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Hindsight is 2020

Greetings, Bunker dwellers! As we pop corks and douse the dumpster fire of 2020 in the champagne of optomism we felt it was time to look at our Year In Hobby. Because let's face it, while 2020 has been awful for gaming and socialising it has been something of a perfect opportunity for hardcore hobbying. 

2021 Official motto: "At least it isn't 2020"

Jeff: This year started for me with actually finishing an army. Like finishing finishing. The last bits of my Genestealer Cult fell in to place and I was properly content. After all, this was winter and we could still feel content about things. [WANT TO KNOW MORE? Follow the "Starborn Souls" tag]

Charlie: These guys looks great, Jeff, and I note there are already 15 minis in the above photo. By this point in the year I had painted [checks notes] Space Marine. 

Jeff: In the very early spring we had a lovely prep week at the Beard Bunker getting ready for the Border Princes campaign. Which was ace. I also went entirely insane and painted All The Dwarfs in that week. Essentially I painted a new small army in a matter of days expanding the Stormbornes. [WANT TO KNOW MORE? Follow this link!]

Charlie: Jesus H Chipotle, Jeff, that's a lot of dudes to grunt out in a week. If memory serves I vaguely based some second hand goblins and spruced up an eBay fustercluck of black orcs. I count none of these against my tally of dudes painted because, well, that's clearly cheating. Also they look nowhere near as nice as these dwarfs. 

Jeff: By April things were looking a smidge bleak and my headweasels were doing a number on me so... we enter the phase of 2020 painting that we are catagorising as "Jeff paints his feelings away," starting with expanding a Necromunda gang into a damn platoon. [WANT TO KNOW MORE? Blood & Chrome]:

And as if that wasn't enough, an entire Bolt Action Commando army [WANT TO KNOW MORE? Commandos] also appeared on the horizon. 

Jeff: That would probably have been a good years work if I'm honest but no! We're nowhere near done. I'm painting my feelings away damnit! I decided that this year would be the year that I descended into a long planned project, Word Bearers. [WANT TO KNOW MORE? Graven Star] These obviously needed a core of marines.

Charlie: Oh, cool, so like 15-30 dudes yeah?

Jeff: [uploads photo]

Charlie: What.

Jeff: Many, many Cultists:

Charlie: The.

Jeff: A few Demons:
(which are really tough to photograph well)

Charlie: F---.

Jeff: And some nasty weird stuff

This army is in much the same state as the Genestealers were in 2019. Very, very near completion with only a few big pushes to go to get them over the hump. Surely that's got to be it right? Um. Nope. I needed a pallete cleanser mid-chaos and so painted some Empire for my Averlanders... [WANT TO KNOW MORE? Averland]


Jeff: But that surely is it, right? RIGHT?

Charlie: It'd better be.

Jeff: Um, nope. There's also a couple of single figures, a couple of objectives and um... 20 Goliaths that I haven't photographed yet. Ahem. So yeah, it's been a busy year. Somewhat productive shall we say, to the tune of, drumroll, 357 figures. Near as damnit one a day. I call that a good painting year. Now I am just JONESING to get some games with the things!

Charlie: [starts to sweat nervously as he realises the other kids have done more homework than he did; looks hopefully at Maisey in case a dog ate Maisey's hobby progress and makes Charlie look less unproductive]

Maisey: My year has been a little different.

Charlie: This sounds promising.

Maisey: Average painting output--

Charlie: Crap, nevermind

Maisey: --some gaming, and work has been knocked up a notch in intensity. Working for the ambulance service in the middle of a plague doesn't result in as much free time as some people.  

Charlie: Way to throw salt in the wound, dude.

Maisey: The first part of the year was some tidying up of my Pile-o-Shame, which I have to admit is tiny compared to others. I finished off the outstanding Thousand Sons' bits with painting Captain Calimari and some Ogres for the aborted second phase of the Border Princes campaign.

I have attempted a couple of new projects this year but the lack of gaming and yet another new edition killed my interest in 40k for the time being. I did manage to get a little demon detachment done as well as some Tau. Neither managed to kindle much more than as passing interest so they got shelved until I can work up the interest to actually paint more. 

What has managed to hold my interest has been the historical stuff. This year I've totally re-done my German Army for Bolt Action. My previous army was done before Warlord launched their revamped heer Grenadier box which was a massive step up. I also added a few vehicles and field guns that I hadn't had before.

Em and have also started dipping our toes into the Dark Ages with some Saxon vs Viking action using the Hail Casear ruleset. It is still early days on this but being from Winchester I legally had to do a Wessex army. 


I've also dived back into the Napoleonics. With the advent of Contrast paints they are no longer a massive pain in the thingy to paint and I've been knocking them out pretty quick. At this point the armies of France have no equal, until I get excited about a different faction or Jeff and Em finish painting their British.

