Controversial post of the week: About banners and flags
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Thread: Controversial post of the week: About banners and flags

  1. #1

    Default Controversial post of the week: About banners and flags

    Often times some of the more amazing works have ...extra bits tacked on, usually in the form of banners or flags.

    It takes but a second to find some posted here:

    http://www.coolminiornot.com/346341?browseid=7558174
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/345345?browseid=7558174
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/345031?browseid=7558174

    I've even seen a Mona Lisa on a flag!

    No one can deny the talent and artistry here.

    But....

    Is is strictly still a mini we're judging, or a canvas painting?

    Some viewpoints:

    1. Everything is fine, all that counts is the overall "wow" factor of the final product
    2. Anything drawn onto a mini that's not already there is not a "pure" mini, but a hybrid of two art styles.


    What about decals, did the artist actually draw that, or simply print it out and paste it down. Does this in fact even matter?
    Indeed, if I painted a mini in a nice base colour, added some basic highlights and shadows, then covered the whole thing in tiny decals to effect a tattooed design, would anyone here think that was "cheating" or perfectly acceptable, thanks very much.

    Note, I am NOT saying that the work produced in these examples is anything but amazing, and awe inspiring, but I am interested in the thoughts of the community.

    Do extravagant banners and 2D art "belong" on a 3D mini?

  2. #2

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    In my honest opinion it really only matters to whom ever likes it. Now clearly because it's miniature painting it can have a dual meaning of not only miniature as in models but referring also to the scale these models reside in. And furthermore think about it where ever rating or competition is concerned it would def matter as long as the minis are well painted along with the items that go along with it. This includes not only well painted canvas but scenery and the like. I personally think that it's mirroring small scale soldiers modeled after true characteristics of events . There were bannermen and musicians etc. it's more of do they fit together and is there a harmony. You can have a great painted model with a stick figure drawing on loose leaf as the banner . This is not going to outweigh a great painted miniature with a good painted banner. But again and this is only my opinion but at the end of the day as long as the well painted miniature is the final result a great painted banner or a stenciled or traced or decal whatever looks good is going to have the upper hand.very interesting question though my man.

  3. #3
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    I'm thinking your question has missed a obvious part of the equation, Heraldry.
    For some model including one of your examples its a primary part of the whole deal.

    Also what about Freehand embelishments, what's your take on them?
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    I'm thinking your question has missed a obvious part of the equation, Heraldry.
    For some model including one of your examples its a primary part of the whole deal.
    Agreed, I used that as one further towards the "completely part of the whole deal" range, with the Marine at the: "Now that's a nice big banner you have there" end.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    Also what about Freehand embelishments, what's your take on them?

    I wish I had the talent to do that!!!

  5. #5

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    I think it all depends on the mini.. the demon one is kinda boring, as the banner doesn't have an image on the back, no decorations on the pole, and the image while done nicely is just on a rectangle and doesn't go beyond that. But on most other models where the banner is part of the mini and people have done great freehand, of course it's going to add to the character and thus the overall score. You have to remember most standard bearer models are not as detailed as hero or character minis. And if they do mix, it may become too distracting to have to either focus on the mini or banner. Coming from graphic design, I can tell you how frustrating it is to hand letter something and get it all composed.. now you add the scale and possible warping due to the sculpt and you have a huge headache. So I can appreciate people who do banners well. As for it being the main "selling point" for a mini, look at the Ultramarine- that models was already brilliantly painted, the banner is just icing on the cake. By the same token, what if the model is great but the banner is lacking? It would probably bring it down. But- any element of a mini can do this to score. Basing, moldlines, and even manufacturer can determine score as far as some people vote. As for appreciating just the 2D freehand aspects, I don't think it's an issue.

  6. #6

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    This is a rather subjective issue - everyone is going to have their own answer.

    For me - decals on minis (and banners printed to scale, like I suspect that demon banner is) aren't cheating per se, but I won't rate them as highly as someone who actually takes the time to paint the objects. They have their place, which to me is at the army painting/tabletop level.

    I view painting as a hobby and a challenge - using decals (or printed material) is like buying a car to restore and letting someone else do all the work.

    *Yes, I do have a project in my gallery that uses material I printed to scale. I still stand by my viewpoint.
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  7. #7

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    Excuse me, but I have to seriously at this question. Modelling and painting miniatures is something we do for our enjoyment, right? A hobby, isn't it? What's with the rules, the "is this cheating", the "purity" of miniatures? You have a miniature, an idea to make it cool and you do your best to achieve the result with the best tools and methods you can find to get the maximum effect. End of story, don't you think? What does it matter if someone else thinks something on your mini is out of place or not "proper"?

