Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hard at play

Carl Lum was introduced to the world of miniature models by his friend from school and has been painting ever since then.

Carl Lum was introduced to the world of miniature models by his friend from school and has been painting ever since then.

A miniature wargame lover has managed to turn his hobby into a business.

fOR Carl Lum, 26, work and play are one and the same.

Lum started out as just another fan of miniature wargames, a hobby where players use miniature figurines to simulate battles.

A huge part of the fun, for most enthusiasts, is in collecting and painting the figurines.

Lum, however, has managed to make a career for himself as a professional model painter, with clients from as far as Britain and the United States.

The clients are usually enthusiasts who no longer have enough time to paint their own models, so they ship them over to Lum.

Most of them send over huge boxes, which would keep Lum busy for two to three months – and help him pocket as much as RM5,000 a job.

Lum proudly displays his work - the Eldar Phantom Titan from Warhammer 40, 000.
Lum proudly displays his work – the Eldar Phantom Titan from Warhammer 40,000.

Lum’s interest in miniature painting came about “by accident”, when nine years ago a friend brought some miniatures back from England.

“I asked him what they were, and he decided to give me one of them as a gift.

“Then he told me that I had to assemble and paint them myself, which I thought was quite unique,” said Lum, who has also won several local miniature painting competitions.

From there, Lum turned to blogs and tutorial videos on YouTube to learn more about miniature painting.

“I started my own blog as well ( with hopes of teaching others what I had learnt,” added Lum.

Eventually, Lum started to gain his own following on his blog, which led to enquiries for his services from around the world.

Aside from his career as a painter, Lum also runs Hobby Forge, a place where miniature wargame enthusiasts can purchase, paint and play the miniatures. The business was set up together with his friends Alvin Khaw, 25, and Abdul Hakim Green, 21.

At Hobby Forge, enthusiasts are only required to pay for the miniatures or other products they purchase, and they get to use the space to play the games for free.

“I believe (miniature wargames) really develops patience, boosts your imagination and most importantly, gets you out there to make friends,” said Khaw.

Lum added: “It’s a very interactive hobby because you have to talk to your opponent, or you can even just hang out with your friends while painting, so it’s really fun.”

For more about Carl Lum’s work, go to To find out more about Hobby Forge, go to

Tags / Keywords: Youth , R AGE , Hobby , Models , Miniatures , Painting


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