Thursday, March 11, 2021

Rekindling the Hobby Flame

Everyone gets into a hobby rut every now and then. It's definitely not an uncommon feeling, even more so this year with everyone stuck inside and chances for actual gaming few and far between. The trick is figuring out how to deal with these ruts when they arise.

I'll be the first to admit; this year I've run into several hobby ruts. The past few years have involved me working towards different events which has given me goals and timelines, and most importantly, rewards for finishing stuff. While it may be a little tough painting 30 Plaguebearers all at once, knowing that it will pay off with a fun army to play at an event, and a cool looking force to show off makes it all worthwhile. Obviously, with the pandemic this year, there's been none of that. This lack of focus and reward can make you feel a bit listless. It definitely did for me.

The first rut I ran into was over the summer and I dealt with it by turning to something old but new; my Necrons. I started the hobby in 40k but haven't done much for it in awhile, so it was nice to return to the dark millennium. I knew there weren't going to be any games, but I still structured it towards an army. This gave me a new type of army to paint, as nothing I had been working on was as heavily metallic and armored as Necrons. This meant using new techniques, and the switch from a fantasy to a sci-fi aesthetic definitely helped keep things fresh as well.

In the winter I ran into another rut. It was just feeling hard to get motivated and excited about the projects I was working on. This is when I found Star Wars Legion and found my hobby mojo rejuvenated. It was essentially a change of scenery and it got me excited to paint again. It also helps that I've been a massive Star Wars fan my whole life, so combining those interests was an easy solution. Again, this let me try out new techniques and do one of my favorite painting activities, experimenting with the Contrast range! I also dappled in Warploque Miniatures and have some Marvel Crisis Protocol primed and ready to go. Of course AoS was always in the back of my mind and I was constantly messing around with army and list ideas during this time.

Which brings me to my most recent diversion. I wouldn't say I'm in a rut anymore, but returning to the Tomb Kings, an army that I've always loved, has got me really excited about painting AoS again. I want to keep them relevant though and able to evolve with the game. To do this I decided to run a "counts as" list using the Ogor Mawtribes rules with Ushabti and Sphinxes standing in for the units. Luckily I have a pretty good back stock of Tomb Kings that I've held onto over the years to help make this project a little easier. 

Look how close we were standing back then!

I think what seems like the approaching end of the pandemic and a return to some sort of normalcy has me feeling optimistic as well. I love making AoS armies to take to events like I said earlier, and finally that's starting to feel like a possibility again. I'm sure I'll be playing games with friends IN PERSON again sometime in the next few months once we're vaccinated, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some local events come autumn. The idea of taking a new and unique army like my Ushabti to an event has me feeling very excited again. I'm also excited to get some games of 40k in, which I haven't done since the launch of 8th edition, and also properly try out Star Wars Legion.

In the meantime, I think I will continue to float back and forth between painting Warhammer, Star Wars, and whatever else catches my attention. This is a hobby to have fun after all, so I want to make sure it never starts feeling like a chore. I'm super close to having a fully painted Republic army for Legion, so I'll probably insure that gets done first. After that I have a full Seperatists army to do, plus some random models that caught my attention. My Ushabti army has quite a few conversions planned to make it work, some simple, some rather involved, so it will be a bit more of a slow burn on that front. I think I have a good mix of projects, with the Star Wars stuff being mostly straight out of the box, while also trying to match official color schemes from the movies and actors' likenesses, and the Ushabti involving a ton of conversions and world building. I didn't even mention Cursed City game that I'm super stoked to paint and play as well when that comes out!

The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, and I think one of those unintended consequences for a lot of people in the hobby is their motivation to work on stuff. Not feeling what you're currently working on? Try something completely different and see if it reignites something in you. I have a good feeling that I'll probably run into less hobby ruts going forward, if any. Right now my biggest problem is I just want to be working on all of it at the same time!

What are you doing to help keep your hobby motivation going?

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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