Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Timelines, Deadlines and Adepticon, Oh My!

Considering we now have 4 weeks until Adepticon, I would think a topic discussing how to stay on task during a deadline would be very apropos.  Especially considering the need to do so while distractions abound.  You know, distractions like kids, trying to get healthy, a job and especially the wife.

…hmm, here's hoping she doesn't read this particular article.

Now, raise your hand if you're always completely done with what you need for a convention or tournament weeks ahead of time, without a worry in the world.  Go on, raise em high.

Now, most of you raising those hands are bald-faced liars and you know it, so put those hands back down.

The truth of the matter is that deadlines can creep up on the best of us, no matter if they have to do with work, home or the hobby.  So how can we combat them, and actually turn them to our advantage?  Is there a way to make a deadline less stressful?  Absolutely, I've got three key suggestions for us. 

Get Started Early!
Yeah, I went there.  No, I'm not being hypocritical, I'm just horrible at taking my own advice.  The first way to deal with a deadline that you have control over (because there are plenty you don't), is to plan ahead and get started early.  Many times you know the core of what you want to bring to an event, and just tweak here or there, right?  So get that core done early and give yourself the time to play practice games, add to your force, sped time with family, etc.  This is the easiest and best way to avoid the stress and late nights of a tight deadline.

Create a Timeline
Missed the boat on starting early?  That's okay, you're in good company.  You can always sleep later, time to work now, right?  Actually, that's not quite true.  See, if you create a timeline for yourself, what you need to do, how long it will take you, what dates you have to have certain things done by, etc., it can alleviate much of the stress that can come with a tight deadline.  You might even realize that you have more time than you originally thought!  That's not a reason to get lazy and continue to procrastinate, mind you, but instead it frees up time to spend with family and friends when you thought you wouldn't be able to, get just a few more practice games in, finish up a model for the painting competition, or whatever the activity.

Pull from Old Projects and Armies
This is the procrastinator's last resort.  Just as you realize your event is right around the corner and you know even going without sleep won't help you complete your project, go digging into your existing forces.  No, it's not nearly as fun as showing up to the tournament with a new force, but let's face it, you blew it this time, and you've go to bring something, right?  The key to this final option is checking where you're at in your work in relation to when you leave, at minimum a week before.  This will give you the chance to do an inventory of what you have available and maybe add a unit, or model or three to freshen up the force at least.  Of course this relies on you owning another finished force for you to fall back on, but hey, most do right?  Yes, I am guilty of this one myself numerous times in the past.

These are my top choices in dealing with looming deadlines, and I've employed all of them myself.  There is a fourth option, which is just not attending your event, but I don't like that one personally, and will never do that unless it's a family reason.

So why bring all this up?  Well, since I'm playing in the entire Infinity Track of tournaments at Adepticon this year, I'm employing one of the three choices above.  Since I know none of you have seen any painted models come across this blog for Infinity (of my own at least), it can't be the first or the last, right?  Let's take a look at an example of employing a timeline to track needed progress for the deadline of Adepticon, using my own.

2.21:  Have all initial 30 models ready for gloss coat before bed
2.22: Pin Wash and Matte Coat
2.23 Finish any last highlights or details
2.24: Assemble the following:
    •    Yojimbo Box
    •    3 Keisotsu
    •    1 Celestial Guard Combi
    •    1 Ninja
    •    Sniper Guilang Conversion (Turning him into a Combi)
2.25: Prime and begin Airbrushing, Finish airbrush work if possible
2.26: Tidy up any last Airbrush work if necessary
3.2: Have all models ready for Gloss coat and Pin Wash (The ones listed above, and the 5 motorcycles for the Aragatos)
3.3: Gloss Coat and Pin Wash
3.4: Finish any last highlights or details
3.5: Finish Basing construction (Need 40 bases)
3.7: Prime bases and begin airbrush layers
3.8: Finish airbrushing bases and begin working on any blends, highlights or brushwork on them.
3.9: Finish all brush work on bases
3.10: Gloss coat and pin-wash bases
3.11: Matte Coat bases and begin final assembly
3.12: Finish final assembly and add any final touches to bases.
3.18: Leave for Adepticon

So you can see I've spaced things out according to my workload and speed at which I work.  You'll also see that I actually have 5 days at the end that are open after my completion date.  I specifically tried to build these in just in case any unforeseen circumstances pop up and I lose a day here or there that I can't catch up on. 

Have you ever had to employ any of my methods to deal with deadlines?  Do you have your own way of dealing with them?  - Tim


  1. Yeah I take the Scotty approach. You want me to do what?! Geez, that's gonna be a tight squeeze o_O Then I dive in, get carried away and deliver it like 3 weeks early cause I'm such a keener. That's what happened with my NOFC stuff last year.

    1. Holy crap man! Yeah, I used to do know, before kids. ;)

    2. Yeah, I am taking the Nike route this year and teaching the little one how to use the AB now that she's almost 6. "Hey sweety you like playing with daddy's painting stuff right? Why don't you spray all these guys with this color for daddy? Get them all done and we can go get ice cream okay?"

      Precious memories...

      Don't tell The Lady Inquisitor o_O

    3. I hear nothing, I see nothing... Well, nothing except for quality time with family ;)

  2. I'm there myself right now. 1 week until gottacon and 12 more flames of war models to paint. I have a progress post going up tomorrow on rust and the city.

  3. There's a convention called Gottacon? huh, I had no idea. I'm going to have to look that one up.

    Looking forward to the progress post!!

    1. Gottacon is in Victoria, BC, Canada. Its getting bigger. I enjoyed it last year. Its definitely small compared to the big us con's.

    2. BC is one of the provinces that folks are a little more spread out in, yes? It's a little expected then, but a Con that keeps going is a good Con. A Con that keeps growing is a great one!

    3. BC is pretty spread out but most of the population is concentrated around Vancouver. 2/3 of the population or so is in one city. I used to live in the Northern part and it was an 18 hour drive down to Vancouver. Thankfully it is a 4 hour drive + ferry to Victoria for Gottacon and not a longer drive.

  4. Yeah thanks for that.... Used your timeline track thingie for my own "paint army before tourney" situation and I'm really not going to get it all done in time. At all.

    There I was.... all in dreamland with grand ideas of winning best painted with my new toys too. -___-

    Heh.I need to get painting. Wonder if my work will let me bring my stuff in to paint in my downtime? :)

    1. Well hell, sorry Dai! At least you figured it out now rather than later? :)

  5. Tim my friend, I'm loving the organization timeline, but you're missing something that I feel is a critical step. Photographing your minis!

    I hate to sound like I'm complaining (and I know you're busy as heck), but you're an awesome painter, and it doesn't seem like you've shown off any of your miniatures since November. I'm enjoying reading about 'em, but I wanna SEE these infinity models, bud! ;)

    Loving your articles nonetheless, and I hope the healthy initiative is going well my man! Keep up the great work!

    1. Mordian, good sir, you have pointed out the key flaw in my timeline, that's for sure.

      You're absolutely right in that I haven't shown off any at all. My main goal is to get all the figures painted (and as of tonight, I just finished 29 of them), then do some decent photography for the first time in years and showcase them twice a week.

      I miss the WiP shots, but I really screwed up this year and just didn't paint enough, early enough. :(

      Healthy Gamer Update Friday man :)