Another year has passed, and despite all that’s going on in the world, we stick to our annual tradition and end the year with a retrospective of what we’ve painted and share our hobby resolutions for the coming year. Today is my turn, so join for a ride through Nighthaunt, Necromunda, Howling Banshees, loads of terrain, and more.

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First a short recap of what I vowed in 2019:

  • Paint at least 5 skirmish-sized warbands
  • Paint Jain Zar and a squad of Banshees
  • Add some more characters for my existing collections
  • Finish the remaining Necromunda bulkhead/cardboard buildings and Sector Mechanicus terrain
  • Visit Warhammerfest
  • Enter Armies on Parade for the first time
  • Get a hang of Warhammer Underworlds with the Underworlds PC game

So how did I do? Not too bad actually, I managed to fulfill most of the resolutions. I’ve painted five warbands (when you include the Grimghast Reapers, which I painted for my Nighthaunt Warcry warband, so please turn a blind eye on me), loads of terrain, and then some, I’ve also entered Armies on Parade. On top of all the painting, I moved to a new place, furnished a new flat (and mancave), and completely reworked the Tale of Painters website from the ground up.

A mosaic of Stahly's painted models from 2020

The only things I didn’t manage to do this year was painting Jain Zar and visit Warhammerfest. And we all know why the latter wasn’t meant to be.

My painted models of 2020

In total I’ve painted 43 models, 25 terrain pieces, plus I reworked 10 existing models and three terrain pieces. Not too bad and a decent increase from my output of 2019.

At the beginning of the year I finished painting Brother Toriad from the Space Marine Adventures board game to complete the five Marines included in the game. Then I worked on the final cardboard building from the classic Necromunda starter set and the large green building from the Necromunda Outlanders expansion while painting up Ironsoul’s Condemnors for our Tale of Tuesdays Underworlds project.

March was all about terrain. Actually, 2020 was all about expanding my terrain collection to bring you cooler scenic pictures of my models. In March I also moved to home office, I remember I was quite enthusiastic about it and painted models almost every lunch break, so my output increased significantly. I painted some broken Sector Imperialis statues in a brass paint scheme I’m pretty fond of, the watchtower from the Necromunda Outlanders expansion, a sewer hatch, a Ryza pattern bunker, and a Galvanic Servohauler to transport my Munitorum Armoured Containers.

In April I painted a broken Aquila from the old Honoured Imperium set, a set of two Sector Imperialis statues, a cogitator unit, and the remaining Ryza pattern ruins from the Sector Fronteris Killzone set.

In May I moved to a new flat, which was quite challenging with the first wave of Covid-19 at full swing. A new flat meant a larger hobby space, but I had to furniture it from scratch as I wanted a better shelving solution to create enough space for my collections. Despite all the hassle, I was able to finish the Thornes of the Briar Queen and a unit of five Grimghast Reapers.

In summer I worked on a Spiritseer for my Craftworld Iybraesil host, painted the first five models of my Goliath Gang, and also painted two classic Space Marine characters for my Ultramarines collection: a 3rd Edition era Techmarine, and a 4th Edition era Chaplain. While I was working on the Chaplain, Garfy painted the Primaris Chaplain from the Indomitus set, and we compared both models in a hilarious blog feature, you have to check it out if you haven’t yet.

In August, I updated the paint jobs of ten of my classic Escher gang models, in preparation of the Necromunda Armies on Parade project I had in mind. I refined highlights here and there, added more purple to the clothes, added more variety to the skin tones, and changed the bases to match the style of my Goliath gang. Inspired by Indomitus, I also painted a Necron test model in the shape of a Royal Warden. I remember I wasn’t completely happy with the armour and repainted it several times, however, the more I look at it, the more I like it. Maybe I’m gonna do a Necron Kill Team in 2021?

In September, I finished painting five more models for my Goliath gang that I started in August. Two of the models were classic metal Juves, and I remember it was a lot of fun finding out how they would blend into the modern plastic models. Not too bad I feel, thanks to a matching paint scheme. I also painted Garkorr, a limited Nighthaunt character that was available for a limited time when Games Workshop celebrated their 500th store. He should make a nice Knight of Shrouds for my Warcry warband.

