Week 13 Update: Can’t See the Wood Elves for the Trees

Hello and welcome back to the final update for quarter one of Hammer the Backlog, the Warhammer miniature painting, productivity and accountability blog. This week was an odd one, more concerned with setting up for the next quarter than anything else, although I did still get some models painted! Let’s take a look together, dear friends.


Tell the truth and shame the Divil!

As you can see, we achieved the ambition of having an entire quarter (13 weeks, 91 days) completely in the green. I have to say, this gave me a very deep feeling of achievement and satisfaction, getting a full project done from start to finish to a standard I am happy with. If you have enjoyed it as much as I have, maybe consider joining me for the next quarter? Wouldn’t that be fun, to have other people using the same system to compare war stories with? If that is something that might tickle your wickle, let me know by commenting down below or sending me a message at @hammer_the_backlog on Instagram. Who knows, we might get a little community going?


Hilariously, but perhaps unsurprisingly, this week was the first week of the whole project that ended up with some crunch. For the uninitiated, crunch is the habit of people working to deadlines to leave too much to do until the last minute and then have a horrible time, staying up late, working all hours trying to get a project finished. There is no need to suffer from a crunch in your hobbies. As a productivity blog, I feel one of the things I should be showing is the joy of slow and steady progress over furtive bursts of manic energy.

Would Elves?

Anyway, I finished these at 2am this morning and had a horrible time!

This was, of course, one hundred percent my own fault. I decided to take on painting these five boys as a little bit of practice for painting green, procrastinated about doing them or finishing the Dwarfs on Saturday, didn’t really get started until Sunday, and then a few personal and work issues took away a bit of the rest of my usual painting time! I still think they look pretty nice though. Funnily enough, even though I really like how they look, they have not inspired me to want to collect or paint any further Wood Elves. Phew!

There are six different shades of green on these dummies!

If pre-Hammer the Backlog Mick had run into this problem, this would have been the end of painting for a few months, maybe even for a year or more. I would have given up trying to finish these, not wanting to start anything else (because these weren’t finished, obviously) and then put away my paints and brushes in a big sulk. Like a big, giant, sulky, bearded baby. The lesson learned, for me, is that I really am enjoying the structure and consistency of the quarterly rocks, and I am really looking forward to getting back to it and moving on from these random bits and pieces.


This might be almost inconsequential, but since this was the official end of the first quarter and I have achieved everything I wanted to achieve, I decided to give my paint station, my carry case and my brushes a full clean and organise before the next quarter. It added a nice little full stop to things.


Hammer the Backlog took on its first (unpaid) employee (for legal purposes not actually an employee) as this quarter came to an end.  I’ve long had a problem with my good friend and former colleague Fiona coming over to my house and touching my stuff. I stumbled upon a way to utilise her inability to keep her hands off stuff by giving her some models to paint!

A grand pair of lads.

Fiona is painting the last 6 of the 4th edition mono-pose Dwarfs from 4th edition. Taylor Swift (the cat, not the multi award winning singer songwriter) has been “helping”.

A grand bunch of lads!

Look at those fellas! They are about 70% done so far, I will put in full glamour shots when they are finished. The most important thing to remember is that these are the first miniatures that Fiona has ever put any paint anywhere near! Aren’t they fabulous? 

If any of you out there are thinking about introducing friends to painting, I can’t recommend anything more than contrast paints and old, sturdy mono-pose plastic models. The ease and fun of painting these little, characterful, not over complicated fellas with paint that can practically come straight out of the pot and still give a result as good as this cannot be ignored.

There is still great debate here at Hammer the Backlog Central as to whether these models will count as part of my painting commitments.


Although it was never an official target, it has been a lifelong ambition of mine for the last three weeks to reach 1000 followers on Instagram before the end of the first quarter. On Tuesday, with the help of the fine folks on the Mediocre Hobbies Twitch stream, we hit the target! What a bunch of good eggs! 

In the world of accountability, counting the number of followers acquired would be what’s known as a ‘lagging’ indicator. In other words, it shows how well things are going after the fact, with no predictive power, and in fact no real actionable information. That is why Instagram followers are not, and will never be on the scorecard.

On the other hand, I have seen that posting 3 times a week on Instagram and linking to 3 posts on Facebook or Reddit generates about 1000 followers on Instagram. These are ‘leading’ indicators, things I can control and which I can keep an eye on. Assuming that Instagram growth is linear (which it most certainly isn’t) we should be at 2000 followers by the end of the next quarter, as long as all of the leading indicators on the scorecard stay in the green.


I’ll leave you this quarter with my two favourite images.

The first is the full set on Bretonians of a baking tray, proof of the power of organisation.

A French bake.

The second is my very own bowmen, photoshopped onto an official Warhammer box by Instagram user and all round great egg Velchiorox. It was my dream as a child to be able to paint something even close to as good as the official boxes at the time. No other image better sums up the success of the last few months to me!

So what happens now? Well, the next step is for me to have a quarterly meeting (with myself), and set some new targets for the second quarter, make any changes to the scorecard that are necessary and start all over again!

I hope to see you next week for Quarter 2: Week 1.

Thanks for reading this far, 

You’re all good eggs.

2 responses to “Week 13 Update: Can’t See the Wood Elves for the Trees”

  1. This is all round awesome. I love the nostalgia of those ancient minis – some of them must be in their 30s by now.


    1. Well thank you very much. I think some of them are early 90s, so they will have the big 30 soon


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