2021 - A years painting in review
Updated: Apr 15
So here I am again, reviewing what I've painted across this last year and seeing how close I came to my hobby goals.
2021 was another weird year. The pandemic has hung about like a bad smell but finding a job in which I work from home meant the lockdowns didn't effect me. Back in 2020 however, those lockdowns gave me plenty of time to paint minis.
The hobby goals from last year.
Well I finished the Blade Guard and continued some work with my collection of Mordheim terrain. However I didn't paint any more McFarlane scale Space Marines or add any Imperial Knights to the 80s Ad Mech. I also didn't get a second display cabinet or reach my Instagram follower goal. Just can't work out how to beat the algorithm. With that said, we're converting a home office in 2022, so maybe there'll be space for extra display solutions.
So what did I get done in 2021...
The first month of the year saw me complete the one and only (so far) McFarlane scale Space Marine, converted to be a member of my homebrew chapter, the Chevaliers.
It was an interesting build. Doing something similar but in a much larger scale does wonders for your painting and hobby enthusiasm. I think it's the challenge to reuse parts to fit a different purpose. Like the Bretonnian Pegasus head for this Space Marine's helmet mascot. This is partly the reason the other two marines have not yet been started. I have not found anything suitable I could use for another headdress.
You can read more about this project here.
During January I also finished 3 models for my Mordheim collection. The first is a bitz box build after one of my Possessed henchmen got promoted to hero status (They're Slaaneshi themed if you couldn't tell), the second is my limited run Heresy Lab Luther figure and the third is a powder monkey.
Being a member of the Mordheim Facebook group has it's perks. One of which is a heads up on the new and or limited releases from Heresy Lab's Mordheim model range. Better known as the Citizens of the Old World. Heresy Lab have been working with the original creators of the game to breathe new life into the models available for probably the best skirmish game out there.
The first Luther figure came with 3 different head and weapon load-outs. In the end I couldn't decide between them. So I picked all 3. Each head and weapon option has been painted and magnetised to the body. Allowing me to swap between his equipment depending on the narrative of the campaign.
Lastly in Jan, I completed the first HQ choice for the 80s Ad Mech. These are just a fun army I started in 2020 after a lucky [cheap] ebay find. I would like to add more to the army and currently have the parts to start building a grav tank for them on an 80s Lambo chassis.
To look beyond the simple painting aspect of the Hobby, during January I started uploading to my YouTube Channel again after a 6 month break. Starting with a video on Vallejo's florescent paints, a video which saw heavy criticism on my pronunciation of the word Vallejo. Sorry internet, I still say it that way. A J is a jay and a H is a aitch...
During the second month of the year I added a Rhino tank to my Thousand Sons army. This was the 3rd one for the collection. I remember when I first started this army I wanted to include every little 3rd party conversion part made for the Thousand Sons. This was fine at first but with the widespread use of 3D print files and digital sculpting, there is now a lot of choice. So much so it's hard to collect everything available for a Thousand Sons player. However I added a set of Rhino parts from tabletop-art.de
I also started conversion work on some Primaris Marines and my Green Knight diorama during Feb. More on that later.
In March I added more Marines to my homebrew Chapter, the Chevaliers. Specifically my version of the Mario Kart ATV, just going back to the Attack Bike roots.
These models are available from Dark Age Design, a digital sculptor who's been working on a lot of alternative vehicles for the new Primaris range but still keeping them lore friendly. If you don't want your Space Marines whizzing about the battlefield, chucking blue shells at Tyranids, I would definitely check out his Facebook page.
April saw more work on the Green Knight diorama and the addition of my Blade Guard, Grail Themed. I also painted a plant pot to look like a Minecraft dirt block and started playing Magic the Gathering again.
I'm still looking to add a Blade Guard Ancient to the unit but haven't found the Bretonnian Grail banner yet, well not one I was willing to pay over the odds for.
Month 5 saw me finish the rather lengthy diorama project I had been working on. Finally the Chevaliers had a Green Knight to lead them into battle.
The aim of this project was to recreate an old piece of artwork featuring the Green Knight within the 40k universe.
The base and tree was made from scratch, the Beastmen from the Blackstone Fortress boxset, the biker a converted Outrider and the fearful guardsman was mostly bitz box finds and green stuff.
I'm pretty happy with the end result and like a lot of these things, the conversion was the fun part. By the time the painting stage came round, I was impatient to have it all done.
You can read up on the whole of this project here.
In June I started work on the next model for my Primaris army but I only ended up finishing a full unit of nostalgia. If you've read my homepage (as of writing this), my first models, as a 10 year old, was a collection of broken 2nd ed Chaos Warriors.
Some 24 years later and a lucky unpainted ebay find, I decided to park my current projects and go back to my roots. They might not be the best painted unit in the world but I really gave it my all to see how much I've picked up since I first started The Hobby.
The painstaking background replacement was my nod to those old White Dwarf mags and the 'Eavy Metal team of yester-year. Plus I still had one of those old green plastic movement trays.
