2012: A Hobby Retrospective

2012 was the start of my hobby renaissance, so it’s fitting I should, in its last days, look back over the year and what transpired. This post was inspired by a similar retrospective post over at Blogs of War. Turns out I painted a lot more Warhammer 40000 miniatures than I realised!

January

January started, as it always does, with lots of self-made promises about what I would achieve over the year. Lots of ideas buzzed around my head, but one stood out over the others: Grey Knights.

I roughed out a vague list based firstly on what I wanted to paint, with only a cursory nod towards “competitiveness”. I could clearly picture in my mind the conversions I wanted, and the overall theme was quite dark, utilising a dark grey instead of metallic silver.

In January I managed to paint one solitary Grey Knight, spending days building up layer upon layer. It was a forewarning to things were going to go for my Grey Knights, but still full of the optimism of the New Year I was unperturbed.

Grey Knights Terminator

February

In February I carried on with the Grey Knights. By the end of the month I completed my first squad of Terminators, and started on my Librarian. I also bought all the sets needed for the majority of initial list; the only things missing were the items I wanted from Forge World.

Grey Knights Terminator Squad

The Librarian was my first foray into the world of Finecast. I’d heard how terrible people were finding Finecast miniatures to be, but to be honest, I’ve never had much of a problem with it. Yes, there are more bubbles than metal figures, but overall I end up taking more time cleaning up and fixing plastic models than I do cleaning up Finecast.

Grey Knights Librarian

February also saw the Warhammer 40,000 25th Anniversary figure released. I queued up early to get mine, and was lucky… I got one of the last 2 or 3. 10 minutes later to the queue and I would have missed out. Mine is still sitting sealed in its box until I work up the courage to commit paint to resin.

25th Anniversary Figure

March

Here is where it started to go wrong for my Grey Knights. I painted a squad of Interceptors, and by the end of the month was left thoroughly uninspired and unenthusiastic to continue the army. I don’t exactly know what happened… maybe I was just sick of painting grey?

Grey Knight Interceptors

Work started to get a lot busier at this point of the year, so I found my free time far more limited than it had been, restricting the time I could spend working on the hobby.

I did manage to squeeze in a small diorama for a competition at the local GW store. The brief was to represent a duel, fit onto a standard Dreadnought sized base. Mine ended up with a theme of “Angels and Daemons”.

Angels & Daemons Diorama

April

In a bid to get back on track, I started my Grand Master conversion, hoping to re-inspire myself. This was the most involved conversion I had done since returning to the hobby, so it took the majority of my free time during the month.

My Grand Master is based on the Finecast Marneus Calgar miniature, and using a head from the Sanguinary Guard, an arm left over from my Librarian conversion, and a standard Grey Knight arm with a Psycannon. Unfortunately I don’t have any pre-painted pictures, so you’ll have to check out the finished miniature below.

May

Mostly I spent my time finishing my Grand Master. I deliberately went for a lighter grey to the rest of my army, to make him stand out a bit more.

Grey Knights Grand Master

For something different to do, I scratched a particular itch I’d been having since the model was released – I painted up Nemesor Zhandrekh, utilising a purple and bone colour scheme I’d liked when I’d seen it in the How To Paint Citadel Miniatures book, applied to Tomb Kings. If I ever put together a Necron army, then it’s likely I’ll do it in these colours.

Nemesor Zhandrekh

June

I achieved nothing hobby-related in June.

Actually, that’s not quite true, I guess. I assembled the remaining models in my Grey Knights army, and gave them an undercoat. The reason being I finally played my first game of 5th Edition – on the night before the 6th Edition rule book came out! I played 3 games, only vaguely aware of the rules. 2 were fun, one wasn’t. All ended in defeat for my Grey Knights (although a couple were close!)

In the end, my Collector’s Edition of the rule book was delayed in the post for a few days, and didn’t arrive until almost the end of the month.

2012-07-02 17.53.28

July

For the second half of the year I drew a line under the Grey Knights. Time to move on. It was in July that my Iron Fists army was born.

2012-07-08 17.15.52

With that said, in July the plan was still to paint the army as Imperial Fists. As it was, I dithered for a bit, being content to assemble the entire army (as it stood then) in one go. This army would be my return to batch painting – complete things to a table-top standard quickly so I wouldn’t lose momentum.

August

Work stole most of my time, so I contented myself with adding a few more bits to the Iron Fists army – and finally deciding the chapter to be painted! I also ordered some weathering powders, to give them a try.

For a bit of fun, I kitbashed an approximation of the Games Day 2012 model using some spare parts. I’ll probably remake this guy later, and take more time and care over it.

Kit-bashed Games Day 2012 Figure

September

Nothing of note here! Work and “life” stole all my time. Booo!

October

It begins! During a week-long holiday I started painting the Iron Fists, and ploughed right through them. I got the majority of the army painted to table-top standard, and where the only things left to do were extra details such as weathering and “special effects”.

2012-10-15 22.22.22

November

Continuing work on the Iron Fists, including planning a few expansions to the army (more dreadnoughts, drop pods…). I apply the first of the “special effects” – the battered and beaten boarding shields.

Iron Fists Boarding Shields

The holiday season starts to approach, stealing a bit more of my time… but I do manage to get in my first games of 6th Edition by taking part in a narrative campaign at the local Games Workshop. The campaign is still ongoing, though I have missed a couple of weeks. I’ll be picking up where I left off in the New Year.

After watching a whole lot of BuyPainted videos on YouTube, I invested in an airbrush, so I can add another skill to my repertoire  Early indications are it is going to require a lot of practice.

IMG_1543

December

Weathering powders start to get applied – starting with the Scouts and Devastators. I start to invest in my camera set-up  so I can finally capture images of miniatures I can be as proud of as I am the miniature itself.

Iron Fists Weathering

I start on those Drop Pods – just the one for now, though I have another 2 in my “todo pile”. All of the base coats are applied using my airbrush. Hardly an auspicious use, but it’s all practice on how to control it.

Thoughts inevitably turn to 2013, and the seed of a certain website is planted into my head… leading us to here!

So how was your “Hobby Year”?

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Comments

One comment on “2012: A Hobby Retrospective”
  1. What a great read. And a great idea for a blog post. I think I may steal it. :) Lovely work also.

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