This is a Guest Post by The Banstick Blog
Hey folks, Hicks here, I just want to share a few tips I’ve learned over the years of hobbying, building, collecting, switching armies, and driving myself crazy when it comes to getting an army finished.
When I first started out, I had no clue what was really going on, I’d never really played a game and I just liked building and painting toy soldiers – it’s something I’ve been doing since the mid 1980’s. Since the hobby was new and GW was new to my area (the closest one was an hour away at that time), there wasn’t much of a hurry to get anything together and painted. I took my time. I built one thing at a time and (tried) to paint it before moving on. It worked and it didn’t.
Before I started working for GW, the most I’d ever bought at one time was an Empire army for Warhammer. I had my birthday money, my friend Jason had just gotten me back into the hobby and I really liked the Empire. So I went and bought my army – roughly 4 or 5 boxes of models in addition to the starter set models.
About a year later, I started working for GW. I got a nice discount on my stuff. I mean a nice discount. I went a little crazy. I would buy an entire army in one fell swoop. Not like 500 or so points, forget that, my armies had to be 2000 points at the minimum.
And I had to have it all, NOW.
I had to put it all together, NOW.
That was a big part of the problem. There was some pressure to have a completed army for each system. After all, I was a representative of the company, a hobby champion – a "Rock Star to the kids" as someone once put it. The community (the new gamers) looked up to the Staff for inspiration. We all felt obligated to get an army fully done. How could we talk the talk if we didn’t walk the walk? It seemed a bit hypocritical to say “Get your army painted!” when we didn’t have one finished ourselves.
And with that in mind, you begin to build, build, build.
What happens exactly? Well, you get a 2000+ point army built, you have a hundred plus models in front of you and you look at that sea of plastic and metal and think…Why? I am NEVER going to get this done, and all the enthusiasm and excitement you had goes out the window.
Then you think “Hey, you know what, I wanted to do (insert army name here)! I’ll start with the codex/army book and the minimum and go from there. Well, that works for about 2 weeks and then all of a sudden, you have another hundred plus models all built and sitting in front of you. You may get a bit farther this time, but ultimately you never feel like you’re getting anywhere and you start over once again. It never ends unless you take the steps to get it under control.
Image from The Banstick Blog
There are three things you can do to help make the process manageable.
1. Overcome the impulse to buy... everything.
Start by writing out an army list.
This is also your shopping list. Start with your HQ/General and your 2 troop/core choices. The base of any army. Start small, 500 points. Build your army in manageable pieces, If you are especially if you’re eager to get into playing right away, 500 points is a good number to start with, and the number of models won’t be so overwhelming that you get frustrated and feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
One of the biggest problems I have is seeing that sea of plastic and metal and thinking about getting the entire thing done. It can be a little disheartening. Building and painting in smaller portions gives you a sense of accomplishment, and you can see the results. You see that 500 points of bare models dwindle, and before you know it, you have a part of your army finished.
2. Take your time
Unless you are trying to get that last unit painted for a tournament tomorrow, don’t rush it. Set reasonable deadlines for yourself, or you run the risk of not getting it done or worse, losing interest.
Take time to play a game or two with those 500 points. I went to the local store yesterday and played a couple of games with friend Jason using my Orks – both at 500 points, and what that did was get me excited to paint the rest of my Orks that I had on the table. I even picked up a new Trukk and while I REALLLY wanted to put together, I decided to wait and slow down.
3. Reward yourself for getting something done
When it comes to working on your army, finish 1 troop squad first – from opening the package to the final touches and then reward yourself by painting the general. Don’t even open any other package until that particular unit is DONE.
I can’t wait to paint my Killa Kan – it definitely earned the right to get painted quickly, having taken out an Imperial Guard Sentinel on the very first shot it ever took in a game. It will be my reward for getting a squad of boyz done. Having a reward can also help motivate you to get that boring squad done, so alternate – boring squad of sameness, then a cool vehicle, HQ or special model, then boring squad again, then cool model…
If you follow these simple steps, it will be worth it. 500 points is a good starting point, and from there you can add a unit, vehicle, or some other cool addition slowly and won’t end up feeling overwhelmed and discouraged by a sea of naked models (which won’t be the Victoria’s Secret kind).
Write out a list beforehand and stick to those models. Of course, we all run into amazing deals every now and then which can’t be passed up, but put those models away unless it’s part of the army you are currently building or you are rewarding yourself for having finished something.
Remember, it’s all about making it manageable and seeing results so you don’t get frustrated and quit.
Once again, I'd like to thank our Guest Blogger, The Banstick Blog for their time and writing this article for the members of FTW. Make sure to swing by their blog and check out what they've got going on. - Ron
Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
FTW Collaborative Post: Motivation and finishing your army