Charlie: Three small armies and added to several of your 40K forces. Cool. I guess I could just not post my own output, since that way no-one has to know. Well, Andy, you're my last hope of escaping the "least productive member of the Bunker crew." Please tell me you sucked this year.

Andy:  Yeah.....  probably not.

Charlie: Makes a last-ditch wish in the form of Baby Yoda GIFs.

Andy: Much as I'd love to make that wish come true, it would appear that being trapped at home thanks to "All This and That" and far too many remote meetings where I can thankfully keep the camera turned off has meant I've also had a productive year.  In approximate order of completion this has included:

Painting 10 Namarti Whatsits to expand the number of Waywatchers in my Wood Elf army and 2 Great Eagles, as artillery and Jeff's Gyrocopter were not my friend in the Border Princes.  Having learned of the joys of static grass I also finished basing the whole army, can I claim 25% credit for that???

I've also made a very conscious effort to clear my backlog this year.  I have come to the realisation that I struggle when I've got all sorts going on, preferring to have a single task to deal with at a time.  I'd let too much pile up over time so the closure of most shops at the start of our lockdown I took the chance to assess, binned a whole bunch of crud, and decided how I was going to clear what I wanted to keep.  

This included the Tau Vanguard Detachment I'd picked up when Apocalypse launched.  Contrast paints meant I could finally create the coloured metallic look I wanted for an Iron Man themed colour scheme.

... an Ambot for my Cawdor gang, the AmbleShrine ...


... and a whole pile of old metal models I'd hung on to since I was a kid - 16 Guard of the Tikendarokan 6th Mobile Infantry, 3 Storm Troopers painted as if they were the personal guard of a planetary Governor, 3 random Catachan models painted up as Dock Workers who’ve taken up arms, 6 old Escher who have also taken up arms, and 20 old Delaque, a local planetary gang. There's another 23 Catachan in the queue which will be the last of my childhood collection.

Last but not least, there were the Necrons. That Indomitus box was just so much sweet sweet temptation. Of course it didn't stop there, so now there's an extra Lord, Warden, Technomancer, Plasmancer, 2 Cryptothralls, Canoptek Reanimator, Doomstalker, Spyder, 3 Wraiths, 3 Skorpekh Destroyers, Plasmacyte, Triarch Stalker, and I also updated the paintjob on 10 Flayed Ones as they were a little tired. Yeah, just a minor expansion then 8(.

All my other progress (apparently like Jeff, and yet nowhere near as much as Jeff, that wasn't enough) is thanks to buying a house (purchases count right?). Now I can finally setup to be able to game and I also tricked one of our fellow nerds into moving around the corner <evil laugh!>. This has resulted in a rather pleasing amount of scenery getting built and painted. TT Combat's excellent Iron Labyrinth, a series of Multiverse Terrain containers (some will become workshops), and a couple of the delightful Mekboy Workshop kits (below is a little sample of this still very much WIP collection).

All of which leads to the final achievement unlocked for 2020, garden gaming. We even managed to add to the romanticism by gaming by fairy light as the night and lockdown closed in.

Careful the bald spot doesn't blind you


Charlie: OK clearly Andy's let me down, but I've got a secret trump card to avoid the mantle of "Bunker's least productive grot." Tom, the hatless one in the photos above, has written a few guest posts for the Bunker in the past, so technically I can ask to see his 2020 output. Why would I do that? Because Tom is famously a glacially slow painter who was only recently convinced to try using a palette. Take it away, Tom...

Tom: [uploads photo to Google Drive]

Charlie: Shit. Betrayed by Contrast paints, coloured spray, and extreme enthusiasm. There are no cards left to play, and at last, I can reveal my epic total miniatures painted in 2020 was...



Here's the first eighteen:

Spot the odd one out

And now for the nineteenth:

This right here was 6 weeks of my year


By this point in the post you either respect my commitment to the bit, or are screaming at the screen saying that hobby progress is subjective, and that it's not always useful to compare yourself to others like this. Frankly, you're right. And to be honest that's pretty much the thrust of the roundup I posted over at Goonhammer. I did a bunch of time consuming things this year which were definitely hobby related but didn't involve painting minis, from making maps and illustrations to... well, to writing several chonky articles for Goonhammer into which I poured a fair amount of love. So as much as my output quantity is laughable, I'm really feeling quite content.  This isn't a race, it's a hobby, and one that has continued to bring me joy in a year that was otherwise... less than ideal.

I hope the same is true for you, and if you've done your own roundup on your blog/Insta/whatever, feel free to link it in the Comments section so we can go and admire your hard work. And/or to confirm to me that I am in fact the least productive hobby grot on Terra.


  1. Charlie, if it makes you feel better, I only painted 10 dudes this year. Lol

    1. LOL, smashed it mate :D

      Of course, if those 10 models were 28mm scale warlord titans... but then again, like I say, my take home message from this year has been that we only benefit from comparing ourselves to others if that comparison is about learning something. :)

  2. "It can't get any worse" less known motto of 2021.
    Here's to a better year full of hobby!


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