When I was a young girl, about twelve or so, my best friend in the world was my cousin. He was about six months younger than me, had very similar taste in hobbies and interests and lived, conveniently, about three miles away.
We did a lot of stuff together, but perhaps our most memorable shared experience was our Warhammer endeavours.
It was one of the ways in which we were both compatible and incompatible. He was interested in playing, in the fighting of tiny plastic models against other tiny plastic models, victory achieved with a roll of the dice. I was not interested at all in playing – but I did love painting them. We enrolled on a beginner’s course that taught us to paint and play over about six weeks.
We had to travel a good forty minutes to a dark little store in Shrewsbury that smelled so strongly of spray paint and glue it gave you a headache. We spent many summer days indoors, learning how to paint our miniatures, and how to pit them against each other. We chose our armies (he went for orcs, I went for vampire counts – mostly because they were one of the few armies with female heroes) we built them up and we were utterly hooked.
Fortunes were spent, and hours of time too. I used to work so hard to paint the figures really carefully. And I was good at it. I won £50 of Warhammer products in a painting competition. I’m still gutted to this day that I let them talk me out of buying a giant zombie dragon mount with it because I didn’t have an army big enough to play it in…
Then a few things happened in quick succession that put a stop to my Warhammer hobby. My parents split up, we had to move house, I went to University – and after all that I never really got back in to it.
Now, my mother is moving house again, and she’s clearing out her attic. My Warhammer has lived up there with a bunch of dead flies for many years now, but getting it all out again reminded me how much I used to love it, and I had a lot of stuff still not painted. My paints were mostly crispy, but I had just about enough to make a start again.
So I’m selling my Warhammer on eBay, the completed pieces, with a hope to fund some new paints to finish the rest of them. I have enough to get my funds started, and hopefully soon will have a rolling set of miniatures up for sale. That way I get all the pleasure of painting, clearing things out, making a bit of money – which adds up to the perfect closure of a big part of my childhood. I can’t wait to get started.
(My eBay page is here if you’re interested!)