Tuesday Tool Tips 12 – Goals

Tuesday Tool Tips 12 – Goals

In Tool Tips 11, I brought up “Test Strips”. Mini bits glued to cardboard for testing out paint colors, brands, and techniques. I haven’t been messing around with them as much lately, but will likely come in handy when I get past the Dwarves.

“Wait a second…the title now says Tuesday Tool Tips! I plan on logging in every Tuesday and better see a new Tool Tip!!”

Heh. Yea, I changed the title as I found it more catchy and gives people an idea of when I might launch the next article. If you don’t like “Old Mini Monday”, come back next day for “Tuesday Tool Tips” instead! No, there won’t be a brand new Tool Tip every Tuesday, just the day that is dedicated for tips and tricks. Which are really Faust’s trials and tribulations that he’s struggled through, so hopefully you won’t have to!


This article isn’t as technical as previous posts. I don’t have any tips/tricks to make your minis look .0005% better this time around. This is more about transparency. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to buy a motivational book or have you pass around a survey to all your Facebook friends either.

No, the other day while hacking away at the paint desk, I asked myself “Why am I doing this?!”. Oh yes, it’s a question I’ve asked myself about a half million times ever since I started painting little minis.

It’s also a question that I frequently asked myself when I was running marathons. Marathon runners pretty much ask themselves that same question about every 15 minutes! Along with thoughts of “I’m going to die! This is the last time I’m ever running a marathon! I’m just going to stop at the next hill!”

Pretty much any activity will have those nagging thoughts of self doubt. In running, I learned to lie to myself and say “Sure, you can quit at this next hill.”. Knowing full well, I wasn’t going to, because once you get past that hill, adrenaline kicks in and you just want to keep going.

This time the question popped up, it seemed a bit different though. Maybe because I’m reading more blogs and feeling a bit like I belong to this loosely connected miniatures blogging community. Which probably makes me think about these things more. It wasn’t so much a rhetorical question as ‘what is the end goal’? It’s a good thing to know, and something I’ve been giving a fair amount of thought. Many business professionals will tell you to write down your goal, so you can keep it in mind.

So I guess I’m doing that here, in public, with everyone watching. No pressure.

I’ve usually found with goals, it’s often easier for me to start with what I don’t want to achieve:

I’m not painting to become the best painter out there.

I’m not painting to amass a huge army for my favorite wargame.

I’m not painting to assuage guilt over having a closet full of unpainted, spendy, plastic.

It’s not really any of those things. Sure, there are elements of each, and I could possibly tie my inner demon to some of those goals, but those don’t seem to be what compels me.

The real reason I’m painting is that I want the best version of a miniatures game that I can possibly make.

That’s pretty straightforward and explains a lot. I might strive to increase my painting skills on the Blood Bowl Dwarf team, but it’s so that I can have a really great looking team for Blood Bowl. Not so I can enter them into a competition or gain admiration from other bloggers or friends. I realize I have limitations and hence, I am working towards “the best version….that I can make”. It also reminds me, that I don’t necessarily need to spend 20 hours painting 1 dwarf mini, if I can spend 3 hours to make him look just fine for a Blood Bowl game. Though sometimes putting in extra time will let me learn new things that make things look better in the long run, and that’s fine with me.

I also know have a small set of games that I am interested in. Should the day ever come that they stop releasing new minis for my chosen games and I have painted them all, there is a very good chance that I would put the paints and paintbrushes away in storage. Chances are that there will continue to be new Blood Bowl and other stuff for quite some time and I’m slow at painting….so, I’ll likely be here for a very long time. I think the key is that there is potentially an end goal in sight.

My closet is not completely overfilling with plastic currently and I have started to take the approach of ‘better finish painting this, before you can buy a new one of these!’. Which will hopefully curb plastic overload. But this also ties back into the goal of painting for a game(s). If there are no minis for my games, I’m not going to buy stuff I don’t need. It’s also a good way for me to assess spending habits, if I’m not playing a certain game or not as interested in it….then I should really quit buying stuff for it! Limiting the number of games really helps there.

