Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tour of Jay's Workshop

Because of the illustrious success of Jay's Workshop, I was approached for a tour.  My camera, a Canon, was curious to see where I worked and how Jay's Workshop was made.  So after I put away the Doomsday Device (I don't need the government seeing it), I conducted a tour.  Without further ado, here's the international headquarters of Jay's Workshop.

It's important to note that this may look like a garage, but that's simply not true.  A garage stores vehicles, cleaning supplies, and lawn care materials.  This place is storage for a mower and such, but otherwise, it's all game room.  So don't call it a garage, it gets offended...

So working my way from the kitchen door in and around in a clockwise manner, here's the breakdown:

This first sector is made up of my hobby supplies and terrain.  You'll see a paint rack (with every color GW has made since 1998) which I was lucky enough to buy off a game store that was closing down.  Sadly, I still have too many paints for it, but at least I know where to look first. 
Behind that, you'll see a bunch of giant tupperware boxes.  The top gray one is full of primers, spraypaints, and extra paint racks and tiles.  The rest are glorious.  Each of those totes is full of terrain or terrain-making materials.  I can build pretty much any 28mm battlefield you can think of, as well as epic scale (10mm), and a good amount of other stuff.  One day, I hope to own a game room with lots of game tables, and I WILL have beautiful terrain for all of them.  Hopefully, y'all will see me starting to work on some of it sometime before I die.

The 2nd sector is books.  I have every codex and magazine that Games Workshop has put out since 1990, and alot from earlier.  The cool part is that I have some random models and collectables over there as well.  It gives me a great resource of random stuff to grab on my way to the restroom (sorry, Seinfeld fans)...

Next comes my sustenance sector (in most offices, they call them breakrooms or kitchens) and consists of a very angry, if not very effective, mini-fridge.  In that mini-fridge is my ice tea, about four gallons of water, and some amount of candy.  Before you ask- no, I didn't 'tag' it.  I bought it from a friend, who got it from some guys that are, well, let's just call them proud.  Since I grew up around this stuff (yes, I can translate most of it, but I won't.  Take that!) it doesn't befund me at all.  I'd clean it off, but I think it gives my fridge character.  Next to that, you'll notice my radio and more boxes.  The radio (which used to be an ipod port but was broken) is what I use to drown out my wife as she yells at me for something.  As useful as food and drink is to life, so too is loud, distracting music.  Those boxes are all full of DnD and other role playing games I've collected since '87.  Unfortunately, I'm not into RPGs anymore, so those books have seen very little sunlight in many many years.

Now finally comes my favorite sector of the workshop- the stock shelves. 
After nearly a decade of working for a game shop, I have amassed a huge amount of stuff (mostly because I made good money and also got a discount.  That always helps).  Now before I start bragging about what I've got hidden on these shelves, please note that I am an army elitist, and so collected lots of what I liked, not just everything that was released.
This shelf, starting at the top and working down, includes my Specialist Games stock, my Flames of War German army leftovers, and a few extra models from other game systems.  There's a massive box full of bases (just bases) up there as well- always handy.  The next shelf is gaming supplies, made up of hundreds of dice, tape measures, templates, etc. After running tournaments for years and years, I am now well prepared to host a grand tournie.  Below that is my third space marine shelf, below that is my Lord of the Rings box (with more models than most avid fans will ever have) and all four of the game sets still sealed in plastic.  That's right, I'm saving LoTR.  Contrary to most of you gamers out there, LoTR is a fantastic game and will be worth mad bucks later on (when hobbits are dead again).  What you can't see on the bottom shelf is my Rogue Trader and FF stuff.  Between my all-metal mk VI space marine army and the awesome board games, this shelf is easily one of my favorites.
Next is my middle gaming shelf.  The top is full of my Warriors of Chaos leftovers, (making about 4k worth of models, all while I already have 4k built) as well as my VC bits.  Those are going away- I have no more plans on an undead army.  Below that is all High Elf bits (around 10k worth, while I already have 6k built and mostly painted) and below that is my Empire (insert similar story here).  In fact, you can even see the built portion of the Empire army precariously perched atop the box, waiting for the day they'll see a paintbrush again.  Below that is my wife's box of stuff- including eldar, space wolves, and sisters of battle.  Since she shows the interest level of a goldfish in my toy soldiers, I'm pretty sure I can claim this stuff as my own.  Next to that is my bitz box- full of skaven and orks and all kinds of random things.  One day, I'll actually have to inventory that box...  Below that, on the shelf you can't see, is my Heroquest, Epic, and BFG bitz.  Sadly, nobody at all plays these games around here, relegating that shelf to 'favorite, but unused'.
Finally, the last stock shelf.  Better yet, this is my most commonly visitted shelf.  On top is my Chaos stuff, including space marines and daemons.  Although I already have a 2k army built, this stuff is on standby for expansion.  Next to that is my massive Tau army, shoved into a small box.  Being cow-people means that they don't mind being squished together into pens, so I've tossed them in there to wait.  I do have a Tau army built, but as with Chaos, I'm ready to expand.  Below that is my Eldar bitz shelf (same story as before) and three extra Imperial super-heavy tanks.  Below that is the IG shelf, leaving me more than enough stuff to expand my armored regiment and infantry support.  It all adds up to alot, as Imperial Guard deserve.  The next shelf down is my first Space Marine shelf, while the bottom shelf has space marine stuff too, but it's mostly just a resting place for unfilled figure cases (now only two left!)  You'll see a minor level of organization in the Space Marine stuff- that's by chapter.  There's a pile for Dark Angels, a pile for Blood Angels, and then just SM stuff.  This poor shelf never gets a break, let me tell ya.

