Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

Hard to believe it's been a year since I started this blog. And what a year it's been: I painted 132 models, built 3 commissioned game tables, made a new work table, and took on a handful of modeling and conversion commissions. I also didn't get to about half of the stuff in my recent project queue, but that's the way it goes– paying work has to take precedence over the personal projects. Through it all I've managed to keep up with this nearly every week and publish (hopefully) interesting content. This marks my 50th post!

We're close to 200 followers, and 133 on the Facebook page. I want to thank everyone for watching and contributing with questions and comments, and wish you all a Happy New Year!

2012 Highlights

Looking back, here are some of the blog posts I'm most proud of, and that stand out as "landmarks" for me:

The Legion of the Infernal Skull: A (not so) Brief History

As my oldest and dearest army, it's nice to see it all compiled together, with the army story and characters' background fleshed out. I guess a lot of viewers like it too, because this is the 3rd most viewed of all my posts. And there's more to come for the Legion– now that Marduk has graduated to Ghoul King status I see the army beginning to fracture, with the martial regiments remaining under the control of Seth and Dimitri, as Marduk branches off with his own feral aspect of the army. I need to finally build my winged ghouls, and finish off all of the "gheists." And Nieman Kimmel and Korak still need their new conversions...

Vampire Counts Battle Report

This was a lot of fun to put together. Sure, the game dragged out much later than expected because we kept stopping to take pictures, but it was worth the effort. I'd love to do more of this in the coming year. If I can get enough dedicated players together, maybe a map campaign that spans a few months would be interesting.

Fast as Lightning!

A neat experiment that turned into a pretty cool one-day conversion and sort-of tutorial. I've only gotten to use the Doom Wheel in one battle since its completion, and wouldn't you know it, I left my Skaven army book at home, so I don't even know if I was using it correctly!

Wrath of Kings Diorama

An epic project, and my first big freelance gig. I enjoyed showing off the progress of this over the course of 5 weeks. Suffice to say, this is not the last Wrath of Kings terrain you'll see from me...

So, what were some of your favorite posts from this past year, and what would you like to see more of next year? Let me know in the comments section.

2013 Preview

Since the world didn't end, I guess it's time to look toward the future and what's in store for next year. As I alluded to above, I've got some more terrain freelance lined up. I'm doing this freelance thing full time, so I definitely need to increase my workload and take on more table and painting commissions.

I've also been experimenting more with resin casting, and plan to put up some terrain kits for sale. That will be much later in the year, as I need to upgrade my casting station with a pressure pot and vacuum chamber. 

And, one of these days, I'll figure out this new-fangled Youtube doohickey and put together some tutorial videos.

Wild West Exodus Table

Just a quick update on this before I jump back into my painting frenzy. After framing out the buildings, I needed to add some light-up generators that power the sci-fi tech. Lighting on tables is something fairly new to me, but there are plenty of videos on the web about LED lighting. After shopping around for parts, I found that the cheapest option is electric tea lights from the dollar store.

Seriously, shopping around at Radio Shack, batteries, switches, and such are around a dollar a piece. Dollar Tree sells the tea lights in a pack of three, for $1. So that gets me a 3V battery (enough to power one or two LEDs), the battery housing, and a switch for 33 cents! (If anyone has a better option, please let me know. I'm sure the parts are cheaper than Radio Shack if buying online in bulk, but this cheap?)

The flickering yellow LED is easily removed and swapped out for a solid red LED. I primed the bottom of the battery case black, and it's good to go.

The top of the tea light was customized with plastic card and some resin bits and a scratch built power cell.

Here are the finished generators, painted and ready to go!

The generators attach to the sides of the buildings where I have floral rod "cables" running to the other devices, signs, and such.

I'll close out the year with a couple shots of some finished buildings:

'Til next year!


  1. Those buildings are gorgeous. And its funny, I'm messing with those tea lights for some gaming tables right now as well.

  2. Great stuff as ever Rob.

    I'd love to see a blog post from you where you talk about how you get decent texturing on your scenery bases and boards. Kind of a dull/odd request, but getting even and interesting texture can be tricky.

    I am sure its little more complex than sand and paint, but any tips and ideas would be appreciated.

    Looking forward to seeing what you cook up for 2013.

  3. Have you considered using Electro Luminescent wire for your neon Rob? It's something I've been toying around with lately and it's pretty amazing stuff. It was probably out of the budget for this project though.

  4. My favorite posts of 2012 were on your Wrath of Kings diorama; some of your best stuff. The build was detailed and comprehensive and came out looking amazing. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to 2013.


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