A pile of shame (or pile of smugness). It’s not mine, so i don’t know how the owner feels. But the floor to ceiling containers, artwork on the wall blocked from sight, unopened and still in shrink-wrapped products – it all points to an impressive pile of hoarding.

Affectionately called the pile of shame or what used to be called the ‘lead’ pile, this pile of unpainted and unassembled minis will haunt most gamers if they hobby long enough. Though the hazards of working with lead minis in the 1980s has made way to the hazards of resin dust this century, the real hazard to one’s health is mental rather than physical – the jeopardy of looking at a pile of shame and being frozen to inaction. That demotivating force when looking at a stack of unpainted minis.

I currently have a large box that i put my pile of shame in. But the beauty of focusing on just one system (inquisitor) at just one scale (54mm) is that there is really not that much i need to collect. Sure, my collection has bloated out a bit (first i was just going to collect the official inquisitor range, then i expanded to other 54mm ranges, then to any bits that suited the scale, and now i need to be very careful with 3d printed minis as that is a dangerous rabbit hole to go down). But at least i feel that i am not constantly trying to keep up with my collection. I feel i can be a bit more discerning now.

How do you measure your pile of shame? Maybe by simply counting how many minis are in the pile (i have 90 more orks and then everything i own is painted up!). Or by weight (my pile weighs 10kg!). How about by length (this pile fills a cubic foot)? Or by army (i have an unpainted dwarf army, an unpainted Tyranid army and an unpainted sisters of battle army). Or by points (i have 2000pts of unpainted eldar). Some may measure it by kickstarters (i backed the latest zombicide, conan and reaper bones kickstarters, all unpainted). Or by time (here are some unpainted 1st edition eldar i bought in 1992)? Or by storage container (all those tubs are full of unpainted minis). Or by life-years (if i stop buying more minis and just paint from my pile at my current painting speed, then it will take me 7 years to paint up the backlog). Or by dollars (there is over $500 worth of unpainted minis just sitting there).

Some hobbyists catalogue their pile of shame. I don’t think it would work for me, but for some, it seems motivating. Other gamers (or is it just bloggers?) compile an end-of-year report on their annual hobby progress – how many minis painted, how many projects completed.

Certainly this blog helps me stop faffing about so much. At least my pile of shame is visibly much smaller now.