I have 5 days off. I wasn't going to but so many of my work colleagues have got holiday this week that I would have found myself 'farmed out' somewhere to work and I really can't be bothered with that...so I have 5 days off.
I have a lot of stuff to do though...but I'm sure it won't stop me chilling out just a little bit.
Before I plunge in to the post proper, I would like to welcome my newest pair of followers so welcome to Jason David and Alien Dave! It's good to have you on board and I hope you enjoy your stay...please feel free to leave comments and opinions on any of the posts; I always appreciate the input.
I have been thinking...
I know, it is a strange thing for me to actually think BUT sometimes, I feel the need to get a few ideas 'out there' so thinking is kind of a necessity!
What have I been thinking about?..
My collection and what it signifies.
I have always considered myself as a bit of an artistic type. I am a very logical and practical person most of the time (hence, I am a technician who fixes helicopters) but when I kick back and let the breeze blow through my hair I can be really unpredictable, fickle, changeable and absolutely bursting with ideas. My wife often despairs with me as I fidget around whilst trying to get my ideas out there in one form or another but she just accepts that it is just me, being me so she lets me get on with it.
The trouble with the whole 'needing to get the ideas out there' thing is that it leads to huge collections and vast arrays of unfinished projects.
Recently, I have been selling a few bits and pieces off and it has made me think about how far I would go with this. Would I, for instance, sell off my old, painted Catachan army or my Cadian one? All painted and all metal and probably worth a lot of money...but could I sell them? They just sit in a drawer...they rarely see the light of day...I don't war-game with them...why do I keep them?
At school (and a few years ago, at evening classes), I was at my happiest with a big lump of clay plonked in front of me. Whenever other people saw the clay, they saw a lump of clay. Whenever I saw the clay, I saw a possibility. I would sit and stare at it and the clay would eventually tell me what it wanted to be. With wet hands and varying pressures I would work my imagination and the end result would be as I wanted it. It may not have been perfect, it may not have been what other people would have expected but how could it be anything else; other than what the clay told me it wanted to be. I had a few interesting conversations with my teachers because they set me subjects and I would sculpt something that they thought didn't fit. I would then proceed to tell them, in intricate detail, why it DID fit the subject. I have always been a great believer that in order to teach, you have to be able to learn...and I still maintain, to this day, that there are a few teachers out there who were forced to challenge their existing opinions, as a result of some of my whimsical ideas.
The thing is...the creation is the art-form NOT, as most people would say, the finished product. Managing to create something is the achievement, NOT the end product.
So why do we keep hold of all those things we create? Why do we feel the need to show them to other people? Why do we amass these achievements if they are not as important as the creative process? I reckon it is just that we need to belong. In order to belong, we need to have proof of what makes us who we are and that means keeping hold of all those things that we can use as proof of our identity. Not everyone knows us as friends, lovers, enemies or associates. Some people only know one facet of our personality...some know a lot more but they can only 'know' us by interpreting what we show them or what we have created...and that is where our collections come in.
The thing is that collections just mount up and at certain times in life, we are forced to choose what we want to keep and what we want to let go. As a serviceman, I move around quite a lot and many of my 'what to keep?' decisions are based on necessity rather than what I'd like. I have disposed of many things on my travels...there are times when I look back and wish that I had sold them rather than dispose of them but generally, it was a case of getting rid of things in a hurry so I had no real choice.
While thinking about all of this I thought about what projects I have started and how they are linked to the various elements of my collection...and that is where I took a deep breath and realised that I had far more projects than I thought...some of which were long dead and some that were just waiting for the time and enthusiasm to continue. I will list just a few:
Grymn tunnel fighter army (including 12 scratch-built transports)
Grymn urban army (including many bought/to be bought transports)
Grymn desert veteran army (including 6 Tiger APCs)
Grymn desert army (just to finish off the platoons I started at the very beginning of my Grymn collecting phase)
Kindred force (with bought tanks and bi-planes)
Genetic infantry army (lots of Void troops)
Vasa force (bikes, vehicles and lots of troops)
Eldar army (Spartan themed Eldar)
Grymn Halo (including a drop-ship and 4x4 vehicle)
Mecha army (lots and lots of Macross mechs)
The thing is...that is just a small sample of my project list. Add to that my wish to start my own range of miniatures, cast my own vehicles and mechs and all manner of other bits and pieces and you will soon see that there is no way I can accomplish all of my plans.
...don't get me started on the 3d sculpting program I have just downloaded...
So with all of that...why should I keep hold of a draw full of miniatures that never see the light of day?
Who knows?...But they are staying right where they are for the time being.
See you through the dusty shelves, the crumbling parchments and the air of mustiness that fills the room with age and reverence.