Wednesday, January 17, 2024

2023, a year in review!

With 2024 upon us, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2023 and what we accomplished on the blog, before plunging ahead with new projects. The blog has now completed eleven full years! Throughout 2023, we were able to maintain regular blog posts while also continuing our podcast, and weekly Twitch streaming. With this post we wanted to look at our most popular posts of the year, while also highlighting our favorite episodes of the podcast.

Most popular blog posts of 2023:

We had a total of 50 blog posts in 2023, one short of 2022. To our surprise, the most popular post was one we put out in December! This was our review for the recently released John Blanche biography by Wombat Games. We were actually featured briefly in the book, talking about the Pilgrym event! The second most popular post was summarizing our experience at the first annual New England Mordheim Open event, held by the Hive Scum crew. This was only a few months after the Mordheim 2022 event, and kept our excitement for the City of the Damned high! Finally, the third most popular blog post was our initial post announcing our Open Invitational, Vastarian - Dreams of the Pious! Vastarian is a major cathedral world that has been thrown into bloody turmoil due to the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, which caused a massive psychic awakening. The invitational is set in this world and encourages anyone to create their own Imperial Cult (the more eccentric and deranged the better) and with your favorite ruleset, play some skirmish games to help develop the lore!

1: Blanche: The Rise of Grimdark Review (2490 views):

Most popular Instagram posts:

We were happy to see that our most popular posts this year did not pertain to Space Marines, but instead all three were related to our Open Invitational, Vastarian - Dreams of the Pious! Two of the most liked posts had various members of our ever growing Church of the Red Athenæum. The third most liked post was showcasing a piece of artwork we commissioned the incredibly talented Martin McCoy to create, showing various Vastarian Cultists!

Most popular episodes of Dragged into Turbolasers:

Although we were not able to release an episode each month, we did record a total of 11 episodes of Dragged into Turbolasers in 2023, eclipsing the nine from 2022! On the podcast front, the year was defined by two events we attended and interviewed people at, the New England Mordheim Open 2023 and Rich Grimmond 2023. We still had our more traditional episodes interviewing some of the best people in the 28 hobby, including Totally Not Panicking, Koltti, Pax_acrylica, Martin McCoy, and Valbjorn!

1: Dragged into Turbolasers Bonus Episode - New England Mordheim Open 2023 (567 listens):

Beyond our most popular blog posts, Instagram posts, and podcast episodes, we want to highlight some of the other exciting things and topics we explored in 2023:

NEMO 2023:

Steve, one of the hosts, was voted for creating one of the best boards at the NEMO!

Our love of the City of the Damned was rekindled with the Mordheim 2022 event, and that excitement persisted to the first New England Mordheim Open, a Mordheim event held by the people behind the podcast Hive Scum. This was our first contact with Hive Scum, which led to a burgeoning friendship that led to us having some of them on our podcast multiple times, including to talk about North East Dungeon Siege and also to Reflect on 2023 as a whole for our hobby.

Rich Grimmond:

Rich Grimmond 2023.

In the summer we had the absolute pleasure of attending the hobby meet-up Rich Grimmond 2023, hosted by Martin McCoy and Mike DeBolt. The event spanned a few days, and brought over 25 talented hobbyists to the main branch of the Richmond, Virginia Public library to play games, look at models, chat and just generally have a good time. One of the highlights of the event was a narrative Inq28 campaign called The Rot of Hondious, that Martin and Bill Ford (of the Mordheim 2022 fame) co-ran. It centered around a backwater feudal planet largely shunned by the Imperium. Its isolation escalated into a strict quarantine in the last twenty years as the planet was wracked by a curious plague. This plague, known as the Red Joy, would take hold of its victim’s central nervous system, compelling them to dance with joyous abandon, a rictus smile on their face, until they collapsed dehydrated, blood leaching from their pores. The Inquisition took an interest in the phenomenon, and the plague started to become sentient, having infected the planet's meager psychic population. We played a Red Joy warband led by a Spyrehead, Lucretia Barghest. We even wrote a narrative for how each of the games went! Greg also had the opportunity to play a bunch of other games while there, including Caliban28, Dead by Lead, and Flames of Orion.

