In an effort to resurrect my energy for all things hobby-related, I’ve decided to spend a little time thinking about the little pleasures that we can all enjoy.
This is one of those annoying ‘something and nothing’ sort of blog posts that all bloggers are forced to do from time to time. When we don’t have anything amazing to show off or anything interesting to really talk about. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is. So let’s get this show on the road.
First up, in an effort to prove that I’ve actually been doing something, here’s a quick snap of the next unit that I’m working on:
Unfortunately, this paltry offering is the most that I’ve been able to drum up in the last two weeks. Four torsos, four pairs of legs and a bunch of other guys waiting for similar treatment who will one day be my Veteran Tactical Squad. While I’m happy with how these chaps are turning out, I’m not particularly overwhelmed with my progress. In fact, I’m barely even whelmed.
Things have come up, I’ve been busy, and in truth, my love for Mephiston Red has cooled ever so slightly in recent weeks. I need a break from it all so that I can come at it again fresh and full of beans, because at the moment, I ain’t got no beans, man. But that’s not my only problem though…
Now, that is a messy desk. But more than that, it’s full. Like, you can’t fit anything else on there. So I need to sort out either a display cabinet or some sort of chest/trunk to store my grey tide. However, given that I have work, a holiday coming up, and a billion other things to do, I can’t find the time to sort either of those things out. Give me a couple of weeks, and I’ll hopefully have something sorted out because the above is unacceptable, and in no way conducive to a productive hobby.
But in better news, I’m still finding time to be creative. I’m attending life drawing every week which is good – I hadn’t done any in a couple of years so it’s good to get the sketch book and pens out again. This is the sort of stuff that I’ve been knocking out of those sessions:
Of course this activity takes up an evening each week where I could be painting, but I’m enjoying it greatly. Furthermore, just being creative in any way is good for one’s hobby efforts. And soon, my love for Blood Angels will return and I can finally finish with Phase 1 of my Heresy era army. Then I’ll put the Mephiston Red away for a little while and work on something else.
So there you have it – a classic something and nothing post. Hopefully I’ll have something a little more exciting to share with you in March. I hope your own projects are going a little quicker than mine. Onwards!
There’s been quite a bit of chatter around recently regarding the 40K setting moving forward, beyond the ‘2 minutes to midnight’ of Abaddon’s 13th Black Crusade (999.M41). The chatter has mainly been about Chaos and the Imperium, with both Primarchs and Daemon Primarchs returning to the
41st 42nd Millennium (that’d take some getting used to). It’s an interesting take and I’m both a fan and not of fan of the idea – but that’s an argument for another post should this happen. But because the talk has been almost exclusively about Space Marines and their twisted cousins from the Warp, I’ve just been having a bit of fun thinking about what could happen with some of the Xenos races if their fluff is to move forward too. And to that end, here is a JUST FOR FUN (so don’t get all butt-hurt and beardy) idea of what life could be like for our alien friends/foes in the 42nd Millennium and beyond… (oh yeah, there’s quite a few ‘…’s as well – enjoy!)
