The 2017 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1: A look back at my hobby year

Awards

Once again, welcome everyone to the 2017 Eternal Hunts Awards, my blog’s annual feature to analyse the past year’s great – and not so great – hobby moments, pick my favourite (and least favourite) models from GW’s slew of releases and single out some of the most spectacular hobby work I’ve seen online. So let’s snap to it, shall we? πŸ˜‰

For today’s installment, let’s start once again with a recap of my hobby year and my personal projects. While the numbers really aren’t all that spectacular this year, I still hope I have a few cool things to reminisce about — so let’s take a look:

 

I. My hobby projects

I think it’s no hyperbole to say that 2017 was yet another firestorm of a year, especially with regard to politics and RL events. It has also been a pretty busy and draining year for me personally — and my hobby output clearly reflects this: I started strong, back in January, but the stream of finished new models then diminished into a trickle over the year. So at year’s end, here I stand with but twelve painted models to my name (with another one currently on the painting desk):

Doesn’t really sound all that impressive now, does it? The bright side is that I am actually really happy with every single model that I have managed to paint this year, and that has to count for something, right? πŸ˜‰ I would also argue that some of the models were really rather intricate challenges and, in one case, a definite step outside my comfort zone. So let’s take a closer look at some of the more remarkable completions.

 

1. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt


This probably won’t surprise you, but my longest running army project, the World Eaters’ 4th assault company, once again made for the lion’s share of my hobby output — albeit in a slightly different way from before. This year, I decided to focus on exploring the Horus Heresy era incarnation of Lorimar and his merry band of butchers, and tried to actually get some of the models I had build last year painted, while also adding a new conversion here and there. And this small collection of models is finally starting to look pretty appealing, if you ask me:

One project in particular stands out with regard to my 30k World Eaters: As some of you will probably still remember, two of my favourite achievements from last year were two versions of Angron I managed to build and paint: One representing the XII Primarch during his days as a gladiator, the other an interpretation of his latter years (and millennia) as a Daemon Primarch.

Even with those two versions of the Primarch finished, however, there was still the official Forgeworld model that Adam Wier (of Between the Bolter And Me ), sent to me, incredibly enough:

Forgeworld Angron WIP (1)

Now I do of course realise that painting Forgeworld Primarch models probably isn’t all that special any more — but it definitely was for me, seeing as I had never worked with an official Primarch model before. Plus this was pretty much my favourite Primarch as well as an incredible gift from Adam — so I really wanted to do Angron justice. And I do believe I’ve managed to pull it off:


What’s more, I created yet another version of Angron, based around an iconic illustration by Wayne England and built from the freebie Slaughterpriest that came with the first copy of the relaunched White Dwarf:


Trying to create a model to fit the classic piece of artwork was a really cool challenge and provided yet another chance to explore the Primarch’s troubled – and bloody – background. You can read up on what went into the model’s creation here, in case you are interested.

This leaves me with three different incarnations of Angron during his mortal life, and I do think there’s a nice sense of character progression throughout this mini-collection:


In addition to the Primarch, I also applied myself to the creation of a model representing his equerry, Eighth Captain KhΓ’rn. The official Forgeworld version of the character didn’t quite click with me, for a number of reasons, so I endeavoured to make my own version:


Beyond Primarchs and equerries, however, I didn’t forget the rank and file: One model I am still particularly happy with is Ancient Vaako, my very first Contemptor — and actually the first model I painted in 2017:


What pleases me most about Vaako is that the model is a conversion of the somewhat awkward plastic Contemptor from the Betrayal at Calth boxed set — a conversion that I would still consider a pretty big success. So much so, in fact, that my second Contemptor uses the exact same base model πŸ˜‰

Come to think of it, I actually did paint one model for the 40k version of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt: My very red version of Be’lakor:


The model was another excellent gift, this time courtesy of my good friend Annie. I really consider Be’lakor a model for the ages, so I am really happy to have him in my collection — painting him was a blast, too! Thanks again to Annie, for another brilliant contribution to my collection!

