Thursday, June 27, 2024

Hobby Budget Part II: Spending Check In


I'm spent...WHA???!!!  


Fast Thousand

Back at the beginning of the year, I decided to keep track of my hobby expenses for this year.  You can see that Previous budget post HERE.  Go on and read it again.  It's short and well written, if I do say so myself.  

I won't pretend that anyone is gonna do that; so the main points were that I would set a budget of $1000 for the year, I would keep track diligently, and the budget would include anything that was bought for hobby reasons.  Not just miniatures.  Which is good because:

That's a lie of course.
I've bought lots, but other stuff as well.

I've kept track of expenses (rounded to the nearest dollar) in a sidebar on the blog which can be seen over there --> on the right if viewing the blog in web browser mode.

It now being the end of June and the year is half over, I thought it good time to look into it.  The expense list is reprinted below and slightly expanded:

-$20 bouncy balls
-$16 storage tubs
-$70 more paint pens
-$68 Quars (28mm miniatures)
-$360 Wooden Wars Miniature Flats
-$30 With Hot Lead and Cold Steal ACW rules
-$45 Bolt Action 2ed rules
-$30 Drop cloth
-$30 latex house paint
-$60 Quar tractors (2 light 28mm tanks)
-$95 plastic Quar (28mm miniatures)
-$50 Army painter darkdip
-$47 More Quar (28mm miniatures)
-$134 Proxxon hot wire cutter
-$17 paint brushes
-$17 balsa wood stripper
-$10 Balsa wood sheets
-$78 XPS foam
-$78 lumber

For a grand total of: $1,255
That was a fast thousand.  

Initially, I set the $1000 as kinda an arbitrary limit because you know, couldn't really be spending that much and it sounded good. I am surprised that I reached the total so quickly.  I don't really think of myself as spendthrift, but maybe I am.  Now that I've reached the budget limit, options of what to do:

1) Stop buying stuff.  Budget is depleted.
                --PFFFFT!  what do you take me for, a responsible grown up?  LAME.                
Though in truth I do have enough to keep me occupied and out of trouble.  Enough to keep me safe at home at night versus wandering the streets looking for excuses.  I predict that spending will slow down.

2) Add to the Budget.
                --I have been doing some extra work, so cash can be added to the budget in the traditional leaky bucket.  But figuring out the proportions of what should go in, and more adding and subtracting sounds like a lot of math and shifty accounting.  I'm not a huge fan of math.  We have calculators for a reason, because math is for machines.

3) Forget about the budget aspect.  We don't need no budgets! but keep tracking.
            --This is the one that I like, because it involves doing nothing different.  A comforting status quo.

I don't know if this is an atypical year for me with hobby spending; I've never tracked before. Can't know what you don't measure.  It feels atypical though; like when you notice a lump or mole on your skin that you swear wasn't there before....
Maybe this year I've started more big projects or new genres than usual.

I don't if $1255 in 6 months is a lot or a little.  Or even responsible.  I imagine that it'll all depend on one's own income.  I'm certainly not trying to come off as "look how much money I have to waste on miniatures tut tut tut."  That's how the Monopoly Man talks in my head.
To some it may be a lot, to some it may be a little.  I don't even know how it compares to myself, as I've never tracked before.  But every damn year that damn The Great Wargaming Survey asks how much was spent on hobby stuff and I never know.  This time, I'll know.
Besides, This blog is titled "A Terrible Loss of Lead and Wealth." 

Breakdowns and Wastages 

Of the grand total $1,225; 
$705 were spent directly on miniatures and wargaming rules.  Necessary purchases.  Those damn Wooden Wars and Quar miniatures are pricey.  More so the Wooden Wars. 
$137 were spent on painting supplies (brushes and paints).  Gotta paint the necessaries.
$413 were spent on stuff best described as 'hobby adjacent."  not necessary hobby supplies but stuff that goes along with it; storage, tools, etc..

Having the machines do the math for me (good job machine); 67% of the total has been spent on miniatures, rules, and paints.  Not sure what do to with that number, but it feels good having it.

POSITIVE VIBE:  The miniatures I've been purchasing this year are Quar and Wooden Wars.  
As I write this, ALL of the Wooden Wars miniatures are painted, and I've gotten through quite a lot of the Quar.  defying the tradition of getting a big haul of miniatures and letting them just sit for weeks, months, years, decades.  You know who you are.  I've done it too.
Because of this, I don't feel there has been any wasted money on miniatures. 

But there has been wastes:
1) $60 wasted on a drop cloth and latex paints to make this battlefield for the Wooden Wars

As seen here
and written about HERE

Which I do not like, isn't even all that pretty, does not work very well (too many folds), and probably will just get rid of do over.  Waste of money and time.

2) $30 wasted on the ACW rules 'With Hot Lead and Cold Steal."

The ACW is the best CW, that is true, and I'm the self-proclaimed expert on all ACW miniature wargaming.  I printed out a certificate that I made myself and everything, it's very official.  So I tend to collect ACW rules like a rich man collects ex-wives. 
It's not that the rules are bad.  I'll damn them with faint praise and state they were alright.  Some nice concepts in there that I liked, some stuff that was confusing even after a second read through, a little that was conflicting.  Don't like the basing scheme but can be adjusted without too much effort. 
Thing is... the rules didn't really grab me, so I'll never play it.  The book will sit on the shelf forever.  I can tell because after reading getting the book, and reading it twice, I haven't looked at it since.  

