Monday, 11 January 2016

2015, a year in review...

… and new targets for 2016
Once again, I seem to be somewhat behind the curve with the start of the new academic term and my involvement in the hobby juggernaut that is the 'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' slowing publication of this yearly review.  I appreciate that there has been a veritable glut of these of late, but I do enjoy a review of the year and I promise that I will keep this brief. 

Hobby wise, 2015 was a difficult year, here at '28mm Victorian Warfare'; the day job threw up all manner of new and demanding distractions leaving me exhausted and causing all concerned a great deal of anxiety. There is little to do in times like these, but remain professional and work one's way through the difficulties even if they appear to occur on a daily basis.  During this time the blog rarely ran more than a weekly 'Paint Table Saturday' update as proof of life and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' needs special mention as her continued love and support saw me through this particularly problematic chapter. There was to be light at the end of the tunnel and I was pleased to see an upturn in posting towards the end of the year perhaps brought about by the hugely enjoyable theme months of 'Zomtober' and 'Dinovember'.

Another hobby frustration has been Blogger's recent memory loss.  Several of my favourite blogs have vanished or appear intermittently on my blog roll, meaning that I often miss much of their content. I can't seem to find an answer to this phenomenon and certainly don't want to delete the several hundred blogs I follow and start again.  All I can do is ask that you give me a gentle nudge if you feel that I have been absent far any length of time.

The lure of the crowd funding platform that is Kickstarter, saw me pledge repeatedly and far too frequently throughout the year, backing hugely popular games like Zombicide, Rum & Bones and Conan. There were also some more modest, but nonetheless creative, endeavours backed such as Westphalia's Wasteland Warriors, Studio Miniatures Medieval Mayhem and Integrated Wargames Buildings to name but a few. This probably needs to be looked at before it becomes a bonafide addiction, but I do get quite a buzz out of the process and enjoy being part of something from the start.

An unexpected hobby avenue was to be the 'Batman Miniatures Game'. Completely absorbed by the related posts of Messrs Templar & Feb, I succumbed and started collecting and creating my own Penguin Crew that culminated in a couple of games here at 'Awdry Towers'. Although the gentlemen concerned have moved on to newer and shinier distractions, I still have a hankering to explore the world of Batman a little further and, having received a copy of the rule book as a Christmas present, I hope to lure the Joker and the Caped Crusader into a game or two in 2016.


So on to the review of last year's targets:
1 Play more games! Target Met! - Just as last year my gaming exploits were predominately board games, although 2015 did see some Batman Miniatures Game, Zombicide, Space Cadets - Away Missions, Rum & Bones, Zombicide - Black Plague action.

2 Maintain a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year. I do not want to be prescriptive on this but will certainly look to maintain the interest in '28mm Victorian Warfare' by looking to post between 5 – 10 posts per month (a minimum of 60 posts for the year).   Target met! 71 posts made in 2015 and although considerably down on previous years, I think this level of posting reflects a much more realistic and manageable target.

3 Attend at least one convention/exhibition/expo this year. Target met! Salute 2015. Sadly we were unable to attend Euro Militaire, but Salute remains one of my hobby highlights of the year. I thoroughly enjoy a brief time out of the shopping scrum to shake a few hands and tell a few tales. 

4 I would like to try to curb the additional expenditure on miniatures this year, or at least try to bring it into line with output. A simple tally score will suffice, hopefully something that will 'shame' me into being a little more restraint when it comes to all things hobby related. Target Met! Painted 178 - 101 Bought = +77 in credit! Half the fun of the hobby is adding to the ever growing lead pile, but I am pleased that I am starting to address the balance a little more favourably.  Although not as much painted as in previous years, I was pleased with the level of consistency that I am currently achieving. 

According to my tally counter the numbers are as follows*:
Painted/constructed: 178
Bought: 101
Balance: +77

Detailed breakdown:
Foot: 83
Mounted: 7
Artillery: 2
Vehicles: 3
Buildings/Terrain pieces: 43
Livestock: 38

*All miniatures are 28mm scale unless otherwise stated

So what has 2016 in store for '28mm Victorian Warfare'? Well simply put, more of the same. Over the last five years or so, I have come to accept the futility of writing over prescriptive lists. I like lists, but just seem incapable of sticking to them, preferring instead to simply write new lists! There have been moments when I have questioned just what it is that I want to pursue hobby wise, but I'm not sure that I want to have that conversation with myself just at the moment. I would like to see more Batman games played and also to take the zombies from the board game to the tabletop proper, so to speak. There is of course the 'Witchfinder General' project that continues to rumble on and I am interested in investigating 'Pulp' rules, particularly those related to dinosaur hunting expeditions, but already I feel that I have highlighted more than I know that I will realistically be able to achieve.

Once again, my interest in Victorian Warfare seems to be woefully overlooked and I am acutely aware that this needs to be redressed. Rest assured, gently reader, that there are no plans to rename the blog and that this will always remain a period that I will continue to return to.  So time to reset that 'Tally Counter' and present, in a roughly chronological order of creation, my efforts from 2015!

