Monday, May 28, 2012

Life Imitates Hobby?

Spend as much time, work and money on a hobby like ours and it is bound to begin influencing other aspects of your life. Typically most folks would take that to mean we spend less time and money doing other things, and more building and playing with little army men.

I tend to have a different perspective.

Personally, outside of the hobby I'm a cartoonist, painter, illustrator and graphic know, beyond husband and father. And this hobby has influenced each and every one of those aspects of my life.

Because of this hobby, I've studied how to draw the subject matter of the 41st Millennium, and have made my own desktop backgrounds for the computers I use at work. I have even applied the lighting techniques used to paint competitively to articles I've written on how to judge color properly for trade show exhibits. It's a topic for discussion when folks a work and at church ask how I spend my free time.

I've taken more of an interest in history than I have since I studied back in college, diving into the ancient world, and doing extensive research into my wife's grandfather and his duty in World War II so that I could take a piece of our hobby in 15mm, make it special and honor him with it.

And speaking of my family, my wife has so much patience with my and my hobby, supporting me and knowing how much this means to me. My son knows the difference between his toys and "daddy's toys", and actually wants to watch me paint them.

Often have we concentrated on how much this hobby costs our wallets, but have we spent enough time concentrating on how much it's influenced the rest of our lives? This hobby has helped to bring some amazing people into my life, friends that are important to me as family, and people I look up to both professionally and personally.

On the eve of this next price hike by GW, as much of a pain in the rear it is, I challenge you to also remember how much this hobby as a whole impacts or lives. It's more than just toy soldiers folks.

What has this hobby done for you?

- Tim


  1. After breaking back into the hobby in a much more intense way 9 months ago, i have been introduced to a great new set of friends and have been waiting with baited breath for each new blog or website entry in the various places.
    It is strange how quickly 40k in particular has become the background to my normal life.

    1. Not so strange :) Once you latch onto a hobby that can be as immersive as this one, it's bound to influence you and your spare time.

  2. Hmmm... How has becoming obsessed with this hobby HELPED my life...? okay, okay. Well, for one thing, I'm hoping it will help launch a writing career for me. I'm working on a book proposal for an Imp Guard book to send on to Black Library. It's also (obviously) the focus of my own blog ( for the shameless plug), which has gotten me into the 21st century and cyberspace and greater hobby community. And certainly my painting technique has improved. It really has broadened my little corner of the world, so thanks for that, 40K. (Though sometimes I wonder how much other stuff I'd get done if I didn't have this constant distraction...)

    1. Hah! Okay yes, there are time that you definitely can immerse yourself to the point of this hobby being a touch detrimental to your life...but let's all help each other avoid that, shall we? :)

      Eh, the way I look at it, while I'm sure there's other things I could do with my time if I didn't have this hobby...I'd just be spending my time doing those things instead of this :P

      And hey, no worries on the shameless plug. that just means I get to go check out your blog :)

  3. Very interesting question, Tim.

    For me, getting back into the hobby really allowed me to get a grip on the whole blogging thing. I had wanted to get interested in blogging for quite some time, but I never felt like I had anything worthwile to say that others hadn't already said better ;-) The wargaming community offers much more opportunities for creativity and constructive, inspiring dialogue, in my opinion. And joining in that dialogue also tought me a lot about blogging and publishing content on the internet in general.

    That said, I realised the long time ago that I always need one or more outlets for my creativity, be it writing, graphics design or what have you. Towards that end, converting little plastic men and dreaming up wild stories about their adventures is just one more way to scratch that constant itch.

    P.S. Whoa, I didn't realise those TS illustrations in the Dornian Heresy sourcebook were from you! Good job there, buddy!

    1. See, I'm a graphic designer in my day job, so the hobby and my cartooning, illustration and painting helps give me those creative outlets as well!! And people thought the hobby only brought about thinner wallets...

      Okay, so thinner wallets happen too, but you get my point :) Glad to see I'm not alone in both of the above!!

      Yup, the TS, World eater shot from above, and the World Bearer Chaplain are all mine :). I'm thrilled you like them!!

    2. About the thinner wallets:

      You know, at the end of the day, it's really up to you whether the investment pays off or not. Many people are always complaing about the steep prices -- and in a way, they are right. But then many of those people hardly put any thought (or "love") into their models, plunking down hastily assembled, unpainted armies on the table and throwing away all the extra bits. I can understand why they feel cheated: They just paid a premium price for plastic junk, as it were. And the rules alone are definitely not hot enough to warrant the purchase.

      I, on the other hand, promised myself that I would wring the maximum amount of fun possible from every kit I buy. I'm not a stellar painter or converter, but I try the best I can to build exactly the collection of models I want - with all that entails. It's still a fairly expenisve hobby that way, but considering the amount of hours I get from it, the financial investment is not all that bad ;-)

      Whoa, look at me ranting away...

      While I'm at it, though: Tim, is there any way of seeing all of your Centurion models online somewhere? Didn't find it on this site yet (although that may just be my stupidity), but whenever you post one of your models, I always want to see more ;-)

  4. You don't have to tell me twice. I'm pretty sure wargaming saved my marriage.

    My wife and I hit a rough patch right after the wedding (we'd been together for about seven years previously). It seemed like we were always up in each other's business. We had all the same hobbies, all the same friends, and it was making us feel like we didn't have any space.

    Enter Warhammer 40k (and shortly thereafter, Warmachine, Hordes, Warhammer Fantasy, and, my current favorite, Infinity), and suddenly I've got a hobby that she doesn't give the slightest shit about. I've got friends, someplace to spend a weekday evening or weekend morning and give her some space, something to do at my desk while she gets work done or watches a TV show I don't like. Moving a little apart has made it possible for us to move so much closer together, and I basically thank wargaming.

    The phrase "just a hobby" is a misnomer. All hobbies are more than just "just."