Group Therapy for Miniature Painting

Hey everyone, my name is Max ( Hi, Max!) and I’m a paint-aholic.  But don’t worry, I’m working the steps, I’m attending meetings.  And you should come by too.

Not only are they usually not in a church basement, you don’t always need to leave your house.

Group therapy, meetings and other whatnots, with some more seriousness.

Back when I moved out on my own, I lived in a crappy basement with barely any light.  Lucky for me and my painting addiction, the Local game store close by offered permanent tables for people to paint.  That’s pretty much how I learned to paint, or at least transition to crappy models to barely tabletop.  I’ve also made a bunch of gaming buddies out of strangers.
Fast forward a couple of years, me and my roommate would host these paint night once every other week, where the whole kitchen would be turned in a painting studio for 4-5 people.  This was great to get focussed and get things done.  Me and my roommate alone would probably build and paint 8 armies per month this way.
Then a couple years back, with the great thing that is technology and the internet, came the google hangouts.  This made leaving the house or wearing pants obsolete to find people to paint with.  While not as up close and personal ( you can’t help a buddy finish his army over the web just yet ) this brings you hobby friends 24/7 thanks to time zones and different hobby schedules.
Boy, oh boy!  Painting groups sure sound great!  Where do I sign up?

Game Stores

The best way to start locally is looking for a game store that has the space to host small painter’s gatherings.  If you look around, you might find some that already offer this service to their patrons, so just start hanging there.  Make this a semi regular thing and tell people about it (  Yeah, I spend 3 hours here every Tuesday while my girlfriend does yoga…  Or let’s meetup after the Habs game thursday and you can teach me how you… )  and before you know it, you will have the painting group ball rolling.

At Jay’s
No game store?  Have some folks over.  A large plastic sheet costs 2-3 dollars and covers any kitchen table.  Get a couple of supplies like cups and towels from the dollar store and you are good to go.  As your gathering get more regular, there are options you can explore to bring it to the next level:

1- Alternate.  Last week was at Jay’s, this week at my place, next week at Frank’s, and hopefully never at Kevin’s.  Cool thing is that it’s not always the same who have to travel and cleanup, but it does require everyone to have some sort of setup, rather than option 2.

2- Pimp out your place out.  Once you build your Mancave, it’s easy to set a side 2-3 dollars per person every session going out to buying some supplies.  A big-ass lamp, better chairs, make a bulk order of paint, whatever you guys want.  It can also be to setup gaming tables or something.

3- Expand and rent.  Thought I was joking with the Church basement, weren’t you?  Well, as your gatherings go, you may want to setup somewhere affordable and not quite permanent that you can only use a couple days per month.

The Internet

Sometime, your scene sucks.  Maybe you live in Holetown, Buttville or some other remote and deep location where nobody games.  Maybe your local store is all cards and no minis, oh the humanity.  Enters trusty friends: the interwebs.  Either look for twitch with the growing scene of miniature painter and the well behaved chat filled with hobby enthusiast, setup a google account to use their hangout feature.  Skype is also quite nice to use if you do have friends, just not close by.

Internet is great because you can hunt down people you would otherwise have 0 chance of meeting and get specific tips from them ( assuming they do have the time to skype and paint )

Protip sidebar:  do wear pants when on the internet with strangers.

Ressources and communities:


Obviously, I’m not quite local everywhere, however:

Quebec: La Boutique Hellfire ( shameless plug ) has all the paints setup for you to use, staff that knows how to paint, and it’s where I am usually painting.

Montreal:  Les Soiree D’Ares.  A really great group of hobby dedicated folks, I really like what they do with their paint nights and game nights.

Ontario:  Canhammer/ OneplusArmour or whatever their name is now.  These tournament oriented bunch are skyping and painting on the regular, and travelling to tournaments left and right, as well as setting up their own.

Miniwargaming used to be a great community, but I’ve lost touch in the past years.


The Longwar Network:  Probably the most well known bunch out there for 40K, they have a busy twitch schedule and you can always find someone to talk hobby with you ad paint along the ramblings of yo dawgs.

The Hobby Hangout:  Stepping up the game from a small G+ hangout community to permanent hangouts and great facebook community to boot, they also have dedicated hosted nights with themes and experts.

If you’d like to add to this list of communities, please share.

Until next time,
No excuses, hobby like a champion!

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