78 comments:

  1. An absolutely marvellous summary of your incredible work! And a funny coincidence - I´m about to view Gilliam´s "Jabberwocky"! - yours is a masterpiece! :D Greetings and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much and I really need to see that film again, Gilliam's style has always caught my attention.

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  2. Running through those photos it has been an eclectic and colourful year! Here's hoping 2016 offers the same.

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    1. Thank you, I was surprised just how varied the year had been, probably as a result of my butterfly like habit of flitting from one subject to another.

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  3. Absolutely marvelous work as always Lord Michael (we may have to upgrade your noble rank if your theme round entries continue to match your lovely "Great Escape" vignette).

    Here's to a productive and fun 2016 :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, although I shudder at the thought of another promotion - perfectly happy bumbling along as I am. ;)

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  4. A stunning collection of work and all done in a year – you are an inspiration to us all!

    …and we're always up for a game of Batman! That's the beauty of these skirmish games: put down, pick up again.

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    1. Thank you Mike and great to hear that I may be able to lure the caped crusader down to Westham again, just need to bait the Joker a bit more! ;)

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  5. 178 seems mighty productive to me...and what a 178! Your figures and dioramas are just superb, sir. I, for one, shall look forward to seeing what you do in 2016!

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    1. Thank you so much Gordon, your continued support is greatly appreciated.

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  6. Excellent stuff, Mr Awdry. Another cracking year! Might I suggest you take a look at This Is Not a Test in 2016? Excellent post-apocalyptic fare that might suit some models already in your collection.

    Cheers
    Dave

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    1. Thank you Mr. Taylor and I have had a fleeting look at 'This Is Not a Test', but will definitely have a closer look on your recommendation.

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  7. Excellent sir, might I enquire as to whether you are planning to attend this year's Salute? Part of my New Years resolutions for the hobby was to go to more events and I've just bought mine and some pals tickets to 2016's Salute. Hope to see you and other fellow bloggers there?

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    1. Thank you so much and definitely hoping to be at Salute again this year. Always great fun putting faces to names, but I am terribly shy and never speak to as many people as I would like. Hope to see you there!

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  8. 2015 was obviously very productive, you've painted an amazing range of figures to a very high standard!

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    1. That is very kind of you, thank you.

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  9. A great year, let's go for a new one!

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    1. Thank you so much Luca. I am worried that your blog is one of the ones that comes and comes on my blog roll. Do give me a nudge if I have missed any posts.

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    2. Ok!
      I'll usually post something new every 2 weeks on Wednesday, starting from tomorrow.
      Thanks for your interest!

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    3. sorry, i meant "every 2 weeks on thursday", i lost one day!

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  10. I'm enjoying each and everyone of your posts Michael. If it wasn't for people like you, who are of so much inspiration to me, I would have long since stopped blogging. Even when takling a topic not of actual interest to me (like Batman for example) I still love to discover all the tiny details you packed into it. I'll certainly follow your progress throughout 2016 closely.

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    1. Nick thank you so much! As you know, I am a great fan of your work and to receive such an encouraging comment has really made my day. Batman caught me by surprise too, but I really enjoyed working on the project and hope to revisit it later this year.

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  11. great output for 2015.

    I REALLY like those clockwork Monkeys!

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    1. Thank you so much, they were so much fun to work on and stay tuned the Clocktopus is coming this year!

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  12. As always you work is fantastic and a great inspiration. I'd forgotten about the Jabberwocky which is marvellous. My highlight was your Batman work. The terrain and that Duck Tank were brilliant.
    Don't you have some Zulus to paint;)

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    1. Thank you so much Martin, the Batman work was probably my highlight too and don't you worry there are more Zulus to come!

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  13. All of 2015's eye candy absolutely wonderful and all in one place and congratulations in attaining your targets and getting some gaming in to boot.

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    1. Thank you so much Joe, looking forward to much of the same really. As long as I am having fun then I'm happy.

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  14. Without any mitigation necessary, I thought 2015 was yet another cracking year judging from the output of the Awry manufactorium. What you think you lacked in output quantity (which amuses me as I painted a sum total of zero!) to completely made up for in terms of quality. Your Painting Comp submissions alone were most inspiring.

    Best wishes for 2016 Michael - I am sure you will continue to amaze not only with your creativity and imagination, but with the impressive skill in which you realise them.

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    1. Now stop it Paul, you'll have me blushing. What an incredibly kind comment and a gesture that I will treasure. Here is to good 2016 for all!

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  15. A very productive year. I've enjoyed reading about all your progress. 2016 should be fun to watch!

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  16. A great look back at the year that was. It was a pleasure following your painting endeavors in 2015. Hopefully 2016 holds more of the same.

    (Special recognition to Penguin. I love what you did with that mini.)

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    1. Thank you so much Mr. Finch, it is a great honour to have someone of your quality take the time to leave such encouraging comments and I hope to have plenty more for you to see this year.

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  17. Excellent output for 2015! Looking forward to see what you paint in the upcoming year!

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    1. Thank you very much, I have some loose plans, but it very much depends on what I fancy really.

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  18. Fantastic collection for 2015, both in quality and quantity. Looking forward to seeing more in 2016.

