Passion is key
We then hopped on the topic of another tabletop game that used miniatures: Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D, featured prominently in Stranger Things and Riverdale. There was a revival of mainstream interest surrounding the OG tabletop game. Perhaps there were more business opportunities there?
“The miniatures would be a nice touch,” he acknowledged. “Not many people have good visualisation skills, so they use models. If they’re well-painted, it’s a great add-on to the experience.”
But he hasn’t ventured that far yet, stating that he’s only worked on tabletop armies and miniature games for the time being.
In terms of moving forward for the future, Kah Hay is putting more of his work online for people to see – first starting on Facebook, before eventually considering other social media platforms.
In the meantime, he intends to hustle with a day job to get by.
“I was retrenched from my previous job at a landscaping company, which gave me soul-draining work,” he recounted. “I joined a company briefly to do commission paintings, but that eventually didn’t work out either. My most comfortable skill right now is driving, so I’m applying to become a private driver for the time being.”
It’s hard to swallow, observing someone with a gleam in his eye when talking about his craft, dedicating years of effort to honing his skills, yet struggling to get by.
But he still maintains some hope, in light of Warhammer’s success and popularity. “Their marketing was very good, and I know they’re using Singapore as an experimental ground for their efforts. If they can use their experiences here for regional and global marketing efforts, the interest may persist and live on.”
And as for his strong interest in miniature figure painting, Kah Hay holds onto it as a lifeline – something that revitalises him so he can face the everyday.
“We work to get things done, then we tap into our passions to keep going,” he said.
Kah Hay is “absolutely” certain that passion drives him to this day. “It gives purpose and direction,” he said. “Without it, there’s nothing. It’s no different from being lifeless.”
And as for what he feels about the future of miniature games or tabletop games, he doesn’t want to put a number on it.
“It could be 20 more years of interest down the road. This hobby is really niche, with only about 200 people in the community,” he said. “That’s a small subset of people. If there’s no interest, then that’s it.”