2016: Hobby Year Review and A Look Forward

It's the last day of the year, so what better time to have a look back and see what worked, what didn't and where my painting mojo went!

I recently got a lightbox so included here are a few of my minis from this year!

I started the year with a rather crazy plan involving random numbers and a spreadsheet. The idea was to get me painting things I might normally put to the back of the cupboard. This worked for the first part of the year before derailing midway through, about the same time as the initial mojo failings began.

My initial plan for the year was simply to paint more this year than last year - a target of 18. Thanks to my Conan crates, which I counted as half each, I ended up on a total of 24 finished minis, so success!

I picked up a couple of Purgatory painting comp wins for Saint Peter and Keysha which were both great boosts to morale. I didn't get a couple more comp entries finished in time though, so for 2017 I'm looking to turn that around, starting with the JoeK Minis comp, which is running until March.

I'm not massively sure what happened in the second half of the year but the motivation to paint often dried up. In a bid to get around this, I took on board a sentiment that was going around Facebook at the time - Finished Not Perfect. The jist of it is, if you worry about something being perfect, you'll never actually finish it as you'll keep going back and tweaking bits. If you finish a model, you can then say "this bit looks good, that bit could be better" so you start the next mini and work on the area that could be better. Over time you improve with practice, so a mini you might have considered perfect will look of a lower quality once you get 6 months down the line. Plus it helps clear the ever expanding backlog a little quicker ;)

So, despite achieving my target of painting more than last year, this year has felt pretty hit and miss, with definitely more minis in than out or painted.

For 2017 I'm not going to promise to paint more than I buy, as that'd be daft thanks to kickstarter. I do however intend to try some new stuff, along with the old "paint more than last year" thing.

The main challenge for next year is to go bigger. I want to paint a bust, and I want to paint up something in a larger scale than my usual 30mm - a 54 or 75mm piece, I've got probably close to a dozen of each of those things and haven't touched any of them. I'll be getting the new Rathcore painting stands that include stands for larger scales from their Kickstarter when they deliver early in the year, so that might be the incentive to finally build and paint one.

Also on the theme of bigger is that thanks to now having an airbrush, I want to challenge myself and paint up one of the 30mm monsters I have floating around. Might be a dragon, might be a troll - I'll work it out when I get to it, but a monster is on the list.

The final painting challenge I'm laying down for myself for next year is to either finish painting a viable 40K/Age of Sigmar small army/formation or some other small team/gang etc such as a Guild Ball Team or a Batman crew. I've managed to paint up 2 Batman crews in the past 2 years so we'll have to see how things pan out to see if I can manage the same again in 2017!

All that leaves me to do is to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

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