A Happy New Year to You All!

What can I say about 2020?  Well, to be perfectly honest, I'm not going to slag it off as many people seem to do so.  Whilst it was nothing short of absolutely awful for so many people, it wasn't all bad.  And whether you call me pessimistic or not, I didn't harbour any delusion that 2021 would suddenly, miraculously be any better.  The lessons of history alone should teach us that pandemics, whether regional or global, tend not to pack up their bags and shog off to Mars because a clock somehwere in the world chimes midnight on 31st December...

What do I mean by not all bad?

Well, I know I'm one of the lucky ones who hasn't lost his job, so you can take what follows with all the necessary pinches of salt you may wish to avail yourself of, but there have been some good things to come out of the mess that is Covid.  For one thing, I actually had time to slap some paint on some models.  Much more than I've ever found time to do so before.  I've grown in confidence with a brush and I've really found it rather therapeutic to paint to the beat of my own drum rather than the pursuit of someone else's deadlines.  

Yes, this came at the cost of not making more scratch built scenery, which I know is the stuff that most of my readers look forward to.  Apologies if you feel cheated.  Will that change in the future?  I hope so, but I'm enjoying my painting a lot more these days.  And having discovered that some of you actually like to see what comes off my paint station, that in itself has been a positive thing to come out of last year.

A massive revelation came in October when I was very kindly invited to take part in Virtual Lard 3.  This opened my eyes to the possibility of virtual wargaming, and what would be needed to put on a game at my home, and allow my friends to join in the fun.  Sure, it's absolutely knackering being the host.  You never stop for a moment.  But being able to do this has meant that I've been able to game with friends in a safe way.  And that has opened up the world to me, allowing me to play with friends overseas where it would never have been possible.  I'm very thankful this has happened.  And I hope its something we don't all forget about when we eventually emerge into that bright new world we're hoping will be just around the corner.  

I've also been privileged to throw in my tuppence worth as a playtester for an upcoming Wild West game from Too Fat Lardies that I have to say is a brilliant game.  I'm also privileged to do something similar for a WWI dogfight game from an independent gamer. These too are proving to be a lot of fun. 

Why not so much on the blog?  Well, mainly because of everything I've just mentioned above: painting and virtual gaming.  That and an awful lot of work which is time consuming if you want to do the best you can for those you're trying to serve.  

Honestly, my hobby experience may be similar to yours, or it may be the absolute opposite.  Like I suspect has been the case for many of us, finances, family commitments and work responsibilities gets in the way of our good intentions.  Well done Matakishi, you're on #HobbyStreak Day 375 on your Twitter account at the time of writing.  Brilliant stuff.  But not all of us have time, let alone opportunity to do that.  And I suspect many of us just don't have the money to buy even a tenth of the things we'd love to buy.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that money (or more realistically the lack thereof) has been a constant source of delay in any plans I've had over the years.  I'm 48, and I've still not been able to purchase, paint and game many of the historical periods, and sci-fi and fantasy milieu I've dreamed about.  And I'm not talking about 'faasands of figures, either.  I'm talking about two opposing forces of probably less than 70 models a side.  

Admittedly, my wish list isn't small.  It includes (in no particular order) EIR vs Celts, Dark Ages, WotR, Border Reivers, ECW, Jacobite Rebellion, Napoleonics, AWI, ACW, Franco-Prussian War, Victoria's Little Wars (The Sudan and Zulu War in Particular) WWI, WWII and Modern for historical gaming (on land, sea and air of course), and 40K, AoS, Warcry, Blood Bowl, Necromunda, AI, Shadespire and probably others I can't even remember just now.  

In practical terms, there are very few of these projects ready to game.  And whilst our financial situation as a family has improved in the last few years, and I have been able to purchase more models than I would have ever thought possible, I am left feeling that I'm decades behind where I'd have thought I could have been if work had paid a little better, and I hadn't at times needed to work four jobs to keep my family safe and warm.  

Where am I right now? Well, many models to enjoy, very little time to do anything with them.  

So, if nothing else, 2021 is going to be another interesting journey.  Who knows where we'll all be this time next year?

I'd like to hope I'd have time to paint and bring some more minis to a virtual game at least.

So however this finds you, I hope you'll stay safe, and keep working on the hobby that gives you the most joy.

And as always, thanks for stopping by!


  1. And a Happy New Year to you as well!
    Like you I have stayed in work - ironically been busier than ever, Also like you, I have actually managed to get some painting and modelling done - in my case some additions to my 15mm FPW and Colonial Armies, a set of 4" square modular terrain tiles for the Sudan and a German River Gunboat to go with my 15mm colonials - all still WIP at the moment!

    1. Ian, I'm delighted to hear you are still in work, and especially that you've had time for hobby. I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Perry's FPW models (another rabbit hole to run headlong down!) All the best with your WIP's! I look forward to seeing the finished result!

    2. I have just cross-posted some pictures of my latest 15mm painting efforts on my MeWe timeline and sent them to you as a private MeWe message. I haven't taken any pictures of the terrain or gunboat yet


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