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One dog, five cars to chase: prioritising in my hobby

The Warhammer hobby is a sprawling, many-headed mistress. She offers many directions of travel, but unfortunately time and space force us to choose just one. Or two. OK go on, I'll have a third.

... Ah.

Less abstractly: October brings the Word Bearers' first excursion to the Eridani Sector. Good preparations would include new scenery, a few lingering but extremely "necessary" Photoshop tasks, and a few new Cobalt Scions units. The latter generally represents 25+ hours of work per squad, so I can't exactly have the moon in a hamper here. Reality has limits.

But wait! There's further ****ery! Another campaign arc is currently ongoing; my orks have invaded nascent mining colony Eniola's Prospect, so Tom and Harvey and I (the three current participants) are trying to get that to the point where it can be left prior to Jeff's October visit (since their armies will have to be re-deployed from Eniola's Prospect to Lachesis in a way that makes narrative sense). This makes painting a few more ork things seriously tempting. Just to get more variety in my lists, you see.

Regardless of how much time one has to dedicate to the hobby, I don't think this problem ever goes away. There are too many delicious possibilities, and only so many hours in the day. Here, then, are the metrics I use to steer the runaway wagon that is my hobby enthusiasm.

Necessary or just nice?

Sort things into 'necessary' and 'nice to have' for the next game/event you have coming up.

My status: with the map icons I finished this week, I think the necessary stuff is now complete. There's loads more icons I could do, but so far as I know, these are the ones I'll definitely need in the campaign. Might possibly need one for the Thousand Sons too... meep.

Harvey, the 31st Nightfallers light infantry

Tom, Imperial Battlegroup 86

Drew, Craftworld Iybraesil. She may or may not be attending, so this is a 'just in case.'

Harvey, Craftworld Ulthwé. Not being used in the campaign, but since I'd already painted the one stone for Drew's icon, this looked a lot like a second bird.

Quick wins

If having multiple things on the go clutters your brainspace, identify quick wins that will shorten that list and simplify the decision making process.

My status: I had one quick win: a bunch of sandbags. I painted them in under an hour last night. There are no more quick wins, though some tasks are bigger than others.

The quick win: drybrushing, and some details done in Contrast paint

One for thee, one for me

Wargaming is a collaborative hobby, and producing things like scenery is useful for both you and your opponent. Alternating between a project for your army and something for everyone is super spiritual, you feel me?

My status: there are two scenery projects in the offing here. One is to make more BEIGE TILES. These really improve the look of my cityfights. On the other hand, there's also the sanctum administratus ruins, which are a) pretty, b) labour intensive, and c) have a real practical impact on the table. Both would be nice, and COULD be done, potentially at the expense of doing more of my own troops that would be thematically perfect for this campaign.


How much time do you have to prepare before the next deadline? Does that rule some things out? Probably. Note, it's also helpful to have a rough idea of how long some things take you. A tedious paint scheme, or an interesting one, can really mess with your internal chronometer.

My status: I've been procrastinating on the dakkajet for weeks, because it's big and scary, but I suspect if I just get over myself it'll be fairly quick thanks to the method I use for painting my Goffs. This also falls under 'quick wins,' sort of, in that it's cluttering my brainspace. I like to keep the number of WIP projects to a minimum for this exact reason. After that, there are two units that would really make sense: a librarian, and a squad of hellblasters. One is an ambitious conversion, the other is 25+ hours of pure grind, but that I'll be really pleased to have done. I'm genuinely not sure.

+ + +

In closing

If you're someone who struggles to prioritise, I hope this has been vaguely helpful. If nothing else, it's left me determined to get that bloody dakkajet done.


  1. Dear Charlie,

    The sandbags are great, where do they come from? 3D-printed or Commercial?
    I have always been starved for good, affordable sandbags - as a guard collector, I aim for a good sandbag diorama for each heavy weapon team.

    The prioritization advice is good! I like the "declutter your brainspace" approach.
    I try to temper it with other BeardBunker classics such as "I want to make this paintscheme so MUCH faster to paint, time for rattlecans" and "Now let´s go for different minis/textures" to treat yourself and do some R&R.

    Having a gaming group really helps with these things, I see. One day the infernal COVID plague will be vaccinated away, and I will be able to have such.
    Seriously, that plague is not even Nurglite (it would be an insult to the grandfather to even say so) - it is more of a hateful Tyranid bioweapon grown out of control to an extent that would give the Hivemind itself the creeps.

    1. I'm sorry to hear you don't yet feel able to venture forth and source a gaming group with Tyranid microorganisms still running rampant; it is at least getting slowly less hardcore in its effects, as is traditional for a pandemic.

      The sandbags were a part of the Forgeworld range many, many years ago. That said, have a look for tutorials online - they're very easy to make from greenstuff! Roll a sausage, flatten it, cut it into rectangles, prod into shape using your fingers (so that your fingerprints give the impression of hessian once drybrushed) and start stacking! Once they're in place, use an edged scultping tool to draw a line where the seams should be.

      If that wasn't easy to follow, I'm pretty sure there's tutorials aplenty online. Good luck mate!


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