If you have followed the blog for a while you’ll have seen an occasional birthday cake pop up. I use my ‘hobby skills’ to decorate my son’s birthday cake. This year he asked for a minecraft cake, which had to include Steve and a tree.
Obviouly I cheated and used a Minecraft Steve toy, but the rest is just icing. I had fun painting the TNT with food colouring.
I didn’t make a cake for my lad’s 7th birthday, so its nice to be able to this year. I still think the BB-8 cake was my best effort.
It’s that time of year when I traditionally* look back over last year’s posts and see how I faired against the hobby goals I set myself at the start of that year. I would also set my hobby goals for the coming year too.
However, this year I really don’t feel like it, it is bound to be a disappointing result, the amount of hobby time and completed projects** have been sorely lacking through 2021.
I can remember starting a few different projects last year, and I have a couple of others that I want to get finished from previous years (eek!). But I know I have not achieved either. There is a surprising number of models built over the last year but not painted knocking around in my house, or more likely built and primed, with maybe even a coat of paint or two. There is also a surprising number of draft articles behind the scenes here at Splayedpaintbrush Towers*** that never made it off the drawing board.
So what’s the point of this post? Well I suppose it is just to remind myself that this is a hobby blog about my hobby. The definition of a hobby is an activity or interest that is done for pleasure or relaxation. In others words, I build/paint/play with models for fun. This purpose of this post is to remind us all that it doesn’t matter that project X didn’t get finished as long as you had fun whatever you did do. Sure it’s good to finish a project, but it’s also not worth getting down about either.
Thinking back over 2021 hobby wise, now that I have got to typing this article up, I do remember enjoying a number of things in particular. Some of which made their way onto the blog, some didn’t. So instead of counting successes as finished projects, how about I just list some of the projects I had most fun with last year.
#ATClashOfTheTitans is a challenge organised by BattleBlingStore and Maximal Fire Podcast to encourage people to paint up their Adeptus Titanicus backlog, or inspire a second Legio to get painted up. Essentially a community challenge to build and paint up some titans. This is running from August through to the end of October.
I’ve got a backlog of titans, hell my backlog has a backlog. So I figured I’d try and ride the #ATClashOfTheTitans motivation train and hopefully get some of my partially built titans finished.
My August challenge is to get the Warbringer titan finished. Its been sat gathering dust on the shelf since April last year. Seriously, I had to brush the dust off before taking this photo:
The green armour is the only part completed. There is a lot of work left in the model yet. Dusting it off is all that’s happened so far, 11 days of August left.
If all goes to plan I’m hoping to have an Arcus Battleline Maniple completed by October, at least a minimum strength maniple anyways. An Arcus Maniple consists of a Warbringer and from two to four Warhounds. If there’s any more motivation left in the pot I might get some knights painted too.
What’s the community part of it? Well, Maximal Fire and BattleBling are encouraging participants to post their progress on social media channels using the hashtag: #ATClashOfTheTitans – as you may have already guessed. Maximal Fire also have discord server (link) and on Wednesday evenings a ‘hang out and hobby’ chat group runs to basically hobby with other folks from around the globe. If you’re joining in the challenge, it may be worth you buying a BattleBling Clash Pack, its got a cool little certificate, some scenery and a clash plaque, but it also puts you in the running for claiming prizes from the BattleBling prize pool. Wednesday sees BattleBling pick out their favourite post from the #ATClashOfTheTitans posts which they’ll award a prize to that person to reward them for their progress.
Crikey, I’ve been a bit lax recently on the blog. Life has simply got in the way a bit. I’m still working from home – unbelievably it might be May 2022 before I’m back in the office – and my hobby area has been overtaken by my office. After sitting at ‘work’ all day the last thing I feel like doing is sitting in the same place to do some ‘hobby’. That’s not to say I don’t want to do any hobbying, its just that I can’t face sitting in same place any longer. Working from home has its advantages, but i’m now sick of it. The other thing is that I’m a dad again, we recently adopted a 1 year old daughter, this certainly makes life busy lol.
Oh my word, where is the year going!!? You may have noticed that my last post was back at the start of Feb and this post is technically still in March- maybe, probabaly, just…depending on time zone. I admit it, there is no plan for this post and frantically rambling to generate some content for March. So just what I have I been up to over the last almost two month?
Ahh yes, the annual look back at the past year’s hobbying, and see how we measured up against the hobby progress we hoped to achieve mentioned back in January 2020.
Well a quick read of my hopes for 2020, and seeing what I have actually done over the last year suggests that its all doom and gloom.
No, i’ve not managed to hobby more tidily or efficently.
No, I did not paint more than I bought – or even attempt to 🙂
No, I’ve not actually managed to paint much over 2020 at all 😦
No, I’ve not attended any events – but that’s not my fault, damned Covid!
No, the blog still looks the same as it did back in June 2014 (wow I hadn’t realised it was that long ago!)
