On this Fathers Day, I want to thank all the hobby fathers who may have brought you into the hobby, much as mine did. Also a shoutout to all the fathers out there passing on the love of building and painting miniatures to the next generation.
My very first experience with miniatures was receiving a Snap-Fit, translucent green race car for my fifth birthday. I have no clue what car it was, or where it may be now. But it started my path down the hobby.
My Hobby Father
I think I got a few other kits over the following years, but the one that I remember the most fondly is the F-14 Tomcat. It wasn’t the plane that was so memorable, but the time I spent with my dad as he taught me how to paint it.
But the thing was, my dad wasn’t a hobbyist himself, at least in scale models. I’m not even sure where he learned the techniques to help me paint the Tomcat.
What he did do, though, was encourage and inspire me to try new things. When my brother and I wanted to build a model railroad table, he showed us how to frame it and use his tools. If we screwed up the paint job on one of the hot rod kits we got, he would give us suggestions on how to fix it.
So while my father wasn’t the reason I got into wargaming, he was instrumental in where I am today in the hobby.
The Next Generation
Now I’m looking at being able to lead the next generation of hobbyists to learn and improve. While my sons are not yet old enough, I try and do my part to encourage them with art. My oldest and I have even painted canvases together on the back patio.
It is tough as an experienced painter to watch him mix all the colors together, slop the brush around, and ram the bristles into the water cup. But it is also fun to see him experiment without constraint.
As he gets older and can focus, it will be fun to teach him our hobby and the game. But it will also be interesting to see where his focus may lead him, which may, in turn, teach me new things.
So I wrap up this semi-rambling post reminiscing about my childhood and dreaming of my son’s future, to say thank you to all the hobby fathers out there. This generous and welcoming hobby is full of amazing people, in part because of the fathers who encouraged us along the way.