2. The world of INQ28

I have to admit that I once again gave short shrift to the INQ28 angle of the hobby this year — although not for lack of trying. I did manage to work on one of my more freeform projects, however, painting two more models for my downhive band of malcontents, the Road Crew — they are growing into a rather eclectic little group, if I do say so myself:

These guys really are such a fun diversion, so expect to see more of them in 2018 — especially since they seem to tie perfectly into many Necromunda-related shenanigans πŸ˜‰

 

 

Β II. My favourite hobby moments

Of course it wasn’t all about painting models, and 2017, in particular, was marked by some particularly awesome moments:

Probably the absolute high point, bar none, was my visit to Amsterdam in the summer, where I got to spent a fantastic weekend with fellow hobbyist – and great guy – Augustus b’Raass:

We talked shop, tasted a broad selection of tasty local beers, put some of our respective models against each other for a pretty cool photoshoot and spent some time polishing each other’s bald heads to a mirror sheen — actually, just one of the above items was made up by me πŸ˜‰



Oh, and let’s not forget mentioning that I got so see Auggie’s brilliant version of ADB’s First Claw from up close:

First Claw by Augustus b’Raass (1)

Now going to the Netherlands isn’t exactly a monumental trip for a German, but it was still a big deal for me, mostly because I previously only really “knew” Augustus from our exchanges via The Bolter & Chainsword, plus I am also a bit of a scaredy cat, really. I really had a blast during the weekend, though, and Augustus was such a gracious host, as well as an excellent conversationalist — I actually couldn’t be any happier to have taken the plunge! Many thanks once again to Augustus for this excellent trip – definitely one of the best moments of 2017 for me – and I sincerely hope we’ll be hearing from each again sooner rather than later, buddy! πŸ™‚

You can read up on the trip – and take a look at many more nifty photos – over here.

My second-favourite hobby moment of 2017 actually ties right back to my visit to Amsterdam: While visiting the GW store there, I met Rowdy/BubblesMcBub, who not only made my day by basically me treating like a rock star, but was also incredibly generous enough to let me have almost the entire Death Guard half of the Dark Imperium boxed set, which really blew me away! Now it actually took me until Christmas to actually start and repay Bubbles for his kindness, but a first supply drop is hopefully making its way to the Netherlands as I am writing this (also see my previous post on the matter). Anyway, thanks again for your generosity, mate!

There were even more cool moments, though: I loved it when I discovered that Dariiy had created an illustration based on my conversion of Daemon Primarch Angron for a friend of hers:

Angron illustration by Dariiy

I couldn’t even tell you what makes me happier: Looking at that illustration or knowing that somebody actually has that up on their wall somewhere, and that my model played a part in that πŸ˜‰

I would also be remiss not to mention my continued correspondence – and exchange of hobby ideas, with DexterKong, something that has become instrumental in building the world that informs practically all of my INQ28 models. The same also goes for all the other hobbyists I am in semi-regular contact with – PDH, Neil101, Inquisitor Mikhailovich,… — the only problem is that I regularly take forever to answer to each and every e-mail…

Oh, and one final high point for this year arrived just in time for Christmas, with Eternal Hunt finally achieving one million views! Yay!

III. Blogging

In fact, this neatly leads into talking about the state of this blog – and the state of my blogging – for a bit: In addition to finally ammassing the magical million views, Eternal Hunt also turned five this year, which was pretty awesome:


Looking back made me realise that this blog not only serves as a motivating factor to actually get things done, but it has also grown into a platform for getting in contact with other hobbyists from around the world and form a social network, if you will, that not only provides me with fantastic input and feedback, but has also led to my collection being enriched by fantastic pieces of work from fellow hobbyists, which is really a rather humbling experience, when you think about it:

And, according to a fun discovery while browsing my WordPress statistics, I also seem to have some readers in pretty high places…


Seriously, though: I would really love to know whether those hits were accidental or there’s really a 40k fan in the Vatican…

At the same time, and in spite of all the positive news, I am also painfully aware that 2017 has been my least active blogging year so far, with only 25 posts versus the previous year’s 44. The reasons for that are mostly personal, and RL-based, but the fact remains that the blog has been far less busy this year and, probably as a consequence, has been losing views and readers. Now I know that one really shouldn’t look at the numbers so much, but the numbers for this year actually going down for the first time in this blog’s life is still ever so slightly depressing — in fact, it feels as though it gets harder and harder to get people to actually engage with content, even in the case of more sizeable, rather well thought-out posts, which is probably also a consequence of so many hobbyists rather gravitating towards social media like Facebook or Instagram for their chance to look at pretty pictures.

