At first glance, the room resembles a ship wreck. Various items strewn about. There’s the storage cabinet that holds arms, legs, body parts of all sorts but neatly organized I might add, yet so full that it permanently stays ajar. A decorative rug that once proudly welcomed guests to our home, has now been banished here, it sadly wears the stains of burnt umber and regal blue. Then there’s the paint spatters on the newly laid, just paid off, hard wood floors, that was an interesting “discussion.” There’s a bookcase that sits on top of an antique milk crate, home to every color of paint ever created.
In this room is where 40k happens. It’s the “studio.” Where we laugh uncontrollably, talk out homework and study for tests, make painful decisions, but most of all it’s where the transformation of a few pieces of plastic and metal come together to create the dark lord and solders of an evil army.
All that is 40K is in this room. No where else does it extend in to our home. It is a hobby, not our life. Where do you draw the line? How much space taken up is too much? How much time devoted to the 40K world is too much? If you are asking this question, then you have already found the answer. It’s time to scale back. Of course for the single fellows, you can fill the walls of your entire apartment, or for some, the bedroom in your parents house, with your proudly painted armies, tanks and terrian.
You have the right to over do it and you should enjoy it.
Ask me how to keep a girl and your 40K in your life…maybe we’ll discuss that another time. For the married guys, there is a delicate balance to this lifestyle, especially if the little ones are involved.
My husband gave up the hobby after college, he was looking for a career, imagine that! Years flew by and boxes of miniature men and demon faced solders collected dust in his closets. But then after a few years of marriage he decided to pick it back up again. We were going through that phase of needing “a personal hobby”. I have mine too by the way. At first I was like “you are so weird, what are these things, like little men?” Which to this day we refer to 40K in our house as “little men stuff” and “honey I am going to the little man store.”
As the years passed I could see that a tough day at work could be erased in seconds when he and our Daughter would sit down to the painting table to paint miniatures together. With each beautifully painted and intricate detailed piece, he was enjoying the hobby more than he ever had. I knew then I would have to accept “little men” and make many compromises. What I didn’t know then was how much I would benefit from it.
So this is how it goes. We have learned that if our Daughter and I stay home and hang out in the “studio,” nothing 40K gets done. So we leave and head to the barn, that’s our hobby. I don’t feel guilty for spending the entire day at the barn with the horses, because I am actually helping him to get his work done by being gone. And of course he encourages me to go, because then he will get his work done and appear to be the supportive husband! Weekdays are for the career, weeknights are for homework. So 40K thrives on weekends and days off.
No “little men” on holidays and anniversaries. There have been times where I will say to him “we need to work outside this weekend and take care of the lawn.” He strikes a compromise, “If we get it all done on Saturday, then maybe I can squirrel away some time on Sunday?” After all, it does help to pay the bills, what wife could argue with that?
His trips to the hobby store are also opportunities for us to head to the barn. See how well it works out? At all times in our marriage I will always support his 40K hobby. Why? Because he supports me. I don’t understand the rules and can’t see the fun it it, but he does and that is all that matters. It cannot be one sided. Wives cannot spend ridiculous amounts of money on shoes, purses, clothes and then complain that their husbands spend too much time with 40K after they have worked at their day job all week.
Of course the guys need to understand the fulfillment we get from buying a new purse. If it means that you sit down and write it out on a calendar and figure out what works for you, then that’s what you do. Only good will come from carefully balancing your hobby and your home life. Involve your children, you will be surprised how excited they will get when they finish painting their model that you have walked them through step by step. The time spent with you is priceless for them.
We have carefully learned to balance our life with 40K and we have never been happier. I can only hope that those of you reading this will too find the perfect balance to this lifestyle. On that note, it’s time to head to the barn, he’s got deadline!
And there you have it guys, from the woman (in my life) in charge. Don't be scared, let her know what you think. - Ron