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Painting Standards in Tabletop Games and Gatekeeping


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17 hours ago, CommissarRotke said:

 

My question for you both (and anyone else thinking the same) is: do you engage with those players to see why progress isn't being made? Do you offer them tips on getting into the painting side? Show or direct them to quick-painting videos/techniques? If so, then I don't think this attitude is a problem since you're attempting to help opponents get their armies "tabletop ready."

I enjoy the hobby side more than the playing side, but can have trouble finding the energy to paint. I recently moved and while there's a little less space than I was expecting inside, my partner wants me to have my own hobby space so we'll make it work. The real problem is our "backyard" is near where trash gets dumped + has a mosquito problem. So I'm going to have trouble priming once I get more of my backlog painted, even when autumn finally gets rid of the heat and humidity here.

I think the Rule of Cool is how we should be directing new people in picking armies, because the new Stormcast models are hyping me up to actually get started painting my army even through the issues I described. Helping people pick the army they truly want, and find a background/purpose that they really vibe with will do wonders for stemming grey tides. I'd also like to mention the 2k point standard really doesn't help this friction of unpainted vs painted so I'm really hoping 1k/meeting engagements are run more.

 

I do often engage with the people who are painting or even have painted their armies and want some advice for the next time they try their hand at painting. Our group is average sized so we have a good community there where almost every weekend people are gaming on Saturday and hanging out on Sunday for painting and assembling new models. Now sometimes people show up on Saturday to paint/assemble and sometimes people game on Sunday which is fine as I think people should game when they can and paint when they can, but there is almost always someone there myself or others ready to offer not only advice but also brushes, paints, and pallets for anyone who wants to paint. Heck sometimes we even just have a painting weekend where everybody shows up and mostly just paints and sits around talking about 40k/AoS or any other wargame that might be interesting. So all in all if someone isn't making an effort to paint their army it really starts to show in our area because there are so many opportunities to paint that you would have to be willfully ignoring them to not make some progress.

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Prime the model in a color close to what you want. Apply a Drybrush of a lighter version of the color you want. Hit with correct Wash. You made it to three color standard, congrats.

The entire purpose for three color standard is so that tournaments played in public can attract passers-by to the game. It's the wargaming equivalent of taking a shower, getting a shave, and putting on a nice shirt before a date. You don't have to wear a tux and wax every scrap of hair off your body, you just have to give a good impression.

Tournaments can demand three color, because if you're going to take time to travel to them and (likely) spend money to go, three-colors is a minuscule entry fee. For stores offering local play, they should encourage customers to paint their army to help bring in customers, but establishing that as a rule will probably lead to no new customers coming.

It's not Gatekeeping though. It's Shaming. Nobody will aggressively slap your models off the table and tell you to get out until it's painted. Someone will 100% tell you you should finish painting your models, and give you disappointed looks when you say you don't have any time.

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I don't get why you'd spend $500 of toy soldiers, spend a dozen of hours assembling it, then feel satisfying to leave it as an unreadable grey goo on the table. (when it is not a problem of time to paint)

If warhammer was really about the strategy game part it would be played with little wooden blocks with weapons written on it. 

If you feel like tt standard is gatekeeping, your 3 colors are going to ruin your models, I think you invested in the wrong hobby. I mean it with no intent to be dismissive, but the total war games is probably going to be a better way  to spend your time while enjoying warhammer. Because the miniature game isn't that good it is worth to spend the money and time required even without painting to be played. 

Edited by ian0delond
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It really comes down to the context in which you're playing.

I'm one of those people who (generally) maintains a pretty ironclad standard of it'll only go on the table if it's painted. I like the feeling of having a fully-painted army when I play a game, I like getting compliments, I like the feeling of laying everything out...it's what I like out of the hobby. As some other folks have said here, I have no problem with playing an unpainted army, but if I had to pick I would absolutely pick an opponent who has labored over their army as much or more than mine. It's a mindset thing - they want their army to look awesome, I want my army to look awesome, therefore we have more to talk about. The connection is stronger.

And you know what? I bet the player who only sees blocks on stats when looking at a model would rather play against an opponent who is much more game-focused than I am. They'll get what they want, I'll get what I want.

Let's talk specifically about tournaments for a moment:

A tournament is just that same idea blown up to 50/100/200+ people, instead of just 2. Big tournaments are the pinnacle of the game in many ways, so naturally they should showcase the best the players have to offer, in terms of both presentation and in-game ability. At least that's what I expect when I go to a tournament. Is that a barrier to entry? Sure, but is it necessarily bad? I don't think so.

