2020 – For Anyone Who Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up

Well, that was 2020 was it? The year which shall henceforth be referred to with the tagline “If you like dramatic global upheavals you’ll love this!”. Honestly I wonder how the script writers for 2021 can ever hope to top it. Well done on making it to the end by the way, assuming of course that there’s anyone else out there and this message from my lonely bunker isn’t going out to a world stripped bare, echoing across weed-choked streets, rusted vehicles and piles of corpses with startlingly clean bums. 

I started the year with a picture of a Noise Marine and the bombastic declaration “Alright 2020, let’s get this party started!”. With retrospect I should probably have said something more like “Is it safe to come out?” to which the answer would of course have been a firm “no”. 

Noise Marine Slaansh Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Noise Marine Slaansh Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

Still, it was a good year for fans of painting miniatures, with many of us achieving a guru-like status as we taught our friends and communities how it’s actually very easy to remain indoors for weeks at a time. With huge piles of plastic, lead and resin stashed around our homes we were ready to do the right thing, socially isolating with the vigour and aplomb of true heroes. Frankly I’m disappointed that my efforts in the public good have not been recognised by inclusion in the New Year’s Honours list, although of course if the Queen is reading this it’s never too late to pick up the phone. Alternatively erecting a statue of me would be entirely appropriate, especially as there are a lot of empty plinths around these days. 

The pandemic which raged throughout the year played merry hell with miniatures’ releases but we still saw some very cool new stuff all the same, starting with the long awaited return of the Sisters of Battle. For as long as I’ve been a hobbyist (and we’re talking a loooong time now) people have been saying “But when will the Sisters of Battle get new models” to which Games Workshop have replied “Meh… I dunno – someday maybe?” Finally however sense was seen, and the armies of the Adepta Sororitas marched. After such a long wait, and a considerable build up, GW managed to sneak them out of their warehouses and into the hands of hobbyists with the apocalypse already close at hand. Were they worth the wait? Damn right they were!

Triumph of Saint Katherine

I’ll admit that the Sisters aren’t one of my favourite armies, and that I watched this release with detached interest rather than avid fanaticism, but there’s no denying these are gorgeous models. Could there be a small army of them in my future? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted.

Junith Eruita

We also saw the launch of Warhammer 40k’s Ninth edition in July, bringing with it a wave of new releases for both Space Marines (as ever!) and Necrons. These latter have been inveigling themselves into my heart for pretty much the entirety of my hobby career so it was probably inevitable that this was the moment when I took the plunge and fell under the spell of our new mechanical overlords. Plus, with centrepiece models like the C’tan Shard of the Void Dragon how could I resist?

Shard of the Void Dragon

Rumour has it that I found one of these underneath the Christmas tree this year…

The new edition was spearheaded by the launch of the Indomitus boxset. On the whole Indomitus lead to a lot of mixed feelings – on the one hand the models were fantastic, on the other it sold out in less than 15 minutes and many fans (yours truly included) weren’t able to secure a copy before they were all snapped up by scalpers to be resold on ebay. Note to self; spend 2021 convincing Games Workshop that I count as some kind of “influencer” and should be sent plenty of free models… Obviously such rapid sales of the set must have caused delight amongst GW shareholders but it left something of a bad taste amongst fans. Luckily those shadowy overlords in Nottingham aren’t entirely daft and what looked set to be a spectacularly public own-goal was transformed at the last moment, rebounding off the bar at the final moment to the delight of the crowd. The set was rereleased via the “Made to Order” service, leaving those cheeky chappies on ebay with egg on their faces. In the end even I was able to get my grubby paws on a copy. Of course I’ve not actually painted very much of it yet but to be fair it took until a few weeks ago for it to actually reach me so I’ve not had a great deal of time. Expect to see my Space Marines reinforced, and perhaps even growing into a proper army at last sometime in the coming months. To begin with however I’m going to opening up the stasis tombs and ordering the machine legions of my dynasty to march forth and reconquer the stars. I’ve already spent a lot of time tinkering around trying to come up with a suitable colour scheme (probably to the frustration of my readers, as I bounced excitedly from one idea to the next). I think I’ve made up my mind though so hopefully real progress will be made soon.