So what did we do in the year of Social Distancing and Lockdowns? I’ve been working from home, and home schooling my lad – yeah right! So my hobby time took a massive hit this year. I’m massively jealous of people who have churned out multiple large scale armies over the various lockdowns, but there in lies the danger of social media. No one’s life is perfect and FB, and the like, only give a small filtered glimpse into other people’s lives. There’s no real indication of what’s going on in their life, and everyone is different. Hope you all are staying safe, and perhaps more importantly, sane over the course of the pandemic. Here is what I achieved last year…
Today was an exciting day as a number of packages arrived at the house today. One of them was from Goblin Gaming and contained my pre-order of Armada by Mantic Games.
I can’t actually remember how I stumbled upon the game, but its a naval game, and I like fantasy naval games*, I’m a boaty kind of person – hence I pre-ordered it back in September/October. That and my son liked the look of the ships – hopefully a winner if Josh likes the look of something.
Working form home, this box (and another that arrived on the same day) has been tempting me to sack work off and break it open all afternoon. However, its only tonight that I’ve managed to get a good look at what’s in the box.
Allow me to begin with a little trip down memory lane. Let me take you back to April 1995 and White Dwarf #184. That was my first GW hobby purchase! I’d looked at WD magazines belonging to friends, I’d seen all sorts of models and played Blood Bowl at friends’ houses. I’d been introduced to the GW hobby (I’d been building aeroplane kits for years) however that White Dwarf #184, that was mine. I remember it well*, an axe wielding barbarian on the front cover, inside were Ultramarine terminators, an Epic battle report, designs to build a cardboard 40k bunker**, and the game that shared the cover art – Warhammer Quest.
As per tradition, its the time of year when I post up the cake I made for my son’s birthday. Josh likes his Lego, he had a Lego cake last year too. However, the twist for this year’s cake was to have it themed for Lego Worlds. During the Covid lockdown we’ve played it as a family loads on PS4. To be honest, way too much for one so young.
Katie sourced the police swamp helicopter, from ebay I think. Its out of print now but is one of Josh’s favourite vehicles in the game. I did the rest. Tastes good too 😉
Looking back at my other cakes, the BB-8 cake for Josh’s 4th birthday is still the best in my opinion.
I’ve been putting off this post for, well, a month now. I just have this feeling I’m going to be disappointed with the progress against what I set out to do in January 2019. Hobby time gets more and more scarce and especially quality hobby time – by that I mean actually doing some painting rather than tidying the hobby area, staring at the ceiling for inspiration (or worse the internet – as this is a black hole all by itself).
So what did I actually complete hobby wise over the course of 2019. Well I did paint up two sets of Warcry terrain, one for the local store, and one for one of the regular gamers there. I almost completed a Warcry warband. I built some nice pre-painted MDF terrain from 4Ground for use with Adeptus Titanicus. That’s probably about it.
But what did I set out to do over 2019? Well I plucked up the courage to go and check (I also note that this was posted on the 1st January, not the 31st). Do you know I didn’t actually do too bad thanks to vague and imprecise goals. I did not get my Titanicus models finished, well I did finish a minimum banner of Cerastus Knights, just not the Titan maniple I was aiming for. I did build and paint a fair chunk of terrain. I have also played games more regularly thanks to the gaming store opening up in town.
The Warcry box terrain I painted up for Jack. My own is still sat spray coated in the box 😦
The 4Ground terrain I built for Titanicus use.
Definitely the best part of 2019 was these House Mamaragon Cerastus Knights.
Now after sitting down and actually looking to see what I achieved over the year I feel a bit better about my hobby. I achieved more than i had remembered, and am feeling more positive
Looking forward to 2020 (given we are already a month in to it), what are this year’s hobby goals?
1 – Perhaps to have more ‘quality hobby time’ I should work cleaner, and always tidy up after a hobby session (probably need to tidy up first though).
2 – My disposable income is going to be squeezed this year, so moderating the new purchases is also a high priority I think. To that end I should concentrate my painting time on the models that I own and have either an interest in, or an immediate interest in playing. Yes that age old, paint what you buy, and don’t keep buying more!
3 – I think I should aim for table top ready miniatures and churn through the models required rather than setting expectations at getting really good paint jobs I’m happy with. As there is a lot of satisfaction to fielding a fully painted force. Possibly more so than having a single really well painted mini out of number of minis on the table.
4 – I’ve taken part in a couple of small events over 2019 and I’ve enjoyed them all. So I plan to do the same this year, and for each event I want to go fully painted. It would also be nice to have more event/battle reports up on the blog. However I have burnt out doing the Bloodbowl newspaper style reporting for teh Rogue Games League. SO i need to be careful what i try to do with that.
5 – It’d be really nice to give the blog a make over. Update the galleries. Get a logo designed. That sort of thing.
Let’s see how 2020 goes. Handily I have wasted a month of it avoiding this blog post 😉