December 2022 Retrospective

And just like that, 2022 is over. Well, I suppose there are a few more hours to go, but you know what I mean. It’s been quite the month, as well, with quite a decent spread of stuff going on!!

To start with, I was quite impressed with myself for not only building four investigator decks and planning to play the full Dream-Eaters campaign for Arkham Horror LCG, but then making good on the whole thing and just steaming through it in pretty short order! I think my recent track record with Arkham campaigns taking me months to complete didn’t really make me all that positive! But there we have it. I haven’t yet picked up The Scarlet Keys, and I have played most of the Innsmouth campaign, so I’m in the curious place now where I don’t really have any new Arkham content to play…

I really enjoyed playing this one, which I think was important because I hadn’t particularly enjoyed Innsmouth (because of my investigator choice, I think) or Edge of the Earth (because of the story, I think), so it was good to get the love back! I’ve talked a bit recently about going back and playing some of the earlier stuff again, as I definitely preferred those campaigns, so I can see myself making another run at Dunwich in the new year! I do want to retry my luck with Innsmouth, as well, so I think it will possibly be a while before I do actually get round to buying The Scarlet Keys, but equally I am looking forward to seeing how that one works. There’s a lot to be excited about right now!!

I’ve recently had quite a huge splurge on Marvel Champions stuff though, getting a hefty injection of content for my collection between my birthday and Christmas, so I should probably look at playing more of that in the future as well! It’s mad, when I think about it objectively, how I’ve gone from zero to almost a full collection of this stuff in the space of not very long. I’ve definitely been enjoying the game, though, and have spent a couple of evenings sleeving up the new arrivals, so I have the Red Skull and X-Men boxes ready to go now. I can’t quite decide which one to go for first, though!! I’m not really interested in playing them as a campaign, having tried the Thanos campaign but being really underwhelmed with it. I think I’ll probably go towards Red Skull for starters, though, as I have a lot of Avengers heroes that I want to try out still. It doesn’t feel right yet to move on to the mutants…

Marvel does seem to have been on the radar a lot more of late, though, as I’ve finally started to chronicle my thoughts on the Phase 4 stuff we were watching back in the autumn. I think of myself very much as a casual Marvel fan – I’m more likely to froth at the mouth where Star Wars is concerned, than any inconsistencies in the MCU. Yet another reason why my sudden all-out acquisition of the Marvel Champions stuff is a bit mad. But it’s fun, and doesn’t take a lot of concentration to watch this stuff, so I can have it on while building or painting miniatures, or whatever. I’ve got some more catching up to do, though, before I can get to the end of this Phase, so there’s more to come in the new year, hopefully before Phase 5 kicks off in February with the next Ant Man film.

I mentioned Star Wars just now, and I did spend a decent chunk of the month reading the recently published Shadow of the Sith, which was very good! The sequel trilogy has been maligned, much like the prequel trilogy was back in the early 2000s, so I’m personally looking forward to 2035 (or so) when I expect the fans to start enjoying it in favour of whatever other new thing is currently causing the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. For me, the sequels aren’t great, but it’s what we have so I’m trying to find the positives. Books like this one help to tie in the new landscape that Disney has blasted into being, so I’m glad that some effort is being made to actually give a backstory to the films. It’s a difficult position to take, but I’ve come to peace with the fact the movies exist, no matter how disappointed I am with the decision to sweep away the old EU.

On an unrelated note, I need to get my act together and finish watching Andor! I’ve watched the first six episodes, but it just dropped off my radar and I’ve not had the inclination to get back to it! Shameful.

At any rate, I’m currently reading The Wraithbone Phoenix, the latest book in the Warhammer Crime series. I started it on Christmas Eve, as an early Christmas present, but I have to say, it’s been a bit of a slog up to now. I think I’m around halfway through, so it shouldn’t be too long before I come back here with some more thoughts. It’s a bit of a shame, though, as I really loved the first book in the imprint.

Speaking of shame, let’s talk about my hobby projects from the month! I’ve really put this whole thing on the back burner, it seems, which is a bit sad really as I had high hopes for another hobby-ful festive period! I have completed the five sword-and-board Lychguard that I had begun to work on back when I moved house, more than three years ago. Considering Lychguard are my favourite Necron models, I’ve actually had some real trouble with these guys, and the warscythe group too, but I’ve finally put those to rest now.

Drukhari have been sneaking into the painting queue for quite a few months now, and I’m so glad to get these three finished as the models were just horrible to paint. Part of that is probably down to my prep of them, but a big part is just the poor finecast material. Again, I’ve had these hanging around for years (at least two of them were built before I moved), so it’s been good to reach into that backlog and just get stuff done. I had planned to get five Wracks finished, then get to work on some more Wych Cult stuff before the year end – Hellions, and another Venom. Well, suffice it to say that the Wracks are close, but not yet finished, so… yeah…

Interestingly, I haven’t done any work on the Grey Knights this year. I often think of them as “my Christmas army” and definitely enjoyed playing games with them this time last year, but they’ve kinda passed me by this year. However, I think there have been a couple of things going on that have perhaps been at work here. First off, I have definitely been playing more other games this year, and have been enjoying a far wider selection of things than I have in years gone by, which has potentially taken time away that would otherwise have been put into painting miniatures. I’ve also just felt like the days have gone by too quickly to really accomplish much of anything!! But also, both of my regular gaming buddies have moved slightly away from 40k, JP towards Middle Earth and James into Age of Sigmar. So my 40k outlets have diminished a bit, though neither of them refuses to play of course (I think both have had significant 40k projects from Santa, too, so they’re not going anywhere!) But it’s been five months since my last game of 40k, and I think it’s beginning to show on me…

I’m sure when I come to think of my 2023 hobby goals, however, I’ll be fired up to get stuff done once again!!


That’s December, so how has 2022 been, overall? I’m a word: odd. My WordPress stats tell me I’ve made 181 posts this year, which is quite good (I posted every day in May, which probably helped!) and my views are up 30% on last year. How wonderful! I know it’s easy to say, but I really do this for the hell of it, and not for the views – if you do read my drivel, I thank you! It’s not like this blog is any kind of revenue stream though, so the views don’t really come into play, I just post stuff regardless! (If you’re interested, my most-viewed post of all time is about Tau support systems, which dates back to 2018. Even all these years later, it keeps getting looked at!)

I touched on this earlier, but I seem to have had a bit of a balance-shift away from the hobby treadmill and instead I’ve moved back to more regular board and card games. Of all the games that I’ve played this year, the living card games have come out on top once again, probably because co-op, solo play is the easiest to effect, and I don’t need to arrange anything in advance.

In all fairness, it has been quite a productive year for me. I think I have benefited from the fact that the kids are just a little bit older now, and even though at 3 and 18 months they can be demanding, we’re in that sort of routine with them both where we can actually get stuff done. I’ve been able to play a lot of games, get a lot of painting done, and I’ve read quite a few books over the course of the year, so I’m quite pleased with that!

According to the stats on boardgamegeek, I’ve played 106 games this year, which doesn’t really seem a lot, I know. Almost nine a month? Hm. There are some very interesting titles among those games, of course, such as getting in a game of Warhammer Underworlds, trying out the Ghostbusters game, I even got to play Rune Age and Runebound once again! 2022 has definitely been a year or rediscovery for me, of breaking the run of games going unplayed. Looking ahead, I’m planning to initiate a bit of a plan to get more games played, but not something that relies on me playing three or four campaigns of Arkham Horror LCG to bump the numbers up!! It does irk me a little when I look at my games, and how much a lot of them have cost, but how many of them are going unplayed. I’m therefore not trying to set out some kind of stringent plan that must be adhered to, but instead I want to come up with something, a bit like the hobby goals blog that you’re all doubtless looking forward to reading tomorrow, that will focus the mind so that I can just make sure I do get to enjoy all of these games that I’ve bought!

