Once upon a time I owned a huge pile of lead. Boxes and boxes of miniatures were bought and almost immediately put into storage around the house. I had hundreds of figures suitable for D&D or Call of Cthulhu character models and a whole other set of models of the corresponding monsters and villains. When I played Warhammer Fantasy Battle I probably had enough models to build three armies (all the same of course) and the trend didn't end there when I collected WH40k Epic. I always fielded painted armies in my games, but at least two thirds of the models I bought never made it to the games table.
Of course I'm not alone in this apparent mania (sometimes known as "Ooo-Shiney!" complex), pretty much every miniatures gamer - wargamer's and roleplayer's alike - have the same problem and collectively we probably have enough lead to sink a warship. However a few years ago I made the decision to drastically reduce my lead mountain and where possible see my miniatures go to good use rather than moulder away in my shed. Some figures I set aside for my kids to paint and play with. Some I gave away to friends and some I sold. Box after box of unpainted metal left the house for pastures new and my 'purge' was so successful that I now have just a handful of unpainted miniatures left.
I still have a small number of models set aside just for character figures for RPG games but when it comes to my wargaming models I am currently painting my last platoon, albeit at a very slow pace. Its almost as if my unconscious self realises the danger I am in because, as all gamers know, one should NEVER paint your last model. Drastic action is clearly required, on purely medical grounds if nothing else!
So I'll be hitting SELWG on Sunday with the burning desire to buy a new army but no clear plan as to what to buy. That folks is called 'living dangerously'. I can feel a full blown ooo-shiney relapse coming on. Especially as I'll be surrounded on all sides by traders with tempting show discounts. And will I be able to turn to my friends for mutual support and willpower? Will I heck! They'll probably be encouraging me to buy even more mini's, just like good gaming buddies always do (bless 'em!).
So if I come home from SELWG on Sunday with a new FOW army clutched in my trembling hands, I'll just have to tell my wife that I did it for the good of my health. Maybe she'll believe me, maybe not, but it'll make for a good epitaph non-the-less.