Friday 26 January 2024

2023 in review

As ever, my annual post where I look back at my progress over the previous year, and plan for the year ahead.

Just… wildly later than usual. We moved house over Christmas, which I heartily do not recommend if you can avoid it, and now pretty much all of my time that I’m not at work is spent unpacking boxes and all of my minis and paints are somewhere in here:


Christmas happened since my last post, adding these to my heap of minis:

Add to that not having painted any miniatures since October (again, my evenings and weekends from the end of October were spent frantically throwing things into boxes) it leaves the final total at:

33 vs 227 = -194 

Which while it’s my second worst year for number of painted minis since the blog began (second only to the year I got married) is actually only the third worst year for overall Tally score - what can I say, I’m a sucker for a big box of secondhand minis! Hopefully this year I can spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s the way it’s supposed to be, frantically drybrushing to get my numbers up before the year ends and the Tally resets!

Thirteen years of stats:

2023: -194 (33 painted)

2022: 0 (85 painted)

2021: +16 (52 painted)

2020: -100 (47 painted)

2019: +3 (46 painted)

2018: +52 (52 painted)

2017: -14 (47 painted)

2016: -287 (56 painted)

2015: -96 (59 painted)

2014: 0 (80 painted)

2013: -416 (25 painted)

2012: -103 (68 painted)

2011: -173 (122 painted)

Hmm, only four times have I managed to end the year not in the negative. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned there abou- what’s that, Salute tickets have gone on sale now? Nice, should start making a shopping list really…


I managed at least one blog post every month for the whole year, driven mostly by playing a year-long Last Days Seasons campaign in real time. While a lot of my posts were game reports or me having painted things I was going to use in the game, I did also manage to paint and post a variety of other bits and bobs fairly consistently throughout the year as the fancy took me.

Last Year’s challenge

  • Finish my 500 point Skaven Warhammer army
Failed, but not catastrophically - one day, gadget, one day!
  • Play at least 12 games in 2023 
I actually succeeded at this one, managing to get 15 games in last year!
  • Prep all the monkeys in the monkey box (I mean I couldn’t delete this one after so many years)
This is just a meme now, me actually doing this is probably one of the signs of the end of the world by now…
  • Convert at least one miniature
I thought I hadn’t managed this, but looking back at my posts I was reminded that I converted some zombies for Zomtober and some additional Doctor Who Autons, so that’s another pass!
  • Add to the Monstrous Alphabet project
Alas, another fail, although I did buy some minis for this project last year, so that’s sort of a half step towards success?
  • Do Zomtober posts
  • Do a May the Fourth post
  • Do a festive post
Failure, as no painting at all happened this festive season. 
  • Average at least a miniature a week (so at least 52 completed miniatures across the year)
Failure - I’m usually the most productive at the end of the year as the looming deadline tends to motivate me to get things finished!
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive
A big no - partly due to not getting much painted, but also not helped by buying a load of secondhand Warhammer either…

So overall a 40% success rate - not great in real terms, but compared to most years an outstanding victory!

Projects (according to the last end of year post)


While I didn’t finish my 500 point Skaven army, some progress was made, and I also added even more models to my Undead over Zomtober, so that’s not bad going.


A resounding success, as I managed to hit my target of playing a year long campaign in real time. I started making scenery of the farm that was the group’s home base, so there’s potential for future games with this group in the future…


I played a single game of this, and half painted some of the miniatures that I need for the next scenario, so less than I’d planned to do, but more than I might have done.

Rangers of Shadow Deep

Again, I’m averaging a game of this every eighteen months or so - I was really happy with how the game I played came out though, with specially modelled cocoons, nest trees, and Halloween spider web to decorate the table.

