The reason why I picked up X-wing miniatures was because everything comes pre-painted. I was always of the philosophy that war games that force you to paint your own stuff were 1). a money sink 2). a time sink and 3). way more effort than it’s worth. I still hold that opinion with games like Warhammer 40k or Hordes or something. It’s just way too much work for me. On the contrary, I have been rather curious about miniatures that aren’t necessarily essential to the game you’re playing. Many people I follow on Twitter paint stuff and put it up. Boy, let me tell you, I’m captivated by it every time too.
When a friend of mine had to leave home to join the Navy, he left behind some RPG stuff for us in the game group. Among those, I got an original box of the Lord of the Rings tabletop game (with everything from 2001!) and a metric butt-load of unpainted skeletons. Well, more like 10 of them. Originally, I had planned to just leave them be and use them the way they are. After all, I did just complain I didn’t have time for that, right? Well, a couple years later, I started to get itchy. That’s what took me to where I am now. I went to my FLGS, Battleground Games and Hobbies to pick up a starting paint kit.
My first two finished minis.
What I know so far? Money sink, check. Time sink, check. More effort than it’s worth, though? Surprisingly, not really. I found it almost felt natural to me, although skeletons aren’t exactly the toughest thing in the world to paint. Something I didn’t anticipate from picking this part of the hobby up was this feeling of completion once you throw the finishing touches on a piece. It’s almost a sort of therapy for me now, only four figures into it. It’s a process that’ll be eternally refined, but to tune out the world to focus on this little thing just has this magic to it. Luckily for me, and others who are starting out, we have these huge resources on the internet to help us out. Michael Mordor over at Reaper Miniatures has been nothing but helpful to my learning experience. Learning how other people do their painting process, what products they use and how they refine colors to get what they need is totally invaluable.
So, in short: If you have the itch, scratch it. It’s at least worth seeing if you enjoy it. Worst case, you don’t, and you can sell what you bought second hand. It’s stupidly easy to get rid of unwanted game stuff, these days. As for me, you’ll be able to see me hone my skills through my Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Stay Metal \m/