Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Targets acquired!


On reflection the setting of self-imposed targets for the year was all well and good, but they needed to have an achievable goal.   Mine, it would appear, have only served to confirm my love of all things shiny; a thinly veiled excuse that allows me to pick and choose from a wonderfully broad spectrum.  That said from a hobby viewpoint 2012 was an absolute blast!  My general standard of painting has improved and while there will always be room for improvement, I feel that I’ve reached a level of consistency with the brush that gives me a great deal of satisfaction.   Maintaining a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year was also important and this in turn has seen page views and followers increase.  

For myself, and many others, one of the most wonderful byproducts of this most wholesome of hobbies is the camaraderie that is shared amongst fellow hobbyists and bloggers.  This was highlighted when a group of complete strangers agreed to meet up at a wargaming convention; the sort of scenario, many would have instructed their offspring to avoid at all costs, but not us!  The 'event' was coordinated by those titans of the blogosphere, Fran (the Angry Lurker) and Ray (Don't throw a 1) and I'm jolly glad I took them up on their invitation to come and say, "hello!"  It is difficult to explain why this tickled me so much, perhaps it was simply putting faces to names that helped to make the hobby real, but whatever the reason I'm looking forward to repeating the experience and perhaps meeting up with a few more erstwhile gentlemen this year - I must, however avoid been led astray by Dave 'One man and his brushes' Docherty as I graze up and down the many aisles of lovely shiny things!  

August saw the 'Tale of 3 Painters’ lift off.  This was a charity painting event conceived and run by Mike ‘The Dark Templar’ Reynolds.  To have the opportunity to do something like this and work alongside the likes of Mike and the hugely talented Andy Walker from the 'Lair of the Breviks' was such an honour and a wonderful learning experience.  I can't sing Mike's praises enough as not only was this his brainchild, but his boundless enthusiasm for the project saw him pop round to ‘Awdry Towers' for a cup of tea before travelling half way round the country, all in the name of charity - a more charming chap you couldn't wish to meet.

Other highlights included having a piece of work nominated for the 'Santa Cruz Warhammer Honor Roll' (my goodness that got the page views up a bit!) and a name check in 'Wargames Illustrated'. (oh yes I did, check out issue 298, page 66 - blink and you miss it but it was there none the less!)  The Liebster awards were another tremendous opportunity for us all to give a virtual nod to some of our favourite blogs, the difficulty for me been deciding which ones to nominate.  I have to confess that there is little, more cherished than the praise of your peers and I was again truly humbled by the kind words and support shown by so many - thank you all that nominated '28mm Victorian Warfare' for an award.

More recently getting involved in the '3rd Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' is a wonderful opportunity to be part of something much wider, reaffirming that we are all part of a much greater  community of like minded souls.  The colossal amount of work that Curt is undertaking as part of this is simply breathtaking, as indeed are many of the entries, all have my admiration!

To continue to have fun may have been pretty vague as targets go, but was a resounding success!  On a more practical level keeping all initial projects going but with some form of target setting put in place,  proved a tad ambitious.  Although all these  targets were met – just about –  towards the end, I did find myself painting miniatures just to reach a target and this didn’t seem to embrace the ethos that I had set out to foster.  The only negative this year would be the lack of actual gaming.  Certainly there was a willingness to embrace this and more rule sets were bought, briefly looked at then filed away for future reference as I decided to use the available time for more painting.  This is an area that needs to be nurtured and I have definite plans to meet expectations this year – honest!

So what about targets for 2013?  Initially, I hope to reach my par score (500 points) in the challenge, this will involve me been relatively focussed until March!  After that I have decided to have very few actual prescriptive targets other than the following:


  1. Play some games!
  2. Maintain a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year. 
  3. Attend at least one convention/exhibition/expo this year.
  4. Investigate the possibility of a dedicated hobby space, here at 'Awdry Towers'.
  5. Setting up the 'Command Stand', a bespoke painting service, initially conceived by my good friend the 'Provost Marshal'.  I envisage this been very much for fun than any real financial gain, but more importantly it will give us an excuse to discuss ideas over a jar or two on fine ale.
  6. 'Operation Otter', an off-shoot of the 'secret project' - more details to come!
and most importantly, continue to have fun!

All that remains is an unashamed reposting of some of my personal highlights from 2012, after all every post needs a picture or fifty!























58 comments:

  1. Excellent post.

    It's always impressive to see this many well-painted miniatures lined up for the simple mans viewing-pleasure. The feeling to me is the same as with the 2 mini-fig armies i was admiring for much too long before I got my dad to buy me a few.

    Cheers,

    Kawe

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    1. Thank you so much Kawe and it was a delight to have had the opportunity to paint up one of the unique items that your company commissioned.

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  2. Your output over the last year has been superb, both quality and quantity, fantastic work sir!

    I hadn't realised you'd got a nod in Wargames Illustrated, that's pretty damn awesome. :)

    You got a nod in the Ancible magazine too by the way. ;)

    I'll be at Salute 2013 all things going well, so hopefully see you there!

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    Replies
    1. Andy, that is very kind of you and I had forgotten about the Ancible magazine - a journal I thoroughly enjoy. Look forward to catching up at Salute!

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  3. That is an incredible amount of painting for 12 months, very impressive. Congratulations Michael. I am proud to say that I have seen some of these models in the flesh after my visit to Awdry Towers and they look even better than the photos.

    You have a superb painting style that is all your own and I am a big fan. I may even have an opening commission for your Command Stand project.

