Welcome to the first installment of the 2019 Eternal Hunt Awards! It’s that time of year again, eh? So let’s lean back and, just to switch things up again for this year, start by taking a look at my personal hobby year — I hope I won’t bore you to tears…
2019 turned out to be a bit of a grind, from a RL perspective: With multiple bouts of heavy illness striking in my closest family, I was left reeling more than once. Now things are slowly on the mend again, thankfully enough, but I still realise that the year has tired me out pretty badly. At the same time, paradoxically enough, it has also been a fairly successful hobby year — but then, I tend to lean into the hobby during stressful times as a way to keep me sane, so there’s that, too.
Anyway, I am pretty pleased with 2019 as a hobby year, if nothing else. So let’s take a closer look at the stuff I have worked on – and managed to complete, for the most part – over the past twelve months, shall we?
I. My hobby projects
Twelve months ago, my output for 2018 looked like quite the bit improvement over the previous year. A “whopping” 52 models — not bad, not bad at all! At least for my glacially slow pace when it comes to painting:
However, it is with no small amount of pride that I can tell you that I have managed to paint 100 models in 2019. Still not a huge achievement for some of you painting animals out there, but certainly an unheard-of feat over here, in my little corner of the noosphere.
My project of painting an entire HeroQuest set accounts for most of those numbers, with a total of 67 models for everything that came in the box as well as a few extra pieces:
But there’s also the final third of my 2018 output, made up from a combination of my usual main projects, that is my World Eaters, some new INQ28 characters and some new signings for my Orcish Blood Bowl team.
Add some odds and ends and you end up with exactly one hundred models. Yay!
One thing I am really proud of is that 99 of those 100 models were pieces that were already in my posession before — for years, in many cases (and literally for decades in the case of those HeroQuest models). So while I still did buy a few new kits in 2019 (and while many, if not most of those new models, remain unpainted), I did at least manage to make a substantial dent in my backlog.
Once again, thanks must go to all the people who kept me painting: Azazel and his monthly challenges, for one (one a related note, Azazel, dude, where are you?). My friend Annie and our regular painting sessions. And, of course, all the readers and fellow forum users who still hold out and keep commenting on my stuff during these dark days of dying blogs and forums. Anyway, a heartfelt thank you to you all!
With that out of the way, here’s a closer look at my 2019 hobby projects in turn:
Definitely my biggest hobby endeavour of 2019, which is why it also deserves prime billing here: Last year, I went back to the very beginning of my life as a hobbyist and made a commitment to finally paint an entire set of HeroQuest, the game I had instantly fallen in love with 30 years ago, due in no small part to an iconic TV ad and, of course, to Les Edward’s bombshell of a cover illustration:
And after several false starts and stops, I finally made this plan a reality during the first half of 2019, painting all of the models from the standard boxed set (furniture included), as well as a few extras here and there, to round things out:
Painting those classic models was, of course, a delightful exercise in nostalgia. At the same time, it was also a breath of fresh air, as going for that bright and iconic retro look was a really enjoyable experience. I also learned a lot, I’d say. And seeing how I knew I was only really going to get one shot at painting those classic models (given the hugely inflated aftermarket prices), I tried to give it my all. And I think it shows!
Thanks to Ye Olde Inn, a forum of dedicated fans of the game. The place made me realise that HeroQuest isn’t simply one more tabletop game, but rather a small hobby unto itself. All the inspiration on the forum and the encouragement from my fellow forumites really did wonders for my productivity! In fact, my browsing through the vast forum was what gave me the idea to actually go and convert some extra models that would serve as some of the special characters that appear in the HeroQuest campaign…
Even better, though, not only did I manage to paint the whole shebang, I also got a game in.
So thirty years after its release, I finally got to play HeroQuest to play the way it was originally intended — and that was quite something.
And even beyond the models required for the set, I did end up painting and converting even more stuff, so I guess we’ll be seeing a bit more HeroQuest here and there in 2020…
For now, head over here to get a better look at my painted HeroQuest set.
2. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt
I didn’t originally have anything much planned for my World Eaters at the start of 2019 — well, I did finally manage to finish the display base for my Daemon-Primarch Angron conversion, at least:
Now the Lord of the XII Legion finally has the right killing ground below him — and all before an inevitable official GW model blows my own attempt out of the water!
A closer look at Angron and his finished presentation base can be found here, in case you are interested.
But beyond that, I wasn’t really planning any big additions to my collection, originally: My World Eaters paint scheme seemed rather outdated to me, as did the officially available CSM models, so I really wanted to wait for a bit before working on any more members of the XII legion.
Fate, however, had other plans.
