Jack’s 2023 in Review

I can best sum my year up as plenty of painting, not enough gaming. I painted around 200 models (plus some terrain), but only played 15 games of 40k maybe two dozen games of Battletech. Quite a bit of the painting was the sheer volume of Battletech, culminating in painting 99 mechs over the final quarter of the year, but over the rest of the year I also got to paint a bunch of my absolute favorite GW models.


Horus Ascended, on display base. Credit: Jack Hunter

Starting the year off strong was the biggest of the very small handful of chaos models I’ve ever painted, Horus Ascended

Wolf’s Dragoons Gamma Regiment Ares ARC-V1E Apollo. Credit: Jack Hunter

As with most months of the year, I painted a few mechs – they’re so much quicker to paint than 40k (especially big centerpieces) that they’re always a wonderful break.


Imperial Fists Brutalis Dreadnought. Credit: Jack Hunter

Strike Force Agastus released, with my second favorite Imperial Fists model (the brutalis) and one of my least favorites (the desolation marines). I’ve run the brutalis in almost every game since it released despite it never being tremendously effective purely because of how much I love the model and my split tone paint job.

Imperial Fists Desolation Squad. Credit: Jack Hunter

I threw together some shoulder mounts for the desolation marines, and while that was an improvement it wasn’t enough to make me actually love the models. I’m glad that at this point they’ve been nerfed into near irrelevance so I don’t need to field them.

Wolf’s Dragoons Thunderbolt. Credit: Jack Hunter


Commander Farsight. Credit: Jack Hunter

In this month of mechs I painted Greg’s favorite model (and tbh one of mine also), shin Farsight. The candycoat is absolutely my favorite way to paint Tau, and if it wasn’t such a pain in the ass to do I’d be very tempted to do an entire army of it.

Large mechs. Credit: Jack Hunter

I also 3d printed and painted a set of large mechs using models ripped from MWO. There isn’t any game I can use them for, but they’re fun to have on my shelf.


Primaris Dante Comparison. Credit: Jack Hunter

Continuing on the theme of marines, this month I got to paint up two of my favorite character models. Dante is one I’ve loved pretty much forever, and still have the original metal model I got back in 3rd edition, and the Lion is just a great model that let me play around a bit with how I painted his armor.

The Lion. Credit: Jack Hunter


Hextech City. Credit: Jack Hunter

Lots of painting – nothing finished for 40k though. What I did finish was my Battletech city board using Hextech terrain, which I was pretty immediately able to use for an event in my flgs.

Hextech City. Credit: Jack Hunter

Hextech City. Credit: Jack Hunter

Hextech City. Credit: Jack Hunter


Imperial Fists Terminators, Sternguard, and Ballistus Dreadnought. Credit: Jack Hunter

All that painting in May paid off in June, as Leviathan and 10th edition released early in the month. I painted up the new terminators, the sternguard, the librarian, the captain, and the ballistus dread before the launch. The terminator captain is such a lovely model, and has been in every game I’ve played since 10th released.

Imperial Fists Terminator Captain. Credit: Jack Hunter

Imperial Fists Terminator Librarian. Credit: Jack Hunter

Imperial Fists Terminator Squad. Credit: Jack Hunter

Imperial Fists Sternguard. Credit: Jack Hunter

Imperial Fists Ballistus Dreadnought. Credit: Jack Hunter


Jack’s 2000 point Imperial Fists army from the Tacoma Open 2023.

This was my second time attending the Tacoma Open (though the first year it was erroneously named the Seattle Open), and my first games of 10th. While my win/loss record wasn’t particularly good, I managed to avoid losing all the games, and took home the best painted trophy. I’ll now be hunting for that at every tournament I attend. This year we had a bunch of Goonhammer authors attending, which as always was the most fun part of any event.

Imperial Knight Lancer. Credit: Jack Hunter

After the tournament I had the plastic Knight Lancer to paint up, and while it was tempting to paint it either in the candycoat scheme of my existing knights or the purple of my reaver titan, Vallejo had recently re-launched the game color line including oranges that don’t suck, so I decided to test them out. Turns out they’re great!


