Making the hobby work for you, not the other way around

I’ve had a little while to think about my eBay-based hobby fund and I’ve decided to play it a little conservatively.

I bought the Ruined Fieldstone Mold, which I have loved since I borrowed it from my friend Fibble.  I’m going to cast the bejeezus out of that thing once it arrives.

After that, I think I’m just going to wait.  My hobbies exist to give me something to do in the evenings instead of watching NCIS re-runs and to have a reason to gather with my friends two or three times a month.  Right now I’m painting a unit of Chaos Marauders for WHFB that came in the big lot and will be absorbed into my existing WHFB Chaos army.  I’m also still building Coyote’s Normandy Farm house, and will soon be working on some more ruined fieldstone terrain (naturally).  Plus I’m also selling off more of the lot, although I think I’ll soon be reaching the end of what is really worth anything.

In addition, weekends in October are looking a little full with a lot of one-off events that supercede my D&D game.  In fact I’ll be lucky to get a gaming session in this month, which sort of kills the impetus to rush out and get the DMG2.

So here’s my plan.  I’m not going to spend any of the hobby money for a while, but instead wait until the Chaos Marauders are done, which should be two weeks minimum.  At that point I can look at all the different oddball things that I have considered buying and either make a decision or wait some more.  I don’t doubt that I’ll roll through dozens of different options (Field of Glory, Wargames Factory’s Colonial British, etc.) but I really want to avoid the impulse purchases.  After all, at this point I’m pretty set for stuff to do.  Why spend money needlessly and subject myself to possible buyer’s regret?

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One I don’t need or one I won’t use?

Well, the recently acquired hobby money has been burning a hole in my pocket and while there was one purchase I knew I’d make right off the bat (the Ruined Fieldstone Mold from Hirst Arts) I’m dithering on any future ones.  Two books that are sort in contention against one another is the Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 and the Pathfinder Beastiary.  The DMG2 apparently has more information about building story-based adventures, skill checks, and a different XP system.  The Beastiary is basically the Monster Manual for Pathfinder.  At present, I’m not running Pathfinder unless you count the very rare game for my son and his best friend, a game that rarely makes it to the table but instead turns into them running around outside playing pretend, which is probably better for them anyways.

So, do I waste, I mean “spend” my money on a book that I probably don’t need, being a pretty handy and experienced DM, or on a book for a game I’m not running?  Or should I scrap both of them and do something different (like blow it all on RSM SYW miniatures).  Comments appreciated.

Speeding Painting a Chaos Marauder

I decided to try out the speed painting technique (just base coat and then dip in wood varnish) on something a little more complicated, in this case a Chaos Marauder.  Here’s the result:

Where the dwarf women at?  I mean "elf"!  Elf women...

Where the dwarf women at? I mean "elf"! Elf women...

I have to tell you, it surpassed all my expectations.  The paint job was dicey at best, and the varnish covered a lot of sins, not to mention doing a nice “blacklining” job.  I think I’ll speed paint my way through the whole unit, perhaps to use in the upcoming gaming club Warhammer campaign.

Small factoid: I used the Olympic Pecan varnish for the marauder.

Speaking of the gaming club, the first and largest item has sold, and my share is about $110, representing about $85 in profit from my initial investment.  That’s a good start to a New Miniatures and Molds Fund.  The second item is up.  Here’s the link.  It’s for 16 Lizardmen Temple Guard, the OOP metal ones.

Winning the Worst Way

When I play Warhammer, 95% of the time I’m playing the same guy, whom I frequently call my “arch rival” Vince.  Vince works for the local Fire Department, and we play over in the station break room.  It’s worth noting, for the purposes of this story, to understand that in my city, firefighters do double duty as EMT’s.  Vince is a captain, which means that he can send other guys out on calls, or at least the first one.

Vince and I have been the “captains” of two teams of players who have been butting heads all summer long.  My team, led by my Vampire Counts, have been keeping pace with my rival’s, led by his Bretonnians.  Most of my battles have been against Vince, with two factors generally making the difference in games: his blowing fear checks versus my miscasting.  His failing fear checks means his knights hit me peacemeal where I can pick ’em off.  My miscasting usually means my 500 point special character goes poof.

In the most recent game, Vince had blown three fear checks and I was feeling it.  Then the first call came in: a toddler with a badly lacerated face.  Vince dispatched his first squad.  About twenty minutes later a second call: an eleven-year-old with a football-related neck injury.

Side note: about ten years ago the OSU Buckeyes were playing Penn State when a Penn player named Anthony Talliafaro (sp?) suffered a very serious spinal injury.  I happened to be working as chaplain at OSU Hospital that year as a way to earn a little side money while in seminary, and was on call that day.  I met Anthony’s father, his family, and both head coaches, and got to sit with all of them as they heard Anthony would never walk again (they were wrong).  But these kinds of injuries always give me a chill.

“I have to go,” Vince said.  “You win.”

“You sure?” I asked, glancing at the table.  A few fickle die rolls and the game would tip in his favor.

“No, it’s cool.  I’ll have to go transport to the ER on this call.  See you at the final battle.”

Just not the way to win, and I’m feeling a distinct lack of victory thrills.

The Remnants of a Hobby

Yesterday I drove to a neighboring town to buy the entire miniatures collection of a friend of mine.  He’s getting out of the hobby on account of the “Three W’s”: work, wife, and World of Warcraft.  I’m not knocking these reasons; a new baby and a pretty demanding job are good reasons to set aside your hobbies.  World of Warcraft, on the other hand…

Anyways, some friends and I from my WHFB group went in together to buy his collection.  We’ll probably keep what we can use and sell or trade the rest.  Unfortunately the collection was a huge, jumbled mess and I’m going to be days sorting through all of it.  To keep track, I’ve started a page called “Bazaar” at the top of the site (next to “About”) where I will be listing everything I come across that isn’t a half-empty sprue.  Most of what is on the list will end up being auctioned off, but if you are interested in making me an early offer, email me