Hobby Year In Review – 2021

2021 was not 2020. This is true in more ways than one. The most obvious being that 2021 was, in fact, not the same year as 2020. Nope. Two different years. While 2020 was pretty much a downward spiral. In 2021 the world’s situation was a roller coaster of better and worse. And though many things returned to a semblance of normalcy, there was still that disease thing hanging over our heads. 

Closer to home, work was more or less back to normal for both my wife and I. As it was pre-pandemic, my free time had returned to a level that i do not like. I was making the best of it though. Still spending a lot of time on Steam gaming. However, on the hobby front, all was not well. During the lockdown year, I was wrecking my backlog of boxed or built models. I had hoped to carry that momentum into the new year, with a couple new projects. 

It did not happen, no matter how hard I tried. I was stricken with a massive hobby rut early on that left me with a bunch of new built, but unpainted models. My hobby desk would develop a layer of dust on it that kept getting thicker. I was disappointed, frustrated and occasionally pissed off about all of it. 

That is not to say that what I did accomplish was not fulfilling. I was able to get some stuff painted. 54 models. But almost none of them were from projects tied to my new year goals. Of those 54 finished models, here are my highlights.


Adepta Sororitas

The largest project I was able to finish in 2021 was the 1,000 points, or so, worth of Sisters I added to my Order of the Bloody Rose army. Which is now in the ballpark of 2,500 points. This progress came after a two year long overdue vacation for my wife and I. And it would be my last painting project for the year. That all wrapped up in early November. I guess I exhausted all the hobby ability that I had built up while recharging on vacation.

Retributors, Immolator, and Rhino

The new Retributor models are great. They aren’t as ‘flat’ as the original pewter models were. They are very similar to the old-school models. But I think they are a really good homage. While being more than sufficiently different from the old pewter. The heavy weapon toting Sisters of Battle have always been some of the most iconic pieces of this whole army. I remember seeing pictures of the old Retributors painted up in magazine back in high school.

When I decided how I wanted to build this army, one of the first decisions I made was to build a squad of Retributors with all Heavy Flamers. And that squad would absolutely be mounted in an Immolator. A mobile squad of fiery righteous fury? Uh, yeah. Burn, heretic!

This Immolator model has a lot of charm points. Sororitas tanks are moving cathedrals. The Exorcist is a perfect example of that. It is a moving missile firing church organ [over-the-top metal song name? Missile Firing Church Organ]. With the Immolator, the cathedral feeling is highlighted by the stained glass, altar, and statues. The stained glass was incredibly stressful to paint. You really only get one shot at it. The whole ‘glass’ unit, minus 4 small support pieces[on the front between the flamers], comes as a single clear piece of plastic. Similar to the plastic pieces you would see for windows in model cars, or for cockpit canopies in fighter jet models. I watched a few videos on how to paint this part. Taking bits and pieces from each. It helped a bit. But I felt like I was winging-it quite a bit. I do not relish the idea of doing another one these. And I probably won’t, in all actuality. The Immolator is rather expensive to table in the grand scheme of things. But that auto-explode strategem you can activate when the wounds reach zero is a thing of beauty. I wiped out my opponents HQ with it once.

I wanted to use a wood motif here and there, to kind of warm the model up a bit. Also to add to that cathedral feeling.

This Sororitas Rhino is based on the much older pattern tanks. Looking a lot like the one I had back in the late 90’s. They have some ornate markings on the body. And the kit comes with a lot of extra trimmings to make them more personalized. For both tanks(well all 3, I painted a 2nd rhino) I added extra 3D printed purity seals that I had bought from PopGoesTheMonkey.

The second squad of Retributors was modeled with all Multi-Meltas. As they are particularly nasty. In the future I’m going to pick up another box of them and make a squad of all Heavy Bolters. That way I can mix and match at some point. Or just run them as their own squad. Again, in the future.


