You might think that the title of this blog post should be ‘How Long is a Piece of String?’, however it is not as ridiculous a question as you may think. For those of us who have been collecting models for most of our lives, the question of how much the hobby actually costs is an irrelevant one. If I were to add it up, I have no doubt that I have spend thousands and thousands of pound on models cars, soldiers and buildings over the years, and it was worth every penny. When you find a hobby that you truly enjoy, money should not come into it. Others are free to spend their earnings on anything that they want, and I choose models.
For those who are new to the hobby, the question of how much it is likely to cost is a more important one. After all, if you told somebody when they were first starting out that they would spend upwards of ten thousand pound on models, they would probably laugh at you and then run a mile. The truth is that collecting models doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as cheap or as costly as you want to make it.
When somebody new to it comes to me for advice, I always tell them to start small and not spend every single penny that they have on buying models. I think that it is best to build up a collection over time and let it grow naturally. Newcomers need to find their particular area of interest. Ask yourself these questions:
Which historical period are you interested in?
Are you more interested in military models, vehicles or railways?
How much space and time do you have to dedicate to it?
Once you have answered these three fundamental questions you will have more of an idea how much taking up this hobby is likely to cost you.
When it comes to actually making purchases, you need to look anywhere and everywhere for your models. Toy fairs, conventions, bring and buy sales, car boot sales and of course online. The beauty of the internet means that you do not need to live near a model store to get hold of what they have on offer. There are a huge number of online model stores and quite frequently you can get money of with sites like Fliggo.com. Voucher sites like this list coupons that give you discounts if you enter the code when you check out, so they are always worth looking at.
Another good way to get models for less is to chat with fellow enthusiasts in web forums. You may even be able to arrange to swap unwanted items for things that you would be able to put to more use. There are some very good communities which have built up around people interested in models, so you can be sure that you will get a friendly reaction. Other than that, it is always worth checking social media for groups that chat about it on a regular basis.