Our Red Joy warband.


A cell of Spyreheads conspire with a shadowy informant (informant created by Lead.plague, Spyreheads built and painted by Gardens of Hecate).

In the later part of 2023, Between the Bolter and Me launched its first major Open Invitational called Vastarian - Dreams of the Pious. Vastarian is a major cathedral world that has been thrown into turmoil due to the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, causing a massive psychic awakening amongst the general population and fomenting conflicts between different religious sects. The invitational is set in this world and encourages anyone to create their own Imperial Cult (the more eccentric and deranged the better) and with your favorite ruleset, play some skirmish games to help develop the lore! We have had a series of posts continuing to develop the setting, including showcasing two factions (the Church of the Red Athenæum and a faction of Spyreheads) and some artwork showing others, designing a logo with Weirding Way, as well as writing a battle report within the setting! To our excitement, other hobbyists are already starting to create cults for Vastarian, which can be seen via searching #vastarian on Instagram!

Silicone Mold Making:

One-piece silicone cut molds are a relatively easy way to cast miniatures in resin.

Six years ago we ventured into the world of resin casting to make copies of some of our conversions. It took a lot of trial and error to get something that worked consistently, but we found making a pressure pot was essential. All of the molds we created over the years were two piece molds, which are quite labor intensive. This year we ventured into the world of single-piece cut models, which is much easier and quicker to create. Having had a lot of success with this style of mold, we created one to make copies of a Vastarian cultist Adam converted!


Smash Bash Mordheim Pit Fighter.

In 2023 we participated in four contests! The first was the third annual Smash Bash 2023: Birthed in Blood, where Adam converted a Mordheim Pit Fighter. We also participated in Olden Demon again this year by converting and repainting the first miniature we ever purchased, a Ratling Sniper! New for the year, we painted a second Edition plastic Space Marine for Darren Latham’s 90's Marine Challenge. For it, Eric painted one of the old plastic models as a Dark Angel, to showcase how we have improved since starting the hobby. Finally, Adam sculpted a small shield for the In Rust We Trust: Simpso Shield Slam!

Two Space Marines models from the 90’s, one painted in 2023 (left), the other when we just got into the hobby (right), circa 1997.

The first generation of ratling snipers are still my favorite, and it was great to repaint one!


In addition to the larger projects we worked on, in 2023 we also had a host of other smaller projects. One of the first things we did was paint a set of Sector Mechanicus Terrain, in hopes that it would promote us to play more games. We also commissioned Nicky Grillet to illustrate the cardinal of the Church of the Red Athenæum, Aseneth Levedescu. After speaking with Koltti on Dragged into Turbolasers, we excitedly ventured onto eBay to get a bunch of Oldhammer Rogue Trader Space Marines, and painted one as a Dark Angel. We wrote about John Blanche retiring from Games Workshop this year before ultimately reviewing his biography. We also had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Bozzone, a composer and musician from Cadabra Records after attending the Nightlands Festival. Greg also had the opportunity to playtest Steve’s (sovthofheaven) mech combat game, Flames of Orion.

Nicky Grillet did an astounding job realizing the character of Aseneth Levedescu, capturing all of the eclectic details from the model, including the burning candles and fixed bones. She also added other little details, like a servo skull carrying the symbol of the Church: an hourglass.

That is a summary of our output in 2023! This completes eleven full years of Between the Bolter and Me! I am happy to say it was another productive year. We cannot begin to thank everyone who has followed us and supported us over all of these years. We are excited for 2024. As always, never hesitate to contact us with questions or comments!

- Eric, Greg, and Adam Wier


  1. Wow. It is crazy to see how busy y'all have been over the past year. It is great to see y'all playing more games and travelling!
    It seems to have been a great year of modelling, participation and casting!

    1. Yeah, it was a great year! I didn't expect to play so many games and start resin casting, but am excited we did!

  2. Wow! What a great year - and I look forward to following along in 2024!

    1. Thank you for your continued support! Onward to 2024!