Necron Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (4)

Over in Age of Sigmar two new armies emerged, sneaking their way to release between one lockdown and another. As a fan of both Chaos and Destruction (the AoS Grand Alliances not the global events!) I must confess I was drawn to the mighty Mega Gargants and even wrote a piece on the subject. However somewhat surprisingly it was the Lumineth Realmlords, successors to the High Elves of Ulthuan from the WHFB era that ended up on my painting desk. So far I’ve only finished one of them but I’m highly tempted to put together a Warcry warband of these snooty gits in the near future.  Indeed despite my long standing affiliation with the grubbier and more evil side of fantasy I painted two high elves this year, one from the days of WHFB and one of the new Lumineth. Don’t worry, I don’t think it’ll become a habit!

Elves Wudugast ConvertOrDie

And just to keep things balanced I countered these supercilious swines with a couple of old-fashioned, down-to-earth dwarves. I keep promising that someday I’ll paint a whole army of them…

Dwarves Wudugast ConvertOrDie

Necromunda started the year with a bit of a bang, launching the House of Chains – a book dedicated to exploring House Goliath as never before. After that things became a little messy, with Covid shaking up the release schedule, but by the end House of Blades (Escher), House of Iron (Orlock) and House of Artifice (Van Saar) arrived – with the postman dropping off this little lot just before Christmas.

House of Artifice

 Indeed with four more books in hand I’m starting to build up a nice little Necromundan library.

Necromunda Books

When I wasn’t reading about the gangs of Hive City I found time to paint them instead, with a Cawdor crusade joining the Goliaths, Eschers, Van Saar, Genestealer Cults and Chaos Helots already active in the underhive.

Cawdor Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

That said my other gangs aren’t as far forward as I would have liked – something to work on in 2021.

Necromunda Gangs Wudugast ConvertOrDie

On the other hand I did manage to assemble a small mob of civilians with which to populate Hive City’s roughest districts…

Inq28 Necromunda Civilians Underhive Wudugast ConvertOrDie

…And a clan of muties to come crawling up out of the badzones during the downshifts to gobble up unwary workers.

Muties ConvertOrDie Wudugast Necromunda Inq28

After a quiet start 2020 also proved to be a big year for Blood Bowl. Not only was there a new edition launched, and a nice new boxset to go with it, plus four new teams (including the two in the box) but, in even bigger news, I finally got around to painting my Orc team.

Blood Bowl Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Did I stop there? Did I hell! After claiming that a human team would be following along (and they will – you just have to be patient) I instead started working on a couple of elves for an Elven Union team. Expect to see more of them at some point in 2021.

Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves

Oh and I painted a very old undead player who after years lost in someone’s garage has now risen to shamble forth once more.

Blood Bowl Undead Wudugast (2)

Best of all though, just before the end of the year I painted that hero of the sporting arena, Akhorne the squirrel.

Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (3)

However when it comes to skirmish games the biggest news round my house this year was far and away Warcry. Over the course of the year I put together warbands of the Iron Golem…

Iron Golem Wudugast Warcry ConvertOrDie (1)

… the savage Untamed Beasts…

Untamed Beasts Warcry Wudugast ConvertOrDie

… the spooky ghosts of the Nighthaunt…

Nighthaunt ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)

… the ghoulish Flesh-Eater Courts…

Ghouls ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)

… the rascally Gloomspite Gits…

Night Goblins Gloomspite Gits Wudugast ConvertOrDie (11)

… barbaric Orcs…

Orcs AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie

…and some big fat ogres.

Ogres Wudugast ConvertOrDie

Continuing the fantasy theme but pushing into even stranger territory I painted up a set of the weird and wonderful forest dwellers created by Ana from Gardens of Hecate.

Gardens of Hecate ConvertOrDie Wudugast (13)

And I even dipped a toe into Lord of the Rings and painted up a few orcs to serve the dark lord of Mordor.

LotR Orcs Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Although fantasy rather than sci-fi seems to have dominated my output this year I certainly haven’t forgotten about the 41st Millennium (as the aforementioned Necrons go to prove). Indeed the biggest project I tackled all year belongs firmly to the Dark Millennium and the twisted warlords who rampage out of the Eye of Terror. That’s right, I finally finished my Chaos Knight!

Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (2)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (6)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (14)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (15)

Nor was that the only thing I tackled for the forces of the Chaos space marines and their various allies. The global pandemic may have put me off painting very much from the forces of Nurgle but it didn’t stop me from completing my 40-strong mob of poxwalkers. Each of these plague zombies is unique – and if you’re curious to see how I converted them to achieve that there’s a showcase you can pour over here.

Poxwalker Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast (9)

Against such threats the defence of the Imperium remains a little thin on the ground, although I did get around to painting up a few soldiers of the Adeptus Mechanicus at long last. There will be more in 2021 (I promise!).

