01 January 2022

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022

Happy New Year! It' got to be better than the last one.
I managed to paint two more figures before the ball dropped. Finished early in the day, actually. Two more old Grenadier "Future Wars" figures, that should wrap up the figures I need for the moment for the gangs/punks/starport scum/etc. factions in Five Parsecs. Full pic of the group on the Five Parsecs page (see below/above) On to another faction!

Blog Update
  • I enabled comments again. I'll see how that goes. If I start getting inundated with spam again I may shut that option down again. One of my concerns is getting flagged as a phishing or malware site because of the spam posts. I've seen that happen on other blogs, and there are few that are sadly completely blocked by my anti-virus software.
  • Since I'm hoping to start playing some solo sci-fi games (Five Parsecs from Home is the current game plan) I've added a couple of static pages to the blog to track my painting progress & my crew. Links are near the top of the page.

2021 Review

As usual, I posted a list of goals for 2021. They weren't necessarily planned as a strict checklist, but just things I was looking forward to doing. As it turns out, 2021 was a bit of a garbage year, even compared to 2020. Some of the smaller painting challenges I look forward to each year, like Orctober and my own habit of painting a giant or two in April passed me by like a speeding car. I never had much time to give them more than a sad passing thought.
Painting:  The focus for the first half of the year was completing my Old World Army Challenge 4 project. This was my third year participating and unlike past years, I barely made it through several months. Unfortunately it was sometimes difficult to find any painting time at all, which created a gloomy feel of obligation sometimes. But at the core, it was something I had really been looking forward to and the real problem was the rest of my schedule not allowing for much personal time. Looking back, I'm happy with the Eldar and really enjoyed experimenting with color, writing the entries, and in particular the Gothmower.

After the OWAC was finished, there was a bit of a lull in painting until the end of the year. I was completely off target in terms of my predicted "goals" but the trade off  is that I made significant progress towards having enough painted figures to start a Five Parsecs campaign! A few more 'bots, some "supporting characters," space worms, Spiders From Mars, Astro-Zombies, and a variety of ne'er-do-wells. I even built a new photo board, a tiny bit of terrain, and a basic 3'x3' board for games.

Otherwise, I think all I painted was a handful of undead, including a "Life & Death" pair that I plan on following up with in the future. Literally & figuratively.

Gaming: Unfortunately, this was an utter bust. I had wanted to do either another solo Sellswords & Spellslingers campaign, or try my hand at Rangers of Shadow Deep. Neither happened. I thought maybe I could at least take a set of solo sci-fi rules for a test drive, but didn't get a single game (though I did roll up a random Five Parsecs crew!) We didn't do much in the way of family board/card games all year. At the end of 2020 I was really hoping the pandemic would improve -- and it did briefly -- enough for some actual face to face games with old or new friends. Back a few years ago I had planned on making 2021 a "year of gaming" to get back some of the old joy as a 50th birthday gift to myself. (I turned 50 in December.) But the world had different plans.

Shopping: OK, this isn't a category or a goal. Just an observation. I bought more new figures in 2021 than in any other year in recent history. Maybe subconsciously trying to compensate for lack of gaming, blogging, friends, etc. and the struggles with painting? I got several Midlam Miniatures kickstarter rewards (more hobgoblins, townsfolk, hobbits), sci-fi figures from Skull & Crown (space dwarfs), Satry Art Studio (sister marines), Khurusan (space raptors and human sci-fi guard/soldiers), misc. bits for a small skirmish project in the Althammer "New World" (Messoamerican fantasy), some LotR warg riders for conversion to Hobhound cavalry, and a couple of orders of misc. figures from Badger Games and RPE (mostly sci-fi stuff.) Now that I've cataloged it, maybe it's not THAT much. But I've kept pretty tight reins on new acquisitions for a long time, trying to match my pace of purchases with my painting. This year was out of balance, I guess. Time to ramp up the painting!

