2020 – The year of Papa Nurgle – Part 1


2020, a now infamous year in world history. For various reasons. It will end up in history books, medical studies, and no doubt eventually in cinema (if it hasn’t already). Also, I am sure grandparents will regale stories to their grandchildren about the year that people literally fought for toilet paper and Lysol. Hoarding them all.

2020 saw most of the world stuck inside their homes. And it saw essential workers carrying populations on their backs. Delivery companies were busier than ever as online shopping became pretty much the only way to shop for many. 

During this time many people turned to their hobbies, or developed new ones, to pass the time. 

I, like many like-minded people, would decide to take advantage of this time to cut into my backlog of projects. And just about all hobbyists, regardless of what the hobby is, have that backlog. That ‘Pile of Shame’. Stuff you bought with no intention of doing any time soon. 

This will be a six part recount of my 2020 spent at the hobby desk. 

Part 1

New Year, New Armies. And Quarantine 

Before “Stay Home” was even a thought, I had already made a few hobby goals for 2020. New Year hobby resolutions, as it were. 

The first of those goals was a new project. Adepta Sororitas. Sisters of Battle. The new line was finally released, and I got my hands on 2 boxes.  Though I originally had plans on one box. Games Workshop had forced my hand into buying another box because they over sold their pre-orders. And my box was put on back-order. They really are terrible when it comes to online orders. I could and probably will write a whole article about that. But I digress.

I had been excited for Sisters since High School. What is not to like about a Nun with a gun? But I will go into that in another article all about that army. 

The box set itself was very well designed though

I spent the first week, or so building these detailed new models. As well as the special models for Sister Amalia Novena and finecast of Canoness Veridyan. Long before I started to build I had decided I was going to paint an Order of the Bloody Rose army. While I liked the traditional nun-like black armor of the Order of Our Martyred Lady, I wanted my Sisters to stand out more. And I like the Bloody Rose fiery attitudes. I had a vision in my head of a squad of red armored Retributors, all carrying heavy flamers. That, would come later.

By the end of January I was able to finish a squad of 9 Sisters(Simulacrum holding Sister, to round it out at 10, would come later). Progress was slow because of work. But I was having a great time painting something that was not Iron Warriors. It was a great change of pace. The whole previous year was spent painting Iron Warriors. I built and almost completely painted a 5,000 point army.

My first battle sister squad. I butchered a couple faces and had to cut them off and start over..

Halfway through February I had made it through about 20 Sisters. Because I finally received my back order box set. But I had gotten kind of exhausted with painting them and needed a change. So I decided to paint a test Slaanesh Daemonette model and a set of ruined terrain that I had laying around. For both projects I used contrast paints. It was a good break. In fact, I had such a good time with the contrast paint that I ended up painting about 30 Daemonettes models by the first week of March in a speed run. Daemonettes were my second goal for 2020. I wanted a daemon contingent to supplement my Iron Warriors.

Contrast paint was made for models like this

I would also knock out two CreatureCaster models that would be used in lieu of the Herald of Slaanesh and The Masque. 

CreatureCaster’s models are rather…detailed

After the terrain and Slaanesh models, I would step back to work on my Sisters. I wanted to finish the Repentia and Arco-flagellants before hitting the Penitent Engines and eventually finishing with the Seraphim. [I wouldn’t paint the Seraphim until November of 2021. Sorry ladies]

Where it all changed

By the first week of March, New York had been seeing cases of Covid-19 rising quickly. It was getting kinda scary to see and think about. And it was hard not to think about it. So, the hobby helped keep my mind occupied when I wasn’t working or spending time with my wife. But by the middle of March Covid-19 was running rampant in New York. And it would hit home. 

I suddenly got sick.

After work one day, I developed a high fever, and was hit with severe exhaustion. As well as many other symptoms. It was not like anything I could remember. The mixture of symptoms. None of them were terrible. Mild at worst. The fever kind of freaked me out though. As I really haven’t had a high one in quite a few years(ballpark of 101F). 

This was during the time when hospitals were overwhelmed, understaffed, and under supplied. Society as a whole was still trying to figure out what was happening. So, here in Metropolitan New York, unless you were having severe symptoms, you couldn’t even go to the emergency room or see a doctor. You had to make an appointment for the emergency room. Drive through testing wasn’t even a thing yet. Hell, testing itself was still not so widespread. That would come months later.

Luckily, we live in the future, and I was able to see a real doctor within my trusted medical system via online urgent care. Which I did not know existed until that day. After telling him my symptoms and timeframe, he concluded that I had Covid. I was instructed to quarantine and monitor the symptoms. Then follow up with my primary care provider later. I was hit with a wave of fear and discomfort. All over the news was stories of people dying. Hospitals were bringing in refrigerator trailers for extra morgue space. I was worried for my wife. Luckily she fared well enough. But she is always healthier than me.