Ad Mech ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k

In terms of getting miniatures painted then I didn’t have a bad year all told. By my tally I painted 161 models (although I’m writing this with a few days to go so I might manage to add a couple more to that before the bells, in fact I might even have done it before this is published). In terms of output that’s a bit of a step down compared to the last couple of years (2019 ended with 250 miniatures finished, and 2018 with 277. Mind you a lot of those were Skaven and Night Goblins, and exactly none of them were Chaos Knights…). This year however was the first year in which, as well as keeping a monthly tally of models painted I also started keeping a record of how many I bought (the penny finally dropping that if I’m going to collect data I ought to make it meaningful). I think I’ll keep the latter number to myself as it’s embarrassingly high. Let’s just say it’s a little higher than the number I painted and leave it at that – despite my love of Slaanesh, boasting about excess isn’t really my style. In 2021 I’m going to try to rein this in a little, to buy a lot less and to concentrate on painting the models I already own. I make no promises that temptation won’t get the better of me sometimes but at the end of the day I don’t have the cash to squander on models that never get assembled let alone painted so a bit more restraint is going to be in order.

Beyond that however I’m not going to set myself any hobby goals for 2021, I tried that in 2019 and the results were pretty hit and miss! I do however have lots of schemes I’d like to tackle (more Warcry warbands of course, more Necromunda, a second Blood Bowl team and a whole dynasty of Necrons for starters). Before any of that happens however I just need to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year, and all the best for 2021. Oh and if Grandfather Nurgle comes anywhere near you tell the poxy git to get lost – we’ve seen quite enough of his sort this year!

23 responses to “2020 – For Anyone Who Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Excellent post mate and I loved looking back on the year you have had in modelling and painting terms. I t never ceases to amaze me just how much we get done throughout the year and you have done exceptionally well both in terms of number and quality. I have a sneaking feeling that 2021 is going to be a great year on all fronts but keep that to yourself. If the modelling Gods get to hear that we’re scuppered. 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! It’s one of the things I really enjoy about these end of year recaps actually, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and think “I’m not painting as much as I’d like”, especially when I’ve got a lot more ideas in my head than I have room for on my desk, and I want to start projects at a far greater rate than I find time to finish them. It’s nice to turn round at the end of the year and look back at everything I managed to get finished, it’s usually a lot more stuff than I’m expecting. 🙂 Fingers crossed you’re right and 2021 is going to be a great improvement, I think we’ve all earned it!

  • Alex

    Great round-up mate, a nice way to draw a line under a truly crappy year! Here’s hoping for a much better 2021 😎👍

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Aye it’s been a rough year at times but it had it’s good moments too. At least we made it through and in ten years time we’ll be able to look back on it and pat ourselves on the back for everything we survived, probably whilst scavenging for food and fighting off other gangs of survivors… 🙂

  • Pete S/ SP

    Great to see that round up- a nice varied amount that you have got through this year.



    • Wudugast

      Thank you – yeah it was fun to tackle lots of different little projects, no big armies this year but a really broad variety of stuff instead. 2021 will probably be similar! 🙂

  • Kuribo

    This was a lot of fun to read and I like how you melded what happened in 2020 along with what you did in the hobby. You had a really productive year and covered a lot of ground across different games and genres which is very impressive. Working through your backlog is a great goal for 2021 though I’d suggest you add “Paint some more elves.” to your 2021 plans as well 😀 I’m looking forward to seeing what you tackle in this hopefully glorious new year!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I think at the time I felt like I wasn’t really sticking to any one project, that I was bouncing around a lot instead of committing and so the results would be rather scattershot. It was actually a nice surprise to take a look back and realise that on the contrary I may not have painted a single huge army for example but I had managed to complete a lot of smaller projects. Taken cumulatively I’m really pleased with all I did. 🙂

      Elves you say? Well there’s the rest of that elven Blood Bowl team to work on, plus a few more Lumineth that I’ve managed to acquire. I’ve still got a load of High Elves from the Island of Blood set (they’ve been waiting for paint for 11 years now so I reckon their time is probably due to come) and some even older metal Eldar that a mate found under his bed from when he was a kid and gave me as a present a couple of years ago. Plus enough Dark Elves for a little Warcry warband, and a bunch of Daughters of Khaine. Any of the above fit the bill? 😉

      • Kuribo

        For me anyway, variety is the spice of painting life so I think your approach was successful and helped keep you sane too 🙂

        All of those elves sound great to me! I really want to get some of the old Warhammer elves and paint them but they’re hard to find in the US anyway and when they come up for sale, they don’t go for cheap on eBay. And yeah, space elves and dark elves do count 😀

