Hey everyone, this is my 2013 hobby recap. As I am new at this blogging thing I don't have any posts to share like Garfy or Stahly. However, I did have two very clear goals at the start of this year and I am pleased to say I met them. First, was to finish off the last few units of my Skaven army. Second, was to redo my Night Goblin force to enter in the U.S. Armies on Parade. Mid year my hobby took an unexpected turn that the image above represents and I will explain further below.

Since I am new to Tale of Painters I felt this would be a good opportunity to tease more of my work that I will be showcasing in the coming weeks. If I don't explain or talk much about something it is because I plan to in future posts. And please forgive me if this is a bit of a long post, for better or worse, I actually did paint a lot this year.


January
As a form of inspiration and motivation I joined the Bad Dice Hobby Challenge which started with the new year. Participants were to complete at least a unit a month throughout the year so that at years end you would have a complete army. Guidelines were rather free form and if you painted faster you were allowed to complete armies early. It was a great way to get me fired up for this project. My first pledge was to complete 20 Night Goblins with bows and went kind of slow as I was still unsure of the scheme.



February
I completed my Skaven Warp Lightning Cannon. Then I took my first big bite into the Night Goblin project with the first unit of 50 Night Goblins. By the time I got them done I was feeling pretty good about it and was getting faster.




March
Saw the last few models I wanted to give my Skaven some serious killing power. I added two Assassins and a Doom-flayer. One assassin is the classic metal sculpt and the other the stunning Deathmaster Snikch. For the Night Goblins I was feeling extra ambitious and decided to do two units of Squig Herds at once. Each unit has 18 Squigs and 12 Handlers so this was a full 60 models.


April 
Another 50 Night Goblins and the last of the large rank and file units for the army list.







May
This is when I got to the fun stuff and I just couldn't seem to put my brush down. First was the 10 Stone Trolls, five with hoods, five without. Then six Fanatics, eight Hoppers, both the Colossal Squig and Mangler Squig followed by the Battle Standard Bearer. This also was the month that I got my airbrush and the Stone Trolls were the first models I tried it on and it helped me make quick work of the Colossal and Mangler Squigs.





June
Most of my hobby time in June was spent on the display board for Armies on Parade. Between tasks though I managed to get most of the character models done for the army. These were the Hook Handed Boss, Skull Pass Shaman, Sickle Shaman, Forge World Shaman and Skarsnik.


July
The local Armies on Parade qualifier was held this month but I found just enough time time to complete my first Squig Gobba. I was actually out of town on vacation when this happened and I dropped my army and board off a week early on my way out of town. When I got back to town I found out I won second place. I was a little bummed thinking that I wouldn't get to compete further. Then the person who won first had to pass on the Games Day ticket and gave their place to me. I was going to Memphis!



August
Was the month I got to go to Games Day and was one of two major highlights of my year. I didn't win or even place but it was just a blast to participate at that level. The other Armies on Parade were amazing and I got to see the Golden Daemon competition first hand which was humbling and inspiring. The cherry on top was meeting Jeremy Vetock, chatting with him about Night Goblins and getting him to sign my Orcs & Goblins army book. I am not sure I will ever go to another Games Day but it was just tons of fun and encourage any who can to do so at least once.

When I returned home it was to bad news and what was the let down of the year. GW was going to downsize the Seattle Battle Bunker to one of their one employee, closet sized stores. From a business stand point I totally get it and don't hold it against them but it hit the local Warhammer community pretty hard. The Bunker was the only place that hosted any form of regular organized tournament play and was the central hub for pickup games. The Fantasy community is rather small and spread out here and tables at independent retailers in the area are often over populated by Warmachine and Horde players. With Privateer Press being local those players often have elitist attitudes and are outright rude to Warhammer players. Some thing had to be done to keep the community together ... so, while I completed my second Squig Gobba I decided that I would organize and run a quarterly tournament series. And so it came to pass that Sparkle Party Death Match was born!



September - October
Is all kind of a blur of tournament prep and terrain creation. I secured a commitment from a local independent to host the event but while they have plenty of room they only have four, 4x6 tables and not much in the way of terrain. Like I said the community is small and I knew that I would be hard pressed to fill more than 10 tables and I could add my two personal tables for 12 max. So, I had to make six tables and terrain to populate 10. I made the six table surfaces, 36 feet worth of walls using Hirst Arts molds, 24 hills using extruded polystyrene and over 250 trees from Woodland Scenics. The trophies for Best Overall were made from Hirst Arts molds and Dice Bearers from Scibor Miniatures and were placed as statue terrain on the tables. Then I designed awards that serve also as templates and sourced a local laser cutter to cut and engrave them. That was a interesting and educational process. In the end it was a tremendous success both as a day of hobby, fun games and a community builder. 



November
This was the month that marks my second major highlight of the year ... when I joined Tale of Painters. I am still incredibly honored by the invitation and look forward to sharing my hobby with you all in the future.

Early in the month I completed a full two sets of Might Empires campaign tiles for my gaming group to use in our campaign. Then I knocked out my Warboss on Squig. I also played a lot with the new color scheme for my Skinks which is always a slow process for me. But by far, the majority of my hobby time has been spent on casting blocks and assembling watch towers that I wanted to build for Sparkle Party Death Match 2 terrain.


December
Always the busiest time of the year at work. There are family obligations, holidays to celebrate and Hobbit movies to see. Somehow, I managed to finish the 14 Watch Towers of Doom for SPDM2. The first photo of this post shows the complete set of 14 towers. With these done I now have all the terrain I will ever need to run the tournaments and it gives me a complete collection for my own game nights. I am also making some progress on my Skinks but am afraid they won't be done until January.

Quite the productive year for me. 219 individual models (maybe more if I forgot some), a display board, a campaign board and what is now 15 tables worth of terrain. Not bad IMO.

I am super excited for 2014! This will be the year of the Lizardmen with at least one of each kit in line for my brush. I also picked up a copy of Warhammer Quest on eBay which I want to get painted early in the year. If the rumors of new Dwarfs turn out to be true then maybe my stunties will be worked into the mix as well. And blog wise, I want to try my hand at some tutorials.

Happy new year and happy painting!