Hobby Progress, week 52

Well folks, here we are, week 52! It’s been one hell of a year when I look back, with a lot more models painted than I’d thought. But I’ll get into all of that in a little while. First of all, let’s take a look at the week!

First off, I’ve finished the Necron Wraiths that I’d built up about eighteen months ago for a Canoptek Harvest. You can see the original instagram post where I’d built up all the pieces here. I’ve actually built up a fourth at some indeterminate time – I’d bought some wraith bits to make a Cryptek with, and after building the three from the kit I realised I had enough bits to build more! I was convinced I could actually get three more, but alas, I don’t know what I’ve done with those bits anymore… At any rate, these chaps are now finished, which I’m very pleased about, though at times I did feel like I was rushing the blighters, so it’s not what I would call my finest work… That said, I think they do blend in perfectly with the Tomb Stalker that I’d done way back in 2014, so if nothing else, I’m pleased with that!

I’ve also finished up the small batch of Deathwatch marines that I’d started work on a few weeks ago. These chaps were a lot of fun to paint, and I’m really pleased to get them finished. The Iron Warrior isn’t one of my all-time favourite marines, so I was painting him along with some other bits like the Deathwing terminator just to get him done, really. The two vanguard veterans were more enjoyable to do, a Raven Guard and a Blood Angel, even though I had no idea what to do with their shields, and have settled for just painting the imperialis for now. I love dreadnoughts, even if I’m not the quickest at painting them, so was particularly pleased to get this one finished.

I’m not done with the Deathwatch by any means – aside from all of the models that I still have built up and waiting for me to get on with them, it’s a bit of an ambition for me in 2017 to get every possible weapon combination for the veterans built up, and then rather than having them in squads of five or whatever, I can basically assemble a team each time I want to use them. As part of this, then, I think I might also build up another Venerable Dreadnought, as I’ve seen some other ideas online for building them, and fancy giving those a try!

2017 is already starting to excite me!

I’ve also been building stuff – because, of course I have! I want to start with this Leman Russ tank for my Genestealer Cult, because the thing is bloody hilarious! While I do enjoy the tanks of the space marines, I do feel that these Imperial Guard tanks look amazing and, well, tank-y. The Wyvern was a lot of fun to put together, but this Leman Russ was almost better, going together pretty much like a dream! I’d decided to start building it up mainly because I like these things, but I actually have no idea when I’ll be able to get round to painting the thing, as I seem to have so many other projects on the go right now… I think I’ve settled on a colour scheme, which I’ve written down and stuff, so I suppose I just need to get the time! There’ll be more on this shortly, anyway.

I’ve also kit-bashed Armillus Dynat together. Well, I actually clipped the bits off a long while ago, but have only this week gotten round to actually building him. I love the fact that he can wield two weapons like this, and while my original plan for having him with the hammer lowered and the sword raised to strike hasn’t worked out, I still like the fact that he looks somewhat of a centrepiece. The guy has been built out of 5 or 6 different kits, and was a bit of a labour of love in that respect, but I’m now looking forward to getting some paint on him!

The only other thing I’ve done this week is build up the Sisters of Silence from the Burning of Prospero box. I’d thought I’d have done more with these by now, as they were the part of this box set that I was looking forward to the most but, I have to say, I’ve been feeling particularly uninspired by this box. The Sisters look good, don’t get me wrong, and while I’m as excited as anyone for the Custodes, I do feel a little bit overwhelmed by those sculpts, as they look too ornate, somehow. Maybe I’ll think differently once I’ve gotten them built and whatnot. However, the MkIII armoured marines are just not what I would call my favourites, and I bought the box thinking I’d paint it up as the boardgame but, on reflection, I think it’d be better if I just sold these marines and reinvested the cash in something I actually want! So they’re up on ebay, along with the characters. I had briefly entertained the idea of using Ahriman for something else, but don’t think that will come to pass.

So, not the most productive of weeks, though it has been exciting all the same! Now it’s time for the retrospective you’ve all been waiting for!

hobby progress retrospective

So it’s time for the retrospective!

2016 has been a great year for progress with miniatures. Over the course of the year, I feel that I’ve made some real progress with my painting, specifically with how I paint the Deathwatch chaps, and my determination to conquer the fear of painting faces! Of course, I’m still not going to win any awards, but I think I’ve come a long way, and want to see what I can do to build on that over the next twelve months!

My day job is in statistics, so inevitably, I’m going to look at some stats for this year’s progress. According to my figures, I’ve bought 89 kits this year, though I think stuff like Death Masque has been counted as four distinct Deathwatch kits because some of them I’ve painted, and some of them I haven’t. I’ve managed to build 58 kits, though some of these I’ve had from previous years – only 35 of the newly-bought kits of 2016 have been built. I’ve also completely painted 28 kits, which is a lot more than I had expected, but when you see it in relation to the number of kits I’ve bought, it’s kinda sad. I’ve also part-painted a further 22 kits, which I suppose does help to mitigate circumstances a little!

