Hobby Tales – My Wargaming Journey

A while ago I read a post by Nerd Princess, over on her Instagram account about hobby time; more specifically how one fits hobby in around a busy schedule.

Nerd Princess’ post really got me thinking about how I approach the hobby. How spending hobby time has changed over the years and more specifically how it has changed as my life has moved on.

So, I have decided to chronicle my nearly 30-year hobby Journey in a series of blog posts.

There will be attempts at sagely advise, a tale or two, quite a lot of reminiscing and a whole lot of rambling.

…I am getting old you know!


1989 – 1990

In the beginning…

I have previously written about how I got into the hobby in the About section, so I will start the journey a little after.

Back at the turn of the ’90s when I was around 11, the only thing that would get in the way of my hobby time was school and homework but once school was over and I had inevitably decided to ignore the homework, I was able to spend the majority of my time either painting or gaming and if I wasn’t at home indulging in hobby, I was at my local Games Workshop which back then was good old GW Leeds, Central Rd.

Life was easy, the hobby was cheap (relatively), friends and memories were made and much fun was had.

There was far less emphasis and stress put upon having fully painted models/armies back in the early ’90s, you could literally play with models that had been glued to their base or even given a once over with ‘Smelly Primer’ and popped straight onto the tabletop. If you wanted to play with a painted army and didn’t have your own you could play with one of the many shop armies that had been painted by the infamous Shaun Allen (Bulldog), who I am pretty certain was employed just to paint shop armies and make scenery.

Ultramarines Tactical Squad Painted by Shaun Allen for Leeds Games Workshop Circa 1990

The greatest point about unpainted miniatures back in the ’90s was that nobody cared, you could roll up with an unpainted army and it was a given that your army was a work in progress and you just got on with it.

I put a lot of the completed miniature pressure of today down partly to GW who have progressively been pushing the painting and modelling side of the hobby as the years have gone on and partly down to social media and we all know there’s nothing worse than being judged ‘online’ by people you don’t know.

Dipped Miniatures – A Hobby Tale

I once played a game of  Warhammer 40,000 – Rogue Trader (that’s 1st edition 40K for the youth reading) against a lad who had literally dipped his Ultramarines into the paint; I don’t even think the paint was Citadel because you couldn’t fit a Space Marine into a Citadel pot.

This ‘dipping process’ had the undesired effect of eradicating most of the model’s details and as we old-timers know, details were sparse on those early miniatures, especially the RTB01 Space Marines box set.

…BUT at least he used the right colours which is something; his standard marines, heroes and Librarian were Ultramarine blue, his Medic was white, Chaplain black, Techmarine red and all they all had green flocked bases with Goblin Green edges (standard) and from a distance they actually looked great, in fact, from a distance they made the 5 painted models (probably 4) that I had painted out of my entire army look rubbish.

The game went badly for my then-unnamed Space Marine chapter (yes unnamed and unpainted) and the dipped Ultramarines army took the win, or at least I think they did as you could never tell with early Rogue Trader as games normally ended in arguments or boredom.

There is a lesson to be learned in this story but it’s clear that the younger me didn’t learn it as the older me still fails to paint more than 4 and a half models per army …well almost!


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