Monday, August 24, 2015

Family Painting Night

So, quite a few of the folks in my blogging circles have recently jumped into fatherhood (see, e.g., this guy).  Congrats to all of them!  That's had me thinking a bit about the long journey of raising kids in a complicated world.

My first experience painting minis was in my late teens, as a camp counselor, helping run a "quiet time" activity for kids on hot days.  Of course, it was the days before iPhones and iPads and everything, so the idea of picking up a small metal figure and painting it for an hour didn't seem as discordant with the times as it does now.  But the idea of using the focus of painting a tiny object to induce a Zen-like state of relaxation stayed with me.

Well, last night was one of those magical times when I spent a quiet evening with the kids, enjoying the geeky things in life, in group "painting therapy".  My wife was sounds asleep, still recovering from her recent illness, and the kids were bugging me to "do something."  So . . .
Attention to detail . . . 
My little lady painted up Eowyn from GW's Lord of the Rings range.  This is a beautiful sculpt, maybe the finest of the entire LotR range.  I think she's doing justice to it so far, if I may say so myself!
A wonderful scuplt, painting WIP.  Wonder if we'll ever see anything this sublime from GW again.
On the other side of the Tiny Basement workshop, my older boy set about painting up 5 Reaper Bones sci-fi army-guy figures, using an assembly-line painting style.  I find the Bones series a mixed bag - larger figures are a good value, smaller ones aren't anything special, though.  They're not all bad, but the faces are particularly poorly formed.

My boy spent a long time deciding on a color scheme for these guys.  He almost went with an Aliens Space Marine green style, but opted for a more Space Navy style of Grey and Blue with some Green trim.  We'll likely use them in our homebrew super-light FPS arena game.
Stand up fight or Bug Hunt?  Ready for either!
Someday, these kids will be too busy, or too embarassed, to hang with their old dad painting up minis, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

For those of you with newborns, have a bit of patience, they won't be ready for painting minis for quite a while.  I made the mistake when they were young of handing them GW minis, a fine detail brush and a $4 paint pot and expected that they'd not (a) drop the mini while it was dripping in wet paint, (b) destroy the brush and (c) pour the entire pot of paint onto themselves.  And they would, and then I'd hover over them like a worried mother hen.  There's a reason the boxes say "This is NOT a Toy!"

But you can dress them up in beat up-clothes, spread out lots of newspaper, and just give them some wooden trucks or boats or anything, and some crappy brushes and cheap craft paint, and let them paint by your side.  And when they're ready, they can help with basecoating minis, or let them paint cheap-o little green men soldiers.

If I had to do it again, I'd just have stayed out of their way and let them enjoy themselves!
Of course, Dads should also take care to not wear nice things whilst painting.  One of my favorite shirts just went from "office work shirt" to "house work shirt" thanks to an ink wash incident!
Thanks for stopping by!