You ever think about why you paint? Why you play? What you’re doing with this hobby? There are some obvious plus points, such as the games, the social aspect, the competitions, the collecting, etc, but there are so many little wins in this hobby. There are so many small moments that make you smile, grin or even laugh (like a crazy person, but a happy crazy person) that I wanted to jog your memories a little. There are others, but these are my favourite 10 little joys that the hobby hands out to any who take part in it.
1. A new brush
When you pick up a brand new brush, remove its fresh bristles from the little plastic guard and just take a moment to stare at it. That perfect shape, brought to a needle thin point. Is there anything so sexy?
2. The faultless FW piece
When you get resin pieces, you’re used to slight bowing or the occasional weak point, or even a bubble once in a while. Once in a blue moon though, you clip it all from the sprue and you can see no imperfections, no blemishes and you just let how awesome that is sink in.
3. The perfect conversion
Like a surgeon, snipping carefully away at those tiny plastic bits, you gingerly remove one piece and you hope that it’s going to work and then, when you match it up to where it will go and it aligns so perfectly… sploosh.
4. A tidy desk
A place for everything and everything in its place. It may not last long (it usually never does), but when you sit down at your work station and the desk is free of clutter and mess, you say to yourself ‘Yes. Yes, I will do well in this unknown and pleasant land’.
5. FW’s weekly Email
They’ve been mixing it up recently, but it used to be that every Friday afternoon, some new goody would be revealed in your email inbox. Even if it wasn’t for your army, you could still ooh and aah about it. Best email of the week.
6. Putting your brush down after a long project
Annnnd relax. That last little detail is done and you can put down your mini and your brush and just stare at it. Proud of your accomplishment, happy with your efforts, you can just stare at it and feel your muscles relax. Bathe in those fleeting, glorious moments people, bathe in them.
7. Your Army getting something new and shiny
It used to be a long wait, but GW are seriously putting their foot down with new releases and coming up with some amazing sculpts right now. A new model for your army is always cause for celebration.
8. Opening a new codex and finding the wins
There’s always a hefty thwack from the nerf bat, but there’s usually a nice bonus or two in there as well. A weapon getting some power creep, points drops to your favourite unit, awesome psychic powers… they’ll be in there. Even Nid players have to admit to finding some nice things now.
9. Mastering a new technique
That day when you go onto a site that showcases quality work and you see that, for example, your NMM technique is on a par with someone who everyone thinks of as a great painter. That is a good day. Treasure it.
10. Completing an army
You might have envisioned it a year back, or even more, but that first moment when you can stand back from your desk and see the whole army, in all of its glory, this is possibly the greatest feeling a miniature painter can have. The herculean effort, the blood, sweat and tears, the self-imposed isolation and the hours of lost sleep are all worth it at this point. This is why we paint and why we enjoy it.
Now, you may have your own little moments of simple bliss and understated (and often misunderstood) pleasures relating to the hobby, but I think that everyone who paints and plays enjoys some, if not all of these things. This growth, progression and simple happiness are as rewarding as the games, the victories and the collecting. This is where we get our kicks and to ensure that you can always find something to enjoy in all of these toy soldiers, take a moment, and think about your own little enjoyments. You won’t regret it.
Got your own ideas on what you enjoy? Stick them in the comments section below.