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The Beginning – Matt’s Hobby History

Inspired by Ceri from Warhammer Tv’s post about how she started in the hobby, I decided it would be nice to share how I got into Games Workshop games!

It all started back in the mid 90’s, I was a massive fan of Fighting Fantasy books and related boardgames (it wasnt actually until much later when I realised the Games Workshop connection with them!) And a friend of mine at the time had brought in a collection of books into school, filled with pictures of painted miniatures and the rules to let them wage war upon each other! Excitedly I opened the pages of Warhammer Armies: The Empire…


It was love at first sight! I enjoyed building and painting model kits, I loved role-playing games and was a fan of fantasy worlds filled with elves and goblins! How had I managed to get through life without encountering this before?! It might surprise younger readers, but this was in pre internet days, and most people encounter the hobby through word of mouth or friends of friends – Games Workshop were also rapidly expanding their store network at the time, but as there wasn’t one in Crewe I hadn’t been exposed to the hobby bug yet! Absorbing the pages of that Empire Army book however I knew I needed to find out more! Luckily, I soon found my first GW store…


In nearby Stoke while being dragged around shops with parents I spotted the distinctive yellow and black logo that I had been longing to see! Pushing open the door I was transported to another world! Loud metal music blared from the speakers, a gathering of hairy, beardy gothy types rolled dice and pushed miniatures around a board filled with hand made scenery (the only pre made scenery back then we got as sheets of card in campaign books!) And the shelves filled with all sorts of games! Fantasy and Sci fi!

Noticing me the member of staff came over and asked what I collected… and not long after I had clutched in my hands the Warhammer Fantasy 5th edition boxed game (Plastic Bretonians and Lizardmen!) A copy of Warhammer Armies: Wood Elves, a box of plastic wood elf archers (not even called glade guard then!)  and what (at the time) I thought was the greatest model in the entire store – the classic marauder miniatures Tree Man!


With this stash I set about doing my first Warhammer hobby session that night alongside my younger brother! I have to say I’m not terribly proud of how we did it!

We twisted the parts off the Sprues! Glued together with gallons of plastic glue, and then painted with gloss enamel paint (In what was a very thick coat – Sorry Duncan!)

Fortunately, the treeman survived this heresy due to the fact I didn’t have any superglue! The next time we visited Games Workshop we quickly remedied this with an assortment of citadel paints and a tutorial from the staff there! On this second visit my brother also picked up his first purchases – the 2nd Edition Warhammer 40,000 boxed game and the old lead Dreadnaught!


I also picked up my first 40k model to try and help fight off the much more powerful marine force – a Space Ork with Multi Melta!


After this introduction to the hobby our armies grew and with it our love for the game! And while my brother slowly lost interest, I kept gaming and painting through college, university and into adult life! When I started my most recent job (almost 10 years ago now!) I treated myself to a Warhound Titan with my first pay cheque! It still stands proudly in Legio Ignatum colours reminding me of both work and hobby achievements, even if she is now slightly outdone by Mordeo Vespis my Reaver Titan seen in our video intros!


On the 1st of May 2017 myself and fellow hobbyist Dave made our very first post on a little website we had knocked together called Sprues and Brews, and the rest is history! I can’t believe how quickly the first year has gone, and we are planning some fun stuff for the first anniversary…

In the 20ish years I have been involved in the hobby I have seen lots of changes, but the hobby and community is as strong as it has ever been, and I am sure we will see lots more in the next 20 years and beyond!



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