Like any hobby, finding the time to build and paint is sometimes the lease favorite of playing miniature games. On one hand, it's pretty satisfying to get a whole army done. On the other hand, it takes a lot of TIME to get a whole army done. Let's look at ways to avoid the burn out of trying to do much, too fast. Hope you find some of these tips useful for your long list!
How big and how many. The easiest thing to do is work on large units, tanks are excellent because they are likely very easy to assemble and even easier to paint quickly. You don't need to have them all done at the same time! Do three just to get a small platoon on the table and use them!
Detailing each individual model can come over time, no need to get too fancy all at once. In fact, rushing this only makes them look worse, you might even not like them at all after the fact and redoing models is not a great way to get through all the stuff piling up in your painting queue.
Work on something different that still benefits your gaming nights, but are relatively simple to do. The explosion markers I make are super easy to make and you can blast out 20 of them in 20-30 minutes. Using the cheaper brand of cotton balls, pull them out into a plume shape from the 'center'. GLue them to a penny. Spray bomb them black (2 coats) and let them dry. Drybrush or apply red, orange or even just a light gray. Done! Nice thing about them is that they're fairly stiff and every one of them turns out a little different.
Objective markers are another way to get something done fairly quickly. Just one or two of these and you have something that you can get onto the table. They might even jump start your motivation into getting some other kits built and painted. Whether you make them from scratch like this P-190 or you simply base and paint on of the many choices from Battlefront is up to you. Again, get them done to where they look nice enough and if you want to add to them, you can do that over a long period of time when you feel like it.
You won it, you bought it or maybe got it as a gift. Even if you have a whack load of models in boxes, don't get overwhelmed and worry about when you are going to get them done. Just pick something out, once it is being assembled, you're more likely to finish it. Get a list made up of everything you have that is sitting around, won't use it? Give it away or trade it to someone. Sell it if you really want to, but be honest about what you want vs. what you need. Having a list posted somewhere on your hobby desk or make a list with friends. It'll help keep things on track, and at the end of the year you can talk about what you did and get some pictures up. Stay tuned for a great article about everything Dennis (MattVarnish) painted during 2015.
Work on your stuff and keep painting. Who knows, you might even grab back to back Best Painted Army at two national events in the same year. (Dennis Campbell accepts his Best Painted Army during Canadian Flames of War Nationals)