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"Expensive Hobby?" Topic

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27 Mar 2019 12:02 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Aug 2018 11:29 a.m. PST

From here.

Video games are an expensive hobby … We understand the phrase "the customer is always right" because we understand that whenever we toss down $60 USD or more for a game, we're also spending more than paper money. We're spending the time we spent working for it, and we're spending the associated physical and emotional labor.

I'm not sure if the article means tossing down $60 USD a day or $60 USD a year … so what do you "toss down" per month for your miniatures hobby?

Me … ~$100 on a rare occasion under, sometimes $10 USD-20 over.

raylev315 Aug 2018 12:27 p.m. PST

I don't even want to think about it…and certainly I don't want my wife to know. :-)

Cyrus the Great15 Aug 2018 12:29 p.m. PST

Probably averages about $50.00 USD a month.

skedaddle15 Aug 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

I'm probably in the 50 a month for basic supplies – brushes, paints, glues, books, storage boxes, etc.

Conventions will skew that as I spend much more then.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2018 12:35 p.m. PST

Lead paint and brushes, say $30 USD-50 a month, and that may be high.
Books--hard for an old history major to calculate which books are wargaming expenses. Say $10 USD-15 a month on average.
Convention expenses--gas, mileage on car, motel bills and convention fees--just ghastly. $300 USD+ a month for a four-convention year.

Next year, I'll cut down.

Why doesn't anyone believe me? I can quit any time I want!

Porthos15 Aug 2018 12:53 p.m. PST

But this hobby is not expensive at all, on the contrary ! We buy figures (investment), then we paint them (having fun with that) and painted figures are worth more money than unpainted figures !

Surely sómeone will believe me ? (;-))

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2018 12:56 p.m. PST

Not much anymore, maybe $20. USD

roving bandit15 Aug 2018 1:32 p.m. PST

I know this hobby isn't cheap. But than most hobbies are not. As for monthly expenses…
I have known lots of people who have given me that shocked look when I tell them roughly what I spend on some game or other. But then those same people don't seem to have any problem dropping around $6 USD a day for cigarettes or $30 USD-$40 bar tabs a couple times a week.
At least when my money is spent I have something physical to show for it. It didn't go up in smoke or whatever.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2018 2:01 p.m. PST

Annual hobby expenditures:

Attending 3 local conventions a year: about $400 USD
Flea markets and yard sales: about $50 USD
Paint and supplies: about $25 USD
Occasional supporting membership to TMP: priceless

DeHewes15 Aug 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

I spend less per month on the hobby than many of my friends and co-workers spend on a single round of golf. So it's a bargain.

CSherrange15 Aug 2018 2:18 p.m. PST

This hobby is super cheap compared to a lot others, and seems to be filled with people who bemoan how expensive it is anyways!

jeffreyw315 Aug 2018 2:26 p.m. PST

Counting books as part of the hobby (Napoleonics can be expensive), probably $150 USD a month.

Zephyr115 Aug 2018 2:30 p.m. PST

I bought 50 lbs of pewter 10 years ago to cast my own sculpts. I think I have about 49 lbs left… ;-)

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2018 2:32 p.m. PST

Most months I spend about 0 dollars. Last month I spent $200. USD A few years ago I spent $1,700 USD in one transaction. It just depends. If I ever decide to replace my scuba regulator I can drop a grand. A cheap scuba trip out of the country is an easy $2,500 USD to $3,000. USD

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2018 3:18 p.m. PST

Oh, miniature wargaming in itself is just up from cards and chess as a cheap hobby. If you're not locked into something by the people you play with, you can write your own rules or use free ones, scratch-build terrain and spend maybe $100 USD-200 an army for troops.

But (a) there's no upper limit. Professionally painted troops? Custom terrain? Custom dice? Dig up an old Featherstone or Grant book and compare it with how things are done at most games today. And
(b) Major cons at a distance just can't be cheap. I could game forever with a friend using six 1/72 armies and scratchbuilt terrain for what it would cost me to attend Fall In this year if I didn't buy a single casting at the convention.

Like that would happen.

FusilierDan15 Aug 2018 4:51 p.m. PST

For the last four years that I've kept track about $80 USD-$100 per month. I have done a few bigger projects and new rule sets recently. The seven or so years before that was probably less but I didn't track it. Why? I took up bicycling. The initial out lay for a bike is 2-3 years worth of Wargaming costs and the extra equipment and maintenance is $200 USD-$300 a year.

Over the last 10 or so years the costs have equalled out and time spent on each is about the even.

JimSelzer15 Aug 2018 5:35 p.m. PST

this hobby is nothing compared to car restoration

khanscom15 Aug 2018 7:19 p.m. PST

Spend less than I used to, but that's because there's enough unpainted lead to shield from a distant nuclear blast.

coopman15 Aug 2018 7:48 p.m. PST

Most hobbies are expensive if you want to do them right.