Looking Forward to 2022

  • Old World Army Challenge 5. I'm painting undead the first six months of 2022. You can read about it in my intro post. I'm looking forward to this, although after last year's project the bar is set somewhat (intentionally) low. But as long as I meet the basic requirements, I've got "add ons" planned so I can scale it up if I want.
  • More sci-fi/Five Parsecs. I want to play some games, and I've still got quit a bit of enthusiasm for this, so I will continue to paint more as time allows. Specific plans include those listed below, some pics of the unpainted on the Five Parsecs page.
    • Planetary nomads/scavengers (Copplestone & Grenadier)
    • Soldiers/mercenaries (Khurusan)
    • Salvage Team (Skull & Crown)
    • Soldiers/mercenaries (Satyr Art Studio)
    • Robots (various)
    • Pirates/Raiders/Vigilantes (Stargrave, if I can get motivated to build plastic figures)
  • A dragon. I have several cleaned & primed but for some reason I've been intimidated by the idea of not living up to the task of painting one. More specifically painting a non-undead one, since I have painted skeletal and zombie dragons in recent years. I don't know why I've got such a mental block on doing this but 2021 is the year to overcome this!
  • A Tale of Two Hobs
    • Hobgoblins/hob-orcs aka half orcs. I still have the figures from the last Midlam KS to paint, and a handful of GW LotR wardg riders that I plan on converting to hobhound cavalry.
    • Hobbits. I've been saying I'll get back to the halflings & rest of the Jackrabbit Trading Company for years, but never quite get around to them. Maybe this year...?
  • Terrain. I need sci-fi terrain to play games! I have also been wanting to make more large trees like the one I did for my Wood Elf Old World Army Challenge project. (Though storage of the trees is a bit of a problem.) I also have a resin inn I bought a couple years ago that I'd love to paint up & use in some home-brew Sellswords scenarios.


  • Anything will be a step up from 2021.
  • Five Parsecs. I have a crew rolled up, a solid start on a pool of adversaries, and started on terrain. Hoping to start up in the first half of the year.
  • Sellswords. I should return to this. I enjoyed my first campaign in 2020. Provided I can get my table cleared off (need to figure out a way to store all the sci-fi figures I painted last year!) all that I need is time.
    • Alternately I still wouldn't mind trying Rangers of Shadow Deep.
  • Games vs. other humans? I have no idea whatthe pandemic and my schedule will allow. But I can dream.
    • I wouldn't mind trying to get my family to try some of the above games as co-op instead of solo.

27 December 2021

Race to the Finish Line 2021

It seems like I've got more painting in the past few weeks than all the rest of the second half of 2021. I'm continuing to enjoy painting figures for a Five Parsecs From Home campaign starting early in 2022. I've even started organizing the progress here. Take a look at the menu at the top of the page for the Five Parsecs painting progress and my crew's page. Both are works in progress.

My holiday progress consists of...

Weird little Spaven mutant/familiar.

Gangers from Grenadier and Bad Squiddo.

And another from Grenadier, plus the fourth Reaper (Bones) worm.

Two more worms painted & join in for a family photo.

Apparently I missed one more figure, another from Grenadier.

I've also painted a few fantasy figures. Like this old Ral Partha hydra that I received as a Christmas gift four years ago and finally painted!

Also a couple of minions for the envoy of Death I painted earlier this year. Suitable Deadcember fare, I suppose.


14 December 2021

Father Trollsmas

I've been waiting all year to paint this for the yule holiday. Last of my unpainted Satyr Art Studio trolls. Unless he sculpts more. Or I can get my hands on the two from Apocalypse Miniatures.

Father Trollsmas, give us the fungi
We'll beat you up if you make us annoyed
Father Trollsmas, give us the fungi
Don't mess around with those silly toys

I tried some new snow material on the base. Looks like I need to brush some of it off the figure itself.

12 December 2021

Squad Challenge, Deadcember Pt. 1, and OWAC5 Intro

After the mid-year slack, I'm back. It seems.
For as long as I've been participating in the Old World Army Challenge (since the second one) I have also participated in a smaller challenge at the end of the year. I'm not sure of the origin. A warm-up for the January start of the OWAC? Something to keep our skills honed in the "off season"? A chance to fill in a small gap from the challenge army? Paint a small group that isn't large enough to fit the full army challenge? Not sure. I suppose I could just ask.

