Welcome to Wargamer Secret Origins. We’re going to discover the origins of our hobby’s greatest heroes and villains. Which is which? That’s for you to decide …
What age did you get into painting and what started it off?
I have to say that originally it was White Dwarfs in the early 90’s so around 13/14 at a the local library – some just amazing pictures of giant war machines and space marines was what started it all. I could never afford anything and my folks had no interest ever in indulging such interests early on but to read those magazines. I just read and read and read. Then my grandfather bought me a box of Airfix 1/72 French Imperial Guard along with some 8th Army British and a Airfix Churchill Tank. That was it really from there the rest is just large piles of lead and plastic sprue!!! It also helped that in high school I came across a copy of Charles Grants “War-game Tactics”. That was the first set of rules I ever messed around with. I got a hold of some Airfix Imperial Romans and Barbarians and started to paint them. I had no idea what to do or how to go about it. Internet was not really a thing just yet but I persevered and then found Napoleons’ Books store, Mind Games on Swanston Street and Eureka Miniatures when it was in Glen Iris at the back of the Military Book Room. In those places I found Essex Late Romans, Warhammer Dwarfs and Chaos Space Marines and AB Napoleonic. Slowly, I learnt to paint picking up bits and pieces here and there. Sadly those early armies have been lost to time and space and a robbery. But those where some awesome days, learning the hobby how to paint and slowly finding out about the community that existed.
What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
The first ones that I personally bought was some Airfix Imperial Romans.
What is your favourite aspect of painting?
For me it’s about the process. I find painting a great way to unwind after a rough day at work but its also social – my paint desk is set up in the lounge room so that while I paint I can still talk with my wife and friends. It also makes it accessible to my daughter who shows some interest now and then (she is 3 this October). Aside from that, it’s the pleasure of seeing a project come together as the layers of colour get applied and this colourless piece of metal or plastic takes on character.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I have roughly 4 projects on the go. 28mm 1812 French Napoleonics, 28mm Ancient Macedonian Successor Army, 28mm LOTR Armies and Adeptus Titanicus (because you know, Titans). I like the variety as I complete one unit of something I can pick up something else just in case I’m feeling a little burned out by one project.
When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
Oh so boring, I work for a bank as a Leadership and Training consultant. Suffice to say the Royal Commission provides my gaming group ample jokes right now.
Which of your armies is your favourite?
That’s a hard one really. I have to say right now my 28mm Polybian Romans are but as the Napoleonic French in 28mm take shape I suspect they will take over as favourite – pretty much my favourite period of history hands down.
Secret painter or loud and proud?
I own my geek/nerdiness these days so everyone knows what I do, possibly talk about it a bit to much 😛
Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
There are so many but I have to say the best one I can share is paint as much as you can, I try within reason to paint for about 40min to an hour each day. It does not work all the time, but string enough days and weeks together and you find that you can produce a fair number of models over time. I also find repeated action helps with skill and method. Aside from that there are some awesome paint guides out there, probably too many but the videos by Artmaster Studio are really great for learning some key techniques and the book “Painting Wargaming Miniatures” by Javier Gomez has a lot of great tips and techniques.
Why do you do What you do?
I studied fine art at school but never really took it beyond school so in part it’s an outlet for my creative side. I can combine that with my passion for history probably is a good thing. But it is also the community, it’s such an amazing group of people world wide. Just to give you an example of what I mean about community: next year I’m heading to Glasgow, Scotland to participate in a Guinness World Record Attempt at the largest war-game with 20,000 plus miniatures on the table recreating the battle of waterloo. People from all over the world will be attending, but all of it will be in support of helping Veterans through the Waterloo Uncovered Group. I’m heading over to help run the Game as an Umpire (Using Warlord Games Black Powder Rules). That, to me, is now why I do what I do. Being part of a community that embraces all types and brings all walks of life together over some dice and 6×4 tables. No matter what game system you use, how well you paint or don’t you can get involved and have some fun. There are always small groups of people in any group who don’t act inclusively. I generally find, in my experience, there are less and less of them each day in this community.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Its an amazing time to be in this hobby, so many different games and ways to enjoy it. So go out a get involved 🙂
Get in contact with Jon Paul
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The5thColumnWargamingBlog/
- Web: http://www.waterlooreplayed.com/
- Web: http://www.waterloouncovered.com
Who’s the next super hero or villain that the #Spruegrey Nation should talk to? Let me know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in the comments below.