Sunday, August 14, 2022

Putting Away Childish Things...

 I know people who have never sold a single wargaming figure and who swear that they never will.

I also know people, like my opponent Anthony, who has bought and sold collections with such blinding speed that I have managed just one game with him before they are gone again.

I fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. 

Until I bought Gladiator Miniatures and had to make changes to how the house was organised, and gave up my games room to become a workshop,  I had never sold or given away a book.  But I didn't have the space any more and 800 SF and Fantasy books went to an SF dealer.  Three crates of non-SF went to charity shops and I then had the space to store my military history and uniform books.

When I bought Gladiator, I downsized my income fairly considerably (I used to work in IT) and joined the local Woking Linrary (which is excellent) and hardly ever buy books any more except wargames, uniforms and occasional history.

Over the years I have sold a fair few wargames collections though, as I realised I wasn't playing games with them or I would never get round to painting them - the "ooh shiney" phase had passed I was no longer passionate about the period.

So, over the years I have sold the following painted armies:

15mm ECW
A mix of old Minifigs Strip figures (bought when I was 16) and Mikes Models 15mm bought from Essex in about 1988.  This was part of my clear out of 15mm and I had duplicated the period in 54mm so they had to go.  They sold in Ebay for a reasonable amount and the buyer was very happy with them and the unpainted units I also included.

15mm Napoleonic
Again, I decided to clear out my 15mm and I had duplicated the period in 54mm.  These were a mix of Essex painted by Mili-Art (I bought two painted starter armies when I restarted wargaming at Salute 1995), some AB and some Old Glory.  Most went to fellow members of Guild Wargames Club.

15mm NKE and Hittites
Two fairly large armies - I never really found ancient rules I liked that much for big games - these went to a fellow club member.

15mm Swiss army for Maximillian! Rules
15mm Gladiator figures - these went to Chris at the Guildford Club.

15mm Classical Indian and Arab Conquest
I bought the Arab Conquest painted but never used them - they went to Hinds figures as part of large partial swap for a painted 20mm ACW collection.  The Classical Indian were sold on Ebay.

10mm Warmaster High Elf Army
I hadn't used these in a long time - bought and painted when Warmaster first came out. I had no local opponents and couldn't face painting another army in 10mm.  These were sold to somene in Australia for a fair price.

54mm Vietnam
1/35th scale - bought a long time ago, played a couple of games but never really found rules I liked.  In the end I decided they were too big for the table and I sold them in lots on ebay.  The Dragon kits and the Huey I bought had all at least doubled in price.

32mm DUST Weird War
Got into playing this with Anthony and when he decided to move it on I bought it. Played about 1 game in 5 years and did think of converting it to Konflikt '47 but in the end decided it duplicated my WW2 gaming experience so sold most of  it on facebook.

15mm Marlburian + DBA armies
Gladiator Miniatures - these all went to Ian Hinds as part of the great 20mm ACW swap.

25mm Darkest Africa
I bought these in 2000/2001 and we played a lot of games using GASLIGHT or Chris Peer's rules.  But eventually I realised I hadn't used them for 5 years and that a lot of the games were very similar. Sold off in job lots on ebay.

25mm VSF
Played a lot of GASLIGHT with these but eventually sold them for space as I was concentrating on my 18mm Martian Empires range.

25mm Pirates
I never had any ships for this and eventually decided it really just duplictaed my Three Musketeers collection as they were both stabby/shooty skirmish games.

 Unpainted collections sold off:

28mm WW1
28mm French Indian Wars
10mm Warmaster
10mm Battle of the Five Armies (GW)
Space Hulk 3rd Edition
54mm ECW (25 boxes of them - Anthony has a complete collection so I decided not to duplicate it in the end).

I can't say that I really regret any of the sales. Perhaps if I still had the Darkest Africa stuff I could play Men Who Would be KIngs with it, but I have the 54mm NWF collection for that period.  I have mostly used the money raised by selling off painted figures to buy other figures or some painted figures to extend collections.

Some £500 from the DUST/54mm Vietnam sales paid for some raised beds, soil and other bits for my new vegetable garden but most has gone back into the hands of wargaming traders or fellow wargamers...


  1. I've sold a few bits and pieces over the years but mostly they just migrate to the back of the loft, never to be seen again. Occasionally I'll think about selling unplayed armies on and then think "oh, but perhaps I'll play with them again soon"...

  2. I could just shove stuff in the loft and I have done with some unpainted stuff but I find that painted collections I am not using tend to "weigh on my mind". Also, nowadays, I try to keep my hobby cost neutral so I sell things and use the money to buy something else.

    I have 6,000+ painted figures and probably 2,000 unpainted so it isn't like I am short of "stuff" !

  3. Interesting read Mike and I agree that selling is as much about the freeing of the mind as it about making space / cash.

    The mention of Dust made me smile, that really wax meant to be the big new thing - lovely models.

    Most importantly, you don’t seem to have sellers regret, so win-win!

    1. Oh, might I ask, your friends ECW 54mm collection, that wasn’t by chance the collection on show at Phalanx wargame show in June? Marston Moor was being played and it looked amazing.

    2. Hi Norm

      I liked DUST but couldn't find anyone to play it with. I take heart from a comment from Jim Purky "You can always but them again..." when selling figures.

    3. No, the Phalanx collection wasn't Anthony's - it might have been Dave Lycett's who is on the Little Wars forum, I am not sure - was it a King and Parliament game with Simon Miller's rules?

    4. I don’t recall seeing a grid.