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50 minutes ago, ian0delond said:

I don't get why you'd spend $500 of toy soldiers, spend a dozen of hours assembling it, then feel satisfying to leave it as an unreadable grey goo on the table. (when it is not a problem of time to paint)

I don't really get it either, and yet you have the actual world where there are heaps of people who do exactly this, happily.  So even though I don't get it, I'm not going to stand in their face and tell them they are doing it wrong.

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The answer for me is easy.

Warhammer is a hobby,and if some people(like me) dont like paint but love collect armys and play some games i dont see where is the problem.

I have read coments about how they dont want play with anyone that dont put time in his army or if he havent painted nothing betwen games.......but this is a hobby and that people maybe enjoy play that army and i dont see how someone must stop his joy because his minis arent painted.

In my comunity nobody ever have said no to a game due to unpainted minis and if i hear any person say it,i gonna stop playing with that dude and trying get games with the grey army dude.

Also its ironic,as many of these elitist that dont want play against grey plastic are playing with armys painted by others,or the clasic 0 mold lane and gap removed only primed and some fast flash with aero in 3 colors and call that painted.

Myself i am a perfeccionist moddeler that spend as 6-10 hours to build only one basic infantry model(as a fyreslayer hearthguard berzerker), because i remove every mold,gap,seam and use many diferent paper files untill the model is perfect and i find funny read comments as; i wont play against unpainted armys because they dont put time in his army.

When my grey army have taken me around 250 hours to build but he only spent as 20 hours speed building and speed painting his army to get it ready for tabletop.

I know almost everyone prefer play against painted armys but to me isnt fun paint,i LOVE collect every unit of a battletome and so betwen games the rival never gonna watch me bring me any mini painted but for sure i gonna bring any new unit lol

To summarice,the hobby have many aspects,collect,lore,building,playing and painting.

Nobody can tell to other person that must paint if he dont like it

Edited by Doko
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8 hours ago, amysrevenge said:

I don't really get it either, and yet you have the actual world where there are heaps of people who do exactly this, happily.  So even though I don't get it, I'm not going to stand in their face and tell them they are doing it wrong.

There’s a myriad of reasons:

-People want to play, once the models are assembled they‘re ready to be played 

-People don’t like to paint and commissions are very expensive

-People might feel like they can’t paint well enough 

My personal reason: The painting takes ages (in my case since I want the models to have a certain level of quality) - so I end up with ~30% of all my armies painted. Do I feel bad about it? Nope. Why I want the quality? The models were expensive so they should look decent, otherwise it feels like devaluing them.

It might sound harsh, yet I‘ve faced a lot of armies (40k mostly) that‘d rather stayed grey, boy did the miserable paint job and taste of colors annihalate the immersion. Yet I don’t mind playing those people since both sides still have fun.

in other words: Painting the minis just for the sake of having them painted is stupid in my opinion.

image.jpeg.dc1d1d6576066a05d6e2dfdae85d28a9.jpeg

Edited by JackStreicher
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On 9/8/2021 at 8:25 AM, amysrevenge said:

I strictly enforce a "no unpainted models on the table" rule.  For myself.

I have no requirements for my opponent, other than "please at least have mostly-assembled models on the vast majority of your bases".

I am happy with limited-scope events (such as a league or a tournament) enforcing whatever painting standard they wish. 

I'm unhappy with a public (or public-ish) play area enforcing the same.  Happily, I've never encountered this in the real world.

This is basically the perfect philosophy. 

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In my opinion you shouldn’t cherrypick one aspect of the game and make it the single focus of your hobby. Or if you do, acknowledge that you are in deed the outlier.

I like to play thematic armies at tournaments for example. I optimise them, but I won’t change their theme & core just to give myself better chances of winning. Hence I don’t expect to reach the top ranks. I recognise the context of play (tournament, people want to win etc.) and adjust my standards. Painting standards for example in that environment boil down to readability. Can I see where and what everything is? Everything else is a bonus.

But that acknowledgment goes both ways. What is perfectly fine for a tournament might not be fine in other contexts.

Our local beer & pretzel sunday is for having a good time and get immersed in the game. Here bringing a netdecked list and not having your army painted to some standard (or at least constantly working on it would be the outlier. Here, others would have to adjust their expectations and standards.

