A Look at 2013 & Prospects for 2014

Here’s another blog post, and a very important one, too! With the last batch of Rus Princes cavalry (pictures will follow) I have crossed the 500 model mark – to be precise, I’ve painted 504 models this year, and so my vow of a minimum of 500 models has been achieved – And we’ve still another month to go! Let’s do a little retrospection and see what got us this far. I’ll sum it up per project, then relate to you the future plans I have with each of them.

  • Vikings: At the end of 2012 I’d already done some of the Gripping Beast plastic viking hirdmen; in fact, much of my warband was already finished. Still, this year saw about a hundred additional models added to this army; mostly plastics from the new Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors set, but also a decent slab of metal models both by Gripping Beast and Old Glory. In 2014: Finish what Vikings I have lying around, and follow up with a few loose purchases at Crisis 2014 to fill out incomplete units. Particularly, I’d like to build a Northumbrian client contingent using the box of plastic Anglo-Saxon Thegns I have around, and also a mercenary unit composed of Jomsviking models.
  • Dacians & Sarmatians: This is an army I’d like to complete in 2014 and then move on to other projects. I started off with a box of Sarmatian cataphracts at a convention last March, and with a little effort the army will be done by the same time next year. This year I painted the aforementioned cataphracts (with an extra blister of them to bulk them out), two small units of light cavalry, the command models, and a Dacian warband – by the end of the year I’d like to complete a second warband. So in 2014: a further unit of light cavalry, a falx warband, and a unit of noblemen. There might be some plastic models left over which might be used for other purposes (Viking berserkers, notably) or to convert to javelin-armed skirmishers, but these are low priority.
  • Greeks: The unwanted child of my Crisis 2013 impulse purchases. I bought two boxes of Victrix models and I’m currently at 1/12th of their contents painted. In 2014: This is a relatively low-priority army and will probably receive rather sporadic attention. I have nothing other than armoured hoplites to paint for this army and there’s nothing non-hoplon armed to paint for variety. I will probably get about half done over the course of next year and then plump for the new Greek kits from Victrix at Crisis 2014.
  • Arabs: I painted an entire Arab warband for Saga at the beginning of this year, nearly 50 models in all, and they haven’t received any love in quite some time. A shame! This is mostly due to the Saga Arab list out of Wargames Illustrated being somewhat bland. Still, I consider them finished at the moment. In 2014: with the Crusades supplement for Saga probably available at Salute 2014, these might leave the cupboard once more. I have eight light horsemen left unpainted, and depending on the nature of the battleboard I might do these up as well.
  • Dutchmen: Plumped for a box of Swedish infantry in May when Warlord held a deal on them, and received a box of cavalry in August as payment for commission painting. Nice models, but the lack of interest amongst my gaming associates means that I don’t have much impetus for this project. In 2014: Left to be done are a company of shotte and half the unit of cavalry. These will be handled as soon as possible – I want to get the project squared away. I also bought some casualty models on the cheap at Crisis 2013, so they’ll be done, too. Despite the lack of interest I love the models, and so the For King & Country set from Warlord Games might be snapped up end of 2014.
  • Frenchmen: Things have been a bit quiet for my Frenchmen this year – if I have any hopes of ever fully owning the French OOB for Quatre-Bras, I’ll have to get going soon! Still, I managed to paint some cannon, a unit of lancers, and some command models and infantry here and there. In 2014: Painting more infantry is top priority for this army – I’m looking at a battalion of lights and two of line to be done. Also some cuirassiers, and some command models and battlefield markers. Merde!
  • Brits: I’ve just started this project but I absolutely love painting Red Devil models. Done so far are an infantry section, command section and light mortar team. Further up this year is the rest of my current collection – another infantry section, a PIAT team and a Vickers team. Just fifteen models, shouldn’t be too hard, right? In 2014: Who knows? With no other Red Devils to work on, these might be considered finished… unless a friend or relative treats me to another helping (and the wishlist function in the Warlord Games webstore is rather helpful).
  • Flemings: I took it easy with this project in 2013, with just sixteen infantry and eight crossbowmen done. However, three commanders are currently on my painting desk, so this year will be ended with a decent batch of models done for them. In 2014: I’d like to have these Flemings as one of my main projects for the year, and I’d also like to finish enough of them for a full Saga warband with options. Later on they might be expanded upon even further, and turned into a Hail Caesar/Impetus army, or even a Bretonnian army for Warhammer Fantasy.
  • Fantasy & Sci-fi: Really quiet on this front! I painted mainly some Bloodletters, some Space Marines (ewww)  and some Space Orks, to a total of about 50 models. However, I’m thinking of picking up the gaming side of it fairly soon, and that might get me interested in painting the masses of plastic and lead I have lying about. To conclude, in 2014: More Space Orks and maybe some extra Chaos releases, but no new purchases of any kind for these projects.
  • Japanese: Just bought them at Crisis, will probably have to wait until next year though. So, in 2014: A handful of sohei monks for Ronin, probably around 20. Not much is needed for this ruleset.
  • Commission work: About a quarter of the 500 models I painted this year were done for friends. Chief among these were a full Jomsviking warband and two Napoleonic cavalry units, with more still underway. In 2014: While I will probably accept more commissions, I will do my best to focus on my own projects. Otherwise, I don’t see any of them being completed. I’ll go for a selection of small commissions and see how they proceed.

TL;DR version for 2014: More of everything, especially Vikings – but no new projects. As for next year’s painting goal: I’ll start counting from the moment I went over this year’s mark, but next year’s goal is a total of 600 models painted. This means I’m currently at 4/600. Motivating? Hell no! But I’m sure I’ll boost the figure up towards a decent mark soon. Do check back to see the score, my good readers!

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