40K: If You Had A Million Dollars …

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Pimpcron wants to know what you’d do.

Do you smell that? That’s the earthy musk of a true manly man. And it’s coming from me; the Pimpcron. I’m like a Lumberjack-scented candle and you’re welcome.

I was thinking about celebrities playing games the other day. We’ve all heard about Robin Williams playing Warhammer or Trey Parker from South Park buying miniatures. Obviously they have more money than us and they are not limited by the financial restrictions of the game or hobby. That got me thinking about what I would do in this hobby if money was no object. My eventual conclusion surprised me.

You Could Buy All The Things!

At first I thought about the wonderful rush of just going into a gaming store and literally dropping thousands of dollars on models and buying an entire army. That would be so cool! You wouldn’t have to wait months and years for your army to slowly grow; like that mole on your eyelid. This sounds awesome, but to what end? I realized that the slow growth of your army is part of the fun. Every couple of weeks you can get excited about a new unit, research it in your codex, maybe read about tactics online. Anticipating it and looking forward to it is a big part of the excitement of this hobby to me. I’ve seen so many Facebook posts after Christmas about people being excited that they got new wargaming stuff as presents. But what if you already had all of it?


I know some of you will say, “Well when I bought up one entire army, I’d just move to the next if I get bored.” And while I’m sure that’s true, what happens when you have all of them? You go to buy a Dreadnought and realize you already own eight. You eye a Flyer in the store and remember you own six of those. I think you have to admit that the fun would kind of be sucked out of the hobby to a degree. I realized that I probably wouldn’t want to buy everything at once, even if I could easily afford it.

Not to mention the huge pile of unpainted stuff you’d have. You think your painting backlog is big now? Ya know, having money doesn’t make you paint any faster. And buying whole armies at a time is probably going to depress you more than excite you when you look over at the pile. But wait a sec, if you have a ton of money, YOU COULD JUST PAY SOMEONE to paint it all! Great idea! … Great idea?

You Could Pay Someone Else To Paint Your Stuff

I just saw some of you cringe at the thought of not painting your own miniatures. For many of you, painting your little soldiers is why you’re in this to begin with. But for people who prefer playing over painting like myself, this idea is tempting. You see, I sit on the fence with the whole painting thing. I paint as a means to an end and don’t usually “enjoy” it the way many of you do. Every color scheme I have ever made is designed around base coating, washing, a dry brush and detail. Not seven layers of this followed by three washes of that and then re-priming it four times. I want my models to look good on the table top, but don’t have all of the time or patience in the world to make them Golden Daemon-winning.

Side note, (skip it if you want) I wanted to paint an army white, so I went on Youtube to watch a tutorial. It went something like this:

  1. Prime white
  2. Base coat gray
  3. Wash nuln oil
  4. Re-prime gray
  5. Base coat white
  6. Wash it twice with blue
  7. Prime it white
  8. Prime it black
  9. Dry brush white
  10. Do a gray base coat …

I rage quit and punched my monitor. Screw white, I’ll just change my paint scheme. And I did.


This is the crown jewel of my army. Chapter Master Polygrip of the Screaming Teeth.

So my first thought was to say that I would just plop down the moolah for someone else to paint my whole army. Then I could just get straight to gaming and save hundreds of hours of my free time. But then a small part of me realized that even though I don’t do this hobby for the painting, I am still proud of it. It stills attaches me to my models, and makes them mean something to me. I have only sold one whole army in my life. And that was the pre-painted Empire army that I had. Because, even though they were pretty and I didn’t have to paint them, I didn’t have attachment to them that I did with all of my other armies. And that’s why I realized that …

It Is About The Journey

Like all important things in life, the true meaning behind it is about the journey you took, not the destination you ended up at. I worked hard all through my teen years and bought a nice used truck for $8,000 when I was 16. That was a really big deal back then. I was immensely proud of it and to this day I reminisce about that little black truck. In contrast, I had friends and cousins who were given vehicles and they treated their vehicles like trash. Like they didn’t mean anything to them because of the lack of time they spent to earn the vehicle.


This is a pic of me and the gang when we were teens. I miss my first Goliath.

Now obviously, I’m speaking in generalities and just because you were given a vehicle doesn’t mean you didn’t take care of it. But I think most people would have to admit that by putting effort into something, it generally means more to you.

