Azazel’s 2018 Hobby Reflection and goals for 2019 aka This is What 581 Models Look Like.

Well, 2018 was quite the year. As far as painting productivity goes, it was the best year I’ve ever had. As far as wargaming goes, it was decidedly mediocre – I think I managed to wargame about three times. Personally, the year was a fucking dumpster fire, starting with the immediate aftermath of my mum’s passing a week before Christmas, larger than usual work stresses, a knee injury that’s still an ongoing issue that affects my mobility (can’t run, can’t walk long distances without paying for it later) and workcover/admin issues taking six months to get me some treatment, and them my father having a stroke a few days after the anniversary of my mother’s passing. If you’re wondering how I paint so many models, I’m sure that keeping my mind occupied at every waking moment has a lot to do with it. – Stay Busy, Don’t Think.

I’m not going to dwell on all of that a whole lot more right now, though I’ll come back to the knee in a later post because it becomes relevant again. Probably in January’s round-up, since this thing is already excessively long!

Part I: 2018 all laid out together.

Somehow it looks a lot less than I’d imagined that 581 models would look. That scatter terrain – boxes and barrels and hedges take up a goodly chunk of that number, though – and the boxes all mesh together pretty tightly.

Part II: 12 Months – Condensed.

I am now going to run through my monthly round ups, because I think it’ll be nice – for me if no-one else – to see them all collected in one place. It’s my blog, I can be self-indulgent if I want to.

January 2018

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018

Also, June 2018

July 2018

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

So not a bad outcome in the end. Sure, there’s a lot of scatter terrain in there, and no end of Neglected models that were already at some point in the paint process, but I’m pretty happy with it all. Now let’s see how it all stacks up compared to my stated goals for 2018 from last January:

Part III: 2018’s Goals – Successes or Failures?

(it’s a mix, because of course it bloody is!)

1. Paint and finish some 2+1 marine forces/bump up existing small groups to this as a minimum.

By this I mean small forces of Space Marines – 2 units of infantry, plus a leader and something cool, like a dreadnought, tank, flyer, etc. This at least makes them playable or easily allied to other armies. Right now, forces which I’ve shown that still need to be bumped up to this level are Black Templars, Celestial Lions, Fallen Angels and Deathwatch, though I have another one on the go right now, and plans (oh dear, the plans) for several more. I’d also count finishing my 2006 Ork force in there.

Well, this didn’t really happen. None of my many marine forces got turned into playable-sized forces, though a couple took some steps towards it. I did manage to complete the 2006 Ork force, though – so that’s a solid positive.

2. Reinforce the existing 40k armies.

Specifically, both Minotaurs and Iron Warriors need some proper reinforcements. Even more specifically, there are two vehicles for the IW that have been staring at me for years, as well as another squad that I prepared the figures for and another hero model. Then there’s that mass of Tactical Marines for the Dark Angels I’m working on.

Towards the end of the year I got a little more done for the Minotaurs and Iron Warriors, but overall, not nearly as much as I’d hoped for either. I didn’t touch that huge mass of Dark Angels in the end.

3. Sort out the stuff that’s painted but needs reorganisation to be playable in 8th edition. I’m very much thinking of my Imperial Guard here.

*cough* moving right along…

4. Finish more of the stuff I started but never finished.

I must say, I did pretty good here. I completed a lot of individual models and units that were started a long time ago and had sitting around. Unfortunately, I reckon if I did nothing but paint Neglected models, I could probably do nothing else for all of 2019. So I’ll do as many as I can once again, but it’ll probably take me a couple more years to get through them all. I can only imagine how it’d feel to have little to no half-painted models sitting around in containers and shelves!

5. Complete all of my metal Dwarf Slayer models.

Did I paint any Slayers in 2018? It seems not, with the closest thing being Queen Helga (also the only dwarf I painted in 2018!) – so total failsauce!

6. Complete all of my metal Viking models.

I finished a few more metal Vikings, but not all of them by a long shot.

7. Get a Nurgle Daemon army up and running.

You know, I think I managed to do this one. I’ve been a bit slack for half of the year though, so I should get back to this one sooner rather than later. I also need to take a couple of “army” shots really badly.

Mrowr! Leonard Strikes!

8. Get a Grey Knights army up and running.


Look upon this beautiful man and be distracted by my lack of progress on these painting goals.

