Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Painting Log in Review

Sharpen the pencil and slide the visor down over my head to shade the glare from the lamp.  Time to reconcile the parade of painted troops passing over my painting desk in 2018.

Before we move on to the Bring Out the Charts section, what were my painting goals set out at the beginning of 2018? To recap from January 2018:
With all projects in sufficient quantities to field armies for games, there is little pressure to concentrate on any one project to reach that critical, gameable mass. No new project(s) planned for 2018 either. Without either of these incentives, the 2018 painting goal ought to be something more pragmatic. As a step towards pragmatism, the 2018 goal is to make a dent in The Lead Pile by buying less than I paint. A painted figure goal of 900 seems reasonable.
To reduce The Lead Pile, effort should lean towards the 15/18mm category since 2017 saw most painting activity in the 25/28mm size. To aim towards that objective, the 1799, 1859, SYW, and Feudal Japan projects should see renewed activity. With moderate effort, the inventory of the Peter Pig Samurai figures in inventory could be brought down to near zero. If enough progress is made on the 1859 project to field French, perhaps, a start on a small Prussian army for either 1866 or 1870 could be contemplated? Does starting a new Prussian army for either the 1866 or 1870 conflicts count as a new project or an expansion of the existing 1859 project?
The outlook for 2018 provided just enough details to give direction to the painting year yet allow plenty of wiggle room to veer off course.  Let us see how I did.
  • Painting Goal:  In 2018, I painted 1,268 figures and 31 pieces of equipment.  That equates to about a 41% increase over expectations.  That is a good start! 
  • Paint More Than Buy: While I have not taken account of figure purchases, it is most likely that I painted more than bought in 2018.
  • Concentrate on 15/18mm: Yep.  About 77% (1,004) of the total painted figures were in this class.   
While figure count was up from 2017 (1,268 vs 911), Adjusted Painting Points actually decreased slightly (3,896 vs 4,334) over 2017 due to the concentration on 15/18mm.

As with past years' analytics, painting totals are presented in unadjusted (raw) figure counts as well as adjusted figure counts.  Adjusted counts consider figure size as a component while unadjusted simply tallies the number of painted figures produced.  Adjustments are made based on Analog Hobbies' Painting Challenge points system.

Bring Out the Charts!
On an unadjusted basis of painted figures by era (Figure 1), the major effort (39.52% of total) was in the 18mm 1799 project (Suvorov in Italy/Switz.).  Next, coming in at 228 figures (17.57% of total), the 18mm 1859 project took second billing followed by the 18mm SYW project (189 figures; about 15% of total).  The Feudal Japan project saw activity too, coming in with 74 figures completed.  My sense is that few figures remain in The Lead Pile for this project. 
Figure 1
On an adjusted figure count basis (Figure 2), the percentages by project are transformed slightly due to the weighting scheme but the 1799 project still comes out on top at 30% of total output.
Figure 2
Turning to disaggregating counts by scale (Figure 3), more than 77% of all painting production was logged in the 15/18mm classification.  I stuck to a goal!
Figure 3
On an adjusted basis, the 15/18mm classification loses some of its dominance with almost 31% of production booked into the 25/28mm classification. 
Figure 4
How does 2018 fit into the historical trends and tendencies over the life of my figure tracking?

On an unadjusted basis, painting trends show 2018 experienced a slight bump up in total figure count over the previous four years.  This increase is almost certainly due to the concentration on 15/18mm figures (Figure 5).  I expect that if 2018 painting output been more balanced between 25/28mm and 15/18mm then 2018 would have seen very similar raw figure counts as 2014-2017.
Figure 5
Converting these counts to an adjusted basis by Year and Scale (Figure 6) shows that painting output in 2018 managed to creep into the Top 10 years since painting statistics have been tracked.  Again, by painting a little most days, consistency remains in place and good gains can be realized.
Figure 6
Project diversity continued in 2018 as shown by the variety of differently colored bars in Figure 7.  Even given the 2018 focus on 15/18mm in general and the 1799/1859 projects in particular, twelve different projects saw figures muster off from the painting desk.
Figure 7
On an adjusted basis, Figure 8 reconfirms that 2018 was a good year at the painting desk.  The graph also confirms that my painting production has found a very sustainable level of consistency since 2008.  Consistency over time is key to building large armies.
Figure 8
That is a wrap for the 2018 Painting Review.  2018 was a good year at the painting desk and many a fine recruit mustered to the colors.   For those whose eyes have not yet glazed over from the charts, 

Happy New Year!

