Sunday, 31 January 2010

Ten Figures A Week

I suspect that I am like the majority of "wargamers" in that I seldom wargame. What I do is buy wargames magazines, peruse websites like TMP and fora like General de Brigade and think about wargaming. I have so much unpainted lead in my flat that should the bomb ever drop I'll be well shielded from radiation (I figure the boxes of books stored in boxes in my loft only add to the quality of insulation up there but that is another story).

In 2008 I played in two wargames, in 2009 I attended one wargames show and viewed one wargame in the flesh. I can't even claim to be a figure painter as I seldom pick up a paintbrush. I DO buy figures though....lots of figures. My interests are Napoleonics, ACW, AWI and WWII (although if I see pretty figures for another period I can be tempted - I'm a bit of a tart) and, generally speaking I try and stick to 15mm figures (although if I see pretty figures in another scale I can be tempted - like I said I can be a bit of a tart).

So I've decided that my New Year Resolution is to do the following:

1) Paint and base to completion 10 15mm figures a week.

Given that most units I will be painting are based on 6 or 8 figure bases for infantry (and 2 or 4 cavalry) I've decided that I will need to utilise the system created by Phil Olley (known as Olley Painting Points), wherein an infantry figure or cannon counts as one point and any mounted figure counts as two points - so, for instance, two guns with four crew each would meet the ten figure target.

2) Paint (or sell) twice as many figures as I buy.

In short, I need to start making a dent in my leadpile. I don't buy as many little lead troopers as I used to, but the blood still rushes to my head sometimes and I "splurge" on something - now a little splurging every so often is fine, but the results of my splurges are still unpainted many years later. So, I plan to reduce my leadpile this year.

3) Inventory what I own.

Allied to the above is the embarassing knowledge that I actually have no idea quite how many troops I own (or exactly what) - I therefore propose to inventory my unpainted collection and eBay anything extraneous to current requirements. Naturally I'm not planning to fritter away the proceeds on anything as silly as drink or women (or food or taxes come to that).

4) Host (or at least contribute substantially to) a wargame.

Pretty much what it says. The wargames I have played in the past couple of years depended upon the kindness of others. I'd like to contribute something for a change. This might be a bit of a challenge as I live in a small flat and the game would need to take place upon my dining table.

5) Begin to build some terrain boards.

Following on from the above, as well as buying toy soldiers I haven't painted, I've bought a lot of stuff to build scenery and then never done anything with it. I want to change that. Again, living in a flat limits my space available to do messy stuff - my wife is forebearing but not quite that forebearing! Anyway I have some grandiose thoughts but that is for another time.

So, as we are four weeks into the year I am pretty much 40 figures behind schedule already - I had better go and do a little painting. Next time I'll talk about what I'm painting, show you my painting desk, and find some pictures of the wargames I've attended in the past - after all you need some eye candy until my figures are done!


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  2. For me, real life gets in the way of neat projects like this one. I find that volunteering to run a game at a convention helps focus me for a short period of time, but the fun can never banish the demand to make a living, fix the house, repair the car, etc. Maybe I'll win the lottery and join you in the chase.

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  4. I know a guy just like you. Hoards the lead but paints at a glacial pace.

    Ten figs a week? You can do it. Don't let us down.

  5. Speaking as a slow painter, you might want to give yourself a break on the month that's already gone by and start doing 10 figures a week from this point on. Otherwise you may find yourself rapidly discouraged and give up altogether.

  6. Good for you! I've used blogging as a method to help achieve painting goals and its pretty much worked for me. I get little prods from folk and it helps keep me focused. I am more of a "fits and starts" painter, so I've found not being too rigid is important. Don't get all despondant because 1 week you only manage 9 figures. I try to work to an approximate monthly goal or even yearly. I know that there will be some months when my output will be zero. I also know there will be months when I will be prodigious.
    Good Luck!

  7. PS.
    If you get despondant over painting check out this blog. It never fails to cheer me up

  8. Great to hear a fellow hobbyist 'fessin' up to what may well be true for the majority. I know that I'm much the same. And all the kids that I convinced to buy 15mm Napoleonic armies when I was was a teenager? Those Minifigs legions are most likely gathering dust in attics and garages, if they survive at all! Most of what one sees - in the mags, at shows, on company websites, and on the blogs of those who are perhaps generally amongst the more active/motivated - represents a pinnacle of the best activity within the hobby, and is both inspiration and indictment to chronically procrastinating unfocused types like me. Still, it's all good, as they say...