I had finished the Green Knight, so it was only right that I had a Black Knight too.
This model was inspired by the Monty Python character and is the 2nd Dreadnought for my Primaris army.
Basically the idea boiled down to "if the Black Knight was a marine, he would be encased in a Dreadnought by now".
There are a few Easter Eggs on the model as a nod to the original epic battle before "Arthur, King of the Britons" arrived. I also sculpted the Black Knight's Boar heraldry to the right shoulder guard and added a scroll with one of the more memorable phrases.
The main conversion is of course the Nemesis Dreadknight sword. It was a bit of a pain refitting the combat arm to the opposite side so that the right hand was on the correct side of the model. But I got there in the end. For reference, the ranged weapon is dead easy to swap over to the left.
During the summer I also finished a new unit for the Lizardmen, an army I hadn't worked on since 2020. These Chameleon Skinks are from Lost Kingdom Miniatures. An incredible reworking of Old World Warhammer races. The problem is, they're all 3D print files. These fella's were another ebay find as my own 3D printer is still on the shopping list.
I tried using Google images of the most brightly coloured Chameleons out there as reference points and even broke out the Vallejo florescent paints. For all those games of Fantasy Battle I play under blacklight...
All my Lizardmen can be found here.
At the tail end of July I started playing Age of Empires 3 in the evenings and as a result began rewatching the Sharpe TV series on the weekends. All of this put me in a Napoleonic mood.
It just so happens that I had the starting of an Empire black powder army in the garage. One that was meant to be Napoleonic themed.
Head swaps were ordered and Green was stuff broken out...
I started my Birthday month off with a video blog on the (for now) completed Bretonnian themed Primaris army. I hadn't done anything like this before and only considered it after someone on Instagram asked me to. The camera work isn't great as it was recorded on my phone but the close up shots are in focus at least;
Further sculpting was done on the Napoleonic Empire army and before August was over, the first unit of Line Infantry was finished.
This first unit of hand gunners was loosely painted in the colours of the 20th Devonshire regiment and carries the regimental colours (flag).
With the start of the Autumn, another unit of Line Infantry was completed. This time flying the Kings Colours.
I deliberately picked an older version of the Union Flag, as I don't want this army to be the British within the Warhammer realm, just themed on their uniforms.
As for the rest of September, well I had lots of ideas on different Napoleonic uniforms I could convert into the Old World. So I didn't get any more painting done, just lots of sculpting and conversion work.
By the time the nights started to draw-in, The Empire had a unit of Cavalry. Loosely based on the Life Guards.
Before the month was out, a field gun, Officer and a test unit of Spearmen was added to the roster. The Infantry could finally form square.
Somehow I also managed to find the time to paint a Steam Tank too!
As a little milestone, I hit 200 subscribers on my YouTube channel in October. Although I didn't post another video for the rest of the year.
On a Napoleonic roll, the next unit was 12 Highlanders. These guys took a while. Tartan kilts, patterned socks and chequered ribbons slowly ate into my evenings.
Still, I think they came out pretty well. The conversion work is recorded on the armies blog, (linked back in the August section) but for the record, the legs and heads came from Kromlech.
During the rest of the month I started mucking about with an Undead Guardsman idea, finally got round to painting more Mordheim terrain and finished the Empire's Rocket Battery.
For one of the crypts, I tried my painting hand on a ghostly glow. This was something I have been aiming to add as a video on the old YouTube channel and might get round to it one day.
By the last month of the year, my painting steam had all but run out. Instead I started sculpting up some Eddies and had one of them finished within the month.
The Trooper was meant to be a one off for the Empire army I had been working on, but I got the bug and sculpted a few more. You can check up on my progress here but for now, I have the Trooper finished, Seventh Son and Pharaoh Eddie sculpted with Killers and Run to the Hills Eddie in progress.
Sculpting takes time as you complete a small section and leave it for several hours before starting work on the next part. In this time I got one more Empire unit finished. This time Grenadier Guard themed.
As I write this, with 3 days left of 2021, I have 12 more models on the painting table for the Empire. These won't be done in time for this blog so will no doubt kick off the 2022 review.
There we have it, another years worth of Hobby.
All in all I finished painting 108 models (not counting artillery pieces) which has bested last years record of 90. It's going to keep getting harder to beat this year on year but I'll give it my best for 2022.
Not that is practically matters, but I finished the year with 276 YouTube subscribers and 355 Followers on Instagram.
My top post was the Pharaoh Eddie sculpt with 145 likes, an improvement on last years top post with 140 likes. As I type this I can't help but realise how vein all of this is but it feeds the part of my brain that's data driven at least.
Now for some [realistic] new year hobby goals;
Starting one more McFarlane marine.
Completing my 80's Lambo Grav tank
Fully painted Dwarven and Witch Hunter Mordheim Warband
At least 10 painted Eddies
Buy and Paint Napoleork Blownapart. A model I've seen online which will be a perfect adversary for my Empire army.
Maybe even give Necromunda a go
Here's to a brighter 2022