Monday, September 21, 2009

Old Friends and Old Hates

My order from Dick Blick arrived while I was playing in a tournament this Saturday (We'll get to this.) so come Sunday morning I was excited and surprised to see a package planted in the middle of my painting station. The package contained the my new brushes.

Before I go any further let me offer up a sincere and heartfelt apology to my buddy Greg Matthews. Greg gave me the Citadel Master's set that I had been using, and talking about, in previous posts. I thought to honor his gift by using the brushes included for my Tau, at least until they gave out, but enough was enough and can't takes no more.

Also it is important to keep in mind that the GW brushes that came in that set, while having different handles, were released before GW launched their new brush line. I cannot speak to the newest GW brushes, as I have never used them and they are not covered within the scope of my ramblings to follow.

The brushes I used in the past are really well known and often recommended by various painting tutorials and blogs. My friend Deke and I have been using these for quite a long time; discovering them from military miniatures painters way back when played 1st Edition Warzone. Windsor Newton was all I knew while learning to paint. Occasionally I would try something else, but I always came back.

I could not, and still can't, articulately elaborate on why the GW brushes weren't doing it for me. They were working for sure, though the didn't seem to hold near the point I liked. They have longer bristles, which I found a little unwieldy, but that might have been from lack of familiarity. Also the long brushes held a lot of paint, but it never seemed to flow right to the tip for my style. But yesterday, when I picked up the WN's and went to work on my Shas'ui I felt a difference. It was comfortable, and easy, and sure I felt a little guilty, but it was still worth it, kinda like when you hump an ex-girlfriend.

Worry not, the master's set will not sit ideally by. The GW brushes are still really great for the Planetary Empires stuff I am working on at the moment, they don't require as much precision. Using them for the tiles will save some of the wear and tear on the WN's, which no matter how nice they paint, are still fuggin' expensive, worth it, but expensive.

As stated earlier, in this post and others, I played in a tournament this weekend at the Hobbytown here in Spokane. The quick run down is that I went 1-1-1 and had a couple of good games. I met a super cool Necron player named Jace, who gave me a good fight, and I got to have a game with my buddy Magnus who I can't play enough with.

My last game was not so great. I played a guard list that had the tank that shoots 4 times for 1d3 shots, STR 10; another tank that was big blast STR 6 AP 3 no cover, a couple of Vendettas, and then a bunch of missile launchers and veterans with plasma. There was also a psychic squad there that could do nasty shit. The list itself wasn't over the top, but the kid came to play. I gave over first turn cause I had been psyched out about how nasty new Guard were. I wanted to see what he could do since I was unfamiliar with his stuff. Bad choice, in the future I will see what something "does" after I have rail-gunned the shit out of it and looking at it in a buddy's codex the next day.

The tough list wasn't the trouble, it was more the scene. The tournament organizer did a good job, especially considering the constraints imposed upon him by the venue. This Hobbytown will not let TO's require painted armies, and is pretty twitchy about even including painting in a soft score. That's fine, hell I couldn't have played if they had. My issue with the players from the community was more in the conduct of the players who are "regulars" there. One kid, whom thankfully I did not have to play, showed up without a codex and was proxying orc archers for something. He was loud and swore a lot, no matter who was around. He even, at one point, picked up one of my friend Travis' minis and put it back further that it started, because he did not agree with the distance Travis had moved. Another kid, quite young and just getting into 40k, showed up with an illegal list. Another good friend of mine, Dan, spent the first 30 mins of their game getting the young guy's list in order, then the kid got pissed off because they didn't have time to finish their game. The highlight was a kid who was not even playing in the tournament asked to see my list between rounds, as he played Tau. I had printed off copies for all my opponents and I had a few spares because I didn't know exactly how many rounds were playing, so I gave him one. He looked it over, making noises which I could not recreate audibly, let alone in text, and then began to offer his criticism. It was never asked for, however I took his suggestions with a smile("Drop the Shaper!") respectfully informing him that I disagreed, but thanking him for his critique.

The natural reaction to this community would normally be for me to go play somewhere else. However, I think I am going to go another way with this crew. I think I am going to encourage the guys I know who show up prepared, painted (Not me yet.), and always class acts, to attend these. Maybe this community dwells in this state because it doesn't know any better? Or maybe, the three representatives from the community were a piss-poor cross section of the people who actually play there? Either way, leaving it be isn't going to make it any better. Instead it is better to put forth the effort to lead by example, or find the solid members and invite them into another community. Worse comes to worse, they remain asshats, but I still get to play some 40k.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Nice write up Mars. Judy and I are going to check out the brushes you linked. We are always struggling with painting and anything that can help me with brush control the better.

  2. Thanks man, and thank you again for the kind words about the blog at the tournament. :)

  3. Since you mention it, that little kid had a lot of criticisms of my list as well. Maybe his parents don't beat him enough.

    I had two very good games there, and possibly the worst game of 40k I have ever had to play... after a while I didn't even want to win, just stop playing. Thankfully playing against Dan's beautiful tyranid army was everything that game wasn't.

  4. Great write up. I appreciate the insight. I've been trying to get back into 40k here but maybe I was (un)lucky enough to have run ins with or watched too many of the local asshats playing on Fridays that my desire to come back is slowing to an almost stand still. If you get any traction in changing the scenery or creating a new scene, let me know how I can help. Keep up the great work!