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Community Spotlight - Brad Cousins

Welcome to this community spotlight section once again, this month I have had the privilege to interview Brad Cousins

This is someone I have found through the wonders of social media on Instagram and here is a link

I have asked them to be interviewed to find out their hobby styles and life, and see if others can gain from their experiences.

First off thank you Brad

Lets begin with some basic questions so people can get to know you,

Can you tell the folks a little about yourself?

How did you get into the hobby of tabletop wargaming?

Originally at school around late ‘97 ish - I was 12. 2nd ed was still out with that wonderful golden logo. I saw a Dark Angels Dreadnaught that one of the other kids brought in and it captured my interest immediately. A few weeks later I had my first White Dwarf then a box of Cadian Shock Troops and a Space Marine Devastator with a Heavy Bolter - all metal of course.

This was followed by the 2nd ed starter box and the news that 3rd ed was on the way, so I didn’t invest in any codexes (codices?) at the time. The upside was that between the 2nd and 3rd ed boxes, I had a lot of Space Marines :D

This was followed by the Epic 40k box and the Gorkamorka box.

I have never actually bought a Dreadnaught though.

What type of hobbyist are you? A painter/collector/gamer or a mix?

Painter and Gamer. I’d love to be a collector too but I don’t have the space for it. I set myself the rule last year that I only buy what I will use… I love to paint and build (mostly kitbash right now) armies/kill teams/gangs/random groups of whatever that i will find a use for one day but the parts are in my bits box so why not?. But honestly, I’m sensible about it… 😂

What game systems do you play? Are you simply a one game person or do you play many different games?

Right now I have models for Kill Team, Necromunda, Warhammer Shadevault Nightspire, 40k & 40k Apocalypse, Warcry and Kings of War Vanguard.

I have yet to play 8th ed 40k.

I’d love to get Kings or War, Malifaux and Burrows & Badgers to this list too.

This isn’t including the board game collection my wife and I have.

What advice would you give someone just getting into the hobby/or your younger self, now you have been involved in this for a while?

Just have fun with it. Enjoy the lore. Enjoy the models. Do what interests you and looks cool.

Who cares if you win? It’s a game, just go with it and if you get frustrated, take a step back and look at your approach and what doesn’t work.

Most importantly, there is no right or wrong way to paint or assemble your models/armies - just as long as your proxies/conversions aren’t ambiguous and you keep with the spirit of your chosen ruleset.

Also, I guess "two thin coats" ;)

Have you ever had an extended period out of the hobby?

Yes. 24 through to 33. I just kind of stopped with no real reason.

I still played the PC games - Dawn of War Dark Crusade was amazing. I also occasionally looked in the shop windows,but never committed.

How did you get back in?

The bad influence of people I met through my wife… She only has herself to blame 😈.

At the end of 2017 I found the first 15 Horus Heresy books on Humble Bundle for £12. I started to feel the 40k itch again and then discovered a couple of people I knew through my wife played. So it kind of all came together again last year just after our wedding.

I planned to stay small, just Warhammer Underworlds and Kill Team. However after buying a handful of Warbands for WHU and building 5 different Kill Teams I figured I should give in and look at an army.

What’s the best part of the hobby for you?

The feeling of satisfaction after finishing a model.

What is the worst part of the hobby for you?

Coming up with fluff I like for any custom units i make. Although the names are fun to come up with.

What keeps you in the hobby?

Looking at other people’s creations on Insta, the lore of 40k is a lot richer these days which keeps it interesting too. To be honest though, I don’t it’s anything that can fully leave you.

How do you deal with burn out/lack of hobby mojo?

Put the brushes away and grab a book or pop the TV on. Anything to occupy my mind with something other than the painting pile.

Has anyone inspired your hobby style/life?

I like a lot of the Grim Dark and Blanchitsu painting styles. I won’t try to claim to be Blanchitsu myself, but it is a good source of inspiration. A lot of the darker artwork in the books always appealed to me more, and the models never fully reflected that.

Then The Unmade came along for Warcry… they are screaming for a Dark Mech kitbash!

If i were to name any accounts… Richard Pollard NecroNoob Andramone Heretics and Rainbows and Ingrimmson have some good conversion work going on. From small and simple to insane

What projects are you working on at the moment?

