Friday, March 9, 2012

Lack of Progress

Hi Everyone. I generally prefer my articles to center around concrete gaming subjects, be they fluff or painting or tactics, but I wanted to do a more subjective (one might even say personal) post today. Maybe it will add a bit more character to the blog.

Anyway, I'm in the middle of writing my doctoral dissertation. For those fortunate people unfamiliar with this process, it's a large document detailing the last 6 years of my life, which will then be picked apart by 5 very smart people to see if it's good enough to warrant a PhD. It's been consuming the vast majority of my time for the last couple months.

Even so, I periodically get a bit of free time (mostly due to just being tired of going over the same data and papers over and over again). Strangely enough, for me at least, I haven't really been spending any of that time painting, and I think I've figured out why that is.

For the last tournament I played in, I used a Baal Predator. As I only have one of the original 3rd Edition Baals painted, and it is painted quite badly, I wanted to try and finish up one of the new Baals I have sitting on my bookshelf. I decided to do this about a week before the tournament, and actually made some decent progress on it. I went over all the red primer to even it out, painted and shaded the metallics, and shaded the red on the main hull. I didn't finish though, and ended up using the original Baal in the tournament.

After the tournament, that Baal just sat on my painting desk. I have to admit that I've never much liked painting tanks. I'm not sure why. My Executioner Rhinos were actually pretty fun to paint, so maybe I only hate painting red tanks. All the flat red panels are just a pain to get to an even color. I had just finished painting my Land Raider (the largest model I've ever done) and, without the thought of using the Baal in the tournament, I had no motivation whatsoever to paint it.

Oh, I would come in and look at it periodically, pick it up and identify what I needed to do next. I even sat down to paint it a couple times, but as soon as I had done a bit of work cleaning up the shading, I would get bored and do something else.

This went on for weeks and weeks. Finally, one night this week, I finished my writing for the day and really wanted to paint. I walked over to the painting desk and there was the Baal, staring back at me with condemnation. I picked up all of its pieces, moved them back to the bookshelf, and spent some time painting the next squad of Executioners Sternguard. And I really enjoyed it.

They're not even close to done. I did all the metallics and most of the glazing to get them to the right colors, but they've got a lot of detail work left to go. But I really enjoyed the hour or so I was able to dedicate to painting them.

So what's my point here? I hate painting tanks. But beyond that, it's that we can't get too wrapped up in painting to a deadline, in finishing that particular model just because it's the next thing on your "to paint" list. That turns painting into a chore, and frankly I have enough chores to do right now. I'm sure you all do too. If you, like me, have lost motivation to finish whatever you're currently working on, put it aside for a bit, look through your shelves of unpainted models (because admit it, we all have tons of models that we still haven't gotten around to painting), and pick something that looks fun to paint. Once you've switched it up and gotten a bit of joy out of your painting, you can go back and work some more on whatever was causing the problem in the first place.

Anyway, that's where my mind is at right now. Back to the dissertation writing.  


  1. Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck on shuffle, I'll work on five or six different things in a couple of hours not really finishing anything, but I find these brief episodes of randomness to be when I'm most productive.

  2. Lol, lack of progress... you should be me. I have yet to paint a single model to completion in 3 years. However all that will be changing very soon indeed..... I hope.


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