Personally speaking, I find this prospect hardly encouraging, as those platforms don’t really seem to encourage actual conversations, more often than not. So if I can make one small wish for Christmas, it’s that people not only continue to frequent this blog and comment on its content – although that would be really awesome – but also to not forget the blogosphere and the classic forums. They may not be the modern, new-fangled way of doing things, but I have to admit that I find myself feeling critical of big social networks more and more, for reasons well beyond this shared hobby of ours.

IV. Plans

Whatever happens next year, I am pretty confident that cutting up and painting little plastic men – and writing about it – will be a part of it. So with the knowledge that I am easy to distract and horribly lazy, what’s in store for 2018?

The Horus Heresy era World Eaters will be one of the most important projects in 2018, without a doubt: There are already lots of pretty nifty conversions I want to see painted! If I had to pick out one thing from this project that I really want to paint next year,…it actually wouldn’t be a World Eater, but a Word Bearer:


Both DexterKong and InquisitorMikhailovich dared me to build a model for Argel Tal, leader of the Gal’Vorbak, and after some initial misgivings, I actually built two models — one for his “mortal” version, and one for when he puts on his game face. Painting both while trying to create a sense of continuity between them should be challenging but fun — the models will also make for a pretty cool companion piece for my KhΓ’rn conversion. So expect to see these guys finished some time next year!

Thanks to BubblesMcBub, I also have the beginnings of a small 40k Death Guard army project in my possession, and I am pretty happy with the test models I have painted so far:


So there’s going to be some Death Guard in my future as well. Incidentally, I only just finished a Death Guard conversion that I am rather happy with:

Remember Maxime Pastourel’s excellent Lord of Contagion model from the Dark Imperium boxed set? I truly love that model! I treated myself to two of those, via bitz swap: One to leave completely unaltered, the other one I wanted to convert. My initial idea was that making the model into a representation of Typhus would be a nifty idea.

But then the massive Death Guard release dropped and gave us not only a new model for Typhus, but two different sets of DG terminators — which pretty much seemed to defeat the exercise of converting the Lord of Contagion. Moreover, the conversion just didn’t come together, with the model seemingly fighting me every step of the day. So back into the box it went.

But I came across those bitz earlier this week, and gave it another go. And I think I may finally be on to something. Take a look:



Beyond standard 40k, I also really want to focus on the INQ28 and specialist angle next year. And alas, one thing I never really got around to in 2017 was to get some paint on Redactor Orlanth and his operatives:

Inquisitor Orlanth and Parchment Scrotener WIP
Which is really a shame, because that retinue contains some of my best INQ28 conversions, if you ask me…oh well, I’ll just have to postpone this project to 2018 πŸ˜‰

Alongside more work on the Road Crew, of course: I already told you that those guys would be getting some more attention next year, and the next applicants for the merry little group are already lined up:


Of course there’s also the fact that the Road Crew perfectly fits into the new Necromunda, and I am also rather looking forward to taking those new gang sprues for a spin, so yeah…

For the immediate future, however, I would mainly love to make some time for painting over the holidays, so wish me luck with that! πŸ™‚

 

If all goes according to plan, the next installment of the 2017 Eternal Hunt Awards should arrive before the new year, with the third and final episode following some time in (hopefully early) January: After all, we still have to take a look at both GW’s 2017 releases and the best work from fellow hobbyists around the world, right?

But for now, let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and say thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who sent me bitz, models, e-mails, ideas, read this blog or commented! You guys are what keeps the Eternal Hunt going! Please keep it up! πŸ˜‰

As for readers and commenters, it goes without saying that I would love to hear any comments or feedback you might have about my 2017 output, so feel free to sneak in a quick line before mass or after opening your Christmas presents πŸ˜‰

And finally, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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24 Responses to “The 2017 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1: A look back at my hobby year”

  1. BubblesMcBub Says:

    Come on i didn’t treat you like a rock star… …i was just very nice πŸ˜›
    Anyways exited for 2018 i hope it will be a better year for the hobby (as it was also one of my least productive years for the hobby)
    As for the “rant”about social media i totally agree
    As a matter of fact i’ll be starting my own blog soon(ish) just need to tink of a name (am thinking about some thing like: “Bubble’s Bubbly adventures in the many bubbles of wargaming” but thats a bit long) and i need to do something hobby wise to blog about but tis a busy time for me right now with christmas etc.
    Hope to also see you fav video game you played this year in the awards!

