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Combating the Dreaded Hobby ADHD


Fulkes
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I'll freely admit it: I have trouble sitting down and finishing an army. Even stuff I'm excited for starts to feel like a bit of a drag or I notice things in other armies and I drop the stuff I'm working on to build and paint models in other armies. It only gets worse when I start reading battletomes for various armies and start learning more about the various factions.

Does anyone else fall into this problem? How do you keep yourself on track?

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Hey Fulkes.  Yeah I understand how you feel.  I usually end up having a couple of units from different armies going.  I try and only work on those until they're finished and then I allow myself to possibly work on something different.  Right now I have some Maggottkin units going along with a unit of Myrmourn Banshees.  If its a big unit or model, I usually work on that for a bit and slowly paint/build another unit when I start to get burned out.  The struggle is real!

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I tend to be very patient and methodical when things are going OK.

However, when a model starts to go wrong, I tend to get more and more frustrated. At this point, I should put the brushes down and let the paint dry for covering the mistakes over when I am feeling more calm. However, this almost never happens, and the spiral inevitably ends with an intentionally ruined, or even smashed to pieces, miniature.

I am a perfectionist with limited talent, which is a bad combination.

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for me it's having a few small side-quests to spice things up. have to say I'm suffering a bit from night haunt fatigue and still got loads to paint so things like Underworlds Warbands are amazing at giving me something totally different to have a crack at, that's relatively contained and can be knocked through in a few days to a fortnight depending on time available.

of course it means I've spent an absolute fortune on paint, but definitely keeps things fresh.

got the Blackstone Fortress models, the Eyes of the Nine and Zarbags Gits all made up now ready for when I next get tired of ghosts.

if they weren't there I think I'd just treat myself to a weird model that has nothing to do with my army or current paint schemes to just break up the monotony, keep it different every time and focus on individual pieces and you don't run the risk of suddenly starting a whole new army (at least for a few purchases).

 

Edited by JPjr
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Perfectly normal and a pain at the same time, there's a few ways to deal with it once you realise its an issue (which is the first step)

1) Restrict budget/buying pattern. Often this is tied to buying new models and buying is a nice thing to do. The downside is that you can fast end up spreading yourself over too many boxes of unbuilt and unfinished models and build up a huge backlog very easily. Or if you can keep up with it you end up with a smattering of everything but no full army.

So first step is to curtail the budget/buying pattern to control (not necessarily stop) the influx if new things. Ideas might be:

a) To keep a calendar on your desk/wall in easy view and each time you buy something write it down and how much you spent. Whilst this is budget tracking you can use it to show what you've already built and it might help you keep track of your actual purchasing patterns. Eg you might find you're always buying on Friday evening after a trip to the pub and you come home, a little lighter headed and with less resistance to opportunistic buying. 

b) Increase your savings amount per month at a cost of reducing your free money each month. A simple method that can cut spending. 

c) Policies like "Ensure you reduce the number of boxes you own of unbuilt stuff within X period of time (eg 6 months). That doesn't stop buying, but again its about control and keeping on top of things. 

d) A shopping list! Yep plan out the next few hundred £/$ of purchases in advance. Then whenever you go to buy something else you've got your shopping list staring right at you. Include small as well as big purchases. 

e) You might keep a tally on a notepad. Each time you're REALLY tempted for something to buy add it to a list as if you've bought it. Look at the total and combine it with a count down toward saving for something expensive (That might be one big model or, say, a full 30 model unit comprising of 3 or 6 boxes of models in one go). 

2) Focus. Writing army lists to aim for, writing your own story/lore. These are things that can help you focus. A blog tracking your progress, entering into a local event that requires X number of points of models to compete etc.... Basically look for ways to help you focus on one army and building that army up.

It might even be something like getting a display case to put the army in and putting what you've got into it. Once you can see progress like that then each model you add stands out proud in the case on display. A big visual connection to your progress and to encourage more progress. 

3) Find other ways to get a quick army interest "fix". Eg I find playing Total War Warhammer can ease that temptation to play a specific army. Sure its not the same, but it can sometimes let you enjoy that sudden pang for a certain army and aesthetic without buying into a whole army.

 

 

In the end it sounds like your main worry is keeping focused and that your buying isn't, as yet, oustripping your ability to keep up with the building and painting. That's good, it means that you've only got to focus more so on your buying patterns and in restricting what you buy outside. 

