Bair’s Hobby Year in Review

Hi, my name is Bair and I play too many games. I’ve even painted them too this time (this is a drastic personal change from me pre-Covid times). The games that I did play this year include:

  • Titanicus (you should play it, it’s real good)
  • Age of Sigmar
  • Warhammer 40k
  • Horus Heresy
  • Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings
  • Kings of War Armada
  • Star Wars Legion
  • Necromunda
  • Blood Bowl 7’s
  • Warhammer Fantasy 6th Edition

I’ve painted something for all of these too, except for Blood Bowl, my dwarf team being left in the pile of grey plastic shame.

As far as writing goes, I’ve helped cover Adeptus TitanicusAge of Sigmar 3rd edition, Horus Heresy 2nd edition, and started our content for Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings which is ongoing.

Hobby This Year

It really has been a great year for hobby. At time of writing (Dec 18th) I’ve painted 427 models, which is nuts to me. My style of painting in fairness is speedpainting, using either light coloured primers or underpainting with glazes, contrast paints, metallic paints, and finishing models off usually as a shade of brown or black depending on what I’m working on (brown for dirty and darker, black for just darker). Sometimes I’ll use an oil wash instead, I really like the pre-thinned ScaleColour and MIG ones because I’m lazy and don’t want to mess around with white spirit. It’s not winning a Golden Daemon any time soon but it means I can make an effort clearing through my backlog (it’s never going to happen, but I can try!).

I post most of what I paint and complete on my instagram page: bair_paints. Because of that I’m not going to post everything that I’ve painted this last year here but will show off some of each project at least. I also don’t have an airbrush and am still convinced I don’t have the space for one, so it’s all by hand.


The year started off light with Mortarion, the Daemon Primarch of the Death Guard and a few other Death Guard units for my 40k army that I just hadn’t gotten around to painting before: some more plague marines, some of the support characters and trying some of the Dirty Down Rust effect (which is just incredible). I got this guy done for a very small RTT put together by some friends for 40k, a game system at this point which I’d played twice in the last 2 years and thought it’d be easier if I spent loads of points on a Primarch (I was right, it was). The best moment all day was when I foolishly tried to retreat with Mortarion, who only had 1 wound left, away from a Necron Ctan. He used Cut Them Down, rolled the 6 needed to cause a mortal wound with 1 dice and I proceeded to fail the 5+ feel no pain. The ensuing explosion at least also killed the Ctan, but I just couldn’t believe that that had happened…

And for something entirely smaller, also started a Necromunda game with my first games in this system played soon after. I had to go for Cawdor – the weirdly zealous poor guys of the underhives that employ explosive rats were right up my alley. I wanted to stick to the bluish theme on them but try and really make them look as grimey as possible; used more of that Dirty Down Rust on the bases. I also wrote my first and only Necromunday article about these weirdos.

Instragram: bair_paints

I also painted up a couple 3D printed buildings for my local games club to have a little more in the way of fantasy terrain as I was getting more into Age of Sigmar.. I didn’t ever get a decent pic of these that wouldn’t dox myself without some editing; I don’t have the skills for that so I’ll get some pics another time maybe.


I’d started a new (and 4th) Legio for Titanicus in 2021 but had only painted up 2 Warhounds and a Reaver so needed to expand and have a playable force. These are Legio Honorum and thank gods for hobby tape and spray paint to get those lines done. The bases are all done by BattleBling and I still have 4 more Warhounds I want to add to this Legio but haven’t gotten around to…yet. Maybe something to start off 2023 as a quick project. Thanks to this Legio’s minimally good weird swapping this group of titans can be played as a:

  • Full Axiom
  • Full Precept
  • Minimum Mandatum w/ support Reaver and Warbringer
  • Minimum Ferrox w/ support Warlord and Warbringer
  • Minimum Venator w/ support Warlord and Warbringer
  • Minimum Arcus w/ support Reaver and Warlord

This was also the month of my first weekender event of 2022 – the Maximal Fire Podcast Titanicus event. It was well run and it’s always a pleasure getting out to play more Titanicus. I love events because you get to play against people you wouldn’t otherwise with their own unique forces which can often be quite varied!

I also started my 40k Black Templar army because the newer Primaris sculpts are just gorgeous. This was a project that I added to over a couple of months following, but it started with these. Painting white on by hand was a skill I was (and still am) working on so opted to red cloaks/capes/tabards because they are so, so much easier to paint and still look good.

It was also my local gaming club’s first event of the year: a 40k doubles which I played Death Guard with Mortarion teamed up with Chaos Knights. It didn’t go….great for us really but was a good laugh throwing around loads of big models.


