Azazel’s Bits Box: 2015: The Year in Review

And now, a recap of 2015’s highlights. Because why not? Actually, this post was inspired in part by many but especially by Alex’ End-of-Year post over on Leadballoony.

2015: The Year in Review

I’ll skip the videogame reviews and also concentrate on the minis that were painted this year. (With only a couple of noted exceptions.) The links take you to the posts in question if you’d like to see more about any of the pictured models, as does clicking directly on the images.

January:

After a slow start, I started painting at the end of the month, starting Marouda’s Mythological Greeks with The Bronze Bull.

Wargames Foundry Bronze Bull

January: The Bronze Bull.

This was followed with some speedpainted Bones Undead models painted in a Jason and the Argonauts fashion.

Reaper Bones Skeletal Swordsmen 77017

January: Bones Skellys as “Hydra’s Teeth”.

And even in January I had started to try and get models that had been sitting around forever finished, as with Reaper’s Stone Golem and a very old Harlequin Zombie.

harlequin Zombie Buster Rotvessel, Reaper Bones Stone Golem 77171

January: Buster Rotvessel and a Sandstone Golem.

February:

I finished my first few Zombicide models, as well as some Hasslefree Not-Shaun of the Dead miniatures that also fit the Zombicide – and we always use the Hasslefree Shaun over the official Zombicide one…

Zombicide Simon Pegg, John Cleese and Sean Connery

February: Zombicide Shaun of the Dead, Basil Fawlty and John Mason.

Hasslefree HFA007 Ray and HFA052 Dynamic Ray.

February: More Shaun of the Dead from Hasslefree.

I finished off another Bones model that had been sitting around forever – the Clay Golem this time – painted as a D&D Carnage Demon.

Reaper Bones Clay Golem 77170

February: Carnage Demon time!

Next I finished off the Wargames Foundry Ancient Greek Skeletons to complete that unit of Hydra’s Teeth.

Wargames Foundry Children of the Hydra Skeleton Warriors, Reaper Bones Skeletal Swordsmen 77017

February: The first unit of “Hydra’s Teeth” finished.

I then made myself finish up two units of Mantic’s restic Ogre Shooters that had been sitting for a year. One with crossbows and one with blunderbusses.

Mantic Ogre Shooters

February: Mantic Ogre Shooters finished!

Next up: A Hill Ruins piece from Rackham’s prepaint Confrontation starter set painted in a temperate scheme.

February: Rackham in ruins!

Followed immediately by some Lord of the Rings RotK set scenery from 2003. I got another set of these recently from Damo/Nerdfest. I should get them painted up soon while I have some Holidays left.

Return of the King SBG Scenery

February: And then LotR in ruins!

Next up was a set of Bones Skeletal Spearmen, following in the footsteps of their sword-wielding compatriots and being inducted into the Mythical Greek force.

Reaper Bones 77001 Skeletal Spearmen

February: Bones Spears join the Phalanx of the Undead. Wonky spears and all!

Then the first of several units of Warriors of Minas Tirith was completed. Starting what would become a targeted army for completion.

Games Workshop Warriors of Minas Tirith

February: Gondor Rises!

March:

Finally finished off a very old C23 Chaos Ogre, which allowed the completion of a unit of Ogre Berserkers for my KoW force.

Oldhammer Citadel C23 Ogres

March: C23 Ogres return to the table as Berserkers!

The forces of Minas Tirith rolled on, with two more units completed.

Citadel Warriors of Minas Tirith

March: Swordsmen of Minas Tirith!

An old Iron Claw Stone Thrower that I’d hated for years was repaired and finally finished off – given a crew and everything! Now I really appreciate this Bob Olley model.

Iron Claw Stone Thrower

March: From pariah to favourite!

While on the War Machine and Minas Tirith train, I got a pair of War Machines completed for Gondor!

Citadel Avenger Bolt Thrower and Battlecry Trebuchet

March: Avenger Bolt Thrower and Battlecry Trebuchet.

I then finished off the last of the Bones Skeletons from their first Kickstarter. Mostly because Marouda wanted some archers for her undead army and I was able to combine them with the Harlequin figures I’d had for ages.

