A year at the painting table

I have to admit that I've been very pleased with how the last year has gone in terms of getting projects done, and getting some long standing backlogs cleared from the painting table. I've had a lot of fun with my painting this year, and it feels like a year of progress, of getting better, and starting to get to a point where I am happier and happier with the results.

I've managed to be relatively prolific by my own previous standards. I've completed a decent sized Cygnar army for Warmachine, built up a collection of Trollbloods for Hordes, expanded my Space Wolf force in and finished the new Tau battlesuit from Forgeworld in Warhammer 40K, and started to work on some new games, like Wild West Exodus, Infinity and Deadzone. I've tried to remove as much procrastination as I can, and focused on actually getting things finished. 

I have to admit that having an active playing community here has also helped, in particular when it came to getting the Warmachine and Hordes miniatures painted. I'm not a tabletop snob by any means, and don't care whether other people want to paint their armies or not, but mine, that's a different story! I simply love having a painted army at my disposal. 

That meant a lot of stuff got painted this year. 

I also feel like I'm improving with each project, and starting to use some different techniques and experimenting more with different approaches. It's a huge part of the hobby for me, and I get a certain energy from the notion that I'm actually improving as I go along. I know I have lots more to learn yet, and can hopefully apply that to whatever projects take form next year. So a year of getting better is never a bad thing.

Hopefully over the next year that can continue. I'd also love to start to use and master more airbrushing. I still paint almost entirely by hand, and I look on slightly enviously at some of the styles that can be applied once you are comfortable using an airbursh. Then again, I thought about this last year too, and never seemed to be able to dedicate myself to learning how to get going again with my airbrush.

I think I managed some pretty good results, so here are my favorites from the year. These are my my top ten miniatures for the year.

1. Treeman Ancient 
This was my absolute favorite project I finished this year. It's a wonderful kit, and while I don't currently play Fantasy Battles I simply had to paint this one. No-one matches the quality of Games Workshops plastics yet, and this was a superb example of the detail in their modern kits.

2 - Orsus Zoktavir, The Butcher
This one was my favorite character job of the year. It was also a commission for a friend, which always adds to the pressure to do a good job. Thankfully I was really proud of the way this one finished up. 

3 - Dozer and Smigg
This is one of the best kits that Privateer Press make in my humble opinion. The details are wonderful, and not only is it a great model, but it's a pretty great addition to any Trollblood army.

4 - Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought
The new plastic dreadnought kit has some great pieces, and is my favorite non-Forgeworld dreadnought model available. I loved the axe and shield combination, and again, the quality of the plastic kits currently coming out for 40K makes them a joy to paint. 

5 - Trollblood War Wagon
This one was somewhat of a pain to assemble but was well worth it. It fits with the Trollblood theme so well, and is full of character. It also gave me a chance to practice my metal weathering techniques. 

6 - Grissel Bloodsong
Just a sculpt I really like, and I was happy with the paint job I managed on her. I struggle sometimes to get the right density with inks on metal armor, but in doing so many Trolls this year I got plenty of practice, and this was the model that I was happiest with in that regard.

7 - R'Varna Battlesuit
There is a reason that the Tau are my favorite 40K force. Robots. Great, hulking, massive, battlesuits. Forgeworld continue to put out some fantastic conversion kits, and this version of the Riptide was a lot of fun to paint.

8 - Aiakos
This was one of the Kickstarter exclusive sculpts that came out of the Warmachine Tactics campaign. It was also one that found a home with a friend, so again, I'm always happy when I do a decent job on a model that is going to someone else!

9- Hunters Grim
This is another model that sums up the Trollbloods for me. In fact, he was pretty much the reason I wanted to start a Trollblood army. A great sculpt, and he set the tone for me in terms on deciding on the color schemes I would use for my Trollblood forces.

Hunters Grim

10 - Wolf Guard Jump Pack Conversion
These guys were a fun conversion project. Taking the wings from one of the Blood Angels kit, and mashing it with the Wold Guard kit to create an assault squad of sorts. It's probably about as far from an efficient use of points in the actual game that you can imagine, but it's a great looking conversion on the tabletop.

So that's been my year at the painting table. Hopefully I'll be able to craft some more cool miniatures over the next twelve months as well.