Keeping Tally

With so many exceptional miniatures and engaging games being released all the time and the falling costs of multi-part plastic figures, you can see how it’s possible to end up with a ‘lead mountain’ of untouched or part-finished projects through a process of accumulating new toys at a faster rate than it’s possible to assemble and paint them.  Miniatures haven’t been made of lead for years now but the term is more catchy than HIPS hill, resin rise, alloy alp, polyurethane pile, etc. so has stuck.

In an attempt to counter this, many miniature gamers are taking ‘the pledge’ in an attempt to reign in their purchases and also competing in analogue challenges to ramp up their productivity.  So how does it all work?

For the pledge, you simply keep track of all the miniatures you acquire, paint or dispose of and report your progress on a monthly basis on social media (or perhaps a blog), including your tally for the previous month and running total for the year.  You can make this a simple as just a count of all models or a bit more complex in order to take into account the size and / or complexity of each model.  2018 will be my first attempt at the pledge and since I collect models in a wide variety of scales, I’ve split my tally into a number of categories:

  • Pico and micro scales (1/700, 1/600 and 1/300)
  • Element based scales (10mm and 15mm)
  • Individually based scales (20mm, 28mm and 32mm)
  • Large scales (40mm and 54mm)
  • Naval and Space games (1/1200, 1/2400 and smaller)
  • Terrain pieces of all scales

Within each category, I’ve split models into five sizes – XS, S, M, L and XL with S being an infantry figure, M a cavalry figure / bike / monster, L a vehicle / large monster, etc.  The sizes are weighted so XS = 0.5, S = 1, M = 2, L = 4 and XL = 8.  Sounds complicated but with a simple spreadsheet to log everything, it shouldn’t be too bad!

Analogue challenges follow a similar weighting principle with participants issuing challenges to each other on social media (e.g. to paint 50 points worth of 28mm medieval figures by June) and posting their progress online.

The pledge and analogue challenges aren’t meant to be an exercise in logistics but a fun way to encourage people to spend more time on their hobbies and to contribute to a community of like-minded enthusiasts.   They also encourage you to carry on chipping away at a large project rather than being daunted by the scope of what you’re trying to do – sometimes you just need to focus on the process rather than the overall goal.

What steps will you take in 2018 to reduce your own lead mountain, or at least keep it in check a little?

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