At any rate, the Squad Challenge is a challenge to get a squad/regiment/team of 10 figures painted in two months. Last year I painted dwarfs. I don't even remember if I completed the challenge. The year before it was half-orcs since it coincided with Orctober. This year I painted a group of sci-fi "supporting characters" in hope of further building my pool of figures for some Five Parsecs and/or other gaming. (Hopefully soon.)

These are my ten challenge figures, plus two wurms that got added along the way.

Four miscellaneous characters, three bots, two spaven, and on Fimm-In-Spaaaaace. And the space wurms.

Additionally, I painted two super simple/fast groups of antagonists. Spiders From Mars (cheap and easy until I get some actual alien "bugs") and Astro-Zombies. The former want to break up the band, while the latter want to exterminate the whole human race. ;)

A good bit of progress after a few slow months!

Overlapping the Squad Challenge is Deadcember -- The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The Astro-Zombies sort of fit that theme. 
On to the deadicated Deadcember painting, however, I painted these wraiths that I had intended to work on last December. They're Reaper Bones figures with most of the bendy-weapons replaced.

I also just painted my first test figure for a potential sidequest project I've been thinking about -- Althammer skirmishes in the New World. If I can muster the patience to assemble the remaining five skeletons from Warlord, I will paint those and the big bad guy (figure from Lucid Eye.)

Looking forward to 2022, I will once again be participating in the Old World Army Challenge! For OWAV5 I will be painting.... more undead! My Introduction Post is up on the site, with more details and photos.

Spoiler: I painted the Overlord Offering for Iannick. :)

07 November 2021

Five Parsecs from Gaming

It appears to have been a while since I've updated. That's due to the lack of painting or gaming since the beginning of July. 2021 has not been kind.

First, a bit of catching up. Early in July I posted my wrap-up for the 2021 Old World Army Challenge. I've never had difficulty finishing a painting challenge until this year. In fact, I skipped everything other than the OWAC. (No "Big April", "Month of Marsh", or "Orctober" for me.) But at least I'm happy with the end result of OWAC 2021!

Recently (last two weeks or so) I've squeezed out some time at the painting desk again. Thank FSM. I needed it. Painting is my anti-stress, my meditation. And I needed it.

I've been continuing with the sci-fi theme, participating in the "squad challenge" that the OWAC group does as an off-season warm up or something like that. Essentially, it's painting 10 figures with a common theme over 2 months. I'm continuing with sci-fi, painting some more "supporting characters" for a hopeful solo campaign of Five Parsecs From Home. More on that later.

So the painting...

First 3 of the 10 figure challenge. Nulltron, washed up egotistical robot overlord; Slem, time and space displaced fianna Fimir turned galactic fringe bounty hunter; and Jaz, just Jaz.

David Rattenborough, famed Spaven naturalist & mutalogical engineer, with his field assistant, Gleek. Seen here with a vox caster, no doubt presenting the findings of his latest expedition.

99% done painting. Still need inspiration to hit for something entertaining to paint on the scroll.

Not sure if she's summoning them up from below ground or about to get eaten. Pic could be telling either story.

Stalking the crystal fields.

Small terrain piece kitbashed from various bits of trash.

Mostly I work. This year we had an official OK for costumes on the Friday before Halloween, we decorated like we never have before, and our last hour of the work day was "trick or treat."  So this was my casual Friday look. Unfortunately I didn't have any video meetings. "Yes, behold the wraith who designs your retail stores!"

07 July 2021


Forgot to post this. At some point I painted this robo-Kali that I got from eBay. Not sure of the origin/manufacturer. Plastic figure. Quick paint. Eldar included for scale comparison.

05 July 2021

June Old World Army Challenge Entry (Eldar)

Last month of the Old World Army Challenge. Wrap up post will be coming soon, with pics of the whole pirate force together. But here's the June entry (which I barely managed to finish on time.)

16 May 2021

April Old World Army Challenge (more Eldar)

 It seems like I'm bad at keeping up with re-posting my OWAC entries here.

Click/top to enlarge.

More pics, words, background here: http://oldworldarmychallenge.blogspot.com/2021/05/zerotwentythrees-april-eldar-pirates.html

And all of The Good Stuff here: http://oldworldarmychallenge.blogspot.com/