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All the time! Usually, I am usually very focussed. I have a goal and a painting queue that I carefully manage. I work on no more than five models at a time and build and prep my next batch whilst waiting for washes to dry.  I have started a new job and have busy family life so my progress is very slow at the moment, I have set a goal to paint a minimum of 40 mins per week.

I do try and queue up what inspires me though. Skirmish is really great as it has made my painting queue far more interesting. I've gone from Silver Tower models to Tzeentch Chaos Warriors to a Freeguild General and then on to Azyrite Ruins this year. Gaming wise we want armies but the painting side is just better with lots of different projects.  I wouldn't be too hard on yourself, I think it probably happens to us all. Now wouldn't it be great to start a Kharadron army...

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I found  if distracted myself with stuff outside of the hobby, and reduce my time looking into warhammer too much, not only do i diminish my funds, but I also appreciate my hobby time more. I can't recommend Motorcycles and Tattoos enough. The main incentive is being too broke to buy the new boxes... 

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I've been working on my Death stuff a lot, and maybe the three weeks of painting Neferata on and off caused some momentum to die down, that or it's one of those "well I worked out how to paint this the way I like, time to look at learning how to paint something else!" things.

Lately the lure has been towards Skaven but that's more of an interest in their bigger things (the Screaming Bell, Verminlords, Boneripper, Warp Lighting Cannons, ect, ect) and less in their horde stuff. Though on the flipside, I do like the way the regular base Skaven look too, but the core of the models isn't that interesting to look at or considering painting since everything is a lot of carbon copies of the same exact model over and over again with little additional personality available to throw in.

I'm starting to suspect some of the problem may be the same thing that kept me away from Fantasy in the past: the lack of options for posing and customizing the core of my army. With most of the armies having a core based around static poses that lock together in neat little rank and file groups it's not really a shock that I'd find them a bit....bland I guess is the best description.

 And this isn't to say that any of the models are bad, I friggin' love just about everything in the game, even some of the derpier models like Dire Wolves, but I always lose steam when getting around to painting things I've done before.

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I think that's fine.  It's for fun isn't it?  If you don't want to do something just don't do it, and when you do, do. Paint what you want to when you want to, because you may never feel like getting to it again! 

I have hundreds and hundreds of models now, spread across myraid armies.  I have painted a lot too, but because of the sheer amount of stuff I buy it's still probably less than 10% painted.  I try to build everything ASAP so at least it can be used, but buying takes zero time (so like 1/100th of painting), building takes little time (1/10th of the painting maybe), and then there's the long process of painting.  No way can you keep up with that unless you force yourself to only use what you paint...so don't. 

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I'm clearly not burned out on painting since I have a desire to keep painting (though for anyone who feels burnt out I do recommend breaks, we're not machines after all. Beep-boop.) rather the issue I've run into is more the things I want to paint at any given time seem to drastically bounce all over the place.

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I've had this in the past, where I had multiple armies I was building up but all of them were like 10% painted because I bought and got interested in things much faster than I would paint. Right now I'm trying to just focus on one thing (decided on a Legion of Sacrament army) and I've decided for myself that I only buy something new once my current thing is finished, I think that will help. Doesn't stop me from coming up with a million conversion ideas for other armies though, but I can note them down and save them from later perhaps.

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If you really want to finish a certain army/project i suggest getting involved in some sort of campaign with this army. By this you get constantly hyped for extending this army and getting stuff done for the next match. I think having the next game or even a tournament in mind is the best motivation for finishing a project. Can be a little bit oppresive sometimes. But No pains - no gains :)

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I cannot recommend a good deadline for getting something finished and keeping focused.  I don't mean a "I'd like to finish unit X by the end of next week", I mean a "I've got an event in three weeks and need those two units".  It really helps to focus the mind on finishing one project - what you have to be careful of is burn out after that deadline passes.  I've had it numerous times, you burn the midnight oil to get something finished and once done you fall into a hobby slump!

One thing that's a variation of this that I've started to do, is to set a personal deadline a bit earlier than the actual deadline and plan the next project.  For example, I've a Top SecretTM painting project I'm working on that has a deadline of the 4th Feb.  I've set a personal deadline of 1st January and planning to finish off my Van Saar Necromunda Gang during January.  This give me a bit of leeway if I don't get my project finished, but equally an incentive to get it done by the end of this year.