Game night at the local games store? Something inbetween.

I hope it’s clear where I‘m going with this.

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10 hours ago, Doko said:

The answer for me is easy.

Warhammer is a hobby,and if some people(like me) dont like paint but love collect armys and play some games i dont see where is the problem.

I have read coments about how they dont want play with anyone that dont put time in his army or if he havent painted nothing betwen games.......but this is a hobby and that people maybe enjoy play that army and i dont see how someone must stop his joy because his minis arent painted.

In my comunity nobody ever have said no to a game due to unpainted minis and if i hear any person say it,i gonna stop playing with that dude and trying get games with the grey army dude.

Also its ironic,as many of these elitist that dont want play against grey plastic are playing with armys painted by others,or the clasic 0 mold lane and gap removed only primed and some fast flash with aero in 3 colors and call that painted.

Myself i am a perfeccionist moddeler that spend as 6-10 hours to build only one basic infantry model(as a fyreslayer hearthguard berzerker), because i remove every mold,gap,seam and use many diferent paper files untill the model is perfect and i find funny read comments as; i wont play against unpainted armys because they dont put time in his army.

When my grey army have taken me around 250 hours to build but he only spent as 20 hours speed building and speed painting his army to get it ready for tabletop.

I know almost everyone prefer play against painted armys but to me isnt fun paint,i LOVE collect every unit of a battletome and so betwen games the rival never gonna watch me bring me any mini painted but for sure i gonna bring any new unit lol

To summarice,the hobby have many aspects,collect,lore,building,playing and painting.

Nobody can tell to other person that must paint if he dont like it

 

Most of the posts here wanting people to paint have just generally wanted one thing 'an effort made to paint the models' it doesn't have to be right away, it doesn't have to be perfect, but at least try. That's what the posters who want people to paint their armies are asking. Now you are fully within your rights to say that you don't want to paint, and refuse to do so. Alright that's your personal choice, hobby how you want to, but don't call those who want to see painted armies 'elitist', and then turn around and brag about how your a 'perfectionist modeler' who spends hundreds of hours assembling your army versus a 20 hour speed build.

Edited by GrogTheGrognard
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10 minutes ago, GrogTheGrognard said:

turn around and brag about how your a 'perfectionist modeler' who spends hundreds of hours assembling your army versus a 20 hour speed build.

the point was that "effort" isn't just about painting though, and while I don't take that long to build stuff I do agree that the building IS part of putting effort into your army. you can say people don't put effort into painting, but don't say they put no effort into an army that is fully built and on the tabletop.

Edited by CommissarRotke
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I wanted to say something that may be a bit uncomfortable to hear for some: Some painters spend a little too much time hobbying on their armies, while the game moves on around them. I don't think many here do this, but we have several in our community and it just feels like they aren't really contributing anything but instagram pics ya know? 

For example: We have a local guy who paints at the highest level. His models are stunning. He has been working on an Admech army for years. We also have a guy who speed-painted an Ogor army in 24 hours lol. Guess who runs events and shows up to every thursday night?

I will end with an analogy that I still think about.

I have two friends that are into racing. One bought an old VW and spent a few weeks fixing it up with friends. He entered it in countless dirt track races. It ended up getting pretty beat up over the years but he made a lot of friends and won a few trophies along the way. 

One bought a dodge viper, and begin meticulously suping it up for drag racing. It was garage kept and only driven a few days a month. He spent years on it, and its was amazing. He was getting pretty close to finishing it up and getting ready to start racing.

Then our local race track closed due to lack of attendance. 

Just something to keep in mind. If you are gonna put 250 hours into an army, just make sure you put an equal amount of time in the community. Otherwise you won't have an opponent to field it vs :(

 

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8 hours ago, JackStreicher said:

My personal reason: The painting takes ages (in my case since I want the models to have a certain level of quality) - so I end up with ~30% of all my armies painted. Do I feel bad about it? Nope. Why I want the quality? The models were expensive so they should look decent, otherwise it feels like devaluing them.

This really resonated with me. I understand putting in an "effort" to get something on the table with paint. But damn does it not feel like a waste of money when you're a beginner painter since everything looks like ****** haha

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GW is the spectacle, for me. That's the selling point. It's also their own selling point, it's in their mission statement. Said mission statement says nothing about developing games or rules, interestingly. 

