With the rise of successful pre-painted miniatures tabletop rgames, just how important is the painting side of the hobby?
Let’s Be Honest…
Traditional unpainted minis are amazing these days. Companies like GW are kicking out minis that look like this:
IF you really know how to paint well.
But a lot of the time while we imagine our minis will look like this, they actually end up under our beds looking like this:
Just add dust and procrastination.
The Not So Distant Past
Once upon the time the conventional wisdom in the industry said that pre-painted minis were doomed. If you wanted to make a “real product” you would avoid the concept like the plague.
Sure it might make your game easier to adopt, but it would just be youngsters who picked up the pre-paints and they weren’t “real gamers”. Because remember “real gamers” love all that assembly & painting hobby stuff that goes along with the minis.
And that worldview was pretty much accepted for the last twenty years. But lets be honest – a large part of it was probably due to minis that looked like these guys:
Barrier to Entry
The Technology Angle
This is a line of collectible plastic toys out of Japan. On first hand they don’t look terribly impressive. But note that these are in 1:144 scale and most are barely bigger than a single Terminator. Also, these planes are over 10 years old! They contain screen printed marking that most hobbyists simply cannot reproduce by hand. Did I mention these sell for about $5
Zoom in for a look at the plane’s markings – could you match that? Be honest.
Fast forward ten years from now and ask yourself what will be possible with printing and painting technology.
So what’s your opinion on pre-painted minis? Heresy, or the inevitable future?