South to Privateer Press Part 1

I took an extended car trip yesterday to drive down to Bellevue to visit the offices of Privateer Press. The meeting was ostensibly to get a demo of the new P3 paints but I was also going to take some time to chat with Matt Wilson. The major draw though was a promise of a chat and paint demo with Mike and Aly McVey. I’m still as much of a fan-boy as the next person so it really was

The PP offices are in a rather inconspicuous industrial site in Bellevue and the building itself has no signage or even a unit number so it was really only because one of the PP staff was taking a smoke break when I walked past that I was even able to find the front door. Their location belabours the word non-descript. One small sign at the street entrance is the only indication that the company is even there. It wouldn’t surprise me if staffers were routinely late due to walking past the offices while back from work.

Once I managed to get in the first thing that greeted me, aside from Mike the charming fellow at the front desk, are three huge gaming tables that have been taken over by staff using them to assembled Cygnar Lancer boxes. The process was quite fascinating and what was even more-so was the chainmail mitt that the sorter was using to grab and hold parts while packaging.

When I was finally over that initial distraction I made an immediate beeline for the two four layer display cases that hold most (all?) of the companies studio paintjobs. The Hordes case was quite bare, almost as if minis were out being re-shot for catalogues, but the Warmachine case was brimming with miniatures. What was immediately apparent, and rather shocking, was the level of detail that is on the miniatures and lost in the photographic process. This is understandable for images being put on the web but I was really quite taken aback by how much better the miniatures looked in person when compared to the photos in the rulebooks or catalogues. If you didn’t know that they were one in the same you’d almost think that the miniatures in the display case were repaints or even new paint schemes. I don’t want to belabour this point too much but the next time you see a picture of a painted mini from Privateer Press just assume that the real thing has twice to three times the amount of detail and shading than you see in the picture.

After a quick meeting with Nate, Mike and Aly McVey came down and gave me an extensive demo of the new P3 paints. This involved Mike talking about the paints, and answering my questions, while Aly painted various colours on two Warjacks and then did some blending and highlighting on them. The paints were quite impressive and it was also pretty neat to have a first-person demo of wet blending techniques from someone as accomplished as Aly. What was quite obvious was that Mike and Aly are both quite enthused about not only creating a good line of paints but also creating a line of paints that they would want to use. Their enthusiasm for these new paints was infectious to say the least.

I also do have to say that it was a bit of a geek-thrill to sit down and chat with Mike. I’ve been reading his painting articles and been a fan of his painting and design for quite some time and it was quite a thrill to meet him in person and just chat. Both Mike and Aly were very personable and I really had quite a good time talking with them about the P3 line and painting in general.

I taped the entire demo and will hopefully have the audio saved as an MP3 file to post to TGN at some point. There is a fair amount of editing that needs to be done as the room we were in was being used to box miniatures (you can hear someone using a tape roller at one point) and I also say “Wow” a hell of a lot in the demo as well. Blame Aly and the paints for that.

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