Thursday, 30 January 2014

Gaming on a Budget

I find myself in somewhat of a bind at the moment. Usually, I can do whatever I please hobbywise. I rather fancy basing these figures, trundle off to the massive bag of sharp sand, microwave it. Giant bottle of PVA and applicator brush, we are ready to roll. Sadly, I can't do that now. I don't have sharp sand, I don't have PVA, or even a brush to apply it with. And in a further twist of fate, I don't have a little place to work on my little toy people. How very sad.

I think we often take for granted the kind of hobby infrastructure we build up around us over the years of painting and modelling. In the UK I have an extensive collection of paints, basing materials, and figures. There are few things I can't do with a quick rummage. Things are very different over here. I thought to get on with my first Hobby Progress Challenge Unit over the Australia Day weekend. Upon closer inspection of my figures though, it turns out that not only did I not remove all the necessary mould lines (naughty me), I only based some of them with sand before leaving. The problems are twofold; firstly, I don't have a hobby knife, and I somehow don't think my trusty penknife is up to the job. Secondly, I have no basing materials. One might ask, "why don't you simply paint the figure and base them later?" No. Once I lock down down the basing for an army, I always base first, not the edge or the static grass, but the sand and painting it. Since as it involves drybrushing, it can be quite messy, and the last thing you want to do is to spend hours lovingly working on a figure only to mess it up with errant strokes. This is a personal workflow thing, but I just work better this way.

Now, both of the above problems are fixed by a simply visit to Irresistible Force in Tana Merah, however, it also requires treasure, of which I am a little light at the moment. Our hobby isn't cheap by any measure and I think that until you find yourself without that cushy £25k+ per annum job it is difficult to appreciate just how expensive it can be. I think that not since I was an impoverished student have I felt the weight of the prices we pay. And this doesn't simply extend to Games Workshop, the hobby is expensive across the board. I wonder how teenagers afford even one boxed set? Never mind the paints and the other ancillaries that are required to actually do anything with it. Woe are we. Nevertheless, to remedy the situation I set about compiling a list of things I need, perhaps I should have had this list before I went make my first purchase:

- Hobby Knife
- Basing sand/gravel
- Static grass
- PVA glue
- Some more paints and washes
- Pin vice

Some things in the above list were more important than others, the Pin Vice was a luxury, but one I really wanted. The trick was now to try and source these items for as cheap as possible without compromising on quality. So, on Wednesday I set off with my cousin who was simply curious about the hobby to Irresistible Force. Firstly, I had been there the week before Australia Day and still there hadn't been a replenishment of stock. So I had to get a little creative with the paints and inks I wanted, hopefully it will all work out in the end. I also couldn't resist, I saw this and had to buy it.

The figures are gorgeous, and my cousin, who spent an hour in the store with me ooo'd and ah'd, she might just play a game of Dreadfleet with me. So that was an impulse buy, naughty me. Other than that, the only thing I really still need to progress on with my Dark Angels is some PVA glue which I can get at any craft store cheaply, but I just haven't gotten around to doing that as I have been busy job hunting etc. I did manage to finish a Tactical Marine in the space of an hour, barring the basing of course, so progress is being made. What I now need is a little box like paint station that I can store away and bring out as and when I want to paint, so as not to offend me housemates and H who I am sure don't want any of the living spaces littered with Space Marines. But that is a  topic for another post.

So for now I work away at my Tactical Squad, and read. I finished Battle for the Abyss the other night at around 2am as I couldn't sleep. And I am onto Mechanicum...