Thursday, January 9, 2020

Between the Bolter and Me: 2019, a year in review

Marching on to 2020!

2019 marked the end of the decade, and 7 full years of Between the Bolter and Me as a blog! The year was defined by the Mordheim 2019 event, with a large number of our posts detailing the creation of our warbands and the event itself. We did a lot of other smaller projects as well, including painting a host of models created by some of our favorite artists (Ana Polanscak and Helge Wilhelm Dahl). We continued to do live streaming on Twitch and YouTube, resulting in some of our best episodes of Dragged into Turbolasers with guests like Weirding Way and Modern Synthesist. With this post, we wanted to review everything we did in 2019!

Conversion Corner - Space Marine Operative:

At the end of 2018, we started a semi-regular column where we try to convert a model quickly, without resorting to a large amount of sculpting work. We started 2019 converting a Space Marine out of a combination of Primaris Interceptors and Reivers.

The Space Marine next to the original Conversion Corner model, the Happenin’ Habber.

Mordheim 2019:

We were incredibly fortunate to be invited by Alexander Winberg (of the excellent Echoes of Imperium blog) to take part in Mordheim 2019, an event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mordheim. The majority of the months leading up to the event were spent converting and painting models for our respective warbands:

An Augur was converted, using one of the new Genestealer Cultist characters, for Adam’s Sisters of Sigmar warband.

Pious Vorne served as the basis for a Sister Superior for the Sisters of Sigmar.

A second Sister Superior was converted from an original Sisters of Sigmar model from 20 years ago.

The Matriarch was created from Forge World’s Jenetia Krole, while another member of the warband was made to look like Alexander’s own warband.

Eric’s Undead warband had a series of Wraiths that served as Dire Wolves.

A dying warrior, pinned with arrows from an unknown sources was created to represent the sorrow and malice of Mordheim given invisible form.

An Ur-ghul was used to create a miserable dreg for the Undead. So meaningless is its existence, that it has begun to lose some of its hold on reality, represented by being cast in clear resin.

The painting process was almost as slow as the converting process, with Adam finishing painting the first two he converted, the metal Sister Superior, and the mysterious Choir member.

Adam’s completed Sisters of Sigmar warband.

Eric’s completed Undead warband.

Ana Polanšćak created a Witch Hunter warband that Greg used.

Although the build up to the event was almost a year in the making, the actual event was a whirlwind of activity that was over far too soon. It was a fantastic time, however, filled with all manner of exciting games and admiring the diverse array of collected models from across the globe. The highlight of the entire event was spending time with old friends (we hadn’t seen the Iron Sleet crew since the Pilgrym) and new ones. It is fantastic to put faces to people whose work you have been following for years. This is especially true for meeting Alexander, who we have been chatting with for years, but had never had the chance to meet in person. Thanks again to everyone involved in the project; it is not something we are soon to forget!

The entire Mordheim 2019 crew! With Thomas Pirinen, John Blanche, and Alexander Winberg in the front and center.

The Undead warband took part in two great games!

Ana Polanšćak's witch hunters went to battle against Vampires and Possessed during the event.

The Sisters of Sigmar took part in three games during the event.

Mike Anderson sculpted Mad Meg for all of the participants in Mordheim 2019, which we converted slightly for an installment of Conversion Corner.

Warcry was released shortly after Mordheim 2019, which inspired us to convert an Ogre for the Sisters of Sigmar warband.

Conversion Corner - Blackstone Fortress Eldar Ranger:

Blackstone Fortress was one of the most exciting releases of all of 2018, filled with all sorts of imaginative characters and Chaotic scum. We had the good fortune of playing through the base campaign completely, thoroughly enjoying the 40k-themed dungeon crawl. When playing it, one of us used the Eldar Ranger. We had been a little disappointed with the model, due to the odd pose, and ridiculously oversized rifle. With this in mind, we did a few quick modifications to the model, primarily focused on the rifle, for Conversion Corner.

The Happenin’ Habber stands next to Amallyn Shadowguide, Eldar Ranger.

Dragged into Turbolasers:

Our podcast Dragged into Turbolasers just finished its 4th year, with us recording 15 new episodes in 2019. Although the podcast has always been evolving since its beginnings in 2016, our venture into live streaming on Twitch and YouTube has had a profound impact on the podcast. We found that we could talk about most of the new Games Workshop releases in our weekly streaming, leaving the monthly episodes of the podcast for doing more interesting topics like interviews with other hobbyists, like Modern Synthesist.

