December 2021 – Personal Painting Round-Up, Year in Review and Plans for 2022

Another year down – or is it still 2020? I can’t quite tell to be quite honest. Before we look back – or forward – we’ll take a look at December’s models. Be warned, this is a wordy post!

Only a few actual figures in December – three Beastmen, 8 Zombies and a pair of Canids. Everything else is work that was done on terrain – mostly weathering with a little repainting mixed in there.

Counting the touch-ups and repaints – and why not? I’m not competing with anyone else here – I’ve got a total of 52 models completed in December.

Add those 52 to the 438 I’d painted up until the end of November and that gives a total tally of 490 for 2021. This means I hit my overall total for the year – which is 365+ objects completed. Let’s look over how we (well, I) got here and I’ll do a little bit of self-indulgent self-reflection.

In January I started the year by finishing the truck, “Betsy” from Last Night on Earth, which was also my submission for Ann of Ann’s Immaterium‘s First of the Year challenge.

I then went on to complete a bunch of my well-neglected Mentor Legion Space Marines – something I sadly lagged out on doing any more of through the past year. I also had a couple of D&D Boardgame heroes,  another batch of those metal Reiksgard that I keep coming across and a few random models, most of which had been laying around for months or years. Not coincidently at all, these were all completed as part of Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop’s Paint What You Got challengethe 2021 iteration of which is running right now, in fact (go sign up!) The two factors, model-wise that stand out to me from January is that I need to get more Mentors done, as well as trying to knock out a few more of those D&D models from time to time.

February was dominated by FEMbruary – the annual challenge run by Alex over at Leadbaloony – so a warband of Viking Shieldmaidens as well as a foursome of Bones PVC undead. I think there’s a Seer missing from the Shiedlmaidens as well. I’ve been thinking about this year’s Fembruary for a little while now, and I’ve got four main options on where I’m interested in going with this year’s challenge that I’ll have to decide on since I certainly won’t be able to get all four done. I’ll need to dig the models out very soon so I can decide… regardless, I do want to complete my metal Vikings this year (again) – though there really aren’t all that many of them left…

March was dominated by a combination of the always-enjoyable “Monster March” paint challenge run by Swordmaster at Path of an Outcast, and Ann’s Neglected But Not Forgotten painting challenge (and I even got Marouda to participate) along with a good number of D&D Boardgame mobs and Survivors from both Zombicide and Last Night on Earth – and there’s that Seer as well. Looking at this pic just reinforces what I was already thinking – I want to get more of those D&D and boardgame models completed (it’d be amazing to finally complete all the boxed boardgame contents) and the same applied for LNoE. I wonder if large tanks will count for Monster March 2022? Maus? 😀

In April the Zombicide train kept a’rollin alongside Ann’s Paint the Crap You Already Own challenge. There’s also a bunch of Necron scatter terrain from that Kill Team expansion that GW released just before shitcanning it all in favour of an entirely new edition. You stay classy, GW! I’ve got another set of these that I haven’t started (as well as the gates from both) since I wasn’t sure if I should do them all in the same scheme or if I should go for a coppery one – the current “official” GW Necron scheme is pretty much the same as what I’d mentally planned for my own, years ago but never actually started. Also a pair of Shieldwolf Yetis that just missed out on Monster March, I’ve got the other four on my desk and did more work on them for Mo’Vember, but they missed that deadline as well – like the Beastmen I just posted. Maybe I’ll try (again) to (finally) complete them for Monster March 2022?

May had Monster MAYhem run by The Angry Piper at Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging. Inspired by his introduction post, I got a whole lot of reaper Bones stuff done with a focus on Dinosaurs, as well as several Shadows of Brimstone’s larger creatures that had been sitting around forever, frustratingly taking up space – and I finally got that bloody not-Balrog from the D&D boardgame done as well – which had also been sitting around frustrating me for a couple of years. There’s also a few more Zombicide models. I was really churning through those Zombicide Survivors at this point in time, and at one stage calulated that I’d have all of the opened ones completed in 6 weeks if I kept that pace. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t. I’m actually back at work on the Zombicide models now since we’ve been playing again, so (another Spoiler Alert), I’ll have more of those up shortly.

June was one of those quiet times on the blog. I posted three times in the month. Midwinter, lockdowns, remote work, all that stuff. I did finally complete a bunch of rescue Black Templar marines which made me happy – I need to work on more Templars this year. I also knocked out more Shadows of Brimstone trash, a Bones not-D&D Grell and the Fancy-Abomination 3-pack from Zombicide Black Plague which were also actually pretty fun to work on (that I didn’t get finished in time for Monster MAYhem), and I offered as a “take your pick” for Ann’s Summer Solstice painting challenge. It’s nice to just pull out a random big monstery model and just work on something different that doesn’t need to tightly fit with other models or an army – and even moreso if they don’t need assembly and aren’t too bad in terms of mold lines!

