Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gaming Miniatures - Art or Tool?

I have finally picked up my paint brushes again after more than six months off from painting miniatures. I was really wondering how rusty I would be since this was my first long term break from the hobby since starting last year. Now let me first say that I am by no means a professional or do I ever plan to be. I got into miniature wargaming last year as an alternative to table top roleplaying simply due to the fact it only took one other player and I thought it would be easier to get games in with my crazy work schedule. That lasted for about 6 months and then I wasn't finding time or desire to either play or paint. I really enjoyed the two parts to the hobby though. I liked gaming and I found that I really liked painting and building miniatures and terrain.

If you have read any of my previous posts, you already know that I have recently gotten back in touch with my roleplaying group and have been having a great time. Seeing the mass amounts of miniatures that our host Mike has always gets me wanting to do some more work on mine at home.

This lead me to finally get my work bench cleaned up and break out the paints and brushes and get to work. Now I was definitely rusty with the first couple hundred strokes and still have a way to go before I get back to the skill level and confidence that I was previously at. However, I was surprised at how quickly the feel and knowledge is coming back to me. I have about 20 unpainted (now stripped clean of previous paint or primered) ready to be worked on. I have two going right now. One is a D&D looking knight or similarly armored adventurer which I am practicing my brush control due to the intricate details in the armor and on the shield. The other is a lowly skeletal warrior from Reaper that I took a shot at simply base coat colors and attempted to use the Army Painter Quickshade I have had since last year. I am not too happy with the current results. It appeared to leave a bit too much of the Quickshade on the miniature than I wanted. This may be due to the fact of me not shaking enough off or it might be the intended effect. As I said this was the first time I have used it. I also think I will change up the base colors more on the next attempt. I have not written this miniature off to be put into the Dettol bath just yet. I have some weathering effects I am going to use to practice and see how he comes out.

Once I get my stroke back and the few miniatures I have at home to paint (This does not count the hundreds of unpainted WH40K or Malifaux minis) I offered to help Mike get some of his vintage D&D minis painted up.

The question I have for others in the Table Top Gaming community is how much time and detail do you put into your miniatures? I know when I was doing the wargaming it was a big deal because many tournaments scored not only on your gaming points but also your painting and army composition. I am sure the detail put forth in Table Top Gaming varies drastically but I am just curious as I paint away on my own. Are you striving for effects such as Massive Voodoo, Awesome Paint Job or Laszlo from the Hot Lead DVD series? Or are you happy just to have a decently painted and based miniature to push around a grid on top of the table?

Some Samples of the three mentioned above. Some tremendous artists to say the least!

Massive Voodoo

Les Burley - Awesome Paint Job

Laszlo - Hot Lead DVD

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