The Collector’s Gene: Let It Go!

Since the collector’s gene is strong with the gaming community, we generally want all of the the things, but how much is too much? And when, if ever, do you abandon a project?

Ooh, Shiny!

In the hobby sense, at least, most of us have a cupboard of shame. Or table of shame. Or perhaps even an entire room of shame. It’s that mountain of grey plastic (or resin) that you absolutely had to buy on pre-order despite already having a horde of unfinished projects vying for your precious hobby time, knowing full well that it’s going to sit in that cupboard of shame for the next few months. At least. Some of us even have multiple armies over multiple game systems. We can’t use them all at once, so what do we do with all these finished* projects?

The thought came when talking to fellow hobbyist, Bryn (of army painting fame), and hearing of his latest 6000 point army for Age of Sigmar which sprang up from nowhere. Add this to many multiple-thousand point armies over other systems and I began to suspect his house looked something like the exhibition centre at Warhammer World (or an episode of Hoarders). Disappointingly, it turns out most of his collection is tidily stacked high in boxes throughout various rooms.


As a much slower painter, my own collection sits in a couple of IKEA glass cabinets. If I’ve spent untold hours painting these little toy soldiers, I’d rather have them where I can see them. I’ve intentionally limited myself to two cabinets due to space issues though the temptation to get a third is ever present every new release day.

But when the hobby machine keeps moving, however slowly, even finished projects mount up. So what do you do with them? Do your 2nd edition Space Marines retire to the chapter vaults (garage) or does another fate await them?

The Solutions

Hoard them. All of them. It’s your shiny and they can’t take it away from you. Litter the floor with caltrops and lock them away nice and safe. It’s not paranoia, no matter what they say.

Alternatively, you can paint to a project and then sell it on once finished. I’ve seen some of the Horus Heresy players do this, funding the next project with the money from the sale. It’s a great way to keep your own hobby moving and, after the initial outlay, doesn’t cost so much in the long term.

If you can’t bring yourself to let them go, consider a rotation system which lets some of the older armies get some exercise now and again so they’re not just gathering dust.

I’m intrigued at how more people deal with this (very much first-world) problem. Are you a hoarder or do you have streamlined efficiency on your hobby conveyor?


*Because it is totally possible to “finish” an army…

One comment

  1. For the Hoard!
    I’ve sold and even given away huge chunks of armies in the past, and mostly now I regret having done so. Nowadays, I don’t need to sell things to fund other things (saving works well instead now, plus having a job pays more than being a teenager or uni student). If (when) I die before getting it all painted, then c’est la vie.

    The upside is now that (for example) 40k is engaging me again, I’m able to dig out all any number of old models that I simply put aside for years and years – and paint/complete/actively use them with little to no cost beyond what new stuff I decide to purchase!


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