Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sunday Sermon: Are your eyes too big?

Just the tip of a very large Iceberg!!!

Did your mom ever tell you your 'eyes were bigger than your belly'? Mine did, and I always hated the clearly biologically incorrect statement, it was truly bloody annoying. So I always wanted more than I could handle. But, you see, there's another saying, variety is the spice of life... so what if I'd often order way too much food, and nibble at each thing I'd ordered? Yeah, I was always one of those guys who struggled to decide what ice cream flavour to go for. I can't help it. If I have a choice of A or B, invariably I'll go for A, B and C. My hobby purchases aren't much different if I'm honest. Genuinely I can't stop myself from buying anything and everything that I think looks bloody cool. I then spend the rest of my life wandering how the bloody hell I'm supposed to paint it all. In many respects I've always bitten off more than I can chew hobby wise. In some respects being skint, and struggling financially has actually been a bit of a good thing for me.

More stuff in the 'to review pile'.

It has forced me to take stock of my hobby, and ask the question as to what I really want to get out of the hobby. I've had to slow down in purchasing stuff considerably for starters. What with bills and a mortgage to pay my hobby has taken a serious back seat to all the important real life crap we all have to deal with... like food and stuff. Coincidentally though this Blog has taken off and I've received a fair amount of free stuff too, which has sort of compensated for my reduced spend. This week though I started tidying up my hobby room, no correction, I sat and looked at the immense pile of hobby crap that I have amassed over the years and thought what the fudge was I thinking? It was all a bit depressing and overwhelming actually. I have absolutely no idea where the hell to start with it all. I reckon I'm not the only one out there in this bloody predicament. Come on, a show of hands, who has a huge pile of hobby stuff they're NEVER going to use? Yeah, thought so, it's most of us isn't it? Come on why do we all do it? Because we do, don't we?

It's even taking over the playing surface... look at it all!!!

I reckon if we all got together and parceled up our unwanted and unused crap, and then sold it we could probably clear the debts of the entire Eurozone, and have enough left over to make a sizable dent in the USA's deficit. An awful lot of us really do buy way too much stuff don't we? We all start out well meaning, we genuinely believe we're going to do the things we say we will. Honestly I'm going to paint the entire Blood Angels Chapter or a few companies of Ultramarines, or 'but I need every fleet in Dystopian Wars with multiples of every option' and I'm definitely going to play Grind (I still haven't). But we don't, or more precisely, I don't. When it comes to my mother telling me my eyes are too big she'd be absolutely right about my hobby purchases. I simply put own way too much stuff, I really, really do. We do it because we have genuine aspirations, we do it because we are inspired by something, a spark trigger a thought process and we intend to see it through.

But after the initial rush you get from buying the stuff dies down, and you get home, you realise for some bloody reason you've just brought a High Elf army with no Teclis or an entire Tau Cadre! We do it because we are hopeless romantics, we do it because we love the hobby, we do it because we're... greedy!!! I'll admit it, I love toy soldiers, and quite often with games there will be multiple factions I like. Going along the games at the top of my banner lets have a look at what it is I own:

  • Infinity = Yu Jing, Haqqislam, Aleph and Nomads... all huge factions with all options.
  • HoMachine = Retribution of Scyrah and Trollbloods... huge amounts in my toolbox for both forces... and I want a Rhulic mercenary force.
  • Freebooter's Fate = Pirates, Amazons and Brotherhood... again I pretty much own everything for each faction.
  • Malifaux = Oh God I don't want to list what it equals!!! Suffice to say I can field decent competitive forces for every faction... with options to come in and out. Yeah I know!
  • Anima Tactics = Abel Empire and the Azur Alliance... again with pretty much every option in both factions, which I guess means I have pretty decent light and dark factions too.
  • Hell Dorado = Huzzah, I only own the Saracens... except I also have a couple of Lost miniatures too... but we'll ignore them for now as I brought them to paint. Honest.
  • Heavy Gear Blitz = I only own a NuCoal force for this game, and it is already quite an extensive force. This has led me to horning after a decent sized PRDF army! Seriously I've be so close to hitting the 'buy' button it's ridiculous.
  • Dystopian Wars = Oh God. Next!!!
  • Firestorm Armada = Sorylians and Relthoza.
  • Uncharted Seas = Orc Raiders and Thaniras Elves. 
  • Flames of War = Isn't it obvious?
  • Sedition Wars = The game isn't even out yet, but my collection of Strain and Vanguard is really bloody extensive!!!
  • Kings of War = I only have a Mantic Orc army, but in terms of fantasy armies I do own more than just this one.

Then there are games not listed. I have a huge collection of Space Marine stuff. Enough to do multiple bloody chapters. I also have a massive collection of Orks for 40K too, and Eldar. I also have stupid amounts of stuff for Bushido, I mean I own everything for the Prefecture of Ryu and Cult of Yurei, plus I funded the Ito faction on Indiegogo, so I'll have a complte third faction for that game as well. Then there's a new game on the block round these parts, Dark Age, which by the way is bloody brilliant. Right now in my possession I have the Skaard starter set and the Outcast starter set, and yeah I may already have brought some extras. With Dust Warfare I have sizable Axis and Allies forces, and the SSU tanks have started to look really cool to me. So much miniature goodness out there and so little time, money and other resources!

It's not just gaming pieces though, but limited display pieces too.

