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For almost year now I have been collecting various miniatures from different ranges and focused mainly on the painting aspect (I am a graphics designer, usually working with digital vector-based "art" so using brushes and paint on a real 3d-model is a whole different and very fascinating experience). At first it looks so simple, but as soon as you started you realize how much effort went even into the "badly" painted models at your local store.
But there is more to these miniatures than just painting, and that's why I am here - to hear from veterans and newbies from all around the world and broaden my horizon. To get inspiration for the wargaming aspect, read up on interesting fluff and in general soak up all that creativity that tabletop wargaming much like pen & paper roleplaying (another hobby of mine) generates.
Hey mate, welcome to LO :drinking:
You'll definitely find there are a lot of very talented people here in LO, especially the painting forum. I agree with you on one thing, the miniatures are more than just painting and gaming, I got hooked on fluff making (not much yet) after seeing some of the fluff my friends have made. Join in the fluff forum and see for yourself, even creating a space marine chapter can be really fun.