Sunday, 31 January 2010

Von's Frugal Year: Month The First

So, it's been a month: how's that Frugal thing goin'?

Financially: I've been very very good, staying under my £50 limit with a £45 trip to Clifton Road Games in Exeter to pick up some Warmachine minis. The financial side of the mission is going to have to tighten up a little bit, though (told you I'm not really rich): the WoW fees are going to start coming out of that fifty quid, and it really has to be seen as an upper limit, not a target.

Emotionally: I made it through the Hordes field test and didn't shout at anyone or get upset about any of it (certainly there are things that disappoint me, but I'm maintaining a state of cheerful indifference - it's still basically a decent game). I am having a bit of Gamer Angst now that the redraft of the rules has come out; I definitely want to do a Hordes force at some stage (next year, in all likelihood, once the new core rules are set in stone and actually out), but I'm not sure which. Got it down to two, and have a year to think about it.

Temporally: Okay, the last week's sort of broken this one a bit. I've had three days off work plus the weekend following a wee operation on my foot, and since I couldn't move about much at first I did spend a lot of time (about, ooh, four hours a day) playing WoW and quite a lot of time (again, about four hours a day) painting miniatures. It's not really being Frugal with my time, although I hope it's defensible (especially since I didn't really have a Christmas holiday this year and badly needed a few days R&R).

Looking forward, then: I've been shockingly lax on the whole finishing-the-battlefield-thing, so I think that's going to be next month's big hobby project. Much of the Nerd Money for the month will be going on one of those Scenery Painting Packs that Games Workshop makes; sure, it's £25, but it's a one-stop shop (better for time) and I won't have to buy tons more stuff than I need (which might end up happening if I pop down the hill to the builder's merchants and buy my paint from there). If I can shop around one afternoon and find all the stuff in that pack, in the quantities I need it, for less than £25, I'll skip it, but it looks like a reasonable investment in the here and now.

EDITED TO ADD: this is appallingly poor reasoning on my part. Anything purchased from a gaming company's hobby products line will come with a massive markup and it's a rare product indeed that's actually worth that (Citadel inks, and... umm... actually, that's about all I can think of). I should know better, in fact I usually do know better; it's been years since I bought so much as a GW brush. What I wrote this morning is a shame and embarrassment to the Frugal Mission. It is staying there so that I, and you, can learn from my mistakes.

In the interests of staying under budget, I'll try and stay off the new miniatures for the month - actual gaming time will probably be spent actually playing Dark Heresy, since I bought it last year and have yet to do much more than drool over it and have Shiny roll up his character. Maybe I'll write something about Frugal Roleplaying down the line (it's not as easy as it looks, you know), or maybe not. I already have a list of stuff I could bend your ears about, after all.

Further adventures in the Grim Darkness of the Far Future will naturally be chronicled over here, and with a bit of luck I'll be back in a couple of weeks with some sort of terrain progress. Bet you can't wait. Von out.


Karitas said...

That GW kit, man that's not the way to be frugal.

hell anything like that from GW is almost double the price of most other places.

that list of supplies (looking at the contents on the GW site) should be about 13-14 quid. I'd use a mixture of a generic store for the guff like PVA (2 quid) and the paintbrush (2quid)

and a shop like the excellent -,%20scratch%20building%20and%20dioramas.html for the grasses and such

failing that, you could probarbly pick the whole lot up at a hobbycraft cheaper, even buying woodland scenics stuff.

pete the pagan-gerbil said...

I get any GW kit I need from - they offer 10% off all GW items, and stock a range of other stuff at discount too (including hobby bits, like scenery packs). I normally wait till they run a sale (15% off), which happens a few times a year, and helps shave a few more pennies off.

Von said...

@ Karitas - yeah, I've been looking around some more since I wrote that entry and I reckon I can batter it down to less than half that with a bit of legwork. I think I've found an obscenely cheap way to retreat the bases, too. I sort of fail at Frugality a bit (even my cheap purchases are very splurgey and impulse-buyerish) which is one of the reasons I'm trying to do this (and failing, catastrophically, it would seem). Should have remembered the golden rule: never buy a gaming company's hobby supplies. That brand identity comes with a 50% markup at the very least.

@ Pete - Maelstrom are currently not in my good books owing to their lacklustre pace in shipping out Shiny's last Warmachine order. I don't know if it's their fault or the distributor's or what, but someone's not pulling their weight there.

Dave said...

Hiya Von, I've got a HUGE tub of flock that needs to get used up, so you're welcome to help yourself to a load of it.

When I made my Blood Bowl pitch I used cheap emulsion paint from my local DIY store and it worked a treat!

Von said...

@ Dave - ta mate, I shall probably avail myself of that for finishing the board off (it's easier than tearing up my leftover lichen). Ended up going for a big jar of sand texture gel from an art supply shop (convenient, not too expensive, and won't leave me with a whacking great sack of sand in the shed). Bit of cheap dark brown emulsion over that, and then some of your flock, and that should do the job nicely.