[Archive] The Charter of the Grumpy But Responsible Hobbyist


This is taken from an excellent discussion on the Bolter and Chainsword regarding how those of us on a budget keep in the hobby. The original comes from a French website discussing a similar topic, and I wanted to see what Chaos Dwarfs Online made of it.

IMPORTANT: This is not an anti-GW thread. There have been plenty of those here and in other places. This is purely for discussion of the charter and money saving tips. If it devolves into [/color]“Blleuurgh! GeeDub is evilz and robbin us of r cash!!!11!!one!”[/i][/color]

Ahem. That disclaimer out of the way, presenting The Charter of the Grumpy But Responsible Hobbyist:

Are you unhappy with Games Workshop’s policies?
But you still like their games and products?
If so, then this charter is for you!

The only way to express your unhappiness to Games Workshop (seeing as they have closed down their official Facebook page, GW store pages are censored, GW YouTube videos don’t have the option to post comments, e-mails go unanswered, etc…) is to simply stop buying their products. But it’s not easy! :wink:

The goal of this charter is:
1. To develop critical thinking about your consumption versus your expectations of the hobby (and Games Workshop);
2. To restrict or even stop your GW purchases, while still continuing to enjoy your hobby;
3. To support Independent Retailers (IR’s);
4. To discover and favour alternative games and companies;
5. To make people aware of the real costs of counterfeit models, which penalises the Hobby and harms hobbyists and manufacturers.

GW has always been expensive: I started the hobby back in 1995, when it was already said that “GW sells plastic at the price of lead, and lead at the price of gold”. Nothing new on that front twenty years later, but now it is not only the prices that irritate hobbyists, but also their policies regarding their consumers, retailers and other companies which are more or less concerned with the miniature modelling world. If you, like me, are still buying GW products twenty years later, then this means that you have accepted the price of the hobby.

This charter is not for whinging, or for denouncing GW as a company that robs you of your hard-earned coin, an anti-GW charter, or even a charter created in the vain hope that it will eventually force prices to go down. Let’s not forget, GW is a profit-seeking company, listed in the stock exchange. with shareholders to satisfy. The problem is that a company’s success must include the satisfaction of its consumer base. Among this, there is a minority among informed hobbyists which is unsatisfied by the recent turn of events concerning GW’s general policy. These hobbyists recognise the growing quality of GW products, both with the models and games. However, this same group deplores and fear a decline of service linked to GW’s products, which in turn affects the usage of the products which we call the “Hobby”. The concerned policies will not be covered as this is not the goal of the charter.

To continue in the Hobby while stopping or restricting your GW purchases is possible!

Limit your GW purchases
Your greatest power as a consumer is to penalise GW by not buying anything or at least restricting your GW purchases. If we could all stop purchasing GW products, it would be the most effective thing we could do, but there’s little chance that that will happen because we all really like and enjoy their products.

This is why one should act sensibly as a consumer. Identify what it is that you really need from GW (books, models, paints, terrain, tools, accessories, etc…) in accordance with your idea of the hobby. While it’s very difficult not to buy the books and many of the models, many other GW products are easily replaced by cheaper or better substitutes produced by other companies. This gives the opportunity to (partially) penalise GW while still continuing with the hobby and enjoying yourself.

Kill the impulsive purchases, plan out your projects.
Everything is in the title: think before buying, plan your projects and armies, make lists, put what you would like down on paper. But most importantly, do not break down and whip out your credit card! Think twice about things. Always ask if the price is justified for you or if you’re being drawn in by GW’s hype. Be strong!

Paint what you have already bought
Before going off and buying shiny new stuff, paint what you’ve already got and that’s been lying around in drawers for ages. It’ll keep you occupied and save you spending more money on things you probably won’t finish.

Seek out alternative brands/companies
There is a good few hundred other brands of models, games, paints, tools and terrain out there, linked to the hobby. A lot of them are in the 28mm-32mm scale in varying qualities and materials. Go look somewhere else if you don’t find what satisfies you! There so much to discover! Non-exhaustive lists of alternate minis can be found here on CDO and on many other forums. For paints, you have Army Painter, Vallejo, Coat D’Arms, P3, Reaper and many others. There are even resources like chart to help you find GW alternatives and to help your transition to other brands, like this one.

