Running model-painting classes at Adventure Games Inc. gives lakecity carpenter Jeremy Delay a community to share his artistic abilities and knowledge with.
Delay has been working as a carpenter in Williams Lake for the last 10 years and said that he’s always been an artist at heart. While some artists use canvas, clay or pen and paper as their medium, Delay has always preferred, from a young age, to paint miniature models.
He specializes in painting models for Warhammer 40,000, one of the world’s most popular fantasy tabletop war game simulators. Models can be as deceptively simple as a single soldier, to terrain pieces handcrafted with glue and faux crass, to as complex as large mythical beasts and machines.
This childhood love for the art form was rekindled in Delay in unfortunate circumstances. Six years ago Delay was in a motorcycle accident that put him in a wheelchair for a couple of months.
“In order to keep occupied I picked up painting models again and now I do carpentry during the summers and during the winters, when it’s too cold to be outdoors, I paint and keep occupied doing that,” Delay explained. “Some people call it plastic crack because it’s addictive for people who have an interest in small things.”
Delay believes that he, like many creative people, enjoys creating fantasy art partially for the element of control over their world. Even if its just small painstakingly detailed miniatures of soldiers or of detailed pieces of terrain including streams, trees and rocks, there is a desire to capture all the tiny details.
Photography is a similar medium he likens the pursuit of the craft to, in where you capture an image and control what makes up composition and contents of the piece.
“You can take a picture and put it on your wall or you can create something and put it in your display case,” Delay remarked.
Delay has grown skillful enough to open up his own commission-based model painting business known as White Elf Painting on Facebook. Their customers have described his work as “perfection” and a “benchmark” in their collection, with customers in both Canada and the United States.
“Most of my works comes out of the States naturally so the dollar’s in our favour,” Delay remarked with a chuckle. “The business side is simple, I sell on eBay and get my card out there and then people contact me directly.”
Adventure Games, meanwhile, has been something Delay’s been involved with in some way since its opening. Indeed, it was through their doors he wheeled himself through to purchase some new models to paint shortly after his accident.
The sense of community about the place has attracted Delay back many times to the store for more than just new models. Be it a gaming session of some kind or a party like the one held this New Year’s Eve, Delay has found it to be a place he can go, hang out and socialize with folks he wouldn’t get to meet otherwise.
Part of this now includes him hosting Painting Day with White Elf Painting every other month at Adventure Games like he was on Saturday, Jan. 5. There, Delay invites community members to come with their models and paints for advice, lessons or just a friendly space to paint with like-minded commended people.
“It’s a free of charge thing, it’s just me giving back a bit because they do so much work here with the community and definitely provide a hangout over the weekend, which not a lot places are open during the weekend,” Delay said. “It’s casual … you bring your models you’re working on or even if you want to get into the models, you can just buy a random model and start painting.”
After he airbrushes a base onto the model for them, Delay simply lets them grab their paints and begin, helping out where he’s needed.
The participants vary in skill and interest, with some being more into the gaming aspect of Warhammer 40,000 and others more into the pure art of the endeavour. Delay added that, while his interest lies in Warhammer 40,000 and similar style games, anyone into model painting be it for another game, model planes and cars or landscapes for model trains are also welcome to come.
“If you have an artistic itch, the model people are a bit of a unique type I think because we’re not good at painting on canvas. In fact, I haven’t met a model artist who is any good at painting canvas. I’m not either. I just draw,” Delay observed. “It takes a unique kind of person, I think, in order to have an interest and you have to have an interest. I don’t think it’s something you just pick up.”
Despite this, for those who do have an interest in model painting or wish to check it out and see if it’s for them, he encourages them to come to his next painting day, which will be sometime in mid-February. For more information and a specific date, check Adventures Games Inc.’s Facebook page for details on this and other events they run.
“I’m a simple and quiet person, Adventures Games has allowed me to have an outlet to make friends over the years,” Delay said.