The Summer of Painting

Behold, the monstrosity that is my painting backlog. This has slowly grown in size since I started buying minis in 2012. This is also my project leading up to August.
My other half spends her summers working at an archaeological dig out of town. This tends to leave me with an inordinate amount of free time on evenings and weekends. Rather than sit around bored (or spend the summer watching Silicon Valley reruns over and over like I did last year), I'm going to try and burn through as much of this backlog as possible in the next two months.

Another reason for trying to get this all done before August is Gen Con, where in I'll probably increase the size of this backlog even further.

What's all in this backlog? Well, let's dig in a little bit, shall we?
Warhammer 8th Edition Starter Box - Island of Blood

Nagash (in Sub-Assemblies)

Lizardmen / Seraphon - Bastilodon, Saurus Knights, and Saurus Warriors

Random Fantasy - Slambo and Stormcast Eternal

Up first is my Age of Sigmar backlog. The unpainted Island of Blood box is the start of a trend you'll notice as I work through this list. I have an affinity for picking up two player starter boxes for varying editions and keeping both factions. They're not much to play full games with, but they work great for skirmish games, and as a base to expand upon should I ever want to start up a new faction.

I originally picked up Nagash with zero intent to ever field him. I love the model, and am planning to use him mainly as a display piece in my game room. However, I suppose he's not the worst place to start if I ever want to get a Death faction up and running.

The Seraphon pictured there are the remnants of my army to be painted.  I currently have around 2500 points painted up (most of that can be seen in the gallery on the main page). That which remains are a unit of Saurus Warriors and Saurus Knights from my Start Collecting box I picked up to Bolster my forces. You'll notice that two of the Knights are on Dark Elf Cold Ones. I somehow managed to completely lose two of the Cold Ones from the box. Oh well. The Bastilodon pictured there is half-painted. It was gifted to me by a friend who was going to use it for Eldar Exodites. I have an Ark of Sotek I'm going to build for it. Not looking forward to painting all those Snakes. Finally, and not pictured, I have a Saurus Oldblood in mid-transit that will be used to lead my Skirmish Warband at Thunda on the Tundra in July.

Finally there are my "Randoms" that don't fit into any Specific Faction. Slambo (who I could NOT resist picking up), and the free Stormcast Eternal who came with the "Start Playing Age of Sigmar" magazine. I like having one-off models like them, as I really enjoy grabbing a small model of the shelf and being able to put a bunch of work into it without knowing there are 14 other identical models waiting in the wings.

Warhammer Quest - Silver Tower

The best game ever made. Anyone that says otherwise is wrong.

The best thing about Heroquest is the Gargoyle. It is the finest miniature in the land.

Following that are my "Quest" boardgames, both Silver Tower and good old-fashioned HeroQuest. Both are games that I acquired this year, but both more than deserve to be fully painted. Silver Tower is currently higher on my "To-Do" list, but only slightly. This is mainly for the fact that there's more than enough models in there for me to base a Disciples of Tzeentch army off of for Age of Sigmar (or at the very least have a wide variety of choices for a Skirmish warband. The only thing I am currently struggling with for these models is to determine a basing style that won't clash horrendously with the dungeon tiles.

Orc/Goblin Team incl. Varag Ghoulchewer and a Troll

The Bright Crusaders

Dwarf Team incl. Deathroller and Grim Ironjaw (not pictured)

Skaven Team incl. a Rat Ogre and Hakflem Skuttlespike

Miscellaneous Star Players and the Trophies from last edition (not pictured - Grombrindal & the Black Gobbo).

Up next is my current to-do list for Blood Bowl! Like I mentioned in my introduction post, I've picked up every release for the new edition so far (and still have the trophies from last edition to paint). This includes the new Grim Ironjaw and Grombrindal & the Black Gobbo star player packs that went on preorder last Friday. The only issue is, I've only gotten one of my teams finished so far!

For my greenskins I have the Orc team from the starter box, a Goblin team, a Troll, and Varag Ghoulchewer. The Orcs and Goblin teams will probably be painted in all the same color scheme so that I can use the players interchangeably. The Bright Crusaders will probably be the inverse of my main Human Team (White Armor with Red Clothes) so that they match up with Zug and Oberwald. I'm planning on numbering the Non-Linemen with the same numbers as the Linemen from my other Human team so I can add more Blitzers, Throwers, or Catchers should the need arise.

The Dwarf Team is going to be my next focus, including the Deathroller and Grim Ironjaw. I'm planning on running them at the Gen Con Bowl in August, so they're fairly high up on my "to-paint" list. 

