It’s that time of the year folks, say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017. Whether you loved 2016 or not, here is to your New Year being better than the last!
Along with a New Year comes resolutions and changes, but let’s go beyond working out, eating less candy, or being a better person. Let’s talk hobby resolutions!
If you are like a lot of gamers out there you are probably sitting on a ton of unpainted models. Every time you buy a new one you think, no more until I get my backlog cleared. Then they release the Spire of Dawn for 80 bucks with 74 miniatures and you happily hand over your credit card. Personally I enjoy painting as it gives my eyes a rest after staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day 5 days a week for work (unfortunately writing for Spikey Bits and playing with miniatures is not my day job). But even though I enjoy it, sometimes I need a push to get that miniature done, or start that unit.
One solution I’ve found is to join a group where there is a deadline so you can push yourself to meet it. There are a ton of groups on Facebook where you post a picture of your unpainted miniature and then 3-4 pictures leading up to its completion. Some offer raffle entries for entering, while others are just for fun. Same thing with your FLGS, in that they might do a monthly painting competition or raffle for completed models.
If not suggest it as it might draw up interest in the hobby! My local one offers a 10 dollar gift card raffle once a month, which you can get a max of 3 entries doing the following: paint a 5+ man unit or large model, buy at least $20 in hobby supplies (paints, brushes, etc.), and buy $20 or more in models that must be used in next month’s competition. Everyone posts pictures of the painted models and there is always good feedback.
Note: You need to try, I have seen some entries where they dunk models in paint and enter those with 1 or 2 colors slapped on there. They are usually disqualified for the month and met with jeers or a “come on man” from the group. My personal goal for 2017 is to finish all my models before buying a new ones…. That leaves the Age of Sigmar starter set (Stormcast models), 7 or 8 Tzeentch miniatures, Spire of Dawn set, and then about 28 WarmaHordes Trollbloods to paint…. Which brings me to another helpful tip!
Organize! I created a spreadsheet that lists all my paints broken down by type so I know what I have when I am thinking about a color scheme. It is very helpful for those slow days where I am stuck in front of a computer or riding as a passenger somewhere. I will look at images (cool mini or not is an awesome site to get inspiration) to figure out different ways to paint my miniatures. Having a spreadsheet on google drive or stored locally can help you figure out what you have. Along with that have your miniatures on the spread sheet as well with a painted status. Example (needs touch ups, primed only, on spruce, etc.) that will give you a feel for what you have.
This brings me to my second New Year’s hobby resolution of becoming a better painter. Yes practice helps, doing something over and over will make you better at it hands down. But you should also strive to learn new things and try new paints. For example I am trying out painting obsidian weapons on a model which uses gloss paints (I have never used gloss paints). It could look awful, or it could be amazing who knows?! One thing that is guaranteed is I will look at the result and think let’s try it this way next time or try this color with that shade etc. You become a better painter quicker if you are not afraid to try new things. Another thing to do is watch someone like Duncan Rhodes on Warhammer TV, or a You Tub, or even a blog and get ideas from them on how to improve your painting technique.
This brings me to my last hobby resolution which will be by far the hardest for me to fulfill this upcoming year and that is get at least 2 games in a month. The reason being is my first born is due mid-January and chances are I am going to be sleep deprived and exhausted while getting used to my new overlord. My current solution is to try and make it in every other week, maybe right after work and get a quick game in.
Just so that I can stay current and talk to the players that are playing weekly about new units, rules, etc. Then if I can work it out where I can bring the baby in (would need to check with store owner) when she is older to give my wife some time to herself that is a bonus. The other solution is I would like to get some of the standalone games from games workshop and play those with some friends who are also expecting soon.
They are big into board games, but they stay away from tabletop games because of the time and money commitment. I have been wanting to get a couple games, paint up the miniatures, and then try them with the newbies to get there take on the game. Hmm that could be a good article for 2017, but I digress. Also this solution is as of yet untested so I retain the right to modify or change it at any time!
Finally a bonus resolution and that is to continue writing at least one weekly article for Spikey Bits. I wrote my first article that was published on June 15th this past year after seeing a call for new writers. I thought tips for saving money on miniatures (I am cheap) could be ok and pitched my idea. Next thing you know I am writing a New Year’s post 7 months later in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
Moving forward with writing, I am going to continue with my first 1000 points posts, and will probably add in some more coverage of my newbies guide to WarmaHordes when I sit down for games. On top of that I have some custom scenarios I would like to write for Age of Sigmar that could be fun additions to your local club.
Also I am open to suggestions so if there is anything you want me to cover with Age of Sigmar or WarmaHordes (or frankly any other miniature system) that you think would be interesting to read comment or shoot me an email. Time and money willing (again will have to see what the new overlord demands) I will do my best to get content out that you want to read up on. Maybe even shoot for a couple bonus articles a month!
If you made it this far, wow that is a lot of text and I appreciate you reading and following my articles, please do not hesitate to comment on any of my write ups. I try and respond to any comments made, and appreciate both constructive criticism as well general questions, comments, etc.
Finally I hope your New Year is full of making armor saves, getting those miniatures tabletop ready, and most importantly happiness and good health.