Go through an Independent Retailer
Making your purchases via an independent retailer can help you in many ways. You will still be purchasing GW stuff, but at least part of the money will got the independent retailer and not all directly to GW. Favour shops where you can go in, discuss and actually touch the products you are buying. It’s also an excellent way of paying slightly cheaper prices, to discover new products and alternative brands, but also to meet other people and share the hobby. By supporting these retailers (especially brick and mortar stores) you can show that you value a different style of business to the pushy GW hobby centre model whilst supporting struggling businesses which are often hubs of hobby activity run by truly passionate people.

Buying second hand is (often) worth it
If you are patient, resourceful and cautious, second hand purchases are an excellent way of getting models for less than the RRP, and often in fairly good condition. There are many places to buy all over the internet (Warseer, DakkaDakka, eBay, Bartertown, etc…) and independent retailers often do discounts on second hand stuff too.

Counterfeit isn’t good
I won’t do a big moralising speech, but more a reminder that counterfeiting penalises the hobby via the support of counterfeiting companies (they don’t just counterfeit GW stuff), and also affects your health and the health of the workers because the resins used do not respect any of the regulations imposed by the EU or national governments and can be highly toxic. As the old “Marmotte” said “a full Elysian army is worth lung cancer at 50 years of age.” Think before wanting to save those few pounds on that FW product that you really want… And we’re not even going to discuss quality and other problems.

The Grumpy But Responsible Hobbyists’ Charter
Personally I think this is a very constructive way of pursuing our hobby without breaking the bank and at the same time expressing dissatisfaction with GW’s direction. I am currently operating a “three for one” rule: For every new product I buy I have to fully paint three equivalent models from my existing collection. I’m flying through my backlog like never before! My gaming group have also agreed to operate a “codex freeze” making all books legitimate for the rest of this edition. This has saved me £60 on having to buy new books I can’t afford in the last couple of months. After all, there’s no reason you should have to stop using an army book just because GW says it’s out of date.

Would you guys consider adopting the charter? What measures do you already take to keep your hobby affordable?


I’ve already quasi-adopted this. I have been working through my backlog and have refused to purchase anything new until I have completed an army or two. Also, I tend to use my GW models with Mantic rules, which make for games that do not take 6 hours and rules that are easy enough that I can play with my son. :smiley:

Grimbold Blackhammer:

I have also already adopted this. I’ve stopped buying army books for armies I don’t own and only go to GW for things I can’t find suitable alternatives for or cannot be found on EBay. I learned long ago to vote with my feet and my wallet. So I’m in!

Hashut’s Blessing:

It’s what I’ve been doing for about 5 years, not including when I worked there and got 50% off.

Kera foehunter:

Its very rare that i buy any gw stuff anymore.

I only buy used Games workshop figures only to cut them up and make figures that exceeds gw cookie cutter figures.

And now i no longer need much as i’m getting rid of what i no longer need in armys


I dislike gee duyah but I do like there universe there factions and their history none matt ward standing but as a standpoint I’ve been doing the old buy from other producers for many a year and now I’m largely sculpting my own figures. Does it make me a real hater I doubt it. Do I really like the direction the company has gone in the last 18 years no but I however love squats chaos dwarves and necrons and sisters of battle and the imperial guard. I rarely buy the black library novels ordering them at 50 pence a time from my local library and check on trade sales in forums for nice deals on codex books and rule books.

Sad admission from myself is each army I initially ever did think was unique and fun in its own way get so royally badly treated by its creators makes me loose a certain amount of faith in the company. These days I get a bigger kick from sculpting a half descent proxy and in truth shouldn’t the enjoyment be the part of the hobby we look for.


I’ve been doing this for years. And being a hobbyist and not a gamer makes it even easier.

I don’t need GWs crazy pricing, I have too much now, and they are either getting rid of stuff I might want or stopped selling it years ago.


I buy GW stuff all the time,

Then again I get 45% from a source =)

(Thats wholesale)

Mad Dave:

I totally agree with this charter and i’ve been practicing it for the past 3 years. the last nail in the coffin for me was this fail cast i personally hate the stuff and refuse flat out to buy it.

only stuff i tend to buy is the GW paint from my local indy store as im to lazy to get paint from 3rd partys.


Yeah same, 90% of what i buy GW wise is from ebay. I’ve even started up a blog (www.oldhammeronabudget.blogspot.co.uk) which tips and hints on how to live this hobby on a budget.


This sound overly familiar (as someone who has been in the hobby for 18+ years) I use valejo paint, get my models from Ebay or I make my own (or sometimes buy 3rd party). But I still but my books from GW, as I am a gamer I need the rulebook and the army book and i’m quite happy to buy those. the rest I can get somewhere else. (oh and 90% of my miniature collection is GW tournament legal).