A Painting Goal for 2012?

I still haven't made my (not so) big announcement yet, mostly because it requires photos and I haven't the chance to sit down at the home computer to do it (homework and balancing the books trumps dad's blogging every time) but in the meantime I thought I'd reflect a little bit on the subject of painting goals.

In 2010 and 2011 I had goals for painting miniatures.  In 2010 I overcame the goal by a wide margin and then set 2011's even higher than I accomplished in 2010 and made that with months to spare.  Once I hit the painting goal for the year, my painting dropped off precipitously, although I'm seeing a little resurgence as I start painting things for my ATZ project.

In looking at where I was mentally in this whole process, I did feel at times like I was under a lot of pressure to make the painting goal to the point where I was sometimes just slapping paint onto miniatures and staining them just to get the numbers up.  That's ironic given that I easily met the annual goal and have been basically painting in a fairly desultory fashion ever since.  It's worth my noting that the drop-off also happened around the time of EOW, my RPG mini-convention, when my interest went back to that end of the hobby, and the rise of my frustration with playing 40K.

So I basically am wrestling with a couple of questions as we get into 2012:

Painting goal or no painting goal?  Is it worth it to obligate my hobby, or does a painting goal make sure I don't get distracted by less worthy pastimes like watching television?

More or less?  Is 150 a good number, or should I go higher or lower?

Annual goal or monthly?  Some months just seem to favor getting painting done over others, so it is good to just keep it as one single goal rather than incrementally doled out?

Count dipped miniatures or not?  This is perhaps the most vexing portion of the whole thing.  A lot of the miniatures I got painted were basecoated-and-dipped with wood stain.  You can go over to the thearmypainter and see dozens of miniatures painted in a manner of days that way.  It seems sometimes like that's "cheating" but other times it seems like a perfectly reasonable way to get a mass army painted without quitting your day job.  The counter argument?  I'm not improving as a painter when I do it, so I lose that benefit of the painting process.

I've considered the overly-complicated possibility of a multi-tier painting goal, like 130 mass-produced miniatures and 20 slow-painted ones for the year.

Anyways, comments?  Your own experiences with painting goals?  All welcome.


  1. I have painting/hobby goals, but I keep them subject/project specific rather than time specific. For example, currently I have a goal to complete the terrain that I am doing a future upcoming battle. Its hard to keep a deadline with work and family, so I just try to hold myself to completing the project, or at least a significant portion of the project.

    As far as your dilemma over dipped painting: done is done, regardless of how you got to the end. Once a figure is painted and based, it counts as being done in my book. My microarmor tank counts as being done just as much as a 28mm for a zombie game. They are both ready to be used in a game.

  2. I've kept a painting goal the last 3 years, this will be the first time I don't reach it and perhaps I set it too high(1200, I'm at 516 right now)It helped me in the long run tho previous to that I had been in the 25-50 range. As for dipping I've done a few and count them but also denote it in () on my log. But done is done.

  3. I personally don't like having a painting goal. Sometimes I'd rather build terrain or play something or read blogs or blog something. If I set a goal of painting X minis I'll feel like I have to paint, and then it becomes another chore. I get enough "honey do" list from the better half. :)

  4. Goals are good. They might affect quality, but they give you a target. I say set a number and go for it.


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