Earlier this year, I started teaching miniatures painting classes at my local community center — something I’ve been interested in doing for years!
You see, back in April of 2021, it really looked like we were going to lick this COVID thing once and for all. The pending return to normalcy got me excited to dip a toe into in-person instructional classes, as a way to give back to the hobby and encourage the next generation of hobbyists.
Of course, you know where this story goes. COVID didn’t go away at all … in fact, it returned with a vengeance, and with it came more public health restrictions.
Thankfully, in-person events didn’t evaporate entirely, and so I was able to teach three classes in 2021: two introductory painting courses (intended for beginners who had never picked up a brush) and a terrain-making class where we had fun with pink foam and hot wire cutters and Modge Podge.
I received some generous donations of supplies and materials from Mindtaker Miniatures as well as Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics, for which I’m eternally grateful.
Each student received a miniature (I tried to supply a variety of models, not just your typical 40k monotone) as well as access to paints and supplies. We did a short lesson on the actual painting process, but in general I tried to focus on hands-on learning. Some students came in with no experience whatsoever, but most had dabbled a bit in painting or modeling (or both).
The sessions were great fun and I’m pleased to report that I’ve roped in a few new players for our local gaming scene.
It was also fascinating to note that half or more of the students in my classes were women! This is a great trend in our hobby and I’m pleased to see it taking shape. Painting toy soldiers is for everybody and the more we can do to encourage that mindset, the better.