I've always felt Paintedfigs.com made for a good human interest feature story, especially in Sri Lanka where there is so little exposure to the larger world of gaming, let alone miniatures (they do video and PC, but everything else is unheard of except for Risk which everyone owns but no one ever plays). It has all the hallmarks: oddity, quirkiness, pretty visuals, human interest. I even pitched the story to one magazine, but they didn't seem to think it was something worth writing about (they also went out of business a couple of years ago, so look who's laughing now, eh? EH?).
The Sunday Times of Sri Lanka is quite an old paper out here, and has a strong leisure and human interest following. My friend Smriti Daniel (who got me to do some writing for a children's zine she edits) it turned out also writes for the Times, and she set up an interview with us over the weekend.
What is wargaming? Why did you pick it? How long have you been a gamer for? Where do your staff come from? Had they ever seen anything like this before? Who buys these? She asked a good range of questions, perhaps with a slant towards doing a story focused on a person (me!) rather than miniature painting or the industry of miniature painting in general (not that I'm complaining).
The end of the interview caught me off guard: Pushpa the photographer took a great many pictures of me with miniatures -- I guess I know a playboy model feels - just with minis. And pants. They also insisted I couldn't make ridiculous faces, and its hard for me to make a normal face when a picture is being taken (check me out on facebook -- there's almost no images where I'm not trying to look like a five year old).
I think there is good scope for a general story of Asian miniature painting, from Sri Lanka to Hong Kong, where it's a very real business creating full time employment. You've got Sanath Fernando only half an hours' drive from me who started full time professional miniature painting in the first place (last I heard he had 80 painters), newer companies like Reinforcements by Post (Bangladesh) and DJD Minis (Thailand), and then late entrants like us specializing in fantasy.
Us being covered in the local media doesn't really touch a lot of people interested in miniatures or painting, but it is nice for the staff to be able to show the article to friends and such and be asked about it at parties. Further, it might help build interest in our fledgling gaming community out here.
You can see more pictures of their visit on our facebook page here. We'll be updating this gallery with the pics of the article and link to it online.