These are NOT New Years Resolutions for 2017

I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions.  In fact, if you search the blog, you’ll find that the last time I did so was back in 2011.

wh39k-WallofMartyrs (1)The problem is that such resolutions don’t really pan out.  In fact, of the 11 goals I set back in 2011, I’ve actually accomplished very few of them–and that’s been in six years!  I’ve created army specific pages (though never bothered to flesh them out or take pictures of everything), created some crappy banners, and painted a good number of models (including all of my buildings).  You could argue that I’ve had more than 104 posts since then, but never in one year.

All-in-all, if I give myself some fudge-factor and six years, I can say I’ve completed five out of the eleven goals.

So that’s why I don’t make resolutions like this anymore.   I tend to also have personal goals to do with exercise, knowledge, parenting, etc.  and professional goals of education, certification, etc.–none of which I capture on my personal blog.  Some examples of things that I want to achieve in those realms this year are to walk 5,000,000 steps on my fitbit, learn Spanish, and get my Microsoft 2012 certification.

On a hobby front?  Well, that’s another story.  I will stop short of calling these “resolutions,” as that seems to drastically decrease the likelihood of me accomplishing them, but I would like to knock out the following this year:

  1. Keep on track for $0 net spending this year.  Last year I went a little haywire, but hopefully I can right the ship.
  2. Paint all of my Genestealer cult.  This seems totally doable, since I don’t have all that many more models left to paint… maybe 50ish?
  3. Paint my Tyranid Bastion.  People have clamoured to see it finished, and I want to, so why not?
  4. Paint all of my fortifications.  This is the lofty one–and the one most likely to fail.  I have a significant Wall of Martyrs, a Skyshield, an Aquilla Stronpoint, a couple of Firestorm Redoubts, Plasma Obliterator, and another Bastion.  And that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head.  It would be nice to knock it all out though..

I won’t set goals for how many blog posts I’ll knock out, or other hobby goals–aside from my typical 12 games per year (dare I try to get in that illustrious 13th game?).  All should be achievable…

But keep in mind, they’re NOT resolutions–merely goals.



2016: A Hobby Year in Review

I’ve started a bit of a tradition with doing recap posts, so I figured why buck a good thing.  I’ll use the format created in my 2015 year in review and just update it with the new information.

Frugal Gaming

I’m going to break this into it’s own post because it’s a lot of information.  More to come on this soon.  Suffice it to say that this will be ugly for this year.  I’ve honestly made very little attempt to keep spending in check this year… and I even went out of my way to spend an absurd amount of money on things I know I shouldn’t.

I’m a slow learner.

Games Played

As always, my goal is to get in 12 games per year.  Yeah, it’s a fairly pitiful goal, but it’s something I’ve managed to keep on track with year over year for quite a while now.  It’s a low bar, but any less and I seriously have to question why I spend so much money in this infernal hobby (not that 12 is a good justification for the amount of cash I dump into it, but at least it keeps me off the streets, right?).


Hobby Progress

Like last year, I’ll break hobby progress into the painting and modelling subsections.


In hindsight, I’d have to say this is easily my most prolific year to date.  The models I finishing painting this year include:

On it’s own, that list isn’t overly impressive, though I would argue that it’s respectable in it’s own right; however, where my painting really stood out was in the vast number of Zombicide models that I whipped out this year.  I managed to crank out every figure that I own (well, except those damn helpers, which I think are still unpainted).  That includes: 

The links are often to WIP posts because I didn’t do individual sections for completed zombies (especially after dipping and blood effects), and the numbers are somewhat approximate as I tried to count how many were in each photo (why can’t I find a good resource online that specifies exactly how many of each type are in each box?).  And the level of quality on a drybrushed zombie isn’t up to par with a standard model for 40k (though the characters certainly are).

In total though, that’s about three-hundred and eighty (380) painted models for Zombicide alone!  If the first lot of 40k stuff wasn’t respectable enough, this surely puts me over the top.


If painting was above normal, I’d say my modeling progress this year was relatively slow.  I didn’t do all that many posts on the subject, and many of them were parts of minor series.  The stuff I worked on included:

There was more to modelling than I posted on.  For instance, all of my genestealer cult got cleaned up (thanks in no small part to Brandon), and I also wound up assembling some other models–but I don’t always post my modelling progress online.  Especially if it’s something boring like “put together a stock model without any frills.”

