Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hobby Goals for 2014

Not for the entire world of hobbies.  I don't think I'm that influential.  Just my own goals.  And these are goals - I waited until February first to post here so they wouldn't appear as New Year's Resolutions since we all know those are intended to be broken.  So, goals I hope to achieve.

Before the goals, something I've touched on before.  Before getting out of bed this morning, my mind was focused on how many painted and primed figures I already have in my approximately 32,000 figure collection.  A fairly reasonable estimate of painted figures is 4,500 and a similar number for either partially painted figures or primed and ready for painted is at 3,500 (mostly just primed, less than 500 at a guess in the partially painted category).  That means 8,000 figures worked on, a very respectable twenty-five percent.  Sure, I'd love the number to be higher but it is what it is.  And the other 24,000 figures? Well, virtually all of them are stored as organized units.  And, if not all, there are not more than a couple of hundred, mostly casualty figures, not organized.  So, my "lead pile" isn't some disorganized mass.

Now, one more thing to cover before I get into those goals - DON'T DO IT!  As in don't try to collect either as many figures - or as many periods - as I've done.  While I'm glad I've done it, the reality is that it is extremely unlikely I will ever get them all painted.  And even if I do get to that point, how will I ever have enough time to enjoy them all?  So, an overly well-educated and experienced word to the wise: keep your hobby collecting ambitions in check to a reasonable level.  Have some variety, have as many figures as you need for your primary focused interest.  But don't jump head first into the deep end of the pool, even if there's enough water how can you tread water with an arm load lead?

Okay, goals.

My first goal is to fulfill an obligation - paint some 25/28 mm animals for the local club's large participation game, 72 of them, all domestic livestock for a game set in the Viking era.  Just a means of repaying in a small way all that effort so many people put into my giant club pirate game a couple of years ago.

My next hobby goal actually isn't in the realm of historical miniatures.  I want to get my model railroad up and running this year and at least partially complete the scenery so that it looks respectable.  This is important to me and I've been moving along with this - especially since I've finalized the basic track plan and some ways of creating scenes that can be preserved even if, for some reason, I had to move on to another house.  Not any plans to move but always nice to be prepared.  Some of you reading this may be saying, "I don't care.  Get on with the miniatures."  Okay, but I've been doing model railroading actively in one way or another for 46 years, miniatures active time is only at 28 years.

Now, my priority in the miniature realm is to complete - in all regards - my French and Indian War collection.  That means everything painted, everything based, and all ready to put in play.  This also means adding a variety of based deciduous trees.  It also includes some buildings and two forts, one very small and one much larger.  While those forts are designed to be modular I will probably create them as an all made piece for ease of use.  Easy is better - and faster.

And then I want to make progress in getting other figures ready, primed and pre-based to be able to just pick them up and paint them.  Which collection?  Well, probably my Wild West since that is such a large grouping and offers a diverse range of scenarios.  But it might be one of the smaller collections just to get another period into playability - the options: Robin Hood, Three Musketeers, or Mountain Man (would need to buy some more figures to do this one); an off chance it might be Boxer Rebellion but I'm sort of holding that back waiting to see what Blue Moon Manufacturing releases and no timeline on that.  Or, and this is a real possibility, I might get started on my American Revolution. Started, not finished, too large to finish this year.  Hard to resist that last one since that is my favorite historical period.  A more distant possible distraction is some additional work on my American Civil War figures - but this would just be getting it back into playable shape with mostly rebasing and some painting of new figures to bring groups of already painted figures up to the new organizational standard I'm planning on using.

So, really, only two 'hard' goals.  Complete the obligation and complete the FIW figures.  That last paragraph before this one is more of a hope than a goal.  But I want to focus on those other two goals.

There is one other very important goal.  And that is to actually PLAY GAMES this year!  Last year, for the first time in more than a quarter century, I did not participate as a player in a single miniatures game.  Yeah, I ran two at the November ConQuest Avalon in Sacramento and I sat and observed parts of others while visiting club meetings.  But not actual playing in games.  And I'm off to a good start, played a couple of turns in a game at the last local club meeting, a Napoleonic 1805 event using Rank and File rules from Crusader Publishing.  I've now acquired these rules (PDF and printed out in color and in protective sleeves in a binder) and read through them.  I have found my rules going forward.

Rank and File are very basic and simple, but not simplistic, rules that provide a quick playing game with a tactical feel to them.  And are designed to cover the time frame from 1740 to 1900 and that covers almost all of my periods as I've mentioned in earlier posts.  I do hope to bend them to include the earliest periods I have figures for.  Not as challenging as it may seem, they are easy bolt on - or even bolt off - rules meaning you can add or subtract from the rules and not break them.  But they are it, One 'Set of Rules' To Rule Them All.

That's it.  I will try and make regular posts recording how I'm doing on meeting those goals.

"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."

yes, I've removed the back ground photo - didn't like how it was impacting the text.  will experiment further with at some point in the future.  but no photo behind the title for now.

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