Reaper Bones Skeleton Archers 77018, Harlequin Skeleton Archers

March: A small undead archer unit.

And the first of the Moria Goblins that also became a targeted army-finish idea (that also never got completed….)

Citadel Moria Goblins

March: The start of Moria’s goblin infestation.

Minas Tirith then received some reinforcements in the form of a small unit of Axemen of Lossarnach. I still need to pull my fist out and finish Forlong the Fat.

Citadel Axemen of Lossarnach

March: Gondor’s reinforcements march to war!

Next up was more Undead. This time a unit of converted Skeleton Cavalry courtesy of eBay. I still need to construct and paint a 6th for them, possibly with a standard.

Citadel Undead Cavalry Conversions

March: Undead Cavalry ride to war!

April:

April started with some Goblins that got shown off later, followed by completion of the last of the Foundry “The Children of the Hydra” skeletons, combined in with the Reaper Bones ones and a couple of plastic Wargames Foundry Skeletons to form a second unit of “Hydra’s Teeth”.

Reaper Bones Skeletal Spearmen 77001, Wargames Foundry The Children of the Hydra, Wargames Factory Plastic Skeletons.

April: 3 manufacturer’s skeletons combine to form a single unit.

As a side project/distraction, I knocked up a pair of Reaper Bones’ Not-D&D models. An Intellect Devourer and a Grick. Both could also easily pass for crazy 40k aliens as well…

Reaper Bones Chton 77228, Mind Eater 77229, Grick, Intellect Devourer.

April: Not-D&D Monsters. Thanks to Tarmor for the Identification!

Another really old, half-painted for years Orc warmachine got completed. A Bolt Thrower in this case. I’ve since found about 4 more of them. Hooray!

Citadel Oldhammer C22 Orc Bolt Thrower

April: C22 Orc Bolt Thrower sees the light of 2015.

This was followed-up by another Oldhammer War Machine. This one a recent eBay purchase of the original Screaming Skull Catapult, aka Undead Skull Chucker.

Citadel Oldhammer MD8 Undead Skull Chucker, Screaming Skull Catapult

April: The original and in many ways still the best.

May:

In May, the practice of trying to finish off old stuff continued and started to ramp up a little more, though without becoming the conscious “project” that it later became.

I started by finishing some D&D Snakes from the Wrath of Ashardalon boardgame.

D&D Wrath of Ashardalon Cave Bear, Giant Snake

May: Three Snakes and Three Bears. (Not pictured here: 2 snakes and 2 bears.)

Next up I painted the rather disturbing and suggestive Gibbering Mouthers from the same boardgame. I think. Oddly, I can’t see any reference to them from the past 3 years, but I know I painted them while living here, and I feel like I painted them recently, so that’d be 2015… and also mean I’m at 391 for the year… though since I can’t confirm I’ll stick with 388.

D&D Wrath of Ashardalon Gibbering Mouthers

May: Ashardalon’s Gibbering Mouthers.

The follow-up was another Reaper Bones model that has a meaning for the D&D people, as well as those of us not so familiar with it. Brass Bull or Gorgon? For me, the former – but hey! This would be the last Greek – mythical or otherwise – painted until the very end of 2015.

Reaper Bones Brass Bull 77256, D&D Gorgon

May: Reaper’s Brass Bull comes to town.

Continuing to clear off the backlog of started stuff taking space on the shelf, I got onto these Night Goblin Fanatics. Another eBay purchase from a couple of years ago, one needed repairs. Got ’em done, though.

Citadel Night Goblin Fanatics

May: A trio of Fanatical Goblins.

And back to the Moria Goblins – a mass of Prowlers got painted from scratch.

Citadel Moria Goblin Prowlers

May: Night Goblin Prowlers. They like to swing that axe in the air!

Finally for May, a pair of skeletons I picked up randomly off eBay that I later tracked down to find out that they’re from Brigade Models’ Celtos Fir Bolg range.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

May: Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen.

June:

As the middle of the year rolled around, my focus on finishing old models (initially just to clear the table and let me work on new projects without guilt) became a more defined thing, though very little new work was finished or shown on the blog due to a very busy time of year at work.

