Collecting Inspiration for Hobby Projects

The video above reminded me of something I used to do religiously when starting a new project: keep a mood board, or folder of inspiration for the project – images mostly, but also articles and anything else I found which was relevant.

I still have a stack of articles ripped from old White Dwarf issues which I refer to whenever I’m starting any Space Marine project. They’ve served me well over the last couple of years. Of course, there’s always the internet and the many, many, many books put out by Games Workshop and other miniatures companies.

It’s a very useful practice, and one I’m going to get back into the habit of.

By way of an example, here’s some of the material I’ve collected so far for my next project:

Do you gather up inspiration sources for your projects? What’s your favourite source?

Declaring Hobby Bankruptcy and Maintaining Sanity

With all the cool new stuff constantly being released by recently, it can be very easy to end up with a large hobby backlog. When this happens it’s possible to get overwhelmed by your “to do list,” and it starts to become a mental drag; when this kicks in, your hobby no longer feels fun and instead feels like working a job you hate. Sometimes it’s just best to declare something a lost cause and just start over afresh.

I went through this very recently. My backlog had grown too big for me to see sight of the end of it – especially with the glacial pace I paint at! When I took stock of what was in the queue I had 2 full armies: a jump-heavy Flesh Tearers list, and a mechanised Tempestus Scions list. Not counting fun stuff like vehicles and characters, I had well over 100 models to prepare, assemble and paint… and these are just the army projects! Throw in various starter boxes for other games, and other sundry small projects, and the list was nearer 400.

Too. Damn. Many.

What to do? My initial plan was to freeze buying anything new until I’d whittled the backlog down to a more manageable level. Such a sensible plan might work for many a struggling hobbyist, butnfortunately, it was not the right plan for me. Despite several months of not buying any new figures1, I made zero impact on the pile of miniatures I had to work through. On top of that, I found myself losing all inspiration for certain projects. Some of that came down to gnawing insecurities about being able to achieve the vision I had in my head, others from indecision about what that vision even was any more. In the end there was just a pile of boxes and sprues causing me to feel terrible every time I thought about it. This was no longer a hobby, it was a chore. Something had to give, and it would be great if it wasn’t me.

In the tech world, there’s a popular approach to email management called Inbox Zero. The idea is to have your email inbox as empty as possible, so the amount of time your brain is occupied by email is as close to zero as possible. The intention is to reduce the distraction and stress caused by an overwhelmingly full inbox. Related to Inbox Zero, is Email Bankruptcy – the practice of deleting all email older than a certain date (often that day) due to being completely overwhelmed.

One day I realised I needed to declare something similar – Hobby Bankruptcy – or I was going to drive myself out of a hobby I’ve loved for over 20 years.

How was I going to do this? Throwing out hundreds2 of pounds of miniatures would be insane, especially if I changed my mind about something. Selling would take too long, and was subject to the fickleness of others. The simplest (non-destructive) solution won out: I took everything 40K/WHFB related, and stashed it in the loft. Out of sight; out of mind. Literally. The only survivors of the “purge” were source books and the limited edition 25th anniversary Crimson Fists miniature.

I can’t express just how much of a weight off doing this has been. I’m no longer under (self imposed) pressure to work through a massive backlog I no longer had the enthusiasm for, and yet, if I rediscover that enthusiasm, I can pull individual kits from the loft to work on as and when I want to.

In the meantime though, I am free to start work on new projects3

And yes, I do know I’m crazy.


  1. And growing increasing anxious about not getting the cool new shinies. 
  2. OK, maybe it’s higher… 
  3. Obviously, any new projects will have much more strict rules around the number of models allowed in the queue at once. No more buying entire armies in one go! 

White Dwarf 65 Cover Leaks – New Assassin Models Revealed

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Overall I really like these, though I probably would cut down the scenery built into their bases as much as possible (especially the hardly-going-to-get-a-cover-save Callidus) – mainly to make the models more discreet. Why would you want to draw attention to your scary murder machine?

According to my local store, pre-orders for these go up on the Saturday, not Friday like Games Workshop have done up to now.

Adeptus Mechanicus/Skitarii Confirmed for 40K Next Week!

From the GW site:

01000101 01101110 01100101 01101101 01111001 00100000 01110011 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 01100101 01100100 00101100 00100000 01110010 01100101 01101001 01101110 01100110 01101111 01110010 01100011 01100101 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01110011 00100000 01101001 01101110 01100010 01101111 01110101 01101110 01100100 00101110 00100000 01010010 01100101 01110100 01110101 01110010 01101110 00111010 00100000 00110010 00110111 01110100 01101000 00100000 01001101 01100001 01110010 01100011 01101000 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01100110 01110101 01110010 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 00100000 01101001 01101110 01100110 01101111 01110010 01101101 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00101110

01010000 01110010 01100001 01101001 01110011 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01001111 01101101 01101110 01101001 01110011 01110011 01101001 01100001 01101000 00100001

Translation:

Enemy sighted, reinforcements inbound.

Return: 27th March for further information

Praise the Omnissiah!

Note that there’s a few things “off” with the web page, so I don’t expect it to last… I think this is an accidental early post of Monday’s news item (GW usually teases these things on the Monday before preorders)  – in any case, I’ve captured the screenshots below:

On the Jeremy Clarkson Saga…

In any normal job, if an employee — who was on his final warning due to disciplinary issues — punched his boss, he would be sacked on the spot, and very likely arrested. Everyone would think that was fair and normal outcome. If you’re Jeremy Clarkson, however, you get a suspension and thousands signing a petition calling for your reinstatement because according to those I’ve seen on social media, it’s a “political correctness gone too far” issue.

No. Just no.

Wee Ginger Dug on the UK Press Vs The SNP

The Dug puts into words (far better than I could) some thoughts which came to me on the way home about the borderline racist fury coming from the UK press about the possibility of a large bloc of SNP MPs at the next Westminster election:

The fury and bile originating from the UK media vastly outstrips in volume and quantity any anti-English sentiment found in Scotland. That’s not to say there is no such thing as anti-English sentiment in Scotland, it does exist. But it’s identified for what it is – an unacceptable prejudice. Anti-Scottish sentiment is dressed up as fair comment and is plastered all over mainstream UK newspapers.

Google+ Split into Google Photos and Google Streams

Via The Verge:

Horowitz says that he’s now running Google’s Photos and Streams products — two new names for existing elements of Google+ that conspicuously don’t reference the social network. The name changes could possibly suggest that Google is planning to kill or significantly alter the brand, but the company has yet to make an announcement to confirm or deny this.

The photos part of Google+ has been fantastic for a number of years – and worth much, much, much more to me then the “social” side. At one point my entire photo library was in Google Photos, but having to use Google+ as part of that made it less than ideal.

Hopefully they’ll let you deactivate the “Streams” product if you don’t use it, so I can stop getting spam invites to events and groups.