I continued on with my Black Templars with a really cool conversion I had in mind for a Redemptor which I was super happy with the execution on. Frankly it came together better than I had expected. For all of these conversions and added bits they’re from various Black Templar kits and just jeweller’s chain. The flaming pyre there is actually from an Age of Sigmar terrain kit that I got in a Mortal Realms magazine cheap and cut most of it apart to have that left. I also didn’t want to pay points for a missile launcher there so two birds with one stone.

Transfers are all from The Mighty Brush and look great, if they can be a bit fiddly to work with (they’re transfers after all) but the next few pieces also have 3D printed parts (gasp!) from, I believe, Archie’s Forge. If I’m wrong about that please yell at me endlessly.


for Age of Sigmar I added 2 more Heroes to my Fyreslayer army: the new Flamekeeper and a Runemaster.

Towards the end of the month I started dipping my toe into a much newer game: Conquest The Last Argument of Kings. I’d had a rank-and-flank game itch for the last couple of years and this really ticked a very important gaming box for me: alternating activations. I’d only gotten a couple of the models built at this point but was fully invested and knew I wanted to play much more of it. It’s a 38mm scale game so had an obligatory picture with a space marine showing off the size of the Jotnar (a giant) and a bagpipe-playing Nord human:

The end of the month was also the first of 2022’s Goonhammer Open where we ran our 40k Grand Tournament and our first ever Titanicus event! I was there to help set up and run the event and as spare player for Titanicus, which was great as we had a last minute drop out so stepped in and played all weekend. The Titanicus crowd were fantastic all weekend long with laughs and shouts of “ENGINE KILL” throughout.


Second event (as an attendee) of the year and more Titanicus! Soggy and I went to the first part of the Reclamation of Keremova. A narrative event series put on by the excellent Greetings from the Warp team. This was a fantastic event all around and really have nothing bad to say about it in any way. Plus there was amazing home smoked BBQ lunch on site available. I regretably didn’t take many pics of the games or event but what is still my favourite two pictures of my titans came about:

At the end of the month was an Age of Sigmar tournament, just one day with 3 games, at a local games store. I took my Fyreslayers and even won two of my games! Only losing to Lumineth Realm Lords, putting another grudge against the (a)elves in the book.


This was one of those hobby-burnout type months for me. Real-life just also happens sometimes and gets in the way of playing with toy soldiers! I didn’t actually get almost any hobby done at all aside from a few Aggressors and a Marshall for my Templars.

did however play a lot of games. Played more Necromunda, Titanicus, and some Conquest to boot now that I’d had enough of an army built. I’m awful at taking WIP or just built pictures and keeping them around long enough for a post like this.


With the second edition of Horus Heresy I sure did pick up steam again for the Heresy train. Imperial Fists are an army that I’ve done twice before for Heresy but sold off for various reasons and have stuck with (so far) this time around. The yellow is spray painted on over a white primer using rattle cans making it much easier and the models get a nice all-over brown oil wash at the end for a nice dirty mid-war look. I wanted these to be based at the Siege of Terra; they might be “home” (not Inwit, of course) but they sure don’t have time to clean their gear.

I started out with some Breachers and Terminators that I’d had in the big old pile of shame ready to be built and painted.

Much more Fists and 30k to come!


It had taken far too long to get the point of actually painting some Conquest after playing at this point a few dozen games with unpainted minis in the growing scene near me. I started off with a Jarl and some Huscarls this month.

I wanted more earthly tones on these northern raiders as opposed to the much brighter and more vibrant colours they’re usually done in.

Continuing on with the Heresy train I finished up 10 Tactical marines.


Driven with motivation to paint even more yellow for a day of gaming up at Warhammer World I quickly got done: 3 Rhinos, 10 Phalanx Warders, a Rogue Trader librarian, a Kratos, a Contemptor and Dorn. That’s a lot of yellow. Went up to Warhammer World with some friends and met up with Lupe too for a short game against his Alpha Legion. Fuck Alpha Legion. Stupid Legion with their fancy tricks and their being 2″ further away for charges. It might have helped if I rolled higher than 5 for a charge at any given time, but it’s easier to blame Alpha Legion bullshit.

Also got to play back to back weekends of Conquest against Dweghom and Wadhrun which was fantastic, keeping up a win streak for my Nords! Massively enjoying the game overall and now very excited about the second edition which was recently announced with the 7th faction too- City States with Minotaurs.

Also started to work on my Star Wars Legion Separatist army from a May the Fourth bundle I picked up (back in…May) building up loads of fiddly little droids, the painting got done next month though before playing some games.


Painted Star Wars! I got a bit over 800 points of droids painted up over a weekend in time to play exactly 1 learning game with before flying to the US for 10 days for work – which really ate into my hobby time. In the UK there were May the 4th bundles of a Core set + a bunch of other boxes, I started droids and he started Clones so we swapped halves of the Core set giving both of us pretty sizable armies. I picked up the B2 droids then because they’re so cool. Fortunately droids paint up pretty quickly but I do need to go back and add squad colours to the B1’s for ease in game.

