In which I return to Warhammer 40,000, a hobby from over twenty years ago.

Little Plastic Men

1026 words about life — 11:47 · 30th Jun 2022

Warhammer 40,000 is a miniature wargame, produced by Games Workshop since 1987, it takes place in a distant sci-fi future where things have gone incredibly bad for everyone involved.

Numerous space-travelling civilizations have fallen apart and are now waging an endless war that has already lasted for millennia.


My diary notes from 1999 read:

23 June
Ska far ti stan imoron, om e int je stekhett, tå ska vi far ti Carpella. I stan ska ja köp konstnärsmaterial tex. penslar och akvarellfärger!

Going to town tomorrow unless it's too hot, then we'll go to Carpella (the beach). In town, I'm going to buy artist supplies, like brushes and watercolours!

24 June
Blev just klar me "Space Marines" eje små plastgubbar som hör ti Warhammers, di je häftiga. Köpt dom i stan, vi va ti Niru Naru och Minimani.

Just finished the "Space Marines", they're little plastic men belonging to Warhammer, they're cool. Bought them in town, we went to Niru Naru and Minimani.

15-year-old Carlos had just met the 3rd edition miniatures of Warhammer 40,000.

Specifically, this box.

The Warhammer Paint Set with Space Marines, circa 1993.
Who would have known such an unassuming set of paints would set so much in motion.

Although my first box was the 1993 Space Marine Paint Set, it didn’t take long before my allegiance turned to Chaos, as I bought Khorne Berzerkers, a Bike Squadron, and Raptors.

I bought whatever I thought looked cool which apparently was mostly Chaos Space Marines.

I would sit in solitude in my room, and paint for hours and hours whilst listening to Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and Shawn Mullins’ “Lullaby”.

Both of my younger brothers understandably got into Warhammer miniatures as well, they wanted Orks and Eldar armies—that I then painted for them.

Carlos Eriksson illustrated as a Disney character posing as Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
I wasn’t as terrible at painting as I remembered.

Content with building and painting, I never actually bought a codex or learned how to play.

Aside from some stray bits of a Skeleton Warriors Regiment, little remains of my original army. I sold these at a flea market a few years later—to support my then-drinking.


Twenty years, or so, pass.

Once I had stopped drinking and disassociating, a question reared its unavoidable head, “What the fuck do I actually do to take care of myself?”

posh coffee and walks in nature, which is a start but I need to continue working on this. I need to expand the tools I have available for taking care of myself. Year-in-Review 2021

Part of the directions that steered 2021 was to “get an analogue hobby”.

I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands so I wanted to come up with an analogue medium I could work in. Something I could also leave and return to as time and interest permit.

Judging by the Youtube watching history that followed I considered: knitting, lighter restoration, woodturning, and drawing, before remembering this Warhammer thing I once did.

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.

36-year-old Carlos, meet the 9th edition of Warhammer 40,000.

With things having undoubtedly changed in the last twenty years, I first needed to figure out what army to build.

And with the UK in its second national lockdown due to the pandemic, going to a hobby shop wasn’t an option so I did the next best thing and googled a warhammer army picker flowchart.

Here’s how it worked.

“To human or not to human?”

Not human, thank you.

“Hoard army?”

No.

“All monsters?”

Oooh, yes.

“Death by?”

Disease, please.

“Daemons of Nurgle.”

Faced with my flowchart result I then asked myself the ultimate Warhammer army question, the one question which really should guide any hobby enthusiast, in any endeavour.

“Does this look cool?”

Carlos Eriksson illustrated as a Disney character rolling dice to play Warhammer 40,000 with his Death Guard army, multiple chaos space marines standing in front of him.
Those favoured by Nurgle are inured to pain, their rotting bodies shrugging off all but the most traumatic damage with ease.

Yes.

Yes, it does.

Nurgle it is.

Regarded as both kitbashing, conversion and generally gross-ness friendly, a Nurgle army sounds perfect for giving me the freedom to modify my miniatures.

After some brief research, I decided to not restrict myself to an all-monster army, instead, embracing both Daemons of Nurgle and Chaos Space Marines and their XIVth legion, the Death Guard.

Sharing my enthusiasm with Lucien, who spent the Christmas with me and Katy I then asked him, if he also wanted to build and paint a Warhammer army.

Using the same flowchart, Lucien decided on Daemons of Tzeentch.

We later discover that in the modern lore, Nurgle and Tzeentch are ideological opposites in almost every way and often fight each other.

We’re now 18 months in to our new-to-him, old-to-me hobby project and whilst Lucien has just started painting his Pink Horrors black, I’m twice-disappointed with the colour scheme for my Plague Marines.

I think we need to get the codexes, learn how to play and play our first game before the year is over, even if we haven’t finished painting everything yet.

And I’m going to suggest that Lucien looks into the Thousand Sons legion as well, to complement his Tzeentch army, whilst I’ve promised myself and my wallet to not buy any more boxes until I’ve built, well, at least most of what I already have.

Which, at the rate I’m currently building and painting, won’t be until some time in the far future.

But I’m having such a great time with my little plastic men that I’m in no rush.

You’ve just read Little Plastic Men.

In which, 1 month ago, I wrote 1026 words about life and I covered topics, such as: journeys, miniatures, and warhammer.