Sunday, July 19, 2009

34 - Hi, My Name Is Paul and I'm A...

It's become very obvious to me, seven months in to this hobby, that is has the potential to be very costly. Now, all hobbies are obviously luxury pursuits - we do them because we enjoy them not because we need to do them to survive. As a result, hobbies, by their very nature, will require disposable funds. The problem, as I see it now, is that certain aspects of a hobby can become compulsive, almost like an addiction. When it comes to this hobby of miniature figures, the compulsion for me is the collecting. It doesn't matter that at this point it would take me two or more years to get through every unassembled figure I own, or that the great majority of these figures are part of armies I have no intention of collecting, or that there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind my pattern of collecting (other than, "Oh, those guys look cool - must have!"), I still find myself buying kits on a weekly basis. Now, I've managed to off-set this compulsion somewhat by only buying at rock-bottom prices off of eBay, but the volume of my weekly purchases is threatening to overcome even that minor advantage.

So, I've decided that I have to do something to reign in this burgeoning addiction. The plan I will adopt is very similar to the one lone pilgrim has popularized on his blog - the Points for Painting formula. However, since I've already gotten such a head-start in my collecting of figures, I'll be adding a slight modification to his formula.

First, I'm going to start myself 25 points in the hole. Thus, according to lone pilgrim's formula, I'll need to paint up 25 infantry models or a dozen cavalry/ bike (and I'm going to add Independent/ Special Characters into this category) models or 2-3 vehicles before I'll allow myself to buy any more model kits.

Second, after digging myself out of that 25 point hole, I'm going to adopt a 1:1 ratio for determining what I'm able to buy next. In other words, painting up 10 infantry models will allow me to buy a 10 figure infantry kit, a 5 figure cavalry kit, or a vehicle kit, etc. Hopefully, this will force me to not only slow down on my compulsion to collect, but also re-connect the collecting part of this hobby (which has grown all out of proportion in terms of its importance) with the assembling/ painting/ basing/ diorama/ gaming parts of the hobby.

The bottom line is that I really need to get ahold of this strange need to buy every single model kit I can lay my hands on. If any of you have any other suggestions or if you too suffer from this particular compulsion, please feel free to post your suggestions or stories in the comments section.

Oh, and by the way, the poll is still active, so keep voting if you'd like.


FoxPhoenix135 said...

If you are married, I find my wife to be very innovative in finding ways to "persuade" me not to spend our precious little money on "toys." Generally this includes bouts of yelling, cursing, lecturing, and finally: abstinence. I think you know abstinence from what.

In all seriousness though, I find it lucrative to sell old models that I no longer have interest in, to facilitate the procurement of the next batch of models I absolutely must have.

Anonymous said...

Painting points is a good way to put the brakes on the addiction, and actually starting in the hole shows a little courage!

Also, I would recommend evaluating what you enjoy most about the hobby. If collecting figs to paint is more important than gaming, then limit your purchases to individual minis rather than buying plastic squad boxes. If gaming is more important, only buy models for the army you're currently hitting the tabletop with.

EM said...

I awoke one day, looked at all my minis, and discovered I have enough for a 10,000 point army. And I still wanted more. What the heck am I going to do with 10,000 points. I can single-handedly take on my entire club in an apocalypse game.

When that realization hit me it made me a bit sick to my stomach. So now I am spending my time building and painting. When I see a unit or model I want I ask for it for my birthday, Christmas, etc.

Well, most of the time. I just ordered Guardsman Marbo from the local store yesterday....

Damn this addiction!

lone pilgrim said...

I wish I had had your insight as early on in my hobby 'career.' I think I've now gone through the collecting phase and come out the other side, partly because I can't afford to do that any more, but largely because I am enjoying my painting so much.

The trick is to make myself think a model I bought six years ago but only just started painting is still new!

eriochrome said...

Hi, My name is eriochrome and I am a compulsive model buyer. I need help.

Seriously though many of us totally understand this. I have about 2K point of nids unassembled, 8K of unpainted marines, and 27 blood bowl teams. And I have to fight buying more.

The painting points system works for some but for me it did not for me. I am currently just on a no buying anything that needs assembly which is really hard as a space marine player when the next mini wave just arrived. Plus all that cool planetstrike terrain. But then I remember I have stuff that I bought 2 years ago that I have not even assembled.

Paul Wu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Wu said...

@ Everyone:

Thanks for your comments and support. The selfish part of me is glad that I'm not alone in this plastic quagmire hehe.

I still remember when I first got into this hobby wholeheartedly. I would agonize over buying figures, asking myself, "Is this model really the coolest out of the bunch? Do I really have the painting/ modeling skills to do it justice? Can I possibly find it cheaper somewhere else? Do I have the time to even paint it? Do I have a plan for it?"

Now, it's just, "*slobber* *slobber* Must...have...more!!!" *sigh*

@ FoxPhoenix135:

I am married, and my wife definitely does give me that, "Are you serious?" look every time another package arrives in the mail. But I guess, in game terms, I have the Leadership value of a gretchin when it comes to resisting the siren song of collecting more models. I guess that makes my wife the Runtherd :P Just kidding, honey!

@ lone pilgrim:

First, thanks for that great system. Even if it doesn't quite break me away from the compulsive habit of buying ever more models, at least it's there to remind me of how horribly afflicted I am. Knowing is half the battle!

Second, I think you're right when you phrase the plastic addiction as something one has to "come out the other side" of - it seems every hobbyist has to experience this compulsion first hand before being able to mentally arrive at their own personal way of dealing with it.

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