Reading
My major project for 2022 was the Summer of Star Wars, where I re-read the prequel era stuff. There were a couple of things that I had never read before, but by and large I was reading stuff that I was fairly-to-very familiar with. I think it was a little over 5 months, in total, to read from Darth Plagueis all the way through to Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, and while it was a lot of fun to read some of these things that I hadn’t read for ages I think I went a bit overboard at times, and was reading a lot of stuff for the sake of it, etc. Normally, when I would re-read the prequel stuff, I had formed “my version” of the continuity, leaving out the boring stuff, and just sticking with the good stuff (like Cloak of Deception – yes, it’s an amazing book!)

I’d started the year with the new Thrawn: Ascendancy trilogy, which was a pretty good series if truth be told. I think reading it back-to-back like that was a good benefit, as otherwise I suppose it might have lost something. I had been surprised at how un-Star Wars the trilogy felt, and yet it remained great! I’ve also pretty much finished the year with Star Wars as well, reading Shadow of the Sith and being pretty impressed, I have to say! The sequel era is still like some kind of weird wasteland though, and I definitely want to have more of the timeline filled out there – more info on what is going on between the trilogies, especially. Mystery is good and all, but when it isn’t paid off, there’s just no point!!

In addition to all the Star Wars stuff, I’ve made a return to the Horus Heresy, and have made a start with reading The Witcher books with my fellow bloggers Jenn, Dave and Milou. We’re poised to start on book four in the new year, so it’ll be interesting to see where the series goes as I have no prior knowledge for what to expect, having never really been into the gaming side of it all.

Gaming
This year has been pretty spectacular in many respects. In addition to the usual stuff, 40k and Lord of the Rings, Arkham Horror LCG etc, which have made regular appearances for the last few years, I’ve really rediscovered loads of games, bringing a lot of old favourites back to the table such as Runebound, A Touch of Evil, Eldritch Horror and even the Star Wars LCG!

The game that has stood out for me by far is Marvel Champions, which was a fairly late discovery as I only started to play with it in August. It has proven to be really easy and really enjoyable to play though, and I’m surprised I hadn’t looked into it sooner. Over the latter half of the year, especially Christmas time, I’ve picked up almost the whole line for the game, with just a few odd packs still on the shopping list. By virtue of it being a quick game that is fairly self-contained, it is up there as one of the games that I have played the most this year.

Vying for the top spot of Most Played Game of 2022 is Arkham Horror LCG, which has seen a lot of table time by virtue of having played through three whole campaigns, plus part of a fourth, as well as giving some of the stand-alone scenarios a try. I talked about this recently, but I would like to play some of the early campaigns again, so have started to think about who I would like to take with me through Dunwich or Carcosa again – I have played Dunwich twice already, so I think I might try Carcosa again. And given the fact that I really like it when Arkham Horror takes place in Arkham, I think I might go for The Circle Undone once more as well. I’m planning to pick up The Silver Keys in due course as well, though, so I’m sure that will appear on the radar. 

I am planning to try to get much more regular gaming in throughout 2023 though – getting to play with some of those big-box classics has really made me want to play more, if for no other reason than to try and get my money’s worth from them! I have a lot of games, and they aren’t exactly cheap either, so it would be great if I could actually play more with them. I’m not really into discovering new games these days, as I know a lot of tabletop gamers can be, so I’ll have a blog about my plans for the coming year coming up early on in January!

Painting
Ah yes, the dreaded Hobby Progress 2022 update! Let’s remind ourselves, shall we, of the goals that I’d set at the start of the year…

  1. Paint more terrain
  2. Adepta Sororitas – paint more models
  3. Build & paint the Ossiarch Bonereapers units I have
  4. Continue to paint Genestealer Cults
  5. Paint up those Tyranids that have been primed
  6. Try to sort out the other armies!
  7. Start painting a new Tau army

Well, in going over those points, I was struck by how much I actually have done towards these goals. It’s not like I’m going to get some kind of bar chart out, but I think I have done a fair bit within every point to say that it has been a success, this year!

To start with, I have painted more terrain. I spent almost two-thirds of the year painting up the Galvanic Magnavent, but it’s finally finished, so that’s the second big piece of terrain that I can firmly tick off the list. To add to this, I’ve also finished off the Thermic Plasma Conduits, and the first Haemotrope Reactor. In addition, I’ve also painted up the entire box of Ash Wastes terrain for Necromunda! So I’m quite pleased with the first point there, getting a number of kits finished.

The Adepta Sororitas were something of a bete-noir for me for a long time, as I had gone through so many different ideas for colour schemes for them. After setting myself the goal this year of painting them once more, I floundered for a long time, and I think around Easter I did consider just off-loading the whole lot, as it just didn’t seem like it was going to happen for me. But then, during the Wimbledon final, I stripped the paint off those models that I had tried a few schemes on and, in very short order I was able to get the squad of ten finished. Since then, it’s kinda snowballed for me, and I’ve been able to get a good chunk of models painted up! I’m very pleased with this one, and would go as far as to say it’s been my biggest success of the year! 

As far as the Bonereapers are concerned, however, I have built up five cavalry models, and primed them. And that’s where it ends… Genestealer Cults have had the Nexos painted, which I know is just one model, but still! I do have quite a few models left to paint here, and I would like to try to get back to these guys at some point. Tyranids were a bit of a surprise, as they’re an army that’s always in the back of my mind, but I never seem to make any effort with them. However, this year I did get two carnifexes finished, which was a real delight – horrible models to assemble, but they look great when they’re finished!

In terms of my other armies, I have done some work to thin the ranks, getting the Blood Angels sold off. I still have my Deathwatch and Tempestus Scions, which I’ve just not been able to part with as I love the models so much, but we’ll have to see on that front. I have a good amount of AdMech to keep as a single army, so I might get round to finishing off painting some of those models at some point. I have actually spent a good chunk of the year painting up Drukhari, getting my Wych Cult models off to a better start, as well as that Raider, then the Grotesques and Wracks most recently. In terms of my Necrons, I have finished off the Lychguard and Tomb Blades, which have been projects in varying stages of half-completion for years, and I have done some more work on the Immortals to make their weapons look nicer. Chaos Marines have had some love too, with the Sorcerer and my first ten-man squad being completed. To top it all off, I’ve been able to paint two of the Kill Teams from the big boxes, as well. So within the catch-all heading of “other stuff”, it’s been pretty good!

Finally, my Tau army. It all started so well, but I think maybe I had been too blinkered in just painting Tau for the first few months of the year, and so I grew a bit listless and stuff. It’s a very exciting project for me, though, and I have recently begun to think once again about getting the brushes out for these guys. I think it’s a better idea to take more of a measured approach this time, though, and not just go all-in but try to keep things mixed-up for variety. Maybe a couple of Tau things, a couple of Sisters, some Drukhari or Necrons, maybe even some Genestealers, and see where we get to. But I have painted up a fairly decent amount of stuff over those first few months, so I think it’ll be nice to add to that once again.

All in all, then, I’m quite pleased with my progress during 2022. I’ve been totting up the bought vs painted figures, and in terms of boxes painted, the painted far outweighs the bought (14 bought and 37 painted), but in terms of the models, if we assume the distribution for some stuff like Kill Team boxes, I’ve actually bought 178 models, and painted 179! So that’s very interesting indeed!

This is all getting very wordy now, though, so I think I will stop rambling now. Have a wonderful new year, everybody, and stay tuned for more rambles in 2023! You know you love it!