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If your problem is that your painting is unfocused, rather than not painting at all, you are already doing better than most of the people I know in this hobby, so thats awesome :)

I am quite passionate about this subject, because I believe this is a huge problem within the hobby. Very few people buy a box of minis thinking "I'll never finish these", they always buy them thinking "Ooh wouldn't X look cool if I did Y". But for some people I know, I can say with almost certainty whether it will happen or not, and that makes me sad.

In the last year I have gotten pretty disciplined with my painting (I have painted everything I have bought in 2018, other than the unit I bought this week that I am currently painting), so here are some tips that have helped me.

  • Keep a log of everything you buy and everything you complete. Not only is it strangely satisfying to make progress on a physical list, but it gives you an idea on how much you can complete in an average month and then don't buy more than that in any given month. Its fine and dandy getting a bit painted here and there, but if your purchase rate outstrips your completion rate then your backlog will always grow along with any related anxiety.
  • Try limit yourself to only playing with painted models. To make this easier, give games like AoS Skirmish, kill team, shadespire and path to glory a go. If a warband is fully painted, even a small skirmish game is elevated to new levels. Too much of this hobby is focused on 2000pt matched games where every new army idea is 100 models that cost £500. A lot of people will struggle to complete that even once a year.
  • Embrace grand alliances! The loose and large alliances in Age of Sigmar allow us to have a load of variety and bring disparate forces to the table. You will have a load of fun bringing a hodge-podge of alliance stuff that is more painted rather than an efficient mono-faction battalion of grey plastic. Gives you an opportunity to think of a story about why they are fighting together.
  • As @RuneBrush said, use deadlines where you can. Enter things like painting competitions, path to glory campaigns and armies on parade. Nothing motivated me more to finish my dwarfs than having a looming armies on parade deadline. It was tough and got stressful at points, but I'm so glad I did it and got it finished.
  • My main tip for the undisciplined gamer like me? Don't buy more than unit at a time. Ever. What about that battleforce thats a great deal? Don't buy it. What about shipping cost savings by getting everything at once? Not worth it. That huge endorphin rush you get by buying a bunch of models in one go will end quickly, and soon they'll just be another source of hobby anxiety as you stare at a huge backlog. By gettnig single units, You will actually spend less money and end up with more completed stuff. Last year I spent £700 on warhammer and ended up with £200 painted. This year I spent £400 on warhammer and painted £600 of it by focusing on single things.
Hope that helps :)
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45 minutes ago, Brad Gamma said:

Try limit yourself to only playing with painted models. To make this easier, give games like AoS Skirmish, kill team, shadespire and path to glory a go. If a warband is fully painted, even a small skirmish game is elevated to new levels. Too much of this hobby is focused on 2000pt matched games where every new army idea is 100 models that cost £500. A lot of people will struggle to complete that even once a year.

I do this and really recommend it. Gives you a real push along and when you do get together with mates and play it is something really special.

 

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On 12/3/2018 at 5:45 PM, Fulkes said:

I'll freely admit it: I have trouble sitting down and finishing an army. Even stuff I'm excited for starts to feel like a bit of a drag or I notice things in other armies and I drop the stuff I'm working on to build and paint models in other armies. It only gets worse when I start reading battletomes for various armies and start learning more about the various factions.

Does anyone else fall into this problem? How do you keep yourself on track?

Skirmish Warbands, multiple smaller armies, shadespire.

 I suffer a lot from it as well. I now have 5 or 6 1K+ armies. So when one gets my attention back. I add something to that, then the next etc. It really helps that I have several friends who like the game not the hobby. So they play my armies in our group. But Skirmish bands, Shadespire all stuff like that works great as a in between thing before going back to something else. The only thing I struggle with as a result is backlog. Not finishing a project before getting the new one. That's just discipline though. 

Edited by Kramer
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I'm very guilty of this problem and I don't have any answers sorry. 

I do think that we gamers, as a group, don't help each other either.  I find my local group constantly swapping between the latest 'new' thing not just within the confines of GW but all the other games systems out there.  They have more hobby time (and disposable money) than me so I'm constantly on the trailing edge and nothing gets finished before they have moved away onto something new.  All my GW projects have stalled completely because they are playing other systems and I don't have the motivation any more.  I've managed to stop chasing the systems they play and have even brutally cut down my different GW systems but all that has really achieved is me slowly slipping out of the hobby completely (again).