Paragon Warsuits

Speaking of Multi-Meltas. This squad of 3 Paragon Warsuits is great. I fell in love with them over the course of 4 or 5 games in the fall of 2021. My Paragon Superior alone was a wrecking crew and a walking tank. And she was regularly left on her own tanking wounds like a champ. The unit cost is quite high, and you have to take a squad of three. But I understood why the cost is so high after I saw them in action the first time.

Admittedly, I did not like these models before I bought them. I thought they kind of looked silly at the time. Kind of like weird dreadnoughts. I ended up buying them spontaneously one day, even before looking at their codex entry. It was as I was painting them that I started liking them. Very over the top. Very Sisters of Battle.

Somehow, I managed to not wash their bases with Drakenhof Nightshade. Like I have with all the other Imperial models I have…

Imagifier

This has become one of my favorite individual models in the new Sororitas line. Along with the Hospitaller. Like the latter, the Imagifier model really captures the Sisters essence. The whole model is great. The Sister has a great pose, but that Simulacrum is crazy. A giant statue on a stick. When I painted the statue, I wanted it to feel like if this Sister was making her last stand, that she could pull that sword out. 


Chaos Knights

Wardogs

This is a project that started in late 2019. These three models sat on the window sill near my desk collecting dust for almost two years. I would start and finish the larger knights in 2020, but would end up burnt out after painting those three that I couldn’t bring myself to paint these three. With these Wardogs finished, my Traitor House Devine Lance was completed. Until the rumored new Chaos Knights come. Maybe.

When I bought the models, there wasn’t even a Chaos Knight codex yet. Nor any actual Chaos Knight models. The rules were still in Imperial Armour. So I wanted to make these knights seem… different. So I used aftermarket 3D printed bits for the carapace, shoulder, thigh and ankle armor. I did similar stuff for one of the larger Knights as well. Though not as drastic as these.


Creature Caster Lady of Strife

I love Creature Caster. But this model and I have a… strained history. To say the least. I began building this model in late 2019, about the same time as the Wardogs. I kept running into issues while building it though. The legs kept snapping off. The upper and lower legs connect at the knees. The problem was, when you glue everything together, the legs will not fit into the scenic base properly. Which was mildly annoying. Glue a piece. Let the glue dry. Fit it into the base. Legs snap. Swear. Repeat. It got to the point that I would get so frustrated that I would just box it all back up and put it away. 

A month, or so later,I took it out to try once more. My luck was better, as I was able to get everything glued into place and even started painting it. And I was really liking how it was coming along… And then I

droppedthe wholedamn thingon the floor… 

It shattered. Because, of course it did. Just about all glued pieces were no longer so. Not just the problem-child legs. Everything. The funny thing was that I wasn’t even frustrated or pissed. I don’t remember saying anything. Or maybe I had blacked out from rage. Anyway, I do remember picking up the pieces and putting them back in the box and returning the box to my closet. Somehow not throwing the whole kit away as I passed the garbage can on the way.

So, for whatever reason, even with the history that this model and I have, I decided to revisit it. All while living under the weight of a crippling hobby rut. Yup, why not? I pulled out the kit and set to fixing and painting it. And before I knew it, I had finished. Though, whenever I move it around, it is with kid-gloves. 

Hobby PTSD is real.


Looking Forward

Back in 2019, when I returned to hobbying, I painted 192 models. In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, I painted 175. Many were large scale models and projects. So 2021’s result was disappointing. 54 models… Though I am happy that I made so much progress with my Sisters, all while fighting a debilitating rut. 

In 2022 I have a few hobby goals. One is to build and complete a Necromunda Escher gang. Another, is to complete the Marvel Crisis Protocol core box, and maybe a few extra heroes/villains. And lastly, get back in to Aeronautica Imperialis. Perhaps make a White Scars squadron.

Will I be able to accomplish any of that stuff? Who knows. Time will tell.

I’m also 3D printing a Necromunda board.

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



Robert

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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