Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wargaming on a budget

This is a topic that I always here at my FLGS and conversations with friends. It seems no matter on the price of figures or a game system, its always too expensive! Some people argue and fight on the price of the hobby. Something to consider is how much in junk food does one buy a month, or cigarettes, or fuel from driving around? More then wargaming I'm sure! Even so, saving money is always a good idea!  Since money doesn't grow on trees, atleast in Canada! So i decided to ask a few of my friends on how they budget there gaming needs and here are a few replies I got back.

  • Buy used if possible
  • Start slow, finish what you buy.
  • Don't buy anything new until the last purchase is painted, based and ready to play.
  • Well conceived count as models can save you a lot of money.
  • Converting if planned well can also save a lot of money.
  • Avoid metal models like the plague.
  • Used packing foam from a laptop and put it in my GW case to help carry tanks.
  • Stripping models rather then buying them new
  • Making terrain out of barker board and foam board.
  • Felt from a fabric store for a table top mat (just don't wash it lol)
  • Using robot and barbie to make a titan.

  • Use e-bay. Be careful to check postage costs and try to buy in your own country to avoid duty charges. Do research and find a price that you think the item is worth. Bid that worth and don't go any higher. Getting in a bidding war may result in you paying too high a price and regretting purchasing that item.
  • Use forums on the Internet, that people post for buy, sell and trade. Be very careful, if dealing outside your city, as opportunity too meet and trade in person may not be possible. If you do arrange a personal meet, meet in a public place, such as a mall.
  • Liquidation stores and 'dollar' stores are good places to find the tools and storage boxes, you may need. Clippers, files etc. are commonly, cheaper at discount stores.
  • Building your own terrain is cost effective. There are many articles on the Internet, on blogs and in forums, that explain how these items can be made cheaply.
  • Get the aid of friends can save money and time. Arrange painting parties, where you can get some of your models painted and help your friends do their models.

  • I just don't really have any ideas besides using forums to buy used models
  • Using the free tables at gaming stores
  • Building your own cover and buildings.

  • Purchase used models when you can
  • The dollar store has been a major sorce of random bits I've used to make terrain and models
  • Barter! When doing a trade, the listed price isn't always the lowest price. Sometimes you can even get things at cost from a store, or vendor if the product doesn' move fast.
  • Don't waste primer. Putting thick coats on a model not only obscures all the fancy details, but at $18 a can, it isn't cheap!
  • Buy your supplies at art stores. You can get beter quality brushes cheaper, and most of the tools and supplies you would need at half or lower the hobby price.
  • Be creative. It doesn't hurt anything to try something new!
  • Try other model manufactures. Some companies sell really nice figures that are from lesser known sculptors, at discounted prices!
  • Shipping from the UK is generally cheaper then from North America when you live in Canada

  • Arts and crafts stores. Things that don't often seem to lend themselves to wargaming can be found if you use your imagination. An example being small beads shaped like a cylinder. With proper painting they look exactly like spent bullet casings. I bought a bag for $1, and probably have 1000 of the things for my bases.
  • Coloured spray paint. Spray paint is extremely cheap at larger stores like Walmart. You can use them to base coat troops, but they really shine when it comes to vehicles. Using a $6 Krylon brand spray paint, I base coated about 6 vehicles before the paint started to get low(tanks, Valkyrie, etc).
  • Wet palette. Making a wet palette will save you money in the long run, because your paint will dry much slower. Also, you will be able to work for a longer period of time without worrying about your paint drying on you.
  • If you need a model, a certain part, or just ideas, find a website that has local people. Most wargamers will help other wargamers. Generally we understand how expensive the hobby can get, and so most will do their best to be supportive.

So what do you think fellow Wargamers? What tips and tricks do you have for stretching that hard to save dollar?

... Mitch

1 comment:

  1. My DIY channel has several tips on making things from scratch to save a little money. Like dry wall anchors for star engines, using old falcons for night wings, holo-field emitters and more :)