48 comments:

  1. Interesting detail, but I was most surprised at 12 different projects being serviced during the year. I think I have enjoyed seeing your biblicals most, probably because they get less coverage than the horse and musket periods on most blogs.

    The discipline of ‘a bit every day’ certainly brings end of year rewards.

    Thanks for a year of blog sharing and blog supporting.

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    1. Norm, keeping variety in the painting mix helps maintain the motivation. Twelve different projects to see action on the painting table is a little surprising to me as well.

      I am pleased you enjoy seeing the Biblicals cross the painting desk because I enjoy painting them.

      As for your final, kind compliment, few do more blog sharing and supporting than your own good self.

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  2. What can one say Jonathan, your charts proved that you painted an awful lot of figures irrespective of scale.Compiling these charts seems a lot of effort to prove just how many figures you painted.Still if it makes one happy crack on. So well done for all the painting, and well done for all the hard work producing the charts.

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    1. Thanks, Robbie. I am of the school of "You cannot manage what you do not measure." Therefore, I measure a lot! Measuring and reporting provides self-motivation to paint too.

      These accounting practices of mine go back 20+ years. Pulling data from the database and building all of the graphics have been routinized over the years. Make a few changes in the code and it really is a snap to extract, transform, and build the analytics.

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  3. Lots of painting and lots of highly organized statistics!

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  4. All the best for 2019, stats will be even better!

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  5. Another impressive year for you, Jonathan! Wishing you a great 2019!

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    1. Wishing you the best in 2019 too, Dean! Thank you for your continued support.

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  6. Very impressive production and analysis. Your project diversity graphic bears out the impression of breadth seen in your posts--I fear that you are going to run out of colors and have to resort to patterns soon!

    Looking forward to your 2019 blogging!

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    1. Ed, the graphics help to put the effort into perspective. Will I run out of colors before I run out of projects? Only time will tell.

      Thanks as always for your support!

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  7. Good disapline Jonathan. It's hard sticking to only a few periods at once.

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    1. Ray, I have too many interests to limit my choices to only one or two. Twelve seems better!

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  8. A great effort, and I think the thing that most impressed me was your ability to go back and augment those Napoleonic cavalry regiments in such a way that the new additions look completely seamless.

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    1. Thank you, Lawrence. I may have only one way to paint. I never get any better but at least I am consistent!

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  9. Well done Jonathan. I’m not even close! 😞

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  10. As always Jonathan I really look forward to this post and reading / seeing your accomplishments. Well done and thanks for sharing.

    Richard
    PS: Did I miss the mid-year update or was I dreaming?

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    1. Richard, I am glad you find this year-end accounting exercise interesting! I missed the mid-year update this year but maybe it will return in 2019?

      Good to see you back!

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  11. Impressive data work. Very impressive painting totals. I suppose the data is easier to track when you are in the habit of tracking it. Do you struggle at all with semi-completed projects and how to count them (painted but not based for example)?

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    1. Thanks, Dave. Once the mechanisms are in place (database, method for extracting the data, and performing analytics) then the physical tracking of units worked is easy. No struggle with tracking semi-finished or non-based units. A unit is only counted and committed to the database once painted, based, and a photo taken.

      I like your questions! Are you considering doing something similar to track your painting output?

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    2. I've tried to keep track of what I buy/sell/trade and paint. I haven't done a good job each time I make a go at it. The simplest/most effective I've found to date is to count off my blog postings. The finished/not finished thing for me is that often I haven't done my basing when I post. Or I have stuff that is finished that I haven't documented yet.

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  12. Superb production, quality, and variety, as we have come to expect from you. I have tracked my own painting since shortly after I started painting my own figures, circa 1970. That was done in a notebook, which continued until after I started the blog. I still have yet to tally my Renaissance collection!

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    1. Thanks much, Peter, for your unending encouragements!

      Your notebook must be a treasure to review occasionally.

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  13. No matter how you quantify it; you had a great year of wargaming and painting! I’m not at all surprised at the amount of figures painted or by the number of different genres as you are famous throughout the internet for being a painting machine! Not to mention putting on great scenarios featuring tons of figures.
    I’ve really enjoyed your blog this year and will be along for the ride in the new year. 😀

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    1. Stew! Thank you very much for your very kind comments!

      Glad to read you enjoy the blog and hope you continue to do so and remain active in the comment section.

      If you want to see a REAL painting machine, check out Mr. Strachan's (two comments down) blog. My output seems meager in comparison.

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  14. Well done sir! Have a great painting 2019!

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  15. Jonathan I am always amazed by the depth of your annual analysis! And a fantastic figure count!

