Wednesday, September 14, 2016

40K Addict Hobby Season Review 2015/16 and Plans for 2016/17

I know I've somewhat missed the start of the hobby season but I'm on holiday at the moment and have had a busy few weeks. My rekindled love for X wing has meant that I've not done anything since the hobby season kicked off anyway. Irritatingly the WiFi in our holiday house doesn't allow access to sites in the "Gaming" category. This means no browsing of online hobby shops and no access to 40K blogs. Fortunately Feedly lets me bypass it but I'm not able to get the logos from Dave's blog (40K addict). Strangely I can access my own blog but not Dave's. Maybe TalkTalk "HomeSafe" considers Dave's blog to be more threatening or, perhaps more accurately, actually about gaming unlike mine which barely gets any love at the moment.  I'll update this post with the logos when I get home or if I can persuade my phone to find enough signal to set up a WiFi hotspot. Anyway, I digress (as per usual).

So, way back at the start of the 2015/16 season I was working on my Tau army for a mini tournament we were planning at Warhammer World. I made a decent start on the units was planning on using. They all got panel lines, transfers and general tidying up but nothing got the stage of being what Dave would call "To Done". It was good to make the army look better but I'm frustrated that I still don't have a single Tau model that I'd say was finished. Staying with the Tau, I've been trying to get my Stormsurge painted. As ever, this was motivated by an upcoming tournament in the shape of Hero for a Day. Sadly, I realised that I wouldn't actually be able to make it and nearly instantly my motivation to paint the Stormsurge ebbed. 

I feel incredibly guilty for the lack of progress because you may remember the Stormsurge (along with the latest Tau codex) was a gift from the Blog Wars faithful after BWX. I feel like I'm letting those guys down by not painting it. That throws up my first target for this coming season:
  • Make my Stormsurge my first ever finished Tau model
That means, fully painted (including highlights and sept markings), transfers, good quality basing and varnished (never done that before). I would love to think that I'll at least get this one done. I've got just under a year after all!! Granted I've not got the tournament motivation but even so, I'd be depressed if I'm sat here next year without a finished Tau model! Hopefully more! 

Imperial Knights
These were one of the things on my list that I actually got done. Well, I say done. That's such a mythical thing for me. I never actually finish any of my models. I originally planned on getting my first knight finished before completing the other three but I abandoned the first one and started two more from scratch. I learned a lot about the process of magnetising and painting these guys. They were my first proper outing into airbrushing and again I learned a lot. I've dabbled with the airbrush before but mostly for basecoating. This was the first time I've done masking etc. I really don't think I could've gotten the orange to look so smooth with a brush. Anyway, as I've already said, I still don't have a fully finished knight so I'd like to do some highlighting and weathering on the two you see here plus work on the other two:
  • Highlight, weather and varnish the first two knights
  • Finish the original knight to give me a full court of three
  • Build and paint the final knight as a freeblade
I have to say these fellas were one of my favourite painting projects so doing more work on them and finishing the other two should be one of the more pleasurable things I've done.

Right Siph (James) and Jamie, get your abuse out of your system now. This is STILL on my todo list. I've made some minimal progress towards this but I really must get it done this year. I can't actually believe that I've been talking about this for years now and still haven't got a full table of painted scenery. It literally takes not time at all to do and would make such a big difference to the level of immersion in our games. Granted I've barely played any games of 40K on my table this year but, if for no other reason than pride, I've got to get the winter scenery finished this season and ideally by the end of the year. There's literally no excuse now. I'm fed up of even blogging about it!
  • Complete a full complement of winter scenery for my gaming table. 
  • Begin work on the desert table
Space Wolves
I'm hoping to take Space Wolves to Fluffageddon in November. Before then they need a bit of love. I've come up with a list that I'm reasonably happy with. It certainly isn't the most powerful I could come up with but it should be fun to use. One of the things I'll need is a venerable dread. He's currently assembled (well sub-assembled) but not even primed. For the rest I'd like to improve them before the event. This is important because it'll be the first time in ages that I can enter something into a painting competition! Let's be fair, I've no chance of winning but if I get at least one vote I'll be happy! Here's what I think I need to do:
  • Paint the Venerable Dreadnought
  • Pack and company markings on all of the infantry
  • More gold work on the armour - some of the bits that should be gold aren't painted
  • Weather the vehicles
  • Faces! 
  • Basing
There's other bits and pieces that need doing to them but given there's less than a couple of months to go, I'll be luck to get even half of this stuff done.

Everything Else!
There's a few models that catch my eye every time I open the cupboard where my armies live. For example, my Ork Morkanaut, DE Grotesques, Tau Crisis teams, Space Wolf Stormwolf, Dark Angels bikers, etc. These are the models that I wish were finished. The key to this I think is a new attitude to painting that I'm hoping to adopt. Embrace the Butterfly!! 

