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You know me from such forum posts as: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/60626-so-you-are-thinking-of-entering-the-painting-competition-at-reapercon/ http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/71583-msp-open-judging-what-you-were-afraid-to-ask/ and http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/68535-some-thoughts-on-dioramas/ As the convention approaches like a steamroller, the eyes glaze over and the hands begin to shake, there is no way you can possibly finish all the entries you have planned for the competition. You come to the immediate conclusion that you cannot possibly finish any of your entries in time. You have entered the competition version of painter’s block! I see posts in the forums every year about people not being able to finish their entries for one reason or another. But I tell you there are options! 1) Reduce the number entries you are working on. Seriously look at the entries you are working on and immediately reduce the number by half. That will make things look more doable. Here are a few suggestions to help you make those decisions. a. As much as you love that diorama idea, if the base isn’t ready then it’s the first thing you drop. Dioramas are serious time sinks. b. If the conversion work isn’t ready or your super nifty basework isn’t done, then drop your Open entry. This is another example of a serious time sink, cross this one off the list. c. If you are not “feeling” one of your painter or ordnance entries it is time to set it aside and concentrate on the one(s) you like. You paint work is invariably better on a piece that you enjoy working on. 2) Instead of working on a new piece look at other miniatures you have completed in the last six months. Chances are there is something you really like there and instead of working on the new piece work on improving one you have already finished (who knows maybe it doesn’t even need extra work). 3) Instead of working on an entry for each of the manufacturer awards make the hard decision and pick one or maybe none at all. [This is a corollary of #1]. Note that if you are painting a Reaper mini you are always in consideration for a Sophie Trophy. 4) Not entering means not getting feedback from the judges on your work. If you really want to improve then critical feedback is what you need. Seriously in the end just enter something even if it is not the piece you originally intended on entering. While the Reaper forums are a nice place to show off, it is a notoriously bad place to get real, make me cry, feedback on things you can improve. It’s a friendly supportive community and sometimes that’s not what you need when you are trying to break that gold medal barrier.