Up in Smoke: A Year in Review

To say this has been an interesting year for me would be a gross understatement. My hobby mojo actually started at a pretty low ebb in the year, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to work on and Cyberpunk 2077 still had it’s hooks pretty firmly in me. I was happily building stuff but I wasn’t really painting much, which doesn’t really do much to reduce your backlog!

Then March rolled around, and I no longer had a choice as to whether I got to hobby or not.

I used to live in a thatched cottage, and unfortunately a fire broke out in the roof space of our neighbour. We were extremely lucky; a fire break was cut at our chimney breast and this action saved our belongings. It was an incredibly surreal week, with the three neighbouring properties being uninhabitable and ours still looked pretty normal, at least inside. Cue weeks of dealing with insurance, clean up companies and loss adjusters. We packed up enough clothes for a couple of weeks, the food that didn’t need refrigerating and started looking for somewhere new.

As luck would have it, we actually had an offer accepted on a house before the fire but there were still a lot of checks to do, and paperwork to complete. Our loss adjuster agreed to cover the difference in cost between our previous rent and whatever accommodation was now costing us and both my wife and I were working remotely at the time. Our major restrictions were somewhere that would take us and the dogs, and somewhere we could go mountain biking. I figured I needed access to at least one hobby to help things feel normal. Living out of a suitcase isn’t great, and what started as an exciting adventure began wearing thin so having our house purchase complete in May was wonderful.

With a permanent roof over our heads again, I had a golden opportunity to define my new hobby space. With a new desk set up and twice as much room as I had previously, the long break and new space had left me with a renewed vigour. The only wrinkle was the vast majority of my stuff still being packed or in storage. I still managed to scratch the itch and finish up some of my Yu-Jing White Banner force and I swear I’ll base them before the end of this year.

Our new place came with a lot of sheds and outdoor spaces, that needs a lot of love. I was no longer confined to a single room and spec’d out a multipurpose space, part bike storage and part gaming space, which I talked about in my Gaming Spaces article.

My hobby focus has never been the best and the rest of this year was no exception to that. While I was on the road I had my FLGS set aside all of the Soulblight Gravelord releases, the new army range had me very excited and there’s some fantastic models in there. Of course what this actually meant was I got really in to Star Wars Legion, and painted a skirmish force for the Separatist Alliance.

With the skirmish force knocked out, I did move on to a similar sized force for my Soulblight Gravelords, adding to the swelling ranks of undead, and I’m looking forward to getting more games in with them.

Not one to ever stay on a single project too long, my hubris got the better of me and I embarked on a journey to build, paint and review the Venetian Quarter by TTCombat. This project has turned in to a labour of love, but the end is in sight, at least for the outside of the buildings. Just in time for Blood on the Water too, and I’m definitely looking forward to getting my Doctors and Thieves on the table.

This brings us right through to the end of October, and with working picking up I was making a little less time for hobbying and mostly chipping away at the Venetian Quarter kit. I was also diagnosed with ADHD, which on reflection might go someway towards explaining my proclivity for jumping between projects. It’s brought on a lot of self reflection about how I’d like to approach the hobby in the future and I’ll likely share more words on it some time soon! For the time being though, I just want to thank you for making it this far and wish you a happy holidays and New Year!

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.