Hobby Goals 2022 – two months left

With just two months left of this year, it’s time to check-in with the hobby goals and see what I can do to get myself back on track before new year. Let’s just take another look at what I had decided to do this year:
1. Paint more terrain
2. Start painting the Adepta Sororitas
3. Finish painting the Ossiarch Bonereapers kits that I have
4. Continue to paint up the Genestealer Cultists
5. Paint up the Tyranid models that are currently primed
6. Try to sort out the AdMech, Drukhari, Necrons and Chaos Marines, and other bits!
7. Start painting the new Tau army

I’ve got a fairly nice start to the sector mechanicus stuff now, with two of the big kits done. I was toying with possibly doing a third, but for now I’ve moved into other stuff, namely the Haemotrope Reactor, and I am thinking I might try to get at least one armoured container before the year is out. But I don’t want to go too crazy, as I seem to have a lot that I want to get through!

Considering when I last looked at the hobby goals, back in July, I hadn’t done anything with the Sisters, I now have a whole bunch of them done! 30+ models painted across the last couple of months is pretty good going, even if I say so myself! I’m really enjoying the colour scheme as well, it’s quite easy to replicate across the various units, and it’s great to see the army coming together – at long last!!

Okay, so I haven’t actually painted any more Bonereaper miniatures, but after playing my first game at the end of July, I did build these cavalry up in short order. They’re primed and ready, but just not on the list for me right now.

Now, I haven’t painted up any more Genestealer Cultists since that great run I had on them twelve months back, but you never know whether I might still pick up the bikers before Christmas! For the last couple of weeks, they have been back on my radar…

Tyranids made a surprise return to my painting queue a while back, and I finished the carnifexes that have been hanging about for a few years. It was a surprise move, but it was nice to have a couple more models painted up for these bugs. I think I mentioned it before, but I do consider the models that I have as a complete force, so in a way it is quite nice to dip in and out every so often to just add to a couple more to the painted pile, as it were! I have a few more primed models now, but as with the Bonereapers, I don’t think I’m going to be adding any more to the list of what to do by the end of the year.

My Chaos Marines have had a bit of love this year, with a few more models added to the painted pile – the first squad of Legionnaires and the Sorcerer are now joining the Master of Possession! I had hoped to start on the Cultists this year, but as is now becoming a theme with this post, it probably isn’t something that I’m going to get round to soon…

My Necrons have actually had a couple of outings this year, and I’ve been trying to spruce some of the models up to get the blue, in particular, looking better. I’m actually really pleased to say that all of the troops have been looked over now. I also recently finished getting the tomb blades painted up, which is very good! Slowly but surely, I’m getting all of these mechanical chaps painted! In a surprise twist, I am intending to get some more Necrons done – hopefully I’ll be able to get some Lychguard done soon, anyway.

The Dark Eldar seem to have been making a bit of a stealth return, after doing the Raider, plus of course the Wych Cult!

It’s one of my favourite armies that I own, and I’m really excited to have been able to get more of these painted recently. The Wych Cult in particular is good to get to the table, as they’ve been languishing for ages now. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to get a game with them, though I hope that will change in due course. I’m also hoping that I might get some more Dark Eldar painted soon, too…

The Tau project is a curious one. I started the year really strongly with getting two units of Pathfinders, a unit of Fire Warriors, and the Commander done within the space of about ten weeks. I guess I was a little burnt out though? I started casting around for other projects as a bit of a palette cleanser, and eight months on, I still haven’t picked them back up. I’m not saying that I’m going off them, not at all, but I seem to have a lot of competing projects and the Tau currently aren’t on the agenda, sadly. But I’m hoping that I will be able to get back to the Sa’cea Sept very soon!!

I’ve got a few projects for the winter that I’m looking forward to getting round to. Near to the top of that list is, of course, this beautiful Ash Wastes terrain. The tutorial video that I’ve been keeping in mind, from Mediocre Hobbies, reckons it won’t be long to get painted, but I’m not so sure – it is me, after all!! But you never know.

More Necrons, possibly more Dark Eldar, and likely more Sisters are all on the list for the next two months, though I’m also aware that we’re approaching Grey Knights season! If you’ve not been reading my blog for very long, every winter for the past 4-5 years, I’ve been working on my Grey Knights, and it now feels wrong for me to think about painting or playing with the army at any other time of the year! I think I will very likely be working once more on these models by December, so I am conscious that I don’t want to be over-loading myself with projects being crammed in just for the sake of things.

Join me in two months’ time, to see where I end up!!

January 2022 retrospective

Hey everybody,
January has been pretty damn productive, I have to say! I’m very impressed with myself, even if the month did feel like it lasted for about a decade. For starters, I’ve made a really good start with my new year, new army, getting two full squads of Tau Pathfinders painted, along with their associated drones. That’s been a really big boost, as far as I’m concerned, because I think I’ve shown that I can get a lot of models finished in a fairly quick turnaround. As with all these sorts of things, it’s often slower while sorting out the colour scheme, so now that I’ve got that sorted out, I think I should be able to keep the pace and have a half-decent army painted by the time Easter rolls around!

For February, I’m planning to paint up some Fire Warriors, again with their associated drones, so we shall see where I get to there.

I had my first game with the new Genestealer Cults book as well, and it was quite the uphill struggle, I have to say! The last time I had a game with these guys, it was 8th edition and I had no idea what I was up to, but the army was predominantly unpainted – this time, everything was painted, and it made such a difference to the visual style, I have to say. I had no idea about the stratagems, and I think potentially only used one or two the whole game – I was otherwise using Command Re-Roll all the time! I think I made a mistake with going all-Neophytes in my troops, though, and using the Hybrid Metamorphs for close combat seemed a bit of a waste as they really weren’t as good as I had been expecting. I think I’ve been clinging to the Metamorph bomb idea from last edition, but as I said last time, it’s something that I wanted to try, just to see what would happen.

I should clarify that the Metamorphs aren’t necessarily bad per se, they just didn’t seem to work well at the lower points limit. I think at a higher points game, they could still be useful as a bodyguard-type unit. We shall see!

For the next time, though, I’m making some swaps – so removing the Metamorphs and the truck, and taking the bikes and a group of Acolyte Hybrids. It seems there are some interesting things that you can do with the Atalan Jackals, so I’m excited to see what will happen there. I’ve made some notes, though, so have a better idea of what I can get up to with the army. Hopefully this is something that I will be doing more of as time goes on, and I try to improve as a player – I’m not talking tournament-dedicated or anything, but I definitely want to be a better player, and hopefully provide a better sort of game for my opponent. I’ll probably be talking more about this in the coming weeks, anyway.

I’ve begun the long and arduous process of going through my various piles of shame as well, in an attempt to properly thin the ranks once more. I’m sure there’ll be more to say on this in the fullness of time, of course, but I’ve discovered that I have almost 900 points of AdMech and 1300 points of Black Legion, which is quite a surprise! I have big chunks of Sisters and Tyranids, among others, which will all need to be looked at quite carefully in the coming months, as I really feel like I’m drowning in plastic at the minute. I have some projects that I haven’t touched either at all, or else for years, which is making me wonder if I’ll ever get round to them.

I think I need to be much more careful with my hobby spends and my hobby time, as the family grows and whatnot. I am somewhere in the area of having my hobby feeling a bit less enjoyable right now, like something I have to do, so it would definitely be an idea to give this some serious thought. There’s also so much coming out that I’m looking forward to…

I’ve also been chipping away at the scenery piece that I’ve got on the table, and it’s coming along quite nicely, I think! I have been through all of my Sector Mechanicus terrain pieces to see what’s going on. There is a lot still to do, but in all honesty I’m not focusing on this stuff right now, it’s all been about the Tau Pathfinders!!

It’s not been all about 40k though. I’ve been reading the Thrawn Ascendancy series, and have made it through the first two books of the trilogy so far. I’ve already written up some thoughts on the first book, which you can read here, and after finishing the second book last night, I’ll get my next instalment out sometime this week. I had the third book for Christmas, so will move on to that one next, I think.

A bit disappointingly, I’ve not been playing any Arkham Horror LCG for weeks, now! I played In Too Deep at the end of November, but for two months now it’s just been untouched! Meanwhile, the Edge of the Earth campaign that has been sleeved and is ready to go. I definitely need to get my act together, although I am clinging to the idea that I wasn’t really playing The Circle Undone until March, so there’s hope!

