Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Chatter Behind The Bike Sheds - Getting It Done?

Reinforcements for the Lead Mountain?
Obviously this post HAS to be about that thing of beauty, The Lead Pile, it sometimes acts as a stimulant, sometimes it drowns the unwary. Mostly it just pisses off the wife ;-)

I am not sure if anyone really understands what drives us to buy more and more whilst other projects remain half finished or even not yet started.

Often we blame being unable to hold onto one thing at a time and that projects that are really large loose impetus and become a bind. These both are true in many cases but I wonder if in fact it's a useful excuse rather than a reason.

What if the true reason is that we simply have more money to spend on our hobby than we have time or interest in painting up? What if we actually tried to only buy at the speed of our painting, maybe just for one year?

Of course this could be a disaster, one main reason for going to shows is the chance to buy all the things we want including more and more lead/resin/plastic. I have to admit buying is a lesser reason to go to the show's. It's obviously the company, those I travel with, as well as those I meet at the show.

But keeping with the horror idea of not increasing the lead pile, lets go further whilst I have you. How about NOT buying figures for a year but still drawing the money you would have spent on figures etc. and instead spending it on

1. Terrain and Buildings. This is for the ones playing on the same old table they have for the past 20 plus years. Look at the hills, roads houses etc. If your using the same five buildings over four periods why not consider such a move. With all the cheaper but more realistic options now available in all scales it could be what you need just to make your old armies just that bit better.

2. Rules and Old Armies. So many armies are sitting unloved and unplayed since that last game where finally the rules drove you nuts or you simply got fed up of the same old same old. Well most modern rules bring a new flavour to the game and new mechanic's that make playing the game so much more fun and/or challenging. Better still if it's Biblical through Medieval and you based for DBA/M then in most cases no rebasing is required. Ok you may want to run a ink wash over your figures and tart up the bases but if you test drove some new rules you may well find the fire rekindled enough to make that a pleasure not a chore. Warning, it could lead to buying new figures to flesh out new options or larger number of figures allowed for that troop type.

3. Painting Service. There I said it. For some reason many of us hate them, well hate the idea of using them ourselves. One good reason is getting the painting service to match your style and skill. Well in today's world with the internet it's so much easier than it ever was. Another issue is pride and expense, so often rolled nto one I include them together. Some how you failed if you use a painting service and worse still your paying good money to feel said failure. Well that may have been a good argument when we had the time to paint and not the spare cash to pay for someone else to do it but for many of us the cost is not such a burden but time really is. What is worse, spending money on piles of figures that IF they do get painted just means lots of others never will. Or diverting that money to getting some of those figures that have not made it to your desk but ARE still wanted to being painted? Don't get them based, do that yourself, it's amazing how much that contributes to making the figures look like the rest of the army.

So how about you all looking at your mountain and I mean looking at it and considering one or more of the options above. I think in the next few weeks I will pull out and list all the figures I have in the pile and predict their future on this blog, dare you do the same on yours?

Relevant to this, next weekend will be Triples at Sheffield. I plan to pick up a Baccus order of the new cavalry I have yet to buy and if all goes well other new French figures which will find their way to the desk PDQ. I have a cunning plan, each month I plan to paint up at least three Battalions of French, Three of Prussian, some cavalry or Artillery and at least one Zulu Regiment all in 6mm until I have all the Waterloo stuff finished and get to Matt the last of his Zulu's, Not at all happy I have not got moving on them so they take a seat up front till they are done. 

On top of that I plan the odd fantasy figure for the campaign and finish off a couple of Sniper Reminder bases part done. After that I will try and get more Snipers done to fund further purchases and get the Winter War started again to get some cash in as well as paint up to keep.

Still on the list but sliding down is the Roman's, by the World's I want to have painted up enough to justify buying more but I think that's a bit hopeful. The cowboys need painting up as I think Lee will be wanting another go at it soon and why not.

One last thing, I don't plan on buying more than I paint once I have these new Baccus in hand, though to be fair I have actually painted a lot more 6mm than bought in the last five months so feel fairly good on that score.

