1. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about yourself ☺
I’m Andrew, a longtime wargamer and miniature enthusiast for the over 20 years (!!!). I may be better known as Hobby Vices on social media, and also as an official Warhammer Hero! I host annual international Secret Santa gift exchanges for the community, and generally try to make the world of miniature hobbying a smaller place through my Discord server (check us out!). I believe every person in the community has a valid contribution to the whole, and try to give the spotlight to new hobbyists and hope to see a true community flourish that isn’t dominated by a handful of mega-superstars. Everyone is an equal, in my eyes! Go find some miniature painters with like 28 followers and give them a follow! Do it now!
2. Do you remember your first encounter with miniatures and wargames? When was it and in what year?
My first encounter with miniatures was building model airplanes with my dad as a boy, in the early 1990’s. I soon moved on to painting 54mm American Civil War figures, (big) model trains, smaller scale WW2 models, and eventually Warhammer Fantasy Battles (I think it was 4th Ed?). Very fond memories!
3. When did you decided to launch your Instagram profile Hobby Vices? Why ‘Hobby Vices’ and what does it mean to you?
I launched Hobbyvices in the summer of 2016. I was flying back from San Francisco for a work trip, and had a decent flight to New Orleans. I was absently scrolling through my phone and saw some photographs of my Chaos Space Marines and thought I should post them online, so I did! I wanted to think of a clever handle for my social media account (not expecting to grow as large as I did) and came up with “Homebrew Heroes!” which I felt fit the bill at the time. I later found out this was the name of another group (on Facebook, I think?) so thought long and hard, finally deciding on Hobby Vices — because we all have our vices with the plastic addiction!
4. I can see that you from your Instagram profile that you are a big fan of Warhammer Age of Sigmar and 40k. What do you like the most about those two wargames?
The setting of WHFB got me into fantasy wargaming, coupled with my D&D experience. I’ve always done historicals, even before the fantasy stuff, but I find a more satisfying escapism in the surreal worlds of those bizarre settings.
5. Is there a miniature that you would like to paint again? Why this one?
I would really love to paint Magnus the Red. It’s a gorgeous model, and I’d consider even starting that army based solely on that sculpt. I just don’t have the means to get it currently!
6. What miniature the most difficult to paint and why?
The most difficult miniature I’ve painted would be larger scale (54mm+) figures. There’s tricks and “cheating” you can get away with on smaller models, but on a big 54mm polish winged hussar, you’re gonna need to be precise and exact! I painted it up ages ago, when I was still in school – I don’t even know where it is! Maybe I should go look for it…
7. Wargaming, miniature painting, miniature converting or even sculpting. What do you like about our hobby most and why?
I like the actual gaming the best, because it let us get together (pre-COVID ). Gathering around a table, rolling dice, and having a great match among friends is a good time passed. I haven’t had a chance to play like that in a year, so I’m really looking forward to when we can all get together again!
8. Our hobby is constantly changing, new wargames come and go, players are 3D printing miniatures and terrains. Where do you see our hobby in 5-10-15 years’ time? What will change over time?
The “hobby” hasn’t changed much in my eyes in the past decade or two. Rules systems come out and are adapted / changed, sculpts get more precise, but overall the end result is the same. And that’s a good thing! It’s welcoming and familiar. In 10 years I would love to see a more digital-oriented game, with augmented reality apps via smartphone, and seamless rules / updates / accessibility to streamline the games and make them more about the experience and less about bookkeeping. Here’s hoping!
9. Do you have any advice for new players and people in this hobby (miniature painters etc.)?
Never stop improving. We all sucked when we started, whether it was painting, building, winning matches, etc. But after all the time we only suck slightly less. We never reach “the top,” and should always have goals in mind to pursue, if that’s what provides enjoyment. Me? I’m very happy to hit “pause” on my painting skills and just crank out armies to a decent standard. I’m not gunning for a Golden Daemon trophy, I just wanna push plastic spacemen around on the table and have fun. I have kids now, and my job and life requirements – I’m lucky to just have time for a game!
10. I could see on your FB page that you finished Master of Arts. How do art studies affect your hobby and miniature painting?
You’ve done your research! I’m a classically trained painter and printmaker, and teach the arts to students every day for a living. If I had zero distractions or “real life” obligations, I could sit down and crank out a Richard Gray level paint job (really!). But that’s not empty boasting, because I’m confident in saying ANYONE can do that, to a certain degree. The trick is that you just need time to do it. Given enough time (ie. practice) anyone can achieve exceptional results. But to really get to that honest-to-god master level, it takes years of practice. Personally, I don’t want to spend days on a single miniature, when I spend my days dealing with art with my students. I just don’t have the time or desire in my life these days – I wish I did! I’m content to just hit that “tabletop standard” and dump my dudes on a battlefield! Anyone that’s wanting to get to that top-tier level of painting should simply paint EVERY DAY. Put in the work, because it IS work. And learn from experts (legitimate experts, not just social media celebrities) things like color theory, compositional techniques, even sculpting concepts. You can do it!
11. What hobby project are you currently working on and what are your hobby plans for next few weeks?
COVID really put a damper on my projects this year. It even kept me from entering Armies on Parade for the first time in years. But I would be eager to finish up my Imperial Fists force and lock in a specific army to bring to games, to have it fully table-ready with all the new releases I’ve gotten over lockdown!
12. If you could turn any movie, series, commix, book or any media into a miniature game what would that be and why this one?
Willow! A skirmish game based on that series would be dope as hell!
13. Do you have any other hobbies apart from wargaming and miniatures? If so what are they?
I do a lot of historical re-enactments and living-history stuff, I love to go camping and being outdoors, and creating art! I do enjoy reading a lot, like a LOT. I can crush a book in a day if I’m able to get enough quiet time. Read more books, people!
14. How do you transport your miniatures? If you are using one of our products what do you think about magnetized transport solutions?
I used to use foam carry cases, but I bought my first A-Case last year and haven’t looked back. Magnetized cases like the A-Case are perfect for travel because they’re secure and don’t break fiddly pieces off that get snagged on foam inserts. I run a Warhammer club at my school so I’m taking multiple armies to and from work every day. I may be one of the few people that transports the most armies globally! I’ll literally have 2-3 entire armies traveling from my home to work every day, there and back, along with personal projects I may work on during breaks at school. I don’t think I could do that as efficiently without the A-Cases. Magnets are the answer!
15. If you could choose the next person answering all those questions and having an interview with us who would that be?
I would love to hear what Craig says (@og.paintworks on Instagram) to these questions! He’s an awesome hobbyists that has done some awesome things for the community! He’s Canadian, but we can forgive that.