Nerds; I have a confession. I think it’s something that will make you question my validity in writing for these hallowed pages- hell it may make you question my validity as a geek full stop.
I fucking hate painting miniatures.
It’s not that difficult for me to say it, I thought it would be but, well, clearly I’m ok with myself regarding this. I hope you are too.
Every so often Bif throws out a very cool post about his modelling and painting escapades; fucking, he built a light box just to help show off his miniatures better and, lets face it, since not alot of people are really reading these pages, that really means he’s built it so he can see his miniatures better so that he can paint them better… that is pretty fucking awesome. His minis look super cool (those ‘nids I faced in the combat patrol games were astoundingly beautiful) but, and here’s the crux, I just don’t want to do that stuff.
I try, I do, to enjoy painting minis. I painted up one of the project z minis a few months ago and really went to the effort of layering, blending, dry brushing etc etc. At the end of it how does the mini look- alright I guess. It’s nowhere near as good as Bif’s (it never will be) and I’m sure I will get better with practice, but, well, I cant be fucked to practice. It was as dull as fuck painting that thing. I got bored within 5 minutes of putting colour on the model.
Why is that?
I am not innately good at sitting down and staring at things for a long period; I find it causes my brain to fall into a frenzy of criss crossing thoughts with no focus. Throw me some agonisingly complex thoughts from Jean Paul Sartre or Nietzsche and my brain doesn’t dance spasmodically around because, well, it’s already doing that. It’s kinda the point of that shit.
Staring at a mini and thinking about what highlight to put on what teeny weeny bit of fake cloth fold – man, my brain suddenly starts hating on me. I can’t do it…
But here’s the thing, I fucking will do it. Why? Because unpainted minis are a waste of a mini. Even if they look a bit shit, they come a little more alive with colour dancing over their beautifully sculpted frames.
Oh, and those people that pay for their minis to be painted by someone else – nah ah, not for me either. I would feel like a fraud; but even worse? That odd spiritual connection you create with models when you’ve taken time to splash some paint on them would be severed and it’s that connection you need to facilitate to really immerse yourself in playing a game – they are a weird extension of yourself. That’s one of the ways you get into the narrative of who they are, of who they’re fighting or of what quest they’re on. Because they’re yours. You created them, brought them to life and no one has the minis you have.
That dude with a production line turning out beautiful minis for rich guys and girls – well, their minis all look the same. They’re gorgeous, no doubt. But they ain’t yours if you’re using em.
So there we go – that’s this weeks digest. I’m hoping to get more regular with these as they’re just my thoughts and don’t require any major external happenings. I’m also going to try to get some mini posts up soon – I recently fixed up some old Lord Of the Rings minis which need some paint and there’s a small matter of some night goblins to get to grips with.
Keep thinking too much, lest Siggy thinks you’ve turned into an inanimate vegetable
Sigmund Freud hates carrots
Evening Gentlefolk, Bifur here. Normally I would litter the above post with bracketed comments to voice any thoughts I had about Dwalins ramblings but this time I felt I should give a more cohesive reply. To put it bluntly I think Dwalin is looking at this in the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with not enjoying the painting side of the hobby. Loads of gamers hate painting, lots of them like modelling and lots of them like gaming with the models. Both of these things are excellent creative parts of the hobby and should be encouraged.
It’s nice to play against someone with a fully painted army as it creates a more immersive experience (think about playing a computer game with really good game play but awful graphics. It detracts from the overall experience but doesn’t necessarily nullify it) As long as you can tell what you’re fighting paint isn’t necessary.
This being said I think it’s unfair to dismiss people who pay others to paint for them. This hobby is expensive and if people choose to spend a bit more money to get a result they couldn’t get for themselves that’s still valid (also there are ways of doing it that don’t cost too much; I’ve heard of commission painters who offer split payment schemes and lets not forget that you can buy fully painted models from various online sources, such as eBay, for very reasonable prices). I also wouldn’t dismiss those who produce commission projects; most of these guys and girls are avid hobbyists who are getting paid to do something they love, often because they enjoy the hobby in the opposite way to Dwalin – they love painting but hate gaming.
I’ve been doing this hobby for something like 25 years and anyone who’s seen my early models knows I couldn’t paint to save my life; but I persisted, mostly because I wanted to be better at it and it’s only in the last few years that I’ve started to reach a standard I’m happy with.
I’m not putting Dwalin down but I am laying down a challenge here for him:
Stick with paining but take a step back. Don’t try to apply all the tricks you read about on the internet and see people doing in YouTube videos. Start with simple paint schemes and techniques and see what happens. I know Dwalin is building a unit for his upcoming AoS project soon (spoilers) and here is my challenge – Half these models will be painted to a good tabletop standard in one session, by Dwalin, with my help. And we’ll do an entire post devoted to it. Also there may be beer and metal.
By tabletop standard I mean they will be full colour with shading and highlighting and based, but this will all take less time than it takes us to brew a batch of beer.
If he still hates it then I’ll paint the other half of the unit for him.
What do you say Dwalin?