Dominator. Credit: Jack Hunter

After the big knight in July, August moved me back to painting Battletech. I liked the orange and white scheme from the knight, and wanted to paint a group of mechs that were based to match my city board, so started up a whole new force. One of the wonderful things about the game is how easy that is, as you just need to paint a handful of mechs to have a playable lance.

Eris. Credit: Jack Hunter

Wolf’s Dragoons Quickdraw. Credit: Jack Hunter

I also got my hands on the demolisher tank and quickdraw from the upcoming Mercenaries kickstarter, and gave them a quick paint job to match up with my Wolf’s Dragoons.

Wolf’s Dragoons Demolisher. Credit: Jack Hunter


Imperial Fist Terminator Squad. Credit: Jack Hunter

We got another wave of marine releases in September, and I painted up more terminators (can you tell that I like terminators yet?). The multipart terminator squad is great, though I felt more marginal about the terminator chaplain. It’s an OK model but I don’t think it has as much interest as the other characters.

Imperial Fist Terminator Chaplain. Credit: Jack Hunter


Imperial Fists Apothecary Biologis. Credit: Jack Hunter

These two months kinda blurred together, and I’m not sure which models I finished in October vs November, as I was busy prepping for the Grand Narrative. I needed to paint quite a bit for the event – gladiator lancer turrets (fortunately I could just swap the weapons out on my existing gladiator reapers), a squad of aggressors, the thicc apothecary, and a land raider to carry them were all vital. As you can swap units between games, I had some stretch goals for what I wanted to bring, and managed to get the jump assault intercessors done (much better IMO than our initial review, I didn’t build them strictly according to the box and I think the different arms improved some poses) and a custom combi-weapon lieutenant that wasn’t covered in dead tyranids.

Imperial Fists Gladiator Lancer. Credit: Jack Hunter

Imperial Fists Assault Intercessors with Jump Packs. Credit: Jack Hunter

Imperial Fists Aggressors. Credit: Jack Hunter

Imperial Fists Lieutenant with Combi-Weapon. Credit: Jack Hunter

The land raider proved to be quite a challenge, as while I had the horus heresy kit it doesn’t have the right weapons to be a land raider redeemer, and as far as I could tell it was impossible to actually buy a land raider redeemer for any price in America. Out came blender and the 3d printer, and I was able to throw together some custom designed sponsons and assault cannons that work well enough.

Imperial Fists Land Raider Redeemer. Credit: Jack Hunter


Imperial Fist Scouts. Credit: Jack Hunter

The first thing I finished in December was the new scout squad, which was almost as big a glow-up as the terminators got earlier in the year. Next up was my big battletech project – I wanted to paint a full set of mechs my FLGS can use to run grinder events. Grinders are an event where you’ve got 10 people playing a free-for-all with a single mech each on one table, and each time you die you get a new randomly selected mech that’s better than the last, so it requires quite a few mechs. It’s a great way to get introduced to the game, as its fun whether you stick around all day or drop in for a few turns, and between not using any optional rules and having plenty of assistance at the table it’s easy to learn the rules as you go.

There are currently 99 mechs in a complete set, so even with the very simple schemes I went with it was a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to getting some use out of them in 2024.

Next Year: 2024

I’m hoping to get to play a lot more games this coming year. I’ll be returning to both the Tacoma Open and the Grand Narrative as they’re some of the best times I’ve had playing 40k, and may end up at another of the GW run events if it’s in a good location/time.

Tau Coldstar Commander. Credit: Jack Hunter

I’ll be working on a new army for those events, likely Tau in the above scheme, though I’m not totally settled. I’d like to pick up another best painted trophy, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it with the same army two years in a row. This won’t be the first Tau army I’ve painted, but I’m now a much better painter than I was before.

Kell Hounds Assault Lance. Credit: Jack Hunter

I’m also starting on another new scheme for Battletech, this time nearly the exact opposite of the 99 mechs I did in Q4, as I’m putting a lot more effort into carefully pinwashing and hand painting cockpits and lenses. I wanted something brighter than my existing Wolf’s Dragoons, am unsatisfied with the white/orange scheme, and particularly love Proacryl Bold Pyrrole Red, making Kell Hounds a natural choice.