A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Hooptedoodle #80 - Just an Alternative View

What you see is what you get
A friend drew my attention to a recent experience on eBay - no problem, just a little puzzling. He was interested in the item pictured above, which appears to be 20mm cavalry of some sort, and is described as "decent paint job".

Since he felt that the seller might have attached the wrong photo (which does happen, you know), he sent a note to ask if these were indeed painted, since they didn't look like it, and received a prompt, friendly reply to confirm that the paint consisted of primer, with the odd spot of colour.

Which is pretty much what we see. I was intrigued by this. Doubtless the primer and the odd spots have been decently applied, but this is not the usual understanding of a decent paint job. Ignoring stuff like commercial misrepresentation and all that, which is too heavy, there is obviously a wider range of interpretation of what painted means in this context - which is where the photos come in very useful on eBay.

Every day I see breathtaking examples of miniature soldier painting online - my current favourite gawping site, among so many, is the Castles of Tin blog - and it occurs to me that we all have our own standards and definitions. It also occurred to me that, comparatively speaking, my own standard of painting is rather nearer the primer and blobs end of the spectrum than I would wish, but luckily I found a letter from the Tax Office to take my mind off the topic.


  1. Read in Brian Sewell voice:
    Well I think these are superbly undercoated and the odd blob of colour should at least double, no, no triple their actual cost price and the use of the tape measure is just sublime. What more can I say?

    1. Well expressed, I would say. Is Brian Sewell a prat or what, by the way? Anything funnier than his tirades against Jack Vetriano would be hard to imagine.

  2. Perplexing.

    It makes one wonder what the range of opinion on other adjectives might be, including "educated", "wealthy" and "attractive". Friends who pursue online dating assure me that the variance in understandings of "attractive" is similar to divergent understandings of "painted".

    1. Perhaps we should take steps to simplify the language further. Henceforth, the only permitted adjectives allowed to stand alone will be binary in nature - e.g. dead/not dead, pregnant/not pregnant etc. All other adjectives must be preceded by the word "like", and the speaker has to mime quotation marks in the air, to indicate implied lack of precision, and possibly irony.

      Didn't Shaw describe some woman as having "a somewhat weathered beauty"? That would not be allowed under the new regime - too many words. Anyone having a non-zero rating in the Attractiveness attribute will be officially described as "attractive". We'll be watching.