I am enjoying The Innsmouth Conspiracy, and I am looking forward to getting my teeth into The Edge of the Earth when the time comes! But everything has been so much about 40k so far, so I guess I need to just ride that wave!

Painting Updates!

Hey everybody,
I feel like 2022 has started out in a really positive way for me and the hobby! I’ve been painting every evening, which always makes me feel better about things as I can see my progress with stuff.

To start with, I’ve been having a lot of fun painting up the unit of Tau Pathfinders. Initially, there were some hurdles to overcome as I was trying to devise my paint scheme for them, working from the old Citadel pdf guide, and even once that was sorted, I was somehow finding it easier to paint models one at a time. Urgh! However, since the weekend I’ve gone for more of a traditional batch paint style, and have gotten them to a decent point so far.

The cloth is drybrushed with Mechanicus Standard Grey and then Dawnstone, only lightly. I’m toying with the idea of then shading with Nuln Oil, but for now have left it as it is. The armour is then painted with Russ Grey – the original mini I painted up then had an all-over layer of Fenrisian Grey, but I’m thinking I may go for an edge highlight of that instead. I’m also going to try and line shade them with Drakenhof Nightshade. The skin is a light drybrush of Mournfang Brown and Squig Orange – a departure from the normal Tau skin tone, which would otherwise have been too close to the armour colour.

For the weapons, I’ve gone for a layer of Dawnstone and then Administratum Grey, then a shade of Drakenhof Nightshade, aiming for a slightly patchy look to simulate camo. This is largely the scheme – there are some metallic areas that I will paint accordingly, and some of the special kit is painted with Sotek Green and highlighted with Temple Guard Blue, but in the main the basic scheme is quite straightforward. The scheme is also replicated across the drones, and I was initially a bit concerned that they might look a little flat, having no highlights, but really that’s kinda the point – I want a sort of plasticky look to them, if you know what I mean?

I’ve bought a Start Collecting set for the army as well, as I thought it would be good to get the Crisis Suits and Fire Warriors for such a good price, as well as a bonus Ethereal. They have recently announced the Combat Patrol box, which switches up Crisis Suits for a Ghostkeel and Stealth Suit team, and includes a Cadre Fireblade as well as Ethereal and Fire Warriors. So that’s very impressive, though the price will be adjusted as well, no doubt! However, I paid £54 for the SC box, and CP boxes are £65.50 at my local shop, so it’s not much of a hike – and I have been thinking about a Ghostkeel recently, more for the model than any kind of desire for a stealth aspect to the force! I really think the Stealth team looks goofy, so I don’t know if I’d want those guys as well. But anyway!

I’ve also been painting some more terrain, which is just wonderful! Back in 2020 I painted up a Ferratonic Incinerator but didn’t make any notes on the scheme, more fool me. Interestingly, though, it is fairly close to my Tau – the actual vats are drybrushed with Russ Grey and Fenrisian Grey, and then Administratum Grey, in a crosswise pattern to try to simulate paint. The walkways are Macragge Blue, which has been heavily drybrushed on, then further drybrushes of Fenrisian Grey and Screaming Skull have been added to lighten it up a little. The support struts are just drybrushed with Administratum Grey. I’m then picking out pipes and associated bits and pieces with metallics, trying not to go too overboard.

I’m painting up a Galvanic Magnavent this time around – it’s one of two that I have built, though neither of them is built according to the instructions! I think I’ve always been a bit like that – as a child with Lego, I would always enjoy more the alternative builds from the back of the box, you know? So I have the current build, and I have this one, which was the first one I had built.

I love this scenery, and I really want to do something fancy with it all. I mean, certainly do something fancy to link up some of the kits that I have! In addition to the big pieces, I’ve got the Haemotrope Reactors and Alchomite Stack stuff that would possibly look fantastic with something to link it all together. I’m not sure what, though, and I’m not sure how, but I think it would be marvellous! I guess we’ll just have to see.

Hobby Update 2021!

Hey everybody,
It’s New Year’s Eve, which can mean only one thing – let’s evaluate the past twelve months, and tot up all the places where I succeeded and where I missed out on my hobby goals that were projected a year ago! Spoiler alert: I don’t think I did very well…

Paint up the Sisters of Battle 500-point list (well, it’s a little more than 500 points, but the point stands!)
Hm. I did make some efforts with the Sisters during the year, and I think I have a colour scheme that I like now, but I have not made massive in-roads here, as the project was fairly quickly abandoned, if I’m honest! I don’t want to get rid of these models though, so I think I might give it some more thought in 2022 and see whether I can make more of an effort to get some models finished.

Finish up the Drukhari models – 5 Wracks, 3 Grotesques, 5 Incubi and Drahzar.
I did actually paint up 5 Incubi, and I’ve done the skin on both the Wracks and the Grotesques. But that’s pretty much as far as it goes. I don’t know if it’s been the lack of games, or something else, but I just haven’t really been feeling the Dark Eldar in 2021.

Paint up at least 2 Tyranid units, at least one of which is a big bug!
Well, this one failed pretty badly! I have sort of painted five Genestealers, but I don’t think that’s even a minimum-sized squad. Tyranids have been big on my radar during this year, but for whatever reason, I’ve just not really found the inclination to actually make this one come through, either.

Continue rescuing Necron models – Triarch Praetorians, Canoptek Spyder, etc
Okay, so I have painted some Necron models, but I haven’t really rescued all that many. They’re on my list – heck, some of them have been on my painting station for a long time! – and while I still have a lot of affection for the undead space robots, I haven’t managed to get all that many models painted this year. I did paint the five Triarch Praetorians that were a rescue job around two years in the making, and I have painted up a couple of the character models from Indomitus and the Psychomancer, so it’s not a complete failure on this one.

Paint more Grey Knights! At least three more units, maybe a vehicle too.
Well. I’ve not actually finished any further Grey Knights units just yet, but my goodness, I’ve been playing with them, and it has been great! I’ve started work on my second Strike Squad, but I really want to do these models justice, so I’m just slowly taking my time and working through them, and I hope that eventually I’ll have a good force fully painted up. As ever, stay tuned for this one!

Also paint more Chaos Marines! At least three units, and perhaps a bigger thing, as well.
I haven’t painted anything for the Heretic Astartes this year – shocking, I know! I believe there is a huge new release due for them in the new year, however, so I imagine there might be some more movement on this one soon…

Make a decision about the Scions, Deathwatch and AdMech models! Do I want to keep all of those Space Marines kits?
I don’t know! I really don’t know if I want to keep all of these extraneous models. I just want to have them, but I can’t really imagine myself ever playing games with them, really. AdMech I can possibly see myself playing as allies for maybe the Grey Knights or something, though I just don’t know yet… These are mostly just kept in the loft still, though. Shame!

Paint more terrain – mainly for Necromunda, but also general 40k stuff.
While I haven’t painted any more terrain (certainly not to completion), I have built up plenty. The Gang Stronghold from last Christmas, the new Kill Team box, the Sanctum and the associated ruins… There is a lot of terrain that has been constructed in 2021, and I think I need to be better at chipping away at this sort of thing, though without a real plan for it I do find myself floundering at times! All that said, I have done myself proud with the Zone Mortalis stuff, getting a few walls and columns painted up there. So it hasn’t been a complete waste, at least!

Okay, so if that’s all of the stuff that I had planned to do – what have I actually been doing with my time?!

To start with, I painted up a fairly significant chunk of Ossiarch Bonereapers, I think the final count has it around 1500 points of models there, not quite sure. I do love those models, and I’m thinking I might come back to them in 2022 if there are more models promised for release – archers, maybe?! I also painted up some of the Sigmarite ruins scatter terrain, a fairly quick job across some small pieces, and finally finished the Unmade warband for Warcry. That game has informed a lot of my time in 2021, I feel – and a surprise discovery of Underworlds meant that I spent a good chunk of the early part of the year in the Mortal Realms – which, of course, I hadn’t planned for!