9. Get a second Chaos Legion force up and running. Death Guard? Thousand Sons? Black Legion/Sons of Horus? Word Bearers? So many choices, so little time to paint!


10. Skirmish forces & small miniature boardgame models updated/ready to play. Necromunda, Shadespire, Blood Bowl, Gorechosen, SAGA (aside from Vikings)

Oh. I said *aside* from Vikings… No Necro or Blood Bowl or Shadespire teams/gangs/warbands completed, but I did get a fair few Shadows of Brimstone and Imperial Assault models done, though!

11. Two small opposed forces for Bolt Action.

We’re talking in the 2+1 kind of size here, but we’re getting to a lot of figures I’d like to paint at this point.

Yeah, no. I painted some tiny tanks, though!

12. Then there are unfinished terrain pieces, projects like the Graveyard and the Mighty Fortress, and scatter scenery, and…

Well, I did at least do pretty okay here in 2018…

Part IV: Looking Forward – 2019’s Goals.

Given that mix of success and failure, I should make some new goals for this coming year – let’s recycle the last set, but with some modifications. I’ll sprinkle photos from my 2018 collection in here to help you avoid falling asleep!

1. Paint and finish some 2+1 marine forces/bump up existing small groups to this as a minimum. By this I mean small forces of Space Marines – 2 units of infantry, plus a leader and something cool, like a dreadnought, tank, flyer, etc. 

I’d still like to do this. The most realistic contenders are much the same – Black Templars, Celestial Lions, Fallen Angels, Deathwatch – plus Flesh Tearers. It’s also very doable to at least get a couple done – if I’m able to focus on them.

2. Reinforce the existing 40k armies. Specifically: Minotaurs, Iron Warriors, Dark Angels, Nurgle Daemons and Orks.

Also very doable. I have a Squad of Minotaurs who I might manage to get done for next month’s Neglected theme. After that it gets a bit harder, as I’ll need to assemble any further Iron Warriors (even though I have the parts ready) – because I’m probably going to have a stronger focus on neglected models across the year over new assemblies. I’ve got a few more metal Daemons to finish before I allow myself onto the plastic (not counting the metal Nurglings), and I’ve got both plastic and old-school Rogue Trader Orks on the painting table.

3. Sort out the stuff that’s painted but needs reorganisation to be playable in 8th edition. I’m very much thinking of my Imperial Guard here.

Doable, but it needs 2 things: Time to do it and an impetus. Unless I get playing with some regularity, I’m probably not going to get around to doing this because my spare time is more limited than ever now.

4. Finish more of the stuff I started but never finished. 

That’s Neglected Models. It’ll be a running theme throughout 2019. Not an exclusive one, but I’ll do my best to keep it consistent and get as many of them done as I comfortably can.

5. Complete all of my metal Dwarf Slayer models. There’s a few that got started but have now been sitting on the desk for over a year.

There’s not all that many of them overall, but with each essentially being a character in terms of how I paint them (tattoos and such). Like most of this list, they’re doable, but there’s only so much time I’ll get to paint and finish models.

6. Complete all of my metal Viking models.

Exactly what I wrote about the Slayers applies again here, but with shield designs instead of tattoos. Hopefully I can keep plugging away at both.

7. Skirmish forces & small miniature boardgame models updated/ready to play. Necromunda, Shadespire, Blood Bowl, Gorechosen, SAGA, Kill-Team, Gaslands, TANKS!/What a Tanker!

I’ll also roll Kill-Teams, Gaslands, TANKS! and What a Tanker! into this category this year – so the “Second Chaos Legion” goal as well as the “Start Grey Knights” can fit in here. I’ll continue to sprinkle in boardgame models like Imperial Assault and Shadow of Brimstone. I’ve also been mulling over trying to do a Shadespire/Nightvault warband each month, but that might be too much, start-to-finish with also trying to hit monthly painting challenges and an overall monthly target….

8. Two small opposed forces for Bolt Action. We’re talking in the 2+1 kind of size here, but we’re getting to a lot of figures I’d like to paint at this point.

Probably unlikely to happen, but it would be nice to finish a few tanks for both Allies and Axis forces. Then in 2020 I can try to paint a couple of platoons of infantry!

9. Then there are unfinished terrain pieces, projects like the Graveyard and the Mighty Fortress, and scatter scenery, and…

Hopefully going to get onto one of those Fortresses this coming week. I plan to keep hammering away at large terrain over February as well, and then probably mostly scatter and smaller pieces until next summer. Wish me luck!

