fredag 3 februari 2012

Paint by numbers

Warning, this blog post contains some ranting. Lock up the women-folk and infants now.

You have been warned.

So my LRDG project is slowly plodding along; the vehicles are nearly finished and I have started to paint the crew figures. Time to start thinking about paint schemes. There is quite a nice painting guide on the FoW site, that apparently, is totally inaccurate. I should have known better, since they colour choices are a bit wierd at times, and I have seen a particular colour being recommended for two distinctly different shades of paint, on the same model!

My good friend Jocke, a.k.a. The Miniatures Man, recommended Vallejo number 916, "Desert Yellow" for being the closest match for "No61  Light Stone" which was the official colour of the british vehicles in North Africa. Noting in the online reference charts from Vallejo, that 916 did NOT equal any colour from any other manufacturer, I proceeded to my FLGS. Unfortunately, they only carried a small rack with what appeared to be a sample of paints from the differenet Vallejo ranges. I decided to ask the guy behind the counter, despite being in a hurry to catch the bus. The conversation went something like this.

"Excuse me, do you have any more Vallejo paints?"
"No, that is all we carry. Vallejo has a huge range of paints, you know." (Slightly patronising, which got me a bit irritated since I have probably been painting and gaming since he was a twinkle in his father's eyes.)
"I do know. I was just thinking you might have some other paints in the back room, or something."
"No we don't. We can order it for you, but you have to buy a box of six bottles."
"I realise that. Do you know if the Flames of War spray cans by any chance corresponds to a particular Vallejo colour?" 

Going for a Hail Mary here, since I noticed the sprays and FoW paint sets being produced by Vallejo. Then another customer butted in, let's call him Annoying Flames of War Guy.

"Which paint do you need?"
I answered reluctantly, with a sigh, because I knew what's coming. "Vallejo 916, Desert Yellow".
"There is no correspondence with the sprays unfortunately. Can't you use another colour?"
"No, not really. Those desert colours I have are either too grey or too green."
"What are you painting?"
"I'm doing stuff for a North Africa participation game --" 
The Annoying Flames of War guy cut me off: "Oh well, everything would be sunbleached anyway, so you can use whatever looks good. Unless you want brand new vehicles straight from the production line, which you won't find in Africa."
I continued with a badly strained temper: "...and it's important that I use the same paint as the other guys painting stuff for this project, so the force will have a uniform look."
"Well that's not going to happen anyway."

This Annoying Flames of War Guy -- and I realise he might be reading this someday -- was about my age. And quite nerdy. About as nerdy as I am, and that's where my main irritation lied; he was the Flames of War equivalent of me. He started to fetch the North Africa book to show me what colours I could use, when I landed my knock-out punch:

"I have already looked at the Flames of War site, and their painting guide is incorrect. Besides, I'm doing this in 20mm scale, so it is much more noticable if the colours are inconsistent."

Left with no more arguments the Annoying Flames of War Guy reluctantly agreed. With a smug grin and a sense of victory I bought some other paints that I will need later for the italians, and left.

But I wonder, why do we do this? Are we such insecure creatures that we have to "out-nerd" other nerds with slightly other interests than we have? Or even worse, same interests but for some reason they do not play the same team/army/race/colour as we do. 

Imagine you hang around in your LFGS, discussing your favourite game with some other mates. You are all cool, you have already established some sort of pecking order with the greatest nerd usually deciding the direction of the discussion. Some other gamer walks in, starts to ask the clerk about something. Hang-on, he's playing the same game as you! What a nice chap. But he's buying the Pixie-elf Berzerker Hippopotamus? Doesn't he realise it's not worth the points, or is the ugliest model released this year, or that Pixie-elves are way overpowered and only newbies and powergamers play them? "But I like the model" he pipes. So you have to make him see the error of his ways, and pester him with helpful advice on what model to buy instead. You think you are doing it to help him, but no, you are just really trying to determine who's the biggest nerd of you all. Sort of like kids in the playground argueing about who's daddy is the strongest, but with more variables.

And the saddest thing is I have probably done this myself, without realising it.

2 kommentarer:

  1. hahaha! You ARE a nerd (and so am I)
    (Who's the nerdiest? Probably very even...)
    And, more importantly, we're proud to be that, and even more importantly we are usually correct:-)
    Happy gaming and may the nerd-force guide you
    PS. Oh, and you forgot the killer "and I'm playing a REAL WWII-game" that always pisses off FoW-players :-)
    PPS. Don't worry if you play FoW, you will see the light

  2. Yeah, I didn't want to go into the whole game debate...


Wayland games

Wayland Games