I think most of my money in 2016 went on Tomb Kings stuff, though that is a little artificial due to the fact that the line was discontinued so I bought as much as I could afford in one hit. The launch of the Deathwatch army in the summer was probably the single most exciting event for me; as much as I love the Genestealer Cults, I think my enthusiasm for the Deathwatch is shown by the fact that I’ve finished quite a few of those models already, while the Cult is only part-built and part-primed.

hobby progress retrospective

The biggest success I’ve had this year has most assuredly been the Alpha Legion, however. While I was convinced I was going to collect an Ultramarines army, the XX Legion has infiltrated its way into my heart and, bolstered by the painting campaign at my local GW store towards the end of the year, I’ve managed to completely paint up more models for this army than any other single faction all year! I think the final count is 48, including the contemptor dreadnought and the rhino. Moving ahead into 2017, I’ve already got a further 12 models waiting for paint – another tactical squad, an apothecary and a drop pod.

Hobby Progress 45

Space Marines remain some of the most numerous models that I’ve continued to paint in 2016, as I’ve done smaller numbers of Ultramarines, Novamarines, White Scars and Deathwing. In the middle of all of this, I’ve also managed to churn out some more Stormcast Eternals, some more Necrons, a couple of Orruks and the start of my Tomb Kings!

hobby progress retrospective

There are still an awful lot of partially painted miniatures hanging around, of course, and I hope that I can get the majority of these finished off in the coming months, as well as those bits and pieces that have been built but are still hanging around! In addition to all of those numbers I’ve been spouting off about earlier, there are still plenty of miniatures that I’ve built in 2015 and are as yet incomplete, including quite a few Necron things! So I do hope I can do things with those, also.


It’s been a fun year, and has been really quite productive, but I think it’s time to look ahead to 2017 now, and set out some objectives for the year.

First of all, let’s talk about Necrons. This was my first army for 40k, of course, and is still the one closest to my heart. In building up my force, I’ve always made a conscious effort to match the look of those early models, which hasn’t always been great because I do think that I’ve progressed as a painter since those days. As such, over the course of this year I’ve tried to up my game with some of them, but I haven’t really decided what I want to do with the older models. Keep them as mementos? Strip them and re-paint them? I think I want to keep at least some of them as they’re a part of my painting career and stuff, but I have a lot of them that I want to just start again with, particularly the Triarch Praetorians. I’ve recently built up ten Praetorians to run a Judicator Battalion, but I think I might strip the five I’d built years ago and re-paint them to throw in there as well. There are a few other models I think I’ll do this with, also, including some of the Lychguard. Anyway, what I’m saying is, I want to make my Necrons look a bit better than they appear currently, as they’re still the force I feel most comfortable with playing right now, but it isn’t that great when you pull out some models that look ‘meh’ at best.

2017 will therefore feature something of a Necron rebirth!

I’m going to continue with my Deathwatch, as discussed earlier, and the Novamarines will also be on my list as the year progresses. I’m also going to continue building up my Alpha Legion, in part because the campaign at my local store is still ongoing! 2017 is the 30th anniversary year for Warhammer 40k, so even though I have no idea how it would happen, I’m still expecting to see some new Space Marine stuff released throughout the year. Given that Space Marines have become such a thing for me, I’m sure I’ll end up investing in any such thing, but I would like to try and keep new ventures to a minimum where I can! The fact I’ve managed to hold back on the Thousand Sons so well has really surprised me!

2017 will hopefully be the year of Chaos Daemons for me, specifically Slaaneshi daemons! I currently have a box of Daemonettes and a Seeker Chariot in the throes of being finished, so I’m looking forward to not only getting them done, but also moving forward with adding other stuff to the army. I’ve been trying to draw up a 2000 point list, but the amount of models needed for that is kinda scaring me! I want to keep it as Slaaneshi as I possibly can, though there will be some Slaves to Darkness involved because I want the Warshrine as a centrepiece! I have some minis already, and have ordered some more, so at some point very soon, expect to see these making an appearance!

hobby progress retrospective

So, at the top of the year, I’m planning to rejuvenate my Necrons; continue with the Deathwatch, Novamarines and Alpha Legion, and to get started building up a Slaanesh Daemons army. Undoubtedly Genestealer Cults and other stuff will also be featuring as I go along, and for the rest of it, well, I guess we’ll see what GW offers!

If you’ve been reading these hobby progress blogs throughout the year, thank you so much for being along for the ride! I hope they’ve been entertaining, and maybe even motivational – they certainly have been for me! I’m still not sure if I’m going to be doing them every single week, as I have been thinking about moving to monthly, but that seems somehow too long to wait. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

Happy New Year!

View this post on Instagram

Who knew plastic could be so exciting! #2016bestnine

A post shared by Mark (@marrrkusss) on

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everybody!