13 comments:

  1. It's all great in theory. I think I've almost got a grip on my lead sluttishness and I'm only buying bits and bobs. Unfortunately I haven't cured my book sluttishness . . .

    When I get my next 'allowance' I intend to spend it on various scenic bits and buildings and maybe keep to that theme for a while, but eventually I'll run out of space completely and be forced to call a halt on everything.

    There's no way on God's good earth I'd be willing to go public with my lead pile inventory. I've got nothing to hide, I just think I'd find it too depressing :O(

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    1. Thanks for the extended reply, I purposely did not include books in the post as I suffer from the need to expand the books faster than I can read them.

      Ian

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  2. My lead pile and resin pile is quite astounding, given how short a time I've been back in the hobby and the production rate I normally manage for getting things painted up.

    I had promised myself "no new projects" for this year, so curse those damned gangsters! However, I absolutely will not get distracted by any more new projects. Definitely not.

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    1. He... He... Damned gangsters... It is amazing where left field comes from!!!..and how it takes over...

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    2. If any one should have a zero gain lead pile it's you Tamsin. Kind of makes me feel a bit happier that you suffer the same. Also with the shortage of cash at my end over two of the last three years it's a surprise at the size of mine!!!

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  3. A wonderful post Ian. I did laugh last weekend when you said you would be buried with your lead mountain , so the bearers had to carry the bloody thing!!!

    I have personally made a decision to paint/build/convert the stuff I really want to , and comission the other stuff. Time is rare and precious commodity and I really want to get some game time in. I have painted 1000's of figures over the year and just sold them on etc because I enjoyed the process and the cash was useful. But it's time for a new a new approach.

    So happy in joining in the lead mountain prediction!

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    1. Ah Dave, you missed out the bit about not liking the selected bearers ;-)

      I really want to get more games in than I do and surprised how few I tend to get in. Painting fortunately is a pleasure for me so I don't tend to count painting time against playing time. I get to paint 5-7 good sessions a week so can keep bringing more to the table. Only shame is the amount that have yet to be used even once.

      Ian

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  4. Excellent post Ian, and a wide-spread affliction I'm sure! I've kept purchases to a minimum since the start of last year, and it's enhanced my enjoyment of the hobby. Following a similar philosophy to many of your suggestions above has meant getting more out of what I have, and less half-finished projects. Now I calculate a sort of "time-on-distance" to figure out if the playing time is going to be worth the money and painting time involved. It's amazing how many initially attractive ideas don't make it past this test! Cheers, Paul.

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    1. Great comments Paul, love the idea of working out the painting time in advance, a real project killer, but in a good way.

      Ian

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  5. A honesty and true post and interesting too. I personally think its because we are magpies

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    1. Your not wrong, but I wonder how many suppliers would actually struggle if not for this affliction we suffer from?

      Ian

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  6. A great post Ian, although I am currently in a non purchase phase, and am sticking to it as much as possible only making purchases for projects that I am working on this year. (unless distracted by a book -its a major weakness)
    I cleared out a lot of old painted armies last year and loads of rule set too for games that no longer interest me or periods that I dont wish to continue with. The lead pile was attacked with vigour and all except figures for current projects and those in the list to be completed were dispatched to Ebay.
    Now painting services as I jointly run one, we help many who don't have the time to paint or cant paint to clear their lead. No it is not a cheap option but we do need a living wage if we are doing it as our only income source.
    I like to game on a nice table with good looking terrain and do spend a lot on getting these to look as good as the figures, though you can never account for Shiny-feckin-itis coming along at any given moment and putting the plans into a right old mess

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    1. Great reply Andrew and I was thinking about your Painting Service as I wrote the post. Given the variety of Painting Services there is something for everyone. Lee gets his PINS painted for him in the most part as he can do work on 28mm's for another collector and make more 6mm painted with the money he makes than if he spent the time just working on his own figures.

      Ian

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