My First Army

I think the year is 1996. I am just a few years into my marriage.

I was running a Changeling campaign with a few friends (and my young wife, I think about 26 years old at the time) in Medford, Oregon. My two friends Fitz and Arin showed up one time with a White Dwarf magazine or two. The Tyranids were just being released for the first time.

I was absolutely fascinated. I chose Eldar as my army. I picked up a starter force for $65 from a friend. I was quickly inducted into the local 40K scene, which wasn't much, maybe eight people. The local comic book shop didn't even know what it was. We had to make our own special orders and come down to inventory everything when the order arrived at the shop.

My starter force was all metals which had to be stripped. I had no idea how to assemble or paint. I had to learn everything by trial and error. My first army had Banshees, Dark Reapers, Scorpions and a Heavy Weapons Platform. The plastic falcon grav tank had not yet been published. I tried to convert a Vyper out of a deodorant bottle (an idea I got from a White Dwarf) which failed miserably.

On at least one occasion I tried to prime a unit with black gloss spraypaint. I didn't base my models, I just painted the base black.

Fitz played space marines and Arin played Orks. Arin was the best painter in the group.

My second army was Tyranids. I had forty-eight of those old metal Hormagaunts. That was a terrifying scene. I had my "not enough bullets" strategy going on. The color scheme was purple skin and bone carapace. I tried to assemble the larger creatures with two part epoxy glue which was a nightmare as they had to be propped into position for overnight curing.

My Eldar color scheme: blue and white with red accents/jewels. It was horrific. Craftworld Skittles. I couldn't make up my mind. Of course, this was at a time when the Aspect Warriors were really the thing and each had a different main color.

One day Fitz and Arin showed up with a mischievous glint in their eyes. We were going to dabble in fourth edition Warhammer Fantasy! I chose High Elves (a story some may have heard on the youtube channel- anyone care to give a link?), Arin picked Skaven, and Fitz went with Chaos. That's another story.

My first gaming board was a monstrosity: 8x4 with plywood edges and filled with fine gravel so we could make natural hills. I then found large rocks to plant in there like a Zen garden. It was paint-chip-tastic!



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