July was really the turning point. One of the biggest hobby turning points I’ve had in many years. Dave Stone’s Season of Scenery challenge was inclusive of vehicles, since they’re often used as terrain. This led me to finally complete a trio of Bolt Action Valentine tanks I’d had sitting around spray-basecoated for a few years. From there, I decided to finally complete some 1:100 (15mm) scale Flames of War vehicles – which led in turn to me completing the Afrika Korps infantry that had been part-painted since the early 2000’s. This gave me a completed army. I did also get some more of those rescue Black Templars that had been sitting around as well as some Khorne AoS guys – and some more Brimstone and reaper Bones models…

By August, I was fully down that 15mm WWII rabbit hole. I’d looked at the current rules and lists for FoW and decided to modernise my force from the very basic stuff that I was able to afford when I first built it. The addition of a lot of plastic armour to the range in the intervening almost-two-decades meant I could add in a number of tanks, which originally were a much smaller part of the game. (at least in my circle of 1st ed players). I was still painting with an eye towards the game “TANKS!” as well, so got a couple of later war models done as well in a modular form. I was also able to upgrade my old resin and metal Tiger I to a pair of them with the correct hatches, exhaust filters and whatnot for the Afrika Korps force that I was working on.

In September, I continued working on the Flames of War stuff. I now had an Afrika Korps army I was happy with, but nothing to play against. So in the midst of a(nother) lockdown, with my overall preference to play fun games against Marouda and others at home on my table – and with the way things are outside – I don’t see myself visiting any stores or gaming clubs anytime soon for games against strangers…. so it was time to start on an opposing force. My British 8th Army force. Uuuuunfortunately, I was waiting several weeks for a particular spray paint to base coat them, and so the month was mostly taken up with buying and assembling the first waves of my Brits.

I also broke my knee in the middle of the month – so that took up a lot of time with scans, tests, hospital visits and the like – and it also wasn’t good in terms of being able to physically paint – particularly doing things like those fine, final touches to models as opposed to the more forgiving glue and plastic and snippers And so no models were completed in September. During this time I really wasn’t posting much, blog reading was done passively (without commenting much) and I completely forgot about regular painting challenges for several months.

October, on the other hand was a return to form as the British arrived and made their mark! All the preparation and assembly I’d done in September was able to bear fruit in the form of a lot of tanks. The rougher, simpler work in painting small scale, weathered tanks – even with the camouflage patterns added – was a good way for me to be able to ease back into painting again while still ingesting quite a lot of painkilling medication. It also gave me an instantly playable force for Flames of War as well as many other 15mm WWII games. I say “instantly” – I mean, it was a lot of work and time regardless, but considering my usual glacial pace at getting projects done….

In November I had a slightly more eclectic output – mostly tanks again, but with a slightly less tight focus. I also started to mess around with improving the pre-painted scenery from Battlefront/Gale Force Nine and also painted the first 28mm models I’d done in several months as a part of Roger from Under the Wargames Table’s  “Mo’vember” painting challenge.

And then we have December, noted at the top of the page. The thing that stands out the most is obviously that the completed models are all 28mm ones, with no tanks. Of course, there’s a ton of scenic objects there and I’ve been (slowly) working on more armour – but it’s a good look at how hobby inspiration ebbs and flows across different projects – and one that stands out all the more because of the contrast between 15mm tanks and 28mm humanoids – much more than, say zombie survivors and D&D monsters of the same scale.

So with that recap of what I actually got done completed, let’s now look at what I hoped to get done as of January 2021. I suspect it’s all stuff I’d still like to do, and that I got little of it actually completed. Note – these aren’t “Hobby Resolutions” – these are goals. There’s a difference.

  • Finish painting all the models from at least one more D&D boardgame. Drizzt should be doable at least, but anything past that, I’ll call gravy. Also – heroes are non-mandatory since their quality varies widly and I can often sub in better models from GW or Reaper.

Nope. I’ve still got those ugly, shitty, bendy drow models to complete as well as the Drider. I did at least get a bunch of D&D models from the other, later boxes done.

  • Finish painting all of my Last Night On Earth Models. At this point, it’s just a bunch of hero models. If I want to “stretch goal” this, I can move onto the stuff from LNoE’s sister game – Invasion from Outer Space.

Nope. I got a few more of them done, but there’s still a solid batch of them I haven’t touched for most of 2021.

