Beating the Backlog

The backlog, the sprue grey mountain, the pile of shame. Most hobbyists have one and it causes 68.257%* of cases of hobby burnout. I’m talking about the pile of unpainted miniatures that only ever gets bigger, and how to slay that beast.

It’s a mindset thing. The pile of unopened boxes represents how much hobby you want to do and the number of painted miniatures represents how much time you can actually do. It’s the hobby equivalent to having eyes bigger than your belly.  And it’s a daunting prospect to sit down at your painting area and look at the size of the task ahead. Then the temptation to put the brush back down and do something else arises. With the hype machine of strategically placed evangelists that certain miniature companies employ, spamming pre-released goodies, another set of boxes soon drops on the top of the pile.

This week I came to a decision with my own pile of shame (not that kind of pile). If it’s been there for over a year, it gets a quick, tabletop standard job before moving on to the next. Despite having lessons from him, I’m no Tommie Soule when it comes to painting, but I do try to give everything my best effort. Most things I paint get multiple layers, targeted shades, blending, often extravagant basing and occasional special effects like object source lighting or reflective armour. Changing to base, wash, drybrush, details, and done was disconcerting at first, but after seeing the rapid progress, I soon got over it.

Since I don’t get to play as much Frostgrave as I’d like, these guys got put to the back burner, but it’s far from a terrible job for just a couple of hours painting and considerably better than bare plastic.


On the whole, if it’s draining your motivation, get it out of the way: either get it done or sell it on. Hobby is supposed to be fun, remember! Comments are open – I’d be interested to read other approaches to beating the backlog.


*Figures made up on the spot for the post-truth world.

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