4 Jul 2015

Miniature Painting! A personal history.

My on-again and off-again hobby appears to be back on again.  Many many years I have been painting minis, of varying quality.  I like to think I can turn out a pretty decent miniature, not pro or Golden Demon quality (though I did once, see below) but pretty nice.  Here is a rundown of my miniature painting through the years.

I started something like 25 years ago when I was big into D&D 1st Ed. and I was painting up Ral Partha minis.  No idea what became of them, but they weren't very good. Thick blobs of Testors enamel.  Luckily a friend rescued me from enamels with his array of Tamiya acrylics.  If I ever find one I'll post it for sure.

The 90s drew me into Warhammer Epic 40k, and Eldar was my army of choice.  This is where my skill was starting to take off, as I learned wild concepts like washes and dry-brushing.  I entered my Epic battle force for competition at the Toronto Games-Workshop and surprisingly it won!  They shipped it down to Baltimore I think, where it placed 3rd in the Epic category.  No idea how big the field was though, could have just been 3, but I'll take the win.

The image above is the Phantom Titan from this force.  Seeing some of the amazing stuff produced today, and the Internet allowing everyone to share their techniques, the standards for competitive painting have gone way up, but I'm still pretty proud of that Titan.

My armies expanded to include Chaos and Orks before I drifted from Epic to other games, and it was the late 90s that myself and my buddies picked up Warhammer Fantasy.  The army I started on were Dark Elves and they didn't start great as I discovered painting fantasy was a lot different from Epic. Plus being out of Toronto, the Warhammer community where I lived pretty much started and ended with our circle of friends.  The local comic store owner would order stuff in for us on request.

From 2000s on, it was very much on and off. Once I moved back, the painting stopped a few years. Everything stored away until I finally moved into my own house.  For several years I had my own office/computer/gaming room and I finally got back on to painting, and it was more Warhammer. Lots of new plastics were coming out from GW, and now I had money to by them. I expanded my Dark Elves, and then with the release of the Battle for Skull Pass box, I started on both Dwarfs and Orcs & Goblins.  I bolstered both with their respective battalion boxes.  I bought a lot more minis than I painted, but still got some things done.

I lost my game room, thanks to the arrival my second daughter and back into storage they went.  The renovated room is nice however.

Which brings us recent history.  It started when I picked up the Star Trek Attack Wing game about 8 months ago.  A tabletop miniatures game with Star Trek spaceships?  Oh yes!  The game is pretty fun and the kids have enjoyed it too. Just one problem, the ships have some nice sculpts, but there are some pretty piss-poor paint jobs on them.  After finding some repaints online I knew I had to fix mine.  The paints and brushes came out and I was bitten by the bug again.

With one little Enterprise model, the floodgates opened. First more repaints, then Warhammer crawled its way out of their boxes and I'm in deep again.  I picked up the Island of Blood box so now add High Elves and Skaven to the painting heap.  But this time I was going to crank out enough painted minis to rule the tabletops at local stores.

And then within weeks Games Workshop blew up Warhammer Fantasy and replaced it with the Age of Sigmar.  I'll save my feelings for Age of Sigmar once it actually releases and I can get a good look at rules and army lists, but for now it's really disappointing seeing the end of ranked up blocks of infantry to be replaced with, I'm not sure what.  But that will be another post.

With the bitter disappointment of Warhammer Fantasy I started to look around and was finally drawn in by Warmachine.  So it looks like I'll be checking out another starter box.

So that's what to expect with my painting posts.  I'll post works in progress for Star Trek, Warhammer and hopefully Warmachine.  Every so often I'll turn on the wayback machine and look at some old minis, good or ill.

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