2010 is nearly over, and it’s that time when we promise ourselves stupid things, like not eating any more chocolate. We know we won’t keep these resolutions, but we still make them – just to make the effort.

But maybe we can do something different this time… make some hobby resolutions.

Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks by Christopher Chan on Flickr

Here are some ideas to inject new life into your hobby in 2011.

Try a new manufacturer

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, always building, painting and playing with the same models, always buying more of the same.

You don’t have to dive into an entire army or anything crazy, just find a single figure from a manufacturer you’ve not tried before.

There are so many out there – have a browse online or in your LGS, ask people you know – maybe you can do a miniature swap!

You’ve probably walked past blisters from a different company many times and not spared them a glance, but why not? Why not have a closer look – there’s bound to be something that catches your eye. So why not give it a go. Try it out, see what you think. You can always Ebay it when you’re finished with it.

Try a new scale

You could go larger as well as smaller. Miniatures can be easily found from 6mm to 54mm, and for those with deeper pockets, there are some stunning 70mm – 120mm pieces available to grace your display cabinets.

An easy change could be switching from 28mm to 35mm – it still counts!

Different scales require different approaches to painting, and it can make you rethink how you work at your usual scale. Visit a good show to see a wide selection of scales.

Visit a show

If you normally go to shows, try one you haven’t been to before. Shows can really open your eyes to the breadth of the hobby. Take the time to look at the stalls, instead of just storming past in search of your favourite products. There are some really interesting scenery products out there, even if some of the models don’t interest you, remember it’s good to chat to the traders! Consider arranging to meet other hobbyists in the area at the show. Share a coffee and have a chat about what you have in common!

Meet other hobbyists

It’s all too easy to stay in the safe boundaries of your favourite LGS, or gaming club – but if you don’t go to either, they’re probably the easiest way to meet other gamers. If you’re more of a painter/sculptor than a gamer, try a painters meet up. Websites like Coolminiornot, WAMP, Platoon Britannica and The Basement all have events areas on their forums, and people often arrange to meet at a time/place at a show or event and say hello. Yes, it can sometimes feel a bit weird, but actually it’s a really great opportunity. People often bring finished work, as well as things they’re working on so you can see pieces up close and personal, which is always better than any photograph. If a show has a painting competition it’s fairly obvious that there will be painters present, and this is an easy way to meet people and also to get feedback on your work if you want.

Paint a model that scares you

I don’t mean creepy models – although it’s ok if they scare you. What I mean is a model you think is too difficult to paint, you know the ones that sit at the back of the cupboard longing for their day on your desk. Go on – pick one out and tell yourself that this is GOING to get painted this year, and then make sure you do it at some point before the summer is over (or you probably won’t get around to it). Challenging yourself is not only a good way to get some of your grey horde painted, but it pushes you to be a painter painter/constructor/sculptor. You’ll feel better at the end, and the worse scenario is you have to strip it. Big deal!

Take  a step into the unknown, it’s not that scary, and it could open up a whole new world for you.

Whatever you do, enjoy the coming year – and don’t forget to enter our painting challenges!


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