Saturday, 1 January 2011

A brand new year!

It probably hasn't escaped your notice that we have just ticked over into 2011. Personally I'm laying to rest the ghosts of 2010 which was far from a stellar year in my life. I'm putting many things into motion for 2011 so that I may move forward. If I'm cripplingly honest I'm not getting the best out of myself in my life and now is as good a time as any to get my ass in gear. So, lots of cool stuff up and coming. One of my big decisions was to start a new blog on New Year's Day, and you are reading it right now. In the spirit of not procrastinating I ended up launching a few days early so we're well on our way now.

Anyway, welcome to the new year. I'd like to talk a little about painting fear. Now I plan to talk about this, and a lot of other related issues, in much more depth at a later date but this day felt appropriate to offer a little thought on the subject.

I hear it all the time when reading miniature message boards, especially in the modern age of such amazing, cutting edge sculptures: 'I'm too scared to paint this miniature'. Yes, we've all been there. That fear that we'll make a cock up, ruin an expensive and beautiful figure or that we're just not good enough to do the sculpt justice. So, there's 'that' part of the lead mountain; the one comprised of the amazing figures that can wait until we're good enough. It's quite understandable of course. These top-end figures are often upwards of £10 each and you don't want to have wasted your money. But, you know what? Sculptors make these minis for people to paint and I've never heard of a sculptor who complained that someone ruined their sculpt by painting it. To my knowledge we all like to see people slapping paint on them. It's supposed to be a fun pass time and you shouldn't have to be Jeremie Bonamant before you're worthy to paint a Studio McVey figure (as I'm sure the McVey's would agree). The whole financial investment thing is fine but why not start this year by going to your collection of 'fear figures' and taking just one of them. Paint it! And don't paint it for coolmini scores, or to win a golden demon, or for any other reason than because it's your figure. Paint it to make you happy and try not to fall into the trap of thinking you need to spend hundreds of hours doing so. You know my record for most hours spent painting a miniature? 30 hours... and I consider that a looong time (that figure is my Ogre Mercenary and I won a Golden Demon with it).

So, go ahead, why not take that risk? Grab one of the uber figures and have a blast painting it. It's one figure. Worst case scenario you lose a figure worth £10 or so. Not the end of the world. Far from it and who knows, maybe you'll have fun? Sometimes the minis world seems like it's turning into hard work for hobbyists. We need to stamp that out... before it's too late.

Was that 'before it's too late' dramatic enough to end on? I'm new to blogging, I need your reassurance ;)


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  2. Well said, and something I need to work on. I think though that while this is something I am guilty of I would't call it as full blown fear. Painting a mini that is outside my own comfort zone due to scale, detail, or whatever, can feel a little intimdating. Especially when my shelf may be full of 'ole favorites that have a familiar style to them that holds no suprises and allows me as a painter to maybe focus on a new technique, or as is most often likely, nothing new at all. You make a good point Steve and I am going to spend some time today breaking that old habbit of mine and start prepping a mini from my shelf that has been staring me in the face for a while but I've been to scared to start it. Happy '11 to you! -Scott Radom

  3. Happy new Year. I'm enjoying reading the blog Steve - keep the blog posts coming!

  4. Great post from a great blog. I'm building up the courage to paint my McVey Dragon Slayer, thanks for the inspiration.