Thursday, October 13, 2011


Since GW released Space Hulk and now Dreadfleet, I've started going through my miniatures with an eye to preserving them.  For a while now, when I've completed painting some miniatures, I've given them a coat of matte varnish to protect them.  The more I do it, the more I begin to see the necessity of doing it--if I want my miniatures to last beyond the next codex release.

Perhaps it's because I'm getting older.  Back in the day, I'd buy a new GW game, tear the box open, and before I knew it the contents were all over the place.  Nothing was organized, and with the passage of time, lots of it got lost.  I can still dig up some of it, but much of the original content is lost or damaged.

But there's no reason why I can't play some of these games with my children when they're old enough to be interested, and no reason why I can't preserve the games longer than that.  Especially "one off" games like Space Hulk and Dreadfleet.  So with those games at least--and hopefully any future games going forward, I intend to treat them reverently, and with an eye to keeping them around for a long time to come.  With the sturdiness of the recent boxes, I think GW is thinking the same thing.

I've no intention of kicking the bucket anytime soon, but as I see it things could end up in either one of two ways...  My children could find themselves rummaging through old boxes of dilapidated junk, finding hordes of miniatures in various states of disrepair and think "This is Dad's old junk.  What the hell are we going to do with it all?"  Or they could find a complete game in good condition, break it out on a rainy day with their own children and say:  "This is a game your grandfather had when I was just a baby.  He painted all the little figures inside himself."

As my father gets older and my children get bigger, I'm beginning to realize the value of little heirlooms like these.  Once your elders are gone, they're gone, and you find yourself wishing you had more about them left behind.  I could always leave my children piles of junk in moldy boxes stacked in the basement, or I could leave them something they might want to hang onto.  I think they'd appreciate it if I took an eye toward preservation now, as it will pay dividends later.


Atreides said...

very thought provoking. i have always kept my minis in well ordered boxes and groups, but that is just who i am i guess. even my bits box is themed and ordered into separate mini-drawers. i know my partner thinks i will 'grow out of it' eventually, but i cant see that happening (hell, i have been doing this for nearly 20 years) so i do wonder what will happen to all this stuff as i get older.

on a similar vein, i have often wondered what an archaeologist from say, 1000 years in the future, would think if he were to uncover my armies of plastic and metal men?

eriochrome said...

I have found that unpainted minis stay in very good shape over the years. Rulebooks and boxes less so but that plastic looks just the same as it did 20 years ago.