Back in September, though, all of my hobby plans were slightly de-railed when I decided to throw everything out the window and focus almost exclusively on my Genestealer Cultists, having had the models since their initial release in 7th edition, but never really making any serious effort to paint them. Well, I’m currently around the 1200 points mark with these guys, which is just great, so I’m looking forward to getting their codex in the new year, and hopefully getting some games in with them!

Speaking of games, I’m surprised at how many times I was able to play GW games this year. True, a lot of these were solo affairs while we were stuck in one of the many lockdowns, but I’ve still managed to play Necromunda, Warhammer Underworlds, Warcry and Warhammer 40k during the year! Underworlds, as I mentioned, was a surprise at how much I enjoyed it, and while I might not necessarily be following it in the new Harrowdeep season, I do like the fact that I have a good collection of stuff to have (hopefully!) many fun and enjoyable games in the future. Warcry is a firm favourite, and the recent Red Harvest set has just bowled me over once again at how much they put into these releases. I’m still in the process of building this up, so I haven’t yet been able to try out the new mine terrain etc, but I am very excited to get it all finished, etc!

40k has been good, as well. I’ve played a lot of games with Grey Knights, both small and large, and I think I’m getting to grips with the way these guys play now. It’s been a lot of fun to play the smaller scale games with James and his Black Templars, as we’re both learning these armies, but by extension we’re finally getting to cement the small rules tweaks of 9th edition in our minds, as we’re not playing particularly rushed or competitive, but instead taking the time to ensure we’re doing things properly. James is a great thinker about the game, too, and he watches more battle reports than me, so I enjoy the post-mortem afterwards as we go through what had happened.

Come back tomorrow, though, as I run through some of my hopes and dreams for the hobby in 2022!

2021 Hobby Goals check-in

Hey everybody,

We’re a little way over halfway through the year now, so I thought it would be good to check in on where I’m up to, as regards fulfilling those goals that were set out back in January!

To start with, I’ve been trying to do more with my Sisters, working on the original Battle Sister squad from the launch box, which I had previously tried to paint in a couple of different schemes, but haven’t yet managed to get very far! I have been doing a great deal of research into the faction, which had been inspiring me to get them painted, but the project stalled when Necromunda came heavily back onto my radar!

So far, then, not much has been done.

Next up we’re the Drukhari, and I had planned to paint up 5 Wracks, 3 Grotesques, 5 Incubi and Drahzar. So far, I’ve painted 5 Incubi, which is delightful, and I’ve also made some progress with the Coven models as well. I’m hopeful that I might actually achieve this one by the end of the year, anyway!

I need to think about what I want to do with those armies for which I have so many unpainted or partially painted things. AdMech, Deathwatch, Tempestus Scions and Blood Angels, specifically. I’m pretty much set on keeping my Genestealer Cults and my Tyranids, though at this point I don’t really have them on my radar. The same is true of my Grey Knights – I think the winter time is when I tend to go down that road, anyway – though with the new Castellan Crowe model on the horizon, that could well change. I still have Heretic Astartes on the radar as well, though not far enough up the list where I want to start working on them. Similar story with my Necrons really, I had wanted to try to rescue some more of the older models that I have hanging about, but so far all I’ve done is finish a couple of the newer models.

I’m always in a bit of a quandary over the Imperium armies, because on the one hand I think it’s really cool to have the sort of classic 40k army, with tanks and such – I just find it so inspirational! But on the other hand, I feel as though I’m forever taking on too much, and I do feel that need to trim back my projects!!

Lastly, I wanted to paint more terrain. Well, I’ve not managed to do anything with that one yet, either!! I really want to try and get some Sector Mechanicus stuff finished, in particular the Alchomite Stack that has been partially painted for a couple of years now. I have quite a lot of stuff though, but having finally figured out a colour scheme when painting up the Ferratonic Incinerator at the end of last year, I’m hopeful that I could get another terrain piece finished by the end of the year!

So, if I’m doing this badly at keeping to my goals, what the hell have I been doing?!

Despite all of my goals being centred around 40k, I’ve actually spent the year painting up a near-complete army for Age of Sigmar! I’ve painted up loads of Ossiarch Bonereapers, which makes me happy! I’ve even done some terrain for the fantasy game! Definitely unexpected, that one!

At the minute, I’m not really able to paint anything, as I’m in full-on baby-care mode. But hopefully as the year moves on, I’ll be able to get somewhere as life returns to something like normal. Fingers crossed!! It’ll be interesting to see how far I get with all this!!

January catch-up!

Hey everybody,
It’s been a while since my last blog post on here – in fact, I hadn’t realised just how long ago it was! Time to catch up, methinks!

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Should see me through the festive season! #nowReading

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First of all, I read the very wonderful Grey Knights, the first novel in the Grey Knights omnibus, shortly before Christmas. It follows Justicar Alaric as he works alongside Inquisitor Briseis Ligeia to prevent the rogue Inquisitor Valinov from bringing the daemon Ghargatuloth into the universe. As the majority of the Grey Knights have been deployed to the Cadian Gate in an effort to stem the tide of Abaddon’s Thirteenth Black Crusade, Alaric only has a small contingent to aid in his task. They track the likely place for Ghargatuloth’s return as somewhere within the Trail of Saint Evisser, and we really delve into the whole world of Imperial saints and the Chaotic corruption there – there are several twists and turns along the way, which I don’t want to spoil here because they were really well done, but suffice it to say it’s definitely worth picking this one up, even sixteen years after publication!

There is so much to enjoy in this novel, even though I found it difficult at times to get the time to actually read it! Having recently made a commitment to getting back into my Grey Knights project, I think this made me enjoy it even more, seeing the way the Grey Knights do battle. We get some really great descriptions of the Fortress-Monastery on Titan, and there is the real sense that Space Marines are, at their heart, warrior monks.

I very rarely read an omnibus as a single book, but rather treat it as the collected individual titles, and come back to it each time I want to read a particular book collected within. However, this is probably the first time I’ve wanted to carry on with the books, and I’m definitely planning to read the second book very soon.

Sadly, painting has not been something that I’ve been enjoying of late. I think I’ve been really out of practice since not having the time after the firstborn came along. Painting is, of course, something that improves over time and, after having a significant break, I’ve found that my brush control has really fallen by the wayside, and as a result I’ve become really frustrated with myself for not producing the sort of miniatures that I want.

I’d been wanting to paint up the House Orlock gangers that I’d started to paint almost two years ago, but a combination of the loss of confidence with a brush, as well as the fact the primer on some of these is a little thick in parts (it’s a grey primer, too, and I hate painting over grey!) has made me give up and strip them.

I’ve been watching Duncan’s video on painting the Sump Dogs, though, and as always, he has inspired me to give them a proper go. I mean, none of the lazy “just give it a drybrush and call it quits!” – I’m going to (try!) and follow this guide to the letter. We shall see how I get on!

Incidentally! How sad is the painting world now that Duncan has left GW?! I was gutted when the news was leaked shortly before Christmas – Duncan’s videos were basically how I learnt to paint!

This classic was, probably, the first miniatures-painting video I ever watched, and the massive collection of videos have been some of my favourites over the years – always come back to them, and I always look for a Duncan video when I’m going to paint something to see what he has to say about it. Hopefully they’re going to keep the archive up there, at any rate!


Model of the Year was announced the other week, and it was none other than the new Abaddon the Despoiler! I’m not sure if that was a shoe-in, though, as my personal choice was the new Keeper of Secrets, which is just such a phenomenal creation, it’s almost unlike anything else they have!

In a year when we had all of the Genestealer Cults stuff, the new Chaos Marines, new Drazhar, Ossiarch Bonereapers, new Slaves to Darkness, new Sisters of Battle – and all of that incredible Warcry stuff!

