Back to basics

Over the past month (or three) I have penned a post (or several) as a way of explaining the long gap between my last update and now. It seemed a terribly good idea at the time and I thought I’d just wait until I had a really neat looking army group shot done so it wouldn’t look so bad not having posted anything for so long. The trouble is, the longer you go on, the worse it gets and you end up scrapping what you have written because it is woefully out of date and starting again. That was back in December, clearly that won’t do!

So here’s the deal. I shall just pretend nothing happened, it is perfectly normal that there have been no updates since October and we shall all agree not to mention it again. That way I can just get on with this post and start afresh as if nothing untoward has occurred. Smashing.

Before I do though a ‘very’ fast summary to bring things right up to date. Did I stick to my 2013 self imposed budget? Unbelievably yes I did much to my surprise, in fact I was precisely £11.30 in credit. Did I run out of steam when I broke my arm and grind to a halt on painting? Actually, no. I ran out of steam to blog anything, but other than a stall in November whilst my arm was giving me a bit of grief, I was back at it in December and by the end of the year my final painting total stood at 331. I know that’s not a huge number compared with most painters, but it’s been one of my best years on a personal level for remaining motivated. Did I lose weight as a result of the restricted budget? Er … no. Was all looking great up until Xmas when a few too many mince pies did for it. Back to square one on that score; must try harder.

At this stage I could share all manner of infographics and charts showing the breakdown of painting and hobby spend over the year, however I’m not going to. Too boring lets be honest. So here are the highlights instead:

  • In 2013 I spent more on materials than I did on new miniatures. That’s a bit of a first!
  • In 2013 my spend on Games Workshop products equated to less than 6% of the hobby fund.
  • The greater majority of painting last year was for Flames of War, Lord of the Rings and Dreadball. I think 2013 was the first time in the last two decades I haven’t painted a single 40K miniature (Epic doesn’t count)
  • I apparently spent as much on terrain as I did on miniatures, which sort of makes sense considering I did a lot more actual gaming in 2013.

Now that’s all out of the way, what have I been up to? Since December I have been hammering away at the last few remaining unpainted late war Germans for my Fallschirmjäger. Mostly these were the heavy weapon teams that I didn’t require for Operation Overlord, a couple of the Zvezda Opel Blitz transports and slew of aircraft I received for Christmas from Kev. Getting these painted wrapped up my first foray into 15mm World War Two and it’s safe to say I am now well and truly hooked. Enough so that I have invested the start of this years hobby fund into a second German force which will be based around an SS Panzer Company list from Earth and Steel. These actually arrived during the week and I’ll talk about my plans with those in more detail over the coming days.



Outside of Flames, Middle Earth has still been high on my list, in particular Dwarves, Goblins and Mordor Orcs. All of whom have been rattling across the painting table throughout January. These are all miniatures that have been lurking on my ‘To Do’ list for some time now so I decided to make January a bit of a month for tying up loose ends before getting too deep into 2014. There was more too it than just those as of course quite a few Kickstarters came to fruition in December and January, most notably for me Mantic’s Deadzone, Wargames Bakery’s base texture stamps and literally this week Anarchy Models airbrush micro stencils. Those I will leave for another day however as they deserve more than a cursory mention.

So there you have it, a whistle-stop update just to get over the awkward gap. Oh, and I have also been making marmalade. Not really related, but thought I’d mention it.


Until next time.

By |2017-09-13T12:46:27+00:00January 30th, 2014|Categories: Flames of War, Middle Earth|Tags: , , , |7 Comments


  1. RussWHGWRuss January 31, 2014 at 5:59 am - Reply

    You MUST, I repeat, MUST, share your recipe for making Marmalade… 🙂

    Can I suggest with regards to keeping track of your expenses, that a tracking spreadsheet is used, perhaps a new WordPress Page at the top with a table? Im thinking of ways to make it easier for your, because I find it hard myself to track progress, especially detail.
    My example is hobby progress in particular painting. I find to keep track of the painting, I need to take photos at the end of every stage for models which then takes up precious time that I could use to paint more of the models… hence no detailed updates, just a snapshot at the end of several “phases” (undercoat, basecoat, shading, highlights and basing). I’ve tried Kanban boards, but mine is now too detailed and unwieldy… (too many panels and things all over the place). Sorry for the whinge… I’m a frustrated hobbyist with not enough time and too many things to do. 😀

    Thanks for the post and good luck. Some tips I found useful:
    1. Make the complex simple – self explanatory
    2. Find your Courage – challenge yourself and keep up the quality levels

    I’ll let you know when I achieve the above hahaa!

    Thanks Carl and good luck.

    • Carl Woodrow February 1, 2014 at 1:21 am - Reply

      Thanks man, appreciated. Keeping tack of the expenses isn’t actually the problem; I am rather OCD in that department and could probably recite all of last years expenditure off the top of my head. But the suggestion of a progress tracker is a neat idea as it avoids all those repetitive and boring ‘update’ posts. I shall add a simple page somewhere for those that are interested.

      The marmalade recipe follows me to my grave however…

      Ok, I’m kidding. It’s:

      2kg Citrus fruits (I use a couple of pink grapefruits, limes, lemons and oranges)
      2 litres water.
      Simmer the juice, water and chopped pulp and zest for about hour and let it strain through a muslin for several hours to extract the maximum pectin.
      Bring back to heat with 75g sugar per 100ml liquid until fully dissolved then bring up to boil and keep going until reaches setting temperature then spoon off any impurities and fill up those sterilised jars. Enjoy for month to come.

  2. 40kterminatus January 31, 2014 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Looking forward to your Flames Of War projects and keep up the good work.

    • Carl Woodrow February 1, 2014 at 1:28 am - Reply

      Cheers. There are three more ruined buildings already in the prep and primed stage which I will probably weave in with the next batch of Germans. I can see Flames featuring more and more this year, especially if Battlefront do something for a certain 100th anniversary this year.

  3. Tyler Provick January 31, 2014 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    I agree 100% on the whole ignoring gaps in updates policy. This is something that I’ve grappled with as an infrequent updater of my own blog. It seems like every time I sat down to write I’d start by trying to explain the gaps.

    This means if I have any consistent readers they have to read the same excuses over and over again when what they really want is content. I’ve tried to be better at just digging straight in and salute you for trying the same.

  4. Carl Woodrow February 1, 2014 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Hey Tyler, how you keeping? Yeah, I think you absolutely nailed it bud. I’m just going to crack on and pick up with what’s happening now rather than agonise about previously missed posting opportunities. It’s a whole new year 🙂

  5. Scott Bowman February 1, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Great work, on both FoW and LOTR stuff!

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