Sunday, 18 September 2011

Bringing back dirty...

Currently I am knee deep in the painting part of my entry for the Open competition at next week's Games Day. I spent far too long on conversion work and building the base so am currently painting at warp speed. It hasn't helped that there have been a number of false starts on various painting tasks.

I'd originally planned a somewhat Eavy Metal style paintjob with bright colours, contrasts and lot's of sharp edge highlighting but time constraints and my lack of recent painting practice has set me on a different path.

Regular readers will know I'd been playing with one hour paintjobs and a lot of washes in the months before my move to Nottingham. A much dirtier style and it's been kind of fun. So there had been a part of me wanting to play with a more radical painting approach on a competition entry. I'm not going to go into the details of this today as I'll probably be wanting to talk about my Open entry after next week when I see if my new approach has caused me to crash and burn...

However... it does bring me to my point. What's so wrong with dirty miniatures. Now, I'm not talking about sloppy or poor painting but why does it always have to be so clean and meticulous. I'm not just talking Eavy Metal style here, there seems to be a feeling in the larger minis world that painting has to be perfect blends to stand up to microscope scrutiny. There are other ways. When I started painting back in the eighties, gritty atmosphere on minis was pretty much the norm. Now, painting quality has improved so much since then but did we have to leave the style behind?

I had my first chance to take a good look at some of John Blanche's minis a few months back and I found them profoundly awesome. Given that John was one of the major forces behind the modern minis hobby it's perhaps ironic that his style has ended up as something of a counterculture. In viewing his miniatures close up you really can see the thought process and the layers of detail. It's not something that is best served by photographs of his work.

So, I've been on something of a mission over the last week or so to reinvent what I'm doing in terms of painting. Been fun so far. My entry is in many pieces so I'm rather looking forward to the time when I can get them put together and see how the various elements work together. I'm pretty sure it will be something of a departure from my normal style regardless of how well it comes out.

But it's something to think about. Do we always have to be so neat and tidy?

Hopefully I'll soon be able to talk a little more about what I've been getting up to on this miniature. There will be a blog post very soon to introduce you to a new technique I have been using on this figure. I'm calling it scrubbing and it's working pretty well for me...