We all know the stereotype of the hobbyist who buys more stuff than they have time to use. It's not just wargamers. I've heard knitters refer to "SABLE" (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy). I am pretty sure the reason why is simply the effort to benefit comparison.
Buying a thing takes very little effort, and then having the thing gives you some nice happy brain chemicals. Assembling and painting a thing, or playing with a game, takes more effort to get those same nice happy brain chemicals. Sure, you might get more satisfaction and positivity from a finished model, or a good game. But you have to spend more time to get to that point, where a very small effort can get you a little hit right now.
This is hard to do something about. Just knowing you're doing it doesn't solve the issue. I've seen some gamers try and solve it by setting a time period where they'll buy nothing, or selling off all their still in box kits. I think that's going too far for most hobbyists.
So, lets try something more restrained. Lets start by saying I'll try and paint two models for every model I buy. That means that my pile of unpainted miniatures will get smaller as I go. Rather than buy something then try and paint a bunch, I'll count at the end of each month and calculate my "model allowance" for the following month.
This won't count for things I'm buying to be commission painted, but I'll only be buying those things just before I send them off to a commission painter anyway.
There's one other key thing I need to do though - storage space. I live in quite a small flat and its already quite cluttered. Anything I buy needs to have a storage solution before it arrives.
So, lets apply this in practice. Last month, I finished painting two models. So, I can buy one model. I'm not going to jump immediately into buying something, because if something new and limited comes out near the end of the month, I'm pretty doomed.
But I want to buy Dungeon Bowl. Dungeon Bowl has 26 team members and 12 bits of scatter terrain. That means painting 76 models in December to let me buy it in January. Given I only just passed the 50 mark for the whole year, this is A Challenge. And to dissuade myself from cheating by painting a huge pile of crates, I'm going to try and stick to at least 52 actual models and 24 pieces of scatter terrain.
For the models, I'm going to learn from previous attempts at painting blitzes and focus my time on stuff I've already got assembled and undercoated. It's going to be hard enough to paint models as is without trying to assemble them in the same month as well.
For the scatter terrain, I don't have much already undercoated, but I'll paint what I've got and undercoat up a pile of Mantic Terrain Crate scatter I've had prepped and assembled for months since I got it in a sale . . .
I guess I'd better get painting!