This year, the members of the Facebook group Oklahoma Battletech hosted a Christmas Exchange. In this, members sent in their names, a wishlist including miniature and faction, and their address in case they couldn't meet to exchange. After that, a central moderator randomly chose who would get whom in a Secrer Santa like mixup.
My assignment said they were a fan of Griffins and Lyrans. I didn't have any spare unseen on hand and couldn't locate any for this project. (I usually hesitate to spend the extra on unseens, especially with the classics coming out, but I somehow always manage to make exceptions for events like this if I can.) I happened to have in my bare metal box a Primitive Griffin. It scales well with the unseen and has a similar aesthetic. You may remember this Primitive Griffin from the (cruel, taunting) write up in its build and painting where you can read more about the process and techniques behind it.
The minis I receive from exchanges like these are some of my most prized pieces. As an artist, there is no better way to carefully evaluate someone's work than by looking at it carefully (well, watching them paint it in person is the best way to steal techniques). Looking at the details, the brush strokes, the lines and decals all reveal a bit of a story of how a miniature is assembled, modified, and painted.
More importantly, as a member of a community, exchanges like this are excellent opportunities unities to build connections. We often stare down each other over tables and terrain, throwing dice to overcome our opponents. These exchanges, however, can bring us together to build a strong, long lasting gaming group.
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