Wanna know what a motorpool looks like?  Here's my first one.  There's all kinds of stuff stacked on that table, from IG to Eldar to SM to Chaos models for Warhammer.  My son, like most young boyz, loves this table more than anything else in the workshop.  It's a constant battle to keep him off it.
Below the table, you'll see vehicle bitz boxes and even my second motorpool-in-a-tote, just for IG.  I know it's not how you're supposed to store tanks, but I have more than enough tanks already.  Besides, if they break and chip, I have plenty of glue and paint to fix it. 

And here's my armies sector.  There used to be five more figure cases over there, but I've had some success selling armies, so the pile slowly shrinks.

From top to bottom, left to right:  Blood Angels and Inquisition support (3k), Deathwing (2k), Word Bearers, Eldar, Tau, Epic SM and IG (22k and 7k, respectively), and BFG for SM and Imperial (2k and 3k, respectively).  Then there's my Death Korps (1500) and my Cadians (4k), and then my LotR (more than I'm willing to count, because it's four figure cases of good and evil models).  The smaller cases in front are both full of High Elves and the red cases are filled with Warriors of Chaos and Ultramarines (the Ultras are about three battle companies worth.  I do love me some Ultramarines).

Needless to say, I have plenty of options when I finally decide to play.  If only that Kirby wasn't in the way, then I'd have the motivation to play.  Damn you Kirby.  (For those of you in the know, that is a reference to more than just a vaccuum.  For the rest, just remember that I'm disappointed in Kirby.  It'll make sense sooner or later...)

Last, but not least, is my terrain sector.  Right on top is the third motorpool- a company of Leman Russ tanks (to go with the company under the table) and a couple of Macharius super-heavies.  Also, the Enterprise D is up there.  Yes, I am a Star Trek nerd, specifically a Trekker (not a Trekkie, there's a big difference.  I was married in normal clothes and spoke English, which is not a Trekkie's way).  And the Galaxy class is, er, that's another blog far in the future.  Sorry.
Below that is 4 more super-heavy tanks, one day hoping to be seven.  Normally, you can't use these tanks in the game, but I have them anyway.  Below that is my Fortress of Redemption (a Deathwing army NEEDS a fortress, after all), and below that is my finished terrain most often used.  This shelf is my brother's favorite shelf because he loves to set up the battlefields.  Funny enough, he really doesn't care about the game.  Just goes to show how smart GW was in starting to focus more on terrain kits.

Now we've seen the all-around view of the workshop.  You've seen my collection, my [minimal] organizational skills, and my environment of inspiration.  Note that I still haven't hung up the scores of posters that I have, but that's not something I'm really worried about now.  Most of my inspiration comes from the center of the workshop- the table.
This is what my table looks like most days.  Since I don't have any gamer buddies down here, I don't often get to battle on it.  Because of that, the game table is more or less a workbench.  Typically, I'll turn on the radio to my local rock station (of which there is only one good one), close the door into the house, and just dive into my models.  Here's what I typically look at when that happens:

That's right- I'm not using any fancy stuff.  No engineer's glass here (that's the magnifier with light that attaches to tables.  They're really cool if you can get one), no daylight bulbs (in fact, you can see the poor lighting in the photos.  This also explains why my highlighting has to be so stark- I can't see!), and no special brushes or water or wet palettes.  In my opinion, I have the king's version of a paint station, and it all cost me next to nothing.  If you need more than this sorta setup to hobby, you're putting too much into it.  If you have more than this setup for your own workshop, color me jealous.  But I'm happy...

And there it is, Jay's Workshop.  I hope this gets you to thinking about your own man-cave or workshop, and maybe even gets you working in it.  If you are just a camera wanting a tour, it's time to go- you've gotten yours...


  1. Dear god man you have a lot of stuff.

    And what looks to be a pack a day smoking habit

  2. sadly, it is a pack a day. I noticed that in the pictures after I posted them (I should really check them before posting, I suppose) and almost thought about removing the picture and redoing it. Then I said 'screw it' and just kept going. Sorry about that. So any kids reading this- don't smoke. It's bad for you. (legal disclaimer, etc etc)