Thursday, 2 May 2013

Paint and Prejudice

In the spirit of my news resolution to not start any new painting projects until my current one was complete, I spent most of my painting time in the first third of the year on Chaos Dwarfs. This meant a lot of 'industrial' painting, repeating the same processes over and over again on very similar models, then 'dipping' in Army Painter quick shade before varnishing. The results were reasonably impressive* but the process gets pretty tedious pretty quickly.

After all that a change is good as a rest and I have been focusing all my attention on a single model. In this case Warlord Games Oliver Cromwell, acquired for my Dad, who is something of a Civil war buff, by my little brother. He's proven too lazy to paint (Dad not brother) and so the task has been palmed off on me. It's unusual, because for the first time in a long time, I've been painting a model not intended for use as a gaming piece.

I have occasionally acquired models solely because I like the look of them, but the motivation has rarely been there to get them painted. I suppose this is partly because, until relatively recently, I didn't consider my painting skills worth displaying. I'm under no illusions that I'm up to competition winning standards now, but I will put my models in a glass fronted cabinet without feeling embarrassed. In spite of this, I still favour models that can, in theory, be used for gaming even if I only rarely play the game.

This is a bit odd, because when it comes to choosing armies/factions/crews/gangs for games, I invariably choose the models I like the look of without recourse to the rules (which sometimes leads to some decidedly uncompetitive armies). So at one level I pick models because I like the look of them and at another require them to be of use in a game.

It's just one of a number of minor prejudices on irrational preferences that, I'm sure, everyone has. For example, I've had no problem with pre-painted models when they're supplied randomly, but shun them when I know what is in the box. So I have a small horde of Heroclix, Horrorclix and Star Wars miniatures, but always avoided AT43, even when it was popular. No real reason for this, I just instinctively avoided it. Similarly, I would never include a model in my army that someone else had painted, even if they did a far better job than I could.

Returning to the business of painting models not for use in games, I did use to try and produce a Golden Daemon entry on an annual basis. I had no expectation of winning, or even placing, but I liked having a goal to focus on and having the 'excuse' to work on a model that wasn't part of an army. So maybe I was sub-consciously rebelling against my own self-imposed rules?

I can't really offer a justification for my preferences or make any profound statements about it. I suppose a great deal of human behaviour is essentially arbitrary and capricious. Or maybe I am slowly going bonkers?

*Yes there will be pictures. I can write these things during my lunch break, but my arms don't stretch far enough to reach my camera, unfortunately.

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