  • davekay

    Great round up, and I have to agree that for me stopping the tide of incoming models was the key to reducing the pile of grey possibilities. Like budgeting in general it can be a bit confronting at first to start counting the incoming models, but I found the exercise has been worth it.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah it’s all about structuring and planning a little more for me. I’m not a complete addict, I don’t have boxes of stuff heaped to the ceiling (I’m not damn it! I’m not making excuses! I can quit any time I like!!). However I am ending up acquiring stuff at a greater rate than I’m managing to paint it, and knowing there’s a backlog takes some of the fun out of it for me. Part of the solution, for me, is keeping an accurate record of what I’ve bought, that makes it easy to look back and remind myself of the things I’ve just purchased, rather than allowing myself to get completely overexcited by the new thing I suddenly need.

      On top of that I’ve started keeping a wishlist of things I know are coming soon which I think I’ll want. I’m finding this to be really helpful because it places each new model in a bit of context. To give an example to illustrate what I’m on about, there’s a new piece of terrain coming for the Death Guard which is apparently called the Miasmic Malignifier. It looks cool, and it ties in with my Death Guard collection as well as being appropriate for Warcry too (it doesn’t look too high tech to my eye). Needless to say, I want it! If I thought about it as if it was a stand-alone release, the only miniature that would be sold by anyone, anywhere in 2021, I’d snap it up in an instant! However now that it’s on the wishlist next to the new Necron Flayed Ones, and the various new stuff for Slaanesh, and the note reminding me that there will be releases for Cawdor and Delaque for Necromunda later in the year, it no longer seems like quite such a pressing purchase. I do still like the look of it, but knowing that my hobby budget needs to be spread across all of these things takes some of the urgency out of it.

      Finally I’ve had some trouble recently buying from one of the (formerly very good and highly regarded) online shops here in the UK. They used to be the best around, in terms of service and price, but lately service has been terrible (in fact one of their sales team was downright rude to me when I contacted them about an order that was 2 months overdue). Now this might have a silver lining to it because naturally I’ve stopped using them (no point buying something if I never bloody get it is there?). Because I’m paying more by going elsewhere I’m being forced to be a lot more choosy with what I treat myself too. Also their best prices were always for pre-orders which was great, and netted me some amazing bargains, but also meant that if you thought you might want something your best bet was to buy it now rather than wait and end up paying full whack for it. Very little of what get’s released is strictly limited edition (and I tend to avoid that stuff on principle anyway!), so by taking the drive to grab a bargain out of the equations there’s no harm in waiting a little while and then, if something still appeals, picking it up then.

  • Faust

    Hey now, it’s still 2020 over here! Which is my excuse as to why I’m so far behind on posts, haha!

    • Faust

      Yea, that is quite an impressive lot. Surprised that you got up to 277 painted one year, that’s pretty crazy!

      And lots to love with the ones you’ve painted and converted. The Untamed Savage Beasts are probably my fave. I also like the Necromunda Muties, that I think I must have missed.

      Hope you and yours have had a Happy New Year, and I’ll catch up to 2021 soon!

      • Wudugast

        Thanks mate! Yeah well, 277 models is easier to achieve when a whole load of them are Night Goblins! 😉 Glad you liked this little lot, the Untamed Beasts and Muties were amongst my favourites as well (the Beasts I think are done for now but there’s a few more Muties lurking about on the painting desk that I’ll get to sooner or later).
        Oh and Happy New Year to you too!

    • Wudugast

      Bad news for you I’m afraid, from those of us a few time zones ahead of you. There is no 2021, you just go to bed and wake up on the 31st of December 2019…

  • Mikko

    That’s a great, impressive selection of painted minis and projects. All the best for 2021!

  • backtothehammer

    That is a great selection mini’s. I must have totally missed the high elf post. Great comparison of them and love the style you did on the new ‘high elf’ model. It actually is far better than the official shots and makes me tempted to pick up a few.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, I snuck that High Elf out back in April and the people of the world were all a bit distracted at that stage for some reason. 😉 If you’re interested you can find him here: https://convertordie.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/ulthuan-lives/

      The new Lumineth models are a lot nicer than the official photos would have you believe. I’m not really an elf fan but I’m developing a bit of a softspot for them. Painfully expensive mind you but really nice miniatures all the same, I’m tempted to put together a little Warcry warband of them.

  • patmcf

    I’m back for a moment mate before we act,really ,true ,move next week! Just looking at this post and the T.A says she is also following you!! she also thinks the Ghoulish flesh eater are so good!

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