Quarter 4, Week 1 Update: The Circle of Life

It’s time for Quarter 4 of Hammer the Backlog, the weekly Warhammer mini painting, accountability and productivity blog. At four quarters in, I would be stretching the cinematic metaphor of referring to sequels and trilogies, so let’s just call this Hammer the Backlog 4: Tokyo Drift. Let’s burn rubber with a look first at all at the scorecards, then the new quarterly targets, this week’s new model and finally the overall progress of the project.


Same as it ever was

It was nice, as always, to start the new quarter fully in the green. No major hold ups this week, a character / leader model painted to a decent standard and some progress on all of the other aspects of the project. Overall, a good, solid week of doing a backlog hammering.

Same as it ever was.


As the sun rises on the final quarter of year 1, it is time to look at what’s left to do and break down whether or not the targets are SMART. A quick reminder, or an introduction for new readers. For the Hammer the Backlog project specifically, SMART means:






Barring one, which I will go into a bit later, picking this quarter’s targets was really easy, since they are the last models left in year one’s commitment.

Get Escalation painted, photographed and online.

Get Ascension painted, photographed and online.

Get Deadly Alliance painted, photographed and online.

Get No Respite painted, photographed and online.

Let us, for the sake of completion, analyse one of the targets.

Get Escalation painted, photographed and online.

Specific – 4 explorers, 1 retinue character, 7 cultists and a Firebrand

Measurable – Painted, photographed and online

Achievable – The explorers and retinue character total 25 Hammer the Backlog points, the cultist and Firebrand are 10. 35 points is 7 weeks.

Relevant – Getting all of Blackstone Fortress painted is one of the year’s main targets.

Timebound – 13 weeks, finished by the 8th June 2023.

I also like to have some sort of meta target each quarter, something outside of painting that moves the overall project along. This quarter I decided to go with

Convert Garage with Storage and Workspace

This one was a lot less clear cut on the SMART side, so I really had to sit down and break things down.

Specific – To make this more specific, I had to break the project down with a scope of work, which you can see here:

And you may ask yourself, “How do I work this?”

Measurable – There is a clear end goal, see above

Achievable – Phew, that’s a good question! Some of the difficulties will be getting in outside workers to match the time frame. But with three months to finish I am quietly confident it can be done.

Relevant – This was perhaps the biggest question. Is this really part of the Hammer the Backlog project, or just unrelated home improvements? Well, the answer came to me on the Vision / Traction organiser, a page on the instant agency tools website I use. As part of the three year vision for the project that I created right at the start, I had this:

Into the blue again, after the money’s gone

Timebound – Done and dusted by June 8th 2023.


This week’s model was surprisingly fun and easy to paint. Daedalosus the Adeptus Mechanicus Technoarcheologist is a really nice model with tons of detail, but the detail is not overwhelming and it is balanced nicely by the large flat areas of his cloak.

And you may ask yourself, “Am I right, am I wrong?”

What could have been the trickiest area turned out to be quite a lot easier and more fun than I thought. Freehand painting white cogwheel dags over a red background would have felt almost impossible a few years ago, but with the last year spent freehanding Bretonnians, as well as a brand new Winsor and Newton Series 7, size 2 brush and the much improved coverage of modern white paints, it was actually pretty easy and required minimal clean up.

And you may say to yourself, “My God, what have I done?”

In our home game we permanently assigned the gun servitor, X-101, to Daedalosus rather than letting the leader control him each turn. It just seemed more fitting thematically. That’s why he’s next up on the painting station.

Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground


With clearing out the garage and turning it into a workspace now a quarterly target, I got started last weekend by sorting out the trip hazards that were out there and starting the organisation process. Take a look at this before and after! Not a bad start for this quarter’s meta target.

One of the most exciting finds in the clear out was this, the long thought lost knight’s tower papercraft building from the Warhammer Fantasy Battles 5th edition starter set. It was smushed up at the bottom of a box of old broken toys that I haven’t had the heart to throw out, battered but complete. A really relatable discovery for my poor, 40 year old body.

And you may tell yourself, “This is not my beautiful house”

I cut along the old glue lines and flattened the tower back out. I then steamed it gently with the steam function of my iron, placed a heavy towel over it and ironed it flat, making sure not to scorch or warp it.

I was then able to re-glue the edges with a combination of PVA and superglue and get it back to almost its former glory! Now, if only I could do the same to myself. Somebody take me apart, fix me and re-glue me!

And you may tell yourself, “This is not my beautiful wife”

Well, that is just about enough from me for one week! Thanks again for joining me for the first day of this next 13 week journey, you’re a bunch of good eggs.


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