I remember seeing a post many many years ago. Someone on a forum [Ed: was it the old warseer forum before it crashed?] commented that the quality of painted minis in the inquisitor 54mm community seemed pretty poor. The post quickly set off a flame war!
If i am honest with myself, this argument has some merit. But it isn’t something inherent about inq54 that attracts mediocre painters. I just think that most GW gamers are mediocre painters and for a small community like inq54, this just is more apparent. I would imagine that like most things, the quality of painters is normally distributed. So there are a small percentage of truly terrible painters, a small percent of truly brilliant painters, and a whole swathe of average painters.
More recent thinking however suggests that groups or communities actually follow a power-law or pareto distribution – a small percent of ultra-high performers, the majority just below average, and then a small number of very low performers. So in a miniature community, about 10-15% would be hyper brilliant painters, the bulk of the group would be less than average painters, and a small number would be pretty shit at painting.
So for such a small community like the inquisitor community, there just aren’t enough hyper brilliant painters to give any false impression. The majority of the inq54 community are mediocre painters, just like every other warhammer and 40k community out there. Its just that there are so many more painters in these other communities, and therefore more brilliant painters.
Also the inq54 community seems very supportive of new and developing painters of any painting quality. So i wonder whether this encourages the bulk of the community (who are by probability below average painters) to post their work, and thereby propagate the myth that somehow the inq54 community painting standard is worse than other warhammer communities.
There is one exception to this pretty weak hypothesis i am spewing out. And that is the inq28 community. It seems to be full of these high performer painters. What is going on with this freak community? What is in the paint thinner that has created this mutant band of brilliant painters and convertors? It must be blanchitsu – it attracts the brilliant. Or at the very least the use of ultra reflective surfaces for ultra-stylistic professional photoshoots.
Anyway, i have no idea whether my weak theory holds true. Or maybe it used to be true?
More recently I’ve noticed that the quality of painting in the hobby community has vastly improved! I don’t know why – maybe it’s because of all those youtube tutorials and painting workshops and contrast paints and patreon masterclasses and and advanced technique guides, coupled with an uptake of painters using airbrushes.
And the quality of the work from the inquisitor facebook page seems to be consistently really good. So maybe the times are really changing…