Sunday, July 20, 2014

On the joys of having a wargame-friendly wife

I've been motivated to say a few words about my dear wife, Aor. She's originally from NE Thailand, the landscape of which is quite like that of Vietnam, so over the years her memory (as well as my own of having been in Thailand in the Army) has always been an invaluable help to me in producing terrain for my Vietnam wargaming. 

She also has always been very supportive of my hobby, though perhaps there has been a certain lack of fervor (which is "highly understandable" she tells me) concerning the money it devours and the space in our apartment it stubbornly refuses to relinquish, but overall, she's always been very tolerant and even semi-interested. 

Over the past few weeks, she has developed a desire to understand why I enjoy the endless painting and organizing. I told her it's very likely a "man thing" and thus inexplicable to a woman, but in part, painting is very relaxing and organizing my little legions provides me a control over a tiny world that I can never exercise in the "real" world. On the wargaming table, I am lord and master with total power of life and death. As I expected, most of my diatribe was as if I had explained it to her in Old Icelandic, but the "relaxing" part caught her ear. 

Yesterday, after thumbing through my mind-numbingly large array of reference books, my wife announced herself ready to begin painting miniatures, much to my delighted incredulity. She has a fairly stressful career (a supervisor in the cashier's office of a large private hospital) and is a very meticulous and detail-oriented person, so I can see the mental attraction of a bit of quiet painting. 

Being from NE Thailand and born two weeks after the end of the Vietnam War, she's always had a passing interest in the conflict and the Thai combat troops that took part. That being the case, she asked for something small to begin on. She chose a 1/285 (GHQ minis) Viet Cong infantry platoon command stand. So, here, without further ado, is her completed stand:
I'm absolutely gobsmacked!! The prone figure even has little sandals!! The kneeling guy has a tiny red dot on his cap to represent a communist red star!! 

She's done the entire thing, with zero help from me, apart from a few bits of "how to" advice and a little looking at stands I've already done. All I did was hand her two bare-metal figures and a plain steel stand. The two days she's spent seems incredibly short for a first-ever effort of this quality, considering that she's primed, textured, painted, and flocked! I'm man enough to say that she's a better painter than I am (I blame it on her eyes being 12 years younger than mine are!). And moreover, she has pronounced the whole thing "fun, engrossing, creative, and calming". 

Like most women, she refused to allow a few photos of herself working on the stand. I was told that as I had sneaked in a photo of her at New Year (see my post of 12/30/13), I shouldn't push my luck! In the interests of continued domestic felicity, I resisted the urge to surreptitiously snap a few.  

I asked about going on to actual gaming, but she said that she feels no interest at all, at least for now. She only wants to paint when the motivation strikes her. Well, I'm all for that! I always knew that I'd married a winner, but this goes above and beyond! 


  1. Tell the missus that this is good work, in fact very good. For a first effort, it is blooming incredible!
    If she is just painting for fun, keeping it in your scale is useful but not necessary. I recently bought some 28mm figures for the French Indo-China war and they were the most fun to paint I have had since, well, forever.
    Might be worth a look. Lots of Tai, if not Thai, involvement in that war.

  2. That is great work for a first try. Be interesting to see what your good wife will be producing in a years time if she keeps it up! Eyes and fingernails painted on 1/285th figures!!

  3. superb work, great little command stand. I honestly had no idea there were any Thai troops in Vietnam.

    1. Yes, in addition to the US, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and the Philippines sent troops, but the Filipinos were only non-combat troops, such as civil affairs and medical units

  4. Now you just need to get her gaming ;)


  5. Superb work, She has a great eye for detail and this is just the start!

    1. I think she will completely replace me in a few months!