At What Cost?
Posted on January 05 2020
Everyday talking with customers who visit the shop, I get to chat about all things hobby. One of the most re-visited discussions is about the actual cost of taking up and participating in the tabletop miniatures/wargaming hobby. For some it is a sticking point, and keeps them from experiencing what it is all about. For others, even though they enjoy the hobby, it becomes a constant topic to talk down about the companies or manufacturers of the games we love.
To be quite honest, yes the miniature wargaming hobby can be expensive. However, when compared to most other hobbies it really isn’t as lethal to our bank accounts as we make it out to be. See for yourself as I lay it all out in realistic and simple calculations below.
I have chosen at random a few other popular hobbies/ or activities people take part in their leisure time: Golf, Martial Arts, Hockey, Learning a Musical Instrument. All of these costs are estimates made from average prices (Canadian Dollars) etc available at the time of this article.
Basic Clubs/Equipment - $200-400
Yearly Green Fees - $800-900 (if you play 2-3 times a month)
Martial Arts: $1500-2000 Covers yearly membership fees and equipment
Learning a Musical Instrument: $2200
Instrument/Amplifiers/Upkeep etc - $200-1000
Lessons $1200 ($100 monthly)
Registration Fee : $3500-4000
Hotels, Gas, Meals for away games/tournaments; $1000
Equipment: $500 yearly
Skate Sharpening $50
Standard (1500-2000pt) size army, Books, Paints: $500-600
Competitive/Tournament Army, Books, Paints: $800-1200
For me personally, miniature wargaming is the best bang for your hobby buck. I have models that are 20yrs old, and I can still field them on the tabletop. The only thing I really needed to use them is their current rules set. There are even mobile/online applications that give you access to army building and printable lists which can also cut down on the overall cost of playing.
Realistically, all hobbies can have varying costs depending on the level of your involvement. Also, if you go all out on top of the line gear/products or supplies it can be much much more than the totals given here. No matter how you go about taking up the hobby, make sure it works for you and your budget. As long as you’re having fun, then dare I say it, job well done!