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Confessions of a Warhammer Wife

Confessions of a Warhammer Wife

Bruce’s obsession with Warhammer was only revealed to me during our second year of dating. We had been together a long time by then – had even lived together for the majority of that time while at University. And still I didn’t know about this one aspect of Bruce’s nerd-dom.
When Bruce and I first began dating I was fully aware of – even besotted by - his nerdy credentials. Together we had played hours of Halo 3 and Mario Kart, swapped manga and even visited the cinema for a solo late night screening of Star Trek. Yet this did not prepare me for what would become one of his main loves in life.

It all started back in 2012. We had been living separately back at our parents’ homes after University – me in Yorkshire, he in Worcester. I would often travel down to visit him and on one such occasion I was told of a new friend Bruce had made through work. Damien. They had apparently bonded when Bruce had taken on old model – a Tyranid Warrior I believe – into his office and it had been seen by a colleague.

“Is that Warhammer? My boyfriend collects Warhammer; you should add him on Xbox live.”
He did. They chatted. He is now one of Bruce’s groomsmen.

Little did I know the first night I met Damien, as they began an epic 6 hour game of Warhammer (that’s 5th edition for you), that both Damien and the game would become such a huge part of our lives. From that one game a large friendship group was formed and many hours of enjoyment were had. The game created a bond where there hadn’t been one before. It has helped forge firm friendships and continues to pave the way for new ones to this day.

When I first moved down to Worcester the game had somehow even created a friendship group for me through the partners of those lost to miniature plastic soldiers. Warhammer Widows Anonymous. We would meet, console and joke about our grown-up partners’ obsession with overpriced plastic.
Six years on and I am still a Warhammer widow. He leaves me for full weekends at a time for tournaments. My house is regularly invaded by friends for games – thankfully now over a lot quicker with the newest edition. We visit our local gaming shop at least once a week just to pop in. More people have joined our merry band of eccentrics. And I couldn’t be happier. You see, I was always fascinated by the stories and characters they discussed before/after a game. The lore of the Warhammer 40K world seemed so rich and vibrant and as an avid Fantasy/Sci –Fi obsessive, I had to know more.

I fell in love with the Shadowseer first. She reminded me of Tali’Zorah from Mass Effect and her colours jumped out at me while I perused the shelves on a Saturday morning. I kept returning to her until finally Bruce bought her for me -“Just to paint.” I had painted a few models by then, at first only helping him out before tournaments to quickly achieve that 3 colour minimum but then moving onto Knights Models’ vast selection of DC and Marvel characters (RIP Marvel). I found painting incredibly calming. After a tough day at work, I like nothing better than to sit, switch off and attempt those final highlighting touches on a model. Going from Batgirl to Shadowseer however was quite a jump. Enter my first Harlequin troupe…

It didn’t take long till I had a 1500 point army of my own. Took even less time to convince me to have a quick game to learn the rules. And I’ve got to say I really enjoy it. The Warhammer community, in all its iterations, is a fantastic one. It’s full of brilliantly supportive, passionate and friendly people who want to enthuse, argue and promote the hobby they adore.
Despite the cost. Despite the fact my conservatory is full of plastic and paint pots. Despite my poor Limited Edition Alice in Wonderland crockery set’s relegation to the bottom shelf in our display cabinet, I am happy.

After all, if you can’t beat them, join them.


  1. If only my wife would pick up and try to paint a model. She hasn't attained the level of nerddom necessary to really try it, like you do. She does play video games though, and she loves sci-fi (space ships 'n aliens).

    I'm 29 years old, a lot of my co-players are several years younger and still in a student/parttimer mindset, most even living with parents, while we got our baby on it's way (7 months preggo). So, the merry band may form yet in the future, but not now

    I can always hope she will interest herself in Wh40k, some day. She knows the difference between Horus Heresy and 40k proper, and can tell Forge World from Games Workshop, but my obsession with plastic men kind of turns her off about the whole Warhammer thing. Alas, a man can hope.

    tl;dr how do i let wife paint model, pls halp

  2. I started off asking her to help speed paint a few models for me before a tourney when I was in a rush to get my models done in time. Turns out she had a real talent for it. Then I found her some non-40k models for her to paint for funsies. She's always been a big fan of DC comics so I bought her some of Knight Models' kits (Poisen Ivy, Harley Quinn, etc).
    Once she had become used to painting stuff like that (And received lots of praise for her amazing paint work) I waited until she mentioned about a specific model or army that took her fancy and bought her a load for a Birthday present. :)

    1. What a dastardly delightful plan. This could actually work!
      I've got a lot of Iron Warriors and Custodians to paint. Slapping some washes on that gold and drybrushing it with silver once dry and repeating that several times (replace gold for gunmetal for IWs) is something that requires little finesse.
      I am totally going to do that (no joke)! Will post results!

    2. It's August, liar.


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