There were so many amazing new models in 2019, it was definitely a hard call. 2020 is already shaping up to be wonderful, now that we’ve had some of the new Sisters released – that Triumph of St Katherine centrepiece model is just astounding – so I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Hopefully by then, I’ll be more confident with painting once again, and can actually knock out some of these new models!


So yeah, I think I need to get cracking with regaining my confidence when it comes to painting. There are so many miniatures that I have on the back burner of course, so I really need to crack on! I think a lot of this will be helped by going back to basics, to some extent, and trying to re-learn a lot of stuff. It’s definitely going to be worth spending the time to do this, though, as I so many models that could be outright ruined by sloppy (or worse) painting!

I mean, I’m going to be picking up the Triumph of St Katherine, for goodness’ sake! I definitely need to up my game for something so fancy!

Hobby Resolutions check-in!

Hey everybody!
It’s New Year’s Eve, and so definitely time to check in for some progress against those Hobby Resolutions that I made twelve months ago! Spoiler alert: I don’t think I’ve done very well, all told…

So how did I do?

Build and Paint a third Ravager
Nope! But I have very recently returned to the Drukhari, and I do have two Ravager kits waiting in the wings, so this may not be so far off, after all.

Build and Paint an Imperium tank of some sort
Nope! When I originally wrote this, I was thinking of a Predator, but I have made no effort to do anything with this one. Well, I suppose I have that Baal Predator for the Blood Angels army that I haven’t really started work on yet…

Buy, Build and Paint Inquisitor Karamazov
I did buy him when I went to Warhammer World earlier this month, but I have neither built not painted him yet. Inquisitor Karamazov is one of those models that I want to have, just to have, and I don’t really have any ideas for him in an army yet. I suppose then, the fact that I’ve been focusing on getting armies built, at the very least, has meant this one has fallen by the wayside…

Continue to build up and paint the 1500pt Grey Knights list
For the longest time in 2019, I did actually consider selling off my Grey Knights, as they had barely been started as an army, and I thought I might just get rid of them before I went in too deep. But in the last couple of months, I’ve kicked this project back into gear, and have actually played one game with them. So progress has definitely been made – though the 1500 point list has definitely changed shape since I wrote this!

Finish off painting the Deathwatch models I have
Nope. Deathwatch were, for a time, a significant project for me once more, and I was trying to get a few models done. I think the most I have done, though, is some base coats on Watch Captain Artemis… I have a lot of Deathwatch models, though, so they will be looked at in the coming weeks, in an attempt to thin out the backlog. I don’t want to outright get rid of any, but I do want to try and clear some space, mentally, in my hobby.

Work out what I want to do with those Tyranids, if anything
I have indeed done this – I sold off a few models, I added a couple more, and I’ve not only started painting them, I’ve even had a couple of games with them! Definitely ticking this one off, then!

Work out what I want to do with the Tau army, if anything
I have indeed done this, as well – I sold off the whole lot, earlier in the year.

Paint 10 more Neophyte Hybrids, and paint 5 Hybrid Metamorphs
I haven’t done this, unfortunately. I think I’ve barely touched Genestealer Cults all year, despite their new releases coming out!

Paint 10 Skitarii, the Tech Priest Dominus, and the Dunecrawler
Well I’ve done the Skitarii, and I’ve done the Tech Priest – I just haven’t quite made it round to the Dunecrawler, sadly! I definitely need to take a long, hard look at the AdMech that I have, though, and thin those ranks out.

Paint some Ravenwing Black Knights, and the Darkshroud
I haven’t done anything with this, beyond undercoating them. Does that count? Probably not…

Paint at least one proper terrain piece (not just an ammo crate)
I have tried to do this one, what feels like all year – I just haven’t quite gotten there. The closest that I have come is getting quite a few basecoats and some shade on the Alchomite Stack, which is quite possibly one of my favourite of all the terrain kits GW produce as a result!

Paint some Nighthaunt and see what AoS is all about
I’ve certainly painted some Nighthaunt, and I’ve had three games with AoS, so I think this can be chalked up to a success! Though I would, of course, have preferred to have played more!

Paint the Doomsday Ark
I started… but I have definitely not finished…

Try out ShadeVault and Necromunda
Total failure on both counts!

Play more games, dammit!
Well, I played three games of AoS, as mentioned, as well as four games of Kill Team and thirteen games of 40k! If we’re counting other games, I also played the Dunwich Legacy campaign, as well as a couple of games with the new Hellboy boardgame. So it’s hardly been a prolific year for gaming, but it has still been really quite good, and I’ve met some really nice new folks to play against, which has been great! Moving house and having a baby has limited my time to some extent, for sure, but I’m hopeful that, now we’re in more of a routine, things can perhaps get back on track.

I’ll be writing more about my Hobby Resolutions for 2020 in another blog, but I think some of these will definitely be making a return – that terrain isn’t going to paint itself, after all!!

Hobby Reflections – 5 years on

Hey everybody,
August is my hobby anniversary month, and I have been quite reflective over the last couple of weeks, thinking on how far I’ve come with the hobby, and celebrating the fact that I’m really enjoying myself at the moment. I’ve probably said this on several occasions now, which almost makes it null and void, but I don’t think I’ve ever been enjoying myself in the hobby as much as I am right now, playing more regularly than I have ever managed previously, and dabbling in many different projects within the ranges Games Workshop has to offer.

It’s that dabbling that I want to ramble about today, though. I read Tyler Mengel’s ‘Hobby Discipline’ post at the end of last week, where he talks about the variety of projects he has planned out, and bemoaning the fact there are so many minis, but such little time. It really got me thinking about my own myriad plans, and how I have over the years tried to thin out the hobby backlog, only to then find myself in exactly the same position after a few scant months.

Over the years, I’ve bought and sold too many forces, both large and small, and I’ve tried with varying degrees of success to limit myself to stick to projects. I think the Tau Empire army that I found myself building up, only to then sell off wholesale, was a fairly significant turning point for me, however, as it brought it home how much time, effort and money that I had sunk into a project, just to wave goodbye to the whole thing within the space of 15 months or so.

I’m fairly certain that I am one of these people who are most easily classified as a “hobby butterfly”, moving from project to project with a whole host of half-finished pieces scattered in my wake. I almost think I’m pathologically incapable of seeing an army project through to completion! My current focus has been with my Necrons once more, which is something of a nostalgia trip for me at this time of year anyway, but is greatly helped by the fact that I’m playing more games at the minute than I have for a long time, and can almost see the holes in my army lists and how I can plug them. It’s almost like the game is designed that way, right?! More than that, however, I’m also enjoying the fact that I’m spending a lot of time with the Codex of my army, poring over the available units and the armoury sections, to see what I could possibly bring to the table, how I could field a different-looking army, etc. It’s really addictive to play a game, see where I went wrong, then want to play again and make changes.

The Necrons project kinda burst onto the scene shortly after I moved house, but up until that point I was working almost feverishly on my Adeptus Mechanicus project, mostly in the attempt to get an Imperium army that I could play on the tabletop. I don’t think I’ve ever fielded an Imperium force, and the idea sort of got hold of me. Having had a whole bunch of Skitarii that were half-built and waiting for paint, I found it really satisfying to finally get round to painting them, and seeing the project that had begun sometime in 2017 coming to fruition. The only other time I have ever been able to paint with such single-mindedness was probably when painting up my Drukhari, earlier in 2017.

I mention all of these projects almost as an attempt to console myself, as I am capable of sustained interest in an army project without the need to have sidelines going on. Many people mention painting up five or ten models for a unit, then moving to something else as a ‘palette’ cleanser. Personally, I’ve taken that idea a step further many times, and have painted up several really disparate models side by side, knowing that they share colours, in an effort to keep myself interested and motivated. Deathwatch, Genestealer Cult and Electro Priests all shared space on my desk at the same time, and it proved to be a fairly decent way to make sure I kept going.