GW rules simply arent fun or good enough to be without a sense of spectacle. I will cheerfully play games of any system which are good enough to not require that sense of spectacle or beauty. Bit I think its integral to the DNA of model soldiers, honestly. Its there to create a beautiful vision as much as it is to play out a challenge. Otherwise why not just play with tokens or cut outs?

It's the genesis of Warhammer. It evolved from a way to play out RPGs and narratives with toy soldiers that people already owned. There was never any intent of creating a sport out of it. Principally it was an act of collaboration and community, not an antagonistic system. I think Warhammer at it's best is still that. The best battle reports to watch are when people are playing out the battle together and informing each other of outcomes. 

Now as I say, maybe one day the rules will develop the sort of elegance and robustness to make play for it's own sake the main appeal. But in my opinion GW games have always been, with a few exceptions, appallingly poor on that front. 

People can spend time how they like, but three hours to fumble over faqs, forgotten rules, passive aggression and spending about an hour of it counting dice pips recreating a battle waged by absurdly expensive non descript grey blobs of plastic?  That ain't it for me.

Or most people. GW markets itself on painted miniatures and it's why most people get into it. That and the lore/fiction. So again- recreation of drama and colour. 

As I say- not saying others can't do or enjoy otherwise. But its pretty clear to my why the 3 colours expectation exists. Itsdrawing from the entire history of wargames as at least in part, a matter of spectacle.

A playground for hardnosed tactitians looking for well designed competitive games that truly test their ability to master complex competitive systems , GW is not.

Edited by Nos
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4 hours ago, Landohammer said:

I wanted to say something that may be a bit uncomfortable to hear for some: Some painters spend a little too much time hobbying on their armies, while the game moves on around them. I don't think many here do this, but we have several in our community and it just feels like they aren't really contributing anything but instagram pics ya know? 

For example: We have a local guy who paints at the highest level. His models are stunning. He has been working on an Admech army for years. We also have a guy who speed-painted an Ogor army in 24 hours lol. Guess who runs events and shows up to every thursday night?

I will end with an analogy that I still think about.

I have two friends that are into racing. One bought an old VW and spent a few weeks fixing it up with friends. He entered it in countless dirt track races. It ended up getting pretty beat up over the years but he made a lot of friends and won a few trophies along the way. 

One bought a dodge viper, and begin meticulously suping it up for drag racing. It was garage kept and only driven a few days a month. He spent years on it, and its was amazing. He was getting pretty close to finishing it up and getting ready to start racing.

Then our local race track closed due to lack of attendance. 

Just something to keep in mind. If you are gonna put 250 hours into an army, just make sure you put an equal amount of time in the community. Otherwise you won't have an opponent to field it vs :(

 

It's a hobby. You do what you want within the confines of respecting other peoples right to do the same. You dont owe "the community" nor does it owe you. You engage with it as much or little as you like.

Posting insta pics and pouring over conversions is as much a part of being in the community as playing games and spending as little time as possible on making it look presentable. The hobby as is would be a very different beast without one or other. 

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13 minutes ago, Nos said:

It's a hobby. You do what you want within the confines of respecting other peoples right to do the same. You dont owe "the community" nor does it owe you. You engage with it as much or little as you like.

Posting insta pics and pouring over conversions is as much a part of being in the community as playing games and spending as little time as possible on making it look presentable. The hobby as is would be a very different beast without one or other. 

Thats true. And some folks are totally fine with just sharing pics and engaging online. For some the process/results of painting is the goal itself. Nothing wrong with that.

Not me though. I enjoy painting, but its a means for me to play games and throw dice and chill with fellow nerds at my FLGS.  

But I have been around long enough to see multiple game systems die. And one of the worst feelings ever is having a fully painted army and a passion for a game, but no opponents. 

So I just have a sense of urgency and I convey that to the people I teach. My mantra is "a tabletop quality army is 1000x more appealing than an army that's never finished". 

But we can probably agree there is a happy medium here. There is a large gap between 3 color minimum and 10 hours spent removing mold lines on a single model lol

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4 hours ago, Landohammer said:

I wanted to say something that may be a bit uncomfortable to hear for some: Some painters spend a little too much time hobbying on their armies, while the game moves on around them. I don't think many here do this, but we have several in our community and it just feels like they aren't really contributing anything but instagram pics ya know? 

For example: We have a local guy who paints at the highest level. His models are stunning. He has been working on an Admech army for years. We also have a guy who speed-painted an Ogor army in 24 hours lol. Guess who runs events and shows up to every thursday night?