Silver Bayonet

First two minis for my group painted, and parts selected for a conversion for the third member.  Just need to find the box he’s in though…

Star Wars

As is now routine, I painted a single mini for May the Fourth, and managed to largely ignore my friend messaging saying ‘ooh look at Shatterpoint isn’t it shiny’ otherwise the tally would have been even worse…

2024 Projects

Despite messaging my buddy (who I start a lot of projects with, but don’t play a lot of games with because we keep starting new projects before finishing the previous ones) saying that we should focus on one project in the new year and actually get a game in, my 2024 project list looks like this:


Weirdly, with each new bit of information that got released about The Old World, I got less excited for it, but still am in the mood for some Warhammer, so will probably stick to my plan of starting with 500 point eighth edition. Once the Skaven are there, I’ve also got my Zombieslayer Undead project, plus a bundle of Empire ,I is bought at the end of last year - 500 points of them would paint up a lot quicker than 500 points of Skaven I’m sure!

The Silver Bayonet

While I bought the book when it came out and have only managed to finish two minis for this, my buddy played a demo game at Salute with me and then banged out an entire painted unit, so this is very much a possibility for getting a game in! I need to paint half a dozen or so minis for my Unit and two werewolves, and then I’ll be ready to go with the first solo scenario (which I’m assuming can also be played with more than one player - I’ll have to double check when the box with that book in turns up)


The adventures of Tim the Necromancer will continue. Need to make some vapour snakes…

Rangers of Shadow Deep

It’s still on here, but less likely to see play in the near future, as I need to make quite a bit of scenery for the next scenario (a river, a bridge, a ford etc). Ooh, that reminds me, I met Joseph McCullough a couple of weeks back, turns out he’s local to me. I’d like to pretend I was suave and composed, but reader I was a little star struck and fanboyed at him. I managed to throw out the name of this blog though, so if you’re reading this Joe, hi! You’ll notice the majority of my major projects are games you wrote, keep up the good work! 

Also, Ronin of Shadow Deep falls into this category too - it’s not top of the list, but I suspect every now and then a Japanese Fantasy themed palette cleanser might creep into my painting queue.


Having acquired a decent number of stompy robots last year, I’d like to get some of them painted!


I’ll do Zomtober, and hopefully get in another game or two of Last Days, potentially having built their farm in miniature. Fingers crossed I can find some 3d printed toilets and other interior furnishings at Salute…

Star Wars

I’ll do May the Fourth, although I don’t know what I’ll do yet - maybe another Imperial Assault mini, so in a hundred years time I’ll eventually have a fully painted core box!


I got bit by the cowboy bug last year - I forget if I posted about it, but it started with me wanting to do something with magic cowboys, but evolved into me wanting to do something with just regular non-magical cowboys, maybe using the stack of Legends of the Old West books that I’ve got knocking around. I ordered some miniatures, which arrived the day we got confirmation we were getting the new house, so they went straight into a box. As soon as I find that box, we’re back on! 

 Board Games

Our new house is somewhat more spacious than the old one, and means that we could probably have people over to play games without anyone having to sit on each others laps (unless they wanted to), so part of me wants to paint up one of the mini heavy games that I have in my collection like Hellboy or The Umbrella Academy. The realist part of me knows that doing that means I won’t get to play it for a couple of years, but still the optimist thinks it’s a good idea…


Aforementioned horrifically productive chum and I were discussing doing some 28mm Inquisitor, potentially using the Acolyte Kill Team mod, and he’s only gone and painted an entire retinue, as well as the enemies, so I should probably convert and paint an Acolyte!

2024 Challenge

Aiming for a similarly limited challenge this year:

  • Finish at least one playable force for a game (whether that be my 500 point Skaven army, my Silver a bayonet unit, or something else entirely…)
  • Play at least 12 games in 2024 
  • Prep all the monkeys in the monkey box (I mean I couldn’t delete this one after so many years)
  • Convert at least one miniature
  • Add to the Monstrous Alphabet project
  • Do Zomtober posts
  • Do a May the Fourth post
  • Do a festive post
  • Average at least a miniature a week (so at least 52 completed miniatures across the year)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive

I’m not sure how I’ll do aiming for a game a month without the pressure of a monthly Last Days game (plus, all my stuff is buried in boxes!), but 12 still felt like a good number to shoot for…