The Big End of Year Update

It’s been a very quiet year on the blog – buying a house tends to impinge on spare time! Over the past months I’ve painted not just models but walls, too. And I hate painting white even more than I used to…
Still, I haven’t forgotten about this little blog of mine, and I intend to catch up a little on the major projects which I started and/or finished in the course of 2017 as well as offer some thoughts about the direction I’ll be taking in 2018. I’ll handle my work by era rather than specific project as it’s a bit easier to keep focus.

Ancients – Greeks

Years ago I purchased rather too many plastic Greeks from Victrix and, after painting up a sample unit, I left the project by the wayside for a long while. However, I’ve finally continued work on them this year, and have painted up a second unit of armoured hoplites as well as a foot commander. Funny anecdote: I painted the unit up whilst on holiday in Sicily, and on one occasion I had all 24 models standing on top of my box of paints when I went back into the hotel. I proceeded to stumble over my own flip flops, twisted my body so as not to fall on top of the models, hit the stairs with my side, and in doing so catapulted the entire unit across the hotel patio. No one but my girlfriend witnessed this…

In the next year I’d like to continue on with the project and perhaps finish it. I still have a good chunk of models to do, so the jury’s out on this one.

Ancients – Carthaginians

This project is currently on hold, pending further purchases to finish the project. The Greeks mentioned above could technically count as mercenaries for this force, but I’d also like to add some more Libyans and veterans to the army. Not to mention elephants! Other than that, the force can currently be used as two or three divisions in Hail Caesar, or around 1500 points for Warhammer Ancient Battles, which certainly is playable. I’ve played several battles of the latter ruleset with them earlier in the year, and it’s certainly a fun force – decent infantry, excellent foot and horse skirmishers, and plenty of options for mercenaries from across the Med.

The aforementioned elephants, which were just released by Victrix in plastic, will certainly go onto my wishlist for collecting in 2018. This is a project which I can foresee adding to for years to come, but I’d rather keep the backlog manageable.

Dark Ages – Salian Franks

This is a smaller project which I started at the very beginning of the year, with the aim of collecting a small force for use in Saga or as allies with my Late Romans. I have painted enough elites, which have already featured on the blog, but I still need some unarmoured warrior types which I somehow forgot to purchase at Crisis this year, and maybe some cavalry.

So for 2018 I’d like to get those last few blisters I need from Foundry and then I’m calling the project done.

Dark Ages – Irish

I was overjoyed to get a starter warband of Footsore Miniatures Irish for my birthday this year – actually that birthday qualified as one of the best I’ve ever had. Being admitted into the Belgian Army Museum free of charge by casually mentioning my birthday, along with copious amounts of lasagna and red wine and the company of the best girlfriend in the world.
Anyway, I made quick work of painting this warband but haven’t gotten round to showing them off because I’d prefer finishing the warband first.

I’ve purchased more models for them at Crisis, including some warhounds and Brian Boru, and I’ll commence work on these shortly. I’m considering expanding these further and further into a small force for WAB, but I’ll do this piecemeal because the quality of painting on these chaps is rather above what I’m used to doing – you’ll see soon enough!

Dark Ages – Late Romans

This force has been pretty much finished for a while, although as I built them in smallish units for Sword & Spear and Hail Caesar I might have to reimagine the unit counts for WAB and maybe get some extra rank ‘n’ file models to fill them out. I received some extra command models from my chum Flor which I painted up a month or two back, otherwise there’s simply no models left for me to paint currently for this project!

I don’t think I’ll expand these any further in 2018, although I might like to add some priest models to the force, and maybe some more of those delicious Footsore character models. We’ll see.

Middle Ages – Hospitallers

Another army I’ve neglected for the longest time received some much-needed love this year. I’ve painted 18 knights, some mounted sergeants and around 20 foot, as well as some lovely characters from Gripping Beast which were recently put up on the blog.

In 2018 I’m looking at painting up the rest of my mounted sergeants and then I just might call the project finished! However, I was gifted a large bag of assorted early Hundred Years War models a while back, and some of these just might be pushed into service.

Pike and Shotte – Landsknechts

This is another project I’m taking things slow with. So far I’ve painted around 30 landsknechts from Foundry’s excellent range as well as a small pack of ex-Pro Gloria models. In order to give these my fullest attention I paint them in small batches. Landsknechts tickle both my ‘colour scheme creativity’ with their riotous uniforms, as well as my nostalgia – Empire State Troops were some of my first models after all.

In 2018 I’d first of all like to paint up the final blister I have lying around for the project, which is of some Renaissance knights. Intimidating models – oodles of detail! After that I might continue to pick up a few select blisters, maybe work my way up to a small force for The Pikeman’s Lament.

Pike and Shotte – Dutch

These will be one of my main projects for 2018, as nothing was painted for them in 2017, nor in 2016… Shame! A few months back I chanced upon a great deal for the For King & Country starter box as well as some Swedish cavalry from Warlord Games, and although I have so far only read the included rulebook, the Dutch are definitely beckoning once more. I’d like to get a force of these together for The Pikeman’s Lament first off, and then get the rest done. More purchases will be needed, especially for commanders and artillery, but for the moment I’m rather flush with plastics, and not with cash…

Black Powder – Napoleonic French

It was a fairly quiet year for this project, but a very interesting one! Apart from another battalion of line infantry I spent a hell of a lot of time preparing a little diorama for an HQ. Many generals, ADCs, bodyguards, a mameluke and a white horse… I still have a few models left to paint, plus I’d like to create a custom diorama tray into which the individual models fit. Once done I’ll be proud to show it to you all.

