As the end of another year comes to a close, it’s only natural that people stop and take stock of the year that was. For hobbyists like ourselves – or indeed any people who work on projects or hobbies of ongoing concern it makes sense to look over what you’ve managed to achieve and look forward to make plans for the following year. Resolutions are a “normal” way to do this but I’m too old for that now, and I’d rather just keep (trying to) make incremental improvements and do better with various things all year ’round.
Hobby goals on the other hand, are perfectly legit. My main goal this year was to simply paint more models. Soft target was to beat last year’s total of 319 models and the Hard target was to paint 365 models. Last year I was well on target until I just stopped painting around October-November and petered out with 319. This year I had my eye on it, and watched myself sink into the same late-winter funk as worked ramped up to ridiculous levels at the end of the year. I credit painting at work for getting me through that painful time with some productivity, since there were more than a few weeks when the only painting that I managed to do was that 20minutes or so during lunchtime at work. In the end, I finished with 388. The list is already at the top of the page, so I’ll just link it rather than repeating it here – though I’ll have a separate “2015: Year in Review” post up shortly.
Now I’d like to look over my “other” goals from the last two years and see how I am with them now, at the dawn of 2016. For my own curiosity as much as anything else.
Goals for 2014:
Finish the 2k pts Ogre Army for KoW – NOPE. Close, but hasn’t been on the radar for awhile. The two Chariots have been an issue.
Paint a 2k pts Dark Elf/Twilight Kin Army for KoW – NOPE. Not even close. The first unit got cockblocked by the banner. I should finish that.
Paint a 300?600? pt Allied Detatchment for KoW to ally with others (Giant, Trebuchet, Wolves) – YEP – These have happened. They’ve mostly grown to army status.
Paint an Undead Army for KoW using GW, Mantic and LotR Undead (also doubles as an Army of the Dead for LotR SBG and WotR!) – YEP. Not every undead model I own is painted, but we have a fully-painted and functional Undead Army at this point.
Finish a ton of Men of Gondor for SBG/WotR and KoW armies of Man – YEP. This started as one of those detatchments, and grew into a rather large (for me) painted army. Still lots more models to go.
Resurrect/update my previously-finished old Dark Angels Combat Patrol into a 6th Edition 600-pt Combat Patrol
Paint 600-odd points of Deathwing as a CP
Paint 600-odd points of Ravenwing as a CP
Add some extra DA stuff back in – like the almost-finished Dreadnought, Asmodai, etc and Bingo! 2k+ point DA army!
NONE of the 40k stuff happened. I could blame the royal confusing clusterfuck that 40k’s rules have become in the past couple of years and it’s certainly a factor, but I simply haven’t gotten my Fantasy stuff done to the point where I’ve been able to move back to 40k.
Last year at this time, I was still pretty much burned out on painting, and didn’t really set any goals. Over the course of the year, some “happened”, though. The first one was to COMPLETE my Gondor army for LotR/KoW. By this I mean to have every model that I own painted, with the only exceptions being any odd dregs leftover that didn’t fit into units. This later morphed into painting all of the Minas Tirith models, with the fiefdoms, particularly Dol Amroth to be their own, separate project.
The reason the above morphed so was because I got a ton of Moria Goblins painted, and decided that I’d like to paint every one of the little suckers that I own to get them done and dusted. I had about 140-ish plastics and a couple of dozen metals to go, plus a couple of trolls, etc. So Dol Amroth got downgraded.
But then – in order to have room for all of this, I decided I needed to clear off my painting desk, but not in the usual manner of dumping all of the half-painted models into cases and back onto shelves and into boxes, but to finish the bloody things off.
This became my penultimate project of 2015, as I got an awful lot of stuff done, and widened my scope to include figures that had been rotting in model cases for a long time, “finished” by the standard of their original day, but disliked enough by me to keep them there. Often it just took a new base and a bit of touch up to bring them back to life with a standard that I’m happy with today.
Finally, I had enough of all that, and decided that I wanted to paint some centrepiece models. I booked 2 weeks of Long Service Leave from work (I’ve never taken any before) and decided that I’d try to prep the models beforehand, and from December 4th when I finished, I’d get stuck right in. Well, as the best laid plans have it, instead of a clean break – I ended up doing an hour or so of work from home each day for the first week and then a bit more in the second. Which, frankly, was bullshit. Of the three models I selected to paint in December, I got one completed, and the other two have both stalled out at this point.
So now what? Well, time to set some goals for 2016. Here goes:
- Paint more models overall – Soft Target is now 365, and Hard Target is 389 – one more than last year.
I think this is very achievable. I’ve got some small scenic items in mind to give me a nice initial boost for January. It’s not cheating – it’s planning!
