Being a sort of amateur artist with extremely artistical tendencies, I naturally love to paint. My daughter also likes to paint. So one way to combine our love for sloshing colors on stuff with paint brushes with our love for playing nerdy role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons is to buy and paint our own miniatures to play with in the game. I used to do this a lot when I was a single goofer with time and money on my hands, so I have boxes and boxes of painted little people and little critters made out of lead or pewter or plastic.
When doing these dastardly deeds of nerdling paintery to little metal people, we have to choose how we are going to go about it. Different paints work in different ways. I like to use brightly colored enamels like the Testors stuff I have used since the 1960’s. The Princess prefers acrylic because it is less permanently messy. Once you laminate your fingertips with enamel, you have to wear blue and green and brown on your hands in school for most of a week as it wears off. Acrylic is less socially mortifying, in that it is removed more easily as a water-based paint. Even after it dries on your hands, it still comes off with a little scrubbing and you don’t have to use turpentine.
Finding new figures to paint is not as easy as it once was. You used to be able to locate such things easily in the nearest comic book shop or game shop. Hobby Lobby and Michael’s used to have sections where you could find the figures as well as the paints. Now that those things are becoming extinct and increasingly rare, you have to take advantage of serendipity. We discovered a magically preserved and timeless game shop in a dying mall next to the movie theater where we recently went to watch Jumanji. I bought the elves above in that shop from the young elf running the place all by himself. An elf bard with a fiddle and bow, and another elf with a crossbow. I also found two exquisite sculpts of children which I haven’t even removed from the card yet. All that is left to do now is argue over who is going to paint what. And that can be a difficult thing. I am older and cannier than her, but she outweighs me by ten pounds. The decision has not been made yet.
I am finishing this essay on painting nerdling painter-deeds with a look at two finished works from my glorious nerd-painting past. Ganser the Wizard of Gansdorf is actually painted in acrylic, while Anya the Amazon is painted in enamel. I did them both in the 1980’s. We shall soon see if I can still do as good as I used to do. And if the Princess can match me or surpass me. It is not actually a contest, but I still hope I win.