Last weekend there was a mini painting competition at the local GW. It seems they run it every month, 'Brotherhood of the Brush' I believe it's called. This one was for 40K independent character or unit. I asked if I could enter a mini painted some months back and they didn't have a problem with it, so I entered Sebastian.
I certainly wasn't expecting to win. While Sebastian is probably my best work to date, I'm still using very basic techniques and simple colours, I've seen so much better on the internet and in this very store. Besides, the varnish I used on him is now noticeably a little cloudy, so he doesn't look as good as he used to.
Needless to say I didn't win. In fact I didn't get to see the winning model, but I saw a couple of others in the competition that were pretty impressive so I have no doubt that the winner deserved it. Having said that, I got a couple of good comments about Sebastian, so overall it was encouraging. I think I'll try to enter the next competition, which is apparently any single mini so at least I won't have any trouble meeting the requirements.
In other news, I've just received a"cold heat" soldering iron that I got off ebay for a decent price. It's battery-operated, which alone makes it very attractive (I hate the stupid cables sticking off the back of traditional soldering irons - also it uses regular AAs, which I actually prefer to custom batteries because it means it doesn't need a dedicated power adapter or charger), plus it has a very short distance from grip to tip so it should be MUCH better than my current model for soldering small parts. But the big deal is supposed to be that it reaches high temperatures almost instantly when you actually touch it to the component, so it might help solve the problems I had last time with getting the solder to stick to the components. Hopefully I'll get to try it this weekend. Fingers crossed.