Virtual Vs Fantasy Worlds – My Fight

I suppose the fact that I have waited this long was reasonably fortuitous considering Servitob’s post regarding gaming pal CaRaBuS and his new-found War of the Ringness. Currently there is an agreement between myself and Servitob regarding this game which has been mentioned on this very blog, that he will not get his army for it until I have completely finished painting mine. I have, of course, made some progress on this front and the first fruits of that endeavour have been posted upon this very blog. I was assembling some more stuff a few weeks back but have to admit that for the past few months the painting has been on the decline. This is a situation I want to remedy and therefore as I am talking about getting War of the Ring stuff painted you may wonder why I have started off the post with a picture of the box art from Warcraft 3?

Aren’t you glad I am going to tell you? But first, a small aside, on July 21st 6 Inch Move was blessed (and quite excited) to reach 10,000 hits on our motion tracker, yesterday we hit 20,000. It took us almost a year to hit 10,000 and a little over a month to double it, so, another thank you to our readership for continuing to stop by.

When you mention the word gamer I think there are really two sub-categories that can be fallen into, Video Games and Tabletop Games. I also believe that you will be hard pressed to find a tabletop gamer that doesn’t play video games, the opposite would not be so difficult. Obviously tabletop games have been around longer than video games and were the herald of the nerdy/geek image movement. Yet with the advent and steady increase in availability of computer systems and their prevalence in society, the stigma associated with gaming is lessened on the video gaming front but still firmly attached to those of us who spend out time with toy soldiers. While there are still people who will ostracise those who enjoy spending time on their PCs the massive prominence of consoles makes gaming as a past time much more acceptable than it once was.

I am not going to try to blow open a debate on this though, as a tabletop gamer I also have a thing for video games, I believe that the same thing that grabs me about the worlds brought to life through physical gaming is what also attracts me to a virtual environment. You get to spend time in another world. With all of the stresses and endless array of work that normal everyday life throws at you a bit of escapism can be a welcome break from that day of banging your head against a brick wall after getting hassled by your boss. Whether that is spent gluing some Orcs together in the privacy of your own sanctum or kicking their asses into tiny pieces to see how many of them actually have a liver for some bizarre hand in on a quest if a personal choice. However, while video gamers are not in the majority tabletop gamers, we tabletop gamers do like our video games and this, at least for me, causes problems.

To assemble and paint an army requires a LOT of effort, it is not an endeavour that we take on lightly, nor should it be. We make a commitment when we get into a game that a fully painted army is what we are headed for, our ultimate goal if you like and nothing looks better than playing a game with two armies fully painted, I’ve done it in the past and I’ll do it again. I know that for some people the game is more important than the painting and they don’t feel it a requirement to ever apply paint to their models, this isn’t my take on the hobby as I consider painting your force to be integral to the gaming, therefore the ultimatum from Servitob becomes more relevant. I have all the models, I just need to actually finish painting them and having skipped a few months I am behind where I would like to be. I am also trying to rapidly assemble my Warhammer 8th army so I can play with that while finishing my War of the Ring painting.

What has got in the way for me is the video games, I got Final Fantasy XIII for my birthday last month (that’s right Internet, you never even got me a card, let alone a present, you are blackmarked come Christmas I tell you!) as well as I’ve picked up Naughty Bear, Mass Effect 2 and Super Street Fighter 4 all for my 360. While I haven’t done a lot of gaming on my console I have spent a lot of time on the PC, time I could be putting to better use on my more physical gaming. This is the distraction from getting my models finished, there are virtual worlds that I enjoy being in and they do help me relax and offer rewards for completing milestones (some of these quest-giving NPCs must have vast pockets to keep offering characters the choice of 5 or 6 armours or weapon items for collecting random body parts that are worryingly absent from some creatures). Yet, when I spend time on these games I look over the table at my array of models and feel like I am betraying them. For a few months now I’ve not painted a thing, only assembled pieces here and there, I need to get back into the habit of painting and have a whole formation of Easterlings ready and waiting for me to paint them, no work other than dipping the brush in the paint pot is required to start them.