- Get a completed army worth of Ogres Finished – I’ll need to redo my lists since points changed in KoW, but I’m thinking 2k minimum with 3k as an ideal.
I haven’t counted them in awhile, plus changes to points costs. But I figure I’ve got close to 2k painted already, but I need to paint the Captain and ASB on chariots to have a “completed” army.
- Finish all of my Moria Goblins – not much has changed here. I still need to do a GW direct order for about $200 for the last “bits”
Much the same as before. about 140 models plus some extras. They’re pretty simple to mass paint, so I think I can do it.
- Finish all of my Minas Tirith Figures – Again carried over from an organic 2015 goal.
This one could be tricky, but then, they’re good fodder for painting at work.
- Encourage Marouda to Paint more – never hurts to have a Hobby Apprentice, right? Or should I get extra geek points for instead saying Hobby Padawan?
She seems to have a confidence issue and is having difficulty with the “just keep painting” approach to getting better and more confident.
- Greeks on the Table – Get the Mythical Greeks to the point where they’re a playable force. Even only an allied contingent in size.
Seems doable. I’ve got 2 units WIP right now, plus the Talos and the 2 Bulls. It shouldn’t be too much more to get them up and running.
- Dark Angels on the Table – Resurrect/update my previously-finished old Dark Angels Combat Patrol into a 7th Edition 1k-point force.
Mostly I think I need to bring my 3rd-ed sub-10 squads up to full 10s. And get someone to do a list for me. Archer?
- Get more half-painted crap finished – an ongoing project, methinks.
Might take more than 2016 to get it done, but I want to have the part-painted backlog finished within a year or two.
- Allow myself more fun – Stop the regiments more frequently and allow myself to paint a dragon, a hero, a cool monster, a forge world model. And do it at least once a month.
We’re all gonna die one day. May as well take the time to paint and finish some of the nicer models!
Oh yeah. Happy New Year and all that. But you knew that, anyway! 😉
Postscript – forgot a couple more things I’d really like to achieve this year – so three more goals:
- Minotaurs on the Table – Get 1k points worth of Minotaurs Space marines built, assembled and painted.
I’ve easily got the models, the scheme is pretty straightforward, and it gets Marouda a 40k army of her own (somewhat) into existence.
- Iron Warriors on the Table – Resurrect/update my previously-half-finished Iron Warriors Combat Patrol into a 7th Edition 1k-point force.
I need to finish the models I started, and no doubt add a few more. They might well be a mixture of models painted as pre-heresy and “modern” IW.
- Vikings and their Foes – Get two warbands built for games of SAGA. Vikings, and one other.
That’s what? 30-odd figures a side? Very doable, though 60 figures is a good chunk of annual output as well…
Holy moly, that is an almost unfathomable output dude… I can’t quite get my head around it! Looking forward to seeing what you do in 2016 mate – happy new year 🙂
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Thanks Alex, hopefully this year I’ll manage to top 2015’s numbers – and a Happy new Year to you also!
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Thats a lot mate. I find I can assemble and convert lots but i’m a little slow on the painting side of things. I don’t need motivation to assemble and convert but I do need motivation to paint. Once I am painting I do enjoy it though. I look forward to seeing more from you mate.
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I’m somewhat the other way. I find assembly to often be a right pain in the arse, but painting models much easier to motivate myself to do. I’ve developed a particular love for single-piece metal casts again. Also – fix your comments! Check and make sure I haven’t somehow ended up in your wordpress spam folder?
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I can’t seem to find what the issue is and nobody else is having trouble, as far as I know haha. I’ve been on several troubleshooting pages but can’t seem to resolve it. Grrr. Where would I find the spam folder?
I seem to be painting less pieces each year, and I didn’t start out painting a lot 🙂 I love watching you gamer/painters and your massive outputs, it’s nutty to me!
This year is going to be even tougher because I’m going to a schmancy Art Institute for classes in drawing and oil portraiture, twice a week (my mini painting nights!) from Jan-Apr. That should put a massive damper on my mini painting output, then we’re into spring/summer/autumn which are always slow for me.
I think I might expand my blog to include the traditional works I begin producing, though (to stave off cobwebs and tumbleweeds, anyway).
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I think a lot of it depends on where you’ve come from and where you want to go with it. Your background or perhaps motivation these days isn’t so much in playing games with large numbers of models like 40k, WHFB or KoW, so it makes sense that your output is much smaller. I see no good reason why you shouldn’t include your other artwork on your blog. After all, it’s your blog, and a chance for you to show off your own creative processes.
This year was a big year for me in hitting the psychological barrier of 300 minis, and I would point to blogs like this and some of the Dakka blogs where people tackle a wide variety of interesting models and get a lot done as a major inspiration for me knuckling down and getting stuff done.
So cheers, and happy new year.