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    1. Mark, my analysis may be in depth but your production at the painting desk dwarfs my output by far.
      YOU are a painting machine!

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  16. Fantastic stuff Jonathan, it shows I think a Fascinating fact that we can find pleasure in almost the same things but approach from quite different positions. Your attention to detail and target is admirable, however, I quite deliberately don’t keep a record of what I buy or what I paint 😀. The danger I think I am worried about is prevalent here in the Uk in establishments like the NHS where target setting can lead to ‘perverse’ behaviours. I seem to read lots of blogs of people who get themselves stressed by their own hobby and I refuse to let this happen. However it is great to see you’re results.........can you plot Painting against battles fought ?

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    1. Matt, the hobby has many facets that can satisfy most needs. That is why it is such an enjoyable hobby; something for everyone.

      Painting for me is likely the least stressful activity I undertake. I find applying brush to figure a very relaxing process at the end of a long day. I do not keep a record of the figures bought, but have a general idea of the figures purchased.

      For me, it might be MORE stressful not knowing what I have painted and what are in all of the painted collections. Having this information readily available helps me to manage this BEAST.

      As for plotting Games Played vs Figures Painted, that is an interesting suggestion. I do not track games played specifically outside of the Scheduled Games Page on the blog. Not all games played go onto the page but most of the group games do. I played more games this year than in past years. Between group, and solo wargames, I managed at least two dozen games. Although the French & Indian War campaign game is only counted as one, that campaign lasted for several months with turns taken quite frequently.

      I appreciate your thoughts and comments!

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  17. Oh dear, all those graphs and pie charts remind me I will be back at work on Monday the 7th - THANKS MARK (Just joking of course - very impressive output!)

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    1. You are lucky! I had to return to work on the 2nd!

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    2. I guess the difference for us is that the Christmas/New Year break coincides with our summer holidays so everything runs rather slowly here until late January.

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  18. I love how meticulous you are with this, Jon! I thought I was doing well just to keep a count, but you have a full blown statistical analysis. Very cool!

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    1. Thanks! It is the bright colors in the stacked bar charts, isn't it?

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  19. You're usual great yearly round up I don't really go in for recording stuff,well beyond putting it on the blog which certainly to start with was the main reason for starting it. Otherwise Im happy trundling along,I have nothing but admiration for your organisation and planning!
    Best Iain

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    1. Perhaps this exercise is a bit over the top but it does help me bring some order to the chaos I create. Having a readily searchable database of units painted makes building OBs easier and reduces the likelihood of painting the same unit more than once.

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    2. *That* sounds like a very useful feature/side effect of carefully kept inventory.

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  20. I think your annual updates are some of my favorite posts on this blog. I am envious of your attention to detail, and have even started to copy you to a much smaller degree. My only regret is not maintaining the database I started with paint selections and mixtures for my collection. I figured the visual diary of a blog would suffice and let it lapse. Now I regularly rue my lack of foresight as I go back to finish off units for old collections and struggle to match colors.

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    1. Jake! I am glad you find these exercises in accounting interesting and look forward to them. See comments above where some think this soft of thing is a bit daft. I enjoy producing these reports too.

      As for including painting information, I wish I would have tracked that information as well. I do have scribbled notes for some. Most of the time I think, "I will remember what I did when I paint another unit." Trouble is, sometimes it is YEARS before I paint another. Sigh.

      Another issue is that when I began, I used Poly S and Poly Scale paints. Those paints can no longer be found. Now I use craft paints and have since meeting Scott many years ago.

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    2. I was painting Grenadiers this morning and lamenting the loss of the Polly S line my self. I have yet to find an adequate replacement for their "Brass" That and I discovered that my SAW project relied heavily on a Polly color called "Bugbear Fur" for most of the trousers. Sadly very little of my Polly paints still endure today and are now used for mounted individual figures for painting.

      As to the rest. A big part of the enjoyment I get out of this hobby comes from the organization and planning. I have one spreadsheet I maintain with a tab for all the units in the lead pile and a separate tab for the last five years. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from cutting a line from the to-do list and pasting it onto the completed tally. I just finished my own pie-charts to compare goals to accomplishments for 2018, and was surprised by the impact of the Zorndorf project.

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    3. I wonder if I still have a working bottle of Bugbear Fur? I will look.
      Looking forward to seeing your Year-end recap. Moving lead from the Unpainted to Painted side of the ledger is a good feeling!

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  21. Replies
    1. Many a figure crossed over to the painted side of the ledger in 2018!

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