As I've said above, I generally get the most done when I'm working to a tournament deadline. The problem with this is that because I know they have to be finished, I tend to get sick of looking at them by the time the tournament comes around. At that point, the painting becomes a chore rather than a hobby. I already have a job, why would I make what should be a relaxing escape into something that gets me down. This is where Embrace the Butterfly comes in. If I fancy painting my Morkanaut, I'm going to pick it up and get to work. If I get bored and want to paint some Dark Eldar I'll pick them up and work on them. Sounds simple but it's something I've tried to avoid doing in the past. 

I've always felt that by batch painting units I'll get more done. In practice though I burn out halfway through the project. The result is a cupboard full of three colour models but nothing finished. Obviously, for this bit I'm not going to make an itemised to do list. That would kind of defeat the point. I'm just going to simply say:
  • After Fluffageddon, complete a unit a month. 
This means fully painted, based and varnished. This could be a full squad, single HQ / MC or a vehicle. Whatever the case, there might be months when I get nothing finished and others where several are finished. It's going to be a random process but hopefully a more productive one in the end.

Finally, THE MAN CAVE!
A big chunk of Dave's season was taken up with building his new shed in the garden that has now been made into his Man Cave. Mine won't be a shed but instead will be a conversion of the back half of the garage. I'll post full plans (I've done scale drawings) nearer the time but the idea is that from the front it'll still look like a garage. I've seen people put windows or french doors on the front but I'd prefer to keep the look of the garage because a) I think it helps with resale (if it ever comes to it) and b) it disguises the fact that there's something in there other than gardening equipment and tools. Speaking of which, the existing garage door will open and the front will still function as storage for tools, lawn mower, etc.

The back end will get a window knocked through to give some much needed natural light. It'll then need a partition wall, floor, ceiling and insulated outer walls. Once the room has been created I'm going to create a collapsible gaming table that can be hung on the wall when not in use to allow me to use the room for other things. Anyway, the aim is to free up my current gaming room for use as my son's bedroom now that he's starting to outgrow the nursery. For this reason the project has the (almost) complete support of my wife!

That's more than enough text for one evening so I'll leave you with a summary todo list:
  • Make my Stormsurge my first ever finished Tau model
  • Highlight, weather and varnish the first two Imperial Knights
  • Finish the original Imperial Knight to give me a full court of three
  • Build and paint the final Imperial Knight as a freeblade
  • Complete a full complement of winter scenery for my gaming table. 
  • Begin work on the desert table
  • Paint the SW venerable dreadnought
  • Pack and company markings on all of the SW infantry
  • More gold work on the SW armour
  • Weather the SW vehicles
  • Faces on SW infantry 
  • Basing of all of the SW models for Fluffageddon
  • After Fluffageddon, complete a unit a month. 
  • Create the Man Cave!
Wish me luck!!


  1. Good luck. Definately go with embracing your inner butterfly. No matter how hard I try I always end up doing it, and what you say is so right, we have jobs, the hobby is for enjoyment. Often I find myself getting fed up trying to paint a full army of meet this or that deadline, but when I butterfly I have much more fun. You will find you do achive much ,ore by doing it.

    Man cave sounds awesome. I fully expect progress blogs with pics ;), just like Dave, as I found them very interesting (and filled me with envy :D)

  2. Terrain you say?! Yeah yeah Alex, heard it all before ;)

    Good luck finally completing some of these goals mate. I look forward to seeing you progress. Those Knights are great as is, but to finish would be greater. Intresting you say you havent varnished? Do your models not chip with use? The advantage of varnish is dull-coat / Matt etc. is great for knocking back the shine after I use gloss varnish / 'Ardcoat to seal the transfers in place.

  3. Closing out projects can be really tough, I know exactly what you mean about how some jobs, when you reach the home stretch you just run out of steam. It's a real knack to push on through and get it complete, a fine line I don't always meet.

    I definitely think it's worth embracing the butterfly too. Whatever floats tour boat and keeps you interested, which is why I tend to have a few projects on the go anyway. As a project wanes, pick up another one, eventually you'll roll round to the original task, much as Ive done with my own Knight.

    Its also worth noting that whatever projects may have stalled some times they need time to gestational and percolate so you're ready again. There's no point rushing something, particularly a big model like the Stormsurge only to look at it in the future and say I wish I'd spent more time on it.

    Your list looks really interesting and the man cave will no doubt make me envious. I also think you've done some pretty decent things this year, the Knights in particular were pretty cool, so it'll be interesting to see the court completed.

  4. So you'll be finished by Christmas ?

  5. I can certainly echo these sentiments. All my Tau have been finished to a standard, but it's one I'm not happy with. I did it because we were painting to a deadline for a tale of gamers but actually I now just want to go back and repaint the whole army!

    Good luck with the man cave - I really need to get my table re-built too!


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