40K: 8th Edition Hobby Prep Time

With 8th Edition on the way there is a war brewing between your resources, your time, and your hobby projects. Let’s tame the beasts!

As the arrival of 8th Edition looms on the horizon I’ve been slowly ramping up my hobby efforts. But it hasn’t been easy! I’ve got more than a few hobby projects running in the background at pretty much all times. I’m building models one day, then finishing up a few different models the next – I’m actually pretty scatter brained when it comes to getting my hobby projects done. 40k is also one of the many, many things that eats up my hobby time. Plus, there is this other thing called “real life” I think we all have to deal with occasionally…

But the excitement of 8th has hit me pretty hard – especially with all the reveals GW has been doing the past week (with more on the way). I’ve started to back-burner quite a few projects for other systems and dust off 40k specific ones. I didn’t realize that I had so many…and it started to get overwhelming! So I decided to stop what I was doing, change my approach, and get serious about finishing! This is how I’m conquering my “beasts” of the hobby!

I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine. This is the “Management Triangle” or as I was taught it, the Iron Triangle of Management. It’s a pretty simple concept that showcases the “triple constraints” of working on a project. This applies to real world projects as well as ones involving your hobby time because, as it turns out, a project is still a project.

Basically, what this illustrates is as one side grows (or shrinks) that impacts the quality of the end goal. If you have unlimited time and money, you can have an unlimited scope with the most amazing quality. But we don’t have unlimited time or money. That means we’re going to have to make some sacrifices with either the scope or the quality. And that’s the first lesson: limit yourself.

Boundaries Aren’t Bad

As I started to pull out my Tyranids, the army I’m deciding to work on for 8th (for now), I started to get really overwhelmed. I have at least half a dozen projects that are unfinished with them and I was unsure where to start. Plus, with the actual release date of 8th up in the air, I wasn’t sure when I’d need to be done. That’s when it hit me: Just set some boundaries for yourself and work within those.

Synapses firing!

I’m picking June early as my end date, so now I had a time frame. What about costs? Well, I already have all the models and projects started so that’s a “sunk cost” – I don’t need to spend any more money on that, it’s already been spent. Whew, that’s a relief – so that’s 2 of the 3 figured out. Now comes the big one – the dreaded scope of the project(s). How much do I want to accomplish vs how much can I accomplish and still get the quality I want. That was the real conundrum I was facing. So I made a list.

List Making 101

Lists are lifesavers in my world. Not army lists mind you, but “To-Do” lists. I like them because I can see what I need to do or get done. It helps me personally to visualize the goals or next steps and do them. It’s one of those “1000 mile journey starts with a single step” things – it’s cheesy but true. So I made a list of all the projects I wanted to do for my Nids. It started as a mental check list but I wrote it down. Then I prioritized them in order of importance. But then I re-organized them in order of ease. Then I swapped that out again and put them in order of “fun” to complete. My point is you figure out what way works best for you!

Just pick the hill you want to die on and go from there, right?

Now that I had a list, written down, I could see my scope. From there I broke them down in terms of details. I won’t get into all the nitty-gritty but I thought about things like time to completion, best ROI (return on investment), and importance. Okay…I thought about doing all that and realized this was being coming too much like a “work” project and not a “hobby” project. Plus I was wasting all this time making charts and doing math and not doing the actual work of, you know, “hobbying” my models! That’s my next lesson: just start working.

Sometimes You Just Have To Start “Doing”

Lists are great – but the point of lists is not to make them and walk away. They are there to help you get organized. Once you’re organized stop agonizing on where to start and just START! I’ve been putting off working my Tyranid Aegis Defense Lines for months – one of the many projects I just sort of stopped. Well, with the new edition coming I figured these would be a good place to start!

Yes, I had a lot of extra Carnifex backs laying around. I have a problem.

The funny part is they are almost finished – I had done a bunch of the work (ie building them). I just needed to base them and paint them. This was one project that was probably 80% finished and I just stopped working on it. So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m going to complete this project and mark them off my list. That’s my final lesson: complete projects, one at a time; celebrate your wins.

Reward Yourself

Once these Tyranid aegis defense lines are done, I’m going to take a break and do something else for a bit. Maybe I’ll do some reading, writing, or play a video game for a bit. After that, I’ll check my list and tackle the next one. It’s really that simple.

Here’s the thing – I already have a massive Tyranid force ready to go for 8th. I don’t need to finish any of these projects (which is one reason they haven’t gotten completed). But looking forward to 8th has been good kick in the butt to get moving on these things. Maybe you’re like me and you already have an army (or 5) ready to go. Or maybe you’re in a mad-dash to get your first finished for 8th. The truth is that this is a hobby and there will always be other projects. So do yourself a favor:

  • Set limits/boundries
  • Make a List
  • Start Working
  • Complete a project, one at a time
  • Celebrate your wins

You can do it! Shia can help.


What project(s) are you working on for 8th? What tips do you have to get it complete?

  • LunaWolf

    Die Packers Marines, die!

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      Lions fan here, so yeah, eat it packer marines!

  • ZeeLobby

    My hobby prep = wait til 8th launches. Haha. Who knows what other changes are coming. Til then im only buying terrain/models that I can use in other systems.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I’m assembling and painting stuff I know I’ll have a use for, or whose loadout is already set. Currently two old school metal dreads for my IW and a bunch of 30k bolter tacticals.

      No new purchases though.

