This week’s Fangirl Feature is from Battle Brush Studios
Hobby showcase! Share with us: Your favourite images
What games/systems are you most interested in/do you collect?
Too many to list and of pretty much all genres. Historical wargaming is a large chunk of what I do, mostly because I enjoy the freedom to choose, the research and the fact that what happens on the table is meant to represent something. Lately, I’ve done some more Fantasy gaming again, mainly small, skirmishy things based on Song of Blades and Heroes. I also got a large collection of 40k figures (of course), some of which I recently got out to play some Kill Team. To keep it short I’ll just list the rules I played in the past few games: Sellswords and Spellslingers, Kill Team, Sharp Practice, Kill Team, Blitzbowl, Over Malvern Hill. So you see, it’s an eclectic mix of things.
I’m a big advocate of variety and diversity in wargaming. There’s too much good stuff out there to limit oneself to just one genre or rules set.
Any specific armies?
Very specific, and way too many! My largest collections have got to be my old 40k Imperial Guard, 10mm Thirty Years War, 28mm American Civil War, 6mm Napoleonic French, 40k Orks, Warhammer Dark Elves, 15mm Ancients, approximately in that order I think.
What aspect of the hobby are you most interested in?
In terms of me being a professional miniatures painter, of course, the painting/modelling part always takes precedence in a way.
However as far as the hobby part of wargaming is concerned I view painting, playing and reading as being equally important, and as a sort of requirement to one another. I don’t play with unpainted figures on principle. Miniature wargaming in large parts a visual thing, so nice tables and nicely done-up figures is what makes a wargame enjoyable. Rules are great (unless they’re not), but the visuals can easily make or break a game. To paint the figures, to get the table to look convincing and to ‘get’ the period/setting I’m playing I gotta do research. Of course, there’s a lot of creative license in fantasy/sci-fi games (and many historical periods too, seeing as how wobbly many sources are), but I find it useful to read and look up background info on all of that stuff as well. Not only to get into the mood but also to get a feel for the setting. Last but not least I’m sure we’ve all been in the situation of idly reading some snippet about something and thinking “this could make for a cool wargaming/modelling project”.
In this regard, either of the three often is either the start of a new project, the thing that keeps us going or simply a means to the end of getting a good game on the table. It’s the complete package that’s of interest to me. Over the past few years, I also developed a real taste for writing battle reports. Very time consuming, but good fun and people seem to enjoy them.
I do play video games too, but I really don’t view them as having much to do with my wargaming/painting/reading hobby. However, even from those I sometimes draw visual ideas for modelling projects.
What compelled you first start or restart the hobby?
During my early teenage years, I somehow got myself into a Bermuda triangle of scale modelling, roleplaying games, and fantasy board gaming. Like so many people of my generation of gamers, I got in touch with the world of Games Workshop via Space Crusade, Hero Quest and Battle Masters. At some point into a scale model shop in which they sold GW products. This excellent blend of modelling, painting, roleplaying and board gaming with miniatures, but on a more deeper level seemed like a perfect match for my interests. ‘Heureka!’, I proclaimed (so the story goes), bought the Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition starter box and went on from there without any pauses really.
Do you have any future plans for your hobby?
In terms of hobby, I currently have no huge imminent plans as commission work is barely leaving me any time to work on my own projects. I’m constantly working on some showcase pieces on the side, mainly because it’s a cool new genre to me which requires me to learn new things, and it’s a nice change of pace from the largely smaller scale (28mm and smaller) stuff I paint for commission jobs. I would like to get started on my 6mm WW2 stuff at some point, and I need to finish quite a lot of 15mm Western Europe terrain for a campaign we’re planning to do. Then there’s quite a lot of Burrows and Badgers figures I really want to get on the painting desk because they’re brilliant. I also should finish my 10mm Fantasy Araby army at some point, my 10mm Thirty Years War armies could do with a refurbishment, I’d planned to get on with that Mechanicus Kill Team, but before that, I have to finish those Deathwatch Marines. Then there are these 28mm Dwarves Warband I’d love to do something with…
So yes, I think I have some things planned. 😀
What sort of materials do you use to create your hobby? How long does it take you to complete a project?