    I'll be at Salute come hell or high water so hope you see you and some of the other bloggers there!

    All the best for your 2013 endeavours!

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    Replies
    1. Mike such kind words, thank you. You mad scheme was such a delight to be part of and really looking forward to catching up at Salute.

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  4. You've clearly had a wonderful year Michael, and your painting output has been a joy to behold!

    I wish you all the best for 2013, and look forward to seeing you get some games in, and hopefully the AARs that will follow, of all your beautifully painted figures!

    Best regards
    Scott

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    1. Scott thank you very much and I'm looking forward to seeing much more of your Hobbit games. All the best for 2013.

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  5. Always one of my favorite blogs to check out. Here's to a wonderful 2013!

    Cheers
    Dave

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    1. Thank you Mr Talor, Sir - and for the mention in WI!

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  6. great work in 2012, sound like I need to get off my arse and get down to Salute this year to put some faces to the names, You painting standard is fantastic and I always love seeing your new stuff pop up on my updated blogs list.
    Peace James

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    1. Thank you James and for your continued support, I haven't forgotten that you were one of the first to offer kind words of support when I started all this nonsense. It would certainly be lovely to catch up this year.

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  7. That's a fantastic set of figures you've posted here. What an output!

    Onward and upwards for 2013! :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, here's to more nonsense in 2013!

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  8. You have a beautiful collection of work, and I'm very happy and pleased to have been able to view it. Looking for more in 2013.

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    1. You Sir are a gentlemen and a scholar! I shall endeavour to meet your expectations.

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  9. Great 2012 and a doable 2013 target!

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    1. Thank you my good man, all the best for 2013.

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  10. Great post Michael! Great memories and Great targets!

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    1. Thank you Ray, should have also added winning your giveaway as well - another highlight of the year, that and the rejects dice!

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  11. Great work in 2012 .Looking for more in 2013.
    Cheers

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  12. Very impressive showing there Michael! Roll on 2013

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    1. Thank you Rodger, it was certainly great fun going back through the albums, I surprised myself by how much got done!

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  13. Thanks for re-sharing those great pics, Michael. Personally, I can't see the need for any "improvement" in your painting. You have a remarkable consistency of quality across many different eras and sculpting styles, and it's always a pleasure to see your work (even though doing so keeps makign me want to do more Victorians!). This post reminds me that I need to return to your NZ Wars posts to check out those fern-y things on the bases...

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    1. Giles, thank you very much for such a delightful comment. I shall endeavour to tempt you more in 2013.

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  14. Fantastic level of painting throughout the year. Looking forward to 'Operation Otter', no idea what it is but love the name.

    Regards,
    Matt

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    1. Thank you Matt. Operation Otter is a model making project, which I have no doubt will be a huge distraction in the coming months.

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  15. Great stuff, love your work good ambitions for '13.

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  16. Great post and what a bevy of wonderful pictures!

    Christopher

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  17. Great Post Michael its been a great year watching your blog nice to see what you've achieved over the year as well.

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    1. Simon that is very kind of you and you are certainly one of those that always helps to encourage with your constant presence around the blogosphere - my heartfelt thanks for all the support.

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  18. And I hope you complete them Michael! :)
    Your blog is one of the best there is. Honestly. :)

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    1. Thanos what a lovely thing to say, thank you.

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  19. Always great stuff Michael! I hope you keep charging ahead just like last year. Your enthusiasm, general positivity, and red velvet wallpaper make this blog, dare I say, a very heart warming place to visit.

    Your scattergory approach to painting subjects not only means that you cover periods I could only dream of, but also that every week reveals a new surprise!

    Finally, yes, you need to get out and game. Those lovely minis of yours need to be taken out and go on proper adventures! :-)

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    1. That is incredibly kind of you Jason and you are absolutely right, they need to be played with.

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  20. Some of the best I've ever seen...excellent work...excellent blog

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  21. I am amazed with the quality of your work Michael, its the wonderful paintjob and lovely basing that makes it a joy to see. I look forward to seeing what this year brings.

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    1. Thank you Pete, lots more to come this year.

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  22. Michael,

    We must make sure that Salute coincides with another one of the Saintly Mrs Awdry's canasta parties, so we can discuss our purchases over a foaming ale or three without having to resort to speaking in code.
    Snow permitting, I'll pop round with your reference material over the w/e - who knows, the local might even beckon!

    Pip pip

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    1. Thank you for the reference material my good man and yes we need to catch up soon.

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  23. Quality, quantity, variety and originality. Your blog has it all Michael, thanks for sharing.
    Pat.

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    1. Thank you so very much for the kind words Pat.

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  24. Thank yo for showing all these great painted figures in one post! It's a joy to look at them! I hope you will show many more this year!

    Greetings
    Peter
    http://www.peterscave.blogspot.be/

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    1. Thank you Peter, I shall certainly try my best!

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  25. Crikey! do you managage to get out much old chap. Such prolific output and such superlative painting deserves a jolly good pat on the back. Well done that man.

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  26. Thank you my good man, I shall endeavour to maintain the standard in the coming months.

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  27. Great roll up of 2012, Michael. And thanks for posting the images of your fantastic painting in the year. Best wishes to you for 2013. Dean

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  28. Michael, I'm sorry to be so late in posting this. I just wanted to say "congratulations" on a phenomenal 2012 and all the best for a great 2013. Your painting is always fantastic, and it's a real inspiration. I love the way you navigate across the board - historical, counter-factual, fun, and complete fantasy. Really deeply impressive and so much fun. Thanks again!!

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