As the light of the Eldar dwindles further, as the craftworlds are swallowed up by the Great Devourer and Slaanesh’s forces alike, the cult of Ynnead becomes a major force in Eldritch politics. Even within the webway, among the followers of Cegorach, and the twisted denizens of Commorragh, the notion has some who are willing to pay it heed. While Aspect Warriors and Guardians continue to make war as they always did, new warbands of Eldar cultists take to the battlefields at their sides. The newcomers are determined to die a glorious death so that they may become one with the God of the Dead and soon, a new Avatar is seen. The Avatar of Ynnead stalks its enemies as black flames wreath its body, and its enormous warscythe hues its foes in half by their hundreds. The Eldar are dying, but what will be brought forth by their death…
With the Imperium’s fight being ever more desperate, beset on all sides as it is, the Tau have been left largely unchecked – their expansion seen only as a minor issue in the wake of other threats. But without any serious Imperial resistance, the Tau’s growth becomes even more rapid and their ambitions ever greater too. Several Imperial Forge Worlds fall to the Tau and with those victories, the young race gain their first ships capable of warp travel. Furthermore, their first regiments of Human soldiers wielding Tau-tech are sent into battle against their kin, seduced by the Greater Good and having been left defenceless by Terra. There are even rumours of a human with the powers of an ethereal…
As the slow awakening of the ancient race continued, Imotekh the Stormlord realised that the Necron risked being overwhelmed as their adversaries grew ever stronger while the soulless machines of the tomb worlds slumbered. Reluctantly, he called on the gifts of Trazyn The Infinite who presented the Stormlord with a gift – a rare staff said to contain the last shreds of Szarekh’s soul. Imotekh travelled to a world of endless dessert, home to small stranded colony of quarrelsome Orks who were quickly dispatched. Buried beneath the sands, was the shrine of an Ancient Necrontyr sooth-sayer who had seen the galaxy to come 60 million years before. Imotekh plunged the staff into the heart of the alter and a psionic burst rippled out across the stars. Within hours, every tomb world began to stir, and the vast army of the Necron, billions strong, came back to life…
What had come before was merely a prelude. The great devourer in the darkness roared and leapt with all its force into the new galaxy. This was no mere hive fleet. The Great Hive Tide Charybdis, the soul of the lingering menace of the void brought with it countless numbers of beasts as had never been seen before. Giant creatures that dwarfed even Imperator Titans lumbered across worlds that were devoured in mere hours. Monstrous synapse brains hovered over cities controlling hordes of xenos nightmares the likes of which had never been witnessed. The Hive Tide envelopes all before it, and shows no sign of slowing as it rages across the star systems of the galaxy, heading straight for Terra…
Dis boy turn up wun day an’ oo knows where from. But he get big. All dat time Ghaza was fightin’ de humies, dis boy gettin’ bigga. So den wun day, he turns out to be bigga dan even Ghaza is. Sum rekon he even bigga dan de Beast was. An he even got da brain of a brain boy too. So he becomes da boss an’ he call up da clans. He call up da Goffs, an’ he call up da Deffskulls an’ da Sunz an’ da Moonz an all of ‘em. He take us all out to da edge of da galaxy so we can get a run up an’ den we WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! An’ humies an’ fish-faces an’ bugs an’ dem metal gitz an’ all da rest of dem now gettin’ stomped good. Propa Orky time. An’ da Weird boyz sayin’ dey neva felt Gork an’ Mork talk to dem dat clear before. Dey even says dey ‘ear a noo God dey call Kork! Old God oo hates ev’rywun an’ loves fightin’ more. We musta smashed up a fousand worlds and we ain’t stoppin’ coz da big boss says we can’t. An we call ‘im Da Mega Monsta, coz dat’s what ee is! WAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!
And there you have it. Who knows what the progression of 40K will bring, but it’s certainly fun to think about. What do you imagine happening? What are you waiting to see? Onwards!
Much has been made of Games Workshop appearing at the Las Vegas Licensing Fair this week. They’ve got a fairly sizeable booth there as they look for more people to take advantage of the rich and varied universes that they’ve created, from the Grimdark® of the 41st Millennium to the fantastical settings of WFB and AoS. As many readers of this blog will know, I do enjoy doing a bit of wishlisting from time to time. And today, I carry on that tradition by listing what I wish would happen to some of the GW products. Ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime (and there is certainly a healthy mixture of both here) I have plenty of ideas that will hopefully prompt several ‘hmmm’s, a few ‘ooooh’s and even the occasional ‘what the hell are you talking about’.
Were I ruler of the world, this is what I’d demand…
Horus Heresy Netflix Series
Now, some will want films, but I think, given the amount of story, and the amount of characters, and the amount of thrilling moments and cliffhangers, each book getting 8 one hour episodes sounds way more fun to me. Start off with the Horus trilogy, then do Fulgrim, Flight of the Eisenstein, Prospero Burns… one a year would be amazing and it’s not so outlandish an idea now. With the success of Game of Thrones, TV companies won’t have too many qualms about trying a bit more Sci Fi and Fantasy now. What’s more, companies like Netflix and Amazon are throwing money at these sorts of series now. Why not? Even if we just got the opening Horus trilogy from it, that would be spaghetti and Amazeballs.
40k Vinyl Pop Figures
I’ve never really understood the popularity of these things, but obviously a lot of people do. And given some of the truly obscure films, comics, games and television programs that have their characters cast as bizarre, static little collectable dolls, there’s no reason why 40k can’t have them. Not only will the Vinyl Pop hardcore pick them up (because they have to have every one of them from what I hear), but plenty of 40k fans would shell out for them too. Imagine having a cute little space marine doll and a cute little ork doll on your shelves… well, some people might like that.
