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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

Stop Making Excuses and Start Painting!

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10 May 2018 00:00 #273520 by san il defanso
For many years, I convinced myself that painting miniatures was...

Have you been making excuses for not painting the miniatures in your game collection?

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Shellhead, ChristopherMD, barrowdown

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17 May 2018 15:44 #273521 by barrowdown
All of this is great advice. While there are certainly a few assholes out there who harshly criticize everything, I've found the biggest detractor of my painting is myself. I think everything looks terrible and I notice all of the flaws that can only be seen under perfect lighting from six inches away and tilted to the only angle where it can be seen.

Every mini you finish is an improvement to your skillset and it does not take long to look back and be amazed by the improvement over earlier attempts.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Michael Barnes, ChristopherMD

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17 May 2018 15:49 #273524 by Michael Barnes
The thing is, everything looks like crap while you are painting it. Maybe when you are finished, you think “eh, that’s not terrible”. But if you put it away and come back to it a few days later, you’ll often find that losing focus on the tiny imperfections will reveal a better finish than it seemed like at the time.

Those are my Plaguebearers in the photo...working on 30 of those pusbags...
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17 May 2018 15:57 #273527 by barrowdown
I really struggle with motivating myself whenever I need to paint more than 10 of something at once. I'm already regretting deciding to paint up a unit of Arkanauts and Endrinriggers at the same time (they have the same basic figure layout), which is only 13 figures.I should have just done them one unit at a time.

I completely feel for you on doing 30 in one go.

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17 May 2018 20:56 #273555 by Sagrilarus
At the moment there's an advertisememt for Hayne's Tabletop Gaming Manual at the top of this page. I'll mention that it has a chapter that is a (ahem) primer for painting minis, with all the basics laid out for you to follow.

I too am too chicken to paint, because I'm too much of a klutz. But after reading Matt's chapter on painting, I think I can take a shot at it.

S.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Matt Thrower, bendgar, san il defanso

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18 May 2018 03:09 - 18 May 2018 03:12 #273564 by Colorcrayons
I have nearly 30 years of touching brush to lead.

Painting well is a lot like an old man kvetching about youth being wasted on the young.

You're crap at it early on, but you have all the time in the world to be crap. We slowly get better, and slowly have less time to do it.

It is very rewarding thing to do. But when you have mobs of models sitting in front of you, whispering shitty taunts about "Ooooh that's so nice! That was a lot of fun too! Just sit and admire the painstaking handiwork for hours! Lovely!
Ok, fun time is over, boy! Repeat that 176 more times before you enter your deathbed, regretting all the time you spent on us! Warhams fo'evah!", then it becomes less satisfying to do your best. Or even put in any effort.

I find the main obstacle of enjoyment and completion of a painting goal/task is the lofty advertising GW sets before it's consumers.
They lay out these oh-so-lavish photo spreads, tempting money from your wallet so that you too may immerse yourself in this egress and suspend your disbelief with such an array as they display.

Yet they don't tell you that they have teams of people who clock in 40+ hours a week doing nothing but laying brush to lead professionally.

They sell a lie not many achieve.

I have learned to regain control of my enjoyment painting models by completely divorcing myself from GWs ad rags. They only add unhealthy anxiety and pressure to get your money's worth by dedicating more time than can be made available in a healthy way.

So I posit that not only should one stop making excuses for their lack of output (good advice for life in general) but to also excise that which keeps you from enjoying it on terms you dictate rather than what they dictate/encourage.
Last edit: 18 May 2018 03:12 by Colorcrayons.

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18 May 2018 04:21 #273567 by Matt Thrower

Sagrilarus wrote: At the moment there's an advertisememt for Hayne's Tabletop Gaming Manual at the top of this page. I'll mention that it has a chapter that is a (ahem) primer for painting minis, with all the basics laid out for you to follow.


I'm glad you found it helpful. If you don't want to buy the amazing book, full of glossy colour photos of fantastically painted figures (mostly not mine), there are plenty of tutorials online to get you started. And if you do buy it, please leave a decent Amazon review to counteract the ass who gave me one star because I didn't explain the difference between a "draw" and "stalemate" in chess.

The thing about being vulnerable is really key. There are a few of my figures in the book but the ones that most people will see are the Space Marine Terminators on the cover. I painted those when I was about 14. If I'd known they'd end up on a book cover one day I might have taken a bit more care. But, y'know, it doesn't matter. No one will look at that cover and see they were painted by a clumsy teenager. They'll just think "wow! cool toys!" and flip over to start reading. And it's much the same effect when you play with them.