    • Haha, fair enough — my working hypothesis is that the Netherlands are basically what Germany would be like if everyone were super friendly and talked in a slightly funny way πŸ˜‰

      As for my favourite games this year, I doubt there’s an actual post in that one, but off the top of my head, and in no partiuclar order: Dishonored 2/Death of the Outsider. The Wolf Among Us. Inside. The Last Guardian. And Horizon Zero Dawn has me locked in its jaws more firmly than any game I’ve played in a long time…

      Make sure to let me know once you’ve set up your blog, mate!

  2. Awesome effort! Great work, KS. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

  3. Love the blog, and appreciate the effort you put in to not only your work, but the thought processes and general love of the hobby. As someone who is slowly re-integrating himself into the ‘lived’ world of the hobby as opposed to the virtual, it’s great to see blogs which engender a sense of community (and that was not apparent when I was a child/teenager). Keep up the great work, can’t wait to see more 30k World Eaters and a painted Argel Tal! Merry Christmas!

  4. The quantity may not have been there but the quality certainly was. Amazing work my friend. I look forward to seeing more great and inspirational stuff from you in ’18.

  5. Hope you had a great Christmas, and good luck with getting in some more painting before the New Year (I’ll bee needing some I& that luck too, if you have any spare!)

    I think my favourite model that you completed this year is probably the Wayne England insopired version of Angron, Inthink it stands very favourably alongside the Forgeworld version. All of your models are awesome though!

    As for your comments on social media, I’m in two minds – n the one hand, being on Twitter has opened my eyes to a whole world of awesomeness hobbyists out there (and the myriad puns of Ex Profundis…), but on the other I’m still not entirely sure how to use the darn thing (when is is appropriate to use a #hashtag?), and it moves so fast that by the time Imhave something relevant to say, the whole world has moved on. I’m going to see if I can’t start posting some hobby content myself this year (just gotta finish some models off first) and see how that goes.

    I suspect there’s a balance o be struck there somewhere… maybe I’d be better blogging than twittering, but either way I’m going to make more of an effort to comments on the awesome blogs I’ve found this year!

    Looking forward to the rest of your 2017 awards, and seein* what you come up with next year!

    • Cheers, mate! That Angron conversion is still very close to my heart, to be honest πŸ˜‰ Glad you like him!

      And fair enough about the social media stuff — I definitely see the benefits. That being said, after years of believing social media would actually be a benefit to communication and the exchange of ideas, I now feel like the big networks, at least, may actually have the opposite effect — look no further than political discussions for ample proof. I will admit it’s a great way of getting to look at lots and lots of snazzy miniature pictures, though πŸ˜‰

  6. Prometian Painting Says:

    Merry Christmas to you too! I’ve been lurking on your blog for years without commenting, but your point about social media vs. Forums and blogs hit home.

    I’ve been posting my stuff on Facebook groups for a while, and I must admit, it’s quite hard to get an interesting dialogue going. Your blog actually inspired me to start my own, so I could give a more detailed account of my hobby and (hopefully, if it gains a following) have some interesting conversations with other hobbyists.

    If you’d like to network, I’d be honoured – a lot of your conversions inspired mine over the years, and any feedback from yourself would be greatly appreciated!

    Keep up the good work, and don’t worry too much about the frequency of your posts – I come back every week or so to check either way, and it’s important that the quality outweighs the quantity. Besides, real life must always come first.

    • Cheers for commenting, mate! Confession time, I only really checked out your blog after obsessively following your content on Flickr for quite a while now — goes to show I tend to fall into the same traps I keep complaining about, eh? That being said, I am more than a little flattered that you should have taken inspiration from my work, while arguably improving on many aspects of my conversions in your own army. Speaking of which, it’s a funny coincidence you should comment now, because, erm…let’s just say you may want to stick around for the next instalment of the Eternal Hunt Awards… πŸ˜‰

      • Prometian Painting Says:

        I should probably revitalise that flickr account – that’s another of the downsides to social media over blogs, you finish a project and then have the almost-as-exhausting task of updating half a dozen different sites and groups!