Is there a bit of jealousy thrown in with the greed I've mentioned earlier? For me there is. I mean I've sat and looked at my opponents miniatures and had faction envy. Be honest, we've all done it. We line up our army, proud of our factions options and display force, and then your opponent gets out their factions new toy and you ask "what's that?", or comment "that thing looks cool", and if your that sort of gamer you might utter the phrase "They're broken!"... it's faction envy is what it is. It's believing the grass is always greener in the other factions backyards, or in my case an insane fear that I'm missing out on a cool gaming experience by not having that faction, or this one, or that one. It's silly really, but it is there, that nagging doubt all gamers have. Did I choose the right faction? You can solve that doubt pretty quickly if you choose every sodding faction has been my philosophy in life thus far.

There's boxes of scenery and carry cases full of miniatures too.

But, as I say out of necessity that just simply has to change. Times are tight as they say, and with certain hobby companies having to increase their prices, not just Games Workshop by the way, all of our hobby resources will be further stretched and pressed. For those of us who can show restraint and aren't faction whores it won't be too difficult to stick to I'm sure, but for the rest of us It's going to be pretty damn difficult. I like new shinnies, and right now Kickstarter is arguably the worst thing to happen to my bank balance since I was old enough to have my own bank account! It is a foul temptress of Sodom and Gomorrah proportions. New stuff is added to it and Indiegogo at a truly alarming rate, and it's exciting to be part of something new, but it swells the ranks of my hobby pile without me actually having to physically see the amount of crap that I have in my hobby room. It'll arrive at some indeterminate point in the future and then I'll have to face up to what I've done.

This is a truly huge box of miniatures, in my to 'complete' pile. There's another one... OK two.

I have asked myself a question about what all this activity means for the industry as a whole. In some respects it is great for the manufacturers, because we all make 'redundant' purchases on a scale that is bordering on the hedonistic. We buy stuff we don't really need, don't really use and don't really want. We buy redundant products that will sit gathering dust for the vast majority of us, and only a handful will be re-sold because we become attached to our junk, because our hunter gather attitude honed by natural selection kicks in. We're worse than a squirrel with a tree full of hazelnuts many of us. We are in economist terms supporting inefficient companies in an inefficient marketplace... ultimately our behaviour isn't really helping either ourselves or our hobby is it? So I have accepted that my hobby stash has to reduce and become more manageable, because right now it is literally the very definition of unmanageable. I literally don't have enough space to put it all. Hell I don't even have display cabinets to put all this stuff in!

So I'm going to start enforcing a couple of simple rules on my hobby resources, if I want to buy a new miniature I must either:

  • Paint 3 miniatures for every new miniature I wish to buy.
  • Or sell 5 miniatures for every new miniature I wish to buy.

In this way I hope to start clearing my backlog, or indeed reduce the amount of stuff I own. Now in the past I've made these sorts of pledges and not really been able to stick to them, which is pretty embarrassing and shows just how weak my willpower actually is. But this time I've actually been practicing what I'm preaching today for the past few months... and you know what? I've actually been able to stick to it. Yeah this does mean that I might actually end up selling some stuff on eBay, and I'm considering selling my entire Warhammer Fantasy Dwarf army, an army that I love just a little bit, but I'm not using them, I need the space and somebody else will be able to get more use out of them.

I don't even know where to begin with this stuff.

However, a number of friends and other commentators have suggested that me selling or getting rid of my second hand stuff is potentially damaging to the hobby, and the companies who produce the stuff in the first place. I actually read an interesting article over at Miniature Tim's Blog. The central argument is that by selling my second hand stuff I am denying a company a chance at selling more miniatures to customers. In effect my second hand product is competing with new product. On the face of it that seems to be a fair argument, after all if a cheaper supply of second hand models wasn't there, then the only way to procure those miniatures would be to buy the new. Here's the problem though, that assumes that the same person would buy them new, which given the price disparity sometimes is a bit of a stretch. It's not certain that somebody who buys a secondhand miniature would buy it new if they couldn't buy it secondhand, in fact it's far from certain.

More boxes full of stuff and a tool box full of 'bits'.

What these sort of transactions do though is to falsely give companies positive feedback if you will for their product line and how they are operating. In short hobbyists who buy more crap than they can deal with are subsidizing inefficient companies, we're in effect giving them cash donations. We then sell this stuff on at a discounted rate that is also then subsidizing other hobbyists involvement, by supplying a cheaper entry point. Now I don't necessarily think as a system, or a market interaction it is necessarily a bad thing for the hobby as a whole for this state of affairs to continue. However, for those hobby intermidiaries, like me, it is expensive and blisteringly stupid. Who is the schmuck here? It's me for buying too much stuff and then having to sell it off at a considerable loss. Well no more. I'm done. I'm going to stick to my personal pledge to lower my collection of unused miniatures, either by using them or selling them. If you're in the same predicament as I am I urge you to seriously consider doing the same. Peace out!


  1. And that's why I didn't back Reaper's Kickstarter...

    I recently got rid of several plastic tubs worth of gear to a mate. Probably will get rid of even more soon.
    Will likely be moving soon and then I'll really need to cut back on stuff.

    1. Yeah, and that's why I too have resisted many of the cool Kickstarters I wanted to support. I just had to sit on my hands and ultimately hind my keyboard and mouse so I couldn't click on the 'back project' options.

      My will power is getting better as times are getting tighter. That and I'm actually a bit of an organisation freak and seeing the mass of miniatures that I currently own and having no sodding idea how the hell I'm going to store them all neatly has really started to upset that part of me that has a tendency towards OCD type behaviour!!!

      I just can't do it anymore.

    2. Same here, it was tempting but I realized I'd never get them painted.

    3. @Fits, then you are a wise and strong willed individual. Having said that, I too thought the exact same things as you with regards the Reaper Kickstarter... and I have the will power of a crack whore!!!