Sigmarite Saturday Morning Cartoon Show
Now, I grew up in the true golden age of Saturday morning cartoons (when they were really just extended toy adverts). He-Man, Thundercats, M.A.S.K., Jace and the Wheeled Warriors, Visionaries, Dinoriders, Lone Star… it was a pretty awesome time and I had toys from nearly all of those series and plenty of others too. I think ‘Sigmarites: Warriors of the Realms’ would go down a treat with the kids. Then when they grow up, they can start buying all the minis and that, ladies and gents, is how you ‘hook ‘em young’ as the saying goes. And I’m sure they can handle all the gore. Kids love that stuff.
Replica 40k Weapons and Accessories
I’m not a huge fan of replica weapons myself, but I know a lot of people are. A cursory Google search will uncover Lord of the Rings replica swords going for around £250. Heck, you can get lightsabers for that and they’re mostly just a long tube! How much would people pay for a chainsword or bolter? And I have to admit, I may be willing to pop my replica weapons cherry if it means I can get my hands on Space Marine power axe.
Astra Militarum vs Tyranids Film
Ok, here’s the plot. A tyranid spore mine hits a major city on a hive world in the Imperium. The Imperial sector fleet moves to engage the hive fleet and we follow the lives of three or four young troopers who head in different paths -one is an Imperial navy pilot, a couple go into the Imperial Guard and one goes into the Inquisition and eventually becomes an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor… oh, you recognise this film? Yeah. So do I. So do I. The rumour always was that Starship Troopers was originally meant to be set in the 41st Millennium and whether that’s true or not, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to see this film. Bring my popcorn!
Mordheim TV Series
Again, if people love things like Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders, why not smoosh them together with a healthy dose of the Old World and create a dark, gory, bloody and claustrophobic TV series full of warring gangs, undead, daemons and man-sized rats? I’d watch that!
Space Marine Cereal
Now we’ve all seen the Khorne Flakes image above, and that’s certainly one way to go. Any GW themed cereal would be better than many of the more boring breakfast options out there. Fruit Lootas, Fleet-os, Causes Fear-ios… the potential is there! And I’d bet those sneaky guys over at Privateer Press are already working on WeetaCryx.
Sisters of Battle-Themed Fashion Line
What? I’m not a pervert! You’re a pervert! …ok, I am a little bit of a pervert.
The Very Hungry Genestealer Children’s Book
This sound ridiculous, but you can already get a The Very Hungry Cthulupillar book, so why not? As a jokey sort of Christmas gift that wargamers could give each other, I think it would work. And there’s nothing wrong with using this to teach your own little brood to consume everything around them so that they can one day become big, strong Tyranid Warriors (yes, I know that’s not how it actually works, but then finishing your brocolli never made anyone big and strong either).
Reikland Reavers NFL Team
Well, if London does get its own NFL team (and it has been angling to do so for a while now), why not make them the Reavers? Proud in their blue and white. They can even add a bit of red with all that blood. All we need to do next is convince the government to allow scientists to create Morg n Thorg in a lab and the Superbowl trophy will be in the UK within 5 years. Oh, and I’m sure we can get the league to add some spikes to the ball, right?
There are many awesome pieces of wargear in the 41st Millennium, with every species having access to something cool. From Thunder Hammers to Iron Halos, from Big Shootas to D Scythes, there are so many options out there for our armies that our chalice really does runneth over. And then among all of those sweet bits of gear, there are some unique pieces that really give the game its flavour. I’ve picked out 10 of those unique pieces of wargear that I consider to be my favourites. It should be noted that this isn’t about rules – it’s about fluff. If these things had the rules they deserve, games would be a lot shorter (and though one player would be having a lot more fun, the other probably wouldn’t). Anyway, enough of all that; let’s dive into the list. In descending order, the 10 coolest pieces of wargear are…
10. Trazyn The Infinite’s Empathic Obliterator
When the ‘Archaeovist of the Solemnace Galleries’ (as this pretentious robot likes to call himself) hits you with his big stick, you know about it. Well, you know about it for a split second before a psionic shockwave rips your body to pieces from the inside out, killing any of your buddies who were dumb enough to be stood next to you. This staff is rumoured to contain some sort of horrific primordial energy that was used by the Old Ones themselves, and only an expert collector like Trazyn could get his hands on that sort of thing. It would be a pretty cool way to go, but you wouldn’t be around long to appreciate it.