I started by completing another Old(hammer) C23 Ogre to complete another unit.

Citadel Oldhammer C23 Ogres

June: More Oldhammer Ogres completed.

I then knocked out a trio of simple Reiksgard. Note their more complex compatriots still aren’t done. Didn’t stop me eBaying in a pile more of them, though.

Citdadel Miniatures Reiksgard Reiksguard on foot

June: Reiksgard Trio.

Next I finished a bunch of “Oldhammer” Goblins that I mixed in with previously-finished Goblins to make a workable unit for KoW, which I’d stopped actively playing by this time due to new rules coming out soon.

Citadel Oldhammer Goblins

June: Oldhammer Goblin Unit able to hit the table for the first time!

July:

As usual, July brings some respite from work – and while heading into the middle of winter, it’s not been so long and dark as to become depressing yet.

Some old Slaves to Darkness-era Bloodletters of Khorne made the cut, getting updated bases and despite not having quite enough models to make a unit, are almost table ready for KoW, and can certainly do for 40k.

Citadel Oldhammer Slaves to Darkness Bloodletter Daemons of Khorne

July: Slaves to Darkness Bloodletters rebased.

Looking through my old cases where I’d found the Bloodletters led me to a bunch of my old Goblins. These Night Goblin Fanatics were chosen in part because of the plastics I’d painted not too long before, the fact that black robes are a thing that works well for painting at work, and the fact that there’s a very limited number of them.

Citadel 4th Edition WHFB Night Goblin Fanatics

July: More Night Goblin Fanatics.

 

I also spent a bit of time in July sharing (and working out exactly what I had painted) my Nurgle Lost and the Damned force. All of which were at this point in the year painted before 2015. Follow the link if you’d like to check out those posts.

Nurgle Lost and the Damned Army.

July: Painted Pre-2015, I showed off these guys and actually set them up together for the first time.

I also got an Oldhammer Undead Skeleton Command Group painted up.

Citadel Oldhammer Skeleton Command Group

July: Old-school Skeleton Command.

Finally, I finished off two sets of Gondor Ranger command, which in turn finished off two units of Gondor Rangers. I’ve still got a couple of errant plastics and a bunch of metals still to go, but that’s something for 2016. Hopefully.

Citadel Lord of the Rings Gondor Archers

July: Gondor’s Rangers finally take the field as Osgilliath Rangers.

Finally, I capped off the month by finally completing the last of way too bloody many Moria Goblin Metals. I use them all as Captains, though some are probably only meant to be grunts.

Citadel Moria Goblin Captains

July: Metal Moria Goblin Captains.

August:

I had a good run in August. Finished a lot of models.

I started with a couple of 40k-themed models. Lt Varras from the Battle of Macraggae (4th edition) 40k starter box and Doctor Diana from Warzone 1st Edition. Both painted as Imperial Naval Crew. Looking at these two, even today as I type this makes me want to paint a lot more 40k stuff. One of the reasons I’ve been trying to clear the decks, I suppose. /sigh

Lt Varras Imperial Pilot Battle for Macraggae 40k 4th Edition, Dr.Diana Cybertronic Warzone 1st Edition

August: Imperial Navy Away Team.

By this time, getting all of my Moria models finished had become a thing. Not because I love them., but because I’m not actually all that fond of them, but because I don’t actually have so many of them that finishing them all seems impossible. It’s something I’ll try again to get done this year. Anyway – I got the Goblin King of Moria, Durbûrz – and a couple of shamans done.

Citadel Durbûrz, the Goblin King of Moria, Duburz, Moria Goblin Shamans

August: Three of Moria’s high leadership.

Remember those Fir Bolg Skeletons from Brigade Models from earlier? Well, I bought a bunch more of them after tracking them down. I even painted a unit with Heavy Warscythes. Mostly at work, 20 minutes at a time during lunch breaks.

Brigade Models Fir Bolg Skeleton Warscythes

August: Don’t Fear the Reaper? Well, maybe this *one* time…

Opening up those miniature cases led to the discovery and redemption of quite a few of my old Chaos Beastmen. These two were the first.