  2. That is a valid point there. But I have to say I don't seem to be the part of the majority, because I rarely own more than one faction for every system I play/collect. I do have to admit too, that I more often give away miniatures than sell, which both happened only a few times. So, I seem to be more a collector than a gamer...

    I hope that by doing such public accounts of our personal hobby's state of affairs we help both ourselves and others.

    About your last thesis - I do believe that those companies that produce miniatures which we buy should possibly treat it as positive feedback. On the other hand, if the size of an aftermarket for certain company's miniatures is big, it does not mean that their product is in high demand, does it? And you should in no way take into account what a certain company thinks about you selling their product! You bought it, you can sell it, period.

    1. I don't think everyone is like me, or more accurately I really, really hope not everybody is like me. :P

      I too have given faction starters and other bits and bobs away to friends and family to help them start in the hobby or get into new games. It's all good, but genuinely is it healthy for the hobby? I'm not sure is the honest answer.

  3. I think most of the people who are into the hobby enough to have blogs are compulsive miniature purchasers. Only Ron over at From the Warp has essentially no miniatures of his own and just does conversions and painting as commissions as that is what he enjoys about the hobby. While my gaming problem does not seem as bad as yours I also have a lego problem recently which took over for the gaming when the little ones stopped me from getting out.

    My List of Active Collections:

    40K: Space Marine (8K), Nids (2K)

    Epic: Modern Space Marines, Heresy Era Space Marines, Eldar, Squats

    Blood Bowl: Lets not talk about that probably at about 80+% of models ever produced by GW for the game.

    Chainmail: All 7 Factions probably about 70% or all the models produced.

    Other games most not played: 3 D&D Coop Games which I have only sort of played with my daughter, Shogun, Space Hulk, Some D&D 4e and Gamma World, Death Angel Card Game, Shadowrun.

    Currently everything is stored in plastic bins in the garage and basement and not even really accessible to paint or stored in a way that painted models would not get damaged. Just proper storage is going to run up quite a bill. Actually looking into get components like the cardboard KR cases and pull and pluck foam in bulk to make a uniform storage solution as opposed to my very hap hazard style now.

    I have been selling stuff over the last year or two. Failed entry to WFB stuff, Orks from Black Reach that I was thinking about saving for the kids. Duplicate Blood Bowl Miniatures. Just list it on my site and sell it that way. Maybe I could do better on ebay but also less hassle.

    I was tempted by the Mantic KoW kickstarter but used my WFB unsuccessful start as enough motivation to avoid it. Dreadball is pulling to me but again I will fight it as I know it will be just another game never played.

    1. I think you're probably right, us Bloggers are more likely to be the über geeks who have very low will power when it comes to shinnies. No arguments there, it's born out by the amount of times this topic comes up in the blogging sphere and also the sorts of comments I get about people buying every starter set on Kickstarters.

      I have a further confession to make... I don't want to admit what my Blood Bowl and other specialist GW games collections looks like. If I do I might have a nervous breakdown. Right now there in a sealed box and out of sight. If I ignore them they won't exist!!!

  4. I have a hard time relinquishing my minis and rpg books.... most of them I've had since I was first into the hobby (Some RT stuff *ie - Squats* were my very first purchases outside of Airfix WWII airplanes!) oh.... some... 20-odd years ago. My wife calls me a secret hoarder and she's probably right, but it's so hard to let go of things that have been around for so long (And yes, still not painted.).

    And then there's all these newer (And better sculpted) options.... Sedition Wars, Relic knights, 40K 6th..... The funniest thing in all this is I don't play with any of the minis I own. They get painted (Or not) and then get placed in a case.

    Saying that, I've gotten a lump of stuff ready for some Ebay auctions in an effort to rid my collection of some older stuff that will never get painted. thing is, the funds generated from those sales will probably be put back into more mini purchases.... So many good things out there....

    I am weak.

    1. I too am weak Dai. I freely admit it. I swoon at the sight of new miniatures and go weak at the knees when a new Studio McVey collectible goes on sale. I'm getting better, but that's more out of fiscal necessity. Nevertheless I've been very proud of myself recently for not buying stuff I don't need and want very, very badly.

      I've never gotten rid of rulebooks though. I collect rulebooks like some sort of historical archivist. Back at my mothers house is a further bloody bookcase full of rulebooks I couldn't fit into my own home. I'm genuinely quite ruthless with clutter and other stuff in my life. I don't get too sentimental about many things. But miniatures, comics and collectible toys... well I am a nerd.

  5. Did I mention that I've painted nearly everything I've bought....sorry, but I do envy the amounts!

    1. There's always bloody one isn't there? You smug git!!! :P

  6. Heh, I envy your time Angry Lurker!

    I hate to admit, I am in the same boat and have been selling stuff off. I also read an article about selling stuff by the time you take to sort, take snaps, post online, mail and such, you are not making anything really.

    1. Yep, that's why I don't do the whole eBay thing. It's utter bollocks for hobby stuff. I speak to people I know and say I have X, Y and Z you interested. If they are brilliant, if not oh well nothing lost. I might ask people if they want stuff via this here blog, but I'm not sure I want to turn this place into a bring and buy sale.

    2. I tend to do the ebay thing to fund big purchases (battle engines and colossals to start with). I've enough spare stuff that needs to be moved on anyway. So, overall, I've wasted money along the line, but at least the bigger purchases can be covered by previous overenthusiastic spending.

      I see no problem with this. Selling to locals only gets you so far.

    3. It's not necessarily a problem if you can afford to do it and it doesn't drive you mad. You see the whole eBay thing just winds me up, I'd rather sell to someone face to face.