9. Jain Zar’s Jainas Mor
Howling Banshees are pretty terrifying in their own right. Swords whirling, masks screaming as they rush towards you at terrifying speeds, but their big chief is even scarier. Jain Zar, the Phoenix Lord of the Howling Banshees not only has a terrifying mask and a weapon known as the ‘Blade of Destruction’, but she also has… a boomerang. Yes, the grimdark’s own homage to the classic Australian curvy stick (well, if you stuck three of them together). The Jainas Mor (that’s ‘Silent Death’ for those of you who don’t speak Space Elf) flies through the air, its blades wreathed in black fire, before decapitating everyone and then returning to Jain Zar. Good on ya’ mate.
8. Commander Farsight’s Dawn Blade
So, the most famed member of one of the newest space-faring species in the galaxy is wielding one of said galaxy’s oldest weapons. That’s already pretty cool, but this blade is actually making Farsight live longer (not that he knows that). According to the books, the Dawn Blade has ‘chronophagic alloys’ (obviously *snort*) which take the life force of any individual it kills and bestows that life force to the user. Farsight didn’t know this when he picked it up for the first time to kill a Bloodthirster, but I’m sure he wouldn’t give it up now, if only because it’s so darn useful. It’s powers have helped him live longer than any fishface before him, and it’s pretty much the only sword in the ranks of the Tau. Also, it’s so old, no-one knows where it really comes from. Intriguing…
7. Gabriel Seth’s Blood Reaver
Chainswords in general are among the most common weapons in the grimdark, but Blood Reaver is a bit special. For a start, it’s an eviscerator (or two-handed chainsword) which immediately elevates against most other chainswords, but this one is even more special. Because it kills everything. And because it belongs to Seth who, despite being a bit of a moderate of the chapter, is a Flesh Tearer. The angriest of the Blood Angels successors, and named after the often-censured, rage-filled Captain Amit, these guys cleave through armies like a lawnmower going through dry grass, and Blood Reaver is always at the front of the action. And it looks really cool. So there.
6. Lucius The Eternal’s Armour Of Shrieking Souls
Let’s just start with that name. The Armour of Shrieking Souls. How cool is that!? But names alone don’t get a piece of wargear into this list. So, what’s so cool about the Armour of Shrieking Souls? Not much. Just that it’s a sign of Slaanesh making Lucius immortal! When a swordsman beats Lucius (which is pretty rare) Lucius is reincarnated in that warrior’s body, and the face of that warrior ends up howling and grimacing forever as part of the Armour of Shrieking Souls. Not only that, but those howls can be focussed into a freakin’ doom siren – the best of the sonic weapons. How’s that for a slice of fried terror.
5. Maugan Ra’s Maugetar
The Phoenix Lord of the Dark Reapers has one hell of a fancy gun/farming implement to play with, and though there are similar weapons to Maugan Ra’s ‘Harvester’ (I’m looking at you Death Jesters), none of them are quite as cool as this bad boy. Even the Eldar aren’t quite sure where this shuriken weapon comes from, with many believing it was forged by the Gods or… something else. It can slaughter foes at range with its unusually large discs, or it can be used as a warschythe which, when operated by someone with the stats of a Phoenix Lord, makes it ferociously deadly in close combat too. From its psychoactive grip to its spirit stones, this is the weapon the Grim Reaper himself would buy, though I doubt Maugan Ra would sell it.
4. Garran Crowe’s Blade of Antwyr
Farsight may have a blade that’s helping him to live longer, but Garran Crowe is such a badass that he’s walking around with one that’s actively trying to kill him or turn him to Chaos. Now, walking around with the sharp, pointy embodiment of the Chaos Gods isn’t necessarily cool (err… yeah, it is!), but when Crowe wades into war, he can coax this weapon into doing some pretty gnarly stuff. It makes him one of the best swordsmen in the grimdark and even Lucius would probably think twice before trying to add Crowe to his tally. If the blade meets a daemon it had beef with way back when, it will actually help Crowe kill it. Of course there are times when it meets an old buddy and then Crowe has far more problems than any genehanced, psychic super-soldier ought to have. Swings and roundabouts.
