Ever since I returned to this hobby in 2009 (and really before that, back when I played as a kid), I set a mantra for myself: only painted figures on my gaming table. I don’t play tabletop wargames merely to run a combat simulation and roll some dice; I play to create a visually stunning shared tabletop spectacle with my friends. Fielding painted toy soldiers is the core aspect of my philosophy. It also means I gravitate toward smaller-scale skirmish games where I can get away with putting just a handful of figures on the table. That’s OK. It’s all part of the experience.
With that said, let’s take a look back at what I accomplished in 2019. As I went through these photos, I noticed that my raw output diminished in 2019. I chalk that up to increased family obligations — my kids are almost 2 and almost 5, so parenthood is starting to kick into high gear. We’re also in that weird period where they can’t really join me in the hobby, as they’re still too immature to grasp the concepts. Moving forward, I’ll look for more way to ease them into the hobby.
Up first is a batch of Skaven slaves I painted up for my burgeoning all-metal Skaven army. I’m building this army for Dragon Rampant and Sage: Age of Magic, so it won’t become quite as large as an old-school Warhammer Skaven horde. I’m hoping to finish up this army in 2020.
After that, I turned my attention to a cheap Doomwheel I picked up from Mindtaker Miniatures. Sure, it’s not metal, but it’s really cool! You can read more about it here.
From there, I acquired most of Deathmaster Snikch for my Skaven army. I say “most of” because this figure was missing both of his hands. I solved the problem and gave him a ranged attack option in the process! This guy will be one of the warlords in rotation for my Skaven army.
After that, Chaos fever gripped me! The new Shadowspear boxed set came out in early 2019 and my attention was once more pulled toward my Night Lords army. This army is always a work in progress and it’ll probably never be done. Haarken Worldclaimer was a nice new addition. Yeah, I painted him up as a Night Lord. Read more about him here.
He was joined by my first-ever Forge World model: the Night Lords Ferrum Infernus Dreadnought! This is a classic model that I’ve always loved, and I was excited to get it for fairly cheap on ebay.
After that, I started working on a new centerpiece model for my Night Lords: a Chaos daemon prince! I had the brilliant idea to paint his skin a pale, icy blue … over a black undercoat! What was I thinking?! I think he turned out nice enough, though. Read more about him here.
From there, I went to work on the basic Chaos Marines from the Shadowspear boxed set. They were a joy to work on, but I’m ashamed to report that I only completed a basic five-man squad before my attention wandered to another project.
That “other project” was something that’s been sitting on my workbench for at least a year, maybe more: my Chaos Vindicator! I’d been tinkering and modifying this thing for months since I acquired it mostly broken and disassembled in a large lot of Chaos stuff. I love rescuing old kits like this, so look for more in the future.
I needed a palette cleanser after all that blue, so I grabbed a lonely Chaos horseman from my bits pile and went to work on him. The end result was The Last Chaos Horseman, finishing off a 5-man unit that had lingered incomplete for nearly a decade.
I found some time for terrain in 2019, too. First up was a small 3D printed supply cache that I embellished with some new signage. Great for ZONA ALFA or other post-apoc games.
I also tackled some pieces from the GW Arcane Ruins kit, intending to use them as a Temple of Malice in our 40k campaign. I was particularly pleased with the ethereal blue paintjob on the stones, and the piebald skull faces on the glyphs.
After that brief diversion, it was back to the Night Lords! The endgame of our annual 40k summer campaign was looming, and I needed to finish off a few very specific models for my army. Namely, this awesome Chaos Lord with a jump pack.
And this random guy with a plasma gun, because you can never have too much plasma. (In regular 40k, that is. Plasma weapons don’t exist for squads in Apocalypse!)
I played my first game of Saga a few months ago, and as frequently occurs after a new game, I found myself inspired to add some units to whatever army I ended up fielding. In this case, my undead army! I built most of the core of this army about 8 years ago and have been slowly adding units to it as inspiration strikes. Here, inspiration struck in the form of three Barrow Wights (Reaper Bones).
As well as a handful of zombies.
And an undead knight, who will serve as the Black Knight in my Saga.
I was enjoying undead at this point, so I turned to a boxed set that had sat ignored on my desk for far too long: the Sepulchral Guard! I absolutely love these skeleton models. Read more about them here.
Around this time, my game club decided to do a holiday Secret Santa-themed miniature swap. The idea was that we could draw names from a hat, then paint up a single infantry-sized figure that would go with our chosen person’s army or warband. I drew John, who loves hordes of poorly trained, sad sack infantry. Well, every regiment of doomed misfits needs a leader, right? Enter Bartholomieu Begovic, a seasoned field commander who loves espousing tactics and doctrine while gesticulating wildly with his saber.
This guy is the old Empire Steam Tank commander figure, and I was so pleased to give him to John as a commander for his fantasy human empire army. I even matched his army’s color scheme (more or less).
After that, it was a sprint to our annual 40k Apocalypse game. In a fit of madness, I decided to try and paint up a Forge World Night Lords Contemptor Dreadnought (another rescue/repaint) in the last week before our big event. I was literally splattering on the last layer of Blood for the Blood God a few hours before our Apocalypse game.
He acquitted himself well in the game, and by that I mean he did not get destroyed immediately! Check out this action shot. Get wrecked, Guardsmen!
Whew! This has been quite the retrospective. I sure did paint a lot of blue this year!
Our game club has declared a pivot to fantasy for at least the first portion of this year, so look for me to tackle a few more units for my Skaven army, followed by (perhaps) some of the smaller warband-sized batches of models I’ve collected over the years. Stay tuned for more!