Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Review of 2014.

It is coming to the end of 2014 and the first full year of my blog.

Since starting my blog in April 2013 I have had 58,970 views so far! So first of all a big thank you to everyone who have taken an interest in my collection and my random painting . Which brings me onto the second point.

This year has been more a year of collecting things rather than really getting down to painting. A full time job and overtime, the tempations of chillin' in the Brighton and Hove sunshine, and just generally a lack of time have meant that my output has not been as much as last year. I have also lacked a little focus, and so ended up wasting time rather than getting down to projects.

Last year was a case of finishing off several of the 3rd Edition Warhammer fantasy armies or straight forward projects. This year started with a return to Rogue Trader with the 'completion' of my Squat army, the army of the Brighthelmstone Stronghold. I put completion in commas as I have just returned to the army as I am unhappy with the end result, but more of that at a later date. Needless to say I did still paint up 145 Infantry, 16 Bikes, 5 Heavy Trikes, and a variety of other odd and ends.

 The old style Squat army, as per February 2014.
 A Squat Brotherhood
Squat Troopers.
Thanks to e-bay I am working on collecting my third bike squad.

In March and April I painted up a couple of  houses for scenery...

 ... and then returned to painting some Slann. I felt I had neglected them for a while so sat down to complete some of the regiments I had wanted to paint, but which had not been needed for the 3,000 point army list. In addition I did some conversion work on a few models, assembled the Slann Cold One riders, and added and painted a new set of banners for the Slann. 
Converted  Cold One Riders
 In 2014 I also bought a jungle!
 Beware the Slann of March (or the march of the Slann?).
20 Bull Slann, 40 Venom Tribes, 10 Slann Scouts, and two Culchan, Giant flightless birds.
 Bull Slann made up from the C32 solid based 'Palace Guard' miniature.
Jungle Tribes. Slann levy, which later in the year proved so useless! 
More levy Jungle Braves.
 Slann Scouts.
 More Slann Scouts! 
These ones just seem to disappear in the jungle scenery.
I will use these as Sabre Toothed Tiger stand-in's.
 Yet more Scouts!
One of the 20 Jaguar Warriors I painted. 
I also repainted the suits of my Eagle Warriors to give them more colour, and converted up the two Regimental Leaders. Once I did that I added new shields and banners, which I decided to paint later.

I also managed to finally photograph and post my Tomb Kings Army.
 The Tomb Kings.

In later May and early June I decided to set myself a challange: To paint an army in a week! 
And I did :)   I chose to paint up my current edition World Eater army, which does contain a few older models from the 1990's including a couple of the very later Rogue Trader models. I really enjoyed setting myself the task and achieving it in time and blogging about my progress.  I found it a good idea, it got me focused and painting. 
 The Completed World Eater army. 
 Chosen of Khorne.
 World Eater Marines.
Predator tanks. 
I also painted up some ruined classical scenery and a new board and backdrop, primarily for the World Eaters, but also for as an alternative to the green planet with blue skies. 

Mid June saw some shopping for my Praetorian army in the form of Cavalry, aka Rough Riders, from Curious Constructs. This is a project for someime in the future, but I wanted to buy them and construct a few test models so as to have them ready for the time I return to my Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum.
Heavy Dragoon on lizard mount.

As June ended I returned to my Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd Edition armies project, by which I intend to have a 3,000 point army for each of the army list entries in the Warhammer armies book. Now I had already completed 8 of the armies, the Dark Elves, Wood Elves, Bretonnians, Chaos, Orcs, Dwarf, Slann, and Undead. This only left Empire, High Elves, and Skaven. I might do the Norse army too from the White Dwarf list, but I have'nt decided yet.
So I started with the Skaven, whilst using e-bay to buy the odd Empire Knight miniatures I needed. 
The progress of the Skaven army at the 27th July 2014 until.....

...I got distracted, not once, but twice.
First of all I ended up buying a three-legged Chinese Dragon (which does sound like the start of a joke!). From this I had the crazy idea of building a Chaos Nipponese Samurai army using mostly the old Citadel ranges of models, with a few well chosen contempary miniatures, and the odd Chaos Warrior. As the Nippon army list in 3rd Edition is limited to a Mercenary contingent, and I did'nt want to convert the 2nd Edition army in Ravening Hordes to 3rd Edition, I chose to use the Chaos army list in Warhammer Armies. That way I could use the Samurai as Thugs/Chaos Warriors, have monsters in the form of Oni, and field a the whole army as a rading force from the East. 
 Approx 3,000 point Chaos Nipponese army.
 The infamous Three-legged Dragon. I removed the other back leg and intend to use it as a form of Cloud Wyvern, the Samurai mounted on top being the Army General.
 Citadel OH 3 Rampaging Ronin!
 C23 Ogre, being used as an Oni, and using the minotaur army entry.
Right to left: Converted Citadel Samurai, Citadel Chaos Warrior, Hasslefree Miniatures Martial Artist. 

I mentioned two distractions.
The second was a an offer by an old friend of mine Justin to play a 5,000 point a side Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd Edition game, the first we had played for 20 years. I could'nt refuse such a great offer, and so dropped all the projects and focused on finsihing off more Slann so I could field 5,000 points worth of Slann. 
August to early September was Slann, Slann Slann.... 

