Hello fellas, and welcome to my own little look back over 2014 and a subsequent peek into what’s coming up next!
To me 2014 was a year of many small improvements, a few exciting events, the odd set-back, but overall pretty good. Met many great people, painted many, many great miniatures, played a bunch of great games.
2014 in Painting and Wargames Shows
To be honest, the more exciting things all happened in the first quarter of the year pretty much. Of course first there was this great Nurgle Chaos Space Marines project (see above) including the Reaver titan, the Malcador, and many more cool things. The time schedule on this project made it all the more interesting, but it worked out and it was a very exciting, fun project. Biggest model I’d worked on thus far, but oh so pretty.
Just after that I commenced work on another really cool 40k army project, a Tau army.
Lots of Battle Suits and some of my favourite models Forge World released for the Tau – the Tetras and the Remora drones.
Right around this time I was asked if I would like to pop up on national live radio. This probably was the most exciting thing of my year. It would take too long to explain, but the thing is that in the end I was on live radio in a show I’d been a huge fan of since I was a kid, along with at least one of a legendary radio duo, being on air for about an hour and with my professional painter hat on so to speak. So two really big things in my life came together there. Not that I did or said much, mind you. Probably not exciting to normal people, but to me this was kinda big. 😉
After that the next thing on my list was Austrian Salute 2014. The premier of The Snow White Coffin. This year I brought a display cabinet made of glass to all shows I ran painting workshops at. Pretty much in terms of effort, but people seem to really like it.
Austrian Salute was a great event. Many great tables and games, and it’s always nice to see the old familiar faces from the wargaming community here in Austria. Very much looking forward to this year’s Austrian Salute.
…and lo and behold, I took Austrian Salute as an opportunity to finish (for now) my Marienburg Landship! I think it was one of my hobby resolutions for 2013 to finish this one. Oh well. But I absolutely love this one. Shame Forgeworld discontinued it this year (and seems to discontinue all Fantasy models, if the rumours are to be trusted).
You probably noticed my relative absence this year from Tale of Painters. The very simple reason for this is that I painted a little less GW stuff this year, be it for myself or for customers. Especially during late spring/summer and early fall I did a lot of Freebooter’s Fate models. The whole range of Brotherhood models…
…as well as pretty much the whole range of the Imperial Armada plus some more Brotherhood and Mercenaries models on top of that. Absolutely gorgeous models, almost all of them. The game’s said to be really good too. One local gaming group play a lot of different skirmish games but this is the one they always return to.
Then of course I also did the Dystopian Wars Italian Fleet. Steampunky sea battles. Pretty fun models as well, rather cleverly done by Spartan Games.
In early summer Wargames Factory contacted me if I wanted to review their then about-to-be-released British infantry for the American War of Independence. WGF released a whole slew of multi-part plastics boxes for this period over the past months. My review proved to be wildly popular.
Speaking of popular things: 28mm World War 2. Here’s a squad (plus a bunch of options) for a customer’s Operation Squad force (squad-level WW2 game). The game has gotten a certain surge in poplarity over the past few months. Nice.
2014 also saw of course
Games Day UK Warhammer Fest at which Garfy, Stahly and TEN met up. I would have loved to go as well, but schedules of various kinds just kept me from it. Maybe in 2015!
So I stayed at home, partook in my first charity painting thingy, Project Alchemy. I built and painted this little vignette around the classic Banzai Jones figure, sculpted by Bob Olley. It was really fun getting all Oldhammeron this one:
Cool project and we raised quite a lot of cash for UNICEF.
In mid-October the much anticipated OTHER event in the Austrian wargaming calendar went down as they say: VIVAT 2014.
Great day out (despite technical problems in the morning), great tables and of course another really good event for the community.
In early fall Flames of War made a come-back as I did a bunch of armoured reinforcements for a customer’s Soviet army I did the year before:
In other 15mm WW2 news – I added some models to my own little British force (just a platoon though, nothing like a Flames of War army):
These Blood Angels ripped my out of my historicals phase and reminded me how ridiculously good Blood Angels look. Quite fun to paint these fellas:
This is by far not all I did this year in terms of commission work and other (or in terms of events even.), just a little collection of things which came to my mind or which stood out for one reason or the other.
Funnily enough, the year ended on a very similar note as it had begun (WIP):
2014 in Gaming (and my top games of the year!)