That’s why I came to the conclusion that being rich would suck when it comes to this hobby. Which, also like everything in life, is ironic. The money you have to spend would just ruin the fun, slow-build of your army and would greatly outpace your ability to paint it all. Then if you paid someone else to paint it, many of us would not feel as attached to our armies or the game itself.

So you have all of this money and it doesn’t *really* help you in this hobby. This conclusion was kind of depressing because many of us like to day dream and claim that life would be so much greater if we were rich. Which in many ways would be true, but not in this hobby.

What Path Would You Choose? Buy everything and pay to have it painted? Or put artificial restrictions on your rich ass and have to exert some self-control?

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  • ILikeToColourRed

    im still yet to part with a model ive painted for myself – even the crappy ones – so im inclined to agree with you, you sexy, musky scented robot

    • Awesome. The best part of waking up, is someone agreeing with me!

  • Deacon Ix

    I’m fortunate enough to get to the stage in life where I can buy all the things (reasonable income and no kids) and for a while I did buy ‘all the things’ but it got to the stage where I had boxs and boxes of unbuilt and unpainted minatures and while I can’t say I love painting I do find it relaxing and I do derive huge satisfaction from having an army I have entirely painted myself.
    So now I am concentrating on getting everything painted before buying any more, obviously there are exceptions, limited edition models, made to order, I’m going to Nottingham anyway may as well pick something up…

    But it’s under control!

    • Karru

      Under control… Yeah, that’s what they all say. So which army will you be starting once you get there?

      • Deacon Ix

        *twitch* totally under *twitch* control…

        Picking up a Fellblade, 3 Demos Rhinos and some parts on Monday.


        • Karru

          So 3rd knight army then?

  • Karru

    Even if I had the money to do it, I would never let someone else paint my army. When I look at my fully painted army on the table, I have yet to experience better feeling in the game than the one you get from that. Entire army painted by yourself taking the field.

    I did commission painting for a while and I enjoyed it a lot. Seeing the army come together and then hear how much the client likes it really made my day.

    I also have a hard time selling my old models. I have a 7 years old Tyranid army that I haven’t touched in maybe 6 years. I usually like to keep my old models around to use them in different things. Conversions, sudden needs to paint something weird or just to wind down after my 40th Guardsmen.

    • V10_Rob

      Even with a million dollars to burn, I still wouldn’t pay someone else to paint my minis for me.

      Paying someone else to clean, de-mould line, assemble, pin, gap-fill and otherwise prep my minis for painting, I’d be all over that.

  • Odsox

    If I had a million dollars (or £812,925.71 in increasingly redundant currency), I’d open my own gaming club first, then after a year or two getting it level, I’d start dropping money on that Forgeworld Chaos Dwarf army I’ve always wanted. I’d complete my Khorne Warband first though, I’d want that sitting pretty at about 5000 points, all painted badly but with great enthusiasm) by me.

    • euansmith

      “… all painted badly but with great enthusiasm…”

      Tip-flippin’-top 😀

      • vlad78

        I have to lol.

  • Simon Chatterley

    Everytime I’ve ever had this discussion pretty much everyone always goes with the dream of buying a hall and running a games club. Most (including me) have even got the ideal property in their minds.

    But then I see the reality of explaining to my wife (who puts up with far more gaming related shenanigans than I thought possible) that we are keeping the mortgage on the house as I’ve bought a palace for the nerds.

    Dream = crushed.

    Or I just do a Homer Simpson and remortgage the house to fund this without telling her.

    Both good choices.

    • I don’t know how expensive your area is real estate wise, but in my area you could probably afford both with a million bucks.

      • Simon Chatterley

        In fairness you are probably right but then you’d need to pimp (apologies on punnage) that palace out with the tables, bar, another bar because bars are important, coffee section, good lights, an atmospheric corner for DnD nerds to get deeply into their worlds with acceptable cape swooshing space, lifesized bronze space marine and a rhino out front.

        So by the time I’d built Warhammer world in the Isle of Man I’d probably have nothing left of my million….

  • Sleeplessknight

    Screw the hobby! If I had a million dollars I’d spend it all on hookers and blow!

    • Tshiva keln

      Is that not the hobby? Think I’ve been gaming wrong all these years!

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      I thought that was the friday night game?

    • That’s my boy!

    • grim_dork

      That’s how I ended up in this mess to begin with. . .

  • Tshiva keln

    Big house with big game room. Sorted.

    • euansmith

      Ah, the Christian Grey approach.