        I was already looking forward to seeing the awards, but now I’m definitely excited. Can’t wait!

      • I hear you about the drag of having to keep up with half a dozen threads and online channels πŸ™‚ It’s one more reason why I’ll skip creating Facebook and Instagram versions of Eternal Hunt…

  7. Congratulations of 5 fantastic years (Between the Bolter and Me just turned 5 too!)! Your blog is always an inspiration, particularly when social media continues to overtake blogs and forums. While things like Instagram are nice for quickly seeing models, they can’t compete with a blog for conveying more detailed information to help other hobbyists, and encourage discussion. Currently, I use Instagram more as a way to “advertise” our blog’s new posts, hoping some will take the time to stop by the blog afterwards.

    You still had a very productive year! All the models you painted are some of your best; it is really awesome to see all of those Angron models next to each other! Good luck in 2018

    • Thanks a lot, Eric! And it’s actually been almost six years (the fifth birthday was last February, with the next one already coming up — how time flies). That Angron model was such an incredible gift from Eric — and I actually still have those models I wanted to send over to you guys. Just didn’t get around to that for ages. Looks like there should be a new year’s resolution in that one, eh? πŸ˜‰

  8. Happy new year . Happy 5th bday and Congratulations on that milestone .

  9. Awwww Krauty! Thanks for the name drop and that goofy pic of us in Amsterdam. Finally meeting you and spending a whole weekend with you was also one of the highlight of 2017 to me, and I thoroughly hope we can do it again some time, either here in Amsterdam or in your own hallowed halls. Glad to see you back posting. And don’t worry about FB or other fancy new forums – blogging here and on the B&C will continue unabated. Cheers to you, my friend!

  10. Moin Kraut,
    This might actually be the appropriate post to answer that I just spend a good chunk of my free time just reading through your blog’s archive, opening 20 tabs of ‘stuff to get back to’ in the process. Well, finally through and about to add your blog on feedly.

    I’ve been an ardent collector of 40k stuff over the last 10 years (actually got into the hobby 30 years ago oO), but the progress you had in your painting and the motivation it gave to you gave me a better idea on what I want to achieve with my hobby and how a blog to accompany that could be structured. (Real Life is taxing as is though, so don’t hold your breath). I’ll be sure to mention you when/if I get that whole thing off the ground!

    Well, greetings from a fellow Lower Saxon, please keep up the great work and keep showing of your awesome stuff!

    • Moin moin! πŸ™‚

      That is really very nice of you to say, mate! Thanks for the kind words! I am really glad to have made a difference!

      Make sure to let me know when you start your blog, and I’ll make sure to take a look! Where in Lower Saxony are you, btw?

      • I’m from Hanover, but actually have been living in Brussels for 3 years now. (Also, I made one omission and one mistake above, I meant to say the free time of my last week; and it’s ‘only’ been 20 years, which makes much more sense given that I’m 32) πŸ˜€

        I collect all kinds of Eldar, Alpha Legion, and Genestealer Cults, so the blog will obviously be very different in the models I’ll present, but I really liked the frequency and style of your posts, so I hope to emulate that to a degree. Craftworld and Alpha Legion don’t allow as much individualisation as your World Eaters, so I think progress there will be more squad and painting based, which leaves the Genestealers, any Exodites, Chaos Eldar, and maybe certain Dark Eldar units and the Alpha Legion vehicles (and operatives/cultists) for more individuality. For now I need to finally fit a desk into my tiny room though, without that this will be a very academic discussion πŸ˜‰

  11. […] the one hand, there are the numbers: The blog hit the mark of one million views back in December, and I’ve had 391,000 visitors and accumulated 371 followers (cheers, people! You rock!). But […]

  12. […] that had made its way all across the globe to reach me. Plus I have already been able to eclipse my 2017 painting output (twelve models), and we still have quite a bit of 2018 ahead of us, haven’t we? […]

  13. […] am actually really happy with this project so far: Finally getting some paint on this retinue was one of my big hobby resolutions for 2018, and so far I am making pretty good headway! Just two or three more models, and the retinue should […]

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