    4. Ah, now me, I ain't much of a people person, unless it's on my terms. And face-to-face sales is definitely *not* on my terms. So, I'll put up with the massive pain in the arse that is the time commitment of selling on ebay, rather than have to do it face to face.

    5. Well I clearly prefer face-to-fave. I hate having to deal with people over the Internet. They get way more demanding and sketchy about stuff, and I just think it can sometimes be way more hassle than it is worth.

  7. I think I'm feeling similarly today, I was ranting/lamenting on my blog although it was a little more general to the hobby. I definitely feel the sting on my wallet and the horror of all the stuff I've amassed. Also, I read Tim's blog too - I don't really agree with it to be honest. I do think people who buy minis via auction probably would find one way or another to pay for them new. But also I think the sad fact is a lot of the dollars earned by those auctions gets pumped right back into the manufacturers by us fanatics as we buy the new/shiny stuff the next day :)

    1. Funny isn't it? How so many of us have similar thoughts around the same time? When I read Tim's Blog I had to chuckle because I had already written this article pretty much. I then read a few more today and thought it was a great example of groupthink!

      I read your article too, which can be found here by the way peeps:

      and I have to say I have some sympathy with your views. I too have issues with silo gamers, insofar as they're quite tribal about their 'thing' like you can only like one game.

      I've never understood that attitude, I like all sorts of ice cream flavours, and quite frankly I like both tits and ass. Why the hell should I confine myself to just the one? It's people like us though who spend silly amounts on our hobby and really want to get the most out of it that seem to be the least happy with the way our hobby goes... there's a lesson in there somewhere I'm sure.

  8. Guilty as charged.

    I can buy into a new project, with perfectly reasonable expectations that I can accomplish it- except for one thing: it doesn't take into account the previous projects which are unfinished or unstarted.

    One problem is the 'squeaky wheel'... you know the old saying- it holds true for minis too. I might want to get into a game, build an army or team, and then the local group jumps into a new game or genre- it looks good, so I start a force so I can play too, that gets expanded and they suddenly stop and switch to something else. I now have a lot of unfinished minis and left with continuing it knowing I won't likely be gaming with it anytime soon or stop and follow the next so that I can enjoy game-time along with hobby-time.

    I rarely sell stuff off, since I am always thinking stuff can be re-purposed for something else. Last year I did sell a bunch of Khador, but kept some of the warjacks because I converted and painted them up for VSF walkers. Hard to sell something at second-hand prices when fearing you might later want it again for something else and then re-buy at new prices? painful. But the amount of unstarted projects I have is frightening.

    1. Yeah the mad rush to the next big thing, whether that be a new game or the latest OP bullshit army book release from GW. There is a never ceasing imperative it seems for us to go out and buy new shit. SinSynn over at HoP chats today about the drive and impetus created by the switch to new editions here:

      It seems those of us that are really invested in this hobby are easy targets to squeeze cash out of. In short we're all bloody suckers.

  9. I am guilty of this too and have a large stash of models ranging from brand new in their box to work in progress with only a small amount making it to finished.

    This is normally me not being able to pass up a good deal ( backed reaper's kickstarter as it was too good to miss ), brought together a handful of different Tau armies as I bought a large one to help a friend change system.

    I have 2 warhammer fantasy armies but have only played 1 game in 7th edition but think the models are too funky to get rid of ( lizardmen & tomb kings ).

    I love single miniatures as they give me variety and buy random bits I can use for conversions and terrain but like you I quickly lose interest and end up buying something else.

    The main issue is I know if I sell something I will rebuy it in greater numbers so instead it goes on the rows of shelves with the rest in the hope one day I will get round to all of them.

    Though god help all these companies if every person out there who did this suddenly stopped and decided to not buy a thing until they cleared their back log.

    1. Like you I reckon if everyone of us who impulse buys everything going suddenly stopped until they'd completed there own backlog we'd see some companies go out of business I really do. I don't think its an exaggeration either. I did a quick show of hands amongst my local hobby chums and did a rough back of fag packet calculation as to how much unpainted stuff we must have between us. The startling truth? Roughly £36k of miniatures amongst 6 gamers. I stopped at that point. That's roughly £6k each I worked it out to. I think I have more than that.

      I could've gone on and asked others like the cursed, hobby killer and huggy bear. People who are arguably worse than me, but I got a bit worried when I saw the sorts of money we were talking about. It's a little sodding scary actually.

      As to the bargain idea, you are so right. I'm supposedly a sucker for a good bargain. Remember all those apocalypse deals GW did? Well I brought shed loads of the stuff, literally!!! Seriously I fill my moms shed and an under stairs cupboard with 40k stuff. It was ridiculous. Do you know what was even more ridiculous? I didn't even play 40k at the time as I didn't really enjoy it.

      There is seriously something wrong with our frigging heads you know. No wander we're in recession!!!

    2. Here's a thing though. If you ship on your GW stuff on ebay, you can then spend the proceeds with the smaller companies. To be honest, I've no problem with hurting GW's bottom line. And if you can fund some of the smaller operations at the same time, then that's no bad thing.

    3. True, but I'll be honest, if I sell some of my unwanted GW stuff I'm putting the proceeds into a savings account and leaving it alone for a rainy day. I already have way more stuff than I need, so why buy more?

    4. You'll buy more cos you're an addicted gamer. :-D

      I've got way more than I need. I've got up to 120 points of each but two of the factions in Hordemachine, have only played one game in the last two months, and I'm still eyeing the Galleon and the Woldwrath... After already shipping a fair bit of stuff on ebay, I've still a huge heap of 40k, which I've not put on a table in 3 years now, and I'm still eyeing those new plastic cultists...

