Welcome to the January room. Take a seat on one of the chaise lounge if it pleases you.
This time last year I was working on some diminutive undead for the Bonefields project from Macrocosm. These were great fun, and I churned out quite a few. I particularly enjoyed the goblin vampire. Sadly I didn't get to keep most of them, but they did turn up in the Bonefields rulebook, so that's cool.
Once the undead dwarves and gobbos were off to the UK (sob) I consoled myself with building a gang for Dracula's America based on the Shadow Dragon Tong posse. But in space. Based on the Big Trouble in Little China movie. With eldar tech. And terracotta warriors.
Looking back, this was probably my favourite project of the year. I was really happy with how it turned out, and I overcame my fear of painting black. It also added some spice my my Shadow Empire army for Dragon Rampant.
Moving on, (we're into April now) I got bitten by the Underworlds bug. The miniatures are really excellent, and so I returned to the cold bosom of the undead with the particularly gorgeous Sepulchral Guard.
Actually, maybe this was my favourite project. I loved painting these. You may have noticed warbands were my schtick in 2018. Maybe my attention span is narrowing. As signs of age go, it's not too awful. You should see my eyebrows. Nobody tells you about what happens to your eyebrows as you get older. Then, one day you're in the barbers and the hairdresser asks: 'Will I do your eyebrows?' and you think 'What the actual f*ck? Do my eyebrows?! What do you mean, do my-' (looks in the mirror) 'Yeah... I guess you better.' What next? Tops of my ears?
Anyway, miniatures. These were magic to paint, but in some cases total bastards to assemble. I painted a few in sub-assemblies and didn't take enough precautions regarding how they'd go together once painted. I learned much. Like how much self control I have. I amazed myself by not eating some of them in pure frustration. Happily the minis survived my ill-prepared attentions, and boy is it worth it once they're done. I have some pretty solid plans for what I want to work on in 2019 (hah!) but I'd love to do another warband. The Skaven maybe, or the Tzeentch lads.
Follow me through now into the May gallery. What's that smell you say? I was taken by some more Kickstarter goodies in May, and painted up some of the Circus of Corruption minis.
These are part of a set sculpted by Jason Fairclough, whose work I really, really like. I have many more in storage and it's a project I can see myself returning to sooner rather than later. The bearded lady for sure. I think almost everyone want to do a Nurgle force at some point, it seems to be one of life's major milestones in the hobby. 'Well John, this year my goals are to get fit, eat better and paint that Nurgle warband.' That's what I want to see on operation transformation. 'This week Sally lost 3 lbs and finished her plaguebearers.' I'd watch the crap out of that.
Moving into the Summer terrace I have the most unusual mini of the year, the meatwalker. This was another kickstarter by Theoc Games and sculpted by Johan Tieldow.
Mental, isn't it? Originally part of the Oldhammer sculpting contest, I had my eye out for a sneaky copy ever since. It's the first troll I've ever painted, certainly the first troll controlled by stabby brain sticks. Perhaps the start of a future greenskins warband? Only Mork (or Gork) knows.
As Summer settled in I briefly returned to a favourite project of mine, the Kabeiroi, my Genestealer Cult. I have plans to greatly expand the cult in 2019. In July 2018 the cult received two new members, an ancestor and brother Sloth.
I'm a big, big fan of the new cult releases. The new plastic kits are magic. At the time of writing images of the next wave have just hit the internet and I am positively foaming with excitement at getting back to painting more cult. When I started this project the cult was a dimming memory from the 1980s, now it's a hugely popular range for current 40k. All those tearful entreaties to the star Gods paid off it seems. I really want to clear the decks once my current project is done and then roll about in cult parts, American Beauty style.
Toward the end of Summer I started on a new project that would hoover up all my hobby time (which was about to diminish drastically) for the remainder of the year. Yarr, it be Man O'War!
I decided to get in on some local Man O'War enthusiasm and finally paint myself a fleet. I chose KHORNE, (the blood God demand caps AND bold) and with almost zero knowledge of the game or fleet requirements, I nagged my gaming pals (and anyone else in earshot) until the gave up the info. Even my wife wasn't safe. 'So, what do you reckon? Does this sail work? Does it? Is it straight do you think? What glue should I use to attach it?!'
I harangued all mercilessly until knowledge of the arcane mast and sail making process was also mine. With these new powers I got to work hunting down ships, sail templates, masts and other fiddly bits. Eventually I had enough to assemble a fleet worthy of the blood God. It turns out the blood God is big on attaching working jaws to the front of his ships.
First up was a squadron of Death Galleys, the Cogs of War. HIM (His Infernal Majesty's) Bloodhound, Damnation and Brass Retriever.
The next addition to my nascent Khorne fleet was my flagship, the Guns of Anarchy.
Most recently I finished up two squadrons of Ironsharks. The first consists of The Gorger, Mercy of Iron and The Wrathful Tide. The second squadron is The Coward's Due, The Hateful Word and finally The Harmstead.
At the moment I am putting the finishing touches to the last two ships for the fleet, the Bloodships Worldeater and Impetuous Glory.
It has taken waaaaaaay longer to build the fleet than I had hoped, but sure, that's the way it goes. When a project drags on like this one has, motivation does suffer. The last two ships in particular have been on the painting table now for about a month and a half. Normally I would maybe switch over to another project for a bit and come back to them. However, being so close to finishing I decided to plough on and take the hit in mojo as I dislike leaving projects almost done.
So, the total for the year is about fifty miniatures painted, which is pretty poor, and about average for me. Once again I will shoot for one hundred miniatures in 2019, but we'll see how it goes. More importantly I want to get a lot more gaming in this year, as last year was pretty dismal, with only a handful of gaming outings, and only one (YES, one) wargaming session. It was a good one, granted, but that a terrible result for a year's gaming. Christ.
So, I wish you all the best for both brush and dice in the year ahead. As I said, I am rubbing my claws together for the new genestealer cult releases, oh yes I am precious.