Slann War Altar.
 Slann Warrior Priests. 
 Jaguar Warriors.
And I completed the two Regiments of Spawn Bands.
and the Eagle Warriors. 
 Although in the midst of all these Slann I did manage to repair and collect some more Gnolls/Great Goblins.

September was largely concerned with finishing off painting Slann, gaming all weekend, and then writing up the results! 
Here are a selection of photographs from the 5,000 point battle, the report of which can be found here: 

and here:

 5,000 point Slann Army battle line.
 Advancing in the first turn!
 The battle progressing on the first day.
Incedently, centre of the photograph are the two Giant Scorpions I painted up for the battle as well.
 Jaguar Warriors fighting Skarlocs Wood Elves.
 Slann holding the line on the second day.
 Orange Venom Tribe Slann to the rescue!
Gurggl Greenwake challenging the Wood Elves to a re-match. 
Look out for that in 2015 as Justin and I are planning another battle, even bigger and better!

The 5,000 point game over two days was awesome and I really enjoyed seeing the Slann on the table and using the army. 
Once The battle preperation, the battle itself, and the post battle report were all done iswitech back to painting the Skaven, determined to complete the project. This I did by the end of October, although I still needed to base and varnish the army. 
 Gutter Runners
 Skaven Heroes and Command Groups.

 Later in October pursued a small project I had been wanting to do for some time. I decide to buy a few test models from the Hasslefree Miniatures 'Kindred' range. They are a range of World War One Halfings (although I went for an early World War Two paint scheme), to which I added a converted Matilda Tank. It was fun, and designed to be the basis of a larger project, but I scrapped the idea as the models, whilst excellently detailed, were a bit too small for my liking. 
 Eight of the Kindred.
Kindred and Tank.

Also with October being Orktober there was a flurry of painting of Orcs and Orks for the month. As a bit of bit, late in the month I painted a test model for an Autumnal Orc army to act as a foe to my Autumnal Wood Elven army. 

 Autumnal Orc and Wood Elf. 

With October/Orktober ebbed away, I decided to delay the basing of the Skaven, and into very early November paint up the Ork Assault Grenadiers, and force of 21 Rogue Trader Space Orks from a scenario published in White Dwarf #94. I had always wanted to paint them up and add them to my Luggrub's Drop Legion force. 
 The Ork Assault Grenadiers.
One of the Squads, just looking for trouble! 

As November moved on I toyed with the idea of painting my two Rogue Trader era Genestealer Armies, but after a week gave up as I just was'nt in the mood. I did however want to revist my Squat army, and so started buying odds and ends of Squats again from e-bay with an eye to expanding the army, tinkering withthe paint scheme, and re-basing them. In this I have been lucky in that I have scored some great successes on e-bay without losing a kidney in the process, and I ended up with a lot of overtime at work, which whilst trashed my painting time, did allow a little crazy shopping :) 
...and Genestealer Hybrids.
Sorry, but maybe next year will be the year of the Cult uprising and supporting Invasion?
Some of the Squat shopping.
 ...and all three types of the orginal heavy weapons.
Finally I got the Skaven army varnished and based by the end of November too!
 The whole 3,000 point Skaven army. 
210 Miniatures, and also in addition the Weapons Teams, Rat Ogres, and Character models.
 Jezzailachis teams.
 Warpfire-Thrower Teams.
 Rat Ogres.
 More Clanrats.
Skaven Slaves.

As December started  I had taken advantage of 'Black Friday' and bought in a sale some Kromlech Soviet style Ork heads made to work with the current Citadel range of Space Orks. I made up some test models, and am pleased with the results. When I start painting the army it will be a Soviet themed looking army. 
Soviet Orks!
Mid-December I carried on mybuying Squats from e-bay. and also picked up a Citadel Paranoia miniature. I wanted the extra model so I could paint up the Alpha Complex Human force from the White Dwarf #112 Paranoia/40k crossover scenario 'Vulture Warriors from Dimension X meet plenty of Cheerful Orks with Plasma Cannon'. Once done, I painted them up, another fun little project to keep me ticking over and in the habit of painting.
 Loyal servants of the Computer.
 Troubleshooter Team, Red Clearance.
  IntSec Blue Troopers.
 Troubleshooter Bot Support Team, Red Clearance. 
 Squat Exo-Armoured Trikes! 
Converted Warlord with Multi-Melta. 

As the year draws to a close I have started my Squat army 'Brighthelmstone Stronghold' redux. I have been repainting the Squats by adding green to the paint scheme and re-basing them as I was first going to when I painted the army at the start of the year. 
 Squat army version 2. 
I have mostly followed the Squat painting guide in the Book of the Astronimican (1988), and rebased them using Citadel's 'Agrellan Earth'.
 Close up.
Current WIP. 
I will be doing a proper update on the Squats in the new year.

...and that was 2014. I am happy with what I have managed to paint this year, my e-bay and store finds, and the 5,000 point game. I am also very happy with the 55k+ views for the blog. 
I do feel that I have lacked focus this year, and despite work and other distractions, I could have done more painting if I had been more focused. Also I feel that I have neglected my blog a little towards the end of this year, but that was mainly due to work and illness. I plan to have a better focus for 2015, and will be doing an update in the new year of my 'to do' list. 
My next blog update will be more Squats, with an in-depth look at the redux of the army.