A few years ago, my wife pointed out that painting miniatures wasn’t really art. I was just coloring in someone else’s work like a three-dimensional coloring book. A fair point, but frustrating because it’s easy to invest hours in a single miniature, and besides that, do your coloring books go pew pew when you hold them up together? I thought not!
That’s what got me into doing conversions and sculpting. With most of my figures, I will at the very least sculpt my own base using an oven bake polymer clay. Sometimes, conversion is just a matter of swapping around parts from different kits, like a kid with a box of Legos, so still not art. With other figures, I can claim some scant degree of artistry. I’ll sculpt on large portions using an epoxy putty, and the end product is something very uniquely my own. Of course, the very best thing about wargaming in general is that these painted figures don’t just sit on a shelf. I get to chip the shit out of the paint jobs playing make believe like a ten-year-old . . . but with onerous rules that I can debate like an adult. That said, they mostly sit on a shelf.
The figures pictured here are from my Cult of the Possessed warband for Mordheim, a skirmish scale wargame designed by Games Workshop and set in the previous incarnation of the Warhammer world (prior to their Age of Sigmar revamp). It’s a game that encourages the sort of customization and tinkering that I mostly enjoy and sort of hate. The Possessed, in particular, are afflicted by strange mutations that make conversion work almost mandatory. They are agents of Chaos, a surprisingly predictable force that seeks to recalculate the world’s ratio of tentacles to orifices (but not necessarily in that way).