I have collected miniatures since 1992, when my uncle bought me Battle Masters. It was a plastic miniature game that used a large mat with hexagons and snap together models that could be used out of the box.  This opened the Pandora's Box that is the world of miniatures to me.

From there I quickly graduated to Space Crusade and Heroquest, both regularly spotted at the local charity stores.  Heroquest in particular gained my attention with its classic styled Chaos Warriors, cheeky Goblins and fun Orcs, not to mention they bunged a huge (I write that with some amusement now bearing in mind the size of models being churned out of Forgeworld) Gargoyle model with wings in to boot.  These models didn't even require bases they came built into a base, easy!

Space Crusade led to Space Hulk and Heroquest naturally led to Advanced Heroquest which was all very exciting stuff.  Models continued to improve and techniques for getting the most out of plastic moulds made leaps and bounds.

Eventually I bought a ticket to the Warhammer train and hopped aboard.  For a while, probably throughout my teens I would say, I didn't really give other manufacturers a glance.  If it wasn't Games Workshop then it wasn't for me.  I distinctly remember being quite wrongly disappointed when I received models from another manufacturer for my birthday, sorry aunties and uncles.  I was Games Workshop through and through, nothing could deter me, I had bought into the hype.

Warhammer editions came and went, my Undead army went from strength to strength with it; indeed I hit the 1,000 model mark at one point.  I delved into Warhammer 40,000 and amassed a huge Space Ork army, dozens of vehicles and hundreds of Gretchin abound.  Still I was blind to other manufacturers.

I remember going on holiday with my family and taking White Dwarf 204 with me, big mistake!  Andy Chambers you owe me a trip to Disney Land Florida because you single handedly contributed to my walking around with a glazed look on my face for two weeks.  All I could think about were the descriptive passages of the Piscina Campaign, tables groaning under the weight of Slim's Space Orks, the heroic last stands of the overwhelmed Imperial Guard and the brutal counter offensives of the Space Marines.  Not to mention the escalation of the campaign to Epic proportions when Nazdreg captured an additional teleporter and could start beaming Gargants planet side.  I maybe glorifying it in my head (I really need to re-read it, it's been entirely too long).  Suffice to say when I returned from the USA I was filled with renewed vigour!

My army of choice would be Space Orks, Slim's army sounded totally mental in size and that's what I wanted!  I went down to Southsea Models and purchased as many Gretchin as possible, I seem to remember buying 30 as the state of my funds was still constrained by pocket money from my parents.  Fortunately for me whilst my Space Ork habit was in full swing Gorkamorka was released.  Two dozen plastic multi-part Orks and vehicles?  Sign me the hell up!  I think I ended up buying 4 or 5 Gorkamorka boxed sets (I'd like to buy another box set and see what I could do with those great models now, but that's a project for another time).

However things were to take a turn for the worse...  One day I sat down to paint an Ork and I just couldn't find my groove.  This happened a few days in a row, something was wrong.  I had miniature burn out!  From here I took a bit of a break from miniatures and decided to concentrate on painting.  I joined Deviant Art and painted dragons, charcoaled epic creatures from Lord of the Rings and photographed sunsets.  Life was a breeze.  I didn't really miss my miniatures at first, but they were always there sitting in boxes and generally making life a misery for anyone trying to get into my room.

After Deviant Art was done with I found Guild Wars, the same guy that got me hooked on Deviant Art then got me hooked on Guild Wars (thanks Max).  I completed the whole game, did every mission to completion and then farmed Griffons with my warrior for gold and treasure.  This was Warhammer on the PC, I could play with my friends without needing a large table and banishing my family from the room for untold hours, my life was complete!

Guild Wars got me bad, I played a lot of that fucking game, I joined Your Math Teacher [MATH] and became the best trapper in the game bar none.  The days were long at work and the nights were longer holding Hall of Heroes for hours, fame and glory was heaped at our feet, we had made it to the top of the mountain.

Once I had got my lust for glory out of my system I refound my miniatures.  I started to collect Nurgle models.  I had an idea that I wanted to have a large force all in a unified colour scheme, it was all the rage at the time in White Dwarf and I dutifully went about collecting the models.  I sold my Undead to fund the purchases and got out to the local stores to buy what models I could.

This is where it began anew.  I found an Emhar Tadpole tank, it looked incredible not to mention I had seen them in choppy old WWI footage.  This was a revelation.  This tank was the perfect size and it would make an awesome centrepiece for my Deathguard.  I got this baby home and started working on it right away.  I ended up adding Lascannons to the side sponsons and a twin-linked Heavy Bolter to the front and some pieces from Grom's Chariot that I had lying around ne'er to be used in my bits box and boom it had begun!

But what had it begun?  Well my love of proxy models of course! I was soon online checking for other alternatives to the armies I already adored.  I was astonished to find pages and pages of manufacturers, I already knew of the likes of Reaper those crazed loons over the water in the USA.  But Scibor, Mantic and dozens of others had popped up out of nowhere!  The game was afoot, I made it my mission to find every Nurgle inspired model online and I damn well did too.  I had Malifaux models, Scibor, Ultraforge, Heresy, Armorcast, Emhar, Mantic, Kromlech, Max Mini, Titan Forge, Battle Forge, Troll Forged and Mierce miniatures not to mention more than half of the others.  Piles of them, literally piles and boxes of them everywhere.  I must have spent more money in those months collecting those models than all the money spent on all my Games Workshop products put together.

Something had to snap.  It wasn't my bank account fortunately as I had a decent job at the time.  It was my brain!  I had had enough of the rat race.  I wanted out, and fast.  I decided to leave it all behind and go travelling!  It was something I had always wanted to do and I felt it was something I really needed to do as well.  So I did it.  My friend Rob and I made a loose plan and set off in opposite directions.  I went to the USA and he went to South East Asia.  After 3 months travelling in our respective areas we met up in Perth West Australia where I had a good mate from Deviant Art who was letting us stay at his place (thanks Mike).  Not only was Mike an artist but he was a collector too, not of miniatures though, his vice was Magic the Gathering.  I swear he must have had about 40,000 cards.  We would play massive 4 a side games and this really sparked the old imagination off again.

I left Australia having been there for a year and went and did the obligatory South East Asia tour as a traveller for 6 more months.  I then arrived in Hong Kong and thought to myself 'I want to go home, I've had enough of this'.  So I did, I booked a series of flights home.

Once home I needed a job, the job I wanted took me a further year to apply for, be accepted and successfully join.  In that time not only did I do a lot of running and cycling but I also did a lot of modelling and painting as I had serious time on my hands.

So that's me and my adventure in lead which leads us to the here and now.  I have been meaning to put pen to paper and photograph to model for a long time, indeed if you have seen my Deviant Art page you will know of my efforts to emulate the old 'Eavy Metal' style photography of models from the 80's and 90's.  This is a continuation of that and then some, I've always thought it would be incredible to own a book of my own artwork and models so this is that product!

I hope you enjoy the artwork, models and the painting and that it inspires you to do something similar.  Those old models won't paint and photograph themselves!