Greetings Earthlings, this is a little early I guess, but I don’t intend to be on my computer that much between now and January, so I’m going to get in there with the traditional retrospective on the last 12 months. Time to recap on the things I’ve produced, tally up the model count, and generally reflect on 2016. :-)
January started with a bang – some scenery, (including a vintage Land Speeder), and the start of a new squad of golden oldie Guardsmen:
February saw Mezura the Navigator completed – one of the most involved conversions & paint jobs I have ever tackled, along with a Xeno-cyborg assassin:
March was pretty special – I made a couple of sci-fi buildings with my youngest son, and finished my Amtrak Wars inspired techno-barbarian Frostgrave warband:
April saw 3 additions to the golden oldie Guard squad, an additional techno-barbarian in very tight pants, and a whole barbarian village:
May and June were very quiet on the hobby front – my house was a building site and any hobby time was out of the question. The work was finally finished mid to late June, and I managed to paint up a Mean-machine inspired pit slave that subsequently won me a painting award at the local GW store:
July was a bit eclectic – 2 more random chaps and an unsatisfying metallic paint/Eldar experiment, plus some extremely ‘grown-up’ painting on some characters from Silver Tower:
August was epic – BOYL happened, and the mighty 215th Praetorian took to the field of battle for the first time in ages – I played some awesome games, got my face sculpted on a mini, and my Rogue Trader came runner up at the BOYL painting comp too! I also had a bit of a painting spurt and managed to do the funky green melon-headed alien that I won for the painting, the disc cutting homeboy with my face sculpted on, a freebie from Ramshackle Games, a random wastelander, two fishy xenos, 16 droids, and 8 Skellibobs!!:
September saw another 8 Skellies and 14 Zombies – very much on a Frostgrave overdrive by this point:
October saw me revisit my tick-tock man project from 2015 & add three more clockwork killers to the mix, as well as two ED209 inspired enforcement droids for Dreadtober, 6 flickering fire/explosion markers and a Zombie Troll:
November was busy, but I managed to squeeze in a visit to Warhammer world with the clan, and I painted 11 Morris Dancing death cultists, a huge Stone Golem/Earth Elemental thing, 10 dead/dying markers and a Bloodcrow – all for Frostgrave:
And that brings us bang up to date with December, where I have completed a Mummy, a Werewolf (including a severed head marker), a Lich, 2 Wraith Knights and 4 armoured Skellies:
Phew!! So, all together I make that around 17 bits of scenery, one vehicle, (speeder), and 117 models of varying size and complexity. Not bad, considering the 7 weeks that my house was upside down! That is actually a slight increase on last year, though many of the big groups of minis were quick and easy, (e.g. droids, skeletons, zombies). It has been a record year for Leadballoony on the stats front as well – 13,500ish views to date, 4,400 visitors, 565 ‘likes’ and around 400 comments. I guess I must be doing something right, right? ;-)
Plans for the coming year are a bit vague at the moment – I’m finishing a degree in May, so a lot of my focus is on that right now, but I’ll be doing a Bloodbowl team for sure, and I have a mountain of Lead to get through, both old and new. I also keep meaning to revisit my chaotic Spacewolves, and there are still some scenic bits I need to sort out for Frostgrave too… There is also the small matter of all the boxed games I have accumulated and keep meaning to tackle, (Silver Tower, Hero Quest, Conan, Blood Bowl). One thing is certain, I won’t be stuck for stuff to paint!
Also I’m wondering what GW have in store for us this year. I’m sure we’ve all seen the ‘leaked’ SoB and Inquisitor minis already, but I sense bigger changes coming for the core game… maybe something a bit End-Timey?? I keep hearing rumblings about Necromunda too – now there’s something that would certainly get me fired up… interesting times ahead I think! In RL, BOYL is definitely on my to-do list, and I really hope to see some of you there. Whatever else happens, I am determined to keep pushing my self as a painter & converter, to explore new outlets for my creativity, and to keep on enjoying what I do.
Anyhow, if you’ve gotten this far and are still reading – well done! This is the serious bit where I reflect back more generally about the last 12 months. Now, I don’t know about you, but in many ways, I am glad to see the back of 2016. I read the news a lot and follow politics and international affairs quite closely, and I found this year to be deeply worrying, even horrifying at points. I’m sure that most of you can probably hazard a guess as to the kind of thing I’m alluding to, but I’m not going to go into details – debating politics isn’t what this blog is about. My aim is simply to point out that a lot of ‘big scary stuff’ has happened in the world this year…
So, why do I make this point? Simply because it provides a context as to why this has been the kind of year that makes me especially grateful for my health, my family & friends, and the community afforded by this fantastic hobby. I am lucky enough to enjoy all of these things in real life, but this blog adds an extra dimension to these joys. For example, my parents & Nan keep an eye on my painting efforts from afar, while my kids get excited when something we do together gets posted. I can connect with existing friends & acquaintances in the hobby, and I continue to make new ones. Most importantly, I can dive into this weird, creative, wonderful shared thing – and it is this escapism that is most important for me. Without it, I find it very easy to get caught up in ‘stuff’… I worry, I stress, I obsess, and I can end up in a bit of a hole. Life is a serious business after all, but time spent visiting the fantastic universes that we inhabit and populate is like a safety valve for me -I am certain that it is a meditative stress-buster that improves psychological health & general well-being, and you, dear reader, are a part of that. The clicks, likes and (especially) the comments I get on here are so motivating, and they turn what could be a fairly introverted experience into something sociable and collaborative. Also, if you’re following me, chances are I’m following you, and I am continuously inspired, amazed and delighted by stuff you folks do – the grandeur of continent spanning projects of dazzling complexity, the loving recreation of characters and armies from the misty dawn of the hobby, the insanity that fuels the desire to leave no mini unconverted, the exploration of different games systems and genres, and the joy of seeing the creative explosion that happens when someone returns to the hobby, or first embarks on their blogging adventures. I love it all.
