Hobby Habits - Tips to stay motivated on your terrain or miniatures - Brutal Cities Miniature Wargaming Terrain

Hobby Habits - Tips to Stay Motivated on your Terrain or Miniatures

Does anyone else find it difficult to stay motivated and actually finish your projects? This could be finishing your army or terrain, or even starting it. And what can you do when there are no tournaments to keep you motivated with a deadline?

Fortunately we've also got a blog about how to speed paint your minis. It's a really handy guide and I learnt a lot from the author Tom.

Delta One Zero miniatures game scaffolding terrain

These Delta One Zero guys are some of the last miniatures I have painted - months ago!

Personally I have not painted much for fun lately, but a friend of mine gave me an audiobook called Atomic Habits - it's about making tiny easy changes to your habits to improve your life or achieve your goals. Another friend said that he paints for an hour every night and I couldn't imagine doing that myself lately (other than for Brutal Cities terrain, of course). The trick is to start small. If you start a habit of painting for 10 minutes every night you'll start seeing results.

According to the Atomic Habits book, to form good habits we should make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy and make it satisfying.
What does that look like though, in hobby terms?
  • Making sure your workstation is clean and comfortable (clean up after your session so that it's easier to get started next time) will reduce friction and make painting as easy as possible. Having the right paint ready to go, having primer rattle cans and your project in an obvious location waiting for you will help.
  • Make it visible. Leaving some supplies in an obvious place and not hidden out of sight is a good cue to remind yourself to paint. It's not always possible because I'm sure everyone has been told off for leaving their hobby supplies everywhere, but try to leave your current project in an obvious location.
  • Identity is a strong factor. Think of the hobby in terms of identity - eg "I am a painter/wargamer that regularly paints." 
  • Specifically stating the time and location for your habits - and slot it into your existing routine- eg "I will paint at the kitchen table before I have a shower at 9pm every night" will make it much easier to achieve.
  • The amount of times you paint, not the duration of your painting sessions will be the main factor in cementing new regular hobby habits.
  • Do something that you enjoy a lot before doing you paint - and treat yourself afterward to a reward.
  • Culture- make a chat group to motivate yourself and your friends for painting - especially effective if your friends paint regularly.

Eternity Labs Delux Rust Effects terrain WIP

A recent WIP testing out some Dulux rust effects paint on our Eternity Labs Kits - One example of the strategy of removing friction, as this was incredibly easy to achieve and quite fun as a technique.


I have managed to successfully implement the tips above - I've just about finished some Warlord Games Judge Dredd miniatures. If I missed one nights painting, I made sure to not miss the next day - As mentioned it's critical to keep on top of it, even if you just paint for two minutes! It makes it easier to make a even a little bit of progress that way. That's certainly better than nothing.

Judge Dredd 32mm Miniatures Game painting WIP

 Expect to see these Dredd minis in a photoshoot soon ;)


Please comment below if you have any good tips to motivate people to up their hobby game! I'm very curious to see if you have other good tips for hobby motivation. I'll do a follow up post in the future and showcase some finished miniatures or progress in the future.

PS - If you're interested in the book here's Atomic Habits (Not affiliated, I just think it's a useful read)

Good luck and may you find this helpful,



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1 comment

Remind yourself that painting is fun. While some people may be gamers first it should still hold true. I don’t recommend a homework/hard push approach but agree with your recommendations about an inviting space that makes the “task” easier; Good lighting, an ergonomically agreeable setup and not looking for paint every time you are changing colours take as many stressors out of the equation as possible and make a painting session about painting. Once that’s sorted never beat yourself up over a single project. Deadlines complicate this but good planning and knowing what you will need give you some padding as far as time deficits go. Have more than one thing on the go or a backup. If you feel a project is bogging you down change gears and have a look at something else. If you are truly feeling painted out or think you totally blew something you sank too many hours into just back off for a couple days become you become your own worst critic. Have another look once a bit of time has passed so you can be more objective. Look for things that might inspire you in the interim. If you are painting sci fi models watch a cool sci fi show, check out the sci fi painters group you belong to, read a book…. Recharge your batteries and when you feel ready get back at it.


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