On the positive side: I supported ACW gaming by buying an ACW gaming product. I'm like a patron. 
A patron that pays an artist to create work but secretly thinks he could do better but never tries.

3) $27 wasted on some balsa wood sheets and a balsa wood stripper.

I have big terrain project in mind and I'm gonna need a lot (and I mean a LOT) of wooden planks.  I thought balsa wood would be good for the material and the stripper was supposed to make it easy to cut the wood sheets into half inch strips.  But the stripper kinda sucks, doesn't work very well.  I also don't think balsa wood is the right material anymore.  
I might find a use of the wood eventually, but until that time it's just gonna sit around as miscellaneous terrain supplies and be in the way.  The stripper I already tossed.  

The wastage totals $117, which doesn't seem all that high.  
Until you do the math (nice job again machine) and find that's 9% of the total spend, and then all of a sudden it feels high.  If someone told me that they're gonna take 9% of my paycheck I'd do a spit take with my coffee.  Aren't those called taxes?
If someone told me that I was getting a 9% raise, I'd thank them kindly.

Some people might argue that ANY amount of money is wasted when spent on toy soldiers.
But we don't like those people.  None of them are reading this blog anyway (barely anyone does).
I might argue that they're wasting money on stupid things too; like retirement investments or a college fund for their children.

End of the Filler Post

But I like the occasional filler post.  Maybe you did too.  
Thanks for Reading.
Double Thanks for writing a comment.
Till Next Time

Monday, June 17, 2024

Even More Quar


I got the thing that you wanted but were too scared to ask for;
Even More Quar miniatures.

How can you get if you don't ask?
Gotta work on your assertiveness.

Whaddaya mean you didn't ask because you didn't want?
Phish!  Lucky for you that I'm a mind reader and I know what you want.

Now lets get on with it.  
here are some pics of barely adequate painted miniatures.

Even More Quar 

Starting off with the strangest miniatures, I give you these.... things.

One part hamster, plus one part snail, plus one part elk? Minus the neck.
Something Jim Henson saw in a fever dream.

These are called Cadier, and it's just the Quar analog for a horse.  In 'The Scenario' I'm envisioning, one side will have horses loaded with explosives to go blow up a bridge.  So I ordered some Quar cavalry and just didn't paint up the rider.  It's a win-win, because I got what I wanted but didn't technically have to paint cavalry because cavalry would be two miniatures and cavalry is the WORSE thing to paint.

Moving on; back to things that walk on two legs, to proper Quar.

My Crusader faction was low on leadership and support, so I rectified that situation and provided it.
I'm a good Quar-termaster. 
I stole that joke from Ben Cato.  Whom by the way, is a big supporter of many blogs with his comments and recently started posting again on his own (see HERE).  So you probably owe him a comment or two.
And now that I've givin him the bump, he can't be mad at me at stealing his jokes.
Master of psychology is that.

Here we have a Crusader NCO.

Suitably war weary

And here are 2 Junior Lieutenants

These guys break with leadership traditions 
and carry shotguns and axes instead of swords and pistols.
How modern!

Also the uniform has a slight Village People biker vibe, 
but that might just be the way I painted them.

Fun Fact:  All the above are from the 'old metal sculpts' and all the below are the new resin releases.

Because I am super genius, I got the resin blister called "crusaders officers" which are basically the same miniatures as above but in resin form.  So now I have extras.  I guess in WWI style war, one can't have too many Jr lieutenants.  Officers always take the highest percent of the casualties.  

all painted up.
"Ma-CHO Ma-CHO Quar,
I got to be, a Macho Quar." 

(IF you got the Village People reference above then that song was not far from your mind and this joke is amazing).

Another of the new resin blisters all painted up are these with LMGs.

Really Big Light Machine Guns.

once in a while, you gotta show a miniature from the back.
just to prove the whole thing was painted.

All Crusaders Minus a Few

This wraps up the Crusader faction in those famous words.. "for now." 
I have an order pending at Zombiesmith, placed almost 2 months ago yet to arrive, for a few more Crusaders that I want to add for "the Envisioned Scenario," but until that arrives there's not much more that needs to be done. 

All Crusaders.
Tuff bunch of anteaters this.

Just in time too, because I'm out of time.  Because..

It's Here.  It's Back

My most artful enemy.
My hated foe.
The worse thing ever.
It's Summer.

Curse the tilt of the Earth!
(don't let the cute sun fool you)

Summer is the enemy of hobby time.  The kids have no school to wake up for and slowly and inevitably their bedtimes get later and later because everyone can sleep in.  Everyone but me.  I still have to get up early to go to work.  The window of free time that exists after the kids go the bed but before I go to bed shrinks away... 
What? Do hobbies while the kids are awake?  Crazy hard.  There's 3 of them and only two of us so we're already out numbered.  Plus, they like love me, for whatever reason, and always want to know what I am doing.  And WORSE, they always want me to take them outside.  OUTSIDE! Where all the dangerous animals are, like rabbits and butterflies.  

My only consolation is that summer is also the season of cleavage and short-shorts.  
But I'm getting to be too old to wear such things.

Thanks for reading.
Double thanks for writing a comment.
Till next time.