It is going to be difficult to avoid this entry coming over as me snivelling and bemoaning the fact that I don’t win as consistently anymore as before on the Crisis painting competition, and there is certainly an element of that involved (though not, by far, the only reason for this), so I’m stating this upfront. You have been warned.
The idea for this post has been sparked by a thread on TMP, and more specifically this bit in a post halfway down the thread:
Let’s face it, Joe Gamer who painted up a nice general for his army isn’t going to win against some pro painted masterpeice which was never meant to see the gaming table and is probably too fragile to survive the battle anyway. If only the professionals can win, why bother having a comptetion open to the public?
I couldn’t agree more. Not so much about the why have a competition bit, but I can understand the poster when he says that this particular painting competition (or more generally, the ones he comes in contact with) seems to have changed character from a gamer oriented comp to a painter oriented competition. I have seen what I think is the same evolution in the painting competition at the Crisis convention over the years.
First, a small bit of exposition on miniature painting: there are those, such as myself, who are miniature wargamers that want to paint their figures to a good standard, but still game with said figures and thus do not spend a lot of time per figure painting it, in order to get an army on table in a non geological time frame. A second class of miniature painters are the ones the poster above refers to as ‘professionals’ (a slightly inaccurate term, but adequate for the purpose of this entry) whose hobby is painting miniatures, not gaming with them. For these painters, the painting itself is the hobby and they don’t mind spending the extra (tens or even hundreds of) hours to do a really smasing paint job.
As said, I’m a painting gamer, not a miniature painter. I have been entering figures in the Crisis painting competition since 1997 and have won at least one medal or prize each year. However, the competition has stiffened enormously over the last few years. From what was once (I feel) a painting gamer dominated competition, the Crisis painting comp has become more or less miniature painter dominated. The influx of the German contingent the last two years (extraordinary painters like Dirk Stiller, Stefanie Arndt and Holger Schmidt ) is proof of this point. That makes it harder for painting gamers to win at the Crisis painting competition.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Neither, I’d say. This is just the way this particular painting competition has evolved, whether intentionally or not, and that’s really all there is to it. I might no longer enter anything anymore (it is getting to the point where it would take too much time to paint something that has a chance of winning), but that should not bother anyone. And it does mean that the Crisis painting comp will become, more than ever, a place to go and look at exquisitely painted miniatures. But they’ll be painted by ‘professionals’ not by gamers.
What’s the opinion of the readers on this?
Update: added link to Stefanie Arndt’s site
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