2021 is over. It was definitely a hard year for most people, with me finding myself especially struggling by the end with life and work. However, through all of it there was a lot of good! I managed to get a chunk of things done, including a lot of the social side of the hobby that I enjoy. It’s safe to say that without the Monday Night Paint sessions I started doing with my friends I’d be a lot worse off. But thanks to them (as well as many other people on both Twitter and Patreon) I managed to make it through the year having been as productive as I have ever been.
So back at the start of the year I roughly set out my plan to paint around 365 models in a year. Seeing as in 2020 I only managed to paint 58 models (and the highest I’d done in a year before that was 223 in 2017) this was going to be a pretty massive change. Frankly, quite a few people did mention this was a pretty bonkers idea.
How did I do? Well, I managed to paint 307 models (both miniatures and terrain) in 2021. It might not be the 365 I aimed for but frankly it’s a massive improvement over last year.
There was also a nice variation on what I actually painted. In previous years, the percentage was pretty much entirely Ultramodern but 2021 saw a nice mix of things to paint up. In fact, for the first year Fantasy Skirmish actually beat out Ultramoderns as the most painted by a big chunk – I’ll put this down to working my way through multiple boxed games and their associated terrain.
Of course, every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction. In 2021 I added to my collection 503 figures. Now, that is an awful lot of stuff to add. I think a big part of it comes down to picking up several Games Workshop game boxes (Cursed City, Warcry Red Harvest and half of the Dominion box set) while another chunk is 3d printing figures but even so that is way more models than I really should have picked up.
However, even with these additions, my painted percentage stands at 44.28%, up from 39.68% at the start of the year
So apart from the raw painting numbers, what else was big this year:
Probably the biggest thing of January was getting my 3d printer (the Mars Pro). After screwing it up over Christmas (I broke the cable to the display while trying to make sure it was working), it took me until January 9th to actually get my first wholly successful print… I think broke the screen again.
January also saw me finish off my Enforcers, including the Forge World purchases – shame it would take me a good few months to ACTUALLY use them.
February saw a few projects begin. On the WW2 front, I painted my first set of Winter Brits and started work on the Empress kits. I started the descent into Chaos with the Warhammer Underworlds box and then Sigvald (who is still waiting to be painted). I also returned to camo with the Spectre Delta figures.
But it wasn’t all new stuff. I also actually got a game in, playing a Spectre Operations solo game to reignite the juices and get things on the table.
March saw more painting of my WW2 British forces, finishing off the bulk of the force. As well as more experiments with 3d printing, it saw me finish off the Warhammer Underworlds Chaos Warriors to a level I was really happy with, complete with conversion work which I still enjoy looking at on my shelf.
And then I built the biggest model I have ever done in the form of the Slaanesh Greater Demon I still need to paint.
March also saw me decide to step back from playing Real World Ultramoderns wargaming. I still stand by that post I wrote but I think also the interest in world building has really got it’s claws in me.
April saw a mix of Ultramodern and Fantasy. I finished off the Insurgent PMC in about a week from arrival to fully painted and had great fun working on them. At the same time, I started painting the bulk of my Chaos Warriors
And then I added a shed load more stuff to do by picking up some Stormcast and Vampires AND THEN Cursed City arrived!
In May I finished up the Chaos Warriors and wrote up a post on them. I also started working on other things such as the rest of the Winter Brits and a few more pieces for fantasy such as the Ogroid Myrmidon for fantasy. I also finished two of the Swashbucklers I bought, planting the seeds for my fantasy gaming with my sister which I really enjoy.
And speaking of which, June was the first month we actually played a game together! The rest of the month was filled with painting up fantasy models, as well as more 3D printing. I hammered through the Cursed City Skeletons but mostly it was getting the Chaos Barbarians painted up. I really enjoyed painting them. It was a different style of model to work on, lots of flesh rather than metal work.
July saw my house getting invaded by bats! And ironically not just on the painting table (although that happened as well). Luckily however the bat did escape and left me to my devices.
This month saw me finish off the first 3D printed model I’m really proud of, a mix of Golem parts from Last Sword. I’ll be going back to do a proper post on this guy, as his work came in the months where I just stopped posting things!
There was also lots and lots of gaming with my sister, which did really get me to both finish off some more Cursed City parts but also get the 3d printer out for terrain pieces.
Oh Boy – August saw me jump onto the 3d Printing patreon train and not really look back. I printed models as soon as they came out on the 1st and had some of them painted up by the 2nd! ALso the Turnbase robots were soon printed and the Covert/Overt operators painted up, giving me a very popular month for Ultramoderns. I also printed off one the largest single figure using my 3d printer, preparing the Hades figure from Heroes Infinite for a possible role in the future. Finally, to finish the 3D printing experiments, I printed my first vehicles. I think this was the month that I really decided “yes, this is a hobby I want to focus on” rather than just a simple add-on.
This month also saw me introduced to Necromunda properly, playing up against my former house mate in a nasty intro (damn webbers) to the game.
September saw a return to battle reports with a game of Skirmish Sangin V2, a system I’m very excited for – the same game also saw the first time an entire force in one of my games was assembled from 3d printed soldiers, Combat Octopus’s Bundeswehr as. It also saw me play more games against my sister, breaking out some fun dungeon crawling tiles.
The 3d Printing experiments also continued, finishing and actually painting vehicles ready for the table. This was the point I realised that getting a larger printer would definitely open up the options for what I could play. And not just in the large scale – my investigation in possible playing some 6mm also started this month.
This was also the month I started posting more regularly, using this blog for all my major updates rather than simply posting to twitter or facebook.
October saw the Necromunda play begin in earnest, with both weekly sessions and then a weekend stop over with a few friends. I managed to fit in six games of it in a month, a frankly mad number after the past few months!
There was also other hobby advances – I printed an MBT on my Mars Pro, something I hadn’t expected to ever do. I also completed another milestone in painting with the Godling I needed for fantasy, painting something larger than human in 28mm covered in flesh that resulted in something I’m actually really happy with. I think this is one of my favourite models from this year.
November was the end of the Necromunda times with the final weekend up in Middlesbrough which man was such a good time. I also got some games in with the new Black Powder Red Earth game and it did pretty fantastic for the blog.
However, my favourite thing this month hobbywise just had to be assembling up my Heavy Bolter Enforcer. I’ll probably struggle to use him in a future campaign but it’s a perfect example of having that mental image for what a model will look like and then delivering on it.
This month also saw the launch of my Patreon page, letting people throw in some money every month to help keep the blog going. It’s been a great help, letting me focus on producing more stuff! I’m indebted to everyone who takes part.
Rounding out the year, I ended up going to Warhammer World and did a few final hobby things such as painting up the final few Chaos Warrior related characters. And, as the final countdown rang out, I finished the final wash on Spectre’s Criminal Heavies, ending the year as I started it.
I did also pick up a stack of models for a few projects, including a lot of Games Workshop pieces all ready for fantasy.
And of course, I started the next stage of my 3d printing journey with the arrival of the Elegoo Saturn at Christmas.
Well that was 2021. I’ve got a few plans for 2022, mostly building on some of the habits from this year. But that would be saying too much! Expect a post with the details soon.