Saturday, 4 January 2014

2013, a year in review...

… and new targets for 2014


One had hoped to have this post ready for the start of the year, but a combination of procrastination on my behalf and the continuation of the holiday period has conspired against me.  Finally then, if I may beg your indulgence, I shall briefly review the self-imposed targets for the year.

1. Play some games!  Success!  Finally, and in no small measure due to the kindness and generosity of the 'The Dark Templar', this has finally been achieved.  X-Wing Miniatures was a revelation and has subsequently gone on to prove an expensive distraction.  Perhaps more legitimately was 'The Dark Crucible' Mike's own 'coffee table' game that allows players to enjoy skirmish level forays into a mystical yet historic setting.  I really enjoyed this and have set about creating my own war band that I hope to have finished as part of the  '4th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge'.  Other gaming introductions have included 'Blood Bowl', which may see me go off on yet another tangent and more recently 'Zombicide', fabulous fun that I have even managed to persuade the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' to partake in.

2. Maintain a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year.  Success!  102 posts for the year, down slightly on 2012, but well within the parameters of between five to ten posts per month.

3. Attend at least one convention/exhibition/expo this year.  Success!  The 'Provost Marshal' and I managed 'Euro Militaire' in September and 'Salute 2013' in April.  Salute, of course comes with the additional benefit of meeting up with like minded souls and once again it was lovely to be able to say hello to so many fellow Bloggers.

4. Investigate the possibility of a dedicated hobby space, here at 'Awdry Towers'.  Success, albeit tentatively claimed!  We have had a minor reorganisation that has seen the boxes of hobby related paraphernalia removed from the dining room floor and given their own shelf space.  With the addition of a 'portable gaming board' we are edging closer to where I would like to be, but little chance of my very own 'Man Cave', I'm afraid! 


5. Setting up the 'Command Stand', a bespoke painting service, initially conceived by my good friend the 'Provost Marshal'.  Partly resolved in that we did produce two 'Command Stands' one for the 'Provost Marshal', the other for 'Dave D'.  Both hugely enjoyable to do and so a step in the right direction, but perhaps so more formalisation of the idea required this year.


6. 'Operation Otter'.  Fail!  This was to have been an off-shoot of the 'secret project' - but has not got off the ground in any shape whatsoever!  It is possible that it might yet make an appearance, but unlikely given the multitude of other projects jostling for attention - a real slow burner.  

On reflection a positive year, but what about targets for 2014? As last year, I hope to reach my par score (600 points) in the challenge, and once again this will involve me been relatively focussed until March! After that I have decided to have very few actual prescriptive targets; I suspect that I will try to maintain the same first three as last year, but no longer feel the need to write these down; they are, or should be, a given. What I would like to do is to try to curb the addition expenditure on miniatures this year, or at least try to bring it into line with output. I have a good many fabulous miniatures that are lying unattended and forlorn in the lead pile and with the addition of the 'Mars Attacks' Kickstarter, due in August there will be a positive deluge of plastic come the summer. A simple tally score will suffice, no different to that found on a good many of the blogs I follow, but hopefully something that will 'shame' me into being a little more restraint when it comes to all things hobby related.

Finally then a huge Thank You to all that continue to support, particularly those kind hearted souls that leave a comment on two - your enthusiasm and encouragement are invaluable and your reward will be an unashamed reposting of some of my personal highlights from 2013, after all every post needs a picture!











74 comments:

  1. Such good painting. So good I feel disappointed in my own......
    Good luck with all your pursuits in the coming year.

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    1. Never feel disappointed Clint, we all draw inspiration from each others work, after all without your Tar7an board, I would never had made mine and then The Dark Templar wouldn't have made his!

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  2. Great review and great paint as always , i like your style , congratulation Michael .
    Vincent .

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    1. Thank you so much Vincent, I appreciate that coming from someone as talented as yourself.

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  3. A great collection of painted miniatures to show for 2013 – you should be very proud.

    It's been a pleasure gaming with you, and one of my aims for next year is to do even more. Bull and I will continue to try and persuade you to tinker with Blood Bowl and Zombicide has enough draw for me to have a go no doubt.

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    1. Sounds like a plan Mike, looking forward to it!

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  4. Hi Michael,

    excellent review with some awesome pics. Especially the last vignette is gorgeous!

    All the best for 2014!

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. Thank you Stefan, here's to a productive 2014.

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  5. A rather splendid year Michael. Dont worry about the addiction to blood bowl its a healthy one expect a box at Awdry towers next week!

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    1. Thank you Andrew, not sure that I'll be able to sneak the Blood Bowl past the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry!'

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    2. You wont need to sneak just wait till you get the box, I am saying no more

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    3. I'm intrigued, off to flea bay for a look!

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  6. An excellent year and excellent figures produced throughout. May 2014 see you even more successful :)

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  7. A truly stunning year ! Greate painted minis !!!!

    It will be very interesting for follow your work during 2014 !

    Best regards Michael

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  8. That was a great year. I've really enjoyed those projects. It was a nice bit of nostalgia looking back through those pictures. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do in 2014.

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    1. Thank you my good man, who knows where this year will lead me!

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  9. It was a good year for you sir and your quality was always somethig to stop buy and check out

    Ian

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    1. Thank you so much Ian, there was certainly a consistency that I was pleased with although you always want to do better.

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  10. A good year, and it looks like a good one ahead. I feel very lucky to have been given my command stand... Black Bart will be on an outing shortly. Some great pictures there too . Hope to catch up again in person this year.

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    1. Thank you Dave, it would certainly be great to catch up again this year.

