Friday, January 2, 2015

Bring Out The Charts!

Happy New Year, 2015!

Out with the old and in with the new means one thing.  Yes, it is that time of year again.  Roll up your sleeves and put on your visor. A bit of computational work follows.

In my continuing struggle to wrestle my demon, The Lead Pile, into compliance, time to reflect on what was accomplished on the painting front in 2014.

As in the past, totals are presented on both an unadjusted and adjusted basis.  Since
, raw totals weight all figure sizes equally, "proper" analysis should correct for this size or level of effort bias in computing painting counts.  After all, a 28mm Roman takes longer to paint than a 6mm Roman, right?  To make these adjustments, I use Analog Hobbies Painting Challenge points system to put all figure production onto a more comparable basis.

Reviewing time series on painting production by figure size (I'll call it "scale") on an unadjusted basis shows overall painting output dipping in 2014 to a little over 1,100 figures.  Completing 1,100 figures annual seems about right.  The last two years, I set 900 as a goal so surpassing that goal by a small margin is satisfactory.

However, the graphic below illustrates that output is the lowest in the last eight years.  Not by much but still lower.
While reduced output in 2014 is true, this picture can be a bit distorting since a larger proportion of figures painted in 2014 were in the larger figure sizes.  Once the figure counts are adjusted for size and relative effort to paint, 2014 totals look much more respectable. 
While larger sizes are seeing proportionately more time at the painting desk, what about examining these data by gaming era?  From the graphic below, my initial response to these results is that 2014 saw a lot of varied periods crossing the painting desk.  Quite a diversified portfolio!  Well, some might suggest a serious lack of focus.  Who is right?
Once adjusted for painting effort, about a half dozen projects received roughly equivalent attention with many more seeing some activity.  At the top of the heap in 2014 were the 28mm Napoleonics and 28mm Reconquista projects with the 28mm Punic Wars project not far behind.
Examining by year does not lend itself well to isolating the work of 2014.  To do that, pie charts help provide clarity.

On an unadjusted, raw figure count basis, 15/18mm figures consumed roughly 50% of total painting output.
After removing size bias, the 15/18mm classification drops to about 1/3 of total output while the 25/28mm classification jumps to about 2/3 of total production.  What does this result suggest?  If one wants greater productivity, concentrate on the larger scales!
When broken out by Era, what a kaleidoscope of color is produced!  Many different projects crossed the painting desk in 2014.  Great if you like painting diversity. Not so great if you planned on a focused attack. 
In a similar breakdown, the graphic above shows the 15mm Italian War of Independence (1859) project took top honors at 17% (194 figures) with second place going to the 15mm SYW project at 11.25% (128 figures).  Both of these project counts surprised me.  My recollection was that these projects saw little attention in 2014.  Just as in eye witness testimony, memory is unreliable.  Most of the 1859 work must have seen painting time during the early part of the year. 

Once these data are adjusted for effort bias, the 1859 project falls to under 11% of total while the SYW project drops to about 7%.  Reinforcing the notion that size DOES matter, the 28mm Napoleonics and Reconquista projects rise to the top of the heap. 
What are my painting plans and goals for 2015?  Still too early to put pen to paper but I would enjoy seeing more progress on both the 1859 and 1799 projects in 15/18mm.  Pulling the 28mm Punic Wars troops from their boxes this afternoon in anticipation for Saturday's game, I notice more Roman heavy infantry could easily be pressed into service.  For the Carthaginians, perhaps it is time to add an elephant or two?  Also in The Lead Pile are fixings for at least two new projects.  Will I get to those in 2015?

I would be shocked if the diversity seen in 2014 did not carry over into 2015.

20 comments:

  1. I sit in awe of both your consistent output and your spreadsheet foo sir!

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    1. Thank you, Michael! Once the data are properly collected and graphics routinized, everything else is quite easy. Oh, except for the actual painting!

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  2. wow! your work committments are amazing! and we started a new year....I'm already looking forward to your 2015 Dec 31st report! :o)

    cheers,

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    1. Thanks, Phil!

      Sometimes, the hobby does seem to take on a life of its own.

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  3. This post of yours from last year inspired me to start a spreadsheet as well. I only have one year of data so far but I'd like to say thank you.

    Interesting information here. I'm going to go with variety is the spice of life and you are keeping it spicy.

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    1. Aaron! Very good to hear that I provided a bit of inspiration for your own work. Will we be seeing your results after Year One? I hope so!

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  4. Tsk, tsk, tsk . . . your 17th century (i.e., ECW) figures definitely need to get boosted, Jon. And, of course, now you need to make room for Colonials, eh?

    Have a Happy New Year!


    -- Jeff

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    1. Jeff, the 17th Century figures passing across the painting table in 2014 were for Samurai Battles and not for ECW. Last time I had the ECW collection on the gaming table, I thought it was large enough! I do need to get them into a fight again soon.

      Say, maybe you and your gaming partner (Murdock) would be interested in fighting out a virtual ECW action? Drop me a note and we can discuss.

      Colonials? A few Afghan/Sikh War figures have made it off the painting table recently. That was not one of the new projects I was considering in 2015 but one can never rule it out!

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  5. Love the graphics. I don't know anyone else who paints with so much diversity and volume. Breathtaking!

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    1. Thank you, Monty! The hobby does keep me busy and (mostly) out of harms' way.

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  6. Stunningly organized, Jonathan! Happy 2015!

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    1. Dean, my wife would likely choose a different adverb rather than "stunningly" to describe my organizational habits but I prefer yours!

      Happy 2015 to you!

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  7. 28 periods/projects and eight scales. = 224 possible combinations. Not that you have all of them... or do you? :-)

    Awesome, Jonathan!

    Wow, that's 20 consecutive years of stats - clearly time for a 20 year summation as well!

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    1. Certainly do not have all combinations, Peter, but it does sometimes feel that I may be close.

      A 20 year summary? That is a good idea!

      As always, thanks for your support and encouragement.

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  8. Wow, impressive analysis. Fun to look at ones habits over time in such detail. 2014 certainly saw some diversification into different eras, wonder if they'll all survive, or if the "darlings" of 2014 will consolidate into larger projects in 2015 with the inevitable and unknown new-comers in the back of the class. Happy 2015, and happy painting.
    P.S: Elephants in 28mm, yes please!

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    1. Soren, we both know that plans sometimes cannot survive contact. Knowing that, I tend to paint what I want and let the (paint) chips fall where they may.

      I have always wanted to paint an elephant or two. Maybe it is time?

      Happy New Year to you!

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  9. Jonathan, I am amazed at the diversity of your collection and your ability to move between the various scales and periods. I think your very planned approach to work through the year is really important to be able to keep on top. Very inspiring.

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    1. Hi Jonathan! Glad that my painting discipline provides a small bit of inspiration. Now, the effort you put into YOUR projects, that is inspiring!

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  10. Now that's one impressive output! I must say I'm looking forward to seeing your Punic War develop in particular.

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks, Christopher! I have a Punic War game scheduled for this afternoon. You will get a chance to see most of that project on the table soon.

      We will be using Basic Impetvs and I am looking forward to it!

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