Sunday, February 22, 2015

Having problems with Mojo aka the dreaded painters block


Hi everyone just thought I throw out that I've been having issues with painters block for a few months that has progressively gotten worse. I think it has more to do with a lack of direction then it does with actually painting plus irritating low level flu's that keep cropping up, lack of energy and a stiff neck are not helping much either. This is effecting my painting output, blogging both writing and reading pretty dramatically. It's also come at the worst time right in the middle of the Analogue Painting challenge which I've been reduced to more of a spectator then participant.

The lack of direction is I can longer decide how to base my figures or in what scale to do them or what rules to play them for. I don't have this issue with strictly skirmish games like WWII etc. or F&IW etc., but rather large or army based games.

I'm trying to decide what periods I want to do in 28mm, 15mm and what I want to do in 10mm which I happen to think is great for mass battles and if I want to do a period in more then one scale.

For 28mm Ancients/Mediaevals I cannot decide if I want to have more figures per base giving a better visual, but extremely time consuming with a much higher probability of the project never getting finished or go with fewer figures per base which is less impressive visually, but greatly increases the chances of seeing the project completed. It looks like an easy answer and say go with the one you'll finish, but one must factor in you'll always wish it was bigger! F**king conundrum!!

Also with some of my 28mm I'm a bit tired of sabot basing which I don't like all that much, but find it necessary with some periods as doing the same period twice in 28mm is impossible for me, but I'm still not happy I'm pushed into a corner like that.

Oh now lets talk about a scale that has caught my eye which is 10mm which looks great for mass battle btw! However then in creeps the problem of number of figures per base and how big a base to use. A big base crammed full of figures looks the best, but costs more time in painting, money and more importantly flexibility in terms of gaming. Smaller bases look less impressive and are more time consuming to move, but are more flexible for gaming. So again what the heck to do!

15mm is flat out annoying to paint! You have to paint all the bells and whistles you do at 28mm, but just smaller so takes to much time for the effort and result. However, it is a very popular scale making getting games easier and has a very large selection of figures to choose from. Basing issues are just as much a pain as the other scales.

I'm not having these issues with 28mm ACW/AWI as those projects are so far along that those decisions have already been made and are pretty much set in stone, but sadly I'm just not in the mood for them right now.

With a dozen projects all wanting my attention, but with no real plan  has pretty much frozen my brush in place.

On the positive front I've lost none of my mojo for wargaming and enjoying myself quite a bit. I would say the biggest impact has been my introduction to Piquet's Field of Battle2 series which is awesome! I promptly ordered Field of Battle2 and Pulse of battle which I'll go into at a later date.

Well, I hope to make some decisions soon and get back on track and give all of you something to read. 

46 comments :

  1. I know the feeling. I think we all suffer at some point

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  2. Lost mojo? Muse gone away? We've all been there Christopher! KBO {keep buggering on!} as Winston was wont to say, its the only way!

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    1. I try everyday, but I either sit and stare or paint a few minutes and put it away. Thanks for your support David.

      Christopher

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    2. Once went nine months without painting a thing! Life's like that, worry not, you'll soon be back in form!

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    3. Yes I know your right, but I hope it doesn't take that long.......

      Christopher

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  3. I know the feeling Christophexv don't worry something will come along to set hares running in your mind and get you going again. Until then, fill your time with whatever else you will and take care!

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    1. It's not so much the lack of desire to paint, but the indecision of what to do and how I want to do it that has pretty much stopped me in my tracks. Currently reading looking at other projects on the web and watching video's and reading.

      Christopher

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  4. I understand your dilemma. Too many projects can lead to indecision and the gears of production grinding to a halt. Perhaps, single out one project and concentrate on that for a while? Or, start a NEW project. That always motivates me!

    Good luck in whichever route you choose.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan and too many projects and not having a plan of attack indeed halts production! I have ordered some new figures......

      Christopher

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  5. I was in a six month slump before the challenge. Happily, having deadlines got me in motion. The cure is different for everyone, but perhaps is you just pick a scale and make the decision things will start moving. I've found that sometimes my block is really dread of doing something. Once I attack it and make it my bit** then I can move on and enjoy myself again.

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    1. I've been in a small slump for quite some months, but the past couple have really gotten bad. It's not just picking a scale, but also deciding how many figures per base and how big I want the base to be. It really has me in a pickle.

      Christopher

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  6. I completely understand your predicament, the only reason I joined in the Challenge this year was to get some bloody painting in myself. My Mojo was dead and buried, but at least I've actually got the brush out after all. Keep plodding away it'll soon return, probably a week after the Challenge ends!!!!
    And what the hell's wrong with 15mm, its the King of all scales!!!!

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    1. I have a sinking feeling you might be right in regards to my mojo hitting just after the challenge finishes! I hope not!
      Sorry about the 15mm as I know you love the scale, but I never enjoy painting 15mm figures as you have to paint everything like you do on a 28mm, but just harder to get to. I like 28mm as the detail is easier to paint and see and 10mm you only need to paint major parts and not tiny bits plus only two shades are needed.

      Christopher

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  7. I'm pretty sure we all experience such phases from time to time Chris. Unfortunately I have yet to figure out a good way to break the blockade myself. Sometimes even blogging can be a chore when I'm in one of those moods. To date I just step back from anything hobby related for some weeks and do other things I enjoy. Like reading novels or catching up with my favourite crime series on TV. Most of my coffee-table books were purchased during one of those phases. And then, one day, I step into my man cave, dust off the brushes and get going. I try not to push myself as most often I feel it makes matters worse.

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    1. Thank you Nick and I've been doing a lot of what you mentioned to include surfing the net, reading, video's and gaming and not trying to push myself at the painting desk to much.

