Was the Internet worth it?
I'm not getting into anything political here. No identity politics, no grand philosophising. Pure hobby. In which case, the answer is obviously yes. But in what now seems an incredibly obvious statement, it has recently dawned on me how big an influence the Internet has been on my hobby life over the years, how images I have consumed and projects I have followed have stayed with me far beyond I had realised. And how many names I have forgotten...
I have recently started developing my Instagram presence (georgemac0098), where I have been posting some of my favourite conversions and recent paintjobs, as well as a few of my older projects with pictures taken from this blog. Following a post featuring a converted Warhammer Ghoul with a gasmask and a lasgun, a model I had converted somewhere in the region of seven years ago, I was messaged to say I should give credit to a fellow hobbyist, who had done this conversion first and was clearly deserving of credit.
Obviously I had not stolen his picture and reposted it for my own gain, but the fact that my conversion was an almost exact replica was enough to get this response.
At first I was taken offguard by the presumption. The original influence for this conversion, as far I remembered, was a 54mm Inquisitor model from White Dwarf back when I was a teenager, and I had tried to replicate this in 28mm. But then I pushed my mind back, to the old Portent and Warseer forums, to the original Inq28/Inquisimunda project logs, and the rough memory did come to me - this hobbyist mentioned was one of the old guard, one of the first serious Inquisimunda converters, and of course his work had been a huge influence on me! He had indeed made a conversion almost exactly the same, and it could well be that I had seen this and tried to recreate it.
The anonymity of the Internet strikes again. I trawl through project logs, Facebook images, Twitter and a huge number of other resources, looking for inspiration, but I don't pay enough attention to the names attached to the images - and so when I do my own version of what may well be their original idea, there is precious little acknowledgement. I regularly save interesting images when I'm looking through pages on my phone, but rarely do I make a note of the original poster. Harmless this may be, it is still not good form.
Nonetheless, it can be difficult to attribute things correctly. Pictures are reposted or outright stolen, old images copied and pasted a dozen times. I cannot promise I will be able to list all of my influences, especially when my phone is filled with a thousand unlabelled images, but I will certainly be trying harder in the future to give credit where it is due!
To everyone who posts their work publicly, thank you. You keep the hobby alive for us all, and inspire more conversions and sweet paintjobs than you can imagine. It is a great time for miniature wargaming, with a thousand sources for inspiration available at the touch of a button, and thank you for sharing.
Thanks for reading,