Monday, July 11, 2011

When Your Rate of Buying Minis > Than Your Rate of Painting Them

You start to feel a little overwhelmed with the painting task before you.  Recently, that's been my case as I added the Winterguard Deathstar to my collection along with some Uhlans and solos.  Yikes!  That's nearly 20 more minis to paint.  The chasm between painted minis and unpainted ones grows wider still. 

For me, the anxiety is also compounded by the fact that I do a lot of conversion work.  My Khador force has a lot of gas masks and coats that are weathered-looking.  I also spend some time on the bases of the minis and add all kinds of stuff to them.  All this takes time.  So when I look at my collection as a whole, I know it's going to take a finish. 

When you see that kind of mountain before you, you don't want to climb it.  The hobby just went from fun to laborious.  So how can I get things under control and start to feel the joy that comes from seeing something completed?  Here are some things I thought of:

Stop Buying

I realize that my end goal is to see a fully painted army on the table.  Right now my rate of buying minis is greater than my rate of painting them.  I need to stop buying for now, period.  Time for the Age of Proxying!  If I don't stop the landslide, I may never climb the mountain.  I'll just slowly slide down further from my goal.

Start Small

I thought back to when my Khador force was just a humble 15 pt list of pButcher, Juggernaut, Destroyer, and the Great Bears.  Then, a Eureka Moment!  Why not paint that up and finish it?  Then I could play during those lunch games with a fully painted force even if it's just a small one.  Goal accomplished! 

Starting small does several things.  It'll help me to focus.  I won't be thinking about all the units and solos that I have to convert and paint to finish my gigantic army (I'm talking around 65 minis unpainted).  Here at 15 points, I'm only worrying about finishing a small group.  Two are already painted-- pButcher and the Juggernaut.  So I just have 4 minis to go.  The task to a completed army doesn't seem that monumental now but attainable and far less overwhelming.  I can paint 4 more dudes!  So that's the plan now.  Then the next phase:

Add Slowly

When the 15 point force is fully painted and after I've played a game and had a beer to celebrate, I'll add slowly to this painted force.  What I mean by that is my goal will be to add a unit to that force and finish it-- conversion work, basing, painting.  I'll try to focus on one unit at a time, or one solo, or one Jack. 

I'll have a slowly growing painted army and there will always be one thing I'm working on.  And I'll see that to completion before working on other things.  This will help me to focus, not feel overwhelmed, and allow me to take my time and enjoy the process.  


  1. I never buy the next box till the previous one is painted. No exceptions.

  2. that's a very cool thing to do and actually helps you to keep a healthy pace with the hobby. Perhaps one day I will catch up and be able to do something like that.

  3. Reminds me of my 40k tyranid army, so many gaunts.