Thursday, 31 July 2008

Thinking out loud...

No pictures this time. The last few days were far too warm to paint anything and I have done nothing more hobbywise then clean up some new mini's. Which ones? Let's say they are new HäT testshots, but I won't tell for what sets :-P

Seriously this period of non-activity has given me some time to think about the hobby in general and my opinions towards it in particular. Boldly stated I could say that there are two main area's in which one could devide the miniatures-hobby: painting ( making diorama's) and gaming.

While I have been painting form age 13 or 14 I have been gaming less long.


I think Iwas about 17 when I played my first game which was a Warhammer 40.000 (WH40K) battle in a shop in Maastricht. I really had NO clue whatsoever as to what I was supposed to do other then roll dice, but my "trusty" opponent helped me through it. Yes I lost and it made me feel very sceptical towards gaming in general. Despite this during my college years I played more games in our local games-shop and developed a certain ideology as to the fact that I mostly lost my games, I game for:

- the joy of seeing your painted figures perform (badly) on the field of battle;
- creating some background/ fluff for your army (this really is important to me, I keep logs for most of my armies and try and build some storyline for most of my units/ characters);
- having a good time.

The last two years have seen me drift away from Warhammer Fantasy and WH40K more and more due to the prices and the company ethos of Games Workshop. It is a too complicated affair to explain it all here but let's just say that apart from being expensive the mentioned games seem to be increasingly aimed at youngsters and being oversimplified of which the fluff is on the loosing side. Anyway, alternatives were already at hand. For Sci-Fi and Fantasy I have several armies/ factions for Warmachine and Classic Battletech and as far as Historical games go I have several games-systems from Warhammer Historical. The latter is at the moment my favourite. It might occur to you that Warhammer Historical is normally part of Games Workshop, the very firm I am loosing interest in but they produce products of a very different stature and content. While the Warhammer Historical games (WH for short) are based upon WHF and WH40K they have taken a different path altogether and provide a separate games-system of their own.

The main reason for my preference for WH, I guess, is twofold:

A) WH does not produce a line of figures, players can choose what miniatures they'd like to use and ergo WH does not have sales figures for miniatures to fulfil.
B) The WH books are mostly written by us: the gamer.

All this and the fact that, strange enough, most armies needed for WH games, are available in 1:72 plastic makes this my present numero uno games-system.


To me this is the soul and centre of the hobby. I like painting immensely better then gaming. I do not have a well-defined philosophy to painting but do have some guidelines ( rather like the Pirates' Code come to think of it) .

- I paint figures in 3 classes: showcase, diorama and wargaming.
- Whatever is not used for the first 2 classes will automatically fall in the last category.
- Recently I was very frustrated about not getting any projects finished as is the gamers/ painters bane. I raved and ranted that I would not start a new project until I had at least finished one of the present ones. Then the voice of reason came through, or rather my girlfriend's sane look on things: Why should I not start new projects? It is the joy of the hobby and no-one can tell me not too! And if I divide a project into smaller ones, that ARE finishable within a short timespan, I could actually get things done easier. So now that's what I adhere to.

An example of the latter: I have planned and am now executing a project for an 1806 Prussian Napoleonic Army made up of HäT sets. I have refrained from fixing up all the mini's at once and have rather made up several regiments (20 or so miniatures each) complete with full command to paint unit for unit. I have finished 2 already with 2 more in the blocks.

What was my aim with this rambling post? Don't know but I have got it off my chest. Well beddytime for me!

Cheers Sander

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