      • polyquaternium7

        so think he’s got a miniature instead of a mirror he looks at everyday?

  • Dennis J. Pechavar

    Depends on the army. My High Elf army for fantasy I would let others paint in a heartbeat as I hate painting white. My Wood Elves are mine to paint! I prefer to paint my models for the most part.

  • Andreas Noche

    DkoK, waaaaay to many expensive models…yet the feeling…that quartermaster *sobs*

  • euansmith

    I know what you mean about the pride of ownership, sometimes I had to spend several minutes jacking a hot hatch; but it was all worth it when I was behind the wheel of my stolen automobile, turning donuts and ram raiding. Ah, the joys of youth.

    I have got a large DUST army, the pre-painted premium stuff, and I’m scare to use it in case I damage the paint job (that, and I’m still waxing wrath over the horrible end to the kickstarter campaign).

    I would probably feel the same way about getting someone else to paint my minis (minus the slow burning rage, one would hope). The worry of chipping or scuffing a paint job I might not be able to repair.

    Like the master, I go for a coloured undercoat, some contrasting paints and some washes. I’m not the best, but I’m tabletop ready. And I know that I can repair any damage or add another squad if necessary.

    If I had a million dollars I would hope for the pound to tank, so my greenbacks would be worth more. Then I would spend it on some hardware, like a quality laser cutter and a topnotch 3D printer. That way I could make my own terrain, vehicles and minis. They could look just the way I wanted them to (within the parameters of my available skills).

    If I found I couldn’t get my head around sculpting minis in Zbrush, I would hire someone to make minis for me (like Peter Jackson did with the Perry Twins). They would be chunky and would be designed to respond well to a simple paint job.

    All I need is that one million simoleons… donations would be gratefully accepted…

    • Hmmm. I like this plan. Well thought out.

      • euansmith

        This was an interesting little thought experiment you laid out here. It certainly gets people thinking about what is important about their hobby to them.

    • Simon Chatterley

      What’s the simoleon to sterling ratio right now? Better or worse than the dollar to sterling at the moment?

      Damn real world problems interfering with my plastic soldier purchasing.

    • Mr.Gold

      tell you what: i will donate you $1 for your million and you can donate me $1 for my gaming fund!

  • euansmith

    Shouldn’t you be updating the “Shorehammer” advert to show the dates for the 2017 version?

    • Yeah, I’m buffering.

      • euansmith

        You need to defrag, dude; ready for the new year.

        • I’ve been busy with behind the scenes stuff. I updated the Fb page and website, just not my button. You make a good point though.

  • Rumi Van Hove

    Game room, lots of terrain, awesome gaming table, then I’d get to armies to put in the rows of glass cabinets around the room…

    And then maybe a house to go around it because I’d still need to sleep and eat and stuff…

  • Nyyppä

    I’d spend the roughly 100k to make the game balanced and thus worth the time.

    • euansmith

      A philanthropist!

    • Old zogwort

      So you are going to bribe the game designers ?

      • Nyyppä

        Bribe? I’d fund the thus far literally nonexistent play testing process.

    • Nyyppa, you’re my new favorite negative nancy.

      • Nyyppä

        Yay, I’m a sister of battle?

  • Donald Lindsey

    I would buy a full deathcorps artillery company from forgeworld…and pay someone to paint it. Next I would begin buying/building/painting a complete chapter of Space Marines…much to the irritation of all of my friends, I would likely paint them as Ultramarines…but all armor would be heresy Era so I could play them in Heresy games with good conscience. Oh yeah, and lots of PLASTIC Sororitas when they finally release…

    • But when all of that is done … then what?

      • Karru

        Go buy a burger from McDonald’s with the remaining money? He did say he wanted a full Death Corps Artillery Company painted. That’s roughly 900k, because FW. 😛

        • Oh, I had no idea it cost that much. But I really meant what after all of that? As in, eventually that would get boring and he needs to start doing something else. ala new army etc.

      • Donald Lindsey

        I don’t know…I already own the small game shop that everyone else wants [That Game Shop;Hudson, Ohio]…maybe build a life-sized Imperial Knight yard ornament/jungle gym.

        • I like the plug. pretty sly. 😉

  • Dan Wilson

    Celestra grey base, ulthuan grey layer, highlight with skull white. Easy.

    • Painjunky

      Shake spray can.
      Spray mini untill white.

