In a June post regarding wargames magazines I mentioned (in rather rude terms) my views on what I consider the excessively high standards to which some wargames figures are painted these days. I thought it worth highlighting that none other than Rick Priestley has been writing about the same thing in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy magazine. Many thanks to the producers of WSS for making this particular piece of writing available online.
|A worried man.|
The article is an excellent one and well worth reading. As you might expect, whilst Rick seems to have some doubts about how things are going, he is much more positive and circumspect than myself. But what is one to think when a wargamer with Rick's high standards ends up writing "now I sometimes despair of picking up the paintbrush and showing the results to my fellow gamers"? Sad indeed.
Rick's insider's view informs us of a major reason for the trend in wargaming figures that are just too good. I wrote in my post that "dedicated figure painters have much to answer for", blaming hobbyists for the tendency. Rick indicates that commercial pressures must bear much of the blame (assuming you believe 'blame' is the right word). It seems launching and sustaining new and existing ranges can only be done if the figures are shown as individual subjects painted to the highest possible professional standard, regardless of how much it might cost.
The barrage of such images online and in magazines inevitably buttresses the view that this is the standard we must all strive for. To anyone who holds that view, my response is, balderdash. But make your own mind up. To this end, I recommend this blog post, which is a good one, although I tend to disagree with it. Certainly, if Mr Priestley is having doubts (even polite ones), I think we have confirmation that this is a subject worth airing. And I would like to encourage as many gamers as possible to ignore the deviation into 'miniature works of art' and to paint their figures to what is often called 'a good wargames standard'. And be proud of it. Let the producers of over-painted and over-costly figures be the ones to despair.
Block painters of the world unite!