Thanks to a supply drop from my buddy Augustus b’Rass (which we’ll be getting to further down this post) back in February, I felt the itch to finally paint that World Eaters Dreadnought he kindly gave to me when I visited him in Amsterdam. So I finally completed Argus the Brazen:
One model, right? Where’s the hurt in that? It felt good to finally have given the model its due. But then, a bit later, the new CSM models hit, and I have to admit that they managed to light a bit of a fire under me. Before I knew it, I found myself messing around with the new models, turning them into proper World Eaters…
…and then one thing led to another, and I ended up with a test model for a new breed of “KrautScientist World Eaters” on my desktop:
The new painting recipe might still not win any awards, but it’s quite a bit more elaborate than my old approach (which, it must be said, also relied on many paints that are OOP nowadays). It’s also closer to my current painting standard. And it’s actually more fun to paint than my old recipe, if you can believe it.
Anyway, models that had long lain dormant where swept up in the process as well, so I finally got to paint my counts-as World Eaters version of Huron Blackheart, for instance:
And I started to combine some of my “refurbished” conversions and some new models into a project tentatively called “The Hateful Eight”, a possible World Eaters kill team for 40k:
And while I have only really painted four models for the kill team so far, some of the new guys are simply among the favourite World Eaters models I have come up to this day:
So it may be slow work, but I really like the way these guys look together:
And there’s finally some red and brass in my recap post again! Yay!
3. The world of INQ28
The other half of my 40k-related output went into creating yet more 40k characters, and while I didn’t manage to bang out several complete retinues (like I did in 2018), I am pretty pleased nonetheless with the “INQ28 Class of 2019”:
The reason for this is that I have finally managed to complete one of my oldest warband projects, running alllll the way back to 2013, by completing the retinue of Inquisitor Titus Alvar of the Ordo Xenos:
Another model I had wanted to complete for ages was Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, one of the Velsen Sector’s big political movers and shakers:
This is just one guy, but it feels as though finishing the model has really helped me nail down a piece of the background lore that informs these models, and that’s great! In fact, I have been reading up on lots of Inquisition related background lately (via many of the old Inquisitor publications, as well as the very cool Dark Heresy RPG sourcebooks), which has given me all kinds of ideas for the immediate future, so expect to see more INQ28 sooner rather than later!
4. On the Blood Bowl pitch
Ever since Annie succeeded at roping me into creating a Blood Bowl team, working on some new Blood Bowl models has always served as a nice way of exploring a somewhat silly and whimsical side of our hobby — plus it’s always a fun thing to be working on during our joint hobby sessions.
Not only did those final models round out my team roster, I also used their completion as the perfect occasion to give the entire time a once-over, cleaning up the paintjobs here and there, painting on player numbers — that kind of stuff.
And with that the Orkheim Ultraz are now finished. There may be a couple of hangers-on and sideshow models left to add, but the core team (with all the players and tokens I could ever possibly need) is now complete:
Head over here to meet the complete Orkheim Ultraz team.
5. Dipping my toe into the new Contrast Paints
Well, figuratively speaking, of course: Actually getting enough of the stuff to be able to really dip my toes into it would, of course, be prohibively expensive…
Err…anyway: The Contrast Paints were the talk of the town for a fair part of 2019, and I was lucky enough to get to test them when they were still brand new at my local Warhammer store. I painted two models using the new paints and found the experience delightfully refreshing:
Exploring those paints a little more will certainly be part of my hobby life this year. And I think I already have a pretty good test model in mind…
So that’s my output for 2019. Quite a successful year, I’d say. And lots of formerly unfinished business now neatly tied up. Yay!
II. Other hobby moments of note
I already mentioned this in my last post, but getting a Christmas card from the Wier Brothers – and right in time for Christmas, no less – was such a wonderful surprise!
Speaking of surprises, though, a particularly awesome one was when my buddy Augustus b’Raas suddenly sent me an awesome squad of Khorne Berzerkers right out of the blue last February:
That was so cool! I am also pretty sure it had a major part in getting me back into painting World Eaters this year (so I guess our Auggs is going “Just as planned!” somewhere right now) — if nothing else, it led to my painting the World Eaters Dreadnough he had given me, and that in turn kickstarted everything else, as I have already explained above. Anyway, thanks again, buddy!
