If you're like most hobbyists, nothing short of electric shock therapy can get you to finish your painting projects. Well, rather than punishment, what if you had a chance to win free hobby swag just for painting a few models a month? Impossible you say? I thought so too. Fortunately for us all, Phil Millar didn't.
So, if you follow our little corner of the Internet, there's a good chance you're a very recent collector of Spinespur, or Warzone, or Walter's terrain, or Dungeon Tiles, or Tablescapes... or maybe just all of them. If you've somehow not put forth money to any of these projects (and sorry for you if you missed them all!), you've probably got more than a handful of unpainted models. It's the dirty little secret of the hobby- it's damned easier and damned faster to buy models than paint them, so the river gets dammed up with the loggerhead of unpainted plastic and resin soldierdolls.
Need an excuse to get your stuff painted? How about this lovely terrain piece from Warmill, for free. Or a copy of the Dropzone Commander Rulebook straight from Hawk Wargames, again for free? Maybe a starter set from Flames of War? More models to paint, courtesy of Otherworld Miniatures? Weathering effects from Model Mates? One of a dozen blister packs of Infinity models? How about a huge bag of bits, donated by a number of the members? In fact, just about everything on this table is prize support. (Not the placemats... but if you ask really nicely, I'm sure they could be added.)
So, how does all this happen? Well, much like the canal, it comes down to "A Man, A Plan." The man in this case is Phil Millar. The plan is to cure Grey Soldier Syndrome three models at a time. Phil has invented the Facebook group Painting Oaths to help nudge us all into a grand new era of painted figures. All it takes is joining the group, and taking an oath to complete a very short list of models- any scale, any system- between then and the end of the month. For completing your vow, you gain points. Those points are tracked and allow you the opportunity to win all of that gamer swag.
One more time... slowly. Let this sink in. JOIN A FACEBOOK GROUP. PAINT YOUR CRAP! HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN FREE STUFF!
Yeah. Like that. Seriously. No gimmicks, no selling yourself to ad-lists... nothing. Just paint your models like you should be doing anyway. Any skill level, doesn't matter. Just paint your models.
Okay, I know you're still looking for the catch. Believe me, so did I, for like two weeks. I finally found it- this man is our personal little Patron Saint of Painting. He just wants us all to get more out of our hobby. No money in it for him, nothing... he just wants us all to play with painted models, and has found people willing to give us free stuff to paint our models.
Interspersed in the interview you will see a lot of model images. These are all from the members of Painting Oath- and nearly all of them are oaths made this month. As you can see, there is a wide range of styles and ability levels, and a wide range of model lines. This isn't a Golden Demon or Crystal Brush contest- although some of these could seriously beg contention in those hallowed halls of hobby snobbery. This is hobbyists supporting each other in painting models, giving friendly advice when asked, and offering moral support to one another, because we've all been there.
So there you have it, ladies and gents- a man who wants us all to enjoy our hobby more. I gotta tell you, he's a man after my own heart, and I take my hat off to him.
If you're in this hobby, and you've got models to paint (and who the hell doesn't!), you owe it to yourself to go join this facebook group. Tell Phil that the Second Class Elitist sent ya... then go pick up your brush and win something.
See you on the other side of the table.
The Second Class Elitist.