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    1. Thank you so much Matt, here's to a productive 2016 for us all.

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  19. A good summary of the year [though possibly slightly schizophrenic? "Don't make lists - I never stick to them" vs "All of my list of targets for last year were met" :-) ]. And a fine selection of eye candy as well - some of the nicest models I've ever seen!

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    1. Thank you so much and you may be on to something - it would certainly explain to diverse mix of periods. I think the real answer is probably the dumbing down of the list! Let's be honest it was never meant to be that taxing, just as long as I was having fun!

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  20. You've had a fantastic year, with a nice mix of eras/genres. Looking forward to following your adventures this year!

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    1. Thank you so much Jonas, lots more to come hopefully.

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  21. Very productive year Michael! Most impressed Sir.

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    1. Thank you so much Rodger, that is very kind of you.

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  22. Great year and great works as always , i love it .
    Cheers .

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  23. Keep it up Michael. It doesn't matter what sort of year you just had - it's all about the future. You, and your blog, are one of the reasons I do my little attempt. Going back through your images it's made me think if you can do that level in a bad year I am looking forward to seeing you on a good year.

    I hope you have a great 2016!

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    1. Mike that is incredibly kind of you, thank you. What I love about this hobby is the mutual support and sharing of ideas - I know that I have certainly stolen a couple of yours! :)

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  24. A fine year's accomplishments Mr A!

    But kindly let's see more Victoriana this yeah, eh?

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    1. Thank you my good man and you are, of course, absolutely right.

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  25. Fantastic. I am always inspired by (and perhaps a little depressed by) the quality of your painting and, above all, the inventiveness shown in your little dioramas. Perhaps we might be able to actually meet up at Salute this year!

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    1. That is incredibly kind of you, although the last thing I would want to do is to make anyone depressed. Yes we really must meet up this year, I need to combat my shyness and push myself forward.

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  26. Indeed a good year to follow your blog, always lots of inspiration, thank you very much Michael !

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    1. Thank you Michael and entirely my pleasure.

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  27. No matter the subject - though Victorian warfare is a favorite - your blog is always a pleasure to visit

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    1. That is incredibly kind of you, thank you.

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  28. Fantastic review of equally amazing artwork. BTW, I have also noticed some missing "Followers"/blogs. I saw someone else post something on this recently too.

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    1. Thank you Dean and interesting to know that I am not alone with the missing blogs, all very frustrating.

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  29. A nice summary, Michael. As 2015 saw my first dip in the collective blogging 'pool', your support along the way has been very welcome and I always look forward to your posts and the wonders we will see. Whilst your blogging performance is unlikely to top your performance as Vizzini in The Princess Bride, I look forward to seeing what 2016 will bring. And as I will be attending my first Salute this year, hopefully we'll get a chance to meet, where you can obviously punch me for the above gag. ;-)
    Regards Jez

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    1. That is very kind of you Jez, but you will have to pay for the Princess Bribe jibe! :) Yes, we must make the effort to meet up in April, too good an opportunity to miss.

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    2. Could be worse, Michael. I usually get compared to Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show. :(

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  30. Wonderful summary of all the projects completed in 2015. Like you, I hope to get more games in & attempt to focus on a few vs many projects. HAH like that will ever happen!

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    1. We are doomed Terry, but at least it will be fun!

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  31. A wonderful selection of miniutures. Really some splendid pieces of art!

    Carry on in 2016, my friend.

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    1. Thank you so much Stefan, your continu7ed support and friendship means a great deal to me.

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  32. A fabulous year none the less despite the interference from real life trials.

    Do you solely rely on your blog rolls?
    I use my Blogger home page to follow reading. It seems to work quite well except for a single blog that doesn't show up unless I click on just that one blog.

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    1. Thank you Simon and no it's not the blog roll per se that is affected but the my reading list on the home page. (My Blog Roll packed up last year!) I must try you idea of clicking on them directly and see if that helps.

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  33. Some great stuff there Michael and some great memories. I agree no point in setting 'wargaming' goals for 2016. I decided At end of 2015 no new projects this year and have already started one. Then Mantic release news they intend to do a game based on Walking Dead comics. You just cannot win!

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    1. Thank you so much Mark and I saw that Mantic Walking Dead announcement - it could get messy! ;)

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  34. Great summary Michael! There's definitely plenty of excellent figures that you've painted up over the year again! Can't wait to see what you come up with this year.

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    1. Thank you so much, certainly looking to get a few more done this year, but I'm sure there will be a diversion or two!

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  35. Love the pictures. I'm quite jealous of your painting output. I have so far resisted Batman and the new Spiderman version. Only because no else in my local group hasn't sucumbed yet.

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    1. Thank you, I thought that it was a quiet year until I di the review! I must admit the Batman bug has certainly got hold.

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  36. Each of your realisations is a masterpiece, beautiful and inspired job all along the year...Amazing!

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  37. Wonderful modeling from the mind and the hands of the one-and-only, Sir Awdry the Great!

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  38. What seriously amazes me about your past year's work is not its quality which is obviously extremely high but the fact that you got so much done at a consistently high level of quality. Now that's impressive. Most impressive!

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