Thursday, February 7, 2013

Who Wants to Paint?

Every hobbyist spends some time wondering how to attract more members to their hobby. I've tried to convince innocent bystanders to swing dance, play Dungeons and Dragons, and make jet packs out of paper and tape over the years. The last rather some time ago! So lately I've paid some attention to who seems the most interested in my hobby painting table.

Steve keeps out of the way
Now in my opinion a table covered with lead soldiers, Dark Eldar Raiders, Viking beserkers and 10mm Napoleonic cavalry is about as interesting as anything in the world. Last week we had several families over for dinner. The dads' gazes didn't linger for one second. The mom's settled down to discuss felting and millet rolls. But the six and seven year old girls were fascinated. And I wasn't completely surprised. My nurse's daughter likes to paint 54mm toy soldiers. My friend Steve's daughter painted his cavalry. At my old club another fellows ten year old daughter painted a whole squad of Malifaux figures. The strange truth is that while playing miniature games seems to be a man's hobby, painting the figures is actually pretty appealing to the girls.

That being said I'm not sure what that does for the hobby. I haven't met more than a handful of women who play the games. But the future is always a mystery and wise hobbyist dads will probably be letting their daughters sit and do some painting with them. For one, it's an insanely cute scene. Insanely cute. Secondly, it is a great introduction to history, art, and crafts. Finally, we may see a generation of girls grow up and go on to play miniatures games. If my daughter ended up fielding a Napoleonic French army on some table someday I think I would be proud as punch. Although with the kids you're pretty much proud as punch all the time...

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