Not a huge success, but I’m not displeased with the progress either.

Blog Progress

wh39kCakeTo date for 2016, I’ve written a total of 88 blog posts this year (including this one).  Granted, that’s a bit short of the “two per week” that I try to do, but there are always reasons why I can’t live up to that goal.  Of course, the point of goals is to try to make them, but rather than look down upon myself for not hitting it, I’m going to focus on the positive.  Last year, I was only able to do 81 posts, so that’s about a 10% improvement year over year, which ain’t bad if I do say so myself.

I only managed a single post in the category of “website administration,” which was for Old Stuff Day (which I’m not sure is technically website administration, but it doesn’t seem to fit into other categories either.  All in all, this was a quiet category this year.


With the exception of my frugal gaming progress (which has been basically excluded from this post entirely), I’m going to mark this year down as a rousing success.  I did better than last year in most of the categories, and set a new bar to meet in 2018.  Let’s hope I can get in that 13th game!!



Old Stuff Day – 2016

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been participating in Old Stuff Day since 2011.  Has it really been five years?  Heck, have I really been blogging for 7?!?

40kMiddleAgeOld stuff day was started years back as a selfish way to share my own old posts with the community.  Over the years, it’s spread a bit from that, and others have joined into the movement (though I will admit that it’s fallen by the wayside a bit from time to time, because I don’t give it the attention that it deserves).  I think it’s great that other people are participating, but for myself, I’ve slowly changed what it means.  Though it originally was just intended to share my own content, I’ve used the platform in recent years to promote old stuff from other people’s blogs, or just old blogs in general.

This year, I’m taking a sharp right turn back into selfish town and celebrate a truly old gaming aspect: myself.

I wound up turning 40 this year.  Most of those years I wound up playing games in one way or another, but I’ve been playing 40k since 1991.  For those of you youngin’s that are still struggling with “Common Core,” that means I’ve been playing GW games for the past 25 years, so not only is this my 40th birthday (and the start of my foray into “middle age”), but it’s also my silver anniversary of playing 40k.

wh39kCakeYes, this means I’ve probably been playing 40k longer than you’ve been alive.

For that reason, I think I officially qualify as “old stuff.”  I won’t bother you with reflecting too much on my days of yor, but will say that I had my first real birthday in over a decade, and it was really pleasant.  We had cake and BBQ, friends and games, and just an overall great time.  My wife surprised me by swiping a bunch of pictures off my blog and had them printed on the cake, so it seemed terribly apropos to include photos of it here.

So, take some time to reflect on great blog content of the past, but also remember your old friends on this day, and consider reaching out to them to let them know what they mean to you.  It really feels great.

So not to be completely sappy, I’ll include some links to older content that by now everyone who’s been to this blog has already seen, but need to include for formality’s sake:

Tyranid Terrain

Spore (Medium)These were actually my home made “Mycetic Spores” from back in the day, which was the old fashioned word for Drop Pod.  These have since been replaced with Tyrannocytes, which are far skinnier (and perhaps taller) than my models; consequently, these don’t see the table that much as drop pods.  Nowadays they see the table as Sporocysts (have I ever done this?), or possibly as Vengeance Weapon Batteries, but most often when they get dusted off, they’re just old-fashioned terrain.

When I made them back in the day, I expected they’d attract a fair bit of attention, much like my stained glass windows (see below), but interest in them fell flat.  This is the one project I have where I’m super proud of them and nobody else seems to care…

Painted Buildings

Wh39kBuildings (44)This year I wound up accomplishing quite a bit, including finally getting off my arse and painting up a ton of GW buildings. With the help of Brandon (and a few others), I managed to finish them all off, so now I have some pretty nice looking terrain.

Beyond just having nice terrain, I’m proud of these buildings because they’re my first real attempts at a bunch of different painting techniques: Using an Airbrush, Rust effects, Lighting effects, and posters. Plus I used some of the previous effects that I’ve had a modicum of success with: bronze patina, marble, & blood stains.

So, if any of that tickles your fancy, feel free to check out my series of posts about buildings here.

Stained Glass Windows

wh39kStainedGlass (1)Ok, so these were really a subcomponent of the painted buildings displayed above, but as they only had a part in one building, they’re easily glossed over. I know others have done stained glass effects with success in the past, but I couldn’t find any good start-to-finish tutorials, so I dug around and pieced together my own.

