Friday 26 August 2016

Hobby Season 2015/16 Review

The 2015/16 Hobby Season draws to a close, and how did I do? Well I managed to complete 9 out of 21 items on my list. However, before I even get to that I did say "first and foremost I need to make the transition to my 40k Man Cave". This has been a huge success, inside it's a bit untidy and obviously the mould problem was a bit upsetting but I've resolved that. A dehumidifier [from the wife] and letting fresh air in when I can has meant no problems over the last 5-6 months.

Should I have any further problems I do have some clear anti-mould paint that I can coat the bottom edges of the furniture and the bottom foot or so of the walls. I keep a regular eye on things though so hopefully I won't fall foul again.

I had a further 'upgrade' to the shed, again courtesy of the wife, one of those magnetic fly screens. It's a bit of a pain but the benefits of keeping cats and flies out have made it invaluable. In fact one night I even painted with the door open, moths and insects attracted by the light inside but not able to pass the barrier. On a lovely night it was quite wonderful.

Bottom line though it's helped organise my painting. As much as I wanted to be able to paint when I want, when the muse takes me having these set times when I can has been really helpful and has resulted in far less friction in the house than before. I can't emphasise enough how much this has gone to improve my hobby/life, so a goal well worth achieving! It does mean I'm in there until all hours which is exhausting but at least I'm getting good use out of it.

Moving on to my actual To Do List and first up on things that got 'To DONE!': Old One Eye he was a bit leftfield, he queue-jumped everything to be completed for Blog Wars X when I realised my Dark Angels wouldn't make it. Ultimately I didn't even take him but that effort was not wasted, these things always need to be done and the time away from my other projects meant I came back even more dedicated and 'refreshed' to get them done. Not to mention he was ultimately used, albeit as another Dakkafex in my Throne of Skulls army so definitely time well spent.

And who doesn't remember my Imperial Knight Cerastus Lancer? I make a lot of the fact this took me five months to make and paint but that's not entirely true. I was distracted by Old One Eye and I was working on numerous projects at the same time, so it was probably only a couple of months work all told.

I finished my Dark Vengeance Azrael conversion but also finally finished my Assault on Black Reach [or is that Vedros now?] Company Commander too! Although I had mixed feelings about the end result they both got done, had some bits that were awesome and some bits less so but completed nontheless.

While doing all this I was juggling quite a few projects and out of nowhere queue jumped 13 Termagants in case I wanted to run twin Tervigons + Tax at Throne of Skulls. The fact is I didn't need them, but like OOE - 'effort was not wasted, these things always need to be done'... everything needs to be done! But the big deal about these was that I'd got beat by Ben on the 12th February, the following night I started to crack onto the Gaunts, and they were complete three weeks later. Now that included kitbashing, basing and priming and all the while I was throwing in a bit of work on the 31 Genestealers too. Not sure if it helped or hindered my other projects but it's definitely rewarding to at least have some quantity to go alongside my quality [and mass]. I also realised that I actually need some more Hormagaunts [just after I converted them to Termagants] so I can field the Endless Swarm formation - so that's something to look forward to one day...

Having gone 'off list' it was definitely time to return to the Dark Angels again and the long dormant Dark Vengeance Tactical Squad which has already been in a number of battles unfinished - heresy! I was actually quite focussed on these, only switching to the 31 Stealers when I'd reached my patience with the Power Armour. Ironically I'd imagined completing these and some other items by November last year, I was only 5 months out in getting to 25% of my list [officially]. Still, it's not a race and no one is judging, I've done plenty of stuff and always felt busy [often more than I should] so there's no reason to berate myself, things get done!

That's 27 models complete, round about one model a week at the half way point... Anyway, moving on! I managed to do some Ravenwing, my first completed bikes since my Dark Angel Chaplain and first Ravenwing 'black'. These were on my list, which is always a plus, but I only said a bike squad and technically I did two as there are six bikers! So this was a really big win for me. I'd debated so many issues with my interpretation of the Ravenwing and had setbacks and doubt about techniques and approaches. Eventually the result, although not perfect in some places, surpasses my expectations and delivered group of models I can't wait to build on.

I followed up with the Ravenwing Jetfighter/Dark Talon and I'm really happy with the result pushing me on to want to complete more Ravevnwing...

And yet following on from that I threw all my efforts at my 'remaining Genestealers' which just so happened to total 31. I set aside 56 'sessions' to complete them, based on an initial estimate influenced by just how tedious I find painting Genestealers. As time went on I realised I'd missed off certain tasks with the final estimate being 61 sessions. However, concerted effort and pushing through the tedium I was able to achieve the completed models in just 33 sessions [just over a session per model]. Of course I ruined this achievement by purchasing a shedload of new Space Hulk Genestealers and my Cultists so I have more than double to do all over. That said I've had these Stealers for over two years so completing them is an achievement in itself.

