Wednesday 10 October 2012

Never paint your last model

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. 


  1. Lee - I'm well off the pace then. I have seven 6mm armies, two AWI armies, three British and American WW2 armies, two Baccus Samurai and two Irregular Samurai armies - and a load of 10mm ancients yet to feel the touch of my 00 brushes. OK, they are mainly 6mm but its still a host of lead to paint.

    The 10mm stuff is all for Ebay though.

    The only additional armies I'm considering are WW1 British for SPearhead and an ECW army for a DBR campaign (so not many).

    I cannot envisage the time when I will have nothing left to paint!

  2. I am still hording my Citadel/GW minis from the early 90's. Many still in blister pack. The don't paint your last mini fear is a common theme I think. As far as resisting the urge to buy, if Ray from the Rejects is there with you, you won't stand a chance. Bring a large backpack to carry all the stuff in.

  3. Hi Mate my conclusion is you are doomed. (as are we all)

  4. Yes, indeed never paint your last mini. I also have two packs of old Citadel Norse dwarves still in the blister in the bottom of my desk drawer just to be sure. Its Fran I was worried about since he was actually painting for other people because he had run out of stuff to paint.

  5. I've got plenty of miniatures waiting to be painted, and will almost certainly be coming home from SELWG on Sunday with more. Of course, then there's the medieval Swiss army I still need to buy the rest of the figures for, loads more 6mm ACW figures to buy to make usable armies for Polemos (or other) rules, not to forget more figures and vehicles for 15mm Scifi gaming....

    I think I'm safe from the "Mr Grim, he's here about the reaping" for a while yet :)

    Another FoW army though? How about branching out into another period? ;)

    1. I'm not tempted to branch into another period/game just yet. Besides I get my fix of other scales and periods as part of the Rejects without having to buy into any of them. I'm quite happy to stick with WWII late war period, its just a case of making my mind up what I want.

  6. Oooo good luck with shiniatus then. I agree with Tamsin have you thought about another period?

  7. I'm glad you are abandoning any thoughts of painting your last miniature - that's just crazy talk!
    Jave fim at SELWG.

  8. I'll help you on Sunday mate spend all that money!

  9. Shineybloodyeytus is an actual disease, I've spoken to my doctors about it, he's writing a paper on it at the moment, he puts it just above Cocaine addiction. I don't think I'll ever get down to my last model....ever!

  10. If your hypothesis is that the Reaper will not visit if you have figures to paint then I am nigh on immortal (but don't tell that to my wife for various reasons...)

    I look forward to seeing what your 'new lease on life' is!

  11. Well good luck with the need to buy. I really did not need to last weekend, but I did and I have ordered more via the internet since. No hope at all.


  12. Good god Lee! BUY! BUY you fool! Buy for your life!!!

  13. I have been working to reduce the minis I bought 20-30 years ago. I have a platoon of canal Martians, and two boxes TSR Kara-Tur minis to paint: pseudo Mongols and Japanese. I have made good progress in that regard. It has just been undone, because I took part in the Reaper Minis Kickstarter. Some time in March I'll have 240 new minis to paint.

  14. My plan for reducing my Lead Mountain was actually twofold. First was to divest myself of all the mini's I had in 'storage' for no good reason. Then I made a pledge to myself that I would be more disciplined in my ongoing purchases. So over the last couple of years I reckon I have managed to paint 95% of the stuff I have bought.

    Spurred on by that statistic I have been looking at the army lists for inspiration. I'm still focused on Normandy but there is plenty of choice still open to me. I am tempted to paint some British Airborne but I'm also an unrepentant treadhead and the idea of painting a British Tank Squadron (complete with Cromwell's and Firefly's) is quite tempting as well. Decisions decisions...


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