I will end with an analogy that I still think about.

I have two friends that are into racing. One bought an old VW and spent a few weeks fixing it up with friends. He entered it in countless dirt track races. It ended up getting pretty beat up over the years but he made a lot of friends and won a few trophies along the way. 

One bought a dodge viper, and begin meticulously suping it up for drag racing. It was garage kept and only driven a few days a month. He spent years on it, and its was amazing. He was getting pretty close to finishing it up and getting ready to start racing.

Then our local race track closed due to lack of attendance. 

Just something to keep in mind. If you are gonna put 250 hours into an army, just make sure you put an equal amount of time in the community. Otherwise you won't have an opponent to field it vs :(

 

Are you aware that there are people who do nothing but paint for the enjoyment of painting and don't play at all? Personally I don't get to play because of lack of time, and painting is something I can squeeze in at odd hours of the day so it is more accessible than gaming. I also would say that my love of the models far surpasses my love of the actual gaming - the latter is more of an excuse to hang out with friends and drink beer. Ain't nothing wrong with that. Also, that's like 70% of the Horus Heresy community 😄

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5 minutes ago, Ggom said:

Are you aware that there are people who do nothing but paint for the enjoyment of painting and don't play at all? Personally I don't get to play because of lack of time, and painting is something I can squeeze in at odd hours of the day so it is more accessible than gaming. I also would say that my love of the models far surpasses my love of the actual gaming - the latter is more of an excuse to hang out with friends and drink beer. Ain't nothing wrong with that. Also, that's like 70% of the Horus Heresy community 😄

I am aware. But I have never met anyone like that in person because they never show up to actual events 🤣

But listen, I'm not downplaying anyone's enjoyment. I value everyone who participates at any level. And at the end of the day, they are supporting FLGS (and ultimately GW) just as much as I am. And thats good.

I just personally find the painting combined with playing to be more enriching and challenging than just painting models. And its my opinion that the physical community aspect of the game is crucial to its longevity. 

 

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Do I love to see fully painted models, and set up battlefields which are basically miniature dioramas? Absolutely.

I don't personally like to play with unpainted models if I can possibly help it, I'd far rather see them fully painted, and don't really consider the grey ones to have "souls".

But I absolutely do not insist on anything from my opponents, because really its none of my business.

There are a myriad of reasons which someone might have for not finishing painting an army. Its a big job, and doing it well enough to get results which you are happy with can take hundreds if not thousands of hours. I quite enjoy painting, even though I'm not technically very good at it, so that is worth the effort for me. For a lot of people here it clearly is too, but there is no reason why it should be for everyone.

Maybe you have small kids, or a busy work schedule, perhaps you have an illness or a disability which limits what you can do. For that matter paint is expensive, perhaps you could only just afford to get the models you needed, and making them look nice will need to be budgeted for later. A random opponent you meet at a store doesn't necessarily know your life story, so they have no right to look at your unpainted models and assume you are just lazy.

And if you are just lazy? So what? Its a hobby. Its supposed to be a fun diversion, not a second job! Just because you like models, and like playing the game doesn't mean you want to dedicate your entire existence and most of your (perhaps limited) spare time to the all consuming behemoth that is the "Games Workshop Hobby". There are a lot of people for whom warhammer isn't their main hobby, its a second or third interest, or something thy do occasionally. That is absolutely fine, they are still a part of this community.

Never making progress on your army because you work long hours should not be a "better excuse" than never making progress because you wanted to play skyrim that weekend instead. Life is too short. Do what you want to do, and be happy doing it.

If you only play a game every couple of months, and maybe pick up a paintbrush when you're on holiday, it doesn't mean that you have any less right to be able to get a game when you want to as someone who has won golden daemons and plays in every tournament.

Warhammer is for everyone, however they want to engage with it.

Edit...

( And don't get be started on the three colours and done "requirement". If you want to paint your models, paint them, if you don't don't! you shouldn't be forced to apply a certain volume of paint haphazardly in order to qualify to play with them.)

Edited by EccentricCircle
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I didn't know it could be possible for people to have an argument on this. Just inform others from your envy and expectations and don't bother playing with people who doens't meet your requirements. If you end up alone and unhappy it's you who were wrong.

