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This question came to me as I was reading responses to z_man280's poll about his painting abilities.
What is considered "average"? Is this average for all people who actually complete fully painted and based models or is this average for all people who put figures on the table. We visited the LA Battle Bunker over the holidays and the quality of figures on tables we atrocious ... enough so that my wife comments on it.
Based on your definition of average, what distinguishes average vs. above exceptional? I won't ask for Exception since it's pretty clear when you see it.
Almost all painters in this hobby are considered "average" as you mention. However, this gets discussed alot, as well as "tabletop quality" and it really has no basis. If you are talking Golden Daemon, then there is a scale i suppose you would want to be on. However, for your regular painting, I wouldn't worry about a scale or putting yourself into a catagory. Paint the way you want to paint, or the way you want it to look. It's your model after all, you should like the way it looks. To be honnest, if you like it, don't listen to anyone else becuase someone will always be dumb and find something to criticize.
If i was to say what an average paint job is, i would say it is the use of 3 colours and a highlight
an above average would use the same type of colours and whatever, but shows better use of techniques to help shade and everything.
Last edited by Acez; January 12th, 2009 at 19:16.
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I would say that Acez' interpretation of average is what I'd call tabletop standard. I'd say average is most of the detail picked out and highlighted once possibly twice or washed. It should also be neatly painted, and preferably at least have a painted base, if not flocked/sanded.
Alright- considering that the "worst painter" still has painted models, I'd have to lay this down as 'average'
3 colors or more, with most surfaces shaded or highlighted, a unifying theme through the unit/army, and attention paid to realism.
I don't expect people to paint everything in NMM, or to use inks or washes or glazes. I don't require incredible blending jobs that go through every color of rainbow and end at white. It doesn't bother me if models are unbased, or just have black bases (black sometimes 'pops' colors). Of course, if somebody does these things to good effect, I will rate their skills higher.
I'm a total nazi though when it comes to dropping people's scores. If you can't meet my criteria, then you probably should leave your models gray.
- no shades or highlights: please, no lego-men minis
- messy paint: put your colors where you want them, and touch up when you screw up!
- blood effects: not everything in the game bleeds red, nor does a splatter of 'red gore' on your sword make you look cool. Blood is hard to paint, don't do it if you can't paint anyway.
- wild colors: some people just get a kick out of painting WoodElves in flourescent colors. I'm sorry, but no. No purple orks either, unless you make it look like warpaint
- over-reaching: some people try to use techniques that are too advanced for them. IE- don't try to use a wash unless you know how to highlight.
I consider myself a slightly above average painter if I apply myself. Some people disagree and say that I'm just an average joe, but generally they don't the painting style on my elves, or realize that my Marines were painted in batches of 20 to get them on the table. That's why I have my Empire...
I totally agree with this. Too many people go "blood red. Hmmm... this would look good as blood. *slap slap*"- blood effects: not everything in the game bleeds red, nor does a splatter of 'red gore' on your sword make you look cool. Blood is hard to paint, don't do it if you can't paint anyway.
And as you say, keep it realistic (to within the realms of the warhammer world, obviously )
I'd have to say:
- Colors selection as appropriate (in some cases, this could be less than 3, but for most of my figures, I'd have a hard timing sticking to only 3 colors)
- Basic application of basecoating (stays between the lines) and either shading and/or highlighting
- Finished bases (could be simply flocked, could be mix of sand, grass, and other stuff)
- Unit cohesion (figures actually look like they belong to the same squad, army, etc)
I have mixed feelings on this subject - z_man280's models may not be anything special, but they are easy on the eyes and they are well painted enough to be above what I find to be the average quality of armies you see, particularly if you are talking about fully painted armies.
To me average painting is:
The ability to paint a figure fairly neat applying colors where they need to go. It is clean and precise but not inventive. It is based but done so without too much effort. By all standards it looks pretty decent from afar and not too hard on the eyes close up.
To me - when you get to above average and beyond you see more risk taking in the figure. You are bolder in your color choices. You have blends. Your bases are a little more thought out and creative.
I agree that there are a lot of gaming figures out there on table tops that are far below "average". My guess is the owners are not concerned about painting at all and just want to game or don't want to take the time painting... I am confident that just about anyone can produce an average miniature if they sat down and took the time to do it...
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Average it is hard to get an exact definition i guess though the posts before this have done a good job.
at my local store i am baffled there are some realy great paint jobs some by kids that are like 10 and some are terrible and some of the more advanced players have the worst paint jobs. so the only question i have is average table top quallity or is table top quality worse?
Average skills or average effort? I'd agree the execution of technique in the linked thread is somewhere in the spectrum most people call 'average.' Pretty much anybody could learn to paint like that with a bit of practice. However, the effort put into having an entire army at the pictured standard is definitely above average and to be commended.
I know lots of people (including myself) who are capable of painting well above the level they're willing to put into most armies. Perhaps so many 14 yr olds have better looking armies than us old guys because we don't get home from school at 2:30, bang out an hour of homework, and have 5 hrs of leisure time to paint in /wink