Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Eyes Have It

As I was oohing and ahhing over the latest post at Lead Legion, an interesting thought occurred to me: more and more, it seems that, outside of a basic flesh wash, people are not bothering with painting in the eyes at all on their 28mm figures.

Now, any smaller scale and it's obvious why one wouldn't bother with eyes. But I've always painted eyes in on my 28mm figures whenever possible, particularly as the scale has crept larger and larger over the years and sculptors have gone out of their way to sculpt "eyeballs" as it were. It's challenging and really easy to screw up (and just as easy to fix and try again, really), but a figure just doesn't feel done to me until something's done around the eyes.

Note that this doesn't mean I'm painting little white dots on every eyeball in a 30-man unit. For mass ranks, I'll settle for a bit of dark wash and maybe a splash of black paint. Nor am I advocating painting elaborate eye effects - just a hint of a glance or a look is what I go for. What strikes me about this latest trend, though, is that, as in the Escher models in the page linked above, no extra paint has been applied to "pretty up" the eye area. Just flesh-colored eyeballs ala an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

Also please note that I'm not taking Lead Legion to task, here. For one thing, he might be painting to the client's specifications. But even if that's just his style, I'm not judging it. It's just a curious trend I've noticed I've noticed among many miniatures painters, professional and otherwise, and I'm wondering if it has a source or if it's just one of those things.

This might be the first post in a series of my observations as a 20-plus-year veteran about changing standards in miniatures painting. We'll see how self-indulgent I'm feeling in the coming weeks...

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