Best of 2023 (1) - another stroll down memory lane.
This year I am splitting the review of 2023 into 2 parts to make it more manageable. The first part will focus on the bits and bobs I have managed to paint up for myself whilst the second part will be about the commission work highlights.
This first part is by necessity narrower in scale as it is the miniatures I want to be playing with and obviously I only play a limited number of games whereas the second part covers literally everything! The games I play are Imperial Assault, Batman and Legiones Antiquitata. Legiones is a hybrid game wherein historical ancient armies and fantasy armies battle it out. This means that you can play Romans against Celts or against Goblins or against Arthurian Medieval! Armies are smallish but varied so owning a 3d printer means I print off a lot of really cool minis!
This guy is an Stl from onepagerules https://www.onepagerules.com/ who are absolutely killing it in terms of rules and stls. I got this as a proxy for a Balrog in my Goblin army. I had the file already via patreon and was convinced it was going to do the job but now it's painted clearly it is not. It is a fantastic demon prince type but not a Balrog... It will go up for sale in the new year and i have have already bought an actual Balrog proxy by epic miniatures to print.
Within the same Goblin army I also have these sneaky assassins and spider cavalry. The files for these are free by a hero called emang whose work is extensive and free off Cults3d. https://cults3d.com/en/users/EmanG/3d-models
I painted the Goblin army up using the 'speedypaints' as it is just for me rather than for a customer and like everything else in this blog only needs to satisfy me!
Imperial assault by FFG is also a favourite game. This is a great skirmish game unaccountably allowed to die by FFG when they released the inferior Star Wars Legions. Myself and a friend play a version whereby we randomly draw cards up to 40 points rather than choosing all the best ones over and over. This keeps it fresh despite the occasional game where one side takes a knife to a gunfight. As we draw a few days ahead of each game this allows me to paint up any figures yet unpainted and over the years almost all have been completed.
As a side note having painted figures does not improve my victory rate! However the corpses and wrecked droids/vehicles do look much nicer.
Another 3d print army completed this year was Romans. The majority of normal infantry/cavalry were by 3dbreed from Spain https://www.3dbreed.es/march-to-hell-rome/ however the more mythical types were a mixed bag.
These Roman Testudo were by Archvillain games and scratchbuilt respectively.
For a complete walkthrough of every unit in the army there are two blogs here
Batman miniatures are another of my favourite. The only halfway decent game i have found is Knight miniatures 3rd edition and I am currently working on a version played on a 30mm grid using 2d terrain but continue buying bits off ebay to repaint! Here is one of my best bargains a Court of Owls crew but in metal (older version). To this I added Dementor and Calvin Rose.but here is my favourite the Gotham Butcher with 1890s talon for scale.
I also finally completed my Penguin crew and associates. Gilet Jaune man had been sitting forlorn and unpainted in the box as i couldnt see what use he was but eventually I took pity on him and did the decent thing. Alongside the Associates ( not the 1980s band) the crew was complete.
I'm hoping for a good year for BMG. The game itself is decent and Knight seem to have worked on the app. If new cards are a reasonable price in the new year and a good starter box produced - possibly with 2d terrain it may go well.
As an afterthought I also updated my Joker crew with the new Street Jester and Gas Puppets minis and took the opportunity to use the new speedy type paints I had bought. I have Vallejo, speedpaint and some citadel, all of which I use as the colours were the key factor in choice. I use them literally for speed and only do about 10% after using normal paints for touch up.
An unusual miniature I painted this year was this vampire by Titanforge https://titan-forge.com/ which was going to be the general of an undead force for Legions. This plan came to nothing as my co developer for Legiones Antiquitata decided he would like to have undead so there was no point wasting printing time making a second army. By then this mini and the creepy doorkeeper had been printed and was just too good to not paint. I have described this as more of a goth opera than a miniature!
In a more historical vein (could not resist - apologies) the Bronze age was big. I have always been fascinated by the mediterranean Bronze age and its collapse. I have read and reread Eric Cline's book 1170 BC the year civilisation collapsed and have been lucky enough to visit Egypt and Crete so Stls covering the bronze age are absolutely my bag. Redcopper miniatures hit it out the park this year with their qadesh KS and Scropha miniatures are also releasing great stuff. https://redcopperminiatures.com/ https://www.myminifactory.com/fr/users/scropha-miniatures
Redcopper Sea peoples
Scropha Mycenean Chariot Dendera armour
I have also dabbled in Bloodbowl during the year but it has not become a favourite sadly. As a result I painted up the armies in the box set and will be putting them up for sale in the new year once I work out how to put a 'For Sale' page on the website. The miniatures are the usual great GW standard and were nice to paint but I just dont feel the game enough to invest limited game time in it rather than other games.
Fine athletes... I feel like i have played Sunday League and % a side against these guys!
Finally this year was also the year I completed a pretty substantial Ratmen army for Legiones Antiquitata again the Stls being by Emang and Archvillain games. https://archvillaingames.com/
It is genuinely tough to pick a favourite here but these are probably them.
Archvillain Rat Ogres
For a full walkthrough of every unit there is another blog here https://www.firstcommissionpainting.co.uk/single-post/you-mightn-t-happen-to-have-a-piece-of-cheese-about-you-a-ratmen-army
Part 2 on the commission painted favourites to follow.