Receiving models from fellow hobbyists also nicely bookended my entire hobby year, as fellow Ye Olde Inn forumite Anderas was nice enough to send me this rather lovely looking Orc as part of the 2019 Ye Olde Inn Christmas Exchange:
Speaking of which, preparing a model of my own for the exchange was a very cool moment for me as well — the fact that Weltenlauefer, whom I sent the model to, was over the moon with it did, of course, sweeten the deal. My little Witch Lord now gets to lord it over Weltenlauefer’s brilliant catacomb terrain:
After joining Dave Taylor’s campaign for his excellent book “Armies & Legions & Hordes” last year, I am back to checking for cool projects on Kickstarter at least semi-regularly, and I found two really cool things that I wanted to help fund in 2019:
The first one was MOMiniaturas’Â Mercenary Kickstarter that I fell in love with right at the height of my HeroQuest infatuation:
The Mercenaries themselves have a wonderful “Retro Warhammer Fantasy Empire” look about them, which really sold me on them right away. And I was also able to pick up some really cool extras from MOMiniaturas’ back catalogue along with them for a good price. The whole huge package of about 30 models arrived in late autumn, and while I have yet to paint any of those models, it should be a treat!
Ana has long been one of the most original voices in this hobby of ours, participating in a crowdfunding campaign to get my hands on some of her sculpts was really a bit of a no-brainer! The models are a wonderfully quirky and sinister little bunch, and painting them should be quite a lot of fun!
4. Hugs for the Hug Throne!
*Sigh* It would all be peaches and cream, if not for this part of the post. But seriously, let’s get the good stuff out of the way first:
Eternal Hunt turned seven in 2019, which was really cool. I have also managed to keep the posts flowing, more or less, ending up with about 400 posts again.
At the same time, interest in this blog (and, I should add, in blogs in general) seems to be dwindling, with the numbers going down all the time. To wit, this were my stats at the end of 2018:
And this is what things looked like at the end of 2019:
You know what? In my hubris, I always expected that this blog would come to an end when I’d run out of things to say — not when people would stop giving a feth.
This really frustrates me, and I could probably go on about it all day. I’ll force myself not to do that, though. Maybe it’s inevitable that Instagram should supplant all of the old blogs and forums. Maybe that’s what people want. It’s not what I want, however, so I’ll keep fighting the good fight over here — or what I think the good fight is, at least. If you are still with me after all these years, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Please keep reading and commenting! It’s what keeps this blog going, simple as that.
That said, if anyone does want to listen to me ranting about Instagram a little more, why, just look at last year’s post — everything that I said then is still perfectly accurate, even moreso today, in some cases.
Back when I laid out my hobby resolutions for 2019, I made sure to point out that I didn’t want to overpromise and paint myself into a corner, so I only named a few models I wanted to paint. Looking back now, twelve months later, I cannot help noticing that I did not manage to paint a single one of those models — so much for resolutions, I guess…
But the good thing about the new year is that you get a new shot, right? And there are a few models I would like to see some paint on. Here they are, provisionally…
As part of my rejuvenated interest in building and painting 40k World Eaters, I also created a new version of Lord Captain Lorimar, based on the new Abaddon model released in 2019:
This is one model that I would definitely like to try and paint this year,…
Countess Mandelholtz, of the Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance, just keeps appearing in my new year’s resolutions — but only because I took me so long to get this particular model right that I am now scared of messing it up with a sub-par paintjob…
but there have been some additions to House Mandelholtz last year, not least of all one Mr. Azaleas Vile, the banking house’s prime factor:
So maybe we’ll be seeing more of House Mandelholtz and its agents in 2020…
I might aso finally dip my toes into some Inquisitor 54 (after all, I picked up the original Eisenhorn model a short while ago).
The 30k incarnation of my World Eaters has fallen by the wayside a bit, ironically pushed aside by my 40k World Eaters again — but in light of the rumours of GW wanting to turn the Horus Heresy into a proper mainline setting, I guess there’ll still be a chance to work on those models in the future. If nothing else, I would really like to finish my “Argel Tal duology”, if only to pre-empt a possible Argel Tal model by Forgeworld…
Oh, and I tried failed during the summer to finally paint my second Armiger Warglaive …erm, sorry, that’s “War Dog” now, for The Bolter & Chainsword’s ETL event, but that’s really a shame because I am still very fond of the model:
Oh, and lest I forget, now that the new plastic Sisters have finally been announced in multi-part form, I really need to get my hands on a squad of them…
All of these are rather loose targets, however. If there is one thing I really want to do is to contribute to/participate in LarsonicMiniatures‘ Ondroma event:
The talent on display is truly staggering. It has to be said that, up to now, I have actually been ridiculously neglectful when it comes to the event, but I fully intend to change that! Scout’s honour!
So yeah, that’s it for today — if anything, this post has already gone on far too long anyway. Let me finish by thanking all of my readers and by encouraging you to keep visiting this place for the next twelve months. And please do speak up every once in a while, just so, you know, I get the feeling every now and then that I am not just screaming into the void…
And please feel free to let me hear any thoughts you might have on my 2019 output or my varios hobby plans!
As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!