      But yeah, the savings account is the better idea, really.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. I will buy more stuff, of course I will. But I am determined to rationalize my collection, and make as much money back from my bloody purchases as I can. I might even list a load of stuff on here and see if anybody is interested in any of it... and yeah most of it will be going into bank accounts. Already had a few people email me actually about a few of the things they've seen in the pictures...

      that Vindicator Line Breaker Squadron is drawing a lot of attention. :)

    7. You see, this right here is my problem. I read this comment and immediately my brain goes "I wonder if he's going to sell on his blog and what he'll be selling! I'm sure it's cool stuff!"

      But then, I'll probably be giving away some of the things that I'm not sure why I every bought them, so that'll balance it out right?!

    8. A_G it depends. I won't be shifting any of my Infinity stuff that's for sure. A lot of the stuff I want to 'move on' will be GW related. Maybe shift a few Mofaux piece I'm never going to use ever again. We'll see, I might even try to sell my painted WFB Dwarf army!!! Just can't see me using that army ever again, and I'm sure somebody somewhere would get some use out of it.

  10. I used to fall in to this trap quite a bit; I actually try to avoid it now, for a number of reasons:

    1) Part of the reason it takes me ages to paint a full GW army is because if I buy anything larger than a couple of boxes I'll get thoroughly fed up of painting the same thing over and over again. That's when models tend to sit in their boxes that never get opened. Even if the prices of the Battleforce/Battalion boxed sets didn't put me in mind of the 'Shower' scene from American History X, I still only buy then rarely for that reason.

    2) I'm almost completely immune to the 'Shiny' syndrome you describe. This is because I don't want anybody else deciding what I should be collecting. If I'm painting Dwarves, I'm painting Dwarves, I'm not going to jump ship to Tomb Kings because GW have released a bunch of new models. The last time I made a mistake like that was Dreadfleet - which thankfully I was able to return after reading a lot of negative commentry from people who don't currently work for GW. Never again.

    3) As I'm a gamer first and painter second I need to be realistic about how much of the former I'm going to get to do. I've only really got one friend (my mate Dave! :) ) who plays games, and he doesn't like all the games I like. Cash is tight and I need to be a bit sensible about spending even more money than I already have on a game that I've only got a small chance of ever being able to play.

    So thankfully my backlog of models I need to build and paint amounts to a largish GW bag in the corner of my bedroom, and I only own one game that I've never played. I'm still hoping to move in with my girlfriend quite soon; I don't know how fierce she's going to be about all this but I can swear before you now she will NEVER allow me to create a situation where I could take pictures similar to the one featured in this blog!

    That being said, we've all done it to one degree or another, so it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one and I'm far from the worst.

    1. I guess for such a long time it actually wasn't a trap. I used to be ridiculously prolific when younger in painting new armies. Even through Uni and shortly after uni I was painting things at a shocking rate.

      At some point though my painting just slowed right down, and I was earning so much money that I didn't take the time to realise I wasn't painting stuff as quickly as I used too.

      I'm starting to work through the huge backlog of miniatures as I go, and actually started tidying it all up today. It's not quite as bad as I thought it was as I have more done than I thought I did. Selling some of my older stuff to clear the shelves will be a big help.

  11. Your collection makes mine look modest, you can't believe what a relief that is! :p (Sadly I'm only half joking..) Too bad I amassed my pile in about a year and a half. I'll have to intervene soon as storage is becoming problematic for me as well.

    This post made me go over it all and if I'm honest it scares me a bit. Cost estimates spring to mind and I'm pretty sure I don't want to get too detailed in that area.

    Even worse, I've yet to recieve any of my crowdfunding purchases so things will get much worse before they get any better.

    Like most here I'm having serious difficulties saying no to a good deal. That's why Kickstarter will be the end of me. I was so proud of myself for not backing Kings of War and Reaper it's actually pathetic.

    I'm a natural magpie and I'll really need to find some 'hobby purchase guidelines' of my own. (Or just steal yours :p) And maybe write up everything I own in one list. I roughly know what I've got lying around, but perhaps seeing it all on one list might drive the message home. Thing is, I'm not sure I'm brave enough for that.

    1. Honestly I think most hobbyists need to stop and do an inventory of all the crap that they own because when you do that you have to face up to what the hell you've done!!! If you can stop before you get to my quite epic proportions it's worth doing.

    2. I did my inventory and it's.. sobering truth be told.

      I'll need to have a think on which 2 or 3 games would be most likely to take off here. The rest should either be stalled untill these projects are completed or dropped completely. This choice might actually be worse than picking a faction :p

      Ps: I just learned that, if you want to go for the full roundhouse kick to the face, all one needs to do is list the models or units individually instead of just going 'Bakunin starter set'. And also include the stuff you have kickstarted or on order..

    3. Yeah it's a sobering process I can assure you!!! Mine has been done and I'm utterly flabbergasted. It's a lot of stuff, and I really need to get on it.

    4. You actually did a full inventory? Damn, that must have been pretty labor intensive judging by your pictures!

    5. Yeah. I've been working on it for around two weeks on and off now. I have a veritable shed load of stuff. A fair bit of it is already getting some interest.

  12. I have definitely suffered from the shiny/magpie syndrome and rarely finished a project before I got started on the next.

    However, as I stopped playing GW games and moved over to other systems that use less miniatures and that allow more creative freedom I've started to recover. These days I rarely "binge" on miniatures and I have a fairly strict number of games I play/collect. I've even managed to paint a decent sized force to each of them (Dust Warfare in progress)!