Syrinx015 Aug 2018 7:56 p.m. PST

Quite a few family and friends golf and drop $50 USD-200 a weekend per person just in golf fees. Add on food, travel and clubs and it gets rather expensive. Gaming is relatively cheap even with a gaming convention or two.

Alcohol and food are my expensive hobbies.

JimSelzer15 Aug 2018 8:27 p.m. PST

+1 to Syrinx0

I must be getting old because I spent more on food and drink this year at GenCon than I did in the dealers area. But I did spend more at Auction

evilgong15 Aug 2018 8:48 p.m. PST

I'm probably spending neutral if I cost purchases against sales of 2nd hand and other stuff.


platypus01au15 Aug 2018 11:05 p.m. PST

The definition of a boat. "A hole in the water into which you toss money".

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2018 3:57 a.m. PST

$100.00 USD a month easy…more counting books..

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Aug 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

Probably about $25 USD/month these days, most of it for rule books on Ebay, not lead. For the past few years I've limited lead purchases to some micro armor, and have been working through the unpainted pile.

Books I get from the library (benefits of a university town).

GatorDave Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2018 5:53 a.m. PST

+1 Platypus01au

Try putting 100 galloons of gas in your boat knowing it will only last for 3-4 hours. Cost per time spent is very low in wargaming.

Daithi the Black16 Aug 2018 7:12 a.m. PST

I spend maybe $10 USD a month at most… I collect the change from my pocket after shopping and call it a gaming budget.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2018 11:18 a.m. PST

I tracked my wargaming purchases for about 2 years before I called it quits. It averaged around $50 USD a month. some months more, and some with no money spent. That includes miniatures, rules, paints, brushes.. you name it.

conventions are an extra cost.

Timmo uk16 Aug 2018 11:47 a.m. PST

I'm self employed so sometimes there isn't money left for anything gaming related and at those times castings particularly do look expensive. However, relative to other hobbies likes cars, fishing and model railways it's really pretty cheap.

I only think it gets expensive if you're buying large numbers of painted 28mm figures.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2018 1:03 p.m. PST

I'll lump board games in with minis games, but maybe all told about $15 USD a month if you break out the year? I just don't really buy all that much, and don't travel to cons. No one's getting rich off of me…

coopman16 Aug 2018 5:58 p.m. PST

My two hobbies are wargaming & astronomy.
A decent telescope can cost $1,000 USD easily – that would buy a lot of historical miniatures. Thankfully, I believe that I have enough telescopes to do me now. I just have to try to remain satisfied with what I have.

Borderguy19020 Aug 2018 3:36 p.m. PST

$50 USD-100 USD on average. Convention months are 5x that much.
Occasionally its a bit more if I'm on a project bender.

Have to cut back now that the boy is in college and the Mrs is demanding I make sure the boy has a bed to sleep in and food to eat.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP20 Aug 2018 3:58 p.m. PST

I go some months without spending anything and there are some months I don't want to talk about. Any hobby can be as cheap or expensive as you want. The last couple of years I have been on a spending binge.

I just decided it was that time in my life that I need to put up or shut up. I am never going to finish the projects I have in mind if I didn't get serious right now. Now I am financially able to. There are a lot of hobbies that are more expensive than this one.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2019 3:52 p.m. PST

Now I have to do an Excel spreadsheet. Damn you, OCD!

Conservative estimate of annual expenditures 2018

3 local conventions
fuel and vehicle costs $91.50 USD /1 /2
meals at conventions $150.00 USD
admission 0.00

Retail miniatures purchases $25.00 USD
Flea market miniatures purchases $25.00 USD
Garage sale items $20.00 USD
Rule book $45.00 USD /3

Total 2018 $356.50 USD
Total per month $29.71 USD

/1 25 cents per mile, based on actual experience with current hybrid vehicle.

/2 For many years, I travelled monthly to a gaming group, and had much higher mileage expenses in those years.

/3 I do not buy a rulebook every year, or even every two or three years.

14Bore29 Mar 2019 3:24 p.m. PST

Quarterly probably about $50 USD, I try not to think about how much but feeling guilty on the expenditure, have figured $100 USD will finish my Russian army project.

von Schwartz31 Mar 2019 6:37 a.m. PST

Probably about $40 USD-$50 every couple months, I'm a slow painter, not a good painter, but a slow painter.

I'll order 4-6 infantry battalions or 2-3 cavalry regiments every couple months.

von Schwartz31 Mar 2019 5:10 p.m. PST

BOAT, Break Out Another Thousand.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Apr 2019 5:39 a.m. PST

Now I have to do an Excel spreadsheet. Damn you, OCD!

It's not proper OCD if you didn't already have one. :)

von Schwartz01 Apr 2019 9:55 a.m. PST

Occasional supporting membership to TMP: priceless

Brown noser!

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