I think my only way forward is to just concentrate on the smaller skirmish sized things like Underworld and possibly Kill team.  Either that or just redefine what the hobby means to me and get that fully painted Ironjaws army I always wanted despite knowing I'll almost never use it.

 

Edited by paul7926
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1 hour ago, Kramer said:

Skirmish Warbands, multiple smaller armies, shadespire.

 I suffer a lot from it as well. I know have 5 or 6 1K+ armies. So when one gets my attention back. I add something to that, then the next etc. It really helps that I have several friends who like the game not the hobby. So they play my armies in our group. But Skirmish bands, Shadespire all stuff like that works great as a in between thing before going back to something else. The only thing I struggle with as a result is backlog. Not finishing a project before getting the new one. That's just discipline though. 

This. 

Personally, I don't suffer with Hobby ADD but rather with being overwhelmed by the TO DO list. The best thing to do is "slow grow". Start with a 500pts force then 1K then 1.5K etc etc. 

If you buy 2K worth of warhammer in one go it WILL sit there  on your shelf as grey plactic looking at you for a long time.

Other than that @RuneBrush and @Overread give great advice. All in all, I set myself a goal in the last 6 months: only get 1 new unit/box for every 3 I paint. It's helped massively. 

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I too find keeping a log quite useful and have gradually made it more and more complicated as I go along. I have one that tells me how many models I've painted in the year with a running total and then I have another that tells me what proportion of my collection is unbuilt, built, WIP and completed. I then have running percentage totals that tell me how much of my collection is in each category and the total number of points, etc. completed for each.

It's satisfying for me to see each percentage tick up and it's combined with my goal of painting all of the Stormcast stuff I plan to use by the end of 2018. 

Ultimately you have to decide what you want to do and then how you're going to do it. If that's just painting what you enjoy, then you're doing the right thing, but it sounds as though that might not be the case, so I would suggest asking yourself what you're trying to achieve as a first step.

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As I'm new to the hobby and very slow with little spare time, it took the whole year to paint a 1000p ID army. And during that period of time my painting skill evolved and so did my painting scheme for that army. So I have to paint and base all the models again - its hart to motivate yourself to do that ...

Still the goal to one day field a fully painted army keeps me going! :)

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Agreed, its one reason I'm sort of trying to build up a huge army of grey and then hit the painting all in one go so that I don't get tempted to return to previously painted models (because they are months old). 

Sometimes its easier to push forward than to go in circles, however you can help yourself out. Focus on painting troops and other large model count units first. Then advance up toward characters and bigger single models. That way your improved painting should match up to higher detail characters that stand out more on their own in the battles anyway. Whilst your earlier painting is on basic troops 

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Lucky you if you have it only AoS related. I have attention deficit across multiple games/rule-sets (each one with multiple factions/armies, usually) 😅

To me, what worked best is imposing myself the  "don't buy (or build/paint) a model if its not for a game and faction you're currently playing. No exceptions" rule.  This has saved me a lot of money and stopped the growth of the "bins of shame" (Ikea bins where I store/forget unopened model packs). It's more than a year that I stick to this rule and up to now has worked nicely. Some slips occoured, ofcourse (I still have to work toward the "no exceptions" part),  but overall I'm satisfied by the results. 
Also, this motivates me in playing more, and the more I play (with mostly-painted armies) the more I enjoy gaming and the more I'm motivated in painting more. So the more I paint, the more I motivated in playing, the more I play, the more I'm motivated in painting.

Edited by gabbi
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I definitely feel you on this one, I feel like a moth sometimes, constantly bouncing between light sources but never quite latching on. 

I've found that separating building and painting definitely helps IE. I'll have two weeks of building stuff, then two weeks of painting. This post has reminded me that I've been very slack on this front, though, so I'll try and get back to this now! 

Another thing I've found is that I can't batch paint units - I just get far too bored too quickly. So, instead of painting five members of a unit at once, I paint two or three different miniatures that will be sharing a similar colour palette. This way, I tend to smash through them quite quickly as I'm enjoying working on different things, whilst still using the same paints to minimise wastage. 

That being said, I still have a pile of half finished stuff so clearly I need to rethink my methods a bit! Although that in itself can help sometimes - if I get halfway through something and it's starting to drag, I'll happily put it away for a bit and paint something else. Sometimes working on something different is just what's needed to build the motivation back up to get everything else finished 😀

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