3. Kaptin Badrukk’s Da Rippa
Ah, the joys of Orky ‘technology’. There’s not much to dislike about the Ork equivalent of Captain Jack Sparrow, but his gun is a particular favourite of mine. Da Rippa used to be a Ripper Gun, as wielded by Ogryns across the galaxy. When Badrukk’s Meks got hold of it though, they made him one of the most Orky weapons you can get. Instead of firing the garden variety oversized shotgun shells that it used to fire, Badrukk had it built to fire unstable canisters of plasma energy. Because that sounds totally sensible. You shouldn’t even be on the same battlefield when he fires this thing. It gives off horrendous levels of radiation when it’s not firing but when it does go bang, you get to witness the energy of a small star obliterating the enemy, and then all your skin melts off. No wonder Badrukk wears a lead-lined coat.
2. Abaddon The Despoiler’s Drach’nyen
Most swords can cut through armour. Some can cut through the hull of a tank. Drach’nyen can cut through reality. It can literally rip a hole in space and time, and if you happen to be standing in the same spot, it’s ‘good night, sweet prince’ for you. Its other names include ‘Shard of Madness’ and ‘Thorn in Reality’, and whenever it kills someone, their skull can be seen writhing and twisting down the blade itself. Not only is it that unsettling, but it inspired the 1st Black Crusade and made Abaddon the powerful Warmaster that he is in the 41st Millennium. As far as game changing swords go, this pointy stick is one of the most important and impressive in the galaxy. In terms of legendary status, it’s up there with Anathame and the Blade of the Laer. It really is one hell of a sword. When you absolutely, positively have to kill every Imperial pigdog in the joint, accept no substitutes.
1. Inquisitor Karamazov’s Throne of Judgement
“COME CLOSER SO I CAN KILL YOU WITH MY CHAIR!”
Need I say more? Well, I will because it’s my blog and I get to do that sort of thing. Only an Inquisitor could see a Space Marine dreadnought, say ‘Mine’ and then actually turn it into a walking throne, pulpit and weapons platform. And why have a standard two-barrelled multi-melta, when you can have one of your little slave servitors stood next to you firing a THREE-barrelled Multi-melta? Covered with scrolls and parchments to the extent that it looks like a walking printing press, this is, as far as I’m concerned, the coolest bit of kit in the grimdark. From its flaming braziers to its big clompy feet, I actually want one for myself. I would consider going back to uni for 10 years, mastering engineering and robotics, and then building one so that I can sit in it, stomp around in it and scare the neighbours. The Inquisition really does get the coolest toys, and this is top of the pile.
So that’s my list. Do you agree? Disagree? Too sword heavy? Not enough guns? Tell me what I missed out by leaving a comment below. If the above list is anything to go by, I can’t wait to see what wargear we get in the future. Onwards!
How do you come up with a good Space Marine chapter name? In this ‘just for fun’ post, I’ve built you not one, but two name generators to help you bestow a monicker onto your Space Marine Chapter, and also your Chaos Space Marine Warband too! How’s that for a slice of generosity on toast?!
I was talking to a few people about my post from last week where I was listing all the things that I liked about Space Marines (because I’m that sort of annoying person who will write a blog post and talk incessantly about it afterwards). When asked ‘how many chapters are there?’ I replied ‘Well, loads. Like a thousand. Maybe more!’. The follow up to this was ‘Well then, were I to create a new chapter, how would I come up with a name that doesn’t already exist?’ to which I then replied ‘…I dunno…’. The truth is, there is nothing new under the Sol, and the likelihood is that when you’ve come up with a name, someone, maybe even GW themselves, got there first.
But in an effort to improve your odds, I have created the Space Marine Chapter Name Generator. It’s not perfect. If your name is ‘Chris Lloyd’ you will end up with the Celestial Lions, and if you’re ‘Sam Smith’, you’ll get the ‘Silver Skulls’, both of which are definitely already taken (and also, I know people called Chris Lloyd and Sam Smith so apologies to them). The sharper among you will have probably already worked out how this works, so let’s have a look:
Going by the above, my chapter should be the Jade Angels – not bad! What’s yours? Stick a comment below and let me know what you think about it? Also, if you do come up with a name that’s already taken, or if you’re not quite happy with it, try flipping it around and adding ‘of’/’of the’ in the middle. So the Jade Angels become the ‘Angels of Jade’.
