Greetings folks and a very happy new year one and all. Disruptions over the festive period have meant I haven't posted the usual festive messages but I will atone now with a joint retrospective and prospective post.
Games Workshop did a decent job throughout 2014 IMO. We kicked off with Tyranids (who also got a wave release, dataslates and campaign later in the year) followed shortly by an amazing Imperial Knight release. Imperial Guard got a rebrand and a special ops spin off. Then we were hit with the sudden and unexpected release of 7th edition 40k which, for better or worse, set 40k off on a new path with psychic phases, detachments, maelstrom of war, unbound lists etc. This was followed by an explosion of codexes and campaigns, leaving Orks, Space Wolves, Grey knights, Dark Eldar and Blood Angels updated all in the second half of the year. And we can't forget the steady stream of FW releases, mainly 30k, which have given us more legion models, Primarchs and admech units to salivate over.
I just had a look back through the posts I made in 2014 to see what this past year had all been about. In terms of blog articles, I posted a lot of rulebook reviews last year, including all the newly released codexes but focussing in the most detail on Imperial Armour 2, the Badab War books and the Blood Angel releases. I also posted a few other hobby articles focussing on painting guides and tips. I also got myself a decent lighting setup for photography this year allowing me to post better galleries of my finished models - a damn worthwhile investment IMO.
A good deal of my hobby work doesn't make the transition onto the blog to be fair. There's a lot of stuff I do in the background and my posts tend to focus a lot more on finished rather than WIP stuff. Perhaps this is something I should look to change this year and actually a more regular blog update simply showing what I'm working on would be a good idea. However, this year did allow me to expand my fully painted Iron Hands army with more completed models, paint a decent chunk of my Crimson Fists to completion and a Deathwatch team also, as well as completely finishing several character pieces from various armies. My Xenos armies also got some love with a large Ork project nearly completed and my Tyranids being painted fully to tabletop standards. All other armies that got codexes this year got updated with both new and existing models being assembled and basecoated.
2014 was certainly the year of commission work for me. I built and painted an Eisenhorn and Cypher conversion, Tempestus squad and command squad plus 2 bike Chapter masters for Matt. Thanks to selling my other Cypher conversion on Ebay, I also made friends with Gary who I subsequently did a lot of commission work for, namely Azrael, a DA command squad and 20 veterans, a Fire Raptor and 2 Imperial Knights. My brief stint in commission painting and modelling has been fun and a good source of income in tough times, but now I'm no longer a student I find I don't have the time for it anymore and need to focus my spare time on my own hobby stuff.
Looking back on my similar post from last year, it seems that most predictions came true in terms of the GW release schedule. Sadly though, I didn't achieve many of the things I set out to hobby wise. This is a shame but isn't to say I wasn't busy hobby wise. In fact, with the commission work I did in 2014 I actually achieved a heck of a lot, just not necessarily what I had originally envisaged. Which leads us nicely into what next year will hold....
Well we start off the new year with the Blood Angels project halfway through. This was less of an army expansion and more of an update. I think the only net gain was to add in a new Sanguinary priest and 5 sternguard, with the majority of changes being simply to replace 30 older BFM/AOBR models with newer ones. This project has been a whopper and I will post the final outcome in a few weeks time. I am tempted to use a stormraven I have sitting unassembled in a box as part of the BA force, however, and will likely add a further 5 sanguinary guard, some bikes and a Mephiston conversion (sold my old one) to the army over the next few months.
My overall hobby plan for 2015 is one of consolidation over expansion. Although my armies are legion, I have relatively little that needs doing to them as most are assembled and at least basecoated with the details coming at my leisure. This is great as it allow me to just pick a painting project as a when I choose and gradually chip away at the remaining models usually with a monthly assemble-fest as new releases come along. I consider about a third of my armies as being completely finished, with another third in need of a model or two and the remaining third being still in the project stage - this year will focus mainly on the latter the idea being that in 2016 I can finally tackle the biggest project of them all - chaos. Ideally, this time next year I will have no army left with anything unassembled save for chaos.
As for starting new armies, I would be all over a Sororitas release should it ever happen, but at the moment my only plans are to delve into the realm of Admech should a Skitarii release come along. The conversion potential plus the FW models make it a highly appealing modelling project. As well as picking up the occasional random release , one army I did hope to expand somewhat is my Tyranids. So many gorgeous sculpts have come out since I finished the army to tabletop standard and I feel that it would be nice to get the army updated. A gargantuan creature wouldn't go amiss either!
I have a week off at the end of January which should allow me to get on top of a few outstanding projects. This will include finishing of the gork/mork-anauts for the Orks and some Boyz/kanz to make the Ork collection complete. I also have some SoB Tyranid bits to finish up but I've already sorted most of them already in spare moments. Flying bases are another project I want to tackle in this time as I have some nice ideas of how to make them more interesting and want to develop this further. The last major project to get underway in this period is the heroes of Badab. As well as the few bits mentioned, some AM infantry and Luna Wolves, this is the only army needing major attention to make them viable. I've been gradually picking up all the models I need for this army and so it's now a case of cracking on and assembling them. It's been a long time in the planning and so I'm very keen to finally see it come to fruition.
One element to my hobby which has deteriorated of late is gaming time. Though hobby time is easy enough to squeeze in, gaming is becoming less and less of a priority. There is hope though as Dan and I are greatly enthused by the Shield of Baal campaign as it features our principle armies and as such we are hoping to work our way through it in the first quarter of 2015. I also hope to get in some gaming time with Alex and Matt, though have no plans to attend any tournaments in 2015 so far. I am also parting ways with warhammer visions. I think it certainly had a place and is nice to pick up off the shelf, but after a year of subscribing I just don't have any enthusiasm for it as such and so can't justify the £65 annual price tag.
Who knows what the new year will hold for 40k. Necrons are a dead cert, tho I suspect that it will be more of a grey knight style release with very little added to the model range. Now this year was always likely to be brimming with 40k supplements as opposed to codex releases, partly due to fantasy taking the lead this year and partly due to the fact all the codexes are relatively new. I dare say a couple may sneak in updates later on in the year as well as a couple of campaigns hitting us. Speaking of which, the campaigns are an ideal way to sneak in wave releases for exisiting armies. And would it be a complete surprise for the rumoured dark vengeance follow up campaign to be flanked by DA/CSM codex updates?
The ones to watch out for though are the rumoured admech, harlequin and deathwatch supplements. Also, we all secretly hope for a plastic sisters range and hardback codex - who knows, this may be that year. Let's not forget forgeworld either, who may well start having goods sold on the GW website and will hopefully continue to put out the same high quality sculpts (including a few more Primarchs) this year. In conclusion, I'd like to thank GW for a rollercoaster year full of releases and here's to hoping 2015 is equally exciting.