This week’s Fangirl Feature is from Silvers Studio
Hobby showcase! Share with us: Your favourite images
What games/systems are you most interested in/do you collect?
I admit I have never actually played any wargames or collected any ranges. For me it is all about the painting and it always has been. Once I have painted the model/mini I lose interest, I sell it and buy something else. The only thing I have painted that I still own is the X-Wing I made on my birthday this year.
For game related interest I like sci-fi, so 40K and Infinity interest me the most. I go for aesthetics or “rule of cool” for personal preference over anything else.
Any specific armies?
I have a particular love of Orks in rusty and battered vehicles. They have that awesome Mad Max post-apocalypse feel to them now and I have always enjoyed painting them.
What aspect of the hobby are you most interested in?
It’s all about the painting for me. I have tried learning rules and bits of lore to see if it hooked me to want to play, it didn’t. For games I do still occasionally play video games, I love a game with a good story and my all time favourite is The Last of Us. I would still love to do some sort of diorama based on the game one day.
I also loved Horizon Zero Dawn. I backed the Kickstarter for the miniature based game, so I will be painting those when it gets released. That is a project I am really looking forward to.
What compelled you first start or restart the hobby?
I started painting scale models when I was 8/9, at high school some of my friends played Warhammer. Then 40K was launched (yes I am old), I bought the box set of 30 plastic Marines for £9.99. I painted some, then sold them to my friends. When I went to Uni I stopped painting, there was then a 25 year gap.
I got back into the hobby somewhat ironically due to video games. I logged into a game one day and realised I had spent 250 hours in the game, it was a revelatory moment. I wondered “what could I have learned to do with that time?”. Then it struck me, as a teen I wanted to be good at painting. The internet, especially YouTube and Twitter, has made it so easy to get my skills up to a decent level within 2 years.
Do you have any future plans for your hobby?
Once the current High Elves commision is finished I will be taking a break from commissions. Now that I am almost happy with my abilities I will doing some nostalgia projects. Mostly Star Wars and other movie related models and dioramas, such as Back to the Future, Ghostbusters and Battlestar Gallactica. I will also be venturing more into scale model making, scratch building and more.
I want to create models that tell a story.
What sort of materials do you use to create your hobby? How long does it take you to complete a project?
I mostly use GW paints at the moment as the specific colours have been requested by the customer. For personal preference I would choose Vallejo more often, Tamiya and P3 too. There are other paint companies I would like to try out, especially Instar and Scale75. As for other materials I use putty by Vallejo and basing materials from Army Painter, it’s tricky to experiment with orders as obviously it’s the customer that chooses the look.
I have done some experimenting using plasticard girders and shapes to make bases more interesting and it has worked out very well.
When I start on my own projects soon I will be experimenting with all sorts of new things. Silicone mold making, UV resin, programmed lighting with an Arduino and all sorts are planned.
What inspires you to keep going? Do you admire any other hobbyists?
The benefit to my mental health is my primary motive for painting, I feel so much better when I paint. Being creative and artistic is so beneficial for me and I think for a lot of other people in the hobby. The best bit is you don’t need to paint to competition standard to get this benefit. I heartily recommend trying being creative to anyone who is feeling down.
I admire other hobbyists hugely, every day I see people creating beautiful work they are passionate about. I follow more people on Twitter than I can keep up with, but it is all glorious.
What do you find most frustrating about the hobby?
For me personally I find the pricing system frustrating. Especially with GW, models are priced with respect to their points value and power in the game, not the model contents and standard. This is a very niche pet gripe, beyond that it’s a wonderful hobby.
Do you have any tips for any aspiring hobbyists – beyond the usual ‘practice daily’?
This is a vastly diverse hobby, so many genres and within them lots of aspects to focus on. My first bit of advice would be to find what inspires you and gets you passionate about it. If you’re not having fun you need to work out why and change something.
I can only really talk about painting as a lot of the rest of the hobby is a mystery to me.
So for that I would say the following:
- View yourself as an artist and therefore unique, comparing your work directly to that of others has no place other than in a competition.
- You will always make mistakes, as you get better you learn how to hide them better too.
- Experiment, find materials and tutorial videos that suit you, look for artists to be inspired by and also things in real life.
- Find your style, perfect edge highlighting isn’t the end all and be all. It is designed to force contrast at a distance on a gaming table. Look at realistic/photo-realism style painting too. Also look at completely different genres, watching how someone paints a 1/35 tank may give you great inspiration for a Repulsor or something.
- Look after your eyes and hands, stretch and take breaks to look at distant objects to let your eye muscles rest.
What is your fondest hobby memory?
I am certainly not proud of my first commission, to the point I even offered to re-paint the army for free for the customer. Fortunately I got better.
I love the X-Wing I made, but I am awful for self criticism. I almost always see the flaws and mistakes in my work. I hope one day I can put that inner voice to sleep, it’s a little goal of mine.
Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Some general advice on using the internet communities is in order. If you see toxicity, just block them and move on. Engaging with them boosts their content, that’s how social media is setup these days.
The positive side vastly outweighs the negative though, I would personally highly recommend everyone to setup a twitter account, even if just to view some of what is shared there. If you do choose to engage you will soon find kind, open, genuine and wonderful members of the community. I have made so many wonderful friends through that site.
Never feel your work isn’t good enough to share, anything you do is better than bare plastic.
Many thanks to Silvers Studio for taking the time to answer these questions for the Fangirl Feature this week.
You can find Silvers Studio on Twitter
And if you’d like to be featured on the blog then please, don’t hesitate to get in contact.