|An interesting piece by Jim Warren|
So, what keeps you working? The main factor of course is enjoyment. We all share that one thing in common. We either enjoy the models, the material, or the game play so we are willing to spend the time. There are many reasons I suspect that a person could spend time sculpting, modeling, or painting models for this hobby. The reasons I can think of, and of course will talk about are enjoyment of the game, enjoyment of the models, satisfaction of praise, tournament/venue requirement, as well as desire to finish a project.
To me enjoyment of the game rarely explains the reason we spend hours and hours on this hobby outside the game. Many people enjoy the game, but have little or no interest in the painting/modeling side of out hobby. So do you feel painting/modeling is an extension to the game? Have you ever played a game were a particular model or unit (normal because of die rolls) performs incredible feats of heroism and bravery in the face of daunting odds. Has anyone ever said "That model needs to be painted now!" I often hear players comment that. I have even done the same myself. Does painting that model add to your enjoyment next time around? I would imagine it would.
Enjoyment of the models. This is probably one of the most common things I see with people who spend a large amount of time on models outside of the game. They really do enjoy the models and really enjoy seeing that model go from plastic/metal to fully painted. The also enjoy seeing how they have approached the subject and often compare there take with others works. Many of these types will often build armies or units based on model that they like or think "look cool" regardless of their value on the field of play.
The satisfaction of praise is an odd case to look at. I think many more people fit into this category than they would think. I think it is probably one of my main drives. I like the fact that people at my LGS as well as here enjoy the work I do. Whether it is a piece of terrain, a show piece, or simply the culmination of a lot of table top work. I really like when people come up and make comments about my army. I think there are many out there the same. I don't even think it needs to be other praise either. Some people are satisfied with the praise they give themselves. Praise can be a great motivator. I tend to believe this group also includes those who paint for painting contests. How much higher praise could you possibly get than to take 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a painting contest.
Does your local tournament/game store require your models to be painted? With the exception of a few stores and large tournaments I think this is something that has largely gone to the way side. It used to be common place for stores to require painted models to play in store. Many tournaments don't require your army be painted, but they reward the ones who are. Do you play unpainted for six months out of the year only to have to rush around the last two months to get your models painted for the con? I know several locals who are that way. I have even been there myself at times, although it was most likely due to my desire to take a great looking army for my opponents to look at.
Desire to finish a project is probably one of the farthest things on my radar. It is one of my really bad habits that I don't finish projects. I have been better recently, but it is still there. I know some players who almost refuse to play with models that are not painted. They take the games as a type of reward for their hard work on completing the models. Many people have that drive and it can be actually more powerful than any of the others. Is this what motivates you?
So you can see, there are many reasons we spend the time we do on our hobby. I kind of enjoyed taking a look at it and talking about it here. Do you have some other motivations? Does something else drive you? Let me hear it. Toss it out there and lets talk about it.