But I promised you more, and after making this, with all its noble nouns and heraldic adjectives, the Ruinous Powers convinced me to do the same again, but this time with the Chaos Space Marines. So, for you heretics out there, here you go:
That gives me the Jealous Axes – very Slaaneshi if you ask me. But again, that could be flipped to the ‘Axes of Jealousy’. If you like what you got, stick it in a comment down below. What would your warband be like? Khorney? Nurgley?
And that’s it! No deeper meaning than that – just an excuse to do something fun on a slow weekday, and an added celebration as the Space marines turn 30. If neither of the above are your thing, I did a similar thing for Ork mobs way back when – you can find it right here. I hope you enjoyed them. Onwards!
First up, I’d like to thank Mike Simeon (he of the many flying Necrons) for giving me this idea for a blog post while I was having some serious Writer’s block. And thanks to the whole gang on the G+ Warhammer 40,000 group for their input too.
Insanity is a relative term. To probably butcher a quote from someone whose name I can’t be bothered to Google, what’s order for the spider, is chaos for the fly. By equal terms, what’s sane for the hobbyist or miniature enthusiast, is bat-guano crazy for everyone else. Not in a dangerous way (unless your enthusiasm for the hobby has led you to try and build a working chainsword – stop that), but in a way that would certainly be considered unusual. In kinder terms ‘quirky’ and in blunter words ‘#!∂$ing mental’, we have among us developed many an eccentricity, several idiosyncrasies and a fair few curious habits that can help those who care about us spot Hobby Insanity. Consider this your public service announcement. Let’s look at the obvious symptoms.
The Association Of Deities With Inanimate Objects – “The Dice Gods are real, man!”
Even the most rational amongst us knows full well that the Dice Gods exist. If a die rolls a 1 twice in a row, despite all evidence to the contrary, you know (KNOW) that it will roll a 1 on it’s next roll too. Yay, for the great and changeable Dice Gods hath deemed it to be thus! And just when you think you’ve figured out their ways, they change on you. I have witnessed confirmed atheists with a background in sciences refuse to roll their opponent’s dice because it might pass on some bad joo joo, or because they weren’t in his lucky colour and they didn’t come out of his lucky dice bag. For the Dice Gods will punish the impure with 6s on leadership tests, and 1s when saving a Terminator’s wounds, so it has been written. Ever notice how your favourite/best-painted model, the one you’re most proud of as a painter, always dies on turn 1? The Dice Gods can sense your impurity even then. As ridiculous as this all sounds, every 40k player knows that you cross the Dice Gods at your peril.
Self-Enforced Extreme Budgetary Justification – “£45 for a small piece of plastic is fine. I’m fine.”
Every month, I make sure my rent, council tax and any other bills are paid. I put a bit of cash into my savings, and pay off as much of my credit card as I can or need to. I do not splurge unnecessarily on trinkets and doodads. Nor do I spend frivolously on feasting, gambling or chasing the ladies. I am thrifty and sensible for much of the month. And then I walk into a GW store and, like Dr Jekyll having quaffed from a frothing beaker, a switch flips in my brain. The next thing I know, I’m walking out of the store with new models, paints, books and all the rest. It happens every time (except for that one time when I came to as I was bounding across the rooftops of Soho but that’s a story for another day); I walk in and think ‘that’s nice but I don’t nee- I’ll take two!’. And then when you have to explain the amount you spent to other people! ‘Yeah, no, it’s not cheap, but…’ and you always have five hundred reasons why it’s ok, but none of them will keep the heating on this winter. We are uncontrollable in this aspect. Addicts of plastic crack, whose fiscal responsibilities are left at the hobby store door.
The Atypical Appropriation And Usage Of Materials – “Do you know what I can do with this twig!?”
Most people will walk down the street and won’t notice the little stone over there. If they did, the noticing of said little stone would not even require a thought, and on the extremely rare occasion that they do notice it and give it a thought, the thought will most likely be ‘there’s a little stone’. Whereas one of us, afflicted with the hobby madness, will think something along the lines of ‘Wow! Look at that little stone! it’s the perfect little stone to use on my display base! I must pick up that little stone, take it home, wash it, glue it to a piece of plastic, glue another piece of plastic to it, undercoat it, paint it and then they’ll give me the Slayer Sword for it!!’. We are harvesters of detritus, flotsam and nature’s least bountiful bounties as we pursue our skills in the creation of a universe we may enjoy but never truly occupy. Show me a twig, and I will show you a dead tree on the planet of Vrax. Show me a small bolt and I will show you part of a Manufactorum. The only limit is our crazy, crazy imagination.