So for 2018 I’ll finish off the last few models, source or build a diorama tray, maybe get a few extra models whilst at it? Because Perry’s range of vignettes is extensive… In other news, I did make the rather massive purchase of the La Haye Sainte box from Warlord (it was half off at a certain trader at Crisis!) and painting all of that up will take a fair while, too!

Black Powder – Second Empire French

This is a 6mm project with a bunch of models which I took over from my friend Kurt in exchange for painting services. They’re mainly meant for Risorgimento purposes, although they’ll serve (with less happy results if history is followed) for the Franco-Prussian War. In 2016 and 2017 I have painted most of the infantry – around 15 bases – along with some cavalry and commanders.
For 2018 I’d like to finish my backlog, which consists of 4 extra cavalry squadrons and some artillery. I’ll then put this project on the backburner until such time as my opponents finish up their Austro-Hungarians and Prussians!

Black Powder – Congo

Another project which has never been featured on the blog is my models for Congo, the game by Studio Tomahawk. In 2017 I painted Forest Tribe warband plus some extra fellows, as well as the encounter box which featured a lion, some crocodiles and such. Great fun to paint! So much fun, in fact, that I also purchased a box of White Men expeditionaries, the new campaign book, and another box of encounter models at Crisis. The White Men were finished just today!

So in 2018, the encounter models will be handled, and then I’m calling the project done.

World War Two – Fallschirmjäger

Sadly my Jerries received no love in 2017, so that needs rectifying next year! I still have a few plastic models unbuilt, as well as two StuGs and a Hanomag which I received from my top chum Jonas. The trouble is, I don’t like painting vehicles…

 

World War Two – 14th Army

I’m super proud of the work I achieved on this project in just a month’s time. I painted around 70 infantry and an armoured car at a decent level, going from zero to 1500 points in just weeks! I had a box of plastic Perry Desert Rats and a couple of blisters lying around for years on end, and finally decided to do something with them. My best wargaming bud Flor has some Japanese coming up, so I’m looking forward to getting my lads skewered upon bamboo spears in the new year!

My force is currently centred around the fall of Singapore, which means predominantly infantry with little back-up. However, in 2018 I’ll be looking to expand to mid-and late war options; some armoured support is underway in the form of a Lee, and perhaps a truck or a jeep would be fun. Plenty of options, but again, I don’t like painting vehicles…

World War Two – Tommies

Quite different from my own Brits is a fairly sizeable British army which I painted for my friend Yves. Around 60 infantry as well as a few artillery pieces, armoured cars and tanks were painted, largely to the same level as my own British Paras – so this was quite the chore at times!

I just heard Yves has yet more tanks on the way as he’d like to play the army with the Battlegroup ruleset as well, so I guess I have my work cut out for me.

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Frostgrave continues to be a good reason for me to dig out some old Warhammer models and get all nostalgic, although I couldn’t resist some extra purchases – Shadespire being the chief culprit. I did also paint a few more Adeptus Mechanicus units but, as the sole 7th edition 40k game I had with them was frustratingly unsatisfying, I might sell these off. Who knows.

In 2018 I’ll continue on with painting those models that interest me. No set goals – I still have dozens left in boxes. One important exception is Dreadball 2.0. My kickstarter should be underway and, with the many, many models included in it, is sure to occupy me for a long time. Really looking forward to that one.

Scenery

With the acquisition of a gaming table, that table needs filling! I have done woefully little work on scenery over the last year, with the exception of the aforementioned La Haye Sainte set which has been all but completed.

In 2018 the main focus will lie upon making jungle terrain for my 14th army and my Congo models to fight over. I’ve already purchased different kinds of aquarium plants and the like, now all I need is some baseplates and a hot glue gun. I’d like to collect some typically Far Eastern houses and watchtowers and the like, but funds likely won’t permit it yet.

I also have a couple of different MDF buildings lying around in various states of assembly and painting – these I’d like to also finish next year.

Synopsis

2017 was an active year – 764 models were painted to be exact! In general, I think I’ve changed in my painting habits in recents times. Whereas previously I found myself needing to skip between projects from batch to batch, meaning I painted half a Napoleonic battalion, then a squad of WW2 models, then some Vikings, then back to Napoleonics etc., I seem to be more thorough about continuing and finishing projects than I used to be. My 14th army force for Burma is a great example – I painted nothing else but Brits for a few weeks on end. I’ll try and keep this momentum going next year as well.

An important decision was also made: I sold off my Viking warband, which were among the first historical models I ever painted. I was no longer happy with the difference in basing and painting quality between the core warband and the rest of the models I painted afterwards – and I’d rather go with metal Vikings in the future. With having sold off most of my tabletop-standard Vikings a year or two ago, I’m currently rather Viking-less… A poor predicament for one of my tastes!

So for 2018 I wish all you readers an excellent year full of satisfying accomplishments, both within and without the hobby. Now I’m off to another attempt to jog off my holiday paunch…

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