Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hobby Retrospective: A reflection on 2015 and plans for 2016

As we approach the end of the year, I thought I'd take a look back over 2015 and see how things went hobby-wise and take a look at the plans for 2016. Buckle up, it's gonna be a long one! I have a gallery page on my website where I organize all my pics and have started keeping track of dates on the armies, makes a post like this easy to do, I suppose. Turns out it was a pretty productive year!


(links go to the relevant blog posts about the various projects)

Heresy-era Thousand Sons - At the beginning of the year I was in a race to finish off the Thousand Sons and get them battle-ready for the Las Vegas Open. They performed admirably, and then they went on the auction block. Definitely dialed in the paint scheme, and learned a few things that I'll be doing differently in the next incarnation (see below)!

Knight Household Krast - I had wanted a group of Knights to accompany the Thousand Sons, and thought the original heraldry of House Krast (boo to GW for making all the mechanicum-aligned schemes red in the reboot) would be fitting, a not-so-subtle nod to the yellow-and-blue scheme usually associated with Tzeentch. Sadly, they too went on the auction block to cover some unexpected expenses but over the past year I've picked up a couple of the new expanded knight kits so House Krast will walk again!

Heresy-era Mechanicum - This project never really coalesced into an actual army, and ended up being sold off piecemeal to help fund the Imperial Fists. Really enjoyed working on them, but in mid-project the updated Taghmata rules dropped and invalidated a number of builds. Would likely do a small Cybernetica-only allied force at some point in the future when FW releases the next round of Robots.

Heresy-era Imperial Fists - This was a challenge project for me, wanted to see if I could pull off a yellow army. Tried about a dozen ways to paint yellow and settled on a recipe that yielded rather good results! That said, I never want to paint another Imperial Fist marine again as long as I live. Hah!

Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation - When GW dropped the new Adeptus Mechanicus it was enough to briefly snap me out of my all-heresy-all-the-time mode, and I have to say early on I found the models to be at once brilliant and frustrating. Loved how certain models looked, while others left me a little cold - the same can be said for the FW mechanicum line to me as well though. Once I got my hands on 'em however I found I loved the whole line - took a bit of adjustment to the aesthetic but once I came to grips with it I really like how they tie into the Knights design elements. Another small force may come into play as vassals to the House Krast redux (with the new plastics in the yellow and blue heraldry to match).


Heresy Era Prospero Spireguard - With the Thousand Sons going up for auction earlier in the year, the associated Prospero Spireguard allied force I'd been working on was put on hold with a bunch of models assembled but few actualy painted. It too suffered from codex drift as the much-more-appropriate Imperial Army list came out in Book 5: Tempest, and certain units were invalidated. At some point I'll need to pull out all the models and see what is actually viable. Essentially the whole project was an excuse to warrant the purchase of a Stormhammer...

Heresy-era Geno Five-Two - A project that has been simmering in the back of my head for years, I finally was able to start getting them down on the tabletop. Coupled with the allied Alpha Legion section it forms a tidy little boutique force. I successfully managed to avoid it blooming into a 5000 point monstrosity, wonder of wonders! The infantry side of the force is rapidly approaching completion, though the tanks that I'd ordered over a month ago have yet to ship, which is a point of frustration. The force has recently been pre-sold, so I have a fire lit under me to get them finished and out the door to help fund the upcoming Thousand Sons!

Heresy-era Alpha Legion - The other half of the boutique fluff project is a small allied Alpha Legion force. Very experimental inasmuch as it was my first exposure to the Betrayal at Calth plastics, as well as going with the purple scheme as described in the book. Now that I'm about 2/3rds of the way through them the verdict is I love the plastics, but I am not enjoying the paint scheme. I have a feeling that they may be mothballed/sold piecemeal before ever reaching completion.

5 projects done and out the door in 2015 and two more nearly complete - not a bad output for the year! With that out of the way it's time to look ahead...


More Heresy-era Thousand Sons - With the recent release of the FW bits coupled with the awesome and (comparatively) cheap plastics released with the Betrayal at Calth box, the Changer of the Ways has been whispering in my ear to go back to my first love in the heresy, the Thousand Sons. I spent some time putting some lists together based on the BaC sets and the inevitable leftover bits and kits from previous projects, and it turns out that I have nearly half of the planned 5000 point army on-hand already.

...What, you thought I'd do another boutique army? Hah! The plan is to try out some things that I didn't do in the previous incarnation, though with the rules still a year-plus out I'm trying to keep it fairly generic (as I'm forever having units/builds invalidated it seems). Every self-respecting heresy force has gotta have a couple big 20-man tac squads, and the missile launcher team performed admirably in the previous incarnation so they make a return in the new list as well. Want to try out the new Leviathan Dread so that goes in, and the Venator was absolutely the star of the Imperial Fists army for me so one of those is a must have as well. While rooting around in the Closet of Doom I uncovered a pair of Armoured Proteus Land Raiders that were initially intended for use with the Imperial Fists but completely forgot about (along with a 20-man breacher squad that I have no idea what to do with). It's like finding an extra $20 in a coat pocket from the previous season, except it's 15 pounds of resin!

