Goals, motivation, and progress: The road to 350.

January is seeing some slow but steady progress on my goal of 350 painted miniatures this year. I’ve prepped a bunch of Ground Zero Games old school 25mm Star Grunt minis and started painting a squad while waiting for some 6mm Battletech minis to dry between paints and washes. I’m batch painting both projects so it’ll add up to about 15 miniatures done for the week, which is a good start to the year!

Ground Zero Games 25mm Star Grunt figures getting primed

The holidays slowed me down a little bit, as it always does, but I picked up a lot of steam in the middle of the year last year so I’m not too worried. Some people find goals stressful, worrying that they’re not going to make it or setting unrealistic goals because they did so little painting the year before. I’ve spoken to a couple of fellow hobbyists with these issues and recently have read a lot of posts that go something like “I only painted 12 figures last year, but this year I’m taking the 365 challenge!”.

Last year was the first time I set a goal for myself, and settled on 350 figures based on my vague calculations of how much I had painted in 2018. I painted a significant commission in 2018 for a friend, which was great for the Hobby Fund. I didn’t think I would take on a commission in 2019 but my friend kept giving me stuff to paint AND a second friend gave me an army to paint. In the end I squeezed out my 350 in the nick of time. I took on an easy commission for 2018 retouching about 150 minis that a friend bought cheap but needed a tiny bit of work so I didn’t increase my goal for 2020.

So why did I decide I needed to set a goal? I have a large ‘lead pile’. Very large. I know a lot of people with an equally large lead pile, or larger, but this one is mine. At 350 minis a year I have years worth of painting to do even if I never buy more minis. If plans go well I’ll be receiving two Kickstarters in 2020 that will add about 120 minis to my collection, plus Reaper Bones 5 whenever that shows up. In 2019 I finally finished enough of my 28mm WWII minis to be able to run multi-player convention games with fully painted forces (I have a company’s worth of US Airborne and Fallschirmjäger for Carentan). It was great to be able to field them and impress people with the layout. We’re also planning on buying a house in 2020 and the idea of packing up new in box miniatures I’ve owned for 5 years and not painted is a little embarrassing. This is not the time to brag about how you have unpainted minis older than me, stop being a hoarder. When I was getting ready to move into this apartment in about 2012ish I looked in the attic and found boxes and boxes of RPG books that I moved up there 10 years ago and never even opened. I decided not to be a hoarder at that point. Now I look at my ‘closet of shame’ and need to keep up with that decision.

So my ‘don’t be a hoarder’ goal has three parts:

  1. Stop buying stuff I know I won’t use for years, or at all.
  2. Paint what I have
  3. Get rid of stuff I know I won’t use.

I’ve started skipping sales, didn’t even buy anything for Black Friday. I’ve only bought things that I know I want, will use, and am committed to painting them in a reasonable time. So far the only thing I’ve ordered are bases from Litko.

I’ve set my goals, decided on which projects I’m going to (try) and stick to this year and first off has been my Ground Zero Games 25mm Stargrunt figures. I’ve decided to try solo wargaming in the Tomorrow’s War universe and I have large piles of GZG figures I bought from a guy on TMP for a great price. I want to expand one heat I have but I’m trying to only buy with funds from selling stuff off and the first purchase had to be bases for my current projects since I ran out late last year. Until then I have six 30 man platoons to paint up plus a couple dozen powered armor squads. Plenty to paint and game with.

A solid nights worth of work on the test squad…

I am actively trying to sell off several projects which I know I either won’t be able to get done or am no longer interested in. I’m never going to paint up the Soviet hoard I got at a great price, so I can dump them without a loss, and the West End Games miniatures I bought (again for a great price) didn’t hold up to nostalgia. So there’s about 600 figures I can get rid of…

Some Gamorean Guards and about 200 other Star Wars minis slowly being listed on Ebay

Starship Troopers on the other hand DID live up to nostalgia, but they’re a straight PITA to build! They don’t like the plastic glue I usually use and I’m not fond of using superglue on plastic minis if I can help it. I’m sure I’ll dedicate a blog post to those once I get more Plastistruct glue in.

So for 2020 I’m properly motivated, set reasonable goals I know I can achieve, have started painting and have plans to game with what I’m working on.

This was originally posted to the Wargaming Recon blog http://wargamingforums.com/

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