Saturday, 6 December 2014

Butterflying About: 2014 - A Hobby Year in Review

It's December. Time has come for people the world over to look back over the last twelve months and say, "Bugger, is that another year gone already? I'm sure it was only March the last time I checked!" And indeed, it was only March the last time I wrote anything on here. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?

So anyway, hobby has in fact happened in the intervening nine months, I just haven't written about it. What's more, I can prove it; I can show photos and everything...

The Never-ending War on Grey Plastic, 2014 Edition

If I have learnt one thing this year, it's that no matter how hard you try to resist new shiny stuff and how much you paint, the hobby has a way of making your pile of unpainted plastic, metal and resin grow faster than your wallet will thank you for. 2014 has been another year in which I've bought more models than I've painted; fortunately, from speaking to other gamers and listening to a boatload of podcasts, it has become clear this is not a problem that I suffer alone!

The observant among you will have noticed that my stated goal upon starting this blog was to complete a 40k Chaos Space Marine army for the Independent Characters' Hobby Progress Challenge. OK, here it is, the sum total of my painting progress towards that lofty aim... drum roll please... 

No, that is not a 2000 point army; that is a 5 point Cultist. ONE MODEL. Needless to say, I'm not expecting to win the Challenge. In fact, in percentage completion terms, 0.25% (and he's not even properly based, so let's shave off a point and call it 0.24%...) is unbelievably poor. However, that I spectacularly failed with that target says more about my love of the hobby than is first apparent.

You see, I'm one of those people who is seemingly incapable of sticking to a project. I believe the expression is Hobby Butterfly. The great thing about miniatures games is there is an almost infinite variety of stuff you can model and game. Before this year, I had never really strayed away from the safety and comfort of - love 'em or hate 'em - Games Workshop.

Then I discovered this fun little game you might have heard of, it's called Malifaux or something. That was the first distraction. Then there was the time spent playing X-Wing and Zombicide. And then I decided it would be a great idea to get into historical figures (The BBC series 'The World At War' has to take the blame for this one), so naturally I started a 6mm WWII British Army. As if that wasn't enough, I've recently picked up some 28mm figures for the American War of Independence. Oh, and I started an Ork army for 40k, because you know, why not?

As a result, I have a large number of newly started and unfinished projects to add to the mountain of unpainted GW stuff I already had. But I have done stuff! Let's have a look at some of it right now!

Warhammer 40k

  • Imperial Guard (none of this 'Astra Militarum' nonsense) Infantry Squad;
  • Imperial Guard Leman Russ battle tank;
  • Tyranid Gaunts with devourers.

  • Five more Imperial Guard Infantry Squads;
  • Two Imperial Guard command squads;
  • Imperial Guard Veteran Squad;
  • Three Imperial Guard Heavy Weapons teams;
  • Imperial Guard Armoured Sentinel;
  • Ten Gretchin;
  • Ten Ork Boyz.
Warhammer Fantasy

  • Twenty Empire Spearmen.
(I originally painted these years ago, and wish I'd taken a before pic to show how awful a job I did. The 2014 versions are much improved!)


Guild - Painted
  • Sonnia Criid
  • Samael Hopkins
  • Three Witchling Stalkers
  • Executioner
  • The Judge
  • Death Marshall
  • Guild Austringer
  • Purifying Flame
  • Guild Rifleman
Outcasts - Painted
  • Sue
  • Malifaux Child
Resurrectionists - Painted
  • Seamus
  • Copycat Killer
  • Madam Sybelle
  • Three Rotten Belles
Plus a couple of bases each of the 6mm WWII British and 28mm AWI British. And I built a few bits and pieces of laser-cut MDF terrain from the nice people at Troll Trader. So, all in all, I've actually done quite a bit, just not very well focused! I intend (and so will almost certainly fail) for 2015 to be dedicated to trying to finish projects before starting new ones.

The best thing about this year has been, without a doubt, my discovery of Malifaux. Not only have I learnt to play a fun new game, but I've also met a lot of new and interesting people as a result. I hope 2015 will feature far more playing of Malifaux, both with local gamers and also at tournaments, a couple of which I had to miss through illness. 

A few of the local guys that I've just met are going to try and blog along throughout 2015, and you can check out one of those newly started blogs here. I'm certainly planning to paint, play and blog my way through next year, so hopefully someone will read along too...

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