    As for the old lead mountain I'm gearing up to sort through it and put pretty much all of it up for sale. So far I'm keeping the stuff that is painted (to a reasonable level) and some Necromunda/BFG/Mordheim stuff but the rest I feel no reason at all to keep. I say get rid of it all! It's liberating! :D

    1. I've got pretty much everything I could want. My hobby is going quite well actually, but I look at all the extra stuff I've got and I ask two questions:

      1) Do I need it?
      2) Could my hobby be even better if I made more use of all this stuff?

      The answer is probably no and yes respectively to varying degrees.

      I don't know any hobbyist who hasn't got the old lead mountain or pile of half finished, or not even started miniatures. At some point we've all bitten off more than we can chew.

      In my case I've built this stuff up over a period of 27 years. There actually far more that I've brought and then painted, played with and subsequently sold. My Cygnar, my Wolfen for Confrontation, various WFB and 40K armies, all my Battletech stuff. I've enjoyed most of the stuff I've brought to destruction. But I am at a point right now where I look at my stuff and just think what the hell have I done and where do I start.

  13. You already have seen the results of my own hobby clean-out, and I can honestly say that my own dubbed, "Ooooh, Shiny!" Syndrome has caught me and my wallet unawares too often. Heck, I'm Thrilled that I didn't pay any attention to Reaper's Kickstarted until it was too late. Not because I wouldn't have wanted to back it, but because I wouldn't have touched any of the models for YEARS.

    I feel your pain, my friend, and I'm one of those schmucks as well. Yes, I've taken a considerable loss with my hobby purchases, and regret wasting said money.

    To that end I made a pact with myself, my wife, and our bank account...if I want to start a project, I need to look and see if I already have it :P If I don't, then I evaluate what will be done with all the stuff I do have and wanted oh so badly when I bought it. If the potential project gets past all those requirements, then I will only buy ONE unit or box. I only get to buy the next unit or box when I've assembled and painted the first purchase!

    Thanks for the shout out on my post from Friday, and I'd like you to know that I've edited the first part to include a disclaimer that I'd like any who visit that article from now on to consider the comments section a full part of the article. Way too many good points and well written thoughts to not include them!

    - Tim

    1. Heya Tim,

      Yeah, I fully accept I've been a schmuck. But I have no one else to blame but myself. Normally when I spend money I'm frugal and will always look for the best deal, and when I've brought something I will make the best use out of it.

      For computer games on the Xbox 360 or PS3 I'll try to get all the achievements or trophies before moving on to the next. If I buy a blu-ray it's because I intend to watch it repeatedly... but toy soldiers is my one weakness. I used to be weak for comics, but now I tend to buy compilations rather than the individual comics as they're released, because compilations are better value for money and I'm willing to wait.

      I just need to start applying the same levels of discipline to my wargaming habits and hobby as I do the rest of my life. As always thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts buddy, always appreciated.

  14. I am always ready and willing to provide a new home to wanted minis ;)

    Just send them to me, and I can store them, in boxes much as you have, for years. while maintaining the best of intentions to paint them.

    1. Nice try Angus... get to the back of the queue and get your wallet out!!!


      I bet you've got a fair few unfinished projects yourself haven't you?

    2. Yeah I confess, I have a tone of projects that have never advanced past the first steps. BUT I always have storage space for more ;)

    3. I knew it!!! I've got plenty of space for all my crap, but I think it's just time I cut back.

    4. Perhaps we could set up a project swap. Get people on the blog to put up one unfinished project. Swap it with someone else's unfinished project and then challenge them both to post pics of the projects when complete?

      Might make a good Christmas Challenge or something?

    5. This is a great idea but could be simplified further by removing the swap element; if people get matched up with others with similarly sized putstanding projects the challenge could be conducted with their own minis.

    6. @Angus, that's not a bad idea actually. That's something I might consider turning into a "challenge Frontline Gamer series of articles or something" or as you suggest a swap shop for challenges.

      Hendie's idea isn't too bad. find somebody with a similar level of crap... erm... scale of project as you and set a challenge between yourselves. I like it!!!

    7. Two friends and I did this once. They each had a Chaos chariot and I painted my Brettonian trebuchet and crew. The first to finish got taken out to dinner by the other two. It's one of the very few things I've painted to completion.

    8. I personally like the swap idea because it gives you something fresh to work with. Might rekindle the creativity a bit.

    9. The swap idea is a good one... I mean, if you haven't finished the project you've got already, perhaps as you say something fresh might get the creative juices flowing again.

  15. I don't really understand this idea that we owe the various miniature companies anything. In my opinion that attitude is simply an excuse to not deal with what is clearly a compulsive buying problem. Seriously. This is nothing to celebrate. The photos you've provided are kind of depressing, actually.

    1. Perhaps if you read the article you'd understand that actually I agree with you. But hey why read something when you can look at pictures and make judgements.


      I actually said we don't owe companies anything and that this compulsion many gamers have to buy stuff is actually potentially harming the industry on some level.

  16. I feel for you. After getting married, when I left my flat I looked at a large purge. At the time, I was just looking at Warmachine/Hordes, Infinity and the new Heavy Gear. I gave away so much, the Eldar Army and Ulthawe Army deals, the Tau Empire Army deal... the list of casulaties go on.

    Now I'm almost at the same place with everything I've been jumping on. Lucky for me I've been picking up used to check off the box for a slew of my minis. I'm looking at the same issues of lacking work come April and I'm busting my butt to find another job by then.

    I wish you luck in your purge/coordination of efforts. Sticking to your rules will save you.

    I will say one last thing. When you're gaming area is clean and neat. The minis on the shelf, row on row, ready for inspection and play. All of those possible games that you've picktured playing come rushing back to you. It was like being a kid all over again.