I also got some of Mantic’s Kings of War Armada painted up. Very, very different to the kind of Armada that Summer has been covering for us, this is a naval fantasy game. Naturally I picked up the dwarfs first and then some Orcs to be able to play demo games with. These models are really incredible and full of tiny detail. Met up with otherwise Historical wargamer (who’s dipped his toe into HH recently) to show him the game and he at least seemed to enjoy it. We played a super simple game of “kill the enemy ship” before I showed him how the points work and let him build his own Orc fleet list for a game of Capture the Kraken. I think the Kraken did more damage to his ships than I did, but he still took the win, wounding the Kraken enough to score more points! It’s a really fun little game, with a lot of optional depth that I hope to get more into soon.


A hell of a month for events.

Starting off with Golden Daemon, we were invited up by Games Workshop to attend and provide some coverage so we interviewed Golden Daemon entrants both first timers and veterans. Painting to that level is not something that I’d ever been involved in, or frankly had much interest in for myself since I usually just paint models and armies quickly for gaming but going was definitely inspiring to try my hand at it. Maybe in 2023.

The very next weekend was the Reclamation of Kemerova 2 put on once again by the Greetings from the Warp team. Once again the BBQ and food was amazing. I took a really funky Vulcanum list that proved to be very solid; even painted up a Dire Wolf just for the event. It’s also made me question if any event is truly complete without bingo…

Lastly was the second Goonhammer Open of 2022 where we had another 40k Grand Tournament, the second Titanicus Narrative of 24 players and our first Horus Heresy Narrative of 24 players. I was spare player for…all 3 systems this time around and ended up playing 2 games of 40k and 1 game of Horus Heresy. I definitely don’t recommend trying to play 40k then Horus Heresy back to back, there’s too many rules that are similar but quite different! Overall the event went well and I’m looking forward to the next one in 2023.

Three weekends away from home was a lot, and not something I’ll be aiming to do again. One event per month would be nice and far more manageable. It didn’t help that my work at the time had me on US east coast hours (while being in England) full time, so suddenly on weekends needing to be “awake” in the UK morning was a hell of a thing.


I’m not sure what happened but the last two months of year is when I got over 1/4 of my hobby done, alongside still gaming the majority of weekends.

First up I painted even more yellow space marines, continuing with my Imperial Fists for Heresy. A minor kitbash on a Praetor in terminator plate to give it a solarite gauntlet and a Leviathan with melta lance to add a little more ranged firepower to my army, converted with imperial fist assault cannons from forgeworld.

Got to play a game with these too, with Dorn leading a 3,000 point force against The Lion and his Dark Angels. In this game I learned that Dorn is no slouch in combat by any means and that can even beat up on Lion, was definitely impressed. Great game overall, Phalanx Warders are tough as a wall (maybe a little too tough) after tanking 66 hits from Interemptors and only losing a single model…

Then started my Old World dwarf project. Over the 2020 lockdowns I started collecting oldhammer and middlehammer dwarfs, more for a collection than anything else; getting job lots of them, stripping the paint off them and putting them into old cases with the idea that I’d eventually be brave enough to paint some. A bit more than 2 years later apparently was the time for that!

There’s a thriving little community for 6th edition Warhammer Fantasy which seems to be in a current revival with many collectors and hobbyists still playing this specific edition. I’ll have a separate article sometime soon (hopefully) more about this and my first game back into this old edition.

The hobby side of this started because one of the local group asked me to meet up for a game. I’d told him that my army wasn’t painted but would be happy to play which he said was perfectly fine! So of course I absolutely had to paint up the whole army in just a couple weeks so that it looked better on the table.

I started with just a drafted 2250 point army, but then kind of…just kept painting. Thanks to underpainting and contrast this was pretty easy to do actually, knocking out a block of models per day in the evening after work or a couple on an otherwise lazy weekend. Incredibly fun to do and very rewarding as well.


I added even more to my Dwarf army, having gotten done the bulk of them I turned my attention to some artillery pieces and more characters.

Then I turned to and finished off my droid army backlog for Legion. Felt really great to be able to know I have nothing else waiting for me to paint for an army. So naturally I picked up the Shadow Collective starter and more Mandalorians as a second faction during Black Friday sales.

Wrapping up 2022

So that’s it! 427 models built and painted in 2022. Not something I’m going to try and match or even top in the coming year, but pretty cool that I was able to get that much done. Next up for me is finishing up my Old World Dwarf army, currently staring down 15 more Warriors, 10 more Slayers, Longbears, Ironbreakers and artillery pieces; then moving on and getting more of my Conquest army done for Nords, fingers crossed I can get some units knocked out quick enough to get more games in as well.

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