      Christopher

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  8. Take a break mate. I have done this sometimes in the past... usually something crops up that inspires you to start once more...just make sure your paints are sealed so they dont go off in the meantime!

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    1. Inspiration I have plenty of, but rather I cannot decide how to paint and base the projects plus I'm also undecided about scale. Paints are sealed.:-)

      Christopher

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  9. I feel for you Christopher! Basing conundrums are the worst – do you go for aesthetics or flexibility? – especially when they block your painting.

    Like others have said, just take a break and don't push yourself to sit down and paint. Otherwise the risk is, it will start to feel like a chore and not an enjoyable hobby and then it will drain your mojo even more.

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    1. Thanks and very true Jonas about risking things becoming a chore so the brushes have stayed still.

      Christopher

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  10. Yes, has happened to me too. Take a break for a while. It will come back and then you will be flat out painting!!

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  11. It'll come back, just be patient.

    FMB

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  12. Feel that too on occasions - this hobby requires a massive investment in time and energy and I'm amazed I see half the things through I start. I also think it's a good thing to stop painting and just play/have fun/read - that's great advice above. Collecting and painting is also a bit like crack (I imagine?!)... you'll be back for more at some stage...?

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    1. That's very true it is a big investment, but additive! I do hope to be back at it sooner rather then later.

      Christopher

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  13. Been there so many times..like all of us. I can spend four weeks just figuring out how to base a good looking 10mm army and not paint at all. And in the end I don't even paint the army... But who cares..it's part of the hobby I guess. And scale will always be something for debate. We have a discussion each week on which scale to use for each period. Personally I don't start any large 28mm armies any more. I just don't finish them. So only skirmish type games of let's say max 100 in 28's, the rest goes smaller.. Enjoy the block and painting will be back before you know it

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    1. I have been looking closer at my 28mm army projects and been trying to decide if I want to scale back on figures per base, maybe use a quicker painting method or just move the whole scale into skirmish, because like you I find it very difficult to finish large armies in 28mm. I suppose this is why I've been giving 10mm a closer look as it's quicker and gives the benefit of a large battle effect. I also have some 15mm projects, but I find the scale a bit difficult to paint. Ho hum I hope to get back doing something.

      Christopher

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  14. Sorry to hear your painting mojo's gone walk about, I'm sure it will be back soon. At least you still have the gaming bug Christopher. I'm the other way around at the moment. Not getting as much out of gaming as I did.

    I look forward to your mojo's return and seeing what scale and period your going to jump into.
    Regards
    Apul

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    1. Yes gaming has been quite enjoyable and having fun there at least. I'm also curious to see what scale and period I'll do!

      Christopher

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  15. This is the only reason why I buy boardgames I find them a good break from painting figures. Everything is done for you ...no decisions to be made at all with these little suckers. There's no work to be done just open the box and it's ready to go. As a painter and a war gamer I'm sure you get the appeal of this novelty.

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    1. Hmm I haven't played very many boardgames so maybe I might give that a shot as I see what you mean about not having to do anything for a change.

      Christopher

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  16. I'm feeling with you, Christopher !
    For most of us these periods come and fortunately most of the time go. A couple of years ago I was nearly as far as giving up wargaming completely...

    Anyway take your time and don't pressure yourself. Then your mojo will come back again.

    CHeers
    Stefan

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    1. Yes it's driving me up the wall! To many projects and can't decide how I want to do any of it. A break is needed.

      Christopher

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  17. Try looking at some inspirational artwork or reading books with cool characters ... that usually helps me break any painter's block that may arise. :)

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  18. Hang in there Christopher. I know the feeling. It is like hitting a brick wall at 50 mph. For awhile I would just going to my painting dungeon only to sit and stare at the figures. Like most of us wargamer we love the new eye candy. Just to end up putting them in pile. Some of my problem is my friends have based their figures years ago. They do not want to re-base. Finally I just said screw it. I bought Warbase Impetus 20 mm square movement tray and 25mm round also. Why trying to please friends on what the base should be. This also fixed my some of my problems for saga and other skirmish games.
    Currently I'm suffering from painting figures. I can do hordes of model aircraft in the time I can finidh painting an army.
    Just kick back enjoy a beer or two. The mojo will come back

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    1. Thanks Gary and I think I'm beginning to formulate a plan. I decided on one issue, but still thinking over another. When I get past that it should see me making progress again.

      Christopher

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  19. Christopher - not sure if you're over this or not already. But if not, 2mm is a nice way to get some feeling of accomplishment :)!

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    1. I'm starting to get there again. I think 10mm is about as small as I can go.:-)

      Christopher

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  20. Come on Christopher, its been a month and no updates on your blog? Your painting skill is wasted on the smaller stuff, maybe you should try going the other way and paint some 1/35 scale for skirmish gaming. That is what I am working on at the moment with plastic kits.

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    1. Hi Pat,

      I've actually started working working on some stuff and will have some posting soon. It's a mix of 15mm and 28mm. I'm taking it easy and slowly working myself back into it. As for 1/35 I doubt that I'll do that as it would be counter productive within my gaming sphere. However, I'm very much looking forward to seeing what you decide to do. Will it be Japanese again or have you moved on to different topic for your 1/35 projects.

      Christopher

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  21. I don't know how I missed this post. With the popularity of skirmish games, I look at your sabot basing and see it as pure genius. You dress it so well that one could not tell that the figs are sabot based. I'm looking at my ever growing SAGA collections and thinking of (1) finding a partner for Hail Caesar and (2) prepping sabots modeled after your basing style.

    Whatever you've decided to do, you are a talent and inspiration. I wish I lived close enough to get a game in with you. ;-)

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    1. Thank you very much Monty! That's very kind of you to say and I hope you find some ideas from sabots I've done. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!:-)

      Christopher

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