      • Neal Laxman

        This is why I like painting black templars – spray black, add some splats of colour where needed.

  • Chris Hateley

    I’d buy 10,000 Archaons.

    • Chris Hateley

      Or 12,500 Magnuses.

      • Chris Hateley

        Actually I take that back; I’d buy half that amount of each, put all the bird heads from the Archaon kits onto the Magnus bodies and stick ’em on ebay. Then everyone who’s been waiting 20 years for a new Lord of Change to replace the terrible Trish Carden one would finally have a chance to get one.

  • I’d fund my wargame project and get the art assets to do both physical models and the video game that I’m writing for it.

    Art assets are always what get me as… I’m not a skilled 3D artist.

  • Painjunky

    Pay off the house, travel the world.

    Who gives a crap about wargaming when you’ve got a million to spend?!


      • Old zogwort

        Lets keep it wargaming centric.
        Step 1 Student dept gone.
        Step 2 Buy house with a with enough room for the next steps.
        Step 3 Make a large gaming area for friends and small events.
        Step 4 Make a professional workshop, hire artists for all sorts of cool stuff in the gaming area.
        Step 5. Sell said cool stuff, and hosts cool events.

        • Desmond Burke

          This plan is the best plan, though you did forget Yarrik’s Yacht where you can host mini tournaments while cruising off the coastline of Tortola.

        • Sounds like a plan!

  • benn grimm

    If I had a million bucks I’d buy a full FW ad mech army and a full FW Chaos Dwarf army. Maybe a titan. Then enjoy spending the next five to ten years painting them.

    • People must really like Chaos dwarves, you’re at least the 2nd person to mention them.

  • BJ Mickle

    Painting models is my personal least favorite. I would buy the whole army (being roughly a base 2000 points) and pay someone to paint them. However, I get most excited about painting and building terrain to play on. I don’t know why, but I guess people are different. I’m uber critical of my models, so never think I do well enough and spend just insane amounts of time per basic infantry and so the task seems like an insurmountable juggernaut. But making terrain seems so exciting and I get excited because I got a FAT MAT and I need to start making new terrain pieces for it. The point is, each person is drawn to the hobby for different reasons, and it is important to know what draws you to the hobby.

    • euansmith

      Terrain making is fun.

      • grim_dork

        Low pressure.

  • Matthew Collins

    Interesting thoughts, I agree with all of them. Watching my army grow I think is my favorite part. Just started a Necron army and I’m eagerly awaiting new models to arrive, coming up with a color scheme, researching tactics, and it will be at least three months before anything hits the table. I think I would become a Warhammer benefactor. Seeing someone in the store lamenting about not being able to afford something they want for their army (which is always a topic of discussion) I would anonymously purchase it for them. I would also build a bitchin game cave and pay for painted and built terrain as I have no patience for it. 🙂

    • You’re the hero they deserve. 😀

  • frankelee

    It would be nice to have someone paint all my models. For those of us who are gamers, but not modelers, the modeling side of the hobby is boring.

  • I’d buy pretty much everything Yu-Jing (Infinity) outside Imperial Service (Japanese Sectorial and Invincible Army) for $850 or so. I’d have the best painter I know, Studio Ultramega, paint them up to his normal jaw dropping standard. Since that would leave me with $997,000, I suppose I’d buy several tables worth of terrain from places like LOS Block, and a central location to serve as a gaming club. That still wouldn’t come close to a million.
    I have enough crappily painted stuff of my own.

  • Xodis

    Still wouldnt pay for people to paint my armies or build them, although I would have a literal TON of models in my backlog. Painting/building is the best part of the hobby for me, even if I am a better player than painter lol.

  • doughouseman

    If I was rich and could afford anything – it would not be more models, but rather a 3 or 4 bay gaming building with a well designed and lit assembly and painting area, including a full service air brush painting booth, and a model wash – for getting them clean when I got them home. Add a couple of 3-D printers and a high end workstation to let me print replacement parts and cool pieces from art work the various manufacturers commission.

    One gaming bay would have a 5 x 20 foot table for large scale games. Another a 4 x 12 sand table, another would have 4 or 5 gaming tables that would be 5 by 8 with padded boxes on each end and cup holders. Add a 4 tap beer dispenser, pizza station, microwave, and other snack prep space (and of course a on-call chef to make the snacks). Then add enough glass front cases to hold all the models.

