Friday, 7 March 2014

Warhammer 40k - Breaking the Addiction.

So we all are guilty of buying models when we perhaps dont need to. Or purchased a model based on looks and no other reason. But this post here is a warning to those just starting out in warhammer (or any game system). 


Here is why:

See above? The rows of tanks have more rows of tanks behind it, there are 2 more shelves you cant see with MORE MODELS. All of them various Imperial Guard. 

See any problems? 

Well how many are painted? Most of the models are drastically different to the next!

This is how bad it was...

400+ Basic guardsmen. 40 horses. 9 sentinels. untold amounts of different nationalities. The list goes on.

I will admit it was awesome to have all such variety. But anyways ill start with the post:

Is it worth it?

In short. No. Why? Well Nobody could match the force in points unless I faced 4 or so players, so most gathered dust. There was no way to paint them all feasibly. I had no space to start another army. Heck transporting them was a pain. It also looked aweful when people came over and saw it. 

It became more of an obsessive collection rather than a hobby. 

The solution?

Start fresh. Bite the bullet. Clear it all. (or at least most of it). I did and it was at that point I decided id never let it get that bad again. I will admit I still have unpainted models but its nothing compared to the above. 

I still today come up with cool Imperial Guard ideas weekly that Id love to do. But the nature of the hobby is patience. So your collection should reflect this. So if you are like me, and have no feasible way to paint your large collection. Then I urge you to sell off most of it and start fresh. 

Starting fresh.

So if you are just starting out or are in the situation where you just sold off your collection I advise the following.

Dont impulse buy. See a cool model? Only buy it IF YOU CAN COMPLETE IT properly in a short time. Its easy to just add to your list, its not easy to shorten the list. 

Have a clear goal. If you have an army in mind, DO NOT ASK GW OR ASK PEOPLE ONLINE what to get. Ask them whats effective or roughly what units do but the very first thing is make a list. Build that list and stick to it. 

Paint it as you go. Try paint whole squads at a time. Once you see a finished squad it really looks good. Compared that to 3 out of 10 models painted here and 6/30 there and so on. Painting whole squads will really show you what the end result will look like and you definately will feel motivated to finish. 

The Positives.

Not only is your army more likely to be complete, it will feel complete. An easy way to know when you need to slow dont your collection is when your army LOOKS like an army and not a huge mess. As long as you know your limits and capabilities a finished army for you could be double what I consider a complete army. So lets have a run down:

  • Less space
  • Easy transport
  • Nicer Display 
  • Practical
  • Your wallet will grow fat and smug
So this is my over all advice to any gamer. Control your collection. Dont let it get out of hand. So plan, knuckle down, finish the job and admire your work. Dont Hoard models. Its really hard but once you start fresh and notice results you will not look back (well much). 

Even now, despite still having enough work to do on my models, see stuff I want. Like these guys that are coming out soon: Here and I fall too. Unfortunately I purchased a Reaver Titan. But I have ended it there, I will finish what I have (except a few more models for my Grey knights) and then move on. 

I will be selling my Eldar as I cant possibly finish what i have its just not satisfying. So:

Break the addiction! Control your collection and reap the results. Head this warning before its TOO LATE!


  1. Arr that's not all that bad, I have seen way way worse! So have you sold them all off yet? My way of starting fresh was to box things up and only display painted models. At least my army looks like an army now!

    1. Yea man, it definitely could be worse! Thankfully I sat there one night and decided to sell it. In hindsight I should have boxed a lot of these as I had plenty of collectors models, limited edition models and conversions that very few people would ever see. But like you I know look at a mostly painted army in the mornings. Feels so much better.

  2. It is a fair amount for just one army. I am horrible about unfinished stuff. Everything is unfinished. I have unpainted, unprimed, unbuilt, and tons of unused stuff. Most of the unbuilt stuff is marines or nids that I got right before my 40k juices sunk in 5th as mech spam grew.

    I was once listening to a radio show about shopping addiction and felt that was not a bad description. Men do not usually link to shopping addiction as they call it collecting but the issue is that you a buying things not for their use but for the emotional lift you get from the actual buying process.

    I seem to be able to kick any particular game but I seem to go in a cycle of be fixated on stuff, 40K -> Blood Bowl -> Epic -> Chainmail -> Lego -> Bones -> Epic ->Lego.-> Blood Bowl.

    1. I know how you feel. Im not too good at starting a t paint. But once I start to paint I can get it done. But I can agree with the buying addiction. It makes me wonder how much money in this business is made off the desire to want models over their actual usage. I think its a lot personally.

      Materialism and consumerism side effects :P

      Its hard having a hobby of part time game pieces and near full time show pieces.

  3. I could not agree more with this article. There is a dangerous line between collecting and hoarding models. Its too easy to be "oh I really need that too in my army" or "I just don't have enough of that". Controlling your hobby is one of the hardest things and probably one of the most common problems I have seen with people. I know so many that have way to many models and all the black and grey, its not good.

    I have found that as I expand, I have to sell as well. I try to do audits, go through my stuff and look at the things I want, and the things I use or don't use. Not too long ago I sold two of my old hell hound and a bunch of sentinels. I have basilisks, I probably will be selling them, especially if the new kit comes out and I can make other artillery. I don't really use them, so if I buy the kit I really want, I have to make room.

    I have ogryns, I am keeping them to see if they are good, if they are still bad in the codex, they will be gone.

    Sometimes you just have to let go and not hold on to things just to hold on to things

    1. A manageable force is superior over all. I might adopt your method and just go through every so often and deem my stuff to be "bits binned", sold or kept. Its a good idea really.

      It also looks bad from a non hobby view too. I remember hearing someone talk about a wargamer and they where (as many people tend to be) impressed that they had all been painted and displayed. It does leave an impression.

      So you are bang on, just gotta learn to let go of some things.

    2. it does and I have worked really hard this last year to paint models and base them, now at this point almost every model (IG) I have is painted and based. No most are not golden deamon quality, but they are painted and based and have decent detail work. I had a comment at my store that made me happy when he stated that it was nice to see someone that had actually painted their aegis defense line.

      At some point you have to ask yourself why, why do I have these models? Is it for play? Display? If its yes to one of those, then when was the last time you played with them or painted them. If you can't see yourself either playing or finishing them, then you just have some expensive dust collectors.

    3. Congratulations on that. Our club 40k goers are trying to do the same. Like you said its hard work, but it is part of the hobby. In my club its actually common to see painted armies most of the time now which is quite nice. To be honest i was one of the last ones to try get my army painted. Which is one of the reason I wrote the post. I do cheat and get large amounts commissioned because I realistically couldnt paint enough to play though.

      Those questions should be something wargamers need to ask themselves all the time. Because it is a problem. Its a huge problem. Im not against unpainted minis and would happily play them, but that doesnt mean I wouldnt prefer painted models.

      Like everything in this hobby it comes down to attitude and effort. Have them right and your collection will show it well.