One of the things that stands in the way of recruiting new players to the hobby is the significant amount of up-front commitment that a novice has to make before they can even get in a game. Witness the current popularity of "out of the box" boardgames that use minis as counters. These allow interested people a way to get into gaming without having to pick up a paintbrush or organize an army.
A good many people are intimidated by the standard of brushwork that appears in miniature wargaming magazines. To be honest even after painting minis for forty years I can still find the artistry displayed on those pages pretty darned intimidating. I point out to new players that nobody starts out at that level and almost anybody can paint figures up to an attractive standard with reasonable effort. I then show them some of my "early works"; those grizzled veterans that have served under my banners for three or more decades (and continue to serve BTW). These aren't figures with "bad paint jobs" I was doing my very best at the time with the tools that I had. They are just the product of my limited skills and circumstances.
In honor of those ancient warriors, and to encourage newcomers, and anybody else who hesitates to pick up a brush, I am opening a new venue here on the blog; my Humility Corner. I will post from time to time pictures of some of my oldest, most battle-worn troops juxtaposed with some of my better efforts. I encourage any and all readers to send similar pictures of their efforts to my email with the details of the figures and when, and how, they were painted.
To start things off here are my oldest, most experienced warriors; 25mm (yes, back when such things existed- along with dinosaurs) Der Kreigspeilers ancient Greek spearmen, I painted these in the fall of 1976 using Testors oil-based enamel paints (intended for model cars and such). Four decades of service under my command finds them suffering from the fact that they are made of nearly pure lead (notice the dreaded "lead-rot" afflicting some of them) along with much mis-handling. I will keep these heroes in service as long as I wargame.
cast in butter-soft lead (I trimmed the flash with my thumbnail)
they are endlessly getting bent and re-straightened,
a good many have broken off at the ankles
the patchy gray areas are lead-rot a form of oxidation that seems unstoppable short of giving the figures a "dip-n-strip" a heavy coating of Future a while back slowed it down a lot , but I'm still taking casualties from this insidious disease
The years have passed and my skills (although still modest) have improved; these are (not
) Foundry minis "Turkish Officers" I no longer remember if they are from the Great War or the Darkest Africa range but they bear the unmistakable hand of the Perry twins (Boy was I wrong, an astute reader advised me that the Turks are from Copplestone's Castings
). I just liked them when I first saw the package and bought them for no purpose other than the enjoyment of painting a well sculpted figure.
primed flat white with Rustoleum 2xpigment primer
and painted exclusively with Americana brand water-based acrylics,
Future Floor wax protective coat dulled to matte using Armory flat spray
Any reader who wishes to submit similar photos please email them with a description of the mini and the paints and any other pertinent info to me at firstname.lastname@example.org put "humble" in the title in case it goes to spam.
One brave reader has submitted a photo of some of his earliest work. Paul from Paul's Bods
has given us a glimpse into his past with a picture of some Airfix Napoleonics that he painted a long while back.
Normally his work is to a much higher standard (see this photo that I lifted from one of his more recent posts). Take a look at his blog
and remember that he is working with 20mm figures (which are only slightly larger than most "15mm" figures are these days). Beautiful stuff!