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MY HISTORY IN THE WARGAMES HOBBY

Hello my name is Paul Baker and I am the force behind Brush Strokes a 25/28mm and 15mm figure painting service of the highest collectors quality that caters for all the wargaming genres.

    I am going to give you a brief history of Brush strokes and my involvement in the wargaming hobby.

    I began wargaming at the tender age of 12 when I was introduced to the hobby by a school teacher who had a vast collection of Airfix 1/72 miniatures and he managed to encourage a group of us youngsters to participate in battle after school.

    I soon got tied of playing wargames with brightly coloured figures so I began to paint them in Humbrol enamals but soon got frustrated when all my hard work was spoilt when the paint began to flake of the weapons and other extremities.

    I then found that you could buy metal figures, but at that time there was only 2 manufacturers (Hinchcliffe and Minifigs) I favoured Hinchcliffe and soon had an Ancient Byzantine army which was quickly followed by an Assyrian army with no less than 8 Four horse chariots.

    Around the mid-eighties there was a move away from the standard 25mm armies to the smaller 15mm figures because of the cost and the practicability of wargaming large battles on the dining room table. Throughout this period I was always painting figures gaining valuable knowledge, experience and expertise. My mentor at this time was a man called Bill Brewer (now deceased) who had a shop in Peckham London I used to spend hours there while he gave me valuable advice and encouragement on how to paint figures in his style.

    In the early nineties I joined my local wargaming club South East London Wargames Group (SELWG) and was really surprised at the amount of people that were interested in the hobby which lived locally.

    I got to know a few people at the club and began wargaming. I would get the odd complement about the quality of my painting, but I wanted to know how my painting compared outside the club so I began going to local shows and open days to compete in the painting competitions. I won a few awards but a major triumph was when I got a first at SALUTE ( a major wargaming show held in the South East of England).

    I got a big break when a friend at SELWG suggested that I should offer my painting services to Kevin Dallimore who is one of if not the best figure painters in this country. At that time Kevin had a painting service called Special Forces and I supplied Kevin with some examples of my work, which he liked and then he gave me approximately 20 figures to paint to an example he had given me as a test. I past the test and was taken on as a contract painter, this continued for a while until SELWG club members noticed the quality of work I was producing and started offering me commissions , that is when I set up Brush Strokes in 1996.

    From the very first commission I had always made the point of photographing every subject I painted, primarily to fill photo albums that I was producing and to send as example of my work for postal enquires.

    I got a surge in the amount of work I was receiving when I offered the editor of a wargaming magazine (Practical Wargaming which is now no longer in circulation) approximately 150 photographs to use with his articles, in exchange he gave me 2 complementary reviews in his magazine. As a result of this I received numerous enquires about my painting service, from this I obtained a stable customer base.

    In the past I have given advice and painting tips at the 2 major London shows (SALUTE, NAPOLEONIC FAIR and SELWG) and also been involved in the judging of painting competitions.

    With the ever increasing use of the internet and e-mail my painting service has reached a wider market and I now have customers from all over the world.

    Some of my work has appeared on the Wargames Foundry website www.wargamesfoundry.com/PAULB/index.asp, adverts and various catalogues.

    Just recently I have had a very good review in one of Wargames Foundry's newsletter (number 7) for painting some Russian Seven Years War figures.

    In February of 2002 I began auctioning on EBAY some of my figures which I had painted because I liked them but they were often not what people were giving me commissions for. I stopped this process in 2008 as the fees were becoming to high to make it worth while so anything I have for sale is now on my For Sale page

    I am a contributor to Kevin Dallimores Painting and Modelling Guide available from Wargames Foundry.

    One of my Wargames Foundry War orc units has been used for a SELWG open day advertisement.

    I have been a major contributor of illustrations to a wargaming book by Neil Thomas (Ancient and Medieval Wargaming)

    I have had a picture published in Wargames Foundry  Rules for Medieval Warfare

    I have had a picture of my Tong Posse used in Wargames Foundry's The Rules With No Name book along with all my Wild West scenery

    I have had 2 pictures of Seven Years War cavalry printed in Wargames Illustrated

    I have been a minor contributor of illustrations to a wargaming book by Neil Thomas (Napoleonic Wargaming)

    I have contributed to Kevin Dallimores Painting and Modelling Guide reprint and digitally enhanced edition of 2010 available from Wargames Foundry.

    I was one of Kevin's guest painters in his new book Painting and modelling guide Master Class, mainly featuring my Orc Army but had a couple of other entries in different sections.

 

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