Rediscovering Miniature Painting


Earlier this year, during March to be exact, I started browsing through some of my older games on my Steam library, looking for something a little different to play away from my usual WoW, Fortnite and at the time, God of War fixations. It was at this time that I came across two of my old favourites from the Games Workshop IP, Warhammer 40,000 (commonly abbreviated to 40k); those being Dawn of War and Space Marine. These two games were based off of the Games Workshop fictional lore set within the 41st Millennium where a vast number of races from across the galaxy are all at war - in fact the tagline for 40K is "in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war." This lore was the basis for a vast range of miniature figures that collectors would buy, assemble, paint and then do battle with them on the table top, similar to RPG games the likes of Dungeons & Dragons. I had played both games multiple times, having accumulated multiple hours of game time and game saves for different campaigns but something always kept me coming back to reinstall them and give them yet another play through. 

After reinstalling and racking up even more hours on these games, I soon realised that what kept me coming back to this IP wasn't necessarily the gameplay but more the actual wanting to be immersed within the Warhammer 40,000 universe again, a feeling of immersion that I hadn't felt since my days of first discovering it as a kid by venturing into my local Games Workshop store for the first time and walking away with a plastic crack addiction - more commonly known as becoming a miniature collector. From playing these games again and going through their campaigns and falling in love with the characters and lore all over again I was left wanting more; so I opened my browser window, visited the Games Workshop web store and found myself spending countless hours looking at what kind of miniatures were available to paint, I toyed with the idea of collecting again, wondering if it was really for me, could I afford to start up this hobby again, especially so many years later AND after selling all of my old models - I'd have to start again all from the beginning. This fresh start however, was what compelled me to jump in.

After much deliberation, I went into town, visited my local GW store and after a fun chat with the Store Manager I walked away with a starter paint set with a few essential paints and a brush, as well as a small collection of three Khorne Bloodbound Warrior figures. Excited, nervous to pick up a brush for the first time in over a decade and eager to immerse myself into the Warhammer lore again, I figured I needed something to document my experience, something quick and easy to use to connect with others who shared the same interest and passion for miniature painting, whilst also display my painting journey along the way. This lead me to create my alias RollToPaint, an Instagram page where I could do exactly all that I'd hoped for.

Creating this instagram page was one small step down a rabbit hole in which I kept finding myself going deeper and deeper. More and more would I find miniature painters to follow who were also sharing their journeys in the hobby from beginners to professionals, people returning to the hobby also like me and even people who make a living off of painting them! I was inspired to really put my heart and soul into building and painting my first three models and was blown away at how positive the response from the Instagram community was. This positive community was what really cemented me firmly back into the hobby and gave me so much happiness, to have a creative hobby in my spare time to be productive creating something but also give me huge relaxation and pleasure through satisfaction of the end product which I could share with others.

Three Khorne Bloodbound Warriors, the first models which I painted after returning to the hobby

Painting nearly every day, developing my skills, watching many a tutorial and learning the lore of both Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar over a month or so, I learnt that Warhammer Fest was a thing and that it was happening during May, so I asked a friend who had also recently gotten into the hobby if he wanted to attend and so we booked the time off of work, booked our full weekend tickets and attended the fest at Ricoh Arena in Coventry. What a weekend it was, it was everything that I'd hoped for and more. A weekend surrounded by people who were all there for one thing, the miniature painting hobby. There was some excellent cosplay, amazing up coming never before seen miniatures on display, fantastic entries to the painting competition which were on display for all festival goers to view and a whole host of GW staff which were painting, doing seminars, casually walking about to stop and say hello to and holding little booths to give their valuable tips! A couple of stand out moments for me were being able to talk to both Chris 'Peachy' and Duncan (our lord and saviour) of the GW community YouTube Channel, Warhammer TV.

Brad and I with our lord and Saviour, 'Mr. Two Thin Coats' Duncan

The whole weekend was brilliant, it was everything I wanted and more and I cannot wait to attend again next year. It really made me feel apart of the worldwide community as the people we met there in passing and at various booths were from all over the world! The passion that came across in the cosplays, various models on display and just general love for all things GW related really showed throughout the weekend and it really motivated me to get painting more of my ever growing collection of figures once I returned back home.

Superb Astra Millitarum & Crimson Fist Chapter Space Marine Cosplay

Over the months since joining the hobby again, visiting Warhammer Fest, connecting with various people over different social media platforms I've really felt like I belong within this community, I've met some great people both online and in person through this hobby and simply can't get enough of it. My local GW store even held a painting competition to celebrate the release of the latest Age of Sigmar boxed game, Soul Wars. To enter all you had to do was pick up a free figure in store and then return with it fully painted within a week, below is a picture of the figure that I painted, a newly released Stormcast Eternal figure which I decided to do in an ancient statue style of colour scheme. Whilst I sadly didn't win the competition, it took me out of my comfort zone with painting and let me experiment a lot with different techniques. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for more painting competitions to take part in to hopefully expand my painting techniques even further!

Stormcast Eternal Sequitor 

Now, nearly five months on since my return to the hobby, I cannot get enough. In my spare time I find myself often painting my ever growing collection of miniatures, reading through lore and rulebooks, watching various tutorials and tips from the vast online community channels and visiting streamers to hang out and chat with them and their viewers about all things Warhammer related. Speaking of which I have to give a shout out to Jimmy The Brush who I have to say is one of the streamers who has really influenced and helped me feel welcomed into this great online community for miniature painters. Him and his Fiancée do a great regular painting stream and is great to have on and hang out in the chat with whilst I paint.

I can't wait to explore deeper into this hobby and actually start battling on the table top with my miniatures as well, for now I am very much the beginner and am enjoying my journey of learning more and having fun with it all. If you would like to stay up to date with my painting journey then you can follow RollToPaint on Instagram, Twitter and Twitch.

Until next time!

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