Well, another year has passed, and with that this blog is now, today, five whole years old!
Let's start with the traditional year in review. How productive has the past year been?
I've painted 40 miniatures, less than last year, but still, for me, a pretty decent year. I haven't been as focussed as the year before, as these 40 miniatures have been spread across several games/projects whereas my 2015 production has been almost entirely on the Dungeoneering Project. The past year I've painted, for example, some giant frogs, a converted Appleseed Landmate, a pair of Japanese priests/wizards for an RPG, 3 Escher gangers (after which painting stalled, sadly :( I'd like to finish the gang. ), I've cranked out a BFG Eldar fleet, I've made a good push on my Man O'War Dwarf fleet and painted the first half of my fantasy urban militia.
All in all, this year has seen an ebb and flow of both Mojo/inspiration and various subjects.
Scenery-wise, 2016 has been a pretty decent year, with me seeing 26 items of scenery completed. Admittedly, a far few of these were the tiny islands from the Dreadfleet boxed set, but they also include terrain for a friends as well as the Warhammer Quest display diorama, which was a lot of work!
Hopefully I can keep up productivity on the scenery area the coming year as well, as I really like doing it, but have neglected it for years. Plenty of plans and ideas, but I need the time, room and materials to make them reality.
Today also marks the exact date of this blog's fifth birthday! I know it's somewhat of a tradition to hold competitions and giveaways on such milestone blog-anniversaries, but honestly, the excess stuff I have is minimal and made up mostly of errors of purchasing judgement that I wouldn't want to foist on anyone! Plus I'm a near-broke and stingy Dutchman who can barely afford his own hobby/hobbies... I hope you will all forgive me! 😜
So, what is there to say about these past five years? Well, that my Space Hulk 3D project will turn 10 years old this year, and will still less than 20% completed... And that my interests and output have changed, as well as my approach to the hobby. I've moved more and more towards narrative and or skirmish gaming. I've also found I'm gaming less and less over the years, so maybe I should really rebrand myself as a wargaming collector and modeller rather than a "true" wargamer. I still model and build with the intent to game, though and I really miss having a stable group of fellow gamers that meet up frequently. Basically, I miss having a gaming "club" of sorts to bounce ideas and enthusiasm off, and to engage in joint projects with. The two local gaming communities aren't a great option for me, as they're both store-allied and thus limited to their product selection, and I like going on weird tangents...
I've blogged at a fairly consistent 45-50 posts a year. Which I find both surprising and reassuring as I started this blog with a "we'll see where it goes and how long it lasts". It also reminds of how important this blog has become for my hobby. In a way, as much as my hobby keeps this blog going, in turn having this blog keeps my hobby going... You folks reading this are, in a way, my substitute game club, that I get to show off my weird little projects to. And I am truly grateful for your interest and readership, thank you all very much.
And now, let's look to the future:
What are my plans and desires for the coming year(s)?
-The first, and most prominent is of course the Badab War Retro-Campaign. It's a joined project with a group of Belgian wargamers I met (funnily enough, through intervention of this very blog) last year. We will all be building/expanding armies for the Badab War a "historical"Warhammer 40K conflict. For me it means assembling and painting an entire Howling Griffons Space Marine army. Luckily, we will be gaming it in the Warhammer 40K 2nd edition rules. Which I still remember very fondly, but also featured smaller armies than today's edition. Since it ties into my Space Hulk project, hopefully some mojo will spill over into that, leading to some more finished corridor sections. Especially as Space Hulk: Deathwing is also feeding that particular reservoir... I'm really looking forward to this one, but I'm also dreading the amount of effort and painting in a, for me, short amount of time.
-Gaming: The past years, with the exception of 2015, by grace of Frostgrave, have been mostly barren of gaming. Not just wargaming with "serious gamers" but boardgames with friends as well. The past years have seen me turn more and more into a sort of hermit and I hope to break that pattern the coming year. Chronic non-alignment of calendars among friends will keep being a problem on that point, sadly, which means more effort expended. Nevertheless, the dice must roll.
-Fantasy: I hope to keep going on the fantasy project, even if off and on. I really need to settle on a set of rules and start having games, get people interested and returning for this. Also, there is still that planned dungeon to build.
-Games Workshop: Games Workshop seems to be making a comeback and redeeming themselves in the eyes of many long time fans/disgruntled veterans (two categories with a fascinating, but disturbing overlap). As a result their products have regained some of their shine for me as well, combined with a good dose of (near) middle-age nostalgia for me. I hope to finish that Escher gang and get something of Necromunda going again. =I=Munda is still holding fascinations, from both modelling and narrative gaming standpoint.
-RPGs: As always there will be the monthly games of IKRPG, great fun and a regular meeting with friends that is very, very dear to me. I will also try to keep GM-ing my DnD Japan campaign, despite it's regular scheduling gaps and issues, as this also means meeting up with people dear to me, that I don't see nearly often enough. Another friend has recently returned to our area and has invited me to a free-form rules-light narrative rpg campaign. So, maybe, just maybe, the coming year this crazy old hermit will finally crawl out of his cave? I sure hope so.
-Other stuff: As always, I reserve the right to go off on some weird tangent at the drop of hat. I've come to accept that this is how my mind works, and it is useless to fight it. Also, Johan seems determined to teach me the Battlegroup rules and get me gaming them as well. As I still have a stockpile of 20mm DAK and with the North Africa expansion coming out this year, I see little problems or reasons to resist on that point. :D
For now, all attention and effort will be going towards the Badab War Retro-Campaign. It's been a campaign that has had my interest for the longest time, and it also means meeting and gaming with a new group of people. So I'm positively chuffed that this is now a thing! There will/must be occasional sidesteps to prevent me from running out of steam and drive. Plus there is real life to contend with.
Which brings me to another point: Woodworking. This will also be seriously competing with my wargaming time and budget. I really like doing it and in a way need to do it. Hopefully, in time I can find a way, as well as the skill and experience, to do this (near) full time or at the very least make a side-income or self-funding hobby out of it. I've found that, despite doing it for more than a decade, I am really not cut out to live at a desk for the rest of my working life. Making things out of wood is, to me, an essential antidote to a life in a deskchair and the evils that works on me. I need to make things with my hands to keep my mind and body working properly. I can no longer deny or postpone this.
For now, I will be focussing mainly on acquiring the skills, tools and resources (wood! more wood!) needed to do this, and to find out what it is within woodworking that I like the best and am good at. Again I am very lucky to have friends who share this interest. I've already got a few shared projects lined up, including plans to build a gaming table. Which then feeds back into the desire to play more games, as I would dread building a gaming table and then not use it. "Build it and they will come" ;P
I've been thinking for a while what to do with this, if I should start a separate blog for my woodworking, or find another channel to share this with a wider audience, or even to share it at all, since it feels like boasting about baby steps? In the end, I decided it will be part of this blog for the foreseeable future. I've intended from the start for this blog to be an online documentation of my creative endeavours, and have shown non-wargaming things on here in the past as well. It just so happens that wargaming is my main and oldest hobby and thus forms the vast majority of my bloggings. This blog has always been, and will be, my digital archive of "Things-that-keep-Modhail-from-going-(more)-insane" and from now on, this will also include stuff made from wood.
I hope you will all keep reading my ramblings in the coming year(s) and wish you the best, both inside and outside of our weird little hobbies.
Geez, what a wall of text! Here, have a picture as a reward: :D
A happy new year, and see you next time!