As I sit here coffee in hand I can’t help but reflect what a **** year this has been for me blogging wise. Truth be told 2016 has been a pretty rough year for a whole host of reasons, none of them hobby related it has to be said but all have had an adverse impact on this site nevertheless. I’ve always been pretty good at maintaining a separation between my work life and home/hobby life, rarely letting the former creep into the latter when it comes to my posts. True to that ethos I’m not going to start now, but wanted to set some context as it can’t be denied the pace of events at work have left me with precious little energy or appetite for anything else.
That stops. Now.
Although I may not have been particularly visible the past several months that hasn’t slowed my painting output which if anything has been unusually productive having been forced to rationalise my free time more. What I’ve come to realise is that it’s actually the hobby that replenishes and gives me the energy boost I need to take into work the following day. In those moments I can forget about the challenges still waiting for me the next morning and lose myself instead exploring the ruins of Osgiliath, the possibilities Grimdark presents or rifling through the bitz-boxes considering what new abominations I could create for Frostrave. It’s much needed nutrition for the soul, not to mention therapeutic. When life is out of kilter the danger is time with family and hobbies sometimes get sacrificied when in reality it’s probably more important than ever. So in true Flames of War fashion I’m going back to the starting step to perform my morale check, rally my broken unit, remount my bailed-out tank and un-pin myself (puns fully intended).
As I alluded to above, although I haven’t had the appetite to sit in front of the screen tapping away I’ve not been idle either, wrapping up a number of loose ends. Projects from earlier in the year included a host of 4Ground buildings for Dropzone Commander, Covenant ships for Halo, a few more squadrons of fighters for Star Wars Armada and the odd Sci-Fi tank or two. Fantasy also featured strongly as I ticked off the last of the Dungeon Saga minions from Mantic’s Kickstarter and found the time to start pulling together some henchmen (and women!) for Frostgrave.
Yes, Frostgrave has become a ‘thing’ for me having been smitten by its wintery goodness at Salate earlier in the year. I’ll confess right now I haven’t played a single game yet, but it is high on the winter Monday-night gaming agenda nevertheless having such a low entry cost. Pretty much any of my Fantasy collection, not to mention a good wedge from the ever talented hands of Andy Foster (Heresy Miniatures) and Kev White (Hasslefree) can be cycled into Frostgrave as is. Same goes for my scenery which already fits the bill nicely. Pretty much all I needed to do was start painting a few henchmen to get abused and press into service whatever monsters I had lying around. Remeber that ‘Dungeon worth of monsters’ from Heresy’s Kickstarter? I do and just the ticket too. As for the other gap fillers like Armada, AoS and Halo I’ll pull them out into their own separate posts so they can be tagged accordingly.
The ‘other’ small scale
If you have picked up on the occassional sporadic Facebook or Twitter post you’ll have seen I’ve shifted my Flames of War attention towards Team Yankee. This is a range I’ve been waiting for for a very long time as it completely resonates with my childhood and fascination with the Cold War era of the 80’s. I know there’s been a range of “cold war gone hot” miniatures available for a while from the likes of QRF and more recently Zvezda, but Battlefront’s new plastics have pushed me over the tipping point. The other key reason is my regular gaming buddies are already familiar with and invested into Flames of War so Team Yankee is a natural extension being based on the same foundation of core mechanics. I’ll be covering my Team Yankee journey in a lot more detail in a separate post as I’m already well along the way to completing the first 100 point force in anticipation of firing up a campaign with the guys. I also know for a fact Kev is progressing at a pace on the Americans so I suspect it wont be long before shots are exchanged!
Here is the challenge I set to myself then; to be more active online and not let the drain of my work hours pull my hobby down as clearly work funds my hobby but equally the hobby recharges my batteries for work. It’s a symbiosis that I’ve sadly let get out of balance so I’m going to look to address that starting with tanks. Lots of tanks. What could possibly go wrong?
Until next time, it’s good to be back.