I guess that what I am trying to say, (in a rambling and long winded way), is thank you all for being a part of my hobby, and for allowing me to be a part of yours. You all help to make an agreeable life just that little bit better, so thankee sai, I wish you all long days and pleasant nights, and I’m looking forward to sharing 2017 with you :-)
Tremendous work! You’ve inspired me to do something similar, though I’m afraid it won’t have nearly the volume and variety that you’ve managed to produce.
What system are you using for your post-apoc techno-barbarians??
Cheers dude, and just do it! Always good to keep a track of these things for posterity ;-) The techno-barbarians are actually my Frostgrave warband, though they are designed to be a fit for a multitude of games. I’m a firm believer in reusability – something we’ll be seeing more of in 2017 ;-)
I’m in awe. You’ve had a fantastic year and produced so many great and cool models. I’m looking forward to see what you will do during 2017.
Keep on keeping on, mate!
Thanks mate, it’s more than I thought to be honest! 2017 should be fun – I already have something pretty cool in the works – it’s quite involved, so it won’t be quick but it should be worth the wait ;-)
Wow, that’s a hefty output, you really had a nice hobby year! It was fun to read your thoughts on the role of the hobby too. With this year being especially stressful amd horrible globally, little toy soldiers have definitely provided some much needed and healthy escapism.
Looking forward to reading your blog in 2017, too!
Cheers dude, you too :-)
Well, you have been a busy bee! You have made a lot of achievements, but if I had to choose just one, I’d say the navigator palanquin is the best 2016 piece all over the blogosphere.
Happy holidays and all the best for 2017!
Thanks mate, and to you :-)
Thanks bud, I think all the quick wins inflated it a bit :-)
117 models is an incredible achievement, and you should be proud of that! A fantastic collection of models, too, with Mean-Machine and the Navigatrix definitely taking the cake for me. I also really like those terrain projects of yours!
I can only agree with you when it comes to worrying about the state of the world, given the many awful events in 2016. If there is one small comforting thought in this hobby of ours, it’s maybe that the amount of goodwill and kindness present between hobbyists of different nationalities and often wildly different cultural backgrounds can sometimes serve as a much needed counterpoint to the sad developments we see in everyday politics — but that’s just my two cents.
In any case, congratulations on a year of fantastic hobby content! Hope to read more from you in the new year! :)
Cheers mate – here’s hoping!
Mega – you’ve produced more 28’s than I’ve managed 15’s! Your techno-barbarians are still some of my favourite minis. Ace stuff.
Also, merry Christmas!
Thanks mate, and to you :-)
So many highlights there that I’d forgotten about! And 117 models – that’s an awesome output, especially when so many of them were so skilfully converted (tick-tock men, Mean-Machine and the amazing Mezura to name but a few).
As for the second to last paragraph – very well put mate. Point after point you echo my own thoughts and feelings – here’s hoping that 2017 will be better for the world as well as the hobby :-)
Cheers dude – fingers crossed eh? :-)
Great work, Alex – and a nice reflective post to boot. I’ve just enjoyed a little over a week at home without any email (very relaxing, actually!) – but you’ve reminded me that I should really get off my butt and write up a 2016 retrospective of my own. Sometime in the next week or two, anyway.
Thanks mate, it’s good to look back now and then ;-)
I’m sorry my friend, I think I started reading this on the day it went up but must have been sidetracked. You had a great year!!! Some of faves were the Tech-barbarians, the Tick Tock Man project (Wow!) and the ED inspired droids. Very cool. I think you and I are cut from a similar cloth or at least from a similar time period hehe. I’m looking forward to the Chaos Wolves. I’d like to see more Praetorians too. I have a diorama in mind for some Praetorians. Have a great 2017 man and please forgive my tardiness on commenting on this post.
Thanks dude, and yeah, we’re deffo into the same kind of stuff I reckon ;-) no need for sorry either mate, ’tis a busy time!
Oh yeah Mean Machine was awesome too. Mezura as well. All of them basically haha.
Love your terrain work as well.
Well that was an awesome rundown, and surprisingly moving too brother ;) looking forward to more fun and games this year!
Hey, thanks man – and hell yeah! We’ve got a Lich to slay, don’t we?? ;-)