I know that these “New Year” posts traditionally get written and posted in the opening days of January, but I’m a rebel. A maverick who plays by his own rules! That, or it just took me ages to get around to laying all of the figures out on the table, and then time to write this text up. Eh!

58 thoughts on “Azazel’s 2018 Hobby Reflection and goals for 2019 aka This is What 581 Models Look Like.

  1. That is a mighty heap of painted loveliness dude, great to see it all in one place! I don’t know how you manage all those goals though – I know I couldn’t, I would just be way too unfocused!

    Liked by 3 people

    • The goals in the last year have been much more like guidelines that get forgotten in the month-to-month. A couple of years ago I had a focus of two armies and tried to get a unit done each month for them (Gondor and Undead), and anything else was a bonus.
      It worked well, but I’m still sick to death of the idea of painting anymore of both armies!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a year ! Hope the treatment on the knee improves your mobility.
    That was a very productive year painting wise, you may not have achieved all your goals, but you certainly should be very proud of all you have done and to such a high standard.
    Look forward to following along this year and see what you do

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not sure how much it’s helping, but I understand it’s a slow process. I don’t even *like* running, but I like being able to. 🙂
      Hopefully I can hit a few more of those goals this year and keep up a decent amount of finished pieces. Probably less little bits of scatter left to do now, so we’ll see how it pans out….


    • I’d say it can only be better, but some of us are still alive, so there’s always the potential for it to go down the toilet again. Here’s hoping we get a couple of years off from serious nasties!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Damn! Looks like a hell of a spread to me! Especially given the quality of work you put out.

    On the partially-achieved goals: A bit of advice that I got once about a checklists that I’ve found really helpful is, at the end of whatever the relevant time period is (day, week, month, year, whatever), in addition to checking off what was on the list and got done, add on an entry for each thing you did that wasn’t on the list, and then check that off, too. It’s a great help for maintaining perspective when you’re accomplishing things, but not the ones you’d planned on. Which I find is pretty common.

    Best of luck with the knee, thanks for the cat pics, and I look forward to following your work throughout 2019!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Alexis. I think that would add too much work for me given how much random stuff I end up with – it’d certainly be useful if I were upset at all about not having achieved the various goals, but even I have enough perspective to look at what I got done and be “yeah, I didn’t get this or that done, but it still works in the end”.
      The knee and all the stuff attached to it has been a “project” since just after Christmas, and I think it’ll be a long-term one for the year and possibly beyond. I’ll get more Leonard cameos mixed in this year as well. Another goal!


      • Yeah, knees are pretty much a life-long project if they ever get out of whack. I screwed mine up back before the turn of the century, and I still occasionally have days bad enough that I need a cane. Mostly they’re OK, tho.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s an absolutely batshit crazy amount minis painted. Personally I decided to have but one hobby goal for this – I want to finish more projects than I start.

    I hope you have better luck in 2019 than you had in 2018.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 581 MODELS??? That means you’ve managed to paint ten times the amount of my 2018 output — and all of it looks great. That’s not only something to be proud of — dude, I’m not even sure I’ve managed to paint that many models over my over my entire 25+ years in the hobby — simply baffling.

    I can definitely understand what you are saying about painting being a way to keep yourself from breaking down under dire circumstances, though: My most productive hobby years have also been my shittiest RL years, at least for the most part. Here’s hoping you’ll be having a much better 2019! Oh, and I can definitely sympathise with taking ages to create writeups like this — it truly can be a drag, eh? 😉

    Anyway, keep up the brilliant work! 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

    • Remember though – a lot of that is simple scatter terrain. Still has a valid use on the tabletop, but it’s nothing like some of the mega-sized stuff you turn out that still counts as a single model!
      That’s one big drawback with blogging. I’ve been at it for over an hour this morning just catching up on my own comments, with maybe 1 or 2 of other people’s blogs. I also need to photograph my final January models, write their post, do the compilation post, and then finish the community post.
      Not gonna do any of that today, though – as it’s heading into 40 degrees. Bleh!


  6. Pleased to discover your blog, sorry to hear you had a bummer year in some respects, just had a quick question:

    Five hundred and eighty-one????

    Amazing productivity, and all of them finished to such a high standard as well! I think my favourites are those Star Wars imperial walkers. And the boss’ squig! He looks like he smells terrible. Just wonderful.