Oldhammer Warhammer Realm of Chaos Slaves to Darkness Beastman Champions of Slaanesh and Khorne.

August: Beastman Champions of Slaanesh and Khorne.

Followed-up immediately by a pair of Skaven from the same figure case – both who I’d used in my old Slaves to Darkness Chaos Warbands games:

Citadel Oldhammer Skaven

August: Chaos-tainted Skaven.

While rooting around in some boxes, I found the bits of an old RTB01 Space Marine who I’d painted as a Mega-City One Judge when I was in my teens. Inspired by Cheetor and Mr Saturday’s Judgement Day project over on Sho3Box, I decided to rebuild and repaint him. This was the result:

RTB01 Space Marine, Judge Dredd, Mega-City Judge

August: Mega-City Judge in Powered Armour.

Another figure who’d been literally staring at me from my table for more than a couple of years. I finally got this cool-looking Slayer done. And then bought a pile more of them that I have yet to do anything with. /sigh.

Citadel Warhammer Quest Dwarven Slayer

August: Warhammer Quest Dwarven Dragon Slayer.

I was in a finishing-off mood around this time. I got Marouda to choose the next one, and it was a troll. Which led to another unit being completed and the realisation that I’d finally finished painting the set of four from ’87. Nice choice!

Citadel Oldhammer C20 Trolls

August: C20 “Oldhammer” Trolls from 1987.

September:

September was another productive month. I started by fixing up, touching up and rebasing a pair of Blood Bowl Trolls that I’d co-opted for Fantasy gaming back when I’d bought them.

Citadel Blood Bowl 2nd Edition Trolls 1988

September: Blood Bowl Trolls off the pitch.

The followup to this was finally completing some Norse Dwarves that had also been hanging around for too long. Finishing that Slayer made it easier to motivate myself to finish these.

Citadel Oldhammer Norse Dwarfs Dwarves

September: Norse Dwarf Awesome Foursome.

And then a couple more old Dwarves. Dwarfs. Whatever.

Citadel Heroquest Dwarf, Oldhammer Dwarf Miner.

September: Heroquest Dwarf and Dwarf Miner.

I then had a bit of fun p̶l̶a̶y̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶y̶s̶ creating a Narrative Vignette with the Dwarves and Trolls that I’d finished painting recently.

September: Rumble in the J̶u̶n̶g̶l̶e̶. Woods.

Next I got another five of those Realm of Chaos Beastmen restored. A mixture of rebasing, touching up and repainting sections of the models.

Citadel Oldhammer Realm of Chaos Slaves to Darkness Beastmen

September: Two of the Five Beastmen featured in this post.

Another Stone Troll. Not quite as old as the previous ones, but still dating from 1992 – and amazingly, still available on the GW website.

Citadel 4th Edition Warhammer Stone Troll

September: Oldhammer-ish Stone Troll still available new in 2016? Apparently.

September was also time I got cracking and finished some more Zombicide figures. First some more Survivors and then finally finishing the last of the Dog Companions.

Zombicide Will and Helen, Simon Helberg as Howard Walowitz from The Big Bang Theory, Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs - or Ally Walker as June Stahl from Sons of Anarchy

September: Clarice Starling and Howard Wolowitz finally got their paint finished.

Zombicide Set #6 Dog Companions

September: Who let the dogs out?

The god-ugly Talisman Troll finally got his renovation, and joined the modern era. Though still not painted green.

Citadel Oldhammer TL13 Talisman Troll 1986

September: Could even his mother love this troll’s face?

Marouda finally finished off her own Troll, started in 2011 or 2012. I helped her with it a little and counted it towards my total for 2015. Because encouragement.

Reaper Thornback Troll 02828

September: Marouda finally got something finished!

I also got some old Citadel C18 Night Horror models renovated. Two for the Undead army and two for the Beastmen.

Citadel Oldhammer C18 Night Horror Ghoul, C18 Night Horror Golem

September: Undeaded Night Horrors

Citadel Oldhammer C18 Night Horror Ape Man, C18 Night Horror Werebear, Night Horrors

September: Hairy Night Horrors

I also showed off a trio of Space Crusade Chaos Marines, painted in cult colours. According to my notes these were actually finished on the 23rd of August and just took awhile to get to the blog. Not really an uncommon thing, actually. But I don’t have the time or energy to go through and date each model in this post to when it was finished versus shown off for the first time.