Still in the bits-gathering stages, but plan to use a mix of kits as I have in the past. While I absolutely love the shoulder pads and torsos that FW has released, the heads leave me somewhat cold. They're neat, don't get me wrong, but I think I'll continue to use the MaxMini Steam Knight heads, the one on the far left just matches my vision of the look. I have a couple leftovers that will be used to build some test models with the BaC plastics, pics to follow on that front. There will be the usual Kromlech Khopesh-style power weapons and some Wargame Exclusive upgrades here and there as well, for the most ostentatious of the characters for the force.

DOUBLE EXTRA HERESY - For those of you with weak stomachs, look away now.

Infinity Morat Aggression Force - Occasionally I'll dip my toe into other game systems, and I have had a couple folks tell me that Infinity is worth checking out. I have to admit the overall anime vibe of the minis I saw when it first came out didn't do much for me, and I hadn't subsequently given the line much further thought. Spent some time going through the now surprisingly expanded catalog of minis and found there were a couple 'new' (well new to me) factions released in the intervening years, and I quite fancied the look of the Morat Aggression Force - crimson-faced murder apes from beyond the stars? Sure, sign me up! As the total buy-in for the game hovers somewhere around $150 and consists of less than 15 models I figure it's worth at least giving it a try. The game rules are free to download, and from what I'm reading it seems like it could be a fun little skirmish game to tide me over until Necromunda is re-released!

That's the extent of the plan for 2016 so far, no real resolutions or anything like that - other than the usual "try and get more stuff out the door than you're bringing in" plan! Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday, and best wishes for the new year!


  1. DAMN!!! Now thats a productive year!!

  2. Yeah, there's loadsa stuff there. Especially liking the line "and a couple of Proteus Armoured Land Raiders that I'd forgotten about...."

    And of course, once you've got the HH out of your system, there's the M7th to revisit....

  3. That is very impressive, and even more impressing that you can sell them off. After putting so much effort into the armies I would be hard pressed to sell them. I am looking forward to 2016 and what you will do.

  4. You always blow me away. Loads and loads of beautiful models! Well done of an awesome year.

  5. Wow, didn't feel like all these projects were just from this year... rather impressive old bean.
    We'll done. And merry new year!

    Those infinity fellows look very interesting. Some of the newer dog/wolf-men sculpts have my interest for coolness sakes. Doubt I'll pick them up tho as the last thing I need is to get into yet another game none of my mates are interested in. Heh

  6. Awesome stuff dude. I really enjoyed following each of your hobby endeavours over the year, and I can't wait to see what you do for 2016. All that heresy stuff almost makes me want to start an army of my own, I just can't face painting all those marines

  7. Just a couple of hundred quid worth of resin I forgot I had laying about! You sure know how to make me laugh Mord.

    I completely forgot about the Fist foray - they were a great looking little force.

    Well done on an exemplary (and busy) year hobbying it up like a boss.

    Looking forward to see what you pull out in 2016.

  8. Sweet Odin's beard man! You got a lot of work done. Loved the Sons of course and the Knights.

    You really did sterling work with the Imperial Fists, they came together so perfectly. Shame you had to sell some of things you wanted to keep.

    Thank you for being an inspiration to me throughout the year. But really your closet of doom is insane. How big is it this wonderland?

  9. @Riot Ville: It was a surprise to me how much actually got done, too!

    @Zzzzzz: Haha! The Closet of Doom occasionally belches forth forgotten treasures. :)

    @Agis: Aye, there's always a little seller's remorse, but can't afford the new projects until I sell off the old ones!

    @Col. Ackland: Thanks very much, man!

    @Dai: Well, to be fair the Thousand Sons were started the previous year so it's not quite 5 full armies all done in the calendar. Cheating a little bit. ;) Aye, Infinity seems interesting but I'm not totally sold on it yet. Worst case scenario it'll be a nice change of pace to paint some other models for a bit!

    @NafNaf: I really appreciate the kind words! I hear ya on the painting marines front, it's not my favorite either - partially why I'm having enthusiasm issues with the Alpha Legion. They're just a little plain, at least the KSons have a fair bit of bling to 'em!

    @Frothing Muppet: Haha! Indeed, was totally a surprise to me too - the box had been pushed back behind some others on a shelf and I'd totally lost track of it. It may have been protective amnesia as I was sick to my back teeth of painting Imperial Fists and couldn't stomach the thought of another 20 marines and two tanks. No fear though, they'll have pride of place in the crimson and ivory heraldry of the Thousand Sons!

    @Rory Priest: Thanks very much, man! The fists definitely were a fun project up front and I'll definitely be revisiting the yellow recipe on other models. The Closet of Doom is technically about 5'x15', though I'm pretty sure it extends off into non-euclidean dimensions towards the back of the shelves. Haha!

    Thanks so much for your comments and support over the past year, everyone - it really means a lot to me and it is thoroughly appreciated. Cheers!

  10. Awesome work Mordian, you can really crank out those armies. Even more so that you sold them all! Looking forward to all the great projects you will undoubtedly amaze us with next year

  11. Dude, you are a MACHINE! Great work!

  12. What a colorful year of amazing projects! We're all ooking forward to what the future will bring, so keep up the good work, man!

  13. @Joe B: Thanks very much man! Plenty more to come in 2016!

    @Jugger: Haha! Thanks bud!

    @#2501: Likewise man, can't wait to see the amazing stuff you turn out as well!

    Cheers, guys!