    1. That's the plan Dozer. I'm sort of hoping to get my gaming space / man cave more sorted over the next few months. Possibly even get some display cabinets, I'm not entirely sure yet what I'll do. I'm not really sad to be losing stuff actually. It just feels a bit liberating if I'm honest with you. these are projects I was never going to finish in a million years after I fell out of love with certain gaming franchises. I'm already sticking with it actually and so far I'm doing quite well. Things are being painted and stuff is being sold... but all round hardly any new stuff has found its way into my house. Feeling very proud right now. :)

  17. I'm a massive faction whore, but don't often get sucked in by the new shiny thing. I tend to see something painted well, or read a book, or have some of the locals start playing a new system, or somesuch, and want to launch into something new. It's much less often a big release by a company that gets me.

    I've only contributed to 3 kickstarters so far: the Ito, Deep Wars and one of my favorite bands. I'd generally rather pay my money and have stuff in my hands, so I've kept the kickstarter funding to just the small ones who've already got a bit of a track record.

    And, yeah, I suck at completing projects. While I've got a decent number of armies for various systems painted, I got way more unpainted...

    1. "I tend to see something painted well," ... "and want to launch into something new."

      That bloody Laughing Ferret is a culprit of doing this to me.

    2. Yeah, I think the thing that gets me going down that route more often than not is seeing somebody elses army or in some case a really nice individual paint job or diorama. Like you books and comics can also trigger it.

      It's quite rare for me too to go out and say oohhh there's a new army being released I must have it. I tend to go for things 9 times out of 10 that I'm attracted to for a long period of time.

      Where this falls down is my love of trying new game systems out. They might suck donkey balls, but I do feel the need to try new games. I'm the sort of person if I'd been born around the time of Columbus who'd have been signing up for his crew. I like new adventures, I don't do 'normal' holidays, I like going to places most people wouldn't consider holiday destinations.

      It's part of who I am, but it seems with my hobby that I need to start picking my destinations more carefully!!!

  18. Sigh.
    We have a sickness.
    I choose to live with it.

    1. I had a feeling you'd say something along those lines you know!!!


  19. When I first hit the point hobbywise where I was grown up and could afford to buy a (un)healthy supply of toy soldiers I had a relatively small group of mates that were in my gaming circle and I was under the impression that all gamers had an inability to resist anything new and an extensive back catalogue of boxed/half built/unpainted minis. It's only been these last few years as the amount of gamers I've come across expands that I've found that there are a lot more about with a hell of a lot more willpower than myself.

    I'm lucky enough that I can (to a certain degree) splash out on new minis without having to worry too much (very few financial committments and no other half to keep me in check) and I have a designated hobby room to keep everything hidden away in, but when I take a step back it does shock me a bit at how much I must've spent over the years and the increasing lack of space for new things.

    I've been trying (and mostly failing) to curb the acquisition of new things and, as has been mentioned above, think it's definitely a good idea for some of us to find methods of making a dent on the masses of unfinished projects; I've got a few tactics in mind but it remains to be seen whether or not any are successful...

    A couple of things I noticed from the photos in this article. Firstly, the plastic packing crates are a familiar scene; there's a pile sat in my room containing all sorts of hobby related stuff. Secondly, the fourth picture made me laugh; that looks like a good selection of Kingdom Death boxes. Is that a Firestorm Armada blister pack I can make out? Only thing I'm struggling with is the random right boot, I'm not sure which faction that belongs to...

    1. Well I have a massive man cave. It is sadly full of stuff and I'm really embarrassed to admit it a lot of it is stuff that I didn't necessarily want or need. Still I'll get it all sorted. I don't want to end up in that situation ever again!

      I'm on the one hand lucky that my missus is so understanding of my hobby and what I do, that she doesn't try to control me or my habits. Yet Sometimes I wish she would!!! I mean I'm not going to say no to new shinies very often and I would kinda like to have somebody tell me no once in a while.

      As to stuff you've seen... yeah that's a huge pile of Kingdom Death stuff. I also have a large pile of Studio McVey stuff. Firestorm Armada... check! As for the random boot, well that's my ass kicking shoe obviously! I use it when playing opponents. :P

  20. Wow.. was just thinking last week that I really need to figure out what I have currently on the go. Will be attempting, and I say attempting as it might get too sad, to go through and categorize all my projects. See what has finished, and what is not. I think the nots will be winning here, but would be interesting to see it none the less.

    From here, I guess a plan of action will be required. Not something as drastic as paint 3 models to buy 1, but something along those lines will be required.

    Am sure that will be a couple of articles on my blog by itself, and lots of "Oh man, what was I thinking.. ooo shiny!" moments..

    1. Just as a side point.. my latest article is actually referencing to the EoTRS box set that I just recently picked up on eBay from a Brick and Mortar store. That since I was on the fence before to buy, but now that I have, I will pick up more. And it will be a combination of online retailers and more eBay.

      Fact is.. without the reduced initial cost through eBay, I probably would not have started to collect Dystopian Wars.

    2. Heya Lee, EoTRS? I take it that stands for Empire of the Rising Sun, right? If so that was WWII era Japan. Nope in Dystopian Wars they're the Empire of the Blazing Sun, or EotBS for short! :P

      I'm finally getting round to finishing off all my EotBS stuff myself! After what has been a very long time playing with half painted stuff! Not cool and very unsatisfactory for me and my opponents.

      I think if a lot of us got on top of our hobby though it would be a good thing for all, so I wish you luck with your endeavors. Oh and stay away from eBay for a while, trust me... that way lies madness.

