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A mini rambling


Enchantra
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Alright, I was in my studio tonight priming up Jolie the Scribe. And I happened to notice that on the end of the sash she wears is a small skull. Now maybe I'm just picking up all the minis with skulls on them by coincidence, but it seems like lately a lot of minis are sculpted with skulls on them.

 

I understand in games like D&D and some of your wargames that skulls are a common theme for certain player classes like Necromancers and some mages. No problem. I'm noticing though they seem to be cropping up more and more even on the more "innocent" minis.

 

Now I am only asking a question here. I'm not ranting as I am certainly not upset. Why do there have to be skulls sculpted on so many minis? I happen to live in a household with two Parents who think of D&D as something borderline satanic and associated with the drug culture. I try very hard to keep my minis more or less "Tame" as related to if they are evil or not. This is one of the reasons I don't paint undead minis, skeletons or things like Gauntfield. If my Parents saw them they very well might flip. They only accept my mini painting and my gaming because they like my friends who I game with and they know mini painting gives me an outlet.

 

I had finished priming up Jolie, and Dad comes into my basement studio and is curious as to what I am working on. I hand him Jolie, not thinking he would see that tiny skull on the sash. Right. His first comment, "Isn't that a skull on her there?" I responded quickly to smooth this out before he could say anything, "It is Dad but it won't be a skull when I get done painting it." He seemed to accept that and went on. Now if I were to paint it as a skull his take on things would be rather different.

 

I have tried very hard to educate my Parents on the fact that undead minis and skulls are not satanic. Unfortunately their opinion of D&D and related things is colored by the fact that a Family friend's son played D&D as a teenager and due to other circumstances he wound up on drugs and an alcoholic mostly due actually to the fact his Parents didn't care and due to his friends being really nothing more than losers. (I met many of them, they seriously had nothing going for them. They used to come into our Friend's house stoned out of their minds.) So trying to show my Parents that D&D isn't satanic is pretty much like beating a dead horse. They don't realize most people who play D&D do it because it is fun.

 

So I keep trying to hide the skulls on the minis and disguising them. There are a lot of beautiful minis out there I would love to paint but the skull factor keeps me from painting them. Alright, What can I do besides trying to sculpt over them or disguise them somehow? I've tried filing, but if they are big, that doesn't work.

 

Oh and just to throw in a weird twist here, my Parents don't seem to mind if I paint a mini that is naked like Allura. I don't exactly understand their logic here.

:blink:

 

So, how do I hide those skulls, and can anyone recommend a few nice minis without them? I'd like to be able to keep painting minis and not have my Parents flip out. Afterall, I live under their roof until I find myself a better job.

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A quick hit with a Dremel or file can remove the offending skull.

 

I've had similar difficulties sometimes trying to find a big mean brutish looking fighter. Most of those figs are "evil" and thus covered with skulls and the like. They don't have to have big fuzzy teddy bears on the knee pads or shields or belt buckles, but they don't need skulls either. Some guys can be mean and not evil.

 

Dwarves and elves seem a fairly safe bet for being skull free.

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I can relate to the parent thing, but luckily for me, all my mom sees is the quality of the paint job, not the design of the fig. I tend to not show things to my step-dad because he is just plain disinterrested in anything I do unless it's to pay him money!

Dwarves and elves do seem to be your best bet, as long as they're not Drow. Most of your typical Heroic Knights are pretty good at being "skull-free" as well.

 

Kinda sucks having to live with the folks at times, doesn't it? Although the "no-rent" thing is a bonus ::D:

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I had the same problem and now that my parents and I have had it out and that issue is put to rest once and for all, I have small children. So I too don't like all the emphasis on the macabre. I have seldom seen the skulls on minis sculpted by ladies so you might try sculpts by the likes of Sandra G. and Julie G.

 

TS

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What's so satanic about D&D or skulls? I can understand skulls, but it's there to MEAN something! Usually, EVIL! How does a blackguard pass of as a tyranical conqueror without skulls? :poke:

 

As far as I'm concerned, wouldn't that be like calling a biology teacher "anti-christ" because he has a skeleton in the class?

 

Well, I guess you can just say "It's art. The skull is a symbolism to remind the heroes that even evil lurks in their doings, and should be watched." ::D:

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I had the same problem and now that my parents and I have had it out and that issue is put to rest once and for all, I have small children. So I too don't like all the emphasis on the macabre. I have seldom seen the skulls on minis sculpted by ladies so you might try sculpts by the likes of Sandra G. and Julie G.

 

TS

Well I've been working on the new job thing and as soon as that materializes and I save up some money I am getting out of the house. That pretty much will solve the problem. In the mean time though, trying to enjoy my hobby can be a bit difficult..

 

Vinny: If I knew WHY they considered the skulls satanic then maybe I could find a way to reason with them. I don't see either of those happening though as the last time I asked that question I got weird looks and some utterance about how evil things are associated with skulls.

 

I seriously don't get it because outside of this whole thing about thinking D&D to be borderline satanic, they are fairly open-minded. Heck they accepted my sister as a lesbian, and they accepted me converting to Judaism. So it really confuses me as to why they think this way when they are so open about other things. My Parent's are not fundamentalist either. D&D happens to be the only thing they seem to have issues with, mostly as I explained earlier due to what they observed in our family friend's son.

 

I am in shock though that they are willing to allow me to have gaming nights here at the house. I guess I have made progress in some ways.

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Green stuff on a small skull, could turn it into a ball/orb/whatever. I guess I'm trying to say that instead of cutting the skull away maybe you could sculpt soemthing on top of it. Just an idea.

 

Maybe someone whom they (your folks) respects could tell them that skulls aren't bad. Read on some other board (don't remember which) about a local minister who painted minis, who told local mommies that minis weren't evil or satanic. Which actually seemed to help.

 

Kim

 

P.S. Luckily that whole D&D = satanism idea never really had much success in Denmark, so never had to deal with that.

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Fear is very likely the biggest motivator behind your parent's issues. They have heard roumors that D&D is satanic and causes kids to get killed. They don't want to lose you. In Western culture, the skull is a symbol of death, destruction, evil, and danger, so it shouldn't be that surprising that many people are turned off by them.

 

D&D has been used a a tool by some groups seen as cultic or satanic (whether they are or not is open to debate) as a means of recruitment. I saw this first hand when I was in college. Of course, that doesn't make D&D satanic or evil, but not everybody sees things that clearly because they fear what they do not understand. As I told my own father, if you call D&D evil, you better call candles evil as well; you can use them to add light or use them in a dark cerimony (having never seen a real dark cerimony, I am not sure how ture this is, but it made a good point at the time :poke: ). The correlation is the same. It is the use of the item that is good or evil, not the actual item. I use my kitchen knife to cut vegetables; others have used knives to stab people to death. Are knives evil? Do guns kill people, or do people use guns to kill people? People are good and evil; things just get used.

 

TS

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I'll take any of your unwanted skulls. I can't get enough of them :)

 

Interestingly, various sects of monks kept skulls of their predicessors on hand for various reasons.. be it a reminder of their own mortality, or to carry on the work of those who came before them and to know that it will be carried on after they go. I think the skulls were transcribed with "Sumus moribundus" or "we are destined to die"

 

The Chapel of St. Triphone at St. Catherine's Monastary houses the skulls of former monks. There are also Ossuaries all over europe which have sculptures and decorations made of bones - so while there is the attachment to "the darker side of D&D" so to speak, there is also a very strong christian tradition as well.

 

I keep a plastic skull with a pirate hat and eyepatch on the top of our attic stairs. :) I call it "Agent skully"

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