With Autumn fast approaching and the darker nights rolling in painting is going to get harder (I do have a daylight lamp for painting at night) and I don’t want to fall even further behind. So I ask you, Google spiders, what do you do to avoid the distraction of other worlds in order to help you get that last unit finished?

I need to break the PC habit and crack on with the items for War of the Ring, now I’ve publicly stated that, maybe that will help me give it a go.

7 thoughts on “Virtual Vs Fantasy Worlds – My Fight”

  1. A noble commitment, my friend!

    In order to use your painting time effectively you must focus. For example, don’t paint while watching the TV. Listen to some rousing music or a talking book. Your eyes need to be fixed to the task at hand. As for your ears, well, I’ve never noticed that listening to miniatures improves the job.

    Once the paint starts to flow you will notice the results of your efforts. This will hopefully encourage you, and eventually that mighty big mountain you face now will be gradually conquered. Then you can buy more stuff!


    Have you ever met a gamer who has painted everything? No? Exactly!

  2. Servitob is right, I still have plenty of unpainted models.

    I found that setting a time goal helped me a lot. If I know that I have to have them all finished by a certain date then I ignore the computer for a few weeks, stop watching Battlestar Galactica DVDs and paint like crazy. Try working on one unit or company at a time. For my speed painting I apply the same colour to about 20 models, then do the next colour and so on and by the end of the afternoon you have a unit that is almost painted. Whilst painting my Tyranids I switched between painting a unit of gaunts and something else like a monster or a unit of warriors.

    Oh and just to rub salt into your painting wounds, I managed to do about 5000 points of Tyranids in 2 months. But at least you know my method works ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. ZombiePirateXXX My advice would be NOT to force yourself to paint, doing so is like going on a diet, you start to look at it as a chore and takes the fun out of it! What I do and would recommend would be to try and paint for and hour or two each evening and then go and play a game or something, come home from an evening out or a stressful day paint with some good music to take that stress away and do the family thing etc…

    Paint in batches (as mentioned by Gribblin) you donโ€™t see much results to start with but as you are adding the last colours you get great satisfaction from seeing a company finished.

    Lower your expectations/standards.

    What I mean is if you are painting 200 men paint the main troops quickly but neatly and spend more time on the main characters, this is still an alien concept to me but I am starting to come around. Seriously just by painting to a slightly lower standard on the rank and file saves a huge amount of time. If that is too far for you paint just the rear ranks of companies to this lower standard (perhaps lower is a bad term!)

    Use the “Dip” method, its a massive time saver and the results can be amazing! I wan not convinced but I have seen so many fantastic results. Check this out:

    If you are against the dip method you can do the same with GW washes, it works the same way, that what I am doing at the moment, but I have used the dip for my Romans.

    Another tip, miniatures canโ€™t see, so forget painting the eyes on the rear rank and file, just paint them a dark colour, I think it can add a perspective to the unit of depth.

    Well I hope that helps, cus I’d really like to see them on the table and give them dirty eastern scum a sound kicking ๐Ÿ™‚

    For Gondor!


    1. Just so happens I picked up a pot of Devlan Mud (heard good reports about it) from Questing Knight when I was there last picking up my 8th edition mail order model bonanza. I’ll be giving it a try, I’ll also hold off on the highlighting of my Easterlings, I’ve worked out their colours and done a test model, I’d prefer to give it some more highlighting to finish it but as they are plastic I reckon I can come back to that once the army is on the table painted.

      I don’t know if it the same for you but when I see the comments to the right hand side of the date and time is an (Edit) button in brackets. If it’s not there then register with WordPress and we can invite you to join us in the Citadel!

      1. I have an account and I am logged in but dont see an edit button…

        Devlin Mud is excellent, using on my Gondor as I type, well you know what I mean. I have to say I am very impressed with it.

        Look forward to seeing your Easterlings. Did you get the email with that cheap site? War Mumak of Harad ยฃ35 posted. However I don’t want you to buy one until I can figure out how to kill the things!

        Throwing Rohirrim at them might work. Any volunteers?

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