2017: year in miniature review

Has another year really gone by?  I find it hard to believe but here we are.  The distance makes the objectives in hobby I set for myself a bit fuzzy so I had to reread the post.  The goals boiled down to this;
  • Terrain (a small table's worth for at least one game system)
  • More painted models/ Better hobby budgeting
  • More content on Void Spaces (enough to make blog's most prolific year)
  • Play games
My efforts for TWD: All Out War constituted most of my terrain building accomplishments but I felt it was good one.  I build two boards, one a street set duplicating the core map, and the other a generic grassland board that is quite unremarkable but incredibly versatile so I think I prefer it.  By themselves the boards aren't much but I was also building area terrain including some buildings, a modular forest and various other scatter pieces along with a small collection of modern vehicles including a helicopter.  Mission accomplished.

I'm not even trying to make a pretty picture;  That's a lot of models for me to paint.

By late March I discovered that I don't like knowing the numbers.  i added a counter to the blog to measure my, "hobby win/ hobby fail" count that presided like a vulture over the blog, my hobby efforts, and really ruined the mood.  I updated it in February but failed to update it again until April and completely removed it from the blog in October when I gave Void Spaces a new layout.  Painting and modelling is supposed to be fun.  Turning it into a scorecard with overt goals detracted from that.  Did that mean I had a poor turnout on the painting front?  Not at all!  I think I painted more miniatures over the course of this year than I have in years.  THE FINAL COUNT is a very impressive (for myself) total of 150 painted figures.  I learned a very valuable lesson about how I should be structuring my hobby time for best effect.  Painting lots of the same thing bores me to death so I prefer working on all sorts of small projects instead and end up getting more done.  It also means that any efforts I've made in painting any one type of figure quite small.  This time around I chose a central project; In this case The Walking Dead.  I worked on TWD steadily and toward small goals.  If I met them or felt that I was getting bored or losing focus I jumped to a little project and worked at that.  This resulted in my always having projects that felt fresh.  Once I finished the mini project I found myself returning to the larger undertaking refreshed and ready to paint some more.  I'm not sure about I bought this year but I don't really care and won't be making an issue of it in the future.  A wonderful if modified effort that I learned a lot from and accomplished something I didn't know I was capable of

The grassboard is boring but dresses up nice;  or at least different.

I didn't meet my blogging goals but the numbers aren't cause for too much concern.  With a total of 19 entries over the course of 2017 it wasn't the most prolific year but it wasn't the worst either.  In terms of the blog it was a bit of a disappointment;  I could have done more.  In terms of my, "hobby health" it meant nothing.  I worked on a lot of projects this year and what made it to the blog isn't representative of that achievement.  In previous low output years the blog lagged because my interest in painting and modelling had waned somewhat.  This time around I was having so much fun making stuff I found writing about it took me away from what I was enjoying.  I blog to provide myself a hobby record and to engage other hobbyists.  My association with groups on Facebook and on the Lead Adventures forum have both given me a faster way of doing it.  There are limitations to what can be shared in Facebook posts so I get the, "notice me" gratification that appeals to my ego immediately but the medium falls short delivering a satisfying presentation so there is no danger of me packing up the blog.  To sweeten the prognosis this is still a second place finish.  The only year I had more entries was in 2013.  I also gave the blog a facelift in the Fall.  The old format looked a little long in the tooth and I thought the panel of images suited the content better than the rolling blog of articles.  I also realized the format allowed me to place larger images in the body of text without them spilling into the margins and going all Geocities on me.

Soviet infantry; Last painted models of 2017.

Playing games didn't go as well as I had hoped but even playing three games in the course of a year is far better than I have managed in quite a while.  Life got  in the way of more regular meet ups with my best adversary but there are plans in motion for a more playful 2018.  Prepare the lamentations of your 28mm women McKim!

I finally found a paint scheme I liked for my AoS models!

My ambitions fulfilled what did the numbers say.  Again, in the tradition of Corellian captains I still didn't want to know but these factoids create another gap to mix some additional photos into text rather than just shitting them out at the bottom.  I don't like doing that if it can be avoided.  Over the course of the year three more people decided Void Spaces was worth following.  If that was you thank you, and a big thanks to the people who have continued to follow along (or just couldn't be bothered with unsubscribing when you realized this wasn't your bag ).  That means a 10% growth and that's all right.  Everything is going according to plan.  With continued improvements like this in 50 years or so I should be able to monetize the site with tons of ads, enact my Freedom 93 plan, and live off of the earnings.

My favorite build for 2017.

My favorite project was the Walking Dead barn.  I'd meant to turn this one into a sizable article (Four Walls and a Roof was the working title) but by the time I was ready to sit down with all of the photos I had taken my hard drive had taken another vacation and I lost all of my local data.  Luckily I still got WIPs out to some groups during the build so everything didn't happen behind the curtain.  This one made the pick because I was really happy with the result and it gave me a chance to test, and develop some skills I wasn't sure that I had.  I didn't figure that terrain building was a radically different set of skills than figure modelling and painting and felt vindicated in my assumption.  If anyone is reading this and felt intimidated by terrain building compared to working with models I suggest that you shouldn't be.  Give it go and have a little faith in yourself!  My efforts pleased me but looking around at what other people are doing with terrain is at least as encouraging and certainly more inspiring.  Look around, ask some questions, and try to manage your work space better than me.  Making terrain is much messier than painting and modelling and I found it very easy to crowd the cat out of her favorite perch without even realizing it.

First muster of Saxons.

I'm calling the year a success from a modelling/hobby perspective.  I hope you had a good one as well.  Now to take the lessons learned from 2017 and build a better New Year.  Best wishes to you and yours.

Stay warm out there!


  1. This is one of the best year end reviews I've read - so much in it that I can relate to. I love your thought process on when things start to bog down you jump to something different instead of trying to power through it just so it's completed. And I have to say I really look forward to seeing your posts when they pop up - even though there aren't a lot per se as you mentioned, it's way more about the quality than the quantity!

    1. I've never been an army painter and trying to bull through big groups of models never ended well for me. If I'm dealing with groups of models I realize I need to paint them in groups of five or so in order to keep the momentum going. It's my golden mean of attention span and visible returns. I don't walk away from a project sick of it (for long), and get enough done I still see it worth returning to later. I hope to improve structure of my posting process in the New Year; I might be able to take some of what I've learned in project management and apply it to the blogging side.


Post a Comment