So, as I am currently one of the large quantity of people looking for employment, I am constantly looking for ways to not spend money on my hobby. Thanks to the guys over at A Year of Frugal Gaming and House of Paincakes I thought I would put in my two cents on the subject of hobby vs. cash flow.
When I worked for GW a few years back, I was often asked by customers, "What is the cheapest army you can do?" To which I always replied, "Well how many points?" Most of the time the answer was 1500 or 1750. Well, the way that GW has their pricing structure set up, it really doesn't matter what army you do, it will end up costing pretty much the same. Is what I would think, what I actually said was more along the lines of..."You should do orks, Assault on Black reach is a great deal, you get a ton of orks, and you trade with a friend for more orks, and get the battleforce and you are all set!" Ok, I did promote the starter set like I should have, but looking back I am further convinced that Orks are the cheapest army to collect/play with. "Why?" You may ask? The answer is simple, what has attracted many players to orks beside their "fun" nature? Scratch-building/Converting! Orks are made for it! As nice as the official GW trukk model is, you don't need it to play when you can find a cheaper pickup model, scratch build/convert the snot out of it, and you are ready to go to waaagh!
With this in mind, I have been wanting a Stompa since it came out, unable to afford it, I started thinking of ways to scratch build one. I had one friend suggest an upside-down flower pot. (Then I would have to buy the flower pot, and I am under a "No spending money on Warhammer crap" embargo by my wife. So, what to do...GO GREEN! No, I mean recycle and reuse! One day while cleaning the kitchen, I looked at the large butter tub we had. I flipped it over and put an empty cottage cheese container on top, perfect size and shape for a Stompa, I would just have to add armor plates, a head, arms and some gubbins. OK, I know the armor plates will be easy. I can use old cereal boxes/rice boxes/ etc... cut them up to different size plates, and using my 1/16th hole punch make rivets. Sure, it is a lot of work, but it is free. For the arms...ok, this could be a bit trickier I have some old tubes I can use for the guns...The basic structure of the arm should be simple enough as I can use old sprue and build up around it. (Same goes for the feet) So, the goal is to scratch build a Stompa by my birthday in March. I will post the progress here.
In other news, Tutorial Tuesdays for the next few weeks is going to focus on ways Orks can recycle/reuse, and reduce spending. This week I did have a tendency to ramble about my Stompa idea, but I also want to talk about paints.
Paints are a sore spot for some, "I only use brand X, and won't try anything else." Or, "I don't care as long as my army is painted." Well, I like to paint as my primary hobby, (with building a close second) and I am always on the lookout for cheaper paints with higher quality. I usually will only purchase a black paint from an unknown manufacturer as that will give me a good indication on the quality. I,E; if the "black" comes out more like a charcoal, then I don't want to buy any other colors from them, they can't even get black right! (Also, I use black the most to cover where primer doesn't get to, so it is ok if it is a little off, and I have just bought a big, cheap bottle of the crap.) I also look for the coverage once the paint has been thinned out 50/50 with plain water. Another is "mixability" how do the paints mix with each other? The last thing I would look for is how does it go on when drybrushing. Is it chalky/ powdery?
One day, while looking at the craft store for tools/ and various what-nots for my orks, (We all know it is a cheap place to get wire and such.) I came across some "Making Memories" scrapbook paints 40% off! Ok, I figured I would spend the $1.10 (US) for a 2oz bottle. "Yes, 3 times the size of GW's for a third the price. I hope it works!" When I got home and tried it out as a primer cover, I was shocked, it was DARKER than the primer. Finally a cheap black that has good coverage, goes on really smooth and is cheaper! It is made for paper, so it would go on smooth... It mixed well with some GW colors as well. And it dried really quickly! So, I went back to buy more colors, soon I found that there were quite a few equivalents for GW colors, and if there weren't I could mix them easily enough to get the desired color. Now I use a mix of GW foundation paints, and Making Memories Paints. You just can't beat paying normal price $1.99 (US) for a big bottle of the stuff when it is of such high quality. Note: If you buy the kits, it is even cheaper per bottle.
You can find both individual paints and kits here. If I may suggest the Cityscape set it contains the equivalents to GW's Mechrite Red/Scab Red, Chaos Black, White, Bleached Bone, and Codex Grey/Adeptus Battlegrey I just wish they had metallic colors...they do have a product called "shimmer" but I am not brave enough to try it yet...and I am still under the "Spend no money on Warhammer crap" embargo...
Thanks for reading this lengthy article. Next week we will look at other ways to "go green" with Orks...