Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The 40k Hobby - what wouldn't you be without?

Hi all, welcome to another page of random gibberish as it spills from my fecund respository of randomness.

Today I'd like to talk about the hobby itself - it's ages since I've written something like this and I'd really like to get back to including content that doesn't just relate to what I've painted or battle reports.

Years ago now I remember reading an editorial in White Dwarf (back when it was interesting and informative rather than just an advert) where the editor asked the question of the reader 'what the best selling product GW sell'?

I'm proud to say that I got the answer right, and it wasn't something so obvious as a space marine tactical squad, it was the humble pot of Chaos Black paint.

So where am I going with this? Well I found myself in an annoying position a couple of weeks ago, where I'd got lots to be working on, but I'd run out of Agrax Earthshade, which was my next step. Now as I live in a snug little cave in the depths of the mines of Moria, I couldn't just nip out and fetch a pot, so I had to wait a few days before I could detour on a journey to get to the nearest stockist and replenish my supply.

In the meantime, I found myself getting more and more irritable, almost as if I were suffering withdrawal from my painting fix! I exaggerate of course, but I can tell you that I was genuinely relieved to have bought another pot so that I could get on with things.

As you can imagine, that surprised me a little bit, and started me thinking on what would be my favourite hobby item - models not included. So I made a list (as you do), here my top ten!

1. Agrax Earthshade - I literally use it somewhere on every model I paint, and whilst I could probably make do without a brush to apply it (dip!) I found it genuinely irritating to have run out.

2. Brushes - this has to be number two on my list, I love painting and whilst I can manage with using an older brush that may split on me every so often, I'd be genuinely depressed if I couldn't do any for any length of time.

3. Clippers. Strange choice I hear you say, well yes it probably is, but I made do for so many years when I first started collecting with just a knife to get things off the sprue that having a tool specifically designed for the job actually put a smile on my face.

4. Hot wire cutter. C'mon, you know you want one! I bought the citadel one years ago and whilst it did a decent job, I managed to lose all the spare wire that came with it and it stopped working very well. Once I got my man-cave sorted (the garage) one of my first jobs was to build myself a table, and to do that I bought myself a snazzy new one, mains powered and everything, with a spike design so that it wasn't limited by the size of the supporting arm.

5. Glue gun. Yes, this is another one along the same lines as the hot wire cutter. Who amongst us doesn't like wielding a gun that sticks stuff together? Makes doing large scale scenery projects much much quicker, even if I have broken the trigger on mine by being overly enthusiastic with it.

6. Head torch. Remember the bit about loving my painting? Well, last year I got myself a head torch so that I can paint even when I'm away from my table. Good job two, since number two child is on the way and about to relegate all my hobby space to the garage, which is a bit too cold to paint in during the winter! It also means I can paint in the living room whilst watching tv, which is a win in my book.

7. Paint Station. One of the few GW hobby inventions I've involved myself in, this was a present from my sister in law one christmas, and it's earned its money back many times over, allowing me to paint literally anywhere in the house, especially when combined with a bean bag lap tray.

8. Coloured spray paint. OMG where would my iron fists be if I had to hand apply all that blue basecoat! It's saved me so much time over the last two years I'd hate to be without it now.

9. Sand. Great for basing (so much better than GW textured paints) and fills in lots of nasty gaps when I'm putting broken equipment and models on the bases of my armies.

10. Gel superglue. Like many of us I used to struggle along with liquid superglue, sticking all sorts of things to all sorts of places when I was learning how to assemble things well. The advent of gel superglue made all that go away, and now I rarely end up with glue-finger (that hard patch of skin where you've superglued yourself to yourself).

Ok so that's my top ten - anything I've missed that you really couldn't do without? I'm sure green stuff will probably appear on that list for many of you, as well as its liquid counterpart, though I don't use them much (I'd love to be better at sculpting, I really would, but I don't have the time to practice)

Till next time, vote for a dictatorship, long live the Emperor! Or Asdrubael Vect!