I'm not sure what colors I'm going to paint the Skaven team yet. I originally was thinking about trying to do a similar enough colour to my Orc/Goblin team so that I could build an Underworld Denizens roster if I wanted, but with the Blood Bowl teaser images from Warhammer Fest, it looks like GW will be putting out their own kit (presumably via Forgeworld, using the plastic kit as a base with resin addons like the Bright Crusaders and Orcland Raiders).

Finally there are the trophies and Random Star Players. For Morg'N'Thorg and Grak & Crumbleberry, I'm going to aim for as neutral a uniform colour as possible, mainly because they can join any team. 

The C.O.R.E.
Dark Age is my newest game, and is thus probably at the top of my list for painting. It's also going to be the first army (I love that I can call it that even though there's only 8 models) where I primarily use my airbrush. Lightbringer, Centurion, Banshee, Nexus, 2 L-CSTs, and 2 RAPTR-7s. They should also be relatively quick as they're mostly metallics and then some slight detail work.

Imperial Knights: Renegade & other Knight

Space Hulk

Deathwatch Overkill

Adeptus Mechanicus



Dark Vengeance

More Random One-offs

And thus we arrive at the core of my backlog, Warhammer 40k. Up first is my Imperial Knights Renegade box and an additional Imperial Knight. That is correct. The Knight in front of the box is not from the box. Those two knights are completely not built. One will be painted up in House Terryn colours like the first Knight I did, while the Knight Warden will be painted up to run alongside my Adeptus Mechanicus force.

Yes, technically Space Hulk is a board game like Silver Tower or Heroquest. However I'm including it here as a lot (if not all) of the Genestealers will be used as Purestrain Genestealers in my Genestealer Cults forces. Deathwatch Overkill, while also technically a boardgame, is more of another Starter Box in my eyes. I hadn't intended to buy it, actually. I ended up winning it in a raffle early last year, and I love the Genestealer Cult play mechanics.

The Adeptus Mechanicus was to be my next 40k army, but I have yet to ramp up to getting them ready to go. I have a Techpriest Dominus done that I painted up for a competition back in February. I really love the Sydonian Dragoon model though. I really want to run a unit of 3-5 of those things.

The Necrons are my main force for 40k. I currently have around 3000 points painted up. The only remaining pieces I have to finish are my Tesseract Vault (which I started airbrushing but gave up), 6 more Necron Wraiths, and Trazyn the Infinite. I also disassembled my Doomsday Ark that was one of the first vehicles I painted (I tried the stock Necron edge highlighting scheme very early on and... it did not turn out well. Going to strip the model and re-do it with the airbrush to match my current colour scheme more.

Did somebody say Starter Boxes? I warned you up above, didn't I? I know Stormclaw was a campaign box, but it came out right at the launch of 7th and contained the mini-rulebook (gonna miss those in 8th, but I guess it can't be totally perfect), so I'm counting it as such. I actually picked up Dark Vengeance for my Capstone project in University. I tried to make a digital version of 40k on Microsoft's PixelSense table that used the real miniatures and did all the dice rolling/rules checking for you. It... didn't work flawlessly. More on that at a later date.

Finally, for 40k I have the "randoms" like I did for AoS. The 30th Anniversary Marine, Captain Centos (for 100th store opening) and the Forge World Horus heresy guy were all picked up at their respective release last year. I know the 40th Anniversary Grombrindal isn't technically 40k, but this is where he was when I took the pictures so he gets grouped in here, I suppose.

Dropfleet Starter Box & Kickstarter Bonuses

Dropzone 2-Player Starter Box

The Resistance

Dropzone and Dropfleet Commander are two of my more recent games. I kickstarted Dropfleet at the tail-end of 2015 and finally got my ships at the end of February/beginning of March. I think I'm probably going to run UCM as my primary fleet, although it is nice to have a little bit of everything should I want to jump into a different faction.

and yet another two-player starter box! I grabbed the Dropzone starter on sale last fall, mainly for the Core Rules v1.1 and the buildings and maps it came with. That, and having some UCM to ally with my Resistance forces isn't always terrible.

I picked up my Dropfleet Resistance force at Gen Con in 2015, and have (very) slowly been expanding it ever since. Aside from the faction starter, I have some Battle Busses, the Drill, a unit of Attack ATVs, and some Cyclone helicopters. This will be my primary force for Dropzone. I've played two games of it, though need to get quite a few more in before I know what else I need to add to the list.

Imperial Assault (Base Game + All Expansions & Character Packs) 

Yoda Bust

Imperial Assault is something I continually flip-flop on when it comes to my painting backlog. On one hand, it's mainly a boardgame and the miniatures aren't always the best. However, on the other, they have been getting much better, and OH YEAH, STAR WARS. Not only are they good for use in the game, they're also pretty useful when playing Star Wars RPGs, as they're a LOT nicer than the prepaints that WotC used to release.

