Entering Unexplored Territory

I suppose that one thing us boomers have that noobs — sorry, I mean younger folks — don’t have is a memory of a time when a map could say “unexplored territory.”

I mean, in my lifetime “unexplored” was a very, very small chunk of real estate. The world was fully “explored” before I reached puberty — but my, my, my. The things a fella could imagine when the map said “unexplored.”

Of course, now some social justice warrior will just ‘splain that the brown people HAD EXPLORED IT and it was “unexplored” to a bunch of constipated Englishmen and so who cares? Well, the SJW would be right, but it was still groovy. Something about that “unexplored” meant a lot. It meant something. A lot.

I’m entering into the unexplored and, for the most part, I’m really enjoying it. The departure of Testors forced me to grow up, in terms of painting. It’s hard to face “growing up” at my age (65) but grow up I did. Maturity comes in many forms. Learning to do something that you never imagined that you would do is pure fun on ice.

It’s magic.

But it renders my past rants, ravings, and the few sane polemics moot.

What? Wasn’t that clear?

It rendered them moot. MOOT.

Okay. The problem is that my old approach to painting was dependent on Testors or some other Daddy to come and take care of me. Despite all the macho bluster on model forums, most of what goes on there is childish. That’s why hobby companies can make big money selling us cheap paint at inflated prices and comic books as “references” and other outrages.

I’m not counting Revell’s 1/72 P-51D in this because that particular insanity is so far out it’s in a category of its own — Surrealist Modeling.

But for the most part, hobby companies treat us like bitches and we earn that every day. The funny part is that traditional redneck toxic masculinity teaches that building trumps painting and that spray painting is the only way, despite the fact that we’re dependent and defer to “companies” (aka “grownups”) to do our thinking for us.

We may not be girly (Ewww! ART!!!! Run for it fellas before we all turn GAY as maypoles!!) but we’re CHILDISH.

To grow (a little) out of childhood I’ve tried to experiment with “artist” paints and I’m happy to say that the coin dropped and I’ve finally gotten it.

(No “the coin dropped” isn’t slang for pregnancy– sheesh.)

Ummm. I just did a Google search for “the coin dropped” and payphone and nobody knows what this means anymore…

Oh well.


I put some retarder in some cadmium yellow paint, thinned it (with Windex) and brushed it onto a dark, black and brown streaky surface. I put on a coat and it acted like yellow paint always acts. Crappy.

But then I kept on brushing. And brushing. And I brushed it out into a good, opaque finish using very little paint and plenty of brushing.


It was because the super-retarded paint didn’t “skin over” and “tear.” The still-soft paint allowed me to massage the coating into a thin but regular layer– just what you need to get coverage from yellow or white or another light color. The “highpoints” that the paint runs away from can be coated IF you have a paint that doesn’t dry instantly and you can keep on brushing.

This revelation causes me to question all kinds of things. The fact that “acrylic” hobby paint is designed to dry fast as f*ck even when that makes it unusable.  “The dweebs who buy this stuff are kids and feebs– they need fast drying paint or they’ll get it on their hands and into their food.”

I dunno. You tell me. The broad horizon awaits. One constipated Englishman is about to set sail… AVAST, YE LUBBERS!!!!

7 Replies to “Entering Unexplored Territory”

    1. It was surprisingly fast. Twenty minutes and it was “solid” but I’m learning that acrylic paint cures in stages and this is an early stage. Truly “cured” paint takes a while. Golden has a wonderful website that’s like going to art school without the pretentious… oh wait… must be positive…must be positive…

      Here’s the site — it’s called “Just Paint”


  1. Bitches is right.
    Before became a little sneakier/cynicaler, Will Pattinson used to open his Utube videos with, “hello bitches” in a serious tone.

    1. Well, I wouldn’t mind so much if I got a bottomless credit card, a wardrobe and my own Manhattan apartment. It’s the cheapness that I resent.

  2. I use acrylic retarder with Tamiya. No problems with reactivation since then. It does take a while for the paint to dry though, so don’t think you can get away with “another coat in 5 minutes” once you use it.

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