2016 In Review
Better late than never I thought I’d take a look back at what I did in 2016. Other sites are doing it and I thought it would be interesting to see how much or how little I painted during the year, plus any other shenanigans.
Looking back at my Google Photos 2016 folder I can see what I was working on.
January 5th is the first image in the folder of the Ringmaster from Knight Model’s Batman Miniature Game. I had just finished painting the contents of the Dungeon Saga Kickstarter, or at least the base set. The extra heroes, orcs and demons are sitting unprimed on my shelves to this very day.
I wasn’t painting much then as I was focused more on roleplaying via Roll20. I posted mostly about roleplaying and specificly 13th Age until April when I returned to the Ringmaster. This illustrates the point I was trying to make recently about painting frequency being the bigger factor in how fast I paint compared to all other considerations. I finished this model mid-April and started on his boss.
The Joker, who needs a new picture taken now that I’ve fixed his smile, took me another four months to paint. Someone asked me about commissions this year and my speed, or lack there-of, is a primary factor in my refusal. I find I get even slower when I have someone waiting on me. My blog posts during this time focused on painting faster and finding motivation, which seems on point as I was obviously struggling with finding the enthusiasm to paint.
Sniggering came next. I like this model as his assault rifle really rustled Batman’s jimmies in the last game I played. Three blood damage per hit is nasty. Here my speed was starting to improve, mostly because I was painting more frequently. I painted Sniggering in a little over a month. Preparing for the Heavy Gear Kickstarter was a big motivator, little did I know how things would turn out.
It only took me 12 days to paint the Shield Clown and I was even able to live tweet painting the skin and transform it into a tutorial. I really had fun painting his shield despite the panic I felt when I realized the angle of the highlighting didn’t match the way the shield attached to the miniature. I made the decision to glue it on so that it looked right, but those who peek under the shield can clearly see that the forearm is broken in the middle and isn’t even attached to the rest of his arm.
The Heavy Gear Kickstarter
At this time my backer rewards for the Heavy Gear Kickstarter arrived and my excitement and enthusiasm quickly turned into something else. It was so bad that it has shaped the way I see all Kickstarters.
I spent about a month quickly painting the Southern faction. I tried to start another faction when I decided that I had spent too much time painting something that I didn’t want to paint. I may return to it as I’m trying to avoid leaving miniatures unpainted, but not yet.
It was in October that I started paying more attention to Guild Ball. Heavy Gear was a bust and my Batman Miniature Game group had moved to a night when I wasn’t free so I was looking for a game with an active group. With Steamforged Games announcing one of the greatest starter sets in the history of gaming, which must stand in for my review for now, I wanted to give the game a try. The problem was that November 25th was so close to Christmas I figured I was better off saving it.
More Miniatures and a Laser Cutter
Having decided to take a break from Heavy Gear I wanted something I could paint up quickly while I waited. I had previously complained about how many accessories were required to play Batman Miniature Game so I decided to do something about it.
My first step was to create a bunch of paper tokens to represent sewers, lamp posts, objectives and the like. Then I painted a set of objectives for the game and finally I created counters, tokens and even terrain using a laser cutter available at my local library.
A Little Infinity
In November, after finishing the objectives for Batman Miniature Game I didn’t want to start any long projects so that I could jump into painting the miniatures from the Kick Off box as soon as I got it. Infinity has fallen a bit off my radar but I still had one unpainted miniature from the old Nomad starter set that I quickly painted just to say that I had painted all my Infinity miniatures.
Although I haven’t taken a picture of the finished model she is complete.
The 2016 Miniature Figures Ottawa Gatineau Show
This year was the first in which I participated in the Miniature Figures Ottawa Gatineau Show. I meant to go last year but confused the date. I had a great time and plan to go next year. I won a figure in a raffle and in order to achieve my goal of showing a competition painted miniature in the next show I started painting it
Painting a figure for a competition was a real eye-opener. When I’m painting a wargame figure I make it a rule to not worry too much about imperfections and move on to the next miniature, applying what I learnt to it. Painting a figure for a competition means going back and fixing areas which aren’t perfect. I spent three nights working on his skin, the image above is from the first night. I would have called that good enough with any other miniature despite knowing it wasn’t quite right. It even took me some time just looking at the miniature to figure out what was off about it.
The year ended with me opening the Kick Off starter set but that is a project for 2017.
Plans for the Future
There were plenty of large gaps where I didn’t paint this year. These gaps, more than any factor, influence my painting speed. Despite this I am happy with the amount and quality of miniatures I painted this year. My goal in 2017 is to reduce the amount of non-painting gaps. When I’m on I paint every day of the week with the occasional gap. I need to make sure that when I’m off I pick up the brush at least once a week to keep things going.
I’m also hoping with Guild Ball to play more games this year. I’ve been trying to focus on only a handful of games and chasing active groups of players which hasn’t been terribly successful. In order to play more games I think I may need to play more games, as in a wider variety.
When I decided to focus more I was painting a few figures for one game and then moving on. If I ever thought about playing I would become discouraged thinking about all the miniatures which still needed painting or in some cases, the accessories I still needed to gather for the game.
Now I have a number of games in a playable state. Instead of maintaining my focus on them I’m thinking about allowing myself to branch out again. This way I can go where the game is instead of hoping to get my miniatures painted before a community evaporates.
How was your year? Were you happy with the number of miniatures painted or the number of games played? Let me know in the comments.