The Yoda bust actually isn't for me. A buddy of mine picked up a 3D Printer recently, and has allowed me to use it to print terrain (more on the first piece below). As a thanks (he only charges me the cost of the filament), I offered to paint up one of his first print jobs for him. The only thing it's waiting on is for me to pick up some XTC-3D from Smooth-On, to flatten out all the lines so that they don't take in all the washes.

X'lanthos Starter

Dark Potential is (was?) a miniatures game created by the guys at Miniwargaming. In 2013 they held a scenario contest to get your scenario into the rulebook for the game. My bizarrely meta scenario may not have been serious enough to make it into the rulebook, but it did make Matthew laugh enough to earn me an army starter in the Contest. I went with the X'lanthos aliens.

The Gamers

Hard to see, but it's an "Elf Warrior" and "Elf Princess" that don't infringe on any copyright whatsoever.

Misc. RPG Minis

And thus we get to the final grouping of miniatures, that I call the Misfits. I have the full set of minis from the Gamers movies (if you haven't seen them, go do it now. I'll wait). The Mound of Dead Bards is from the Mask of Death module Kickstarter, and the party and The Shadow miniatures are from the Hands of Fate Kickstarter.

Next are "Elf Warrior" and "Elf Princess" miniatures I found on Etsy for use in RPGs. They don't infringe on any copyright whatsoever. *cough*. Moving on!

The next horde is a random assortment of RPG character minis. It's a goal of mine to have one miniature for each character I've played in my miniatures career. About a third of the way there with this lot. Not all are my characters though, some are just random RPG minis.

Finally we come to some random terrain. One was a terrible impulse buy I made years ago, the limited edition resin Void Shield Generator (1 of 1000). My GW still had theirs a half hour after open on the day it was released, and I clearly have no willpower, so I picked it up. Have still been meaning to get it painted. The other piece of terrain (the archway) was actually 3D printed. I got the model from $5 from Like Yoda, however, I need to get some XTC-3D to smooth the model out before I put a brush to it.

All-in-all, I know for a fact that I'm not even going to get close to completing all of this backlog before August. There are only so many hours in the day (most of which are spent at work), and unless I do a low quality of work, there's no way that math works out. That being said, if I could even get close to clearing out half, or even a quarter of my backlog, I would feel like I've accomplished something. Sheer numbers aren't my only goal, however:

  1. Get the Dwarf Team done. I need them done before I fly out to Gen Con in August, so they're an immediate priority
  2. Get Yoda done. It's been a few months and it's still not even started. I really need to get on that. Bad friend is bad.
  3. One painted army for each game. Nobody likes playing with unpainted models. I currently don't have a fully painted force for Dark Age, Dropzone Commander, or Dropfleet Commander. Having some fully painted models would be great. CORE for Dark Age, obviously, and then Resistance for Dropzone and I'm thinking UCM for Dropfleet. Dark Potential would be on the list as well but I honestly know of nobody in the area who (still) plays the game.
  4. However, also finish existing armies. Having large painted forces of Necrons and Seraphon are great, but there's still the last few models for each that remain unpainted. Getting those done and having a completed shelf would feel great. Also, for the Necrons, a lot of those models were painted years ago, near the time I started painting. Taking some time to do minor touchups or flourishes would be awesome.
  5. Complete *One* Starter Box. I wasn't kidding near the beginning when I mentioned that I have a thing about Two-Player Starter Boxes. Island of Blood, Dark Vengeance, Stormclaw, Deathwatch Overkill (technically a board game, but come on), and the Dropzone & Dropfleet Boxes. None of the models from any of these boxes have had anything but primer put on them. I would love more than anything to pick up the Age of Sigmar starter or Dark Imperium, but I can't justify it until I've proven that I can get these things done.
  6. Get (and keep) everything built. Having to stop and build things is one of the greatest impediments I have to getting things painted. That's why I tend to keep things built as much as possible so that I can just grab a model off the shelf and start painting immediately (even if it's in sub-assemblies). The only things that aren't currently built are the Standard Knight and the Knight Warden from the Renegade Box, however those do take some time, and I really just need to sit down and get them done. I also need to make sure that I'm keeping things built as I acquire them so I don't just have a pile of sprues laying about.
  7. (Try to) Keep up with Blood Bowl. Blood Bowl releases keep coming rapid-fire from both Forgeworld and GW. If I can't keep myself from having to own them all, then the least I could do is make sure they actually get painted before that game's backlog gets way too deep.

Even these goals might be too much to accomplish in 2 months. However, by chronicling everything here (and thus having an audience to let down) I'm more likely to get close than I ever would have before.

You should also make your own summer painting challenge! We all have too many models that are unpainted. Set yourself a goal and work towards it, a little bit every day. Let me know what your challenge for yourself is in the comments.