Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Problem...

"Merde, quels plus sans valeur…"

For those of you who check out my blogs from time to time, it must be evident that I work in fit and starts, and that I have a number of projects "on the go" that don't seem to- well, go!

Looking beyond the usual suspects of work pressures (when I get busy I get REALLY busy), there are a number of reasons for this.

  1. The twin demons of laziness and procrastination.
  2. My tendency towards perfectionism as a painter- this really slows me down I as can spend hours and hours on one figure.
  3. Inability to focus on any one project at any one time. I am often too much like the proverbial donkey who starved to death as a result of being placed equidistant between two equally-succulent bales of hay, and who could never decide which way to go!

The stumbling block must be when I reach that "half-way" stage in painting a miniature, where it has been undercoated, the main colours blocked in but not yet trimmed, and the next stage is the fiddly backpacks and straps- the figure looks a horrid mess, and the motivation and energy to push on decreases considerably. More often than not, I tend to fail my morale throws at this point and progress really slows to a halt.

I know from my years of active gaming back when I lived in Vancouver that there is nothing like having the deadline of a regularly-scheduled game in order to inspire one to get the "666eme Regt. de Ligne (M. le Diable's own)" finished and on the table so that you can employ it to humble your opponent on the field of battle, and enjoy the resulting pleasure of crowing loudly at his resulting defeat and humiliation...

But there's the rub- gaming has become a very rare pleasure, and other than during the occasional trip back home, I haven't been able to get in a wargame using 28mm miniatures for years- and I mean years. I also have to do both sides. This translates into a lot of painting, and if the rules need a lot of battalions and squadrons, the more uphill the task will be of getting enough painted for a game. Yet without the gaming, how to find that extra level of motivation that will keep me going? Of course I need to keep an eye on my ultimate target, but I also need some kind of "immediate gratification" just to keep the hobby alive.

I find there is a "Catch 22" for me here. Ultimately, I want the spectacle of battalion after battalion advancing up some slope to meet the foe, which means rules like Shako or General de Brigade. The problem is that it will take such a long time to get to "critical mass" -the point where I can get enough miniatures to play a game- that I cannot currently see myself getting anywhere near that point.

So what to do about it, that's the question?

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