    Anyway, have a better 2019 and happy hobbying.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks mate – and yep, 581 – bear in mind though: there’s a lot of scatter terrain in there as well, and that does bump up the numbers. I think it’ll be touch to try and match that again, let alone beat it – so we’ll just see how 2019 pans out on the hobby front! 🙂


  7. Yep, does look impressive! You’ve painted more tanks than me as well! I’m looking forward to what you get done in 2019, regardless of what it is or how much of it there is. As far as TANKS/What A Tanker is concerned, if you get some German tanks done you get the option of using them against either Americans or Russians.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Wow, that is simply outstanding – to paint so many models to such a high standard you deserve to be very proud of yourself. Seeing them all gathered together for those group shots really brings home just how much you’ve managed to achieve (and let us not forget how much you’ve inspired others to achieve).

    I absolutely understand what you mean about painting models helping when dealing with hard times. Both my parents were badly injured in a road accident back in 2017 and my father is still in hospital. Being so busy helping them, and worrying about them, means taking time for myself when I get the chance becomes extremely important to recharge – and yet the last thing I want to do is just sit around because then you end up stewing and that doesn’t help. I don’t really have the words to describe it but painting miniatures helps me to process things, it focuses and calms the mind somehow. I’m sure you’d agree that the situation doesn’t have much to recommend it, but it can certainly lead to a spike in painting productivity! A knee injury on top of it all sounds like unutterable bollocks and absolutely the last thing you need – hope that gets fixed for you soon.

    Anyway, onto the most important revelation from this post – that Idol of Gork/Mork is absolutely massive! I had no idea it was so big until I saw it towering over everything else (I thought it was roughly the size of the FW Nurgle Daemon).

    Anyway, fingers crossed for a better 2019 and keep up the great work mate 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks mate. It was nice to lay them all out together like that for sure to see what a (mostly) solid year of painting can look like. Sorry to hear about your parents – that sounds absolutely horrible, especially for your Dad. You get it completely about the painting as “me time” that works to stop from sitting around stewing and getting mroe stressed and aggro. I’ve explained it to people at work this way: “Some people do Yoga, some people do Gardening – this works for me to chill my mind out in the same way.”
      The knee rehab has its own positives and drawbacks. After discussion with people at work who have had injuries and the physio, I applied for a Gym membership paid for by WorkCover to start to rehab it. I’ve been going 5-6 days a week for 90mins (including cardio), and while my whole body is becoming fitter and stronger, it’s a huge time commitment (basically 3hr round trip every morning) when I’d often like to just chill out at home and paint or blog or whatever else and I’m left exhausted, so painting and blogging are down dramatically so far this year.
      Yeah, that Idol is pretty hefty. I’ll have to get some more 40k Ork stuff done and then work out a way to work him into the army – and probably paint up a bunch of AoS ̶O̶r̶r̶u̶k̶s Orcs as well.
      Anyway – gotta go now (to the Gym, of course.. )

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Awesome mate. Despite lifes set backs I really have no idea how you manage to get all this done, go to work and presumably have a domestic life beyond painting and modelling. Good luck with your goals and aims for this year. I suspect like us mortals you will deviate at various times but I can’t imagine you doing less. Looks like we all have a lot to look forward to seeing. Oh, by the way you forgot to include a few vignettes and dioramas, just saying, don’t want anyone thinking of you as lazy! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s my secret! I have no life! Seems a bit like that at times, anyway. I wish I had the… motivation? Mentality? Drive? for some vignettes or dioramas. I just get stuck on painting models that are “fixed” in one aspect of space or time. I’ll try to broaden my horizons this year and do one – just for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You sir, are a beast! Or “You’re going to need a bigger table!”. Seriously, not sure how you even managed to find space to snap all of them. Next up, banquet hall?

    Pretty sure Leonard’s hissing face was when he found out you didn’t manage to paint any of his favorite Blood Bowl or Necromunda figures!

    Awesome, just awesome, and looking forward to all the minis and painting challenges of 2019.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 2 things stand out in reply – firstly that 2018’s figures took up a lot less table space than I was expecting. Secondly that the table is indeed probably not big enough if I were to do what Dave Kay did and try to put all of the painted models out. (Without terrain.)
      As for Necro/BB, I took my two Chessex cases containing them out recently so I could get a bunch done in Neglected February, and I appear to have completely lost both of them… 🤬

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m awed by the amount of minis you manage to pump out, and that they’re of such high quality! Much like krautscientist, that’s 10 times more minis finished than what I managed this year!