2014 started out very strong and there were a lot of memorable and impressive games I had in the first 6 months.
Early in the year I managed to get my Confederate brigade (loosely based on Hays’ Brigade) finished and ready for gaming. In the following months we played some very fun games using the Guns at Gettysburg and From Bull Run to Gettysburg rule sets.
In summer my regular gaming nemesis and I took a little trip to visit a fellow wargamer in southern Austria for a weekend of gaming and great foodstuffs. (we also shot arrows at rubber chicken!)
On this weekend we played Longstreet, another rules set for the American Civil War. Excellent stuff and almost spookily easy to learn, yet a fun and tactical affair. Highly recommended.
Another set of rules we gave a spin on that weekend was Ronin by Osprey Publishing (they recently were bought up and I think they’ll change their name but I can’t quite remember who bought them at the moment)
28mm Samurai gaming, no more than maybe six or seven models a side, beautiful.
Also: Just look at that table. 🙂
For summer we had planned to run a little DBA campaign based on Alexander’s campaign into Persia. I chose the Persians (because they look great and diverse). Unfortunately the campaign has yet to come to pass as real-life things intervened. So only a part of my force was painted.
When in fall Lion Rampant was released I arm-twisted my brother and a friend of ours who was always curious about miniature wargaming into playing a test game. For the occasion I got out some figures from my Warhammer collection.
At another instance we played Flying Lead (excellent set of rules based on Song of Blades and Heroes), with a scenario of Ork and Sisters of Battle patrols fighting over supply crates dropped off in no-man’s land and other things.
I also finally got to play Star Fleet Battles (better than its reputation and it’s been around for that long for a reason. It’s pretty fun), played a 4 player Dux Britanniarum game again (just really, really solid and fun rules for the Athurian age), we worked out an X-Wing variant based on ww2 air combat in the Pacific theatre, played two(!) games of Pike&Shotte so my wee 10mm scale dudes got out a bit too, played a game of All Things Zombies, a solo game of Nuts! (second edition) and so on. Good times.
However, to me the game of the year clearly was Chain of Command by Two Fat Lardies. The first game I had last year was Chain of Command, and so was the very last game. We even managed to run a semi-ongoing campaign! And despite the fact that there were at least six months between two games, the rules were just there again without any trouble. The rules are just so elegant and above all – they make sense. I know, this isn’t the place to talk about rules sets and such, but take a peek if you’re at all interested in WW2 platoon-level gaming. Next on our list is playing Chain of Command with 40k figures. Should work neatly.
I actually played a little game of 40k as well towards the end of the year.
Just a very tiny scenario for a friend to learn the basics of the rules.
Resolutions for 2015
Well, play more games, get my lead/plastic/resin mountain painted and don’t buy too much stuff is the usual ones. For any wargamer I assume. In terms of Battle Brush Studios: I’ve got a lot of work lined up, hope to get more done (always), improve the quality in every respect, maybe rework the site a little.
I was asked to join a few other guys in writing articles for http://skirmishwargaming.com/ of which I prepared quite a lot already. The site is a group effort akin to Tale of Painters, but with a focus on skirmish wargaming (as the name implies), so the gaming side of things is looked at closer rather than the painting side as on Tale of Painters or my own site.
I plan to be at even more shows this year, taking a trip to I think it’s called Hungarian Salute which I’m very much looking forward to. In summer there will be a big Waterloo event (commemorating the 200 year anniversary of the battle). Should be quite a spectacle with hundreds of 28mm figures. I will contribute to one of the French brigades.
Of course I also hope to get to post more on here again. You surely cought up on the fact that not only my commission work but also my own interests in wargaming go way beyond the narrow limitations of GW-only models and games even though I will gladly return to using their miniatures and playing their games, mostly older ones. See, this is another thing I would like to do in 2015 – play some more Gorkamorka!
One thing which was a bit surprising about 2014 was how few Space Marines I painted in relation to other years. Sure, there were Blood Angels, Chaos Space Marines terminators, Iron Hands and Raven Guard, but apart from that not all that much. I can already tell you that this will change this year.
So much for my look back at the past year. It was good. Things indeed are good and I trust that they keep on being good and hope that your things are good too. Thanks for reading, let me know about the highlights of your year and what you have in mind for 2015!