    This reminds me of the airbrushing debate some years ago where some people quite persistently claimed that airbrushing miniatures was "cheating". If you didn't paint everything using only a regular brush you weren't doing it right and "according to the book". Now everyone seems to have an airbrush and it's more and more becoming a standard tool.
    Combibo vestri peniculus quod fio a melior pictor.
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  8. #8

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    True, there are no real rules with art. People can use any materials, tools, styles they want. AS LONG as they don't take credit under false pretenses ie. claiming a decal as freehand or photoshopping blends etc.
    This is especially the case when selling minis.
    1. 'Painting is a companion with whom one may hope to walk a great part of life's journey.' W. Churchill
    Thank you for asking but I don't do commissions.

  9. #9

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    Well, if you're just painting to paint (display on your shelf, etc) then it doesn't really matter what you do. But, if you're entering figures in a competition, the judges can take into account how you did what you did. Even in the gallery we rate figures... there's no prize, but people still take pride in their scores. I'd rate hand painted over decals and decals over just printing something out. As someone who likes to do freehand designs, I take it as a compliment whenever someone has to ask if it's a decal or freehand. While I may not a big fan of decals on figures, I realize that's my personal opinion. And, to be honest, if I tried to place a decal on a mini I'm sure the result would look horrible. Doing decals well is a skill (one I don't have) and people who can pull it off should get some credit. My inclination is to rate how much of the work is the artists and how much is from someone else. Freehand is 100% the artist, decal is somewhere inbetween (applying it well, weathering, editing, etc are all done by the artist), and printing something out is using almost entirely the work of someone else.

    When it comes to painting figures, it's not like we're painting each section of the mini a solid color. There's shading, color transitions, etc. Doing patterns, banners, and stuff like that is just taking it to the extreme. I'm all for being impressed with amazing freehand work.

  10. #10

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    I actually don't differentiate between decals or freehand when looking at a miniature. If a decal is done correctly then you shouldn't notice that it is a decal at all.

    Going with the controversial theme though, I personally dislike things that are not "fluff" based enough. You could have the best paint job in the world, but painting an elf to have a comic clown's face just doesn't fit in my head. If an effort has been made to make it harmonise with the actual subject (e.g. a harlequin face), then fair enough - but coco the clown, just no...

  11. #11

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    @Ritual: Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

  12. #12

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    For me,
    I think your examples covered the range of 'banner-isms' quite nicely.
    The first is the 'I want to do some cool freehand (and/or pasteing, sometimes it's hard to tell) so I'll sticka flag off his back' extreme, which is the one one that bothers me the most, and in this case, it really does detract from the overall mini, IMHO, meaning it shouldn't be there.
    The second is the 'The flag is incorporated into the mini and is integral to the overall feeling of accomplishment, and is a standard piece of equipment for a warrior of history." This one is a period piece, with a standard (-ish) coat of arms which could be quite lavish for the time, and sop as long as Mona doesn't appear here, it is perfectly fine.
    The last is a big, obnoxious over indulgent, slapped on piece that is completely fitting for the model, army, and company it represents and is therefore considered 'an enhancement' that increases (at least in my minimal experience), the weight of the figure in painting competitions that pander (both directly and indirectly)to the parent company of said figure. I can't say it isn't appropriate, and I can't personally say it isn't called for, but I can say, personally, it isn't necessary and shouldn't be rewarded for simply begin there. (yes GW rant is thin veil here)

    So a banner that is painted well can help or hurt a mini, but the overall mini itself should not be judged better or worse simply because of the presence or absence of a decent banner. Having said that, the overall composition of a piece can be hurt by an unnecessary banner, such as example 1.
    Last edited by cannon_fodder; 12-19-2013 at 09:48 PM.
    If you can name your paint colors blindfolded....you might be a brushlicker

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by cannon_fodder View Post
    For me,
    I think your examples covered the range of 'banner-isms' quite nicely.
    The first is the 'I want to do some cool freehand (and/or pasteing, sometimes it's hard to tell) so I'll sticka flag off his back' extreme, which is the one one that bothers me the most, and in this case, it really does detract from the overall mini, IMHO, meaning it shouldn't be there.
    The second is the 'The flag is incorporated into the mini and is integral to the overall feeling of accomplishment, and is a standard piece of equipment for a warrior of history." This one is a period piece, with a standard (-ish) coat of arms which could be quite lavish for the time, and sop as long as Mona doesn't appear here, it is perfectly fine.
    The last is a big, obnoxious over indulgent, slapped on piece that is completely fitting for the model, army, and company it represents and is therefore considered 'an enhancement' that increases (at least in my minimal experience), the weight of the figure in painting competitions that pander (both directly and indirectly)to the parent company of said figure. I can't say it isn't appropriate, and I can't personally say it isn't called for, but I can say, personally, it isn't necessary and shouldn't be rewarded for simply begin there. (yes GW rant is thin veil here)

    So if a banner that is painted well can help or hurt a mini, but the overall mini itself should not be judged better or worse simply because of the presence or absence of a decent banner. Having said that, the overall composition of a piece can be hurt by an unnecessary banner, such as example 1.
    Thanks, that's a pretty good summary!

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