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  11. Some great reminders of some of my favorite blog posts seen anywhere last year. I'm sure you'll keep the standard up.

    A belated Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year to you Edwin and thank yu for such kind words Sir.

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  12. Really nice exposition of your work Michael! I hope to see a lot more of this during the year!

    Greetings
    Peter

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  13. That was a great year Sir Michael! I hope 2014 becomes an even better one.
    Robert

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    1. Let's hope so Robert, for both of us.

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  14. Overall an above par effort Michael. I don't think we will ever attain 100% of the hobby goals we hope to achieve, maybe this is just our way of furthering our endeavors to keep on putting that one foot in front of the other. I dread looking at the years of miniatures collected & neglected in the crawlspace & thus will likely never have a chance to finish. Looking forward to seeing more of your fine work this year.

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    1. Thank you Terry and I couldn't agree more about achieving that mythical 100%. Still as long as we are enjoying ourselves.

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  15. Too many favorite painted figures here for me to comment on. Your hobby goals seem to me as being attainable, Michael.

    May you have a wonderful time this year taking one project at a time...and of course the mysterious Northwest drama I know will be your first endeavor. TONG!!!

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    1. Thank you Jay, ah the 'secret project', I really must finish that Chinese Laundry!

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  16. Great Review..and a good un because i got to see the Grey Samurai, which I´m pretty sure I missed first time around.

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    1. Thank you Paul, they were certainly one of my favourite projects of the year.

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  17. Excellent paintjob Michael, and, above all, very inspired work...these figures and vignettes are really, really amazing. Good luck for 2014, do better seems impossible to me!
    Best,
    Phil.

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    1. Thank you so much Phil, that is incredibly kind of you, I shall certainly do my best!

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  18. You did some fine painting last year Michael. Also you did well on achieving your goals, but I have often wondered what became of your "secret project"

    Now my goal on number of posts is to do as few as possible and still have it appear as if I have a blog. I did 87 last year and hope to do less this year!

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    1. Thank you Anne, the old perennial question about blogging and hobby time - often inseparable, but often hindering in so much as the time it takes to maintain a viable presence. I think a post a week, would still work and buy you considerable more time to spend on modelling.

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  19. Good read some fantastic figures done in 2013. I'm have similar goals this year mainly reducing the current load rather than adding to it. But we will see lol!

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    1. Thank you Simon, I have a feeling that it might be easier said than done!

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  20. Excellent post Michael, I missed most of them and with just this post I'm up to date on your wonderful painting. Pretty impressive ouput I must say, both in numbers and quality. Good luck in 2014, you need to come up with a good plan to get closer to the "Man Cave"

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    1. Thank you Michael and great to have you back!

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  21. I'd say that was a jolly good year for you Michael! I love the diversity of your work, the superb brushmanship and the wonderful inventiveness - that cannibal cooking post looks as wonderful today as when you first showed in last winter! Here's to a great 2014, Sir!

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    1. Thank you so much, receiving praise from someone whose work you find inspirational is praise indeed!

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  22. A great year by any measure sir. I'd love to be able to attend Salute or something similar but we just can't compete down under. You're very lucky!

    I've been trying to pick a favourite from your pics above and can't do it. They're all wonderful in their own way. Looking forward to what you produce in 2014!

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    1. Thank you Michael, it was a trying year in many ways, but was ultimately pleased with progress, here's to a better 2014.

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  23. Inspirational as always...I particularly like the B+W samurai.

    :O)

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    1. Thank you, they were certainly a favourite of mine too.

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  24. Looks like a great year to me Michael! Very impressive array in the photos!

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  25. very good production!
    waiting for new marvels!
    bye

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  26. Truly inspiring painting. I could not possibly pick a favorite out of the wonderful lot. I do look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in 2014!

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    1. Thank you Monty, let's hope we both have a productive New Year.

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  27. Mandrils, hopping vampires, and a rude scotsman. What a year it was.

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    1. Not exactly what I had planned either, but that's half the fun I suppose.

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  28. Inspirational as always. Keep up the good work, and here's to a productive 2014.

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    1. Thank you Derek, certainly looking forward to what this year might bring!

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  29. Hola
    Magnificas piezas
    Los samuráis y los ninjas
    FELIZ 2014
    UN SALUDO

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    1. Thank you so much J.D. and a Happy New Year to you too!

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  30. Good God man thats an amazing amount of figures that you have managed to paint this new and all of them are gems. Top work my good fellow

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  31. Fantastic standard of painting, and lots of it. Looking forward to following your progress through the year. I'd be chuffed if I could manage at least one post an month nevermind an average of five posts ;)

    Regards,
    Matt

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    1. Thank you Matt, at the end of the day we can only do what we can, in September I only managed a couple of posts!

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  32. I'm really impressed with how much you achieved over 2013 and the quality of it all.
    The diversity is quite large too, from the cheap plastic dinosaurs amazing transformation to the Pavilion, along with all the fabulous minis you've painted.

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    1. Thank you so much, variety is the spice of life - or so they tell me.

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  33. You did some absolutely outstading work throughout the year and I really enjoyed following your trip through the most diverse settings and periods.
    Keep up your good work and I'll follow your progress in 2014 closely.

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  34. Great wrap up and good job on the year. I must have missed Michonne when you posted her. Excellent.

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  35. That's a good year's work, Mr Awdry!

    I'm a big fan of your Victorian figs, but your glyptodont and the dinos always raise a smile.

    A year to be proud of, well done!

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  36. Some amazing stuff there Michael, lots to be proud of! I've really enjoyed following your blog and appreciate all the comments you have left me on mine.

    I hope 2104 brings you and your family health and happiness

    best wishes
    Paul

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