Back at the start of 2019, there was a stream of people in my Instagram feed posting up their hobby resolutions for the year ahead. Some were grand gestures – “I will not buy any more minis until I’ve painted what I have” and “I’ll paint up a new 2,000 point army for every tournament I go to!” Others were a little more based in reality – “I’ll learn Non Metallic Metal or Object Source Lighting.”
I’ve never been particularly good at sticking to general resolutions but having had a fairly positive 2018 on the hobby front, I jumped in with my own contributions. Seeing as it’s now close to the end of the year, it’s time to review and see how much I managed to stick to.
- Don’t waste hobby time!
- Keep completion rate above 5% (5.3% completion on 3800 models per spreadsheet)
- Complete more models than in 2018 (49)
- OR push my paint jobs higher on more models than 2018 (4)
Don’t waste hobby time!
The first one sounds a little vague, but it’s the main one on the list. How often do you sit down to paint and end up just watching the film or series that you’ve put on as background noise? I found it to be too often, with three-hour painting sessions really being 20 minutes of actual work and a lesson that Thor: Ragnarok is too distracting to paint to again in the future.
My hobby time this year has been more limited than last year, so I’ve had to make the most of it. If I’ve planned to do some hobbying, I’ve done something. You shouldn’t force yourself to paint or do something you aren’t wanting to do – for most people, this is a hobby rather than a job so you should be enjoying yourself! With that in mind, along with maximising the use of hobby time, if I haven’t wanted to paint, I’ve built or prepped miniatures. If I haven’t wanted to sit at the desk, there are numerous Black Library novels and army books to be read and plans to concoct. Doing something with the hobby time, however small, helps me build the feeling of momentum rather than time squandered on another episode of Fringe.
Keep completion rate above 5% (5.3% completion on 3800 models per spreadsheet)
Back in 2015, I decided that I needed to keep track of my collection to help avoid the situation of me forgetting that I already had a miniature and picking it up in an impulse buy in a sale. This has worked – I’ve not accidentally purchased a duplicate mini since!
The spreadsheet is split into multiple tabs and groups for the various companies I’ve bought from and different games/factions. For example, all of my Guild Ball teams are on one tab, with each Guild split into their own grouping. From there I then track the number of each miniature in one of 4 columns – Boxed, Built, Paint In Progress and Completed. This data is then linked into a summary sheet, which gives me overall totals along with a completion percentage for each group and tab.
At the start of the year, I had a completion percentage of 5.3% on 3800 miniatures. Keeping the rate at 5% meant painting at least 5% of the miniatures arrived during the year, of which it appears there was over 500. I can’t recall exactly what arrived to make that number so high but Batman: Gotham City Chronicles from Monolith was a solid 40% of that number. At the time of writing, 228 of the recorded miniatures are complete, giving a completion percentage of 5.21%. It’s gone down, but I’ve maintained the rating I pledged to, so that’s a win!
Complete more models than in 2018
In 2018, I completed 49 models. I counted, as I was using the #hobby500 tag on Instagram, which was a project to try and get people to complete 500 miniatures in the year. I was aware that I wouldn’t get close to that number, but it was an active little community working towards the same goal and pushing each other on. This year the project wasn’t running, but I’ve continued to count and see just how many minis I can complete. At the time of writing, the number stands at 66, so another mission achieved. The release of Contrast paints from Games Workshop midway through the year definitely helped speed things up a little bit, while getting involved on the Chilling Wargamers Discord server for regular hobby chat has also helped me build up the painting mojo. Below are a number of the minis I’ve finished this year.
Push my paint jobs higher on more models than 2018
The alternative target I set myself for the year was to push myself out of my comfort zone and really push my skills on more projects than I managed to in 2018, which I considered to be 4 minis. I planned on doing this by entering online competitions and working on either larger miniatures/busts or gaming scale miniatures with display bases. I listed this as an alternative to the painting more miniatures target, as there is only so much time top hobby in and display pieces take more time than gaming standard ones. I’ve ended up so far with three models I would consider to be models that pushed me forward as a painter this year.
Life Through Death
Life Through Death is the only piece I’ve ever felt the need to add a pretentious arty title to. She was painted up for the New Years Challenge in the Paint all the Minis Facebook group. The aim of the challenge was to pick something that you wanted to improve on and push it further. I’ve never really clicked with green or layering, so that’s the combo I chose to push.
While Apprentice Raisa does bear an uncanny resemblance to a certain Disney character with an affinity for cold, her forward striding pose and outstretched arms immediately made me think that she was casting some form of spell as she walked. I imagined that this could be a spell to bring life, giving me an excuse to play with a load of different grass and flower tufts from various manufacturers. The best thematic counter to the life being brought was to an old battlefield – an area with untold casualties, associated only with death. I piled on skulls from the Games Workshop skull box and set about carving her path through them with new life.
She ended up winning the competition as well, which was a nice surprise as there were some good entries involved and I’d never won one before!
The Dark Warlock was another PatM competition entry, but one that didn’t get completed in time. The guidance was to paint something in an unexpectedly bright tone. Having just received my box of Kimera Kolors at the time, I cracked them out and got to work!
The Warlock himself is magnetised, allowing him to either be positioned on his display plinth with his Underling or on a gaming base (as pictured previously with the rest of the Warband). I only used 5 colours on the Warlock himself – Black, White, Magenta, Phtalo Green and Violet, trying to maximise the bright, bold colours and shadow rather than having a large mix of different tones on him. Some of the Kimera Kolors, including the ones in use on the Warlock, act more like glazes due to their opacity which led to a lot of time and glazes to bring the bold tones back after highlights had been added to reduce the creamy tone the white gave.
Moloch was another competition entry, launched by Purgatory upon his release. I had initially planned on painting him up with an olive skin tone and red colouring with the cold gold weaponry but after seeing other pieces completed prior to mine with that scheme, I flipped it completely.
I delved into the depths of cold tones – a really pale, cold skin tone which made the initially cold gold seem quite warm in comparison. Both were avenues I hadn’t really explored previously in large sections, making Moloch a fun challenge.
I wasn’t sure whether to include Brother Garus in this section or the previous one initially, but in comparison to my previous Space Marines, I feel he’s technically a lot better. I had fallen out of love with painting Space Marines in my old scheme – I had been painting Dusk Raiders, which I had interpreted while reading Flight of the Eisenstein as an off white bone colour with a deep red arm.
When I asked around for schemes, this was the first one to be mentioned. The Necropolis Hawks are an Ultima Founding Chapter, a Raven Guard successor. They were originally created by Darren Latham and added to cannon with the Vigilus Defiant campaign. I’ve bent the Ultima Founding rules a little and decided to run the scheme for all of my marines going forward, regular and Primaris alike.
I hadn’t initially thought too much about the technical difficulty of the scheme, just that it had a really nice balance to it – cold blue and white with a warm yellow trim to contrast. Funnily enough, yellow and white aren’t the easiest colours to get smooth and even! However, I really enjoyed working on him and I’m looking forward to painting up more Hawks.
Including Brother Garus, that brings the total completed projects in that section to 4 – a tie with last year.
A successful year?
Running a direct analysis of the hobby resolutions that I made at the start of the year compared to the year’s actual progress, I’m happy with what has been achieved. I’ve wasted a lot less hobby time, kept my completion stat above 5% despite a large number of miniatures arriving and completed 17 more miniatures than last year with 6 weeks of the year left! Working out next year’s hobby resolutions can wait until the end of the year but I can see some of these resolutions being carried forward.