With the end of the hobby season fast approaching I bypassed my Ravenwing Landspeeders yet again to bring another long standing project to a close, my crashed Aquila Lander. I thought a week would get it boxed off and I was under that estimate, once again the result exceeding my expectations, I felt I was on a roll.

One other To Do Item was A fully functioning Dark Angel force [1850pts]? Without the Ravenwing on board I was a bit dubious but now I have them I've real options. My army up until that point had been recognised as sub-optimal of a sub-optimal Codex. Now I have viable options alongside some of the place fillers so although I previously would have asked for everyone's approval to chalk this one up I think now I can do it with confidence.

Another item was my Dark Angel objective markers. The plan was to paint up my Battle for Macragge Force Field Emitters and Teleport Homers for this but I couldn't bring myself to mark them numerically for Maelstrom missions, at least not in a way I was comfortable with. So ultimately I'm going to box this one off too [in a way]. The items have been complete as was intended it's just their end function is not what I'll use them for. They will continue to be used as 'bolstering defences' by my Techmarine. I'd planed to make some extra armour plates but these fulfil that role perfectly. These are complete aside from varnish...

As for objectives for the Dangles, I'll take the opportunity to use my Blog Wars markers, they deserve it afterall. I may well make some bespoke numbered markers one day but for now I can remove it from next season's list and move onto other things without guilt.

On top of these items I made progress on a number of other projects, both on and off the list. I Based all the Genestealer Cultists from Deathwatch Overkill. I thought I was saving time by getting resin bases but I think it was far more laborious than making my own in the end. Still they look cool and I'll try and get some of these done in the new season.

I also made up my Ravenwing Black Knights/Command squad, including some Dark Vengeance conversions I'd had planned for 12-18 months at least. I even picked up a spare bike that got me a 7th knight into the mix. I can't wait to add some more and actually get these painted up.

I also got my Deathwing Knights built, based and primed.

Not to mention added a couple of extra Vortex templates, even more impressive when it was unplanned and took less than an hour to get done.

I also got back to sculpting and made significant in-roads on my Tyranid Void Shield Generator. It's back on hold, sadly, but I'll endeavour to finish off the sculpting at least this next hobby season. It should feature after Armies on Parade while I try and fill out my board with achievable Dark Angels [and friends].

And my Kight Paladin was another regular fixture on the blog. It's not far from completion and I'll prioritise it just because it's taken longer than the Cerastus did and it fits the Dark Angels more than the Lancer and it'll also look cool on my Armies on Parade board.

At the close of the season I put off completing the Land Speeders to get my Deathwatch based and primed. It was an avoidance task but they'll be a nice allied addition on my Armies on Parade board and it looks better if these are partially painted when we play Deathwatch Overkill.

The Land Speeders were easily achievable at the end of the season, after the 31 Genestealers but for reasons unknown I couldn't quite bring myself to push on with them. On the plus side it will mean they should reach fruition early in the next Season - nothing like a quick win to start you off. I've still got a number of debates about some of the additional decorative markings to go on them but I'm sure epiphanies are only a lightbulb's moment of inspiration away. I think it's for this reason why I've been drawn to the Deathwatch - get on with the bases for my mind to reach a moment of clarity on how to move the Speeders forward.

And lastly, although technically it was firstly in the order of things for this last season there were my efforts to get these two Bastion's painted. They've been on hold for a long time but they'll be done for Armies on Parade as one of my priority projects.

Overall I think I've been amazingly productive this year. Although the figure count may actually suggest otherwise 65 models doesn't sound much but it's the complexity and scale of some of these things. But it has to be noted that it's not just 'facing the grey tide' it's overcoming the little grey cells. Making all those decisions, fighting those periods were mojo is lacking and will is weak it's persevering beyond the witching hour and still getting up the next day to go to work [not that that's desirable but it is an achievement].

I hope you've all been able to succeed in your own endeavours and found the Hobby Season a useful way to record your successes [and add to your own blog posts, it's extra content at the very least ;) ]. I've found it incredibly useful this year and look forward to the 2016/17 Season. I'll just leave this here as a reminder, it struck a chord with me recently and I think it'll be an effective mantra going forward.


  1. So many great projects this year mate, congratulations! I love your Genestealers... a have quite a few of those to do next year I think ;-)

    1. I'll no doubt have a fair few stealers back on the books too...

  2. Depressing really how much you've achieved compared to me! Really got to prove something in the 2016/17 season

    1. With on average only 5 hours sleep a night you can get quite a lot done! I'd trade it for the willpower to got to bed at a decent hour though.

  3. I wish I could only say something like: wow! Now, that is a whole load of projects! Not only completed ones but really nice ones! As usual I am waiting for more :)

    1. Cheers Piotr, I honestly didn't think it seemed like a lot, I guess I underestimated my efforts. It was definitely more productive than last year but I think this season will be a good one ;)

  4. Awesome work Dave. Your to-do lists and successes have always be an inspiration. I think I am just shorting mine to one big one now. I just want to place in a painting comp! 2017, lets see what happens!