When I was growing up, one of the things that my father and I did together, without the rest of the family, was assemble models. We usually built aircraft models, representing planes from World War Two, but we also built aircraft from the modern era and planes prior to WWII. Bi-planes just looked awesome. I have a lot of fond memories of building those planes with him. We once had to use a nickel inside the engine of one of the jets because a piece was either missing or lost, which means that model was worth a total of five cents. We once had a laughing fit as we discussed putting a paratrooper into the bathroom of the cargo plane, even though no one would ever see it. Our imagination went pretty far with that model, so far that I won’t even discuss the ideas we had. I don’t even know if we completed that model with the one trooper and the bathroom.
He was always better at the painting and assembling those models than I was. He was more patient, and he actually would complete what he started. I would lose interest, and phase out after a little while. As I got older, I did get better, but my models were never as detailed as his. And I remember those model aircraft hanging above my head from the ceiling. I even convinced my parents to paint my ceiling a light blue to represent the sky. I always wanted to build the jets, but the World War Two planes always fascinated me more.
A few years ago I took up a hobby that taps into those old memories. I play Warhammer now, and it involves a lot of painting and assembling of models. I still have the ADD issues, as I don’t always complete what I start, but I am much better at it. And one of the reasons I enjoy this hobby is probably one of the reasons my dad did it with me back in the day. It is very relaxing. Sure, playing the game itself can sometimes stressful, depending on how serious I take it, but the building and painting really does relax me.
Warhammer also lets me use my underused imagination. There are recommendations for how one can paint his army, but you do not have to follow them. This allows me to pick and choose how I want to paint them. And yes, one of my armies that I paint and play has a shark as their badge, allowing my fascination with sharks to cross into another one of my hobbies, gaming.
Damn, I have issues.