Friday, June 29, 2012

Deadlines: Bane or Blessing?

So on the true eve of the next edition of Warhammer 40,000, I thought I might divert everyone's attention away for a moment of calm introspection, and serenity...

Right. Did you read the title of this post?

Crystal Brush, the Adepticon competition at least, has come and gone, Golden Demon North America is in 1 month and the local voting for Armies on Parade is TOMORROW. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the numerous tournaments that require fully painted armies to participate in.

Deadlines are one of those necessary evils that make the world go round. The vast majority of us make our living according to deadlines of one sort or another. Trust the graphic designer on this...even if you think you don't have deadlines in your life, you do. But what exactly do deadlines do for us in the hobby world? Are they a Bane, or a Blessing?


Let's get the bad news over with first...deadlines can be, and are, applied to many aspects of the hobby. And every single one of them have the same result, should you ignore your deadline. Simply put, if you don't finish, you don't get to play in the sandbox with the rest of your friends. Models aren't done for that national tournament? I hope you have a back-up army to bring, because otherwise you won't be able to play. Didn't leave enough time to finish your last required unit for your Armies on Parade entry? No entry for you! Procrastinate on that Golden Demon or Crystal Brush entry? Yeah...yeah well, I can tell you that I didn't enter Crystal Brush with what I wanted to this past year because I did just that. Don't forget the deadlines that come with taking commissions...ignore those at the risk of not just not finishing, but your reputation!

When ignored or underestimated, a deadline can creep up and bit you on the arse. So how do we combat this evil need of our favorite past time? Simple, don't ignore them! Respect your deadlines in the hobby, and plan them accordingly with respect to the rest of your life and time demands as well, and instead of a Bane, we can have a...


After all that doom-saying earlier, how can deadlines be a blessing? Again, this is a simple answer if you think about it. It all boils down to motivation. Without proper motivation, I enjoy sitting on the couch, watching way too much TV, and generally being a bit of a layabout. However, with the various motivations in my life, work, my wife and son, fishing, and wanting to get into better shape, I have a reason to get my lazy butt off the couch and do something! The same outlook can be applied to deadlines and our hobby. Have a hard time finishing an army? Sign up for a tournament with a painting requirement! Want to better your painting skills? Plan an entry into a painting competition!

Personally, I've always worked better under pressure. What's that old saying? "Necessity is the mother of invention." Trust me, I've pulled off some tight deadlines for painting an army because I paid good money to enter an Adepticon Tournament. I've also expanded my green sculpting skills because I wanted to pull off a specific conversion for a commission, and there was no other way to do so.

I challenge you to set some deadlines, with real consequences, and rise up to meet them. You'll grow your hobby skills, I guarantee it. If you've done so, tell me! Did you pull it off? If not, what have you learned from your mistakes to better meet your next deadline?

- Tim



  1. Some people still crack under deadlines but a great way to improve your painting in between painting comps or tourneys is to take up macro photography. Nothing shows you the flaws in your painting in clear, vivid HD detail like a good macro shot of your work. Why didin't I win gold on Xxxx entry? ***Click*** #$%&@ that blending does look pretty rough ~sigh~ try again...

  2. I've been taking part in the Dark Future Games weekly painting challenge thing, trying to paint up one KP a week. Granted, there's no real penalty for failing to meet the weekly deadline other than personal pride, but it has definitely kept me cranking away on my World Eaters!

    Technically, there is a final deadline to get the army finished in time for next year's Age of the Emperor event put on by the Tempus Fugitives, but I'm pretty sure I can get the army done over the next eleven months... :)

    Zab makes a good point - Invariably, I'll get my models done, sealed and take a picture of them, then while prepping the pics for upload to my blog, I'll see something in the pics that I feel I need to fix. Back to the painting table with the models!

  3. I don't have any deadlines other than wanting more models to play with. So basically I don't get anything done haha.

  4. I let a whole week go by without replying to any of you folks, and for that, you have my apologies. I got fairly sick, and the internet got away from me...or I from it. :P

    Zab: Macro Photography is an excellent way to improve your painting, I completely agree! It's also an easy way to get discouraged, but then again, no moreso than missing a self-imposed deadline. Well said, sir :)

    Mordian: I was SOOO tempted to take part in that KP challenge over at DFG, but I knew my schedule would be a bit uncompromising...just enough that I didn't think I'd make it. I admire every one of you who's taken up that challege!

    At the same time, I still have this love/hate thing going for your attendance to the Tempus Fugitives event. Only because I can't go ;)

    Reid: LOL...hey, the want for more toy soldiers to play with is a decent motivator in itself! :) Even if you just push yourself to get that one more model painted this week, it's enough sometimes!

    1. I hear ya, Tim! I missed a week or two early on, but have managed to keep up since then (barely). There's no actual award or penalty for the weekly deadline, other than a personal sense of accomplishment.

      I gotta say, with a bit of planning and saving, the trip overseas to the TF event isn't tpo unrealistic! The next event we're going to attend is next May, so I've been squirreling away some money each month to help pay for it. I'll end up selling off some models here and there to augment the savings, of course, but all in all it's not too bad. The plane ticket is the biggest expense, really. There are definitely some cost-saving measures that we'll be taking once we're in-country next year - alternate hotel locations to cut down on local travel expenses, etc.

      It was definitely worth it, though!