Monday, March 15, 2010

Fast And Furious

I know from the title of this post you're expecting a cool post about bikers or land speeders or something, but since I don't have any of those models here to paint right now, I'll have to let you down.

Being mostly separated from the hobby in france for these past few weeks has given me some time to reflect and distance my self. I'm eager to really start getting busy with my tau army, and this is brought on by a few thoughts I've had while here.
I've been involved in this hobby for a good five or six years. I am a dedicated hobbyist and don't see myself ever getting out, for better or for worse.
In this time, I've collected many models, and started many armies but the only ones that have manages to be mostly finished are my dark angels and imperial guard, and even then they aren't that huge, no more than 2500 points each.

While i was slowly collecting and painting my Dark Angels and imperial guard, GW was busy updating rulebooks, birthing new codices, ans in general slimming down and modernizing their business. While this means that we don't need ever fear the extinction of our, and I use this term loosely, beloved gaming company, it also means, at least for me, that I miss out on a lot of the hobby.

Let me explain. If I were your average 30- 40 something year old, middle class, wargamer, I'd have piles of disposable income to spend on whatever new toys I wanted. I'd never have to worry about buying something that I wouldn't use, because it would be a relatively minor expense.

(This is what my dark inner self really looks like. My friends don't know this about chick magnet though ;D)

(Me and my buds in a number of years. Hopefully??!)

Unfortunatley for my hobby, I'm not 35, I don't have a middle class job and I don't have disposable income. I'm 16, the only money I come by comes from the odd commission and gift money around the holiday time. Thus my yearly hobby budget is limited in that could only ever be from 200 to 400 dollars per year.

If you consider the amount of money I might have spent over 5 years, and then subtract the money wasted on unproductive tangents, that is to say all the armies half started and never finished, I end up with a pretty small chunk of playable stuff.

What this all leads up to is my growing fear, that I am missing out on most of the hobby. I don't get to pick up cool new toys to paint, I don't get to switch back and forth from several healthy armies, and I can't allow myself to start collecting cool new ones when they come out. I feel more and more, that with all the Gw releases over the years, and my uncertainty about the future of the hobby, that I'll never get to do these things. I'm a kid in a candy store with empty pockets, and every day I'm taunted with new sweets. Just to enrich this metaphor lets say my parents were dentists and candy never gets stale here. (work that one out)

(GWs stock over the last few years)

Who knows what GW and the rest of the hobby will look like in ten years, or in fifteen when I too have piles of disposable income, as well as decades of painting experience? Will I get to collect wicked converted imperial guard units? Will I have enough brilliantly painted armies to never get bored, and never have to think twice about buying a new toy, knowing I can certainly use it in one of my numerous badass armies?

Bringing this all back to the present, I do know that if I want to enjoy the hobby like I've been wishing to that last few years. I'm going to have to start painting more, and faster than I do. I'm also going to have to find more work, and more money, as well as finding more good gamers to actually play games with, since another thing I seem to have forgotten is that I use these tiny, often frustrating miniatures to play a game that I think is called Warhammer.

What I want to know is, and I'm asking the older hobbyists this one, is what you thought about when you were passing your first few years of wargaming. Did it look at all the same? Did you ever have periods of doubt, feelings of regret? Nightmares of your plastic grey crack being taken from you while at the same time wondering why you drive your self to collect these little men just to paint them nice and put them on you shelf, waiting for that promised time when you could actually use them?

I think this post is already long enough, so I'll leave you to think on my words. Or go through the rest of your blog list looking for a proper miniature blog post ,D .

Cheers, Tom


Tristan said...

I'll always be willing to trade you models for painting work ;)

I have 4 sentinels I've decided I won't get around to if you feel like painting something after the dark elves - oh and azrael is in the paint stripper now :)

Tnoussis said...

Cool. I'm thinking my painting time will be mostly dedicated to tau fro the next few weeks, but summer isn't far away from when i get back, and I'm contemplating getting a citadel spray gun, I'll probably be able to do them for you. And If I can do it with the spray gun, it means ill likely be able to try out some hairspray/salt weathering!

Ginge said...

Personally I started in the hobby in 1990 with Space Crusade. Painting figures I could use was a good start. I then started painting other warhammer figures... but didn't actually get a proper game in till I left home for an apprenticeship in 2000!

Looking back on my old miniatures now I'm horrified by the painting standard, and wouldn't care if the model were obsolete - it's only in the direst circumstances they see the light of day anyway!

So use this time to hone your skills and paint what you feel like painting. Maybe some day you'll use it, maybe you won't... but as long as you actually enjoy the time spent painting it now, then that's money well spent :o)

Jason said...

Show me a middle class gamer with a family and I'll show you a guy without loads of disposable income.

It's nice to dream, though!