These things depend entirely on what I want to do. Especially nowadays there is a ton of products and materials and whatnot. Most of them have a purpose, but all of them do different things. I think that it’s all in knowing what I need for what job and how to use it.
When it comes to painting I’m mainly using acrylic paints of any brand I can find. I’ve only once or twice come across paints of which I thought ‘well, these are bad’. All of them have different properties, none are inherently superior to others I think. I could go on for ages about this. Just as with wargaming rules, miniatures and books I think that it’s the variety that makes painting miniatures such a great past-time (or job). Each figure, once painted, is an individual piece, made by someone. Space Marine model [X] is always the same sculpt, but nowhere in the world, you will see two of them which look exactly the same when painted. This, in today’s world, is a remarkable thing.
What inspires you to keep going? Do you admire any other hobbyists?
In painting one of my main inspirations to keep going is that people who hired me to paint their stuff will scream at me if I don’t. 😉
When it comes to my own projects, it’s a bit as I described in question #4: It’s often books or online articles I read, a bit I see on a documentary or somebody else’s well-done figures or tables. Or it’s simply one of the other guys I play with letting me know that they’d like to start this and that project and I’ll hop on board.
Sure I admire other hobbyists, producers, and painters. Sometimes I see a paint job/model job which blows my mind, or I see a well-done table or read a good article which gets me excited about something. I mostly admire the work of people who manage to bring people together to enjoy wargaming (whichever aspect of it). People who organize events, people who manage to get others excited for something. I admire people who exist in their own niche and basically ‘do their thing’, and get others into it while doing so.
What do you find most frustrating about the hobby?
First and foremost – not finding the time to do all the things I’d like to do. Certain fads I find a bit frustrating for sure.
Oh, now that I look around I also have to mention my messy painting desk and the general messiness emanating from it. That can be frustrating. 😉
Do you have any tips for any aspiring hobbyists – beyond the usual ‘practise daily’?
For miniature painting here are some things I just thought up: Take your time. It’s not a competition, nor is it a race. Find out what works for you and what you enjoy, avoid people who claim to hold the ultimate truth (especially if said truth is in any way connected to a brand or product).
Don’t take the internet too seriously. Social Media isn’t the real world. Don’t spend too much time with either, because the time’s better spent painting.
Don’t get hung up on getting some special shade of colour to match some reference you found somewhere. Most likely you’ll throw a wash and highlights onto that colour, so that’ll change the shade a few times anyway. Focus on getting the ‘look right’ rather than matching something 1:1. Especially seeing as we’re painting miniaturized versions of things, so colours and contrasts automatically have to be stronger.
If you don’t feel like working on some miniatures have a read, work out a scenario, make some terrain, or just do something completely different for a while.
Thin your paints. An airbrush is never ever mandatory for good results, nor is a wet palette, any sort of plastic grip or a Sminzpungle. I don’t know what the last one is, but I’m sure it’ll be on Kickstarter in a few weeks and many people will say that it will ‘revolutionize miniature painting’.
Keep your coffee and your painting water at opposing ends of the desk.
If you want to take pictures of your miniatures – the photo guide on GW’s community site actually is pretty good.
As for wargaming: It’s all about who you play with. With some games more so than others. Be grateful if you got good people to play with, and remember that a game is about everybody involved having fun. I think that people will remember good and pretty games, rather than wins or losses.
What is your fondest hobby memory?
A bunch of years ago I painted the Banebeasts Chimera, now sold under the Mierce Miniatures label. What an amazing model. To this say it’s one of my favourite monsters out there. In general, I’m funnily enough still in this place where my favourite project is the one I just finished. Must be in the process of seeing bare plastic/metal/resin becoming something ‘whole’ and organic and knowing ‘I made this’.
In terms of gaming surely one of my fondest memories is a fairly recent one: 21st of December 2018 we had a special Christmas game based on Song of Blades and Heroes. Everyone just had a really good time, the table looked remarkably pretty, it was Christmas… things just came together.
Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Thanks for the feature and for reading through all of this.
Many thanks to Battle Brush Studios for taking the time to answer these questions for the Fangirl Feature this week.
And if you’d like to be featured on the blog then please, don’t hesitate to get in contact.