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2 hours ago, Perturbato said:

I didn't know it could be possible for people to have an argument on this. Just inform others from your envy and expectations and don't bother playing with people who doens't meet your requirements. If you end up alone and unhappy it's you who were wrong.

Or maybe you were just unlucky and happen to live in an area with a small community and not enough players to find people with an approach to the hobby similar to yours?

In my personal experience (a small town relatively removed from the big scenes of the country where I live) the standard is whatever the few AoS players at my club want (and have time) to do

 

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One goofy idea I'd like to see take hold is just painting an army a single color and then hitting it with a wash and some basing to approximate the look and feel of scenes from fantasy shows where they are wargaming using carved wood and stone tokens as pieces. E.g. Game 

I empathize with people who have neither the time, inclination, or talent to spend hundreds of hours painting an army even to a three-color standard. Truth be told, many bad paint jobs actually take away from the quality of the models. But a simple approach like this would add a simple level of theme. I think it would work well for the Ice and Fire game in particular, but it could be a decent approach for AoS as well.

 

 

Painted-Table-season7.png

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4 hours ago, wargames101 said:

One goofy idea I'd like to see take hold is just painting an army a single color and then hitting it with a wash and some basing to approximate the look and feel of scenes from fantasy shows where they are wargaming using carved wood and stone tokens as pieces. E.g. Game 

I empathize with people who have neither the time, inclination, or talent to spend hundreds of hours painting an army even to a three-color standard. Truth be told, many bad paint jobs actually take away from the quality of the models. But a simple approach like this would add a simple level of theme. I think it would work well for the Ice and Fire game in particular, but it could be a decent approach for AoS as well.

 

 

Painted-Table-season7.png

When i first got into the hobby i legit thought it would be cool and thematic to do a monochrome black and white paintjob. For something like warhammer quest on the baddies for instance, to add contrast to heroes painted in other colors.

For all the folks who mention the hurdle of painting (both skill and time) - I wanted to share the simplicity of the sketch style approach:

http://www.contrastminiatures.com/learn/sketching/learning-to-sketch-an-overview/

Cut back to it’s core, sketch style is like zenithal + controlled washes (aka dont drown the miniature in wash as advertised by GW.) I learned this approach a few years ago and it’s very fast and satisfying. Contrast paints are sort of a branch of this style. Sketching easily expands into more advanced painting as well - the way I’ve heard it described is as fundamentals for more advanced painting, because it teaches you about light and shadows as you work the sketch.

Edited by Ggom
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10 hours ago, wargames101 said:

One goofy idea I'd like to see take hold is just painting an army a single color and then hitting it with a wash and some basing to approximate the look and feel of scenes from fantasy shows where they are wargaming using carved wood and stone tokens as pieces.

I think this is exactly why I love the pure monochromatic Nighthaunt and 'Stonecast' schemes so much. 

I think that more armies should go the ethereal and stone routes though. I have always wanted to run Daughters of Khaine as an army of living statues for Aelves with a some slithery Gorgon/Lamia slithering between. I also planned on painting an Idoneth army with all the sea creatures as spirits summoned by the Aelves magic. I am waivering on my own stormcast and was thinking of doing them as bronze statues with a heavy patina. But now I am thinking of going with a bronze and purple scheme to fit with a recent interest in the bronze age. 


 

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16 hours ago, Ggom said:

For all the folks who mention the hurdle of painting (both skill and time) - I wanted to share the simplicity of the sketch style approach:

http://www.contrastminiatures.com/learn/sketching/learning-to-sketch-an-overview/

Cut back to it’s core, sketch style is like zenithal + controlled washes (aka dont drown the miniature in wash as advertised by GW.) I learned this approach a few years ago and it’s very fast and satisfying. Contrast paints are sort of a branch of this style. Sketching easily expands into more advanced painting as well - the way I’ve heard it described is as fundamentals for more advanced painting, because it teaches you about light and shadows as you work the sketch.

Absolutely agree. I use a zenithal prime (wraithbone over black) for all my painting now and I've found that it makes contrast paints so much more effective. 

I don't love painting, but I find satisfaction in completing a miniature. Zenithal priming plus contrast gets me to that point of satisfaction much more quickly, and ultimately gets my models on the table not stuck in the 'to do' pile. 

I agree with others who have said that tabletop wargaming is a spectacle, complete with immersive terrain and painted models. I wouldn't gatekeep someone who plays with grey plastic, but I would gravitate more towards others who want to play the game in the same way I do. 

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