Hello dear reader, welcome back to Hammer the Backlog, the weekly Warhammer painting, accountability and productivity blog that posts every Thursday come hail, rain or shine. The week represents an almost big milestone in this quarter’s targets, and a bit of a return to productivity and an end to last minute panicking. Let’s start out this week, as we do every other, with a look at our productivity scorecard.
Nothing to report on the scorecard front this week. The ‘final’ 5 models of the core Blackstone Fortress box finished and photographed, all social media posts updated and no major hold ups at any stage. This week was greatly helped by having three tough Thursdays over January, forcing me to look at my habits and work to get back on track with organisation. Unlike the last few weeks, I got the majority of this week’s painting during my abundance of free time at the weekend, leaving only the fun and easy stuff to do on the busier weekday nights.
Although I have now finished all of the models from the Blackstone Fortress core game, I haven’t marked the quarterly rock of Get Blackstone Fortress painted, photographed and online as complete just yet. All of the models that I had finished before starting this project, including the first seven traitor guardsmen, the ur-ghuls and the spindle drones are painted to a standard I am happy with, but their bases are not quite up to the standard I would like them to be. So I’m going to take a few hours this weekend to finish off their bases before getting the base set fully photographed and online next week.
Still, it is very exciting to have another rock so close to being finished.
THIS WEEK’S MODELS
I have somewhat of a love hate relationship with these Negavolt Cultists. Stealing a phrase from Midwinter Minis on Youtube, these Wiggly Boys are packed full of detail, including horribly snake-like cables protruding out of their heads. They are a wonder of modern plastic model making design and technology. Interestingly though, they are one of the few Blackstone Fortress baddies that don’t seem to have caught the imagination of the general Warhammer gaming public.
Practically all of the other models in the box set have spawned further iterations. The traitor guard are now a multipart box set. Same goes for the cultists from Escalation. Amalynn Shadowguide can be more or less recreated from the new Eldari Ranger box set. Dayhak Grekh fits in with the new Kroot models. But the poor old uninspiring, faceless, hard to paint Negavolts seem to have faded into background lore obscurity. Even with a brand new character focussed around the combination of the mechanical and the profane being released soon for 40k, not a look in.
Wait and see, a new boxed set will be announced minutes after I post this.
In all and anyways, these guys were nowhere near as hard to paint as I thought they were going to be. Sure, their many protrusions make them as awkward as a teenage Mick at a disco (with girls) but their relatively small palette, lack of human faces and abundance of easy to paint ‘worn metal’ meant I knocked them out of a decent enough standard fairly quickly.
I also had time to finish off the last of the second squad of traitor guardsmen. Here he is with his equally nefarious mates.
THE JANUARY BLUES
So, as I both predicted and expected, social media growth and blog readership both slowed down in January. Take a look at this chart of blog readers for a pretty stark example! Basically readership has gone back to square one.
We also have just passed 400 new followers on Instagram, about half of where we were at week 8 of quarter 2.
Of course, none of this is unexpected or upsetting. By basically relaunching with new content, Hammer the Backlog had to establish itself in the Blackstone Fortress community just as it did with the Retro Warhammer Fantasy community before. And the Blackstone Fortress Community seems to be both smaller and less active than the Warhammer Fantasy community and also really just a subset of the absolute juggernaut that is the Warhammer 40k online fan community. It is much harder to make an impact as a small fish in a small pond when that small pond is actually just a niche of the Atlantic Ocean.
What does all of this mean for the blog? Well, nothing really. Looking back at the key priorities of the blog, the 3 Year Vision is having no unpainted boxed sets remaining, so that is what needs to guide the project, not doing stuff which is more popular on the internet. If I hadn’t set that 3 year vision in place at the beginning of this, I’m pretty sure Hammer the Backlog would just be a retro WFB blog by now, and I would have bought boxed sets of the 4th, 6th and 7th edition starter sets to paint up, just to feed the algorithm!
Well, thank you very much for sticking with me through that difficult January period. Let’s hope that a positive start to February is going to set the mood for the rest of the year.
Cheers, you are all good eggs.
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