    Anyways, I’m looking forward to what you come up with in 2019! (And keeping my fingers crossed for some WH Underworlds warbands:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks mate. Here’s to hoping that this year can be close to as productive. I’ve not yet put paint to any Warbands yet, but I’ve got some scenery to show shortly…


  12. Another good post (envious). Thanks for the recap – you did lots of great work. Sorry about the RL stuff you have had to deal with. I really know how that goes. – hats off to you and your dedication.

    I’ll have to run down some sort of list myself. You got so much done – I’ll feel a bit embarrassed. But, it does give me hope that perhaps I’ll get on track myself- sometime.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks mate – and sorry about the super-late reply. Feels rude! Unfortunately, the first part of this year ended up being one more thing after another, so my replies dropped off as dad went back into hospital. It’s still one thing after another, but at least he’s out of hospital and at home.
      Having a shitful time at life did mean I ended up pouring my free time into modelling as an attempt to relax, though – hence the high output. (Also: scatter terrain!)


    • Thank you – and sorry for the late reply! (see above). This year has been a shit so far as well, but hopefully might be looking up a little in a month or three. I do need to get more Flesh Tearers done. I’ve got a hero for them started, not sure if I’ll manage to get him finished for Jewel of July or if it’ll take longer yet….

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Geez man I think you put us all to shame with your productivity. I still love that tiger and can’t believe it was almost a year ago that you painted him. I love Helga too and I’m surprised no dwarves were painted too. Speaking of dwarves, don’t forget I have some for you if you want them. Free!!! Just email me your address and I’ll send em your way. Love to see how you paint them.
    I hope this year sees no dramas for you at all man, you’ve had your fair share. All the best for 2019 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks mate and sorry about the delayed response – I’m still catching up where I can, though I’m sure I’ve missed a ton that I’ll never see on both my own blog and others’… As you’d know, this year has been a shitshow so far but hopefully it’ll ease off in a month or so. Or three. Or six. I’d totally forgotten about your dwarves – let me know if you still have them and I’ll email you my postal address. I’ve almost finished a little batch of them. Just need to ink them up!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Your one hell of a resilient guy mate ,bugger me what you have been through ,what with the loss of your mum and your dad having a stroke ,and you caring an injury ( I hate It myself ) and yet you not only produce all this work ,you can organise the challenge and reply to everyone !! fuck mate you are incredible ,And when I chance on a person like yourself ( and I have met a few ) I always put it down to their parents and upbringing ,so tonight cobber I’ll tilt my glass to your folks ! .

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Terrific stuff from a hobbying perspective – 581 miniatures painted is really impressive. It’s actually quite surprising that you managed to get so much painting done but so little progress on the goals you had set at the start of the year.

    From a more personal perspective, I can only hope that the next year is more enjoyable and less dramatic that 2018. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Superb effort in 2018, and as others have already said, best wishes for a better 2019. Quality across the board, and you ran the challenges and your blog posts so you probably could have hit 800 or more. Definitely hope you get more games in, that way your beautiful work gets played with. Kudos to the infinite power!


  17. By the gods in high Asgard!!! you are a painting machine mate!!! Your output was both impressive and exemplary. I take my hat off to you for sure, and this has inspired and motivated me to push harder with efforts for this year.

    I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your mum and the challenges your Dad has been through, as well as your good self. Keep your chin up old boy, there’s a lot of people sending good vibes to you, count me among them.


  18. Incredible mate ! I’ve only been with you boys for less than a year and I thought I pumped out a bit of painting ,nah I’ll pull my head in now mate ,I can’t believe with all that has happened to you and the family in the last year that you can still soldier on and produce so much great stuff ,I salute you mate and admire your fortitude ,something that I always feels come from ones parents ,it just proves they did their job well in your case, so yeah you can hold your head up mate ,I just recon that your mob has just as good a time with you as young IMP’s does with him ! .


  19. 2 things stand out in reply – firstly that 2018’s figures took up a lot less table space than I was expecting. Secondly that the table is indeed probably not big enough if I were to do what Dave Kay did and try to put all of the painted models out. (Without terrain.)
    As for Necro/BB, I took my two Chessex cases containing them out recently so I could get a bunch done in Neglected February, and I appear to have completely lost both of them… 🤬


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