(If anyone cares, inside the book, the photos of the empire handgunners and skeletons emerging from their graves are my work. You can tell because they're not attributed)

My biggest enemy is time. I'm absurdly slow at painting and the older I've got the slower I've got. It takes me a good two hours to finish a figure nowadays, partly because I don't have the patience to paint in batches. I like to see a thing finished. Between tabletop games and video games and friends and family and the fact I'm not allowed to paint in the front room with the new carpet and sofa, I just very rarely get time.

That's why I found Shadespire and Frostgrave really refreshing. The manageable model counts gave me realistic targets to aim at. Next is Star Wars Legion, and I don't fancy my chances of ever completing more than one squad of rebel troopers. I like the game, but the miniatures don't inspire me - and that's another important point when it comes to painting.

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18 May 2018 09:28 #273591 by Shellhead
Great article. It almost inspired me to work on my partially painted Space Hulk set, but then I remembered that I am really busy for the next few weekends working on my garden and fighting the ongoing War on Dandelions. Maybe I can sit out the hot weather in July by catching up on some mini painting in the basement.

When I got Space Hulk (3rd) many years ago, I saw those impressive sculpts and knew that they deserved to be painted. I bought the Space Hulk issue of White Dwarf for the painting tips, watched some painting YouTubes, and even got a mini painting lesson from a friend who used to play a lot of 40K. Then I painted my Fury of Dracula figures for advanced practice. They turned out okay, except that I had no idea what to do about that monocle on Lord Godalming and ended up painting it with a thinned out coat of silver.

Painting minis, at a basic level, is kind of life a 3D version of paint-by-numbers. I won't deny that there is potential for real artistry, but it is also entirely possible for a complete amateur like myself to clumsily slather on paint without every rising to the level of art. I don't have shaky hands, but somehow when it comes to anything involving art or craft, I act a little too impulsively and the results tend to be a touch sloppy. This is even true when I'm doing woodwork for a home project. I can measure carefully, but when I go to mark my measurement lightly on the wood, something invariably goes a little off. The tape measure shifts, the ruler slides, the pencil breaks, I miss the mark slightly, something. It's maddening, and I mainly cope by paying a pro if it needs to look nice, or not giving a shit if it's something for a yard project or a game.

I assembled by Space Hulk minis successfully, with only a minor gaffe involving an arm, which I was able to repair with green stuff or somesuch. I primed the figures. I painted the door bases for warm-up. I painted about 90% of the Genestealers, and just need to do their claws. But the Terminators were too daunting. Games Workshop, IMO, always errs on the side of too busy when it comes to design, and these Space Marines are over the top with little fiddly details like gems and scrolls and whatnot. So I painted a few easy sections of armor on each figure, leaving all my marines looking roughly 50/50 red and black primer.

Then disaster struck. I was playing my partially painted Space Hulk with a friend, and he accidentally broke the wings off of Sergeant Lorenzo's helmet. And it wasn't a clean break, the plastic bent slightly before breaking. I should have been wary, because this same friend owns Chaos in the Old World, and nearly half of his figures have suffered similar damage. After that, I noticed that my friend has an unfortunate habit of levering playing pieces when he moves them... he grasps them by the top/head, pressing down, then leaning the figure foreward before moving it, which puts stress on the top of the figures and sometimes damages them. I know that there is a chemical that I can use to soften the breakage points and reshape them, so I can glue them back together nicely. First, I want to practice on some old sprues leftover from that set.

I moved in 2011. To protect my Space Hulk minis, I put them in a small separate box that was heavily padded throughout with old t-shirts. That box is still taped shut. I see that box often when looking through the portion of my game collection that is not on display, and I feel a twinge of guilt. But then I think about the hassle involving Lorenzo's helmet, and then I think of other easier projects to work on instead. I haven't touched my paints or played Space Hulk in nearly 7 years.

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18 May 2018 10:27 #273604 by LazarusTNT
I have perhaps a thousand bucks in bits, paints, brushes, tools, etc and I see them sitting in the closet in perpetuity. I just don't have any desire to paint anymore. I can't see myself ever doing it again. 30 years is long enough.

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20 May 2018 18:36 #273744 by Mantidman
After several years of not painting, I finally painted a
new mini on Friday. A character mini for a Pathfinder game
that I was going to play on Saturday. Half my brushes were
ruined and a quarter of my paint pots, but it was completed.
I will tell you that painting in your late 40's is very different than painting in your 20's and 30's. I thought
bifocals would help. Yeah, not so much.
I have slapped a brush to over a thousand miniatures, for several different games, in the last 30 plus years, but it is tough to do it now. Thank you for the article, it did give me a final push to not use a stand-in mini for the event.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, ChristopherMD

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20 May 2018 20:08 - 20 May 2018 20:08 #273748 by Gary Sax
Mainly the eyes letting you down, then? I've been perpetually unable even in my youth due to really shaky hands.
Last edit: 20 May 2018 20:08 by Gary Sax.

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