I hope you aren’t feeling too worse for wear following any festivities you may have taken part in last night! It’s currently pouring with rain in my little corner of the UK, which seems about right for this time of year. At any rate, I thought I’d write some rambling thoughts here as I look forward to 2017 and all the rest of it!

I’m very much feeling in the Star Wars mood lately, as I think I’m still riding the wave of Rogue One enjoyment and all the rest of it. In the next few days, I’m planning to make a start on reading the tie-in novel Catalyst, as well as the movie novel itself. So definitely stay tuned for that! Indeed, Star Wars in general is something I want to be featuring a lot more on my blog in the coming year, as it seems to have fallen somewhat by the wayside last year, with only a couple of peaks.

2017 will see the premiere of Episode VIII, of course, which is something that I’m really looking forward to seeing. I haven’t made any real mention of this anywhere because I’m not trying to be some kind of news site, but as I’m sure everybody now knows, Carrie Fisher died on 27 December, following a heart attack just before Christmas. Utterly devastating news as, even without ever meeting or knowing her, she has still been such a presence for me through her portrayal of Princess Leia. News has since been coming out to say that all of her scenes for the upcoming movie had been filmed, and she wasn’t required for any pick-up work, but as a sad, yet inevitable side effect of a celebrity death like this, it does lead folks to wonder how the impact of that event will be felt across the upcoming film. Disney & Lucasfilm seem utterly intent on keeping the plots of their upcoming films a total secret, so I’ve been wondering if Fisher’s death will cause any kind of re-write to the story of the movie.

I had absolutely not seen Han’s death in VII coming, and remember being really shocked at the fact that it happened back when I saw the movie for the first time. Since then, I’ve been thinking that it would make some sense for each of the Big Three to die off as Disney seeks to further explore the franchise, and had started to think of the inclusion of Luke, Han and Leia in the sequel trilogy as a token passing-the-torch effect. That said, it would make the most sense for Luke to die in VIII, to me, as we seem poised on the brink of a situation where Luke will train Rey, and Snoke will trail Kylo, leading to an inevitable clash where Luke dying would make the most dramatic sense for Rey’s character. This could of course be entirely off! I’d seen Leia as leading the fight with the non-Jedi types, and her survival until IX, with the fall of the First Order and the restoration of the Republic and a new era of peace would have made the most sense. Unless VIII ends with a double catastrophe and the bit set-up for IX is to have the young ‘uns battling the First Order without the sage advice of Luke and Leia. But I think I’m thinking too trope-y here, and we could be in for something completely different.

At any rate, I think the inclusion of Tarkin (and Leia) in Rogue One via CGI has caused a lot of gnashing of teeth over what is now possible for story, and actor deaths seem almost irrelevant. There was an article on iO9 last week that talked about how incredibly expensive it is to produce, I’m assuming in terms of the salaries of the people doing the work, which seemed to make the case that this isn’t the sort of effect we’ll be seeing as a matter of course. But technology advances all the time, and who knows if, by the time it comes to produce IX, it’ll be cheaper to create and so we’ll get more Leia? I hope not. While it does suck to be in this position, I think the best course we can get now is for Disney to write Leia out of the movies, if she wasn’t already.

At any rate, I am very excited to see what is on the agenda for the next Star Wars movie, and am looking forward to this one a lot more than I thought I would be!

Princess Leia

Over the last year, I think I’ve grown incredibly more predisposed to the Star Wars new canon than I was when the decision was made to remove the expanded universe back in the day. After making some brief forays into the new lore back in 2015, last year has seen me really embrace this stuff, and also really start to enjoy it. I suppose the fact we had a new movie has helped there, of course! Having enjoyed stuff like Bloodline and A New Dawn, I’m finding myself really looking forward to what’s next for the franchise.

First up, we have the third Aftermath novel, Empire’s End, coming out in February, which I’m looking forward to, if only to see how the series ends. I’ve been toying with the idea of re-reading the first two books, but I think that might have to wait. Tim Zahn is returning to Star Wars books in April with Thrawn, a novel that I’m both excited and nervous for, as I think it’ll be interesting to see how this new portrayal will fit with the now-Legends stuff. I’m hoping Zahn can make it work, of course! Looking at comics, the Darth Vader series may be over, but the story looks set to continue with the Doctor Aphra ongoing series, which should be a lot of fun (if somewhat spoiler-y for the fact that she obviously survives the Vader series). Darth Maul is getting a miniseries showing his time before The Phantom Menace, which I’m hoping will be cool. I do enjoy these short offerings on a single character that Marvel have been doing – even if the series isn’t exactly up to all that much, I think the idea of them is pretty good, as we get the universe fleshed out once again. Of course, I’m hoping we get more stories that are a bit more, which I suspect the Poe Dameron ongoing series might be, so will need to investigate that soon.

Basically, I’m excited for the new Star Wars canon right now, and you can look forward to a lot more of it on the blog in 2017!

Have an excellent New Year, everybody!