Like I said, not a very technical post and no real answers. But it is a really good question to ask yourself and remind ourselves of “Why am I doing this?”. We likely all have different, yet similar drivers.

14 thoughts on “Tuesday Tool Tips 12 – Goals

  1. I’m sure as you suspect we have all asked the “why” question, particularly when things aren’t going as well as we might like. I’ve certainly asked myself the question from time to time. My answer? Initially as a kid it was simply fun. As an adult in a highly pressurised working environment the level of concentration required to model meant I switched off from work which helped me to relax. Now as a retired adult it’s back to fun and a little bit more. The little bit more is to keep my brain active and to stretch myself to being the best I can be whilst knowing I’ll never be perfect. Each to their own but above all enjoy it! Great thought provoking question!

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    1. Thanks, it’s definitely been on my mind lately and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I haven’t reached retirement yet, but I’m getting closer and I often think this is a hobby that I will carry over into those years. It could be at that point, my goal changes as well.

      I also enjoy miniature painting as a way to relax from a day of work. Usually accompanied with some music.

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  2. I can relate to Mr Imperfects reply. I painted as a kid for the pure fun of it then back in 2015 I picked up the brushes again to escape the pressures of work. It can be so therapeutic. Twelve months ago I started my own business which is completely stress free so now I model and paint because I love it and I think I’m slightly obsessed with it haha. I too have a closet, actually it’s four old school lockers, full of boxed kits and bags of unpainted war bands etc haha. It’s a healthy addiction at least. A good post mate and well done on the marathon running. I enjoy being active but my thing is hiking, canoeing and mountain climbing.

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    1. Thanks IRO! Well, marathon running was over 3 years ago now and about 50lbs lighter! I had much more free time when I was single and toddler-free. Maybe as she gets older and more independent. Or once she starts riding a bike, and I can go for a jog beside her.

      I have a book shelf filled with most of my miniature game stuff, and a desk covered with paints and whatnot. But so far I’ve been pretty good at watching what I’m buying. Unpainted plastic certainly wins out though. Stuff I don’t want or change my mind on over time, I can dump on Ebay without hesitation.

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  3. I agree totally with the points you made here. I do want the best gaming experience possible for the games I run. I also feel that I want my miniatures to inspire others. I am more focused on my collections and what I’m working on, but that needs discipline!

    Great discussion – thanks.

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    1. Thanks! Inspiring others is a great goal. I hadn’t even thought of that, as I mainly feel like I’m getting inspiration from everyone else’s work.

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  4. I don’t get to play as much as I used to when I was young and …well, not carefree, but I had more time for gaming. Now I still enjoy painting for the relaxation aspect, and the blogging works to keep me motivated, and so SOMEONE on the planet actually gets to see what I’ve been spending my time doing…

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    1. We’re all benefitting from you sharing pics of your miniatures! Even if I never learned anything from your own tips, I’d still be pretty happy browsing through your gallery of minis. Which reminds me, I need to spend some time browsing through your D&D minis sometime, as I’m actually familiar with that game more than GW stuff. I’ve thought about tackling the ones I have in the D&D boardgame boxes, but I don’t know how easy they are to paint up. Hopefully not as bad as Bones stuff.

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      1. Thank you!
        The D&D Miniatures are pretty much all either taken from those boardgames, or they’re “counts-as” “Not” versions of D&D critters from Bones. They’re pretty easy overall, though I have a few I still haven’t finished. I’ve got two of the larger beasties from Ravenloft still sitting on my desk, so many years later. I’m hoping to get at least one of them finished this month as a Neglected Model…

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  5. The D&D PVC is a bit similar for cleanup, but thankfully doesn’t have that tackiness that the Bones models do. Overall, I’d say they’re easier and much more pleasant to paint than Bones.

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