Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Review

2017 was another productive painting year, with 2,342 figures passing across the painting desk, or 6.4 figures per day.

It was another year dominated by my enormous commission, with 2,086 of those figures going to Glenn’s armies.  Another commission for my buddy Kevin saw me deliver 44 28mm cavalry for his colonial armies.

Commission Work
15mm Napoleonic Austrians, 30 foot
15mm Napoleonic Prussians, 678 foot, 91 mounted, 21 guns
15mm Napoleonic French, 219 foot, 18 mounted
15mm Napoleonic British, 1,029 foot
28mm Colonials, 44 cavalry

The little painting I did for myself was scattered throughout various small projects. 

1/600 Ancient Ships, 12 ships
15mm Napoleonic Prussians, 12 cavalry, 6 limbers, 12 horses, 12 horses with riders from Austin’s trove
15mm Sci-fi, 10 infantry for gaming with my son
28mm ACW, 12 mounted generals, 22 cannon, 48 mounted cavalry for Pickett’s Charge
28mm Star Wars, 17 foot for Imperial Assault
28mm Napoleonic French, 2 cavalry, plastic figures from Warlord Games
1 mounted 28mm Napoleon
54mm Ancients 14 Roman infantry and 32 Gallic infantry for gaming with my daughter

For figuring my Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge points, I counted the following:

12 1/600 naval vessels, for 720points
1,966 15mm foot for 3,932 points
166 15mm mounted and artillery for 664 points
6 15mm vehicles for 36 points
17 28mm foot for 85 points
129 28mm mounted and artillery for 1,290 points
46 54mm foot for 460 points

That makes for a grand total of 7,187 points, an increase of 41% over last year.  I felt like I was accomplishing a lot this year, and the end of year counts bear it out.  In fact, 2017 was the most productive painting year I have had since I started keeping count in 2007.

My gaming group managed to fit in more than one game per month in 2017.  We played Seven Years War, Napoleonics, ancients, colonials, and American Civil War.  This year saw as many board games as miniatures games.  I learned three new board games rules and Honours of War for SYW.  My two eldest children are now confirmed Commands and Colors addicts.  All in all, this has been one of the best gaming years of my life.

I have not mentioned the biggest news of 2017.  I built a new detached garage for my house.  In addition to a lovely, deep garage with plenty of storage and work space, I added finished gaming space on the side.  It’s two levels, with a 1,152 square foot main floor and a 640 square foot basement.  Honestly, it’s the size of a new house.  I built a 9’x5’ miniature gaming table into the concrete basement floor, and the walls are covered with shelving for painted armies, source materials, terrain, rules books, and the lead pile.  Upstairs I am finally able to display all my board games.  It has a bathroom, two televisions, and a refrigerator.  I imagine hosting a dozen games in this space in 2018.

So what will 2018 bring?  I’ve read over my previous years’ goals to see how I did, and my record is decidedly mixed.  I did not finish my giant commission in 2017, although I am close to the end.  I have a deadline of late April, and I should meet that easily.

Once I finish, I will just be painting for myself.  I am thinking of ceasing commission work.  It’s nice getting the money, but it does turn my hobby into a job.  I’ll probably paint the occasional force for Glenn or Kevin, but the rest of my time will be for me.

I have a few hundred 28mm ACW figures in winter attire to paint, and I would love to get enough done to play a Stone’s River scenario on the anniversary.

I enjoyed my dip into ancient naval enough to paint more.  Maybe 2018 will see my group game Salamis or Lade.

I was in the middle of painting Blue Moon’s beautiful 18mm ACW Union figures, and I should probably resume that project.

There are a host of other projects I have neglected since I started this giant commission: 28mm WWI, 28mm AWI Hessians, 15mm ancient Persians, 28mm Battle of the Bulge, 18mm Napoleonics.  Those are just the figures I can see from where I type, primed and neglected since April of 2015.  I wrote then that this commission would take me “a year or more!”  Instead it has taken three years!

I hope you all had a 2017 full of enjoyable games.  Thank you for your kind comments over the past year; comments make the blog worthwhile to me, and I appreciate the time you take to make them.  Happy gaming in 2018!


  1. That's a jaw dropping total Scott!! I understand about giving up commission painting, because it feels like a job and is why I haven't done so myself plus I hate parting with figures I've painted and have always regretted it when I have.

    Happy New Year and good luck with all your goals! I eagerly await whatever rolls of your desk.


    1. Thank you for the kind words, Christopher.

      I find that with the commission work I am hyper aware of little flaws in my painting and work to correct them, where with my own figures I would be more likely to say "good enough" and move on to the next thing. Because of that, commission painting has made me a better painter.

      It is hard to spend 4-8 months on an army only to send it to someone else, but the money helps to soothe my pain. :-)

      Happy New Year to you too!

  2. Staggering count, Scott! Seeing your amazing posts throughout the year is one thing, but seeing the total count - just staggering. Best wishes for 2018!

  3. Completely agree with Christopher on commission painting.

    Yes, Happy New Year and I'm looking forward to more interesting blog entries.

  4. Incredible output and quality Scott! And congrats on the new gaming addition - it puts my loft to shame! Have a happy and healthy new year!!

    1. Thank you, Greg. Funny thing about the new gaming space: my wife and kids spend more time out there than I do!

  5. Impressive, impressive, impressive!

    Although you will lose income by dropping commission painting, perhaps painting primarily for yourself will reinvigorate your hobby enjoyment and allow time for more gaming opportunities?

    1. I sure hope so. I would like to have a game every two-three weeks and reinstitute our painting nights!

  6. Scott thanks for the wrap on the year - your production is both prodigious and inspiring - while always looking great. Look forward to seeing what the new year brings - perhaps your return to the Blue Moon ACW will tempt me from my slumber.


    1. Thanks for the kind words, Richard. Do you think as highly of those Blue Moon sculpts as I do?

      That was a beautiful samurai battle you posted yesterday!

  7. Prolific doesn't do it justice. You're a darned FACTORY. Great productivity. Hopefully you can keep more of the figures you paint in 2018.

  8. I just found your blog and it's a good read. How do you determine "painting points"?

    1. It's on the Analogue Hobbies site. I think the system is flawed, as my simple block paint job on a 54mm figure counts as much as five 18mm Napoleonic infantry with full highlighting and shading.

  9. Wait, Scott, have we seen photos of the new space? I'd love to see it...

    Btw, crazy commission work this year... always jealous of whoever has the money to hire you!!:)

    -Lord Ashram

  10. Always amazing painted figures! The painting tutorials are always very helpful and makes painting large number of miniatures look doable. Any chance you might get into 6mm napoleonics? I have tons of Adler miniatures to paint and a tutorial would be good motivation!

    Thank you

    1. Michael, I may return to 6mm Napoleonics some day, but not in the near future. Thanks for the kind words!