How the hell did I get here?
How can I be 41 and finding a new passion in a hobby that has been around since before I was born?
Ok, let me back up. In fact, let's go way back...
*wavy flashback lines*
The scene is little Billy, about 5 years old, standing in his teenage uncles' room, looking up at a shelf filled with model cars. You know what I'm talking about, those plastic model kits that came with plastic chrome bits and water slide decals? My uncles loved cars (fast muscle cars of course) and building model kits of them was an acceptable side hobby out in the country where I grew up where you either were into cars, hunting, or sports and everything else was weird.
I was fascinated by those model cars, they looked so intricate and detailed and cool. *Cue Montage* Over time I would get into building model cars myself although I lacked the passion for cars and mechanics. Only model cars though, never planes or boats, because where I grew up and in my family model cars was culturally acceptable, other model building was not so much. And I didn't do a very good job (hey, I was just a kid) and didn't dabble in painting them or stuff like that.
Over time my innate geekiness took over my desire to fit in and I moved on from model building to other pursuits like computer and board games, and eventually into Warhammer 40K miniature wargaming.
I did Warhammer for many years, from teenager until I was in my mid 30s, but it wasn't until I was in my late 20s that I really started to pay attention to the modelling aspect of the hobby as opposed to simply the strategy and gameplay part. I think I got decently good at painting models...
But with the twins arrival (side note: they turn 7 today!) and the prospect of decreasing free time I put away the models and the paints and tools and focused on fewer hobbies.
All this back story is setup for how a series of unrelated events led me to this post. So fast forward to last winter.
I've been doing rocketry with the boys in the summer which they love and so last fall I walked into a hobby story with rocket supplies and marveled at the tonnes of model kits they had, from cars to tanks, airplanes, and ships. The twins were quite taken by the models kits and one asked for a biplane kit for a Christmas gift, so later I bought him a small cheap World War I triplane and, because when you have twins you need two of everything, we got a small tank kit for his brother.
At home I got out the glue, modelling knives, etc and helped the twins put together their kits. And it brought back a huge wave of nostalgia for those Warhammer 40K modelling days in my past.
Around the same time, I've been playing World of Tanks on and off for a few years and dabbled in World of Warplanes so was mildly interested when they announced that they were making a World of Warships game. The thought of commanding a large ship with lots of guns and torpedoes really appealed to my starship commander side and as the time passed I found myself getting more and more excited to try it out.
So we have two rising interests, a renewed interest in modelling and a new interest in early 20th century military war ships. When those collided at my next visit to the hobby store I ended up buying and building this:
So I'm currently finishing up the painting of the HMS Prince of Wales battleship as you can see from the pictures above, and plotting my next model attempt.
Meanwhile, I made it into the Closed Beta for World of Warships. More about that next week.