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"Have you ever SEEN a stranger sneer at painted figures?" Topic

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01 Mar 2017 11:55 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Winston Smith04 Sep 2016 2:38 a.m. PST

Here is the scenario. You are participating in, or putting on, a historical game at a convention.
A total stranger, not playing, comes by and picks up a stand, and peers at it over his glasses. He comments, "That's not the right shade of green."
He puts it back on the table, in the wrong place, and walks away.
Let's stipulate that he is also fat, smells, and has on a backpack and offensive tee shirt.
It could be figure choice, uniform color, facings color, flag, camouflage scheme, etc.
That is the cliche.
Have you ever seen anything even remotely similar to this?
I have been to a lot of conventions, played in a lot of games, put on a few. I have never seen anything remotely like this. Yet we all believe the cliche.
Or do we?

Poll answers:
1. I have seen it. It's not a myth.
2. I have never seen it. Urban myth.
3. A friend told me about it.
4. Other.

advocate04 Sep 2016 2:39 a.m. PST


John Treadaway04 Sep 2016 2:52 a.m. PST

1 – my unit of 'Black Numenorean Cavalry' was apparently "too black".

Been a while, mind you…*

John T

* Lord of the Rings demo game: 1978, Central London

Von Trinkenessen04 Sep 2016 2:59 a.m. PST

But not so much now because most historical games I do feature my O C D research on the subject, it helps having a sister in the Archaeology business and working in a sector with certain access to more recent sources.
Also because I put on sci fi and fantasy games as well have had the Hysterical gamer snobbery.

Normally I ask them what period they do them translate the tabletop action into that period.
After 44 years gaming your never going to change the "Orks"
limited intelligence.

Guy T

thabear04 Sep 2016 3:05 a.m. PST

1. The famous Stug incident at my local club many years ago. Never touch another mans Stug ,,, you know who you are.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 3:13 a.m. PST

I've seen it a few times.

I used to see one guy who came to the same cons I do make such comments (usually about colour) constantly (same guy, lots of times = 1 case). I missed a few cons, and he wasn't there the past time. I like to think people stopped replying to him and he just went away. And, yes, overweight, unkempt, and you didn't want to stand too close too long.

Those events have hundreds of people and dozens of new people every time, so that is a way <1% case. I've also seen a goat with three horns. I liked the goat.

I think the myth is that this type of behaviour is prevalent and you can't avoid it.

The one time he engaged me about my minis, British Army homeguard in greens for the Luddite Rebellions, I said something like, "Oh, that's neat. I didn't really look any of that up. I just made them green." He walked away without reply. Apparently you can't pick on someone about something that they're not invested in. (I actually did look it up in a few sources and ask some colleagues.)

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 3:15 a.m. PST

1 (two times).

Once at an MFCA gathering (the old Womrath Street
'venue' in Philadelphia, for any of you who
remember it) and another at an Historicon in

In the first, 'critic' made the observation that
C. 1888 US Cavalry 'never' wore suspenders and
in the second 'critic' claimed Russian Napoleonic
infantry 'green' on the uniforma was far too dark.

45thdiv Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 3:15 a.m. PST

1 a guy commented on the color I used on my 1/6th scale Hetzer was not the right shade.

jeffreyw304 Sep 2016 3:26 a.m. PST


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 3:28 a.m. PST


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 3:31 a.m. PST

Would it count if one had done it to someone else's figures? evil grin

I remember this time I saw some Black Numenoreans …. and they were just too black… wink

Personal logo Shaun Travers Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 3:51 a.m. PST


IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 3:53 a.m. PST

Now that is funny.

Personally, I don't mind constructive critiques on my figures.

Vigilant04 Sep 2016 3:58 a.m. PST

Happened to a club member once. The "expert" picked up his SS mg crew and said that the cartridge cases were wrong, they were painted steel and should have been brass. An older gentleman also watching disagreed with him saying that by that period of the war – Battle of the Bulge – most mg cartridges were steel due to lack of brass. The expert questioned his sources, the reply was that he had been a machine gunner with the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler! Turned out he was ex-Luftwaffe who had been drafted in as a replacement along with various others from different branches.

evilgong04 Sep 2016 4:21 a.m. PST

I feel the need to check the shade of black on my Black Numenorians, painted in the mid 80s.


Dynaman878904 Sep 2016 4:23 a.m. PST

1 at a convention. Not mine but I saw a guy do this to the guy running the game.

coopman04 Sep 2016 4:42 a.m. PST

Yes, at a convention. Similar situation. A guy walks up and picks up a couple of stands of figures and looks at them closely. I asked him if he wanted to play and that we needed more players. He said, "Maybe. Let me see what else is going on. I am not used to playing with such poorly painted troops". I was astounded.

cfuzwuz04 Sep 2016 4:58 a.m. PST

At Twistercon in Norman , Okla one year 4 or 5 really cute girls walked in, walked around looking in stunned silence that something like a miniature game convention existed and grown men participated in it, then one turned to the others " well now I've seen everything". I think they were T A+M cheerleaders in town for a baseball game with OU. Did I mention they were really cute? God had done an excellent sculpting and paint job on them.

