This month Tale of Painters turns 10 years old. 10 years of non-stop hobby blogging, can you believe it? In this retrospective, we look back at our humble beginnings and announce what else we’ve planned to celebrate our anniversary.
The early days
Before there was Tale of Painters, the blog was known as Stahly’s Paint Station and was my personal hobby blog. It was the time before Instagram and Twitter became a thing, and when Games Workshop refused to do social media, so to find inspiration outside of White Dwarf, you had to look in the project log section of forums, on Flickr, and many hobbyists started their own blog, as I did. But as a single person, I found you can only accomplish so much, so I came up with the idea of Tale of Painters – a sort of “supergroup” of like-minded painters who regularly blog about their progress, inspired by the popular “Tale of four/five Gamers/Warlords” series that enjoys great popularity in White Dwarf until today.
So Tale of Painters was born in October 2011. The original cast was Garfy, Sigur, Rev, and me. Since then, new (guest) contributors have come and gone, but Garfy is still holding down the fort with me, and Sigur is also still very active in the hobby with his painting studio Battle Brush Studio.
In addition to documenting our painting efforts, painting tutorials and reviews of hobby products started to become a more integral part of Tale of Painters. Garfy’s The Hobbit run was particularly noteworthy, with him writing tutorials for almost every model from the first two movies. His epic collection was featured in White Dwarf later, as were many more of his armies.
Another highlight was Warhammer Fest 2014, which I attended with Garfy. We both had a blast, and for me it was even the first official Games Workshop event I could attend. I had t-shirts printed with the Tale of Painters logo, and to our delight, quite a few recognized us, including Phil Kelly and a few other members of the Design Studio.
Keeping in rhythm
Around 2016/17 we upgraded to a new, responsive blog theme, as we found that more and more users accessed our site with mobile devices. It was also the time when we switched from daily updates to a less gruelling every other day posting rhythm. Quality over quantity.
Over the years there have been a few joint painting projects, such as Tale of Mega Painters, when Garfy and I challenged each other to paint a Megaforce box in a few months, or the Tale of Tuesdays series, where we first collaborated to paint a few Blood Bowl teams, and then a few more Underworlds warbands. For the first time, the community could join by using the hashtag #taleoftuesdays and we also picked our favourite teams and warbands to win a small prize.
We’ve also managed to sneak Tale of Painters into White Dwarf by name time and time again. Garfy in particular has been very successful at it, most recently in White Dwarf 457 (November 2020) on a whopping 8 pages for his cinematic photography, and in White Dwarf September 2019 with his Dark Angels, to name a few. Stahly was also featured with his models (and a link to the blog) in the February 2017 White Dwarf.
Tale of Painters reborn
The next major relaunch was then due in 2020. Until then, we were running on Google’s Blogger platform, but it became more and more limited and outdated. We took the plunge and transferred the blog to our own webspace on a WordPress system, for which I learned WordPress development in months of work to be able to integrate all the features that I had in mind.
In addition to better meshing with our social media content, we had also been working on improving our content. Even more elaborate and in-depth reviews, even more detailed and high-resolution tutorials, and moody cinematic images for every model we post.
10 years • 3.373 posts • 18.765 comments • 1.749 miniature showcases • 227 tutorials • 211 reviews • 22 tips • 37 contributors and guest postersTale of Painters in numbers, October 2021
But we are not resting on our laurels. This year, we’ve set our sights on creating even more video content. There are already some cool and helpful videos on Garfy’s YouTube channel, and I’m glad to say that my YouTube channel will be revived next week and I will proudly unveil my first ever video. But we have a few more aces up our sleeves to celebrate this special anniversary, like a huge giveaway, so stay tuned.
We hope that Tale of Painters will be around for many years to come. If you’d like to support us on this journey, you can use our affiliate links for your next hobby purchase, support Stahly directly through Patreon (and get some cool extras in return), or treat yourself with one of Garfy’s super useful Get-a-Grip painting handles and other hobby helpers.
To the next ten years, and happy hobbying!
Shoutout to my fantastic patrons: Chris C., chaoticflanagan, Wyliekyote, pawl, Fugu, FrenchHobbyist, Nello S., Nate H., Sigurd H., Karakal, Akhaed, Christian H., David D., Christopher O., James G., Ricardo G., Matt P., Adam, Martin D., Bastian O., Kobold, Mark S., NavyKes, Andrii A., Truul0, Duncan M., David W., Joakim N., Robert K., Tashi, BadgerAndOllieBoo, Runde, Dr. Gore, PlagueisThaWise, John S., Schneuzi, Lucas Y., Paul B., Samuel J., Andy J. Ramon R., Sam, Erin J., Allari, Bartosz L., Raoul, asuli lapis, Austin M., Vega, Benjamin J., Christophe M., Thomas J., Miłosz R., Jack G., Thomas, Cliff P., Pierre L., Joe S., Jamie R., Brett, Cody N., Collin N J., Roeland, Terrafan, Mason E., Tom, Nimitz112, PJSpock, Suppiluliuma, Mike, sarahthevampyre, Daniel K., Zemer A., Brian S., Michael D., James C., G Lambert, Bryan C., and Joshawa B. Support us on Patreon for exclusive tutorials and resources, sneak peeks, extra discounts from our partners, and more.
Thanks mate, it’s been a ride! And I also remember the Hierophant… I wonder if Garfy still has it?
I still have the hierophant (and I got a second). They’re both a little worse for wear and could do with some fixing. The joys of storing them on a low shelf and having an inquisitive small child.
Congratulations. I have been reading off and on for most of that time, and I regularly delve the archives when a new project hits. Really enjoy the out of the box review type posts, and of course the relatively high end paint jobs that you show steps for. Really has helped me appreciate painting more.
Thanks for sticking around 🙂
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Congratulations on your anniversary [or do they call it a webaversary or blogaversary, I’m not sure]. Your content is always top notch and it’s great that you have this wealth of contributors to keep things fresh and surprising, not to mention of such high quality. You’ve such a body of work between you and there are so many posts I’ve found inspiring and useful. I still refer anyone who asks to Garfy’s guide to pinning and strengthening a Tyranid Hierophants legs, that post is 10 year’s old!
As much as I say about my own blog numbers aren’t the be all and end all but you cannot deny the impressive numbers . The amount of posts but more importantly the comments, which shows how much you have impacted the community and how engaged they are and no doubt how much you’ve responded to them when they’ve taken the time to comment.
Here’s to the next 10 years!