Anyone out there on the WAMP forum?
For those who don’t know, WAMP is a miniature painting forum. They’re not dedicated to any particular manufacturer or game, they’re just all about painting good looking miniatures.
I apparently joined up three years ago, and then promptly did nothing on the forum. Recently, though, I’ve realized just what they have to offer, and I’m jumping in with both feet.
I don’t know about you, but I can find a tournament for whatever game I want fairly easily – there’s never a shortage of people who want to play games. What’s hard to find are painting competitions. Thus, why I went to the tournament last weekend. I really didn’t care about the games, I wanted to see if I could win Best Painted.
WAMP has worked with several miniatures manufacturers to run (monthly, I believe) competitions featuring a particular miniature manufacturer. Usually, the competition hinges on you buying a model made by the sponsoring company, painting it up, and then the company picks its favorites. In most cases, winners get $$ towards the company’s online store, some cool press on company blogs / social media and maybe even featured in magazines.
These aren’t just small companies, either. Wyrd, who makes Malifaux, is sponsoring one that ends in a few weeks, and who knows what company is slated for next month!
Just like in video games and other national competitions, WAMP has a ladder. Everyone starts at 1000 points, and you can issue challenges to anyone on the ladder. The challenger offers the challengee their pick of a few broad categories (sci-fi, fantasy, bust, vehicle) or topics (steampunk, “Gunslingers”, etc) and you both set a time frame. There’s a Work-In-Progress thread for the two participants to taunt and help motivate each other, until you’re both done.
Once finished, voting is opened up, and forum members vote using whatever scale the participants chose. A week later, votes are tallied and a winner is declared. The ladder is adjusted, and off you go to your next challenge.
Paint for Profit Challenge
Starting with just $10 and the paints and materials you already own, can you buy, paint and then sell miniatures on eBay to make $100? $500?
This is a fun way to test not only your skills at painting, but also reading and guessing the painted miniatures market. You have to keep track of eBay fees, Paypal fees and shipping costs, so it’s true profit that matters, not just revenue.
I’ve started a PfP challenge, and have “purchased” my first model from my existing stock of Reaper minis, and I’m excited to be working on something new and different. My current goal is just $100, and should I reach it, I’ll shoot for something bigger, like $300 or $500.
Honest, useful feedback
Probably most important of all the things WAMP has to offer is the helpful community. They’re all interested in painting better, and they’re willing to share ideas, critiques and help. Take good quality pictures of your models and post them. You’ll get great feedback. They even have a special forum called “Tell Me, I Can Take It” where you can get brutally detailed feedback on how to improve.
There are loads of tutorials, lots of past competitions to check out, and oodles of other stuff I haven’t even checked out myself yet.
Think WAMP is for you?
Consider signing up, and maybe we’ll go head-to-head on the ladder…
That does sound pretty sweet. I think I’d like to try the brutal feedback forum at some point but do you feel the forum as a whole is more for very good to elite painters and people with formal art training? I guess I don’t feel I’ve even exhausted what I can learn from wm/h focused forums.
Not at all. There are several painters who are just getting started or aiming for tabletop quality, and they aren’t going to slam your paint job beyond whatever you set out to do. If you say you’re just shooting for tabletop, they won’t call out every gem or belt buckle.
Sticking to a forum dedicated to a particular game or company is fine, but you’re only going to get exposed to one style of model. PP models are very different from Wyrd models, from Infinity, from Reaper.
Just like you want to play many opponents because you learn something different from each, you want to paint different models and try different painting styles so you can learn, experiment and have more tools available to you.
I do love painting challenges, they’re what gets most of my stuff painted. Of course I do what you did, sign up and promptly forget once the challenge is over, but the ladder is intriguing. Also very curious to see how your PfP goes. I feel I have a reasonable handle on the market for painted gaming pieces, but it sounds like this is more for display than game play and I have no idea what the market is like for that.