Dear fanatics! Your friendly neighborhood painter and guru extraordinaire is back at it again after long hiatus, REJOICE!!! I am here today to share my experiences of the very annoying, yet pleasant problem of being overwhelmed.
It probably hasn’t escaped anyone that GW are pumping out goodies en masse and many of us probably have a hard time stoping ourselves from buying everything and going into bankruptcy. And even if the urge to actually buy new stuff is limited, it is you still have your backlog and all your projects. I know I do. And all this combined, the creep of being overwhelmed comes. And when it hits: standstill.
The problem of becoming overwhelmed in our hobby is that your productivity and also playing comes to a halt. This is something I see in many of my friends and fellow travelers in this awesome hobby, experiencing at this very moment. And it looks the same for all of us. We have tons of cool ideas for projects. We have all the sweet minis. More information, rules, minis and other sweet stuff is being released every week. And yet we all are at a standstill with our hobby, at least in practice. The buzz is ever present. We talk, we analyze and we fantasize. When it comes to hype factor, this is probably the best time to be living. I mean look at all the cool stuff we have!
So how to get out of this funk? I did a piece about staying motivated in the hobby and all of that probably applies here in a sense, but it isn’t the motivation that is the problem, right? The problem when you are overwhelmed and come to a full stop is that you don’t know at which end you are supposed to attack and conquer it. So no matter if you are a hoarder like some of us, or if you just feel like buying all at once, this applies to all of us.
Priority in all regards
The first priority you need to make, is what project is the most important. Your playing frequency, but also your game groups playing habits and frequency. Think about it, what is the point stressing about a project if your friends won’t be able to play at your own set deadline? Plan your projects in accordance you want to play them.
A secondary priority you can take into account is your already existing and finished collection. If you have a functioning army, team or what not, do you actually need to upgrade or add to it? Plan your projects to where you actually need to paint to play.
The third priority I want to mention is release schedule and update schedule. I am in a situation where I am holding three rather large projects simultaneously, four if you also take in account all the upgrades for my existing armies I want to paint. I have on my to-do-list right now a Blood Angel army, a Dark Eldar army and a Stormcast Eternals army, plus two commissions. Commissions have to go first no matter how I flip it. The models are not mine, they generate cash, and my clients need them for playing. So that is not the priority in question, but my own projects. So currently the Blood Angels only have the Index to lean on. GW has said that all non-codex armies will get some goodies in the chapter approved later this year. So this also includes the Dark Eldar project. I have easily enough models to have over 3k points in each of these armies. It might be a bad idea to paint up 2k lists with current ruleset, if the upcoming ruleset proves the list to be sub par or even unplayable. So I don’t actually need to worry about these armies until maybe late October. However I don’t have any armies or models done for Age of Sigmar. This puts my Stormcasts up to the first priority. All my friends that I play with are in the process of building armies for AoS right now. The game is growing locally, plus it just received the new General’s Handbook. See what I mean? Prioritize you fanatics!
When you have actually singled out a project to be top priority you also need to prioritize the order in which you paint stuff. And if that isn’t enough you actually need to be honest to yourself on how much work you are willing to put in.
Now the last part may only apply to people who have been painting for a while, but it is still a crucial step. Do you want to speed paint an army ready for war, or do you want a showcase army that you like to show off, or maybe even compete with in best painted? Be fair to yourself here. If you have the time and energy, put in the time and energy. But if you honestly just want a playable army or team, make a paint schedule and just blast the shit out of it. Better to start playing.
Battesai sensei! I did what you told me but now I want my minis to look better!
Have no fret. You may have come across a commission painting studio at some point in your hobby. What these studios usually do is that they offer 2-3 different ”standards”. In the top standard, all previous standards should be represented. Basically, if you start at standard #1 you can easily add certain techniques or detail to upgrade it to standard #2 or #3.
Try to practice making two standards. That is enough. The difference between standards could be that in standard one you don’t do edge highlighting and battle damage, but in standard two you do.
Bases are a little trickier because once they are done they are harder to upgrade. This is why I always recommend to make the base separately and then pin the model to it. Pinning the model to a base and just fixating with a drop of glue, gives you the possibility to actually break off the model without damaging it, and pinning it to a different base.
Moral of the story
Get your priorities straight. Assess time and effort. Look into the future and build on what you know, not what you wish for. Hopefully this article has given you all some food for thought and a light at the end of the tunnel in your projects. I know it has for me.