  21. Good luck trimming down your collection. It's something I need to do as well. I don't have piles of it sitting around like you, but I do have a couple of armies that should go.
    As for selling used stuff, that's what's done. Would GW prefer you to buy all new Space Marines instead of used ones? Of course, but when you get a new car, do you send your perfectly-running used one to the junkers? What does Tim think we should do, drop our old armies in the garbage? That's the kind of blind, idiotic consumerism that's helped get this planet into the trouble it's in, not to mention the economics of a population that's carrying more debt than it can pay right now.

    1. I agree about the blind consumerism. I was actually talking the other day with someone involved in the manufacturing side of the hobby... and they pointed out how wasteful the industry was as a whole. I'd briefly considered it before. But not to the extent that he had, its quite staggering the amount of waste now involved.

      As to selling second hand stuff... I've personally never seen an issue with it. Pretty much all my hobby career I've funded new projects I've wanted to tackle, by selling old painted armies I've played to death. At some point though I started earning such large quantities of money that I stopped needing to recycle past projects and turning them into 'liquid' assets.

      That's when my problems started. Giving a young geek like me roughly £2000 per month in terms of disposable income, after the mortgage had been paid etc. was potentially a recipe for disaster. My house is full of expensive gadgets, games, blu-rays etc. etc. etc. and of course the aforemention miniatures pile!

  22. Wow, I can understand. I'll do a rundown real quick before I continue:

    - Cryx - almost all the option but upside all painted.
    - Circle - Again almost all option, half are painted.
    - Khador - Starter Box plus Kodiak and Widowmaker Marksman. 1 fully painted
    - Legion - Lylith, Rhyas, and 2 Raeks. Only one painted.
    - Mercs - 32 models 3 painted.
    - Minions - 24 models 1 painted.

    - Guild - 3 of the Starter set and few extras. All but Ortega crew painted.
    - Arcanist - Colette starter still in box.
    - Neverborn - Lilith stater still in box.

    - Nomads - medium sized mostly painted.

    Warhammer 40k:
    - Sisters Army - about 1500 points none painted
    - Dark Eldar - about 400 Points most still in box

    - Skaven - 5 models all but one in box. Tha one is partial painted.

    I do have other models but they aren't game related so I wont be adding them here >_>;;

    I pretty much had to take a step back and say: "No buying new stuff until you paint what you have!" for my Cryx. Once I did that I was able to finally paint my Cryx army completely. (I even resisted getting Kraken at Lock & Load which was a willpower roll every 30 min.)

    It worked well so I extended it to be: "You can't buy a model for either main faction till you have both of them fully painted." As right now I've got 54% of the circle done, but my god it's hard when you see the woldwrath, griffons, wold guardian ... (rolls dice/ pass willpower check) ...

    I extended this rule to the other games I play as well. Though they aren't getting the love on the painting table yet.

    One day I hope to get caught up across the board and then go in to the buy one model/unit and paint before buying another. We'll see if i can do it.

    1. FiTS with willpower like that you might be my new hero! I know I've just got to man up and do what you have done and just stick with it. I will do it and I'll feel so much better when I do. So far I'm doing OK.

  23. Your article resonated with me. I own a ton of armies for multiple systems. Like you, I'm in the process of selling a bunch of stuff. For me the decision is mainly around, do I play the army with any frequency, enjoy playing it or will I ever paint it. I can't answer yes, to all three questions it has been going into my to be sold pile.

    The last part about selling second hard mini's hurting the companies is bunk. Used cars haven't put GM out of business. I think the real issue is not when people sell used mini's but sell an entire game system (ie dumping all your 40K stuff). The company made money on the initial sale and had a zero sum game. They lost one customer but gained another. It's up to the game company to keep putting out products that people want to buy. I don't we have zombie gaming companies, instead there are a lot of Mom & Pop operations that either have followings just big enough to sustain them or they fade away

    1. Yeah, I'm going through that process of... will I play with this army ever? Like you, I think I might pitch your three questions idea if you don't mind! :P

      I agree the idea that selling second hand miniatures is hurting companies is bunk. What would hurt them more is if we all had enough willpower to buy only what we needed and then painted it and stuck with it.

  24. One of the better ways I have seen to help with this problem is to keep track of purchases and painting during a regular time frame.

    Miniatures purchased this month: **
    Miniatures painted this month: **
    Miniatures purchased this year: **
    Miniatures painted this year: **

    Its probably wont work for everyone but I'd say its far more useful then tracking your W/L/D record as many people are apt to do.

    1. Yep! that's another good idea. I've actually been keeping an Excel spreadsheet for this very purpose. It's actually starting to get me moving on some of my projects!!!

  25. Yes, I am sick. I know this, worse my wife knows this. However now we are in Cambodia I can play models and have them shipped to my brothers house to be stored for when I return.

    I realise this is not helping.

    A friend got so fed up of his unpainted hordes he started a minitures painting company overseas. Now everything is painted.

    What gets me is I have little or no memory of getting half this stuff. I think it just appeared. I mean a while back I went and did an Epic Leman Russ headcount as I had found a bag of them. Who needs 200+ of those tanks? (One clearly needs only around 100 to have 1 company of each type released, though hang on, what if I need 2 first edition russ companies?!) Or a bag of 1st edition plastic land raiders?

    You mention Blood Bowl but depite the horde I feel ok about them, not least because I play once a week when in london but also because I managed to end up with nearly everything painted and not that much spare/duplicate (I am ignoring the mass of Wargame Foundry stuff bought in a sale to use as sideline pieces...).

    For me I am feeling more and more the presure to sell, either on ebay or at a bring and buy. Not sure which. I mean when we can print models in colour on our 3D printers...

    As an aside any way of a) having a sidebar showing recent posted comments and b) enabling some sort of cookied feature that would allow regulars to the site to hide your banner? It fills my entire screen and then some!