  • Similarly, it was pretty satisfying to finish all of the models from the core LNoE box, so I may try to do another boardgame or two completely. Less likely to be one of those huge CMoN monstrosities, but I have some more, sanely-scaled board games like Doom and Gears that could be contenders.

Nope. Didn’t even open those.

  • Keep plugging away at my Marine and Chaos Marine “Combat Patrols” of 2 squads + hero, vehicle and Dreadnought – as well as adding to the forces that are past that point. I’d make a list of factions for this, as I have in the past, but there’s really no point.

Nope. I mean, I did complete a bunch of Black Templars, but not enough for even a Combat Patrol. 40k really didn’t get that much focus in 2021.

  • Finish my Orc and Chaos Dwarf Blood Bowl Teams that have been WIP/Semi-complete since the 1990’s. Then I can either move onto more of the classic models, or delve into some of the “new” teams. (from 2016+) Actually, I also have that custom Tomb Kings team I started that needs to be completed….

Nope. Didn’t touch a single Blood Bowl model this last year. I’ve been thinking of those two teams a bit recently, so perhaps this year?

  • Sort out a couple of cars finally for Gaslands.

Nope. I do now have a bunch of guns that look scale-appropriate that I didn’t have before due to the 15mm stuff, so this is much more doable now.

  • Get a couple of survivor gangs done for and have a ganme or three of Last Days.

Nope. Though I did paint more Zombicide Survivors.

  • I wanted to work on the Warhammer Fortress over summer, but now that Summer’s finally here, I have no real interest in it. Nonetheless, I’d like to get at least one of my much larger terrain projects done (tile sets, castles, etc)

Nope. This might have happened, since it’s best done when the weather is warm and I have time off, but my mobility is still compromised at the moment, so it’s a no-go.

  • Paint 2-4 Warhammer Underworlds warbands, so I can finally start playing the game.

Nope. sigh.

  • Get as many of my part-painted models completed. Which really ties in strongly with so much of what’s already written above.

Yep. Well, I did a bunch of this. Just not tying in with the more specific stuff above.

  • Do something with/for War Cry.

Nope. sigh. again.

  • Actually PLAY some Blood Bowl and/or Blitz Bowl. May as well throw small-scale 40k and getting some Kings of War, War Cry, Combat Patrol, Middle-Earth SBG, Kill-Team, Gaslands, etc going here as well. I have lots of small-scale and skirmish games. It’d be nice to play some of them.

KInda. Uh…  well, I played none of those. We did play a variety of different board games, Flames of War and we’ve been doing Zombicide again. It’s been another shitty year, though and for much of it the games table was covered in stuff so games tended to be of the video form, especially after I gimped myself..

So 2021 was a right raging fucking success, wasn’t it? Lists are fun though, so let’s now set me up for failure again in 2022. I’m going to recycle a bunch of these as well…

  • Finish painting all the previously-opened Survivors from Zombicide. (I know which ones I mean!)
  • Make at least a solid start on the Zombicide survivors I opened the other day to make space. Even better if they all get done. (I know which ones I mean!)
  • Paint all of the Fatties from Zombicide. The sheer number of regular walkers might make them a bit too much of a tall order. We’ll see….
  • Finish painting all of my Last Night On Earth Models. At this point, it’s just a bunch of hero models. If I want to “stretch goal” this, I can move onto the stuff from LNoE’s sister game – Invasion from Outer Space. I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021.
  • Try and finish the last models from that Drizzt D&D boardgame. Anything past that, I’ll call gravy. Also – heroes are non-mandatory since their quality varies widly and I can often sub in better models from GW or Reaper.
  • Similarly, it was pretty satisfying to finish all of the models from the core LNoE box, so I may try to do another boardgame or two completely. Less likely to be one of those huge CMoN monstrosities, but I have some more, sanely-scaled board games like Doom and Gears that could be contenders. I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021. Any boardgame will work, though.
  • Keep plugging away at my Marine and Chaos Marine “Combat Patrols” of 2 squads + hero, vehicle and Dreadnought – as well as adding to the forces that are past that point. I’d make a list of factions for this, as I have in the past, but there’s really no point. I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021.
  • Finish my Orc and Chaos Dwarf Blood Bowl Teams that have been WIP/Semi-complete since the 1990’s. Then I can either move onto more of the classic models, or delve into some of the “new” teams. (from 2016+) Actually, I also have that custom Tomb Kings team I started that needs to be completed…. I’ve been thinking very specifically about these models lately, so I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021.
  • Sort out a couple of cars finally for Gaslands. As I mentioned, having lots of spare 15mm weapons should make this doable now, so I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021.
  • if the world still exists at the end of next year, I’d like to get started on at least one of my much larger terrain projects done (tile sets, castles, etc) by year’s end, even if it crosses over the summer break into 2023.
  • Paint 2-4 Warhammer Underworlds warbands, so I can finally start playing the game. I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021.
  • Get as many of my part-painted models completed. Which really ties in strongly with so much of what’s already written above. I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021 since it’s about reducing a very specific set of models that are sitting around.
  • Do something with/for War Cry. I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021.
  • Actually PLAY some Blood Bowl and/or Blitz Bowl. May as well throw small-scale 40k and getting some Kings of War, War Cry, Combat Patrol, Middle-Earth SBG, Kill-Team, Gaslands, etc going here as well. I have lots of small-scale and skirmish games. It’d be nice to play some of them. Yep, Play More Games. I’ll keep this one wholesale from 2021, but we’ll obviously add Flames of War in here as well!

