Friday, 11 January 2013

Wherein I join the wargames fashion police

I am the last person that would consider joining the ranks of the WFP (Wargames Fashion Police). My Marlburians were painted up 'near enough'. My Revolutionary French have any old flag because the 'numbers are too small to read'. My Israeli tanks are not pure Sinai Grey (the most infuriating colour I have ever tried to replicate). So why did I decide to comment on a blog that I have happily followed for a couple of years with a form of the worst WFP pedantry?
OK, I tried to put the comment in the least offensive way possible, because the chap whose blog it is is an incredible painter who has given me ideas for techniques and is truly inspirational. But anyway you look at it, I felt like a bit of a prat. All the other comments were totally supportive, which doesn't help my anxiety over recent elevation to chief inspector of the WFP.

I can think of two reasons why I might have committed this odious act.
1) Since starting this blog I have been much more active in commenting on the blogs that I follow. It isn't something that I have done with regularity in the past, but I am beginning to discover that it does start to create a sense of community. But regularly posting on other's doings means that there is less room for me to bite my tongue.
2) The figures were for the First World War, and I am so passionate about this period that anything I feel out of place pushes my buttons. In this case it was the colour of Horizon Bleu probably one of the most difficult colours to replicate as it varied so much throughout the army anyway. It just looked too grey to me. I HAD to say something. I'm well aware that the colour of French cloth varied from light grey to bright blue, but if I paint a French army it would most definitely tend towards to the blue side. So maybe it is just me. Maybe the colours that were painted are OK but just not what I would choose to paint?
Whatever the reason, I am handing in my badge now. I have no wish to be a pedant - this is a hobby for us all to enjoy, not get in a tizzy about.
Light blue - more grey?
Blue, blue, BLUE!
Light grey-blue top with blue trousers (chap second from right)?
What a pain in the arse colour!



  1. LOL! Now who's a naughty boy then???

  2. Mea culpa. I have to say that this hair shirt is getting a bit itchy, though.

  3. Nate! Please....take that hair shirt off NOW!!!

    As I mentioned on my blog, I really appreciated you making the comment. You made a really very valid point regarding the tricky colour of Horizon Bleu, and you carefully raised questions that I had worried about myself while painting the figures in question. And of course, I'd actually invited comments on the colour I'd chosen - and you were doing just that.

    What I was so chuffed about when you left the comment was that people could feel comfortable saying "yeah, I like it, but it's not quite right because....". I would always be happy with people saying that.

    It's a world away from the Wargames Fashion Police coming knocking on the door to say "You do know that's wrong, don't you" without offering their thoughts as to why.

    So much of the skill painting figures is impression and personal taste, attempting to conjure in miniature something which just looks "right". I was very happy to have your comment, and will be delighted to have more. So, after that, I do hope that hair shirt's off!


    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Sidney. I guess at least part of it was the fact that I've enjoyed your blog for so long and then my first comment contained criticism. It felt like a bit of an imbalance there.
      I'm also a bit colour blind, and although it usually doesn't affect me in terms of painting and miniatures, I had the sudden thought that maybe I wasn't seeing what everyone else was?
      Don't worry - the hair shirt has been thrown out - it just didn't seem to be the right colour...

  4. Nate.... you think Horizon Blue is difficult? Mate, try British Khaki Serge... its green... no its brown... and its green again! It took me ages to come to a paint scheme that I was happy with. I have to say that I was given some very good advice by a Tony Barton (he of AB Miniatures)who is a brilliant artist and sculptor. He told me to mix my colours lighter than the original shades as they work better on miniatures. I also use different recipes for the same colour (eg British Khaki Drill.... I use about five different ways of achieving the result). I used to get uptight about getting it perfect, but not anymore. Hang loose and enjoy.

  5. Thanks for the advice, Mark. It is a symptom of mass production that different factories over different times produce different uniform colours. I think you are right with the idea of just hanging loose with this.

  6. Dude, you've already begun a practice that will inspire both love and hate from the wargaming community. That's right, you started painted tank lenses and vision blocks in cartoony wargamer style, rather than try to replicate ZOMG XTREME REALIZM.

    For some reason this tends to infuriate a subsection of the moderns wargaming community, from which I (and I hope you will learn too) derive a inordinate amount of schadenfreudy pleasure.

    I used to be a bit more pedantic about colors, but as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate divergent painting styles more and more, as long as they are well done. Everyone has their idiosyncrasies and trademarks and I think people tend to forget this is is artform: not just transcribing what you see, but also HOW you see it.

    God, I got a bit first year philosophy student with that one.

    1. Thanks Tim. First year phil student matches my anxsty teenager! I am usually really relaxed about what other people do, which is why it was unusual for me to post criticism - hence the self-flagellation.
      Looking forward to the comments poking fun at my cartoony lenses. Wait till they see my future Victorian Sci-Fi project painted in block colours with gloss varnish!

  7. LOL, just to confuse the issue further is the effect of lighting when the colour is viewed, can make all the difference too, and what other colours it is next too, all can alter your perception...