suppose gaming, because it all began with Dungeons & Dragons in about the third grade – 8 years old? A friend brought her brother’s D&D books to school, and it was all over. A couple years later, my sister had her friend paint me up a little set of adventurers, and those were my first painted models. Started collecting Grenadier and Reaper models in Middle School and painting them horribly. My first tabletop game with miniatures was Warhammer Fantasy, during my college summers. That’s when I REALLY started painting. So, I guess they’ve kind of been hand in hand – modelling, collecting, painting and gaming all together.

On the note of MayaCast, how did you find going alone on the podcast front? Was it a difficult decision? Did it take much persuasion for Kip to join?

There was a learning curve for sure. I had the MayaCast domain for many months before the end of the old podcast. Mainly because of the way we were treated, I had been wanting to separate and do my own thing. Kip was on board from the start, but I think there were some rough seas for him during the transition.

You’ve done lots on the podcast about miniature photography, do some great step by steps on the blog. How time consuming are they? Do you have a permanent lighting setup?

I do – It is on top of a storage cabinet (a dresser from Ikea) in my painting room, so I can leave the lamps and light tent in place, it’s just a matter of putting the tripod up when it’s picture time.

Doing a step-by-step does make painting a model take longer, for sure. If it takes two minutes to set up and take each picture, and there’s 20 steps, then an hour or so to edit all those pictures. It adds up, but it’s not too bad.

This is a question in from Duggan. Your skills with an Airbrush are inspirational and the results you achieve don’t necessarily look airbrushed. How do you mask off areas and avoid overspray on such detailed miniatures? What size nozzles do you use?

For masking, I have used cellophane (clear plastic cling-wrap), painter’s masking tape, Blu Tack (poster putty) and liquid mask. Wrapping up large areas in cellophane and taping it off is an easy and cheap way to mask large areas (like terrain, or to mask the completed model before spraying the base). Painter’s tape works great for masking terrain, and marking off stripes. To save tape on especially large, flat areas you need masked, I use sticky notes or index cards, and just tape around their edges. It can be used on models, too, but it just depends on the shape and the angles you need. Blu Tack, or other “poster putty” is malleable and can be pushed into shape, but it’s not exactly precise.

Liquid Masking Fluid is probably the most precise, but use an old brush! I’m using Utecht brand for Watercolours right now. Paint it on to the area you want covered, and when it dries, spray right over it. Then I use a pencil eraser to start removing it, and once a bit is free I grab it with tweezers and the whole thing peels off. For the Vallejo brand liquid mask, use some warm, stick poster putty to remove the mask (It’s thinner and trickier to remove, but easier to apply)

What are you most looking forward to next now that N3 has been out for a while? The next campaign book or the hinted at new faction?

Definitely looking forward to Acheron Falls, to see how the story advances, as well as seeing the new US Ariadna models and sectoral. But more immediately, I’m excited to see ITS 2015, Army 5, and if they decide to update all of Human Sphere and Paradiso’s rules into the new N3 style.

Aside from Infinity, what other miniatures games float your boat?

Necromunda and Mordheim were always favorites. While I really enjoyed the game of Warmachine/Hordes, I really dislike the hyper competitive thing that it has become. I much prefer a cinematic narrative played out over fully-rendered terrain over fighting over place mats and brass rings.

Right now, Infinity is really the only minis game I’m playing. With limited hobby time, I have to focus on my favorite! But for beer and pretzels time, I do enjoy a good round of X-Wing, Spartacus, or even Settlers of Catan.

Do you have any specific hobby goals lined up for 2015? Or are you focusing on your hinted at 2016 Project?

The plan in the works for 2016 is talked about on MayaCast Episode 23 (March 6). But here you go:

It’s a “Dire SEAS” event – An Infinity tournament on a cruise ship (Norwegian Cruise Line).

It is a 7-day cruise that departs from Houston, TX, and travels to Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Honduras, and Belize.

The tournament will happen during the 3 days at sea. 2 rounds one day, 2 rounds the next, and a final round the final sea day. So it will be totally relaxed and spread out, so that people can enjoy the ship, the entertainment, and the food!

It will happen April 2-9, 2016 – so everyone that is interested will have time to plan ahead and save up. Final costs are being calculated, but it’s going to be around $1000, based on double occupancy.

If we get 20 “MayaCastaways” to join us, we can invite someone from Corvus Belli to join us! So perhaps a guest of honor, like Bostria, will be able to come along and maybe do a seminar for us! Depends on how much interest we generate, but I hope we can make that happen – and I hope they would be up for it!

I chill out by painting and talking hobby crap with my mates. As the hobby now forms such a big part of your life what helps you get away from it all?

Jack Daniel’s.

This wouldn’t be Corehammer if I didn’t ask you about your music tastes. What are you listening to right now? What do you listen to while you are painting?

Man, I listen to nearly anything and everything. My “Fab 5” are pretty eclectic: Tool, Barenaked Ladies, Pink Floyd, Blues Traveller, and Rush. I’m all over the place. But I have a heavy Classical influence as well, with that music education degree. About the only thing I don’t get into is rap and death metal. Or whatever that crap is that Justin Bieber does.

While painting, I listen to audiobooks, podcasts (gaming and sports), or flip on the TV and listen-watch TV shows. I’m just about through all of Star Trek: TNG right now, and will start up Deep Space Nine after that. But the 13 episodes of Firefly and the 3 good Star Wars movies make it on there a lot, too.

Thanks Tom for taking the time and giving us hope. Don’t get me wrong some of the Corehammer crew can knock out some pretty awesome miniatures, but for those of us that are mere journey men, it’s nice to hear you started off painting horribly.

1 thought on “‘This is the voice of MayaCast’

  1. “Necromunda and Mordheim were always favorites. While I really enjoyed the game of Warmachine/Hordes, I really dislike the hyper competitive thing that it has become. I much prefer a cinematic narrative played out over fully-rendered terrain over fighting over place mats and brass rings.”

    *salutes*

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