However, whether because I’m playing more, or my painting time has become somewhat limited, I’m finding myself wanting to concentrate on getting a much narrower selection of models painted up these days. My Necrons are a case in point here, as I’ve found myself wanting to get the Lychguard models finished in time for a game, so didn’t want to get distracted by painting up the Van Saar gangers or the Iron Golem warband that I could have also had on the table, because I know they all share some colours in common. Even within the same project, I was in danger of getting sidelined by painting Tomb Blades, Canoptek Scarabs, and the Triarch Stalker, and so put everything away except the models that I wanted to focus on right there and then.

It’s not a bad thing to have a number of projects on the go at the same time, and it can often be quite economical to paint up several different models at the same time if they all share a common colour/colours, like some kind of weird batch-paint session. But I suppose when there are too many projects on the go, and you run the risk of never finishing anything, therein lies the problem. It’s giving me a lot of joy right now to see my Necrons army coming along so well, as they will always be my first love and passion, though my earlier attempt at an army of them was nowhere near the sort of standard that I would like to hold myself to these days!

There is, of course, another side to the coin of playing so many games with a fairly small-scale force, and that is the number of models you end up with, through being able to change your list fairly flexibly. If I had stuck to the 2000-point list that I had outlined almost 12 months ago (even adjusting for Chapter Approved), I probably wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of so many units as I am currently, because I keep changing up the way I build my 1000-point armies. By making small adjustments, swapping one unit for another, then another for yet another, a small-scale list can see me go through at least seven or eight revolving unit types, on top of the basic battalion force that has remained something of a bedrock for the list these past few months. When playing at 1000 points, I might overlook the Doomsday Ark, or the Triarch Stalker, because it is quite a large investment for one model, whereas for almost the same price I could put 5 Triarch Praetorians in my list and see what they have to offer. But I could also swap them out for Lychguard. Or I could make a couple of swaps together, removing the Lychguard and the Cryptek HQ for Illuminor Szeras and some Tomb Blades. All of these units probably wouldn’t find themselves in the same list at 2000 points, but I might want them all ready to go for my various 1000-point lists.

It’s an interesting position to be in, and I can see myself ending up with a much, much larger Necron force than I would perhaps originally have planned because of it!

But this is where the collector in me resurfaces, and I think there was an element of this back when I was first getting into 40k in 2014. I actually had all of the named HQ choices, even though I probably had no plans for fielding them – the only one I actually liked to play was Orikan the Diviner. It’s something that has really informed my Drukhari purchases in the last 12 months, as well – wanting at least one of every model in the range. So what if a particular model looks like ass? I’m in that sort of mindset where I identify quite strongly with the army (armies) that I play, and so want to own at least one of everything.

Where my Necrons are concerned, this is something that I never used to bother with, as very early on in my hobby career I’d made the judgment that I didn’t like the sculpts for Warriors, Destroyers and Flayed Ones, and so would just ignore them in the Codex and build lists that didn’t take account of them as options for the army. I’d then proceed to bemoan the expense of Lychguard as a melee option for the army, without really taking account of the fact that I can get Flayed Ones for about 55 points cheaper. Of course, I could always look into conversions, but that is a subject for another day – suffice it to say, I would always prefer to have an official GW model over one that I had had to make as a stand-in.

I feel that my attitude towards making the most out of a Codex has really helped me to see the potential for the Necrons, but to some degree it has helped with all of the armies that I collect. My Adeptus Mechanicus army had always been centred around the idea of waves and waves of Skitarii, peppered with Onager Dunecrawlers and the like. But having looked at everything they have, I have come to some much more interesting ideas as a result, and the same is true of my other projects.

The somewhat forgotten few – projects that I’ve barely touched in years…

But this does then come back to the idea from the start of the blog, about having too many projects going on at once, and where to draw the line over what we can and cannot accomplish as hobbyists. I shudder to think at just how many projects I actually have going on right now – indeed, it actually gives me a headache trying to grapple with them all. It’s not just army projects, of course, as I also have a good amount of terrain that wants some attention, both in the box and fully built (even primed and ready for paint, in some cases). It was one of my hobby goals for the year to get at least one decent-sized piece of terrain painted, and as we say farewell to the second third of the year, I am still nowhere near realising that aspiration! But then, I’m quite far away from a number of other goals from my list, so I suppose it’s all relative.

It does feel like this might be a good place to talk about those hobby goals, though, and to perhaps re-visit the list and see if I can get rid of a few of these that definitely won’t be realised before the end of the year. I’m pretty confident that I won’t be painting any Deathwatch or Grey Knights in the remaining months of the year, and while I might buy him, Inquisitor Karamazov is probably not going to see my hobby desk, either. An Imperial tank? I was thinking along the lines of a Predator, but I suppose it’s possible that I’ll be picking up one of the new Skitarii vehicles sometime soon, so that might still happen. I do want to put some of my focus back onto the Adeptus Mechanicus, though, as I’d like to get another unit painted up before year-end there. I’m actually thinking I might try to tackle the Onager, which would be very cool! I’d like to have painted up the contents of a Start Collecting box, so that’s something hovering around my brain.

Necrons are at the forefront of my mind right now, though, and while I would really like to get the Doomsday Ark painted, there are several other units vying for my attention there in terms of playing games, so I think I will probably give them some sort of priority: Tomb Blades and the Triarch Stalker being top of the list, but also more Immortals, Canoptek Wraiths, and (a weird one), the C’tan Shard of the Deceiver. I have some vague ideas for using him in my next game, as it happens, so I would like to try and get moving with him. I suppose Necrons generally should be on this list, as I try to flesh out my army there to be something approaching the breadth of my Drukhari. I keep saying that Necrons are my first love, but the amount of models that I can field really does seem to belie that fact! Time to press on.

My Hobby Goals list was written with half a mind to reducing some of the backlog that I’d accumulated over the years, but I think the way that I’ve been approaching that backlog has changed somewhat, as I’ve been tackling things that I am actually going to be getting some use out of. I don’t think it’s going to really be that possible to ever not have a backlog, and as such I don’t think it’s something I should really try to aim for. But I’d like to try to have a couple of weeks, maybe even a month, where I don’t find myself significantly adding to the mountain of plastic that has been accumulating around me – especially seeing as how that mountain is now stored in the loft… those rafters can’t take infinite strain, after all!!

Mid Year Hobby Check-In

Hey everybody!
Things have been a bit sparse here on the blog in recent weeks, due to the fact that I’m moving house again at the end of this week. Two moves inside of two years isn’t really all that bad, if I’m being honest, though it’s still one move more than perhaps I’d like! Well, anyway – we’re having lots of fun because Jemma is now six months pregnant, so can’t do a great deal of anything when it comes to packing and moving stuff, but the heir is apparently developing beautifully, so that’s the most important thing!

Anyway!

I’m a bit late to the party on this one, for sure, but I wanted to check in with how I’ve been doing, hobby wise, especially in comparison with the hobby resolutions that I made back in December! So let’s get cracking, and see how widely I’ve strayed from these goals…

First of all, though, let’s take a look at what those resolutions were to be:

So then! I think the easiest thing would be to just run through the list quickly and see, one by one, what I have managed to do…

Build and paint a third Ravager
This one is still a work in progress. But it’s on my mind, which is good!

Build and paint an Imperium tank of some sort
I was hoping to do a Predator or something – you know, something that really looks like a tank? But I haven’t gotten anywhere with this yet.

Buy, build and paint Inquisitor Karamazov
None of these things has happened yet.

Continue to build up and paint the 1500 point Grey Knight List
This project has well and truly stalled!

Finish off painting the Deathwatch models that I have
This project has also well and truly stalled!