Experiencing Delight At Mundane Purchases – “Do you know what I can do with this bag of sand!?”
Only a miniature painter could be tickled pink with a selection of small wires or a baggy of crushed cork arriving by mail. I work in an office and on payday it’s pretty usual for everyone to order a few things they’ve been eying up online from the internets which will then arrive a few days later. As people around me are showing off handbags, running shoes, books, t-shirts and new phones, I am smiling away in the corner, deliriously happy with couple of boxes of clay and some flock. Of course, the big models are what we really get excited about, but not since childhood have such mundane purchases brought so much happiness to so many geeks.
Self-Imposed Isolation And Antisocial Activities – “Yes! Five hours sat painting the colour black!”
At the end of the working day, often the question is asked ‘what are you doing tonight’. To avoid boring people with the specifics, I usually say ‘Nothing. You?’ and let the other people explain how they’re going out for dinner, watching a film, going for a run or whatever. But inside my head, I’m thinking ‘All of that sounds well dull. I’m going to be undercoating and applying a base coat to twenty tactical marines and that’s freakin’ awesome’. We have such a capacity for solitude, patience and self-involvement that we can only be matched in those regards by actual rocks. Inanimate lumps of igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary solid matter, and us. I can get more thrills and enjoyment out of five hours of basing than most people can get out of base jumping. Ok, so I need nights off, but when I’m in that zone, nothing is more interesting than the tiny toy soldier that I’m working on.
Obsession With Fictitious Characters (Extremis) – “Dante must have all the Blood Angels!”
From fans of Star Wars to Doctor Who, many people get obsessed by characters who do not really exist. It’s hardly unusual in this day and age. But let us examine how this affects the hobbyist. Hobbyist A decides to buy Ghazghull Thraka because he likes the look of the miniature. As he is painting the miniature he begins to dwell on how cool Ghazghull is and imagines him leading a mob of boyz to battle. At this stage it is acknowledged that Ghazghull is not complete without the aforementioned mob of boyz. So a mob of boyz is painted to compliment Ghazghull. Spin forward two years and Hobbyist A now has a room in his house devoted to the hobby with over 5000 points of Orks and more on the way. All of this because he thought Ghazghull Thraka was cool. Don’t lie, you know this happened to you.
The Ritualistic Application Of Paint To The Body – “I’ve got what on my face?”
Ever watch those videos of Duncan and Emma from GW painting the new models on the Warhammer TV Youtube channel? Notice how clean their palettes, pots and work surfaces are? Well, they have to look all clean and tidy for the camera, but the true hobbyist in his natural habitat knows that the most crucial tool is his own body. The back of the hand is great for getting rid of excess water. The thumbnail is perfect for removing excess paint from the brush. And then there’s the lips. For the finest point on a freshly cleaned (well, sort of cleaned) brush, accept no substitutes. These activities do end up leaving their mark though. By the end of a good painting session, the average hobbyist looks like an ancient Briton prepared for war. Not only that, but I’m pretty sure I could tell the difference between Mephiston Red and XV88 in a blindfolded taste test.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Friend Is A Hobbyist/Insane:
Someone who has identified as a miniature painter or hobbyist is typically docile and may be approached. They often favour lurking on the edges of conversations unless they are with their own kind in which case they will contest the leadership of the group through obscure arguments and knowledge sharing. Traditionally they consume large amounts of caffeine, develop a prominent hunch on their backs and grooves in their fingers where brushes have been clutched tightly like Gollum’s Precious.
It is important to remember that by and large, the hobbyist is a docile, friendly beast whose insanity is relatively mellow, and whose symptoms are unobtrusive and mild. Do not be afraid to approach them (unless they are holding a full sized chainsword) and be kind to them. It helps if you bring them more caffeine. There should be no need to alert the authorities and they pose no threat to you (again, chainswords not withstanding).
This has been your Public Service Announcement. Onwards.