Space Crusade Chaos Marines.

September: Space Crusade Cult Marines

A 1st Edition WarZone Razide also got renovated and shown off alongside a 1st Ed Nepharite of Algeroth from pre-2015

WarZone 1st Edition Razide

September: WarZone Razide

To cap off September, I showed the first of my Lord of the Rings Black Númenórean Warriors. I finished more of them later on and would have had the entire lot done and dusted if GWAU didn’t have some decidedly sub-par customer service in their Mail Order department replacing what used to be the best CS in the business. More on that later.

Citadel Lord of the Rings Black Númenórean Warriors, Black Numenorians

September: Black Númenórean Warriors

October:

At this point in the year – October, work, tiredness, and a bunch of personal issues conspired to take a serious toll on my interest in painting. Luckily I still had enough stuff from my earlier productive times in the year to have a bit of stuff stockpiled to show off still, and I still managed to crawl through some more models.

I started by showing off a figure I’d finally finished – A Half-Orc Thief – a good couple of years after my group stopped playing those D&D boardgames. (Ravenloft, Ashardalon, etc) I always liked the monsters, though less so the Player Character models, so I was always looking for good replacements.

Reaper Rogan, Half-Orc Thief 03278

October: Half-Orcs are Thieves!

Next up were a couple of old-school Chaos Champions. Well, a very old Warrior and a Realm of Chaos-era Champion.

Oldhammer C35 Warrior of Chaos, Nurgle Champion of Chaos with Halberd

October: Champions of Oldhammer

Making good progress through the figure case of old chaos models, I showed off a foursome of old-school Khorngor beastmen (2/4 pictured here).

Oldhammer Citadel Realm of Chaos Slaves to Darkness Khorngor beastmen.

October: So… who was it that let those dogs out?

I seem to have completed far fewer terrain pieces than I’d thought in 2015. These little rubble pieces were a couple of them.

40k Rubble

October: Small rubble from the 3rd Edition 40k Boxed set.

Marouda showed off her Ki’rin model that was painted in 2011-12-ish. While I’d provided guidance and advice, I only did the base on this one, and being from a few years ago I naturally didn’t count it in the year’s tally.

Ral Partha: 02-951 Ki-rin

October: Marouda’s Ki’rin

I also had the last few of those old Beastmen completed, allowing me to pool all of the Khorne-looking ones together into a unit.

Citadel Oldhammer Slaves to Darkness Khorngor Beastmen

October: Blood for.. oh, you know how it goes.

A couple more Zombicide survivors were finished off.

Zombicide Jason Statham as Chev Chelios from Crank 2, Angry Mary by Karl Kopinski

October: Crank’s Chev Chellios and Angry Mary

And a nice simple pair of Mantic Zombie figures that I got rid off my painting desk and quite enjoyed. I should do some more of them sometime. These were also part of the batch of figures finished in the weekend that pushed me over the 365 mark, hitting my target for the first time ever – and marking a clear “most figures ever finished in a year” mark for me.

Mantic Games Zombies

October: Braiiins?

In contrast, these three Wildmen of Dunland, finished a week later, had stubbornly sat on the desk for months annoying me. I’d decided to paint them as there were only the three and surely such grubby men could only be simple to do, but it didn’t work out that way – and only looking through pictures of Celts and adding tartan to them got me interested enough to get them finished.

Citadel Lord of the Rings Wildmen of Dunland

October: Wildmen of the Celt lands.

