My week has been consumed by painting one thing, the Dark Angels Primaris Lieutenant that I teased last week. Before I get into that and talking about the “rivalry” between Warhammer 40,000 and Lord of the Rings, I wanted to mention a pleasant surprise I had. I shared the Fallout stuff I painted last week on Instagram and I got the most likes and attention I’ve ever received which was really cool. I wasn’t expecting to get it for anything Fallout related as it seems like there isn’t as large of an Instagram community for that game compared to MESBG or most definitely either Warhammer game but I take that as a sign my hard work painting and trying to get better is paying off. Quite honestly, it was the exact thing I was complaining never seemed to happen to me/with my work so apparently bad behavior can be rewarded!
How is the Space Marine going? While I suppose I’ve made quite a bit of progress, it has been frustrating at times and I’ve sunk way more hours into this miniature than I expected and there is still a fair amount to be painted. I’ve made a number of mistakes but thankfully most of them are hidden away in places nobody will see so I’d say he is mostly painted to a very high standard. Here is a peek at him.
While I love how the greens are looking, what I didn’t think about was how spending a couple of hours (at least) glazing each piece of the armor and then having to edge highlight would be a massive pain and pretty nerve wracking. I’m not a very clean edge highlighter and I rely on being able to touch up any rough spots to make everything look good but when you’re glazing, it is really hard to get the exact right color to clean up any rough edges. Quite frankly, I should never ever do something like this again! I had a lot of enthusiasm for painting this marine and maybe even trying some other Warhammer 40,000 sculpts but I’ve been so out of my element and frustrated with how tricky parts of this guy are to paint that I’m dying to paint something familiar from Fallout or MESBG again where I will feel more competent. Not that I intend to stop or slow down on this guy much. I will only be able to relax once he’s done!
Fortunately, the back of him is nearly done and that is probably the hardest part to motivate yourself to paint well so hopefully that helps propel me forward. As silly as it sounds, one of my main goals is to compare how this Space Marine comes out compared to the last one I painted in 2018. This Ultramarine (aka smurf) is my lowest rated miniature on Cool Mini or Not and is a nice benchmark on how much I’ve grown and improved as a painter. Additionally, the painting techniques I’m using on the Dark Angel are basically the same as what I was trying to do with the Ultramarine so that makes it that much easier to compare them. Perhaps once the Dark Angel is done and up on Cool Mini Or Not, I’ll compare the scores they receive and talk a bit about why there is a difference. We shall see!
One thing I’ve learned (or have been reminded of) is that repeatedly painting a genre or specific game’s minis will improve your skills and help you become confident at painting that kind of miniature. At the same time, you can change gears and try and paint something different than usual and feel like you know nothing about what you’re doing. That is what I’ve gone through with this mini which has camo and a purity seal (not pictured) which are nothing like what I’ve painted in Lord of the Rings and required using some new techniques. Thankfully, those parts have come together fairly well but I’ve certainly been humbled along the way. While part of me hates to admit it, painting miniatures from either Warhammer game requires a higher amount of skill than Lord of the Rings miniatures do (and there are many more “competition minis” to choose from compared to LOTR too) so it is probably a good idea for me to dip my toe into Warhammer from time to time and try to push myself as a painter.
Speaking of Warhammer 40,000, it is funny to be painting 40k again after nearly a year. I always feel a bit odd doing it because I feel like most people follow my hobbying because of LOTR and while I don’t want to overstate this, there is a bit of an antagonistic relationship between a small minority of both games’ fanbase towards each other. For example, I’ve seen a small number of Warhammer 40k fans question why Games Workshop bothers to make MESBG figures any more. I remember when MESBG came out and some 40k players put down LOTR as a kid’s game. I even had a friend in school who went to a local game store and was made fun of for wanting to buy LOTR minis by some poorly behaved 40k fans. He actually never got into the hobby as a result of this obviously childish behavior. I’m sure that no matter how you feel about either game, we can all agree this is obviously the thinking of fools who can’t get out of their own way. MESBG makes money for Games Workshop so they’re going to keep making it for a while, if not decades from now and even if it were a kid’s game, why in the world would that be a bad thing? It helps Games Workshop make money which helps all of the games they make.
At the same time, MESBG fans are defensive about Warhammer 40k and jealous of the level of support Games Workshop gives it, especially lately. A new model was revealed (Eomer) and a Made to Order week was announced and then the COVID shutdown happened and it has been just about radio silence on any MESBG releases. Meanwhile, 40k is getting a new edition with big box sets and tons of new sculpts and so many MESBG fans are feeling a bit hurt and jealous at the moment. I know that MESBG will get the new models and the Made to Order will happen so I think a bit of patience is all that is needed but I understand why some fans are jealous of how many releases 40k gets at the same time. I’ve alluded to this before, but it feels like MESBG is a wargaming underdog and people who play and paint it will never get the respect they deserve which is a shame. I tend to like an underdog so I’m sure that hasn’t kept me from liking MESBG. Putting that aside, I think it does foster a mentality (whether right or wrong) that MESBG is too often forgotten about or not treated with the respect it deserves.
As you can see, it is hard not to be aware of the rivalry between fans of each game and I often wonder if I painted only 40k, would I have double or triple the number of followers on Instagram and higher rated minis on Cool Mini Or Not? I’m sure that is part of the underdog mentality I just described and there’s no way to know. Truthfully, after painting this Primaris Lieutenant, I will probably take a break away from 40k to focus on Fallout and LOTR which I enjoy painting more but it is something that still rattles around in my mind quite often and probably will for quite a while to come.