Saturday 9 November 2013

This hobby is expensive? Not really..

I had an interesting conversation in the pub the other day about wargaming. It may seem an odd subject to come up in that situation and to be honest, I don't entirely remember how the topic of conversation came round to it, but when I mentioned that I play tabletop games on a regular basis, someone said to me "why do you waste your money on that 'stuff'' (not their actual words, but edited for language). It's so expensive". I don't know what it was, but the question stayed with me, buzzing away in the back my mind in the way that such questions often do.

The thing that struck me was the person who said this to me spent a good 30 to 40 pounds on alcohol that night, with nothing to show for it afterwardsexcept possibly a hangover in the morning and some hazy memories. He did this without even thinking twice about it.

That same 30 to 40 pounds, if invested in hobby stuff could have bought me a box of models or two from an online stockist, which I'd then have spent hours building and painting, then I would have had further hours of enjoyment by going to my local gaming club with them and playing with those models. I'd use those models for years on end, through hundreds on evenings worth of gaming sessions. I'd get creative inventing background for them, inventing names and watching their legend grow (or diminish) on the gaming tables. I'd have the opportunity to socialise while playing with them, meeting some great people. All for the price of one night out down the pub. Plus it has the added bonus of you waking up the next day without hangovers and possible regrets.

Most hobbies are expensive, but in the grand scheme of things, ours is actually quite a cheap hobby, even with GW's constant price rises. I have a friend who does Astrophotography as a hobby and recently shelled out two grand on the latest camera equipment. That's not even including what she spent on the camera itself. She'll probably spend even more in a year or two when better equipment comes out, but I'll still have the same armies I have now, unless I take the plunge and start a new project. Even then I'm only paying a fraction of what she pays for her hobby.

Another, more common example would be video gaming. I have many friends who are fanatical gamers, often getting the latest games on the day of release. Even discounting the cost of the console, you're looking at about 40 to 50 pounds for the latest games, with two or three being released every month. That's £120 a month, just to keep up to date. Again, I may buy a new unit every now and then, but I'm still spending on average a fraction of what console games pay, even when most of my purchases are from Forge World.

Yet despite all this, many people still look down their noses at wargaming as an expensive waste of money. It's strange how the world works really. It's the reason why I've written this article, to share it with my friends who say wargaming is a waste of money and open their eyes to how it actually fits into the strata of hobbies as a whole.

What do you guys think? Am I right? Or have your experiences of this been different?

Space Wolves commission WIP

 I've been working on a few commissions recently, my favourite of which has been a slow burn one I've been working on for a friend over at The First Expedition forums. If you're into Pre-Heresy stuff, check it out. It's a really great community.

Anyway, I digress. My client wanted a pair of Space Wolves characters converted up using the FW kits, including some sculpted bear pelts across their back. I thought I'd show you the stage I'm at with them atm.

Here's the terminator character finished, save for finding a head for him.

The fur took about 3 days to get right and it's still not fully finished. Luckily the client likes what I've done with it, as I really did feel up to having to do it again.

The power armour guy is taking longer, mainly due to the fact that I have to sculpt the fur around his backpack, but I'll post him up soon. I also need to find myself the bear pelt from the Space Wolves Terminator kit to add a bear head to the terminator dude, but that's proving difficult, as most bits websites charge a small fortune for them. If anyone's got the bit going spare and are willing to part with it, let me know and I'll do you a good deal.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Lannister Men at Arms WIP

It's been a while since I've posted, but that doesn't mean I havn't been doing stuff, I've just been too busy to post it up. I'll be doing quite a few posts over the next few days to show you what I've got done.

First up I've been working on building up my Song of Ice and Fire stuff, starting with a mad Ebay-based shopping spree and the purchase of a box of Perry Miniatures War of the Roses figures. I decided to build up the Perry models first:

I was really impressed with these, especially considering it's my first major buy model-wise that hasn't been from GW. They went together easily and had some nice details on them. They also fit right in with the Song of Ice and Fire universe, even without any conversion. I suppose it's kind of fitting really, as apparently the War of the Roses was a huge inspiration for George RR Martin when he was writing the series.

These particular guys are going to become Lannister Men at Arms when they're painted up, to accompany the Tyrion and Gregor Clegane models I have in the works (coming soon)