Sundance04 Sep 2016 5:04 a.m. PST

I've never seen it, but don't disbelieve it happens based on discussions I've seen on TMP. I've never commented on anyone's figures, but I've played a couple of con games with figures that were ugly as hell. Personally, I would have been embarrassed to say they were mine, but to each his own. Someone once told the story about a guy who just spray-painted his figures green for one side and brown for the other! Would have loved to have seen that.

M C MonkeyDew04 Sep 2016 5:06 a.m. PST

I have seen strange figures sneering at me!

CATenWolde04 Sep 2016 5:09 a.m. PST

This is a real thing, if rare, although I've never seen or heard of it from actual players in a game – just spectators.

1: I was playing in a friends Gettysburg game at a convention, with beautiful sculpted terrain and nicely painted figures. A guy comes by, picks up a stand of Confederate infantry (in an active game, mind you), practically snears "Minifigs" and then leaves!

1: I saw a guy come over to a table next to me at a convention and proclaim that the fellow's Legere were "too light blue" … probably true, when I looked closer, but still rude!

1: I had a guy come by and tell me (loudly) that the gun barrels on my Austrian artillery in my (award winning!) game were the wrong color … okay, they were (brass instead of black), but he was really loud! ;)

3. My friend from #1 above said the same thing had happened to him once before – figure prejudice is a thing I guess.

vtsaogames04 Sep 2016 5:16 a.m. PST

Don't attend many conventions so wouldn't know.
Once saw extremely crudely painted figures at a game (I'm no pro-painter) and made no comment while there. A friend said afterwards they looked like they had been painted with a banana dipped in motor oil. But nothing of the sort was said at the game.

That's in over 50 years of gaming.

Whirlwind04 Sep 2016 5:24 a.m. PST

Someone once told the story about a guy who just spray-painted his figures green for one side and brown for the other! Would have loved to have seen that.

He's a legend. If I ever get round to doing the ACW I'm taking "the blue and the grey" very literally…

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 5:28 a.m. PST

1 a few times

peterx Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 5:28 a.m. PST

1. I worked in a Games Workshop shop in the US. Sometimes the higher up managers or fussy customers would make snarky comments about my custom built Ork Trukks, which I thought looked cool and original. They would also say my Space Marines were too plain that there were too few colors, and they shouldn't be allowed in the shop, or that my Orks were the incorrect shade of green. I didn't like that (among other things) and left that place of employment after the Christmas rush. My fellow employees (not the higher up muckity-mucks) were very nice though.

cavcrazy04 Sep 2016 5:31 a.m. PST

1.I was putting on an AWI game at a toy soldier show once and this guy walked up and was looking at the figures, he asked what unit he was looking at and I told him it was the 8th MA regiment. he picked up one of the stands and said, "Your buttons are wrong, they should be brass."
I said, "Well the book I have shows them as pewter." He went on and on about his research on the AWI. I asked him if he painted figures and he stated that he only collects plastic playsets and that he does not paint.
I told him that if he ever decides to paint, then he can paint all the buttons he wants….he walked away.
later as the game got under way he was back, he wanted to play. I never turn anybody away from a game. He was on the Continental side and commanding the 8th MA among others. He was successful in turning back a much larger British force, he was very proud of himself. I asked him, "What regiment did the best on your side?" He stated it was the 8th that held the middle and as he stood there full of himself, I said, "I guess those pewter buttons must be magic!"

Lee Brilleaux Fezian04 Sep 2016 5:33 a.m. PST

I once asked a member of my club about the colours on his Prussian dragoons. He'd painted them mid-grey, and I'd assumed that medium blue was the normal issue. But I was just asking ----

It turned out he was colour blind, and had picked up the wrong pot of paint.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 5:45 a.m. PST

The #1 option is real but, thankfully pretty rare.

I saw a guy walk up to a WWII game and pick up some infantry. He made some type of comment about the figures not have an appropriate division shoulder patch. He put the figures down and walked away.

I was running a Volley and Bayonet game and a guy came up to me, looked at the game and figure, and in a dismissive tone said I should just play a board game instead. I told him he was free to go play a board game.

Pictors Studio04 Sep 2016 5:51 a.m. PST

I've seen it, most notably at a diorama that a guy did. The diorama was of the high water mark at Gettyburg. The guy stared at it for a little while and then sneered and said something derogatory as he turned away.

Mr Elmo04 Sep 2016 5:53 a.m. PST

#1. Usually in ancients and napoleonic games at HMGS conventions

Never had anyone sat my Khador was the wrong color.

