2023, A Year of Painting Disappointment and More Inward Thinking

As far as my hobby aspirations were concerned, 2023 started off on a rather high note. After having bouts with painters-fatigue or various hobby related ruts over the past year-and-change, I had somehow gotten an itch to actually sit down and paint once again. Which was very welcome. At the end of 2022 I had devised a community painting project for us all here(well, on the now defunct Otherverse website) to participate in. The Backlog Project, in theory, would see us dig into our backlog of unpainted mini’s and knock some of them out. It felt like a project that most people could get behind. Seeing as hoarding plastic is something that most of us do.

The idea was to pick a pool of long-since-set-aside projects to work on, and see how much from that pool we could finish in a single month’s time. I chose quite a large pool of potential projects to work on. Way too many, to be honest. But I was confident that I could knock a bunch of stuff out. Then life got in the way, as it does. By the end of the project’s one month timeframe, I had only managed to paint a measly 17 models from my pool, and I was a little disappointed.

Now, don’t get me wrong! 17 finished models is a lot. Especially by my output standards from over the past couple of years. However, I had definitely set my underlying expectations up for failure.

I did end up building a bunch of models from that pool. Crisis Core and a scale model. But these are all still in this state. Unpainted plastic.

Following the Backlog Project I did, well, nothing. I didn’t build anything nor did I touch my paints for half of the year. In fact, the closest I came to hobbying was packing up everything that was laying around and cleaning my hobby area. I was that resolved that there would be nothing happening any time soon.

I would eventually end up getting the itch to paint again. This came when a pre-ordered kit finally arrived and I had gotten super excited by their quality. Yup, I was so excited that I would paint a whopping 5 of the 15 models from the set in late summer/early fall. Woo hoo! [twirls a finger in the air]. While it was a fun to paint these five models, that was it for the rest of the year.

I painted a total of 22 miniatures in 2023. I couldn’t even go for “23 in ‘23”. Nope. Just 22 models all year.

To my credit though, I did not really add to my backlog at all. Yes, I did receive some Kickstarter(Cyberpunk, Iron Maiden Eddie’s, CreatureCaster) sets that I had backed, but those were already taken into account. As they were purchased in the previous year. So, beyond those, I cannot off hand remember buying anything miniature or model related in 2023.

Well, I did add a small handful of 3D printed resin White Scars models. But they are of a trivial amount.

So What Did I Manage To Complete In 2023?

Victory at Sea: Battle for the Pacific Core Box

The 15 models in this core set didn’t exactly take long to knock out, as they are mostly single pieces of resin with small add on bits. Stuff like conning towers, battle guns, and cranes. And while they do have a fair bit of detail for their scale, Naval vessels are largely painted in greys. So I wouldn’t exactly call them the best tings I have ever painted. But it did feel good to knock this project out though, as I have had this set “built” and primed for quite a while (read: years).

Kitbashed Warpsmith

I have had this model built/kitbashed for years. I believe since early 2020 before lockdown. The base model is the Master of Possessions from the Chaos Space Marine new line’s Shadowspear box. I then added various bits from the old Forgeworld Warpsmith model. A resin model that I absolutely hated. The one I received was a jumbled and warped resin mess. Yeah, I like mine better.

Vindicare Assassin Operative Umbral-Six

Like many people, I got this model with my 1st year anniversary of having a Warhammer+ account(which has since been canceled). I really enjoyed working on this. This model now stands mixed in with my Sororitas display. Because, obviously.

Zombicide: Iron Maiden Collaboration

I have never played Zombicide. Nor had I had the inclination to do so. But when these were announced, being a massive Maiden fan, I jumped on the preorders. I was super excited when these models arrived. So much so that I almost immediately got to work painting them. In doing this I devised a project that would showcase the models as well as the album from which they came from. The Eddie Project was/is fun, even though I only got through only 1/3 of the collection before I got slightly burnt out.

Original Eddie

Iron Maiden

Killer Eddie


Asylum Eddie

Piece of Mind

Trooper Eddie

PIece of Mind

Undead Eddie

Live After Death

These would be the last models I would complete all year.

Re-evaluating “Goals” and “Plans” Going Forward

Every January many of us in the community make plans and/or goals for the year that is opening up before us. This may include things like: New Year, New Army plans, or finally finishing a current project. I too have made such goals in years past. It is a nice practice and whatnot, but I think I am done with it. The reason being; that I always end up not coming remotely close to seeing them(goals/plans) through. As a result I feel like I have failed and end up feeling far too disappointed for such a stupid/trivial thing. Seriously, there is no reason for me to feel like this, but I do. Why? I take shit way too seriously, I guess.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Setting goals is a very good thing. Goals are meant to be a driving force. But I generally take them more seriously. Maybe not so much “life or death” in terms of the level of importance. However, as the days, weeks, and months tick off of the calendar, and I have not gotten stuff done, this shit weighs on me. Hard. And the “goal” becomes a “You must do this, dickhead!”.

So with that said. I won’t be setting goals or plans for 2024. At least not at this juncture. That way if I do not get anything done this year, I won’t feel like I failed myself. I will still feel disappointed, sure. But I won’t feel like a failure. Tiny wins.

Now, full disclosure. This sentiment came in the third week of the year, after I had already tried to set a short term goal for myself. I have a bunch of terrain that I have been holding on to for years that I want to get knocked out. It’s mostly for a Crisis Protocol table, but there is some 40K and Necromunda stuff in there as well. The driving force behind this was a potential visit by Tyson. I want a table of SOMETHING painted for us to game on, should we want to do some kind of gaming. So I dug out all of the plastic, dusted them off(because most of it has been waiting that long on my shelf), aggravated my sinuses, forced myself to prime them one afternoon, and proceeded to fail at painting them numerous times(at the time of typing this). Usually only lasting 10 minutes per try. If that.

In the week since I started this process, I came to the conclusion that it was most likely not going to happen. So I have abandoned the “goal”. I am taking that pressure off of my back. If I get it done by the time he does or does not come down, sweet.

If I do not? Oh well. Again, I will just deal with the internal disappointment. Not so much disappointment and failure rolled up in one spikey pill.

Delving further into this all, lately I have been feeling as if I am approaching a crossroads of sorts when it comes to miniatures and I. I already voiced my personal opinions/feelings towards the game of 40K last year. To which I received a lot of support. I also received some comments telling me, more or less, that I was wrong. But yeah, that is the internet for you, isn’t it? But it is obviously true, though. I mean, who am I, right? I don’t know shit about myself, for sure. Why would I? I have only been living with myself for over four decades. Gotta work on that.

Thanks, internet. Anyway, crossroads, yeah.

Along with my distancing myself from 40K as a game And taking that monkey off of my back, I am beginning to wonder if my lack of drive and constant bouts with hobby-rut are stemming from a deeper place. Perhaps, something like: am I done with painting miniatures?

I do not think this is the case, as I do occasionally get the itch to dig something out. For example; I have been wanting to complete my Aeronautica Imperialis fleet for the better part of a year. I have something like 15 primed jets for my White Scars fleet, and have dug them out numerous times over the past 6 months. Only to pack them back up again. I even forced myself to apply some paint to one model in the last days of 2023, trying to get that “one more model” done. In the end, I just boxed it all back up again.

So the itch is still there. It is the drive that is lacking. As to when or if I can right this ship? Only time will tell.


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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