HOBBYIST TO PRO
We looked on line at the work of Paul Baker, now a noted figure painter: “My hobby journey began in the early 1970’s when a supply teacher introduced me to wargaming by staging a Napoleonic game using Airfix
1/72 plastics. This sparked an interest in me, then I began accumulating boxes of these figures and one day I decided that I wanted to paint them so that they represented the art on the front of the box. After several attempts I ended up with single colours on the figures using Humbrol paints. Later on I began painting metal figures: I chose Hinchcliffe
because they had other periods other
than Napoleonics. I began collecting a Byzantine army with Hunnic allies.
“Fast forward a few years after life had interfered with my hobby, I moved back to the London area and I could once again attend SELWG – a local wargames club. All this time I had still been painting models but not playing. On one of these visits, I was introduced to Kevin Dallimore who took interest in me and asked to see some of my painted figures. At this time, we were using Plaka paints which were water based acrylics with a very limited pallet so most colours had to be mixed. Kevin had very good contacts within the hobby being associated with Essex, Front Rank and Wargames Foundry. My painting style took a big leap when Kevin created the Wargames Foundry Triad painting system giving most colours a shade, mid-tone and a highlight. I no longer had to mix colours as they were already done for me!
“When wargamers began to see my painted armies people started to ask me to paint units then armies for them. In 1986 I set up my own painting service company and have never looked back. With the advent of the internet my painting business has become global with customers from all over the world. I have never specialised in any one period but have always took a fancy to Colonial, particularly 19th Century Africa. I fell in love with Mark Coppelstone’s African ranges he sculpted for Wargames Foundry. I collected all the figures but no one was playing this period at SELWG so they stayed in the cupboard unpainted.
“I discovered the Death in the Dark Continent ruleset a while back and this set a fire in me so I quickly painted up a Force Publique army. I have always preferred painting metal figures but they are being overtaken in the market place by plastic and resin models these days. As for paints, I still use water based acrylics but from a whole variety of producers however my favourite is still the Foundry Triad system. I don’t favour any particular brand or type of paint brush – be it synthetic or sable – as I go through them so quickly due to wear and tear.
“Although I do a lot of painted commission work I haven’t lost the love of the hobby: I do still like to paint figures for myself and I really enjoy gaming on a well laid out table with nice terrain and two fully painted armies.