Nothing specific right now. I’m knocking together some auxiliary characters for Necromunda and will expand my Apocalypse army over time. I want to add a Nurgle Daemon detachment and an all Biker detachment to my Apocalypse army.

I also really want to see what happens if I mix a Warcry faction with 40k bits.

Do you plan out projects/armies or just get sucked into the trap of collecting everything?

A degree of planning is kind of there. My Apocalypse army began as a project to see if I could turn the Dark Imperium box into one viable 40k force. The #freshforcechallenge helped to spur this along.

Along with an Ambot box and some Necromunda Goliath parts i managed 1500 points (plasma spam admittedly) for £120ish.

Then Apocalypse came along and some expansion was ‘required’.

My Necromunda Delaque/AdMec kitbash gang started as “I wonder how that will look?”. I’m quite pleased with it.

My Fellcast Eternals for Warcry was born out of wanting to recycle the Sigmarines from Shadespire.

If your budget was unlimited but you could only buy one army what would it be?

GSC for 40k I really like the look of them.

Or Gorkamorka with modern minis.

What do you hope to improve with regard to your hobbying in the future?

Probably improved strategic thinking instead of just doing stuff that makes sense in the moment. Some decisions have been based on comedic merit over anything else. Including burning all my ploys in Nightvault to get Mollog to chase the enemy leader around the board. I threw away so many glory points doing that. But it was fun

None standard questions

Do you think your hobbying has helped your creativity in other aspects of life?

I work in finance so it’s my only creative outlet 😂, outside of arts & crafts with my son.

Unless you include 20odd page long macros in Excel..?

Do you normally play at a Club or at home?

We have 2 clubs here in Andover

I play at a club on Tuesdays called ARBBL which started life as Blood Bowl club many years ago and meets at a scout hut. There are a lot of different systems on the go there. A Walking Dead campaign is running, as well as games of Here’s Negan and now Hellboy. A couple of guys run semi-regular X-Wing games. We’ve started a Warcry campaign and Necromunda one is on the horizon. There’s also a rolling Shadespire league.

There is also Phoenix Wargmers who meet at Test Valley Models on Fridays who play a lot of board games and 40k & Kill Team.

I play board games at home with my wife. She also got involved in painting the miniatures for Stuffed Fables

Any hints and tips for other parents wanting to slowly encourage their children into the hobby?

My son is currently 3, and has painted 4 of his own minis so far, no games yet though. I would show him the models occasionally if I was doing anything with my cupboards etc.. For a little while everything was a robot - which for a (then) 2 and half year mind is close enough to Adeptus Astartes in MKIII armour.

Since then I’ve kind of employed Five Minute Mum’s golden rule. Which is basically to leave it out and see if they show interest. Now i’m not suggesting you leave a Chaos Knight and some glue out and see what happens (and if you do neither Matt nor Myself are responsible for the results, unless it wins Golden Demon). But on a weekend occasionally I will paint during the day, a couple of times E has come over and asked what I’m doing and got involved in some way. He’s helped to build a couple of push-fit guard models and base coated 20 Pox Walkers for me.

The trick is to not push, or be a perfectionist and take over. Have a model or 2 to hand that it doesn’t matter about. Also it doesn’t hurt to show interest in what they like. This may mean I know the Night Garden character songs by heart and seen the same episodes of Paw Patrol a lot. But it makes it a two way street where you’re both sharing in things.

We’ve since been in Warhammer shops and he’s helped me vote in a painting competition, rolled more 6’s in half an hour than I will in my life and took part in a painting session for kids at the Gaming Den in Basingstoke. He painted a Goblin and an Orc riding a spider and received a Space Marine Heroes mini for taking part.

How have you managed to keep your hobby area safe and safe for your child? Lockable cupboards?

A lot of my hobbying is done in the evening after E has gone to bed.

But to be honest he’s a mostly good kid and doesn’t go in cupboards, unless it’s to get juice or a biscuit. My wardrobe isn’t lockable and the cat is a bigger pain with getting in that than he is.

He has handled a few of my mini’s and is mostly respectful and careful with them. I have a few on display and he’s good with them too. I think because I let him paint them and look at them they’re not ‘forbidden fruit’ so he’s not bothered about trying to get hold of something he’s told to keep away from.

Also his 4 are in his window for him to mess about with ;)

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