For the most part, the idea here is that they are Hobby Projects (for fun) rather than Painting Competitions - so the emphasis is on taking part, and hopefully getting people talking and having fun with their ideas☺
I'm mostly putting this out there to get a conversation going and see which if any of the ideas below have the most interest behind them, so not saying this is or has to be the schedule - and very interested to hear any ideas, comments and suggestions people have about themes or competitions they already know about and think we could link up with, or new ones they would like to see happen.
I was hoping to have the Middlehammer Blog Hub up and running by now, but sadly ill health has meant I've barely been able to do any hobbying and the Middlehammer Legacy Strikeforce project has quite rightly taken priority (seeing as it involves actual modelling and painting, and lots of other people putting in effort too!). Anyway, one of the main ideas for the Hub will be to host a calendar of monthly painting themes and give some detail and updates etc. on what they involve. For now though I'll just leave this here...
Some ideas from the Middlehammer group that worked really well last year:
April Fools! - this was a really fun one and anything and everything that you think links to the idea of April Fools is fair game! Last year I painted up a Goblin Doom Diver which seemed to be the perfect choice, but I was also tempted by a number of Bloodbowl nutters, jesters, mad mages, and other comedy characters from various games and ranges. The world is your lobster!
Mayday! Mayday! - pick up a project that needs rescuing, either because of mistreatment by a previous owner, damage in storage or transit, or just having been sidelined for too long and now being covered in dust and cobwebs. Last year I finished off a unit of Goblin Wolf Riders that forced me to try my hand at press moulding for the first time. This theme was practical, productive, challenging (for me at least!), and most of all, fun!
Scenery September - another very practical painting/modelling theme! Everyone needs scenery to get the most out of all the hard work we put in on our minis and armies, and how many of us have a stash of interestingly shaped bits of cardboard and polystyrene in the shed? Well if you need a bit of a push to turn that junk into a scratch built masterpiece (or not!) then this is the theme for you!
Plus some more established monthly painting themes from the Hobby Blogosphere:
Orctober - now a regular fixture in the Oldhammer/Middlehammer hobby calendar (thanks to Erny of the estimable Erny's Place among others), O(r)ctober is the month to get your greenskins painted. Anything orcy (or goblinoid) in persuasion is fair game, inc. ogres, snotlings, bugbears etc. I think the idea is to start from unpainted or undercoated minis at the beginning of the month and get them done by the month's end (although I don't think you'd be in too much trouble if you focused on finishing off your orcy-works-in-progress!)
Deadcember - this Undead themed challenge is also becoming a regular fixture thanks to the efforts of Rab's Geekly Digest. This one is both a hobby project and a painting competition (albeit a very friendly one!) - there were even prizes last year! Again, the idea is that you post a picture of your intended project at the beginning of the month, and have to have it finished by the end of the month. Indications are that this will run again in 2017, so start planning your entries now! ;)
And some other ideas:
Sporting Summer??? - The summer months seem to warrant a more leisurely pace and something which stretches over June-July-August seems wise. Da Big Mek of Middlehammer Township, Mark Evans, last year suggested a nice idea which was to paint up a 'team' of any kind you fancied. It tied in nicely with all the on line scuttlebutt around the Bloodbowl Reboot that was 'kicking' around at the time (Sorry!/Not sorry!), but a team was also interpreted to mean a gun crew, support staff, vehicle crew etc. I played around with the idea of a Warhammer version of the Royal Navy Field Gun Races, and might still go for a diorama of that one day (once my hobby skills catch up with my hobby daydreams that is!) Imagine teams of Orcs, Dwarfs, Brets and Empire gun crews going up against each other!
Vermember???- This happened in 2015 I think. I may have dreamt it. The obvious culprit, Snickit, of the excellent Snickit's Tail, swears it wasn't him. Last year I had my own mini Vermember celebration, and there was a little bit of extra ratty goodness going on at that time of year in the wider Oldhammer/Middlehammer community, but it wasn't a real theme or competition like the others. Maybe we should change that?
Slannuary ??? - I'm not even going to apologise. I just love monthly pun based painting challenges OK!!! Slannuary juts screams Middlehammer and a celebration of all things Lizardmen! I like it as it has fairly broad appeal to both the Middlehammer and Oldhammer communities (you could even include some of Diehard Miniature's superb Eru Krin if you wanted to take it in a Sci Fi direction!), I had good fun with this one myself back in 2016, but it was actually the tie in with another possibly New Year's theme that made it as much fun as it was for me...
First Miniatures Month - January seems the perfect time to revisit what first got you into the hobby and the idea of First Miniatures Month seemed to really speak to the community last year and I remember a number of good blog posts at the time. I know we don't need an excuse to revisit our first loves in the hobby, but it is always nice to have one!
Your Painting Theme/Competion Hobby Project Here! - I'm sure there are far more, and far better, and far more better, ideas for painting themes out there. Please get in touch via the comments, or by dropping me a line on facebook, feedback on what themes would be popular among the community is key!
Thanks for taking the time to stop by ☺