Sign Up Now FAQ
Signup Now
Come on sign up, you know you want to. It's free and easy and you get to be even more awesome!
View RSS Feed

Spectral Dragon for a pound.

Rate this Entry
So, something dawned on me lately.

For nearly 4 years I was only into the hobby in, well I wouldn't call it a small way but in a way that wasn't as serious nor as productive. "Aloof" would be a good term for how I approached everything in the hobby. For 3 and a half or even for years I had decided to avoid websites, tutorials, and talking to people about painting techniques for the sole reason of seeing how far I could go on my own. The end result of that little lab test is this:

Without a doubt that is one of the best necrons I have painted thus far. It isn't saying much, but I am proud of it. More examples can be found in my gallery if anyone is interested, don't expect to be impressed though.

Later on, my Space wolves, an example of which some of you have seen in a thread allready, was another accomplishment of mine.

The point I am getting to is that after I stopped being so Aloof I almost found that I wasn't interested in the hobby anymore. I say almost because obvious here I still am, 5 years after I started. I finally decided one day to check out some websites, look at some true proffessionals and find out just how far one could go.

You can imagine how small I felt when I ran into Coolminiornot, after attempting to put up said pictures on thier website and being treated to scores of 3 and 4 I almost gave up. I had thought them worthy of the tabletop, and still believe they are, but a lesson was learned from it. My little experiment was fun while it lasted, it had created an ego that needed to be crushed, but it wasn't what I should be doing now. I had figured out a lot on my own, and I had developed some techniques which work that I still to this day haven't seen anyone else use, but I am still to this day nowhere near good enough to feel comfortable saying that I am a professional.

So, after dropping painting for almost a year I took it up again and started reading articles. I googled articles one day and came across WAMP. I can honestly say that i was saved from being trapped in mediocrity when I discovered this place, and I can also honestly say that I found a place where I felt comfortable learning and growing without fear of being beaten down like I had been at Coolmini.

After around 9 months I decided to get extra serious about things. After some research and talking to several people on this site I tried my hand at a few cloaks, just to see where some professional advice would lead me. I am still a month later here shocked at my own progress.

And also:

The cloaks are what are of especial interest, and I am not afraid to say that I clearly have a lot more to learn. It is a far better job than I have done on any other cloaks, and while it is certainly not the best example of a cloak I would still be proud to throw this anywhere for people to enjoy were the rest of the mini in each case to the same standard. These are still works in progress, but my real point is that I am now in this hobby all the way mostly thanks to a friendly community who is willing and able to help others out!

I would be interested to hear other people's turning points in their hobby, be they points where they almost dropped the hobby or when they finally turned the hobby high gear and got good quickly, or any other experiences that were life or hobby changing for you.

Updated 07-11-2011 at 11:10 AM by Spectral Dragon

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags
Wamp , Painting , Real Life


  1. Darklord's Avatar
    Very nice blog and makes the effort worthwhile! I am gald its been a benefit for you and its always nice to see peoples skill increasing
  2. Shades's Avatar
    I felt I had a turning point with regards to CMON as well. After a year or so feeling frustrated with the rating system, I realized that there are roughly two categories of painter, those who paint for gaming and those who paint for display. I tended to fall in between those categories in how I mentally approached painting, but I didn't realize that about myself, nor did I even recognize those two categories, for some reason. It was a relief when it finally dawned on me. I felt comfortable with myself, since I knew there was only so much time that I was willing to invest in any one miniature. I felt better for the high scorers on CMON, because I realized they were investing a lot more time and creative energy, as well as much better photography and editing skills, and they deserved those scores. I think my frustration was that I wanted some recognition as a pretty good gamer painter, and a 6 or 7 didn't feel very satisfying. But when I realized where I fit on the CMON spectrum, it suddenly made sense to me. Everything I just described about the CMON spectrum is probably obvious to most folks, but for some reason I was a little slow to "get it".
  3. Spectral Dragon's Avatar
    Shades, that described my experience to a T with CMON. It seems few people over there understand the people who paint to game, which I was for a while. I am now more a painter than a player given how irregularly I tend to play, or can play. My painting is improving as is my patience, and honestly I don't feel I can even achieve a 7 yet on CMON so your doing quite well in my book :)
  4. vegascat's Avatar
    I stopped posting pictures on CMON a long time ago, mainly because of the reasons you state. While I still really like CMON for looking up pictures of miniatures that I'm going to paint, for inspiration, or perusing thier forums, I realized quickly that (a) my photography stinks and that (b) there is a huge gap between what folks consider tabletop and award winning. To me, if its painted, its (more or less) tabletop worthy. But I digress. In any case, I much, much prefere the forums here and the privateer press painting forums.

    I really like the way your cloak turned out on your dwarf. I've considered doing something similar since a well done cloak can really make a so-so miniature turn out so much better IMO. Once I finish what's on my painting table, I'm going to get several test miniatures I have and try my hand at painting several cloaks at once in different colors.
  5. Spectral Dragon's Avatar
    which cloak? the link has another one.

    If you want that recipe, it's fairly simple btw. Took me about seven layers.

    the cloaks were excellent learning experiences. I wish you luck.
  6. vegascat's Avatar
    Sorry, the cream colored cloak. Yes, I'd like to get the recepie.

    Yes, that's the idea. I truly need a lot of help learning to layer and/or blend, but I'll most likely just keep trying to learn layering.
  7. Spectral Dragon's Avatar
    two words. miniature mentor. taught me a heck of a lot. expensive, yes, but worth it for sure. you will save time and money doing it right rather than wasting materials and time learning on your own.
  8. vegascat's Avatar
    Yep, MM is great stuff. Now that I'm not going to move again for a loooooooong time, I need to sit down and rewatch my MM videos and the new Darksword painting dvd's I got recently.
  9. waghorn41's Avatar
    Don't worry about CMON scores; if your mini is not from the manufacturer who is flavour of the month or something people are not familiar with you won't get a decent score. I post some of mine on there just to throw a curve ball, my painting skills - well lack of - are legendary! Wamp is a great place to learn and I have improved (but not by much, this IS the wag after all!). I actually have a mini on CMON with a 7.0 score which still confuses and confounds me, but that shows how wierd the CMON voting is. Glad you like it here on WaMP, there's lots to learn from some truly great people.Now go paint some more