Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Caring About Appearances

I just saw an article over on From the Warp called How Basing Details Finish a Model.  You should take a look at it.  It gives some really informative advice.  Here's the thing.  We are paying inordinant amounts of money to play a game with highly detailed miniature that are supposed (yeah I said it) to be painted.  If they weren't they would have come painted and assembled like the flop that was Rackham's prepainted minis for Confrontation. So, here's the point.  Painting and basing your army to a semi-decent quality is a necessity.

A few months back (April I think) I was the paint judge for a major Texas Warhammer Fantasy Indy GT (the Lonewolf ).  There were something like 85 participants at it.  You can check out my account of the experience here, Post-Event Paint Judging Thoughts.

It made no sense to me that there were players with unpainted or semi-painted, or crappily painted armies at a major paid-for event when they knew that paint scores were part of the overall scoring.  Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.  Not only that, but this year the player who won best overall did so not because great battle points, but instead because of having an awesomely painted and based army and getting multiple best army votes and best game votes.  He jumped the best battle points player who happened to be somewhere around 25 or so battle points ahead of him.  Crazy!

If you are going to an event, do the work to prepare your army.  Don't just slap on the 3 color minimum (Sorry Student Teacher).  Try.  Please, for the love, try to make something of your army.  Many tournaments award quite a few points for effort.  The system I used for my paint judging was passed down to me and it gave tons of points simply for having the army full painted with the minimum requirements, even if those minimum requirements were terrible!

I will repeat my sagely advice though, for those of you tournament goers.  This is how you make better paint/army scores.

1) Paint the entire army!

2) Base the army consistently.  Go to Ron's article at the top of the page and check it out.  Also check out my post on how a What a Difference a Base can Make. Consistently simply means don't bring a bunch of randomly based models.  Make their bases look consistent across the army. 

3) Don't drybrush everything!  This drives me nuts because it reveals that a person cares enough to spend time on painting their own army, but in a way that lessens it's appeal.  Don't get me wrong.  Drybrushing is great for certain things like hair/fur, chainmail, etc., but it should never be used to completely cover a model (unless they are totally covered in hair/fur or chainmail). 

4) Pick out a few details on your models.  I am not saying to go crazy, but if your models all have an interesting detail on them, spend a few extra minutes per model to paint it well and bring out the details.  For instance, on my Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard army, I try to pick out all of the blood drop icons in a ruby-esque gem motif.

5) Try making a display board.  It really can be as simple as using your regular basing scheme on a larger scale.  Perhaps in the near future, I will do a display board to show how simple it is to make one properly.  For now, here is a picture of my Fantasy Dark Elf Army.  It's got a pretty sweet board that took me roughly an afternoon to create. 

There you go. Consistent look, everything is painted.  I got near full paint for this and won 2nd overall at the Lonewolf.
Here's my point.  You have to care.  It seems ludicrous not to when we spend so much money on these stupid (I don't really mean it), plastic soldiers.  If you think you aren't a good painter, I dare you to try and with a little practice see how easy it can be.  If you hate to paint, have someone paint your stuff for you.  I'm a pretty cost effective commission painter.  We are out there.  Appearances do matter. 

This is all a lead in, of course, to the fact that right now, I have had only 6 people vote on my poll to the right there.  Of those 6 the majority are wanting an article on how to paint for better paitn scores at tournaments.  So, if you agree with them and want to see an article, VOTE!  If you want one of the other article options, VOTE!

Also, share your comments about paint scores and such.  Do you agree with me?  Do you disagree? Should paint scores even be part of events?  I personally think that is one of the reasons I go to events.  I love seeing the great looking armies.  So, comment below.  Vote in my poll.  And stay tuned for more painting articles once my poll ends. 

Some other useful hobby articles involving basing:
Tutorial: How-to Rock Bases on the Cheap
Live Long and Prosper... Making Vulkan

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1 comment:

The Inner Geek said...

Some good points there. When I was younger I used to enjoy the painting most of all. In my older age I enjoy the modeling most. I find it harder and harder to get a paint job I'm satisfied with lately. I'm hoping to have more luck on an upcoming project paint-wise. Thanks for a good article from a judges point of view!

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