Another amazing day at the A to Z gaming club in Atsugi! We started with a game of Necromunda. A game that has been dead for 20 years, but brought back to life through the powers of the interwebs. I was very skeptical of playing this game, but there were a lot of house rules that made it quite interesting. So that is another game I will have to buy miniatures for… sigh…
The person running the Necromunda campaign made a beautiful, professionally done set of rules that impressed the hell out of me. I have seen something of less production value published. Maybe that is why I am thinking about getting into the game.
Meanwhile, other games where going on in the background: Judge Dredd, Malifaux, Chez Geek, and The stars are right. Later that night, half the group went to Zama to play a new Middle Earth RPG; The one ring. They usually go from 6pm to 11pm in their sessions, and unfortunately I can’t join them regularly, and regularity is precisely what you need for a good RPG session.
On a different note, my paints have arrived and I am all ready to begin. Still a bit nervous for some reason, but happy its here, and I am starting off with a beauteous set of paints. I have a set of rules for painting though. Pet peeves, that I just rub me the wrong way; Painting fashion. I hate fashion in all its guises, and I feel it is the very death of any sort of creative thought.
So I present to you, the seven deadly sins of miniature painting:
1) I has an airbrush!
Airbrushing is a completely different aspect of the hobby, and is great for painting giant swathes evenly. Lately, it has been creeping more and more into miniature painting and is now becoming a crutch. I’m not saying its not highly skilled, but I am saying it is just showing off skill rather than making the miniature look like … well… a miniature representation. Airbrushing has become the computer animation of the hobby. It started off giving amazing stuff, but now, it’s often overdone, and giving the painting world the Jar Jar Binks of work. Great for vehicles, but lately people are doing these weird effects just because they can. Technically skillful… Aesthetically crap. Best used for just and initial coat of paint.
2) Object source lighting.
Object source lighting is a really cool technique that everyone
lately has gone apeshit over. If done in a small way, it looks really good, but people have lost their mind with this. The technique is very difficult to pull off right, and people with less than the required ability are passing off horrible mistakes as a glowing effect, when it actually looks like someone either hit them with a paintball, or they were tagged by Banksy having a seizure. It can only be done by a master painter, or in a diorama with any good effect. A little goes a long way, a lot is a disaster.
Here is a gallery of OSL done right:
3) Weathering powder.
I am guilty of this when I started using them. They look really good and add a lot of realism, but like a child with a new toy, its very easy to go berserk with them and the effect just looks off. Vehicles look like they drove through a volcano or someone hit them with a mud pie. Like Object source lighting, needs to be used in moderation. Most often though, they are just used to cover up mistakes.
4) Chip chip chiparoo
Chipped paint really brings scale and realism to a model… When done right. Some people go nuts with it and just scratch up everything, everywhere at the same scale from man sized to titan sized, making everything the exact same scale.
5) Drop the base
More of my personal preference against overly elaborate, uniform bases. If you want them to look great, just make the right effect yourself.
Some effects were cool as hell when they came out. But now are old, stale and unimaginative. Aka… blue shiny sword and lightning bolts. Blue shiny sword was amazing when it first came out and it is a well-executed airbrush technique that was able not to look conceited.
7) We are borg… we are individual.
Some people think that one interpretation needs to be repeated again and again. People are afraid to do new things when they paint. I don’t mean to go so far as purple Ultramarines, but little original twists that make things the painters own.
Of all these sins, it seems Grey Knights are the worst offenders. Everyone is painting them the same a la sin #7, same silly blue swords from sin #6 and sin #2 with way too much glowing effect.
A friend of mine is looking to hire me out for painting. I was a bit reluctant because I haven’t painted in such a long time, my skills might suck again. As a test, he gave me a 40k Commissar model.
I tried a variety of techniques, as well as trying some of the new citadel paints. To be honest, I really don’t like the new line of citadel paints. The Vallejo paints go on smooth with a high degree of control. The tester came out really good and made me a little cocky. I started to experiment with non-metallic metals, a technique I never did when I was painting all the time. It came out ok, but looks a little muddled to me. I was very happy with the way the model came out, so when it came to paint my own Malifaux stuff, I started to really experiment. Honestly, Malifaux models aren’t very good as experiments because the sculpts are too good, and it feels wasteful. I finished my first Malifaux model and I am not impressed. A big part of that is because it relies on a heavy wash, and the citadel wash (Drakenhof nightshade) is crap. I ended up doing a lot of color repair and I am kind of unsure if I should keep this scheme. Forging on though, I used the Vallejo glaze medium to make my own wash, and it looks soooo much better than the nightshade wash. The other citadel washes are good, but the blue was just horrible.
Well, now that I look those paint jobs… They are crap. It breaks my heart, but I am probably going to paint over those malifaux models. I don’t have the appropriate solvents to break down the paint and if I had, the miniatures are so fragile that I believe they would snap apart.