The great thing about board games is that there are so many different ways we can engage with the hobby - gateway games, filler games, strategy games, Euro games, war games, the list goes on, there really is something for everyone. That makes it easy to stay in your comfort zone.
For example, painting minis. Every time I saw shares of photos of minis someone had painted I thought how cool they were, but I could never imagine myself trying it. My husband painted minis when he was younger, and has introduced our youngest son, Ben to the hobby. When my husband offered to include me on the painting adventure I declined because it didn't seem like it could be any fun if I wasn't going to be any good at it. I thought it would be frustrating and I would end up with minis that looked horrible.
At Pacificon Game Expo I decided I would step out of my comfort zone and try to paint minis for the first time. There was a Paint and Take station where you could try the painting for free and even take away your painted mini. It was a surprisingly rewarding and relaxing experience. It was also a great way to spend some time with Ben away from "work" and to reward him for his patience as his parents protospieled. He was absolutely delighted I was going to try his new favorite hobby.
The Paint and Take was manned by Joe Riddle and David Howard who very patiently shared their skills and years of painting wisdom with this poor first timer. Ben and I were directed to choose our minis from the selection, while our spots were set up for us with paints and brushes. Ben knew exactly what he was going for, and took a woodland creature... and I picked the only girl mini. We took our spots and Ben got started right away, no hesitation and painting with confidence. I sat there looking at my mini figure, and looking at the paints feeling very intimidated but super impressed with how Ben was just immersed in what he was doing. David could tell I was having issues and said to me that getting started can sometimes be the most intimidating part and you just have to get the paint on somewhere to get started. Taking a deep breath, I got started.
Turns out I was right, I can't paint minis very well and I won't be posting my minis on Facebook! I made lots of mistakes, but I learned a lot from those mistakes. Here's 5 things I learned:
This last lesson was probably the greatest. I don't know if I will ever paint minis at home or if this will be my "yoga" at game conventions, but I do know I will paint another mini!
Clearly, I'm no expert at painting minis! If you're a mini painter, what lessons would you pass on to those just starting out?
What have you tried recently that was outside of your normal gaming comfort zone?