Friday, September 11, 2009

Sobering thoughts about my own complacency

Since I put up my "Miniatures Queue" on the right hand bar of my blog, it's kept me very aware of the mountain on miniatures I own that I have yet to paint. As every gamer knows, once you start collecting, it's hard to stop and you quickly fall into the wargamer's trap--you always buy miniatures faster than you can paint them. Since I've been collecting miniatures for 22 years now, I've had plenty of time for the mountain to grow. Being out of college and having a real job with disposable income didn't help.

At this stage in my life I'm at the mercy of other competing forces, but the goal remains the same--conquer the mountain and paint up all the miniatures! This goal is probably ultimately unattainable, but having nearly 500 miniatures in the queue is ridiculous.

Supporting/raising a family means two things--I have less time to paint, but also less money to spend frivolously on more miniatures. So these two cancel each other out somewhat. Other good news is that I'm not all that interested in getting new armies that are in GW's immediate future, for example Space Wolves and Dark Eldar, so that leaves me some time to stay focused and work on the miniatures I already have.

But still the task is very daunting. I did some calculations, trying to be somewhat realistic. I took the miniatures in my queue, and tried to come up with an estimate on how long it would take to paint them all. Based on the various demands on my time, I estimated it would day me 2 days to paint an infantry model, 3 days to paint a mid-sized model like a cavalry model, crisis suit, or terminator, 1 week to paint a vehicle, monstrous creature or character model, and 2 weeks for uber-projects I have planned. This doesn't mean I'll be spending every waking hour on painting, but rather painting when I am able.

The results are sobering. Based on my calculations, I'll finish painting up all the miniatures currently in my queue on February 27, 2013. Yipe.

This outlook date will be subject to change as I complete and/or buy new miniatures. But I'm going to put an "Estimated Date of Completion" up on my miniatures queue section. This will hopefully serve two purposes--stop me spending money and get me painting more miniatures!

10 comments:

bG said...

A very amusing idea, and will likely be quite the inspiration. I look forward to seeing how the date changes over time.

WalrusPaladin said...

The idea of having a hobby is that it is a continuous thing. Sure, having over 500 minis to paint may be daunting; but the point is that you enjoy painting them! Take as long as you need, savour the little brush strokes, because once they are painted, they will simply end up in storage or on display. If you put a date of completion on this, you're almost saying 'The hobby stops...HERE!'.

Cawshis Clay said...

I'm more inclined to think about smaller goals within the giant hobby pile! Like I'll get my 2000 points of Deathwing done by the end of the year. And then maybe I'll finish up my 3k of Crimson Fists.

But thinking about ever completing the entire hobby pile? That's...that's...madness!

Tristan said...

I have actually found your mini queue idea to be very motivating (both for painting, and not buying new stuff)

If you check my blog you'll see that probably 75% of changes to the ##'s are a positive change (though I forgot to update for Space Hulk minis)

Siph_Horridus said...

Good luck with that one! Ha Ha, It'll never end you know that really right? GW will no doubt release something ubercool you'll just have to have it, just a little, maybe two... plastic krak - it's not a hobby, it's an addiction. Tee Hee

Shrink to Fit said...

Wow, that is indeed an interesting way of approaching the hobby. I think something like that would scare me into a state of production paralysis.

Best of luck!

Mik said...

Good luck indeed! THis year I've tried to track the number of miniatures I've bought vs. the number of minis I've painted. That's helped out quite a bit, and I'm happy to say I've painted more than I've bought this year!

Now as far as what's in cold storage...I try not to think about it.

Here's a thought though, if you've got disposable income, and are finding less and less hobby time, think about farming out some of your stuff to a painting service. If you shop around you can find some good ones and start to see good sized chunks of your backlog get finished.

Darkwing said...

@WalrusPaladin: Good point, and I agree, but I'd like to see the completion date a little closer, so I can feel better buying more!

@Mik: I had disposable income, but starting a family did away with that! As farming out stuff to a painting service...NEVER! I don't begrudge others doing so if they want to, but to me it's a matter of pride to paint up mine miniatures on my own!

suneokun said...

Very amusing... my own painting pile is also quite big, but I think you may be being a little conservative with you estimation. The best way is to try and keep track of how many mini's you've painted in the last year and then assess outwards from there. 2 days per model seems very high...

I paint 5-8 Guard/Tau/Termagaunts at a time and this might roll over into two nights (like with rough riders or Ogyrns), overall I'll spend maybe a week on a tank, but the basic troops come out faster and the 'specials' come out in 4 days. Recalculate...

Also, consider painting in a different enviroment. Unlike most bloggers, I don't have a 'painting place' as our house is too small, I work from home (so less space) and I also think its anti-social. I paint in front of the TV - which means you can watch 2 CSI's AND finish your guardsmen squad at the same time.

Multitasking is the best way.

Darkwing said...

@suneokun
I don't know that I'm being all that conservative, 2 days per model may seem high, but when I can paint roughly an hour a day with constant interruptions, it makes more sense.

I also don't have my own painting space--my "game room" was turned into a nursery earlier this year, so now I set up the painting table in front of the TV in the living room, where I can watch TV & the baby and paint at the same time. Or try to at least...