November:

As work intensified and came to a head, I got a bunch more Black Númenórean Warriors finished – again due to their nature making them ideal figures to paint a bit at a time in my lunch breaks at work. Marouda also helped a little with their simpler aspects. Shortly afterwards, I finished the two standards converted from broken models. I also ordered some models to be the leaders of the unit, but GW sent me the wrong models, and it took literally weeks to get through to someone on the phone at GWAU Mail order, since it just kept going to an answering machine that never led to a callback. It took until December to get onto someone who was somewhat helpful (by virtue of answering their phone), and only last week have I managed to send the blister back in the hope that they’ll swap it over for one containing the models shown on their webpage. For a company that claims it’s now based on collectors, I found the suggestion to try to trade the models for the ones I was after on facebook to be a pretty average suggestion for models that are currently in production…

Basically, the unit should be well done and dusted at this point, but I’m now hoping I might finally get the figures by Mid-January and have them done by the start of February. A three-month delay due to sub-par CS for an issue that should have taken 2 weeks to resolve, tops. They used to be the best, now I find places like Warlord have easily eclipsed them. Yes, I’m annoyed and a little bitter.

Citadel Lord of the Rings Black Númenórean Warriors, Black Numenorian Warriors

November: More Black Númenórean Warriors

Citadel Lord of the Rings Black Númenórean Warriors, Black Numenorian Warriors

November: Black Númenórean Standards

A few more WarZone 1st Edition Zombies were finished, in a callback to the Nurgle Army I’d shown off earlier in the year. Well, the other 6 sit now in a box of half-painted models, so not so great at the moment…

WarZone 1st Edition Zombies

November: WarZone Zombies.

I finally finished off some Night Goblin Command models – again mostly at work.

Citadel 4th Edition Night Goblin Command

November: Night Goblin Commanders

And did a rebase and simple touch-up on some old-school CH5 Chaos Familiars.

Warhammer Oldhammer Ch5 Chaos Familiars

November: Chaos Familiars from ’86-88

December:

By now I’d tried to start the “Painting December” project, that didn’t go nearly as smoothly as I’d hoped for reasons I write about in yesterday’s post.

I showed off the Uruk-Hai Pikemen that I’d finished off at the end of November.

Citadel Lord of the Rings Uruk-Hai pikemen

December: Uruk-Hai Pikemen. One missing from the pic!

In December, despite a fair bit of painting, I completed only one figure. The largest figure I’ve ever painted to date.

Mierce Miniatures Talos

December: Rise of the Talos

And that’s it for 2015!

So looking over this whole thing, I can really see that it was very much another year of painting Fantasy models. With a strong focus on Undead, Gondor and Moria Goblins – with a side smattering of Ogres, Chaos and GW Orcs & Goblins. Not much scenery and barely any 40k. It’s also telling to note how the year started with quite a few units being painted and before it was halfway over had morphed much more into individual figures being painted – often figures that had been part-painted for quite some time being finally finished off.

What’s especially interesting to me is how long ago a lot of the other stuff I have was painted. I thought the Dark Angels Dreadnought and the Bolt Action T-34 tanks were done this year, but apparently not!

Something that I think can also be easily seen by the year’s work is that I have more than a touch of painting ADHD and find it incredibly difficult/boring to paint a whole lot of one thing at once. This led to both the huge number figures abandoned while half painted over the years as well as explaining the way that I flit between so many unrelated kinds of models. It also explains why I’ve spent so much of the last year finishing off half-painted models (and why those half-painted models are so seemingly random!)

As much as I’d like to be able to remain focused on one project at a time, and complete more of them, I just can’t see that ever happening. Hence the need for me to have a number of ongoing projects in progress as noted in yesterday’s post. I’ll be pretty happy if I manage to complete the half-painted backlog, but I fear that might take more than 2016 to get done, since there’s so damned many of them.

Well – Now onto 2016 in earnest!

 

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8 thoughts on “Azazel’s Bits Box: 2015: The Year in Review

  1. Wow, that is a serious level of output dude – and what a selection! That Talos is brilliant, and the spiky bull, but I think the trolls are top of my list 🙂 Looking forward to seeing more this year dude – keep on trucking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alex – I definitely want to get more trolls and ogres done this year. They’re (almost) always fun to paint and give an opportunity to do some nice individual work.

      Like

    • Thank you Dave, I’m pretty happy as well with how well the Talos came out in the end. Hopefully I can get the giant done soon so there’s someone to give the Talos a bit of competition!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks mate – I appreciate the compliment. I find when I’m trying to mass produce stuff there are things I still can’t just let go – usually things no-one will ever notice, but hey!

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