In 2002, I was in college, and a guy across the hall from me, in the dorms, could often be seen painting little figurines. Occasionally, I might even see him out in the yard, spraying down groups of them with white primer, or clear-coat. I was curious what he was doing, and if it served a purpose, and so I found out. In the end, I got requested to help him paint, even though I wasn't very good at it; Ultramarines and Nids didn't paint themselves, while he was working on Rhinos, Noise Marines, and stripping paint off of some stuff that could have only been painted when every Eldar was painted like a Rainbow Pride Elf, so we could get them to 3E specs. I got good enough at the little guys (Tactical Marines and Gaunts) that I finally got to sell my time, if you will, rather than donating it, by also getting to paint some stuff I really liked, which probably capped out with a, for my painting skills, Marneus Calgar and a triad of Zoanthropes.
Eventually, we actually got down to playing the game, but I'm not overly tactical, so he often won, and then two more of our buddies got in on the hobby, and added Tau, brand new at the time, and Eldar to his already standing forces of SM, Guard, Chaos, Oldcrons, and Inquisition (he spent WAY to much money, and then wanted Orks). Kept playing off and on through college, never committing the resources to buying an whole army, but got some individual pieces, and got a bit better at painting. As we graduated, we split up a bit, played less, but then other stuff, like a gaming convention we attend every year, allow us to play some, and he plays more at home, with other guys he's met there. I don't play often, anymore, but still buy some of the books, and stay caught up with stuff. If we get together, it'll be Star Wars chatter, or 40K. Luckily, while my painting isn't what anyone would call amazing, I'm better at it than at the TT, which also doesn't require someone else to do, and there are next to no 40K players near my home, so I still buy the occasional piece, and enjoy painting it, or maybe customizing it, and of course, then all of you folks get to read about the weird ideas that ensue from it, that I babble about here, like my custom Tau Commanders, Navigator romance, or what have you. And of course, thank you for reading all that crap, and this, too