Of all of the buildings I have, my shrine of the Acquila definitely gets the most compliments, and it’s because of the stained glass. Again, there’s a step by step tutorial on how I accomplished the stained glass windows in this post.



Saving Money on Ebay Auctions

I know that I’m supposed to be working on “hobby related content” as detailed in my blog post last week, but I didn’t want to lose this information, so I thought I’d throw this up now–since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I expect blog traffic this week will be down significantly.

Each time I wind up holding ebay auctions, I like to go back and post how I did, but I wound up handling my auctions a little differently this time and thought I’d speak to that.  So rather than just spout of the numbers from this past set of auctions (which I will do for historical reference at the bottom of this post), I thought I’d go into a little detail about what I changed for this particular round of auctions and how successful those changes were… Continue reading

Website Administration – 2015 Edition

I used to do a lot of work on the website behind the scenes.  In fact, I did enough of it (and blogging about it) that I had an entire category of posts on it.  Since moving to a free account for the blog, I haven’t really done much–if any–updates.  As a result, things have stayed the status quoe for the last three years.  Due to a couple of notices I’ve gotten as of late, I’ve done a little house-cleaning and thought I’d document the changes I’ve made:

Domain Name Issues:

Well, every once in a while you have to clean house a little, so I made a few updates.  The first was easy: my annual renewal for the domain name came up, and though I don’t host the blog directly there anymore, I do direct traffic through it, so I renewed it for another two years (updated, as always in the Frugal Gaming totals).

While checking on that, I realized that the root of the domain went to a parked godaddy advertisement, and not to the blog as intended.  If memory serves, this was due to a limitation of how things worked back in the day.  Somewhere between WordPress, Godaddy, Blogger, & Google Apps, I wasn’t able to make the root of the domain worked.  Luckily, I’d forgotten that it was “impossible,” and set about to fix it.  Something had changed since the original implementation and after several attempts and a few calls to Godaddy, we were able to get the domain forwarding in place without breaking the other services assocaited with the site.  So, now when you go to the root, you actually get my blog, and not the Godaddy ad that’s been blocking my traffic for three years.

Stat Counter:

StatCounterOldWhen I hosted the site myself, I used to measure traffic with the use of a StatCounter account.  Well, this past month I got an email from them that indicated that my free account was full and that I’d have to move to a paid account to keep utilizing their service.  Since moving to the account, I’m not using their service anyway, so I wound up logging in and deleting the account altogether.

But not before I poked around a bit.

I did find my old stats for page views and visits, and it was great to see how much traffic I was getting back then.  In the year (which was really just a few months), I got almost 5,000 unique visits, which climbed to 32,000 by year two, and then 35,000 by year three.  Year four is when I transitioned to the free service, so the numbers drop off sharply.

StatCounterOld2The numbers get skewed at that point, since I switched to a different provider and an altogether different means of tracking.  According to wordpress’s metrics, my numbers dropped sharply at that point from 35k+ visitors to just 2,000 for 2012, and then they magically rebounded to 29,000 in 2013.  That seems a little unrealistic to me, but I would expect some amount of lost traffic due to the switch.  Still, it seems to show that I’ve been trending in the right direction (Though this year seems to show a drop off for some reason).

Not that I’m in it for traffic or page views anymore.  Now adays I’m content to just post my progress on things and give myself a frame of reference as to how much I’ve accomplished over the years.  If other people like what I produce, that’s great, but it’s not why I’m in the game.

Background & Theme:

WordpressNewWhile I was monkeying around with things, I decided to take a look into mixing things up a bit with the theme, but didn’t really find anything I liked.  In the end, the only change I made was to add a background image of my Tyranid army.  It’s more personalized, but I honestly think that I liked the old image better.  Not only was it smaller (and therefore should load faster), it blended in with the rest of the page so it looked seemless at different resolutions.  The new image doesn’t look great on widescreen monitors, and it is definitely busy.

In short, it’s a bad design.  I know that I should flip it back, but I think I’ll leave it up for a little while.  That way, I’ll have a constant reminder to go back and re-evaluate the various design elements I have on the page.

So there you have it.  It’s not exactly riveting content, but I figured it was worth documenting, just the same.