    For supplies I want a wide array of paints, washes, brushes, and other supplies.

    Add pro-done terrain for each table, with space to put it away again.

    Then I would have time to paint and play.

    Oh, and enough money to buy a semi-trailer and convention terrain for all the big cons. As well as a couple of smaller trucks with terrain for smaller conventions. Enough funds to pay drivers to deliver the terrain to the cons.

    Then we could all have more fun.

  • Admiral Raptor

    If I had unlimited hobby funds, I would love to have four or five tables permanently set up. Each table would have different theme (snow, desert, lava, etc.) and I would have terrain for each table in different scales, depending on what game system I felt like playing. I would also make a war gaming table with a model train set running through it, because that would just be awesome.

  • kharne690

    I actually have this problem.

    About 5 years ago my business boomed. Next thing I knew I had more money than I knew what to do with. I bought huge homes, nice cars, expensive guns, and then my spending spread to my 40k collection.

    I used to build and paint all of my models myself, but as my spending power increased I found I couldn’t keep up with painting them. I started assembling entire armies and then sending them into paint companies around the world. I worried that this would in some way devalue them in my eyes but it became quite the opposite. I now enjoy “collecting” painters.

    I have been playing 40K for almost 20 years now. Before this time I maybe owned three or four 2000 Point armies. Now the list is:
    11k world eaters.
    5k blood angels.
    3k Eldar.
    3k mechanicus 30k.
    2k death guard 30k.
    2k emperors children 30k.
    9k orks.
    3k necrons.
    3k grey knights.
    4k dark angels.
    2k dark Eldar.
    3k tau.
    3k space marines.
    3k knights.
    2k tyranids.
    1k thousand sons.

    So 59k points of models done and built. Every army is professionally painted by a different studio and artist. I build an entire army and then send it in. It has been a very rewarding way to enjoy my favorite hobby. I might not enjoy it quite as much when I run out of factions to build. But at the rate gw is creating armies these days I may never run out of things to do.

    • Neal Laxman

      Hah judging by the current rate you shouldn’t have anything to worry about, plus don’t forget all the new upgraded kits as well! Hmm new dark eldar, better add in another few squads, new tyrannids? Yep throw some more meat into the grinder.

      I imagine it will be a good day if GW ever release the different regiments of imperial guard, many new things!

      But yeah, yours is a problem I wouldn’t mind having! 😉

      • kharne690

        Yes. Not to mention now all my armies have strong themes. The tau are all battle suites. The Marines are a red scorpion bike army. The necrons are all canoptic bugs. The Eldar are all wraithset. The tyranids all have wings. The grey Knights are all terminators in land Raiders. The blood angels are 1/2 sanguinary guard 1/2 death company. The 3pk mechanicus are all giant robots.
        That way if I choose to build another army of the same faction it feels like a whole new army.

    • Wow. A completely different take than I thought you’d have in that position. Congratulations on your success! It’s good to hear people being successful.

  • Joe

    I would pay someone to pro paint me a Death Korps of Kreig army with all Forgeworld bits.

  • MechBattler

    A million dollars?
    1. Pay back my student loans.
    2. Pay back my father for everything he spent on my college tuition.
    3. Fix all the things that need fixing around my parent’s house.
    4. Carefully invest a part of the money to make more money.
    5. Put another part of it in high interest CDs.
    6. Budget the rest for $50k per year living expenses (or as close to that number as possible)

    • Solid plan. But let’s assume all of that is taken care of because you previously had won a million dollars. Now you’ve won a second million. What would you do in the hobby with it?

      • MechBattler

        1. Pro assembled and painted Titan Legio.
        2. Open a little FLGS of very own.
        3. Use the rest as seed money to get some people to help me create a highly customizeable 10″ robot model. Think “Build-A-Bot Workshop”. Modular interchangeable parts, they can be painted, are highly articulated, and totally poseable. I’d gradually expand to include many differently designed parts so model geeks and kids can create countless combinations of parts to get something truly unique and they can call it their very own. Imagine seeing every tabletop player being able to play a relatively inexpensive 10″ customized bot as their super unit. It would be GLORIOUS.

        PS –
        4. Get a Necron Overlord modeled in a purple pimp suit, pimp hat, and pimp cane and send him to you.

  • Cergorach

    Buy a million dollars worth of GW shares, quit my job and life off the dividends… Start painting the piles of plastic myself…

  • Tothe

    I would build an epic game room first.