I’ve only been on The Pledge for the last month and a half, but already I’ve seen a shift in my thinking about the ‘cost’ of miniatures. For most of my life, the only real limiting factor to buying miniatures has been the price. When I was young, that was enough to stop my miniature buying from ever getting out of hand; however, as I have gotten older and made a bit more money, this became much less of a limiting factor. As a hobby, miniatures are relatively inexpensive and it is easy enough to accumulate huge numbers of them without spending huge amounts of cash. Some might consider that a good thing; I do not.
Over the last forty-five days, I have painted 8 miniatures, and I have bought none. In that time, there have been plenty of miniatures, both new and old, that have tempted me. In most cases, the actual monetary cost of those miniatures was not high, and I would have likely bought them in a moment of excitement (or just as likely, in a moment of boredom). With the pledge, I have another consideration to take into account – each of those figures would cost me two hours.
Two hours is about how long it takes me to paint an average miniature. I don’t begrudge this time; I enjoy it. But now I know that every miniature I buy means two more hours of painting time before I can buy another one, and that is something that has to be considered carefully.
Here’s a real life example. Recently, I have been tempted by the new System Scavengers from Pig Iron Productions (one of my favourite one-man miniatures companies). They come in packs of 5 for £10. While I’m not a wealthy man, especially since the birth of my daughter, £10 is not a huge amount, and, if I wanted to spend it, I would feel comfortable doing so. On the other hand, I have only painted 8 figures in the last 45 days. If I buy those five troopers, I’m going to have to find 10 hours of painting time to get back to the same level of miniature buying power…
I think that is the true power of 'The Pledge'. Not that it fixes a specific limit on miniature buying, but that it forces a re-examination of the full cost of those purchases.