Huh. Looks like I recycled almost all of those. Let’s add another few, shall we?

  • Finish my 15mm DAK force for Flames of War
  • Finish my 15mm British 8th Army force for Flames of War.
  • Start (hopefully finish) the four other Mid-War forces for Flames of War that I’m wanting to get done.
  • Review all of the 15mm scenery I’ve picked up.
  • Try to review some more of the other hobby-adjacent stuff I have – Art books, Helmets, Video Games.
  • Weather/repaint all of the 15mm scenery I’ve picked up.
  • Complete those winged models (I know which ones I mean!)
  • Start and finish those Dwarves with the chains and the hammerheads (I know which ones I mean)
  • Finish those three bits of scenery still sitting in The Tray – and the two WHU sets.
  • Paint some more Beastmen…
  • …and some Chaos Dwarves…
  • …and a few more regular Dwarves, including Slayers.
  • Get enough Marvel Crisis Protocol models done to actually have a game.
  • …and actually have a game.

In non-gaming goals, I’ve been off crutches for four days now so I’m keen to get back to the Gym and Pool again, and I’ll also be trying not to die.

See you in a couple of days with the first stuff I finished in 2022!

29 thoughts on “December 2021 – Personal Painting Round-Up, Year in Review and Plans for 2022

  1. Good Lord! That’s a very comprehensive retrospective. Lots of high points to look back on. And can I just say — that’s a LOT of toy tanks!! Did you leave anything left for 2022? That gets an /s of course … there’s always more on the pile o’ shame, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Tarmor. I’ve started working out a bit more now as well. Hopefully I can get to the gym this week and use the machines and pool for some leg work (assuming I can wake up early enough!)

      Like

  2. Despite everything you still have a hobby output that dwarfs most of us; it’s impressive to see it all here.

    I actually don’t think that you should consider it a failure that you haven’t achieved the specific goals from the previous year – you still got a lot done. We all have jobs, families and other commitments where we have to do certain things at the right time so I reckon that it’s fine to give yourself more latitude in your hobby.

    Nonetheless, I hope that 2022 is better for you, especially with your knee. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks mate! The thing to bear in mind is that I don’t consider *myself* to be a failure, but if we’re calling a spade a spade, I didn’t get the things I wanted to at the start of the year done, and it’s an interesting exercise to look back and see how the outcome compares to the plans.

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  3. What a great review of the year mate, and a hell of a lot of models finished as well. Great to hear you’re off the crutches, and don’t push yourself too hard to begin with.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Your hobby goals sound a lot like mine:

    Step 1 – write “to do” list

    Step 2 – do something completely different! 

    Still, you’ve managed to get a hell of a lot done and that’s the main thing right? And best of all you’re off the crutches! 

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Excellent output and I always say a plan is a TOOL and not a STRAITJACKET. Any hobbyist would be over the moon with 50% of your output, let alone the quality. Looking forward to how you fare in 2022 – glad to be here with you.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Failure?! Where is the failure, with hundreds of miniatures painted despite the health emergency and the “arrow in the knee”? What should we say, with three miniatures painted in total, despite being two, in the whole of 2021?! Already reading only the January review we were ashamed … imagine when we got to read December … I would say that setting yourself high goals but keeping your feet on the ground is the best way to deal with things, even in the hobby. So great congratulations and best wishes for your knee!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, failure to meet goals isn’t failure to get things done, or as a human – it’s just being honest about whether a thing happened or didn’t happen. Thanks for the positivity and wishes for my knee! 🙂

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  7. Considering the challenges you faced this year, I think you did well, mate. And as far as goals for 2022, well, you’re nothing if not ambitious 😉 It will be awesome to see what all you accomplish this year and its always inspiring to follow your work (even when you paint 50 tanks in a month)!

    Liked by 3 people

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