In October I started to lose my painting mojo a little bit. Maybe the ongoing home office and Corona restrictions took their toll on me. Or it was the triple liabilities: Working on the new Tale of Painters website, while ramping up the amount of tutorials and reviews in preparation of the relaunch, and still keeping up with my painting.

Nevertheless, I finished Spiteclaw’s Swarm, even though I remember I didn’t enjoy them that much and posted two corresponding tutorials, one for painting Skaven skin with Contrast paints, and another that demonstrated the scratched armour effect. I went through my backlog of Warcry terrain and painted a belltower and small ruined building, while also making some changes to the larger ruined building I originally painted last year, to match it to the newer buildings. Half of the Warcry starter set terrain completed!

November was mainly spent painting the new plastic Howling Banshees, though I also managed to paint a couple of Timeworn Ruins in a jade green paint scheme for which I also wrote a tutorial for, and the first of three Awakened Wyldwoods. I’m pretty proud of my Banshees, I chose an updated version of the classic second Edition paint scheme but with a slight Ynnari/Ulthwé twist. They took ages to paint, and sometimes they felt more like a chore than a joy, so I was only able to finish them in early December.

In December I finished the Awakened Wyldwoods set by painting two more trees, and even wrote a tutorial for it. A boring, repetitive, and sometimes even frustrating task. The new edition of Tale of Painters launched, rather smoothly to my pleasure, and after all the terrain and unit painting I treated myself to painting another model from the Space Marine Heroes Series 1. I created a poll on our Patreon and our patrons voted for him to be a Black Templar. I also started to paint an Aeldari Webway Gate but wasn’t able to varnish and photograph it this year.

In my resolutions in 2019, I toyed with the idea of entering Armies on Parade for the first time. I had a Necromunda board in mind, with a mix of classic and new terrain and classic and new gangers. Actually, I wanted to enter in person and also build a proper board for my entry, but then the pandemic hit us hard, and all came different. Armies on Parade became an online-only event this year, and because of the worldwide competition, I didn’t consider the chances of winning very high, so I saved the fancy board for (hopefully) next year and just threw together a quick entry on one of the gaming boards included in the 9th Edition Warhammer 40.000 starter set. However, I feel the printed gaming board matches the aesthetiques of the cardboard buildings pretty nicely, doesn’t it?

Despite the pandemic and a little lack of motivation in the second part of the year I had a pretty good hobby year. I wrote lots of tutorials and reviews, learned new tricks, and improved my photography skills (with a helping hand from Garfy). You can see a selection of my favourite shots above, and make sure to follow my Instagram account for more. I spent several months working on and off on the new Tale of Painters website and was able to launch it in December, just in time for our ten year anniversary in 2021. Ten years of nonstop hobby blogging, can you believe it?

2021 hobby resolutions

We’re at the end of this retrospective, so it’s time to share my plans for 2021 with you:

  • Paint at least five units/warbands/Kill Teams
  • Paint at least five character models
  • Paint at least 15 scenery pieces and finishing my remaining Warcry / Age of Sigmar terrain
  • Rebase at least three units of my Iybraesil collection to 28.5 mm bases
  • Write at least ten tutorials
  • Make at least three videos for YouTube

Some ideas I have in mind would be an Alpha Legion Kill Team with lots of Chaos cultists (that could form a Necromunda gang of their own), the Dread Pageant Slaanesh warband from the Direchasm starter set, maybe a Necron Kill Team once I figure out a paint scheme, more Nighthaunt additions that could turn my Warcry warband into a small Age of Sigmar sized army, Jain Zarr to accompany my squad of Howling Banshees, and, of course, some more classic Space Marines like more Space Marine Heroes in various chapters and I also can’t go without something for my classic Ultramarines collection.

Apart from keeping up my painting output I would really like to increase the rate of tutorials and reviews for the blog in 2021, as well as learn video editing so that I can bring you cool video content on Tale of Painters, too.

I hope that despite the hardships of 2020 you will all have a fantastic and hobbytastic 2021. Stay with us, we have great plans for Tale of Painters in 2021.

Find my resolutions for 2019 here, 2018 here, 2017 here, 2016 here, from 2015 here, from 2014 here, from 2013 here and from 2012 here.