My Space Marine Army. I have to much here. And one is painted.
I see everyone online is up in arms about price raises and whatnot from their favorite miniature company. There are also posts comparing wargaming to video gaming or whatever. Here in my smallest of corners of the internet I thought I would just compare my wargaming costs to my other hobbies. I usually refrain from adding up and knowing the cost of my various hobbies, but since this is for a cause, I will break the rule.
First, I will say that as it is a hobby, costs shouldn't be considered. A hobby is something you choose to do in your spare time. I do not have the funds to purchase all the models I would like. This is okay, I just buy the ones you want/need to play the game. You don't have to have every model GW makes to have fun. I also do a lot of trading/selling of my older models before purchasing new ones. I probably only spend $100-$200 dollars of my income per year on wargaming even though I may spend over $1000. The remaining funds come from ebaying old models.
For the sake of this article though we will consider the costs for a new player starting the game vs my other personal hobbies. I am using my hobbies as I know the costs of them for sure. There are plenty of hobbies out there that costs more than wargaming, in fact most hobbies costs more. They are hobbies because they are afforded with disposable income. The more disposable income, the more expensive the hobby, think sports car racing, yachting, flying airplanes(not RC ones), etc. Our hobby is a lower end hobby, whether you believe that or not.
A new player coming into the game will need to purchase the following most likely:
Codex of their choice
Army of their choice, minimum 1000 pts
The above would probably be around $600 to start. This could be broken down into a few months purchases. IMO it should take a new player around a year to get their first 2,000 pts built and painted. We'll say the total for everything you need to get going that first year would be around $1,200. This would include a competitive 2,000 pt army and enough tools and paints to get it built, painted and based. No this doesn't include fancy carrying cases, resin bases or Forgeworld bits. Breaking this cost down, thats around $100 a month for first year.
The good thing about wargaming is that after that first year the cost can go way down. It can go as low as none, if you are content with the army you built and just want to play. Now, we know no one is content, so lets say you add a new army every year. Again you'll need a few paints, but you'll already have the tools.
Wargaming is a hobby where you get what you put in. If you want you can buy terrain and play at home, or you can build your own cheap. With the internet you can find how-tos on almost anything terrain related. If you want to paint better look online, learn new techniques, practice. And if you want to save more money, buy from online retailers like The Warstore. They offer 20% off retail on new things and is most of the time easier than hassling with ebay. If you get lucky on ebay though, there are some better deals to be had. I do say if you have a FLGS that you play at frequently you should buy at least some product there so you'll have a place to play. If you get too cheap, you'll being playing in some shady dude's basement.
This is getting long so I will add a part 2 putting the costs of my other personal hobbies in a separate post. So far, though I am seeing that for around $20-$25 dollars a week you can have a great hobby, continuously adding new units, models, armies, terrain pieces, paints/tools to your collection. You can't even smoke cigarettes for this little money and they kill you. I say stop the whining and play the game and have some fun.
Part 2 will show some real costs of my other hobbies.