Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Why Bother?


I am not sure how many of you guys and gels are as lucky as I am to have a partner as good as mine is. Obviously I am talking hobby wise ;-) I often show Cath what I have recently painted or am part way through. I always get an interested answer and it's always honest, sometimes brutally but always honest. That is a boon in itself but it gets better as she often asks questions, questions I have sometimes failed to ask of my self. So when I was asked why I bothered to paint up the Adler Command to the level I do when I could get away with a more basic job and done so much quicker? I gave her a fairly quick and mostly accurate answer which only raised fresh questions which lead me to look closer at original answer.

So why bother? My quick answer was more or less that command figures get looked at more closely than the regiments and so benefit from the extra work. But that's only a half truth, what follows hopefully is closer to the bone.

Pride. It's a curse but I think it's the largest factor in the equation, hence it's first on the list. Why am I releasing one base at a time, after all it takes longer all told to do single basings that the nine all together. Impact is part of it, paint the lot up and show them at once they have less impact. For the challenge it's not even good use of time as they take longer to do each than any other comparable points supply but still I want to get them all done in the time frame of the challenge. It's that pride thing, it gets them seen by more painters via Curt's blog than just through mine. I get to show off a bit more and the positive comments really do mean something. So yes one of the original sins tops the list.

Fun and Challenge. These are really mixed in together too much to separate. First up these are all painted based on colour plates so should be close to the real thing. This adds to the fun as I know they look right and also to the challenge of pulling it off. I am having a ball doing these and am rather glad I choose to spread them out over a number of weeks.

Focal Points. Turns out the reason I gave first as the MAIN reason is further down the list than I would have thought at first. It still stands and is quite important. I like many other gamers put that bit more effort into command stands and as such seek out others when I look at a game. Anyway well painted commanders make the men fight better.

If the Detail is there.... Command figures seem to often get more detail added than the regular lads, first up often it's because they had more detail to be picked out. Which came first is beyond me to answer but it's the way it is. So I try and paint it, this is one reason Adler is not going to be the first choice for many regarding building an army. The sooner you need the figures the less likely you will go for these as Baccus paint up much faster. Not sure in the other scales if we have comparable examples. When Battle Honours first released their Napoleonic range I felt then that you could go for quick and easy or you bought BH.

It would irritate me. Maybe this would start as the last reason but give it time and I would rate it much higher if I did just do a basic job. I have taken a fresh look at the Baccus command figures I have done for the same army and whilst the detail was not as good I am still happy with the results as I painted them up as well as I have skill to do and that is all that matters to me right here and now.


As to the question is it worth it? I can only say it is for me. I was recently told I was doing a great job with my ASL blog but they were surprised that I was still doing it and how it was great that I was doing it for the community. My response fits now just as well as it did then, I do it more for myself than anyone else and blogging (sub in painting figures) is a self gratifying action. But I don't mind you enjoying the ride  ;-)

18 comments:

  1. I would wholeheartedly agree with all those comments Ian; I feel into the hobby relatively recently and still very much a painter and collector first. To me fun, challenge and pride remain fundamental to the development of my hobby prowess; a great post Sir.

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  2. Strangely, for my FoG armies, I find that people tend to pick up bases from the units rather than command stands when they want to take a look up-close, whereas with my 28mm figures for Saga it is the warlords that they look at most often. However, even in 15mm I spend extra time on the commanders (remember my Rene, Duc de Lorraine? Try freehand painting that heraldry on shield and caparison without taking time!).

    So far I haven't done much in 6mm, but I expect that my commanders when I do will receive extra attention.

    I probably could paint my armies up even quicker if I went for a more basic (=lower standard) look, but I want all my figures to look better than tabletop standard goddammit! :)

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    1. I think possibly the main reason to pick up parts of units is that you can put them down exactly were you picked them up from whilst generals often are not touching other figures. Maybe anyways?

      Good point about speed V quality and I think that often comes down to how much you enjoy painting.

      Ian

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  3. I have to agree, recently I have been building Saga forces and each figure gets looked at so the whole force is painted as individual characters. But the Lunacy don't stop there I do the same across all scales even for multi figure bases like flames of war it is definetaly a pride thing.

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  4. I completely agree with your comments. I make and paint my figures for my own entertainment. I paint all my figures to my own standards even if I know they won't be visible but I think that's my military modelling background.

    I've recently seen some (so called) professionally painted which figures which were so bad it actually annoyed me so much that my brother told me to calm down (which probably says more about me than anything else).

    I have a number of Baccus figures waiting on my table including some that have moustaches! If the sculptor can model that level of detail then at least I can try to do them justice and paint them.

    Regards,
    Matt

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    1. Again good points, Lee brought around a couple of bases of British Naps that he has bought and I was thinking I would do better, though I could not do them in the time scale he needs them. Hopefully I will be painting his ECW 6mm though, after all it's the only way I will get to play against him as they are so far down the need to be painted list for him and I have all the reference data to get them done right.

      One of the more recent Baccus ranges has a general (German SYW?) who not only has a monocle but it's also got a lanyard running from it to a pocket! That's insane detail that I would just not be able to pass by.

      Ian

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  5. I don't much about all this stuff, but I do think you have a great wife. GREAT, I say, great. And your blog is pretty darn groovy as well.

    Cheers and boogie boogie.

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    1. Yes she is, I only question her taste in men ;-)

      ian

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  6. Totally agree. I am not, and will never be, the kind of painter that paints as quickly as possible in the most efficient manner possible to churn out large quantities of finished models that are not up to my own standards. I know there are some hobbyists that do that exact thing, and that is great for them and they have other priorities, but like you I take great personal pride in my painted models.

    Keep up the great work!

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  7. You hit the nail on the head. I have been painting 6mm almost exclusively these last three years, and find myself thinking the same thing: "Why focus on the details? Who is ever going to see?" ..and here comes Pride telling me to add mustaches and beards...

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  8. The detail makes it and pride forces one to do so.
    The more I can bring, detail wise to a mini the better, although it can get frustrating when there´s loads to paint. At the moment I´m painting up 250 austrian napoleonic cav for someone and i can see that if I was to paint them for myself it would drive me crazy trying to paint every button (it would be something like 6000 if I did) but pride would force me into a straight jacket. Worse thing is I find...looking back at minis painted years ago and thinking "definately improved a bit since then, they should be re-painted."

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    1. No Paul, leave them as a living testimony to your continued improvement.

      Ian

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  9. I couldn't agree more! but my mrs couldn't give a hoot she's standing over me now and said "She'd rather stick pins in her eyes, than discus wargaming in any shape of format!".....Bloody nice eh!

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    1. What can I say, Fran will always be Fran but you'd think he would show more interest ;->

      Ian

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  10. Must admit I agree, and the main reason again would be pride I guess.
    I want to display / play with troops I have painted myself and to a decent standard too.
    If I do buy 2nd stuff, its always stripped and repainted...

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  11. Well seems I struck gold with this post, lots of hits (top ten for the month!)and a good number of comments. Seems pride is the main motivator, I don't feel so bad about that now ;-)

    Ian

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  12. I found a level I'm happy with for the hoi polloi and get all fussy with the command figures (Field officers and the like). Never painted a 6mm in my life and the thought of it makes me use control of me vitals, but God loves everyone, or so I'm told . . . .

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