In early 2021, I did a year-end retrospective photo for 2020 — the year I got back into miniature painting. I painted 97 miniatures that year, and I had a blast; returning to an old hobby I’d never quite clicked with (it’s complicated) was a perfect lockdown activity.
By contrast, 2021 saw my enthusiasm flagging. I started the year strong, but finished just keeping my hobby streak alive. I didn’t do a year-end photo.
2022 was about the same as 2022. I wasn’t planning to do a photo for last year, either, for pretty much the same reason: I figured it’d be disheartening.
But in December I got back into BattleTech, and also saw how close I was to finishing some killer 40k terrain pieces, and got excited to crank some stuff out. So I finished the year stronger than expected, and that led me to get off my butt and take retrospective photos for 2021 and 2022.
Everything I painted in 2021
I painted 15 models in 2021: two Killa Kans, Skraggit (left) and Stikkit (right); a Deff Dread, Facepeela; my Taurox Trukk conversion, Da Fancy Wun; and a squad of Boyz, Thragg’s Deff Ladz.
2021 was my first time trying an ambitious conversion, mashing together a Taurox with an Ork Trukk; I documented the whole process in a five-post series. (Here’s part one.) 2021 also marked the first time I used green stuff as well as the first time I magnetized any models. (Facepeela’s lower arms are magnetized.)
As I got these minis off the shelf for their photo, it was like seeing old friends. I’m not an amazing painter, but every mini I finished in 2021 brought me joy — and they still do. Skraggit and Da Fancy Wun are two of my favorite models I’ve ever painted.
Everything I painted in 2022
I set out to finish a Kill Team board’s worth of terrain in 2022, and while I didn’t quite get there I came pretty close.
In 2022 I painted 25 models: 18 pieces of 40k/Kill Team terrain, 6 Genestealers (for Kill Team), and a giant mantis as a Christmas gift for Lark.
Terrain feels all fast and exciting at first, with a big ol’ sprayed-on primer and base coat in one, and a big ol’ wash. And then the details start to add up, and add up, and it’s not a breezy summer morning anymore. But it’s still fun!
I enjoy painting terrain. It’s a great palate cleanser, with big brushes and bold sections and — with the vibe I’m going for — plenty of excuses to weather with gusto.
It was also fun combining two 40k terrain lines, Manufactorum and Mechanicus, into what I think is a cohesive dystopian manufacturing facility. Both incorporate tea/bone and dark red, and I’ve built all my stuff to be durable, interoperable, and still offer a decent amount of customization for layouts and variations.
Here’s a top-down shot showing one possible layout.
All of the walls/railings on the gantries are placed so that pieces can still connect in a couple places. Ladders are placed and oriented with the same goal in mind. And all the ground-level pipe connection points are tea/bone, so (hopefully) the two terrain sets blend into one another.
I guess technically I’m combining the Munitorum line as well, but those containers, crates, and barrels are so plug-and-play it hardly counts. I do them in colors not present in the other stuff, so they’ll stand out.
I’m glad I got all this stuff out an photographed it. 2021 and 2022 combined didn’t match my output in 2020, but I painted some stuff I’m proud of — and hopefully I’ll get to use it eventually.
And I got a surprise in January: Lark expressed an interest in playing 40k and Kill Team. I’m pretty sure I can cobble together two Kill Teams or two 500-point armies, so if I finish my last few pieces of terrain — a huge gantry/tank combo, another ruined building, a sacred radiator, and some scatter terrain — the two of us could get some games in this year. That would be awesome!