We talked with Wardsylvania about the Inq28 event that he organized at Adepticon 2019: Carrion Pass.

Shortly after Mordheim 2019 unfolded, we were able to talk with Alexander Winberg about the event as a whole.

We talked with Magos_Buer about the collection of Inq28 events that he masterminded: Gelida, the Frozen Expanse.

Weirding Way joined us and talks about how he got into the hobby and how he came to build his iconic Navigator house.

To close out the year of streaming, we had Modern SynthesistVoxmorbusRed Wet Skeleton, and K0rdhal on for a lively discussion of 2019: our favorite projects, community happenings, and GW releases.

Gelida - Revisiting some old conversions:

While we were not able to attend any of Magos_Buer’s Gelida events, Adam was able to send two models to be used in the games. He dug out some old Scion conversions he made years ago and sculpted on fur-lined hoods and scarves to make them better suited for the unforgiving cold of Gelida.

It was great to go back and finish converting some models we started during the second year of the blog.

The Primogenitor - Death Guard:

Recently, Iron Sleet announced their next narrative event, set within a cyclopean space hulk, called the Primogenitor. Although not officially involved in the event, we created a Death Guard legionary for Alexander Winberg growing warband!

The Death Guard veteran was created using a Primaris Intercessor as the base model.

Tabletop Fantasy Miniatures by Ana Polanscak:

One of Games Workshop’s biggest releases of the year was the addition of Contrast paints to their paint range. Their release was an excellent opportunity to put some paint on the characterful creations of Ana Polanscak. We painted two models from her Kickstarter, both creepy constructs of flesh and bone. Just a handful of contrast paints worked surprisingly well to bring the horrors to life!

One of Ana Polanscak's Blood Fiends and Skull Familiars, painted primarily with Contrast Paints.

WilhelMiniatures Bone Trees:

The incredibly talented Helge Wilhelm Dahl, of WilheMiniatures, created a series of macabre bone trees this year. Fortunately for us, he created silicone molds of them so that he can sell them on Etsy! We got a set of five of the trees and painted them to fit with Ana Polanscak's Blood Fiend and Skull Familiar we painted earlier in the year.

Two bone trees created by Helge Wilhelm Dahl.

Oldhammer: Hess Poison Breath:

The last model we painted during 2019 was an ancient Citadel miniature sculpted by the legendary Jes Goodwin: Hess Poison Breath. The model was one we acquired when building our Mordheim 2019 warbands, but ultimately did not use. Having just finished painting the Blood Fiend and Skull Familiar, we realized the Poison Breath would fit perfectly with them!

Jes Goodwin’s classic Chaos Sorcerer, Hess Poison Breath.

Conversion Corner - Arco-flagellant:

In light of the long-awaited release of the Sisters of Battle in December, we decided to convert a arco-flagellant for the final installment of Conversion Corner in 2019. Although often overlooked, the new plastic Blood Bowl models are excellent for conversions. The Wood Elf team was an excellent base for building an arco-flagellant!

An arco-flagellant next to the Happenin’ Habber.

So that was 2019! It was a great and productive year. We are really thankful for everyone who has been following us on this journey and leaving a comment now and then. And although social media is increasingly dominating the hobby as an easy way to share hobby content, rest assured that Between the Bolter and Me is here to stay! As always, comments or questions are welcome!

- Eric, Greg, and Adam Wier


  1. Thanks guys for sharing your amazing hobby year with us! I am sure you have great things in store for 2020.

    And on a more personal note, thank you for the holiday card, it was a great surprise to receive it, and it reminds one of just how small our world is.

    1. I am glad it arrived safely! Thank you for all the support over the years! As you suggested, it is a small world :D

  2. Looks like one heck of a hobby year to me, gents! I am always happy to see your conversions and all the thoughts that go into them, even if I am usually less bothered about gigantic weapons and dodgy anatomy than you guys ;) Those are some brilliant models, though -- excellent work all around, and here's to the next twelve months!

    1. Thanks you! Not everyone, or even most are bothered by scale and anatomy, but that is fine. It is fun to see different people's reflection of 40k. Congratulations on 2019 for you too, and good luck in 2020!