      • ZeeLobby

        I mean are dreads going to be any good? Based on the lascannon stats a lone I feel like they’ll just explode as normal, haha.

        • Redgeran

          I kind of hope walkers can find a home in SW:A. Was thinking of house ruling it but it would be interesting if GW planned to add dreads at some point. Would make lascannons more worthwhile for that reason right there. They would probably be 1000pts alone, with games upwards of 2-3k. Might slow things down but I don’t know since i haven’t tried that high a point game for SWA. Probably wouldn’t be very good for a campaign, but little pick up games might be fun.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. That would be cool. They have a solid place in zone mortalis, the indoor rules they put out in 30K. I still think they’ll struggle to find a place in 40K. Unless they’re cheaper.

          • Redgeran

            Never heard of that. Will have to check it out.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I forget what book it’s in, but there’s basically no vehicles, but walkers are allowed, and flamers do double wounds or something, so a heavy flamer packing dread can be a strong thing. Or so I’ve heard.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            I hate to say just make them cheaper. That being said they don’t tend to survive very long anymore. As a guy who has 4 Contemptor Dreads and 6 basic Dreads I really want to see them on the board. Not laying down as a smoking pile of rubble but you know what I mean.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. That’s a shame. I have probably around 4/5 of the toasters, and 2 contemptors, and I haven’t even bothered building some of them, haha. Unfortunate. But who knows, maybe they get some special rules.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          Well I’ve already got the models, their weapon loadout is fixed (with Araldite!) so I may as well paint them 🙂

          • ZeeLobby

            True. I was honestly hoping you knew something I didn’t, haha.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I know noooooothing!

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan

      I decided to go on faith, assembling and painting my first ever heavy weapon scout. He’ll maybe get some SWA play, if noting else, but hopefully this is the year of the heavy bolter.^_^

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. I’ll probably do a SWA squad. I have more than enough bits to do whatever I want.

    • EnTyme

      I’m taking this opportunity to conquer the Grey Mountain. Actually pretty close to being caught up for a change.

      • ZeeLobby

        THat’s crazy, lol. I’m so so so so far away. I might just sell a bunch of it though. Especially with marines now being larger, it’s probably time just to sell all that old marine plastic.

  • Xodis

    Hobby prep right now is ….
    1) Clean garage and have sale to make room.
    2) Finish setting up my work area
    3) Finish my terrain
    4) *By then 8e should be released* Get started on my Eldar and CSM and see how bad the size difference is between my old CSM and the new ones.

  • SilentPony

    My hobby prep is easy:
    1. Play Horus Heresy
    2. I already play Horus Heresy
    3. Beer

  • Darth Bumbles

    My prep:
    – Finish scrubbing old paint off minis with turps.
    – Undercoat minis.
    – Wander off.
    – Get distracted.
    – Put together whatshisface the Alpha Legion special character – Steve Im calling him.
    – Undercoat Steve.
    – 8th ed will be out by now.
    – go and think about buying new Plague Marines.
    – Buy scouts instead.
    – finish putting together land raider.
    – what do you mean 9th edition is out?

    • Iconoc1ast

      XD sounds familiar…..

    • Muninwing

      i read too fast, was wondering why turnips were good for model rehab…

  • Chaoschrist

    1. Stick to a single army (or have 2 that heavily overlap; Demons & CSM)
    2. Don’t buy anything new
    3. Wait until 8th is out and see how it affects your army and add accordingly

    But I’m not really GW’s type of customer I suppose, lol

  • Ryan Miller

    My prep: Watch anime, drink beers, drink more beers, uh… get into a fight or 20, drink beers and tell everyone about it, get i to anothwr fight or 20 while screaming about stuff and then drink more beers, finally finish my stompa

    • Vachones

      Sounds like you picked the right army.

  • Vachones

    I bought a new Thousand Sons army over Christmas because I love the models. I only intended to play in friendly games, because I know it would get wrecked in the current competitive scene (Magnus notwithstanding). But now, I am trying to finish it up because 8th is almost here, and I am anxiously awaiting putting those beautiful models on the table and having a chance with it. I’m going to put the finishing touches on my Harlequin army as well. Its a new day, and I’m extremely optimistic that models and armies I have not touched in a while will see the table again.

  • Andrew

    I’m gonna clear out some of the junk I have to raise a little money and clear some space for some Orks. Either that or hold out for some Emperor’s Children.

  • Lion El’ Jonson

    My routine.
    1. Look at my shelf
    2. See plastic models
    3. Sigh, and crack open a beer while promising myself I’ll get to them tomorrow.
    4. Repeat steps next day

  • Rieks Visser

    Nice to read about your approach. After years of procrastinating and not getting much of anything on the table, I’ve adopted my day job workflow. Meaning agile development, getting the minimum viable project on the table. Main colours with some washes and finishing by having the important details picked out. Works to get something on the table fast without the bare plastic shame, and keeps the window open for further improvement, details, highlights, washes, et cetera.

  • Muninwing

    i’m working on Iron Hands conversions… a full company… because it’s interesting, and because i never got around to fielding them in 6th/7th. i am just waiting to put on the special and heavy weapons…

  • Muninwing

    now that we’re all moved in, and i have 1.5 classes left for this degree and an 11-week vacation coming, i’m setting up a new airbrush station in my basement (exhaust hose, fan, spraybox, light, etc). once i can do that, my productivity will go up dramatically