I was really tired for the first few days of quarantine. I felt like my energy was being sapped out. But I still wanted to sit at the hobby table to get some stuff done. I couldn’t just lay on the sofa flipping channels. I had to take a lot of breaks and naps, though. It felt like my stamina was eradicated. I was only able to manage an hour or two a day, in about 20 minute increments for those first few days.

Since I had 2 weeks of free time ahead of me, I decided that I would document my progress daily on Facebook so I could look back on what I accomplished.

Quarantine day’s 1 and 2

I worked on and finished two Penitent Engines that I had begun in the days prior to getting sick. They were almost finished anyway. It was pretty much just basing that was left. I also built 3 characters. White Scars Master of the Hunt, Kor’Sarro Khan, a Primaris Librarian(White Scars Storm Seer), and a Hospitaller for my Sisters.

These three models are great

Quarantine day 3

My third goal for 2020 was to build up my White Scars army. In the summer of 2019 I participated in a “Summer of 30k” event on a facebook group, where we all built various Heresy-era chapters. I chose White Scars, seeing as I have had interest in them since about 2001. That said, I already had the equivalent of a Patrol detachment’s worth of Heresy White Scars. But no bikes. Which are the meat and potatoes of a Scars army. 

Late in 2019 I found a big listing of 40K bikes on eBay and scooped it up. After buying them, I removed all of the marines and replaced them all with MKIV armored marines. I initially had no plans on modeling a 40K army. But that changed. I like MKIV armor, so it’s okay. MKIV is simple, but not totally so. Like the MKIII armor.

On this day I prepped them and the previous day’s characters for painting, and primed them.

I don’t know what will take longer. Painting those bikes, or the time spent making them all MKIV

Day’s 4,5, and 6

I was still not feeling so hot, so I spent these three days slowly working on and finishing a squad of 5 bikers. Painting white armor is a lesson in futility. Particularly for someone like myself with poor brush control. So I always have SO many touch ups.

After I finished that squad I decided to take a break from bikes and move on to the characters I primed.

No lie. My favorite part of these five is the leather pack on the back of that bike

Day 7

I painted the Primaris Librarian(White Scars Storm Seer) on this day. I love this model, and wanted to keep it simple. It’s a great pose. I also did some work on Kor’Sarro Khan.

I cast Magic Missile! At the darkness!

Day 8

I finished Kor’Sarro Khan. Another great looking model. Very regal looking. In a White Scars kind of way. I kind of wanted to change the base, but had nothing immediately in mind.

Looks like this hunt is over. Wonder how long it took.

Day 9

Today I turned my attention to my CreatureCaster models again. I bought their Queen of Ecstasy to be used as my Keeper of Secrets in the Slaanesh army. However, I had no intention of working on this model now. As I wanted to build up the core of the Slaanesh army first.  But seeing as I had already finished about 30 models, why not give this a shot?

I love CreatureCaster. They have so many detailed alternatives to GW models. This is a great example of that. With so many details. Very elegant and creepy. Tentacles aside, it’s very solid. Not flimsy at all. 

There is so much to like about this model. But one of my favorite things is the beckoning hand.

Days 10 and 11

Progress continues on the Queen. Prep work and painting for the tentacles also starts and finishes using the airbrush. This would be the first time I used an airbrush to paint gradient colors. It didn’t work as I imagined, but looked good in the end. By the end of day 11 she is almost done. 

Getting these things glued to her headdress was not very easy.

Day 12

The Queen of Ecstasy is finished. And even to this day, I am still really happy with how it turned out. I think she looks great towering over the much smaller Daemonettes. This was the first large scale model by CreatureCaster that I finished. I still have a few more in my closet. But they are pretty intimidating. I will get to them at some point.

The details on the boot, while painting them,  almost gave me a panic attack a few times

Days 13 and 14

I wasn’t able to do anything these days. After a few days of feeling pretty good, I started to feel sick once again shortly after finishing the Queen. Almost the same symptoms as before. Just slightly different. The fever wasn’t as high. But was elevated. The exhaustion had returned too. I consulted with online Urgent Care again, and my doctor online as well. As I had already scheduled the appointment. Because of the symptoms returning he wouldn’t release me to return to work upon completing my 14 day quarantine. And my work doctor informed  me that I would need 2 consecutive days with no symptoms to be eligible to return. 

The problem was that I was having symptoms daily. I was having headaches, daily. Which, before my initial diagnosis, I rarely had. I have never been one to have headaches. I mean, I would get a headache a few times a year and they were always sinus related. These were different. They hit me differently. Hard to explain, really.

In fact, I still get those ‘new’ headaches occasionally, ever since that day in March when I got sick. I have heard of people having lingering issues after covid. That would appear to be mine. Even a year later.

So my quarantine at the hobby desk continues.

To be continued…

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


All of these are true except for one:

Robert is: a Hobbyist, a Music Lover, an RPG Gamer, a Mustard Lover, Chaotic Neutral, a Japanese Speaker, a Veteran, an Otaku, a Table Tennis Player, an Anime Fan, an Aviation Professional, a New York Rangers Fan, a Chaos Lover With Loyalist Tendencies.

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