Work out what to do with those Tyranids, if anything
Finally, something that I can tick off! Check out this blog post for those plans! I’ve had several thoughts, plans and ideas since then, as well, though I don’t think they’ve yet made it into blog form. But give it time…

Work out what I want to do with the Tau army, if anything
Another big tick in the box – I’ve sold the whole lot on ebay, including the Codex. That Tau bridge has been well and truly burnt!

Paint 10 more Neophyte Hybrids, and paint 5 Hybrid Metamorphs
The models are built and primed, ready and waiting. I just need to get myself sorted out! This has actually stalled in favour of the next bullet point, however:

Paint 10 Skitarii, the Tech Priest Dominus, and the Dunecrawler
Well, I haven’t quite managed the Dunecrawler yet, but the Skitarii are coming along quite nicely, as it happens!

Paint some Ravenwing Black Knights, and the Deathshroud
Okay, so this has also well and truly stalled, but my buddy Matthew has been recently sharing some progress he’s made with his Dark Angels, which has in turn started me thinking once again about a return to the First. Watch this space on that one!

Paint at least one proper terrain piece (not just an ammo crate)
Well, I have plenty of terrain pieces that are built and primed – it’s just finding the time, at the moment, to get anywhere with them! I think I’ve just been much more focused on getting dudes painted, their surroundings have kinda lapsed into nothing for me at this point. Though I have started painting four more ammo crates…

Paint some Nighthaunt and see what AoS is all about
Okay, so this is probably the biggest one for me thus far – I’ve painted up quite a decent chunk of spooks at this point, and have had three games of AoS, which has been really positive overall! I’ve had some hiccups with it, whereby I’ve almost been branching out too much again, but I think I’m now contained to just Death and Slaanesh armies, keeping my AoS adventure much more understated and in keeping with the factions that hold the most interest to me.

Hopefully when I move, I’ll be able to get some more games in!

Paint the Doomsday Ark
Well, this one is still in pieces somewhere, so let’s move on…

Try out ShadeVault and Necromunda
Again, not managed to do anything here except paint gang members, so let’s continue…

Play more games, dammit!
Well, I’ve managed to play 9 games so far this year, across 40k, Age of Sigmar and Kill Team. Bearing in mind that I only managed to play 11 games in the entirety of 2018, 9 games in 6 months isn’t bad at all! So I feel quite good about this one, even though it isn’t as good as perhaps it could be!


So far, then, I’ve not been doing that well, but I think that’s partly because I was so focused, back in December, on getting my Deathwatch and Grey Knights painted, that I somehow thought I could do it to the exclusion of all else. Now, my buddy Kev has often said I just need to be focused here, but I do tend to lack that over a long stretch. I mean, if I had two weeks where all I painted were marines every day, then I might actually come out with a few hundred points of army at the end of it. However, I’ve been painting for one or two nights a week, for one or two weeks per month, and my focus is diffused over a wide variety of projects. Inevitably, I just end up doing nothing, or very little, and I think I need to get better at that aspect.

Last month, I started painting Skitarii like there was no tomorrow – at least, by my standards! And while it might not sound that impressive, I managed to get fifteen Skitarii Vanguard, a Tech Priest Dominus and a Tech Priest Enginseer painted up! That’s not bad, considering I’ve also been slowly packing up the house!

So I think I need to really try to hone myself into just concentrating on one project at a time, and going from there.

However!

Lack of concentration is one thing, but there has also been a number of new releases that have just grabbed my attention, and I feel now like I really need to alter my original resolutions in order to take account of them!

First up is, of course, Slaanesh. I’ve been a great fan of the Dark Prince since my Warhammer Invasion days, and I am thinking more and more about the need to start painting more of these things, and soon! I did also get a new Keeper of Secrets, which is just glorious but, due to the impending move, I haven’t yet made a start on it. So I’m thinking that might be a good project to keep for later in the year – we’ll have a small person to contend with, but I’m sure I’ll be able to cope with a centrepiece miniature! Ha!

Slaanesh has been a big deal for me for years, so I’m really looking forward to getting some of those daemons painted up – both the new stuff, and the old!

Towards the end of last year, I got into Chaos Marines again in a pretty big way. All of that Blackstone Fortress stuff was coming, and it really fired my imagination. Well, Shadowspear brought us loads more, and we’re currently on the cusp of Traitor Command for Blackstone Fortress, so it’s probably little wonder that, with so much heretical good stuff coming, I’m once again feeling the pull of the dark gods. I really fancy having a Word Bearers army, and have made some fairly slow progress in getting these things planned out. Chaos was one of my three “going bigger with” blogs from February, as I really fancied getting a Chaos force to the table sometime this year. The way that real life has intervened, I don’t think that will be possible now, but it’s something that I have on my mind at the moment, along with some other bits and pieces for a Chaos army, so I really hope that I can at least get a few more things painted before the end of the year!

I think I need to take a minute to talk here about the new line of Contrast paints from GW. They came out last month, to much fanfare, and I was actually pretty surprised at the results when I finally managed to try them out myself. The genestealer above was painted using Gryph-Charger Grey, and the blotchy appearance it left was really quite a surprise, and quite an eyesore. I’ve had that finish before with washes, and haven’t always managed to remedy the situation with some drybrushing or overbrushing, but considering these paints are supposed to get the model ready for the tabletop with one thick coat, I think the results are very poor.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been doing it wrong, but even when mixed with the medium, that seems to tone down the pigmentation, while still leaving this blotchy finish. Is there some secret to it? I’m applying the paint as I think I’m supposed to, but it’s just leaving this horrendous look that I’ve yet to see work well.

I did try it on some space marines today, while I had some small dose of calm amid the flurry of cardboard boxes, but they just look bad. I’m particularly annoyed at this, because one of them was the 30th anniversary Primaris Lieutenant, which is actually a very nice model. Very annoying!

So I’m not a fan of contrast paints, which is just as well because I’ve only bought four of them. I think I’ll stick to the usual methods, but I’m quite pleased GW have brought out so many more base and layer paints, as it means I can start exploring new territories with them! I’ve already been thinking of a new Tyranid colour scheme after getting my hands on some of the old Forge World colours, so that’s exciting!

I’m also keen to continue painting up units for my Dark Eldar army that I’ve not had as a part of it so far. Incubi and Mandrakes, as well as Scourges, have been on the table as I inch closer to getting these chaps finished! So that’s all encouraging stuff.


In the middle of all of this, however, is my desire to just improve as a painter. There is so much that I can do to get better, top of the list being calm down and have more patience! A lot of the time I see myself rushing through things and getting sloppy, only to then need to go back and revisit the whole thing. I think I also need to try and get better with my brushes, as I usually wear them into the ground, while still using tufty things as if they were XS artificer layer brushes. While I have no problem replacing them when they wear out, I’m still a little nervy about starting to use a new one. I think I need to get over that, as it’s holding me back a bit.

There have been a few miniatures that I’ve churned out in the recent past where I’ve thought: yes, this is actually a decent looking mini. The one that immediately comes to mind is that Rogue Psyker from Blackstone Fortress, which is really quite neatly painted, and while the majority of the miniature is actually just basecoat and shade, I still look at it and think it’s come out pretty well. I suppose I’d like to try and capture that more and more as I go along, and paint in an unhurried manner but still get to make decent progress. It’s the dream, for sure, but I’m fairly positive that I could actually make it happen! It does help, of course, that the Rogue Psyker is one model, and did not require any sort of batch painting nonsense that I’ve recently been encountering as I’ve been doing the Skitarii, or preparing myself as I look down the barrel of the Chaos Marines from Shadowspear!

As the year goes on, then, I’m thinking I’ll be doing some much smaller-scale projects, five marines here, five daemonettes there, maybe a vehicle if I can manage it. Certainly from October, when Junior will arrive, I can’t see me getting much of anything done this side of Christmas 2020! But hopefully there will be bright spots on the horizon, as I can begin to get some things finished in the small hours while on the night shift!

But I don’t think I’ll get 1500 points of Grey Knights finished in 2019…!