VonBlucher04 Sep 2016 6:02 a.m. PST

I have not seen any button counters the last few years but back in the 80's and 90's you would see quite a few, which always made me laugh as none of these guys ever played in a game or had any of their own figures with them.

jeffreyw304 Sep 2016 6:08 a.m. PST

Lol…"Your buttons are wrong, they should be brass." Yeah, but the game I'm using them in has no real time scale and the ground scale is so out of whack, I'm not really sure what the terrain and unit footprints really represent. grin Thankfully, I've never run into a button tweaker.

cosmicbank04 Sep 2016 6:13 a.m. PST

1 and we jumped him and beat the daylights out of him. My gaming group was tough

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 6:44 a.m. PST

1. It happened once at a Tactica Tournament years ago. This guy was middle aged, couldn't see his shoes and approached four guys (us) all over 6', 200+ Pounds and fit.

He made his comment and we stared back; none of us said a word.

After 20 seconds of silence he began a long rambling apology.

We ignored him and kept playing.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 6:47 a.m. PST

Sadly, I have seen it maybe half a dozen times. In 3 or 4 I'd say they thought they were being "helpful." So perhaps not *sneer.*

Two were bad. One basically called the GM fat, stupid and lazy to his face because some cavalry unit had matching horses. "Maybe in the depot, but in the field they took what they could get." The other did sneer and say, roughly, you've got a lot of nerve bringing stuff to the show without doing your research.

In both cases the GM took the high road, though I was tempted to break a few fingers.

Personal logo Dale Hurtt Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 6:55 a.m. PST

4. My French Napoleonic Carabiniers because they did not all have black horses. This happened online, however, and not at a game convention. I refuse to repaint the non-black horses now.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 6:56 a.m. PST

Depending on how you look at it, I may even have been the guilty party once. Game on a military post--which means strangers all the time--and I commented that I'd seen the guns differently painted in the Bavarian Army Museum It was pretty much to show I'd been around the block a few times and start a conversation. I didn't walk away, and they took it in good part--I still say hi to one of them at a convention--but I hope I didn't create or foster the legend.

mckrok04 Sep 2016 7:03 a.m. PST

1. One of my very first games with my first painted figures as a teenager in the '70s my German WWII micro armor was not painted in a historically accurate manner. One of the guys jokingly referred to them as the 'pastel Nazis.' They didn't go on and on, and I didn't take it too hard, but I did learn a lesson in doing basic research.

Don Manser04 Sep 2016 7:16 a.m. PST

1, more than once. It's disheartening when I see it done to a younger gamer starting out.

Timotheous04 Sep 2016 7:38 a.m. PST

California version: A friend and I had been invited to take part in an exhibit at the La Jolla Museum of Modern Art, called something like "a world in miniature". We were invited to setup a game in the lobby with other crafty types to show how ordinary people can use miniatures.

So my friend and I setup our game of Egyptians vs. Hittites using DBM. While we were in the middle of our game, a woman approached us to declare in an accusatory tone, "I thought we fought a war to end all wars! For shame!"

We looked at each other in disbelief, then kept playing.

Weasel04 Sep 2016 8:01 a.m. PST

Happened once or twice at a 40K tournament way back when. One guy seemed to have a friend along purely to heckle his opponent.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 8:03 a.m. PST

Not an actual incident but I recall a cartoon in
a miniatures gaming mag.

Ancients game, Greeks versus Persians. Onlooker,
holding a stand of Greeks, remarks: 'Dust under the
toenails is the wrong color for Thermopylae.'

Texas Jack04 Sep 2016 8:44 a.m. PST

2, fortunately, but it is really interesting how many 1s there are here!

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 8:58 a.m. PST

1 I've witnessed several such incidents at HMGS conventions.

wrgmr104 Sep 2016 9:14 a.m. PST

1. 5) a freind of mine who is a pro-painter and I will discuss colors and button counting on occasion. His critique is fine with me.
TMP being a great resource, I've posted many times regarding colors etc. Even to the point of posting pictures of different colors to ask opinions. Case in point Prussian Napoleonic Dragoon Blue.

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 9:48 a.m. PST

Unfortunately 1. not my figures being criticized in fact a group of friends doing the criticism. I had quite a barney with them afterwords I don't think they did it again.


Edit:- I think this might have been the same incident as described by John Treadaway.

Edit 2:- Make that sure of it.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 11:19 a.m. PST

I have had several people tell me that my orcs are the wrong shade of green. Oh the irony. I have also had several people criticize my painting of 15mm Napoleonic miniatures only to offer to buy the very units they criticized later. Miniature gamers can be an eccentric bunch. My personal favorite is people who critique other peoples painting but do not paint a thing themselves, yes I know someone who fits this profile.

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2016 12:25 p.m. PST

1. Every time that I attend a wargames show with my trade stand. A fairly regular stream of people coming along, peering at the display of painted figurez and uttering something disparaging and very unoriginal. If anyone wants to confirm this they are welcome to stand behind the counter for an hour and watch it in action.

14Bore04 Sep 2016 12:28 p.m. PST

So you guys are saying I shouldn't let my figures out of the house?

SultanSevy04 Sep 2016 12:41 p.m. PST

<SHUDDER>… This is the kind of thing that gives gamers a bad name. Glad I have never seen it in person.

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