Miniature painter, Warhammer nerd, Female Marine enthusiast.
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My hobby journey began at the tender age of 11, when visiting a friend whose older brother had a collection of Eldar and Blood Angels. I was immediately enticed, and after a trip to a local Games Workshop, my father bought me and my brother the Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition starter set.
Of course I chose the Space Marines portion of the box set, drawn as I was to their depiction on the cover, one of my all time favourite pieces, and the art inside the rulebook. After a quick scan of the Chapters presented inside, I decided to paint them up as Ultramarines, and they've remained my favourite Chapter since then.
My first true 40k army would be Chaos Space Marines. While I'd gathered a couple units of Ultramarines, I only really started to properly get into the game with the Traitor Legions. The lore and aesthetic of Chaos was incredibly appealing to me, and the 3.5 edition Chaos Codex remains a huge source of nostalgia for me. Chaos Terminators, Khorne Berserkers, and Bloodletters were the staples of my army, which fit my highly aggressive playstyle perfectly.
2009 was a big year for me. I moved out on my own, started attending college, and met some wonderful friends who shared my love of the hobby. I began dipping my toes into the Art Scale Marines movement, as I'd become a bit disappointed with how small and lacking Space Marines were compared to their artwork. The works of Doghouse and Lamenter were inspiring, and while I only made a single Marine at the time, I've since gone on to make multiple Kill Teams using the method.
My time online looking into Art Scale Marines led me to the Bolter & Chainsword, a fantastic forum focused on everything Space Marines and Power Armour. The community there is incredible, full of wonderfully talented individuals and supportive members. They've since expanded to allow discussion of everything 40k, but they've remained a positive resource for anyone looking to share their love of the hobby, be it gaming, lore, or modelling and painting.
While I still enjoyed 40k, I decided to expand my horizons into the other big Games Workshop universe, Warhammer Fantasy. I got into the game with a few friends, each of us picking an army and taking the plunge. One of my friends went with the Empire, and another the Dwarfs. Always preferring something more villainous, I choose the Skaven.
I fell in love with their lore, aesthetic, and crazy weaponry. I have a lot of fond memories of the many games friends, from one on one skirmishes to big multi-army brawls. My Skaven Assassin jumping out of a unit of Clanrats to decimate a host of charging knights. My Plague Monks standing alone against a mostly intact Empire army after the rest of my Skaven had turned tail and fled the battlefield in one turn. Multiple of my Weapon Teams and Warp Lightning Cannon blasting unpredictable holes in both mine and my opponents lines turn after turn. It proved to be a great investment, and I still adore the Skaven to this day.
As I continued my hobby career, improving my painting and modelling skills, taking on commissions, and even dipping my toes into other systems like Warmachine, I decided to start tracking my hobby progress online, starting a blog under my previous online handle, Tarvick the artisan. It was a bit strange, posting my work in an online space and documenting it for the world to see, but it’s been a very positive experience overall.
It didn’t take long for me to want the look of the site changed. I liked the first version well enough, but wanted something that focused less on artwork by others, and instead give more attention to my own work. Of course this was done by the talented Fabalah, who was kind enough to not only rework the site so shortly after its creation, but patient enough to put up with my very unhelpful direction on what I wanted from it. She’s done quite a few wallpapers for the current rendition of the site, along with a fantastic project of recreating each Space Marine icon in alphabetical order, loyalist and traitor alike. She’s great, go check out her work!
My first time working with the NOCF was on the Battle of Macragge project, where I contributed a squad of Gargoyles to the invading Tyranid forces of Hive Fleet Behemoth. Working with them was a fantastic experience, and it was quite something working with a large group of hobbyists from around the world, each of us contributing our time and energy to a great cause. They're such a wonderful example of the good this community can do, and I'm proud to work with them every chance I get.
While I'd continued to build and paint models over the years, actually playing games had become a bit of a rarity. I'm a slow painter when it comes to my own models, and I hadn't had an army I was super happy with for a couple years. Combined with the overly complicated rules of 40k, and my general disinterest in learning Age of Sigmar (along with rebasing my entire Skaven horde), I'd taken a step back from playing.
This changed with the introduction of Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire. Quick, fast paced, and with a low model count, it was perfect for me. I went with Magores Fiends and began attending tournaments almost immediately. While my first one was rough, being the first time I'd actually played the game at all, a very foolish choice on my part, I've since attended dozens more, usually placing in the top 5, and earning myself 1st during a particularly successful outing. I still enjoy the game, excitedly getting into every new season and collecting every warband that's been released.
It was around this time I decided to change up the website's name and look. I no longer liked to use the name Tarvick, and wanted to give the whole thing a fresh look, which Fabalah once again was kind enough to oblige. I'm still very happy with the look and layout, all thanks to her beautiful work.
Titans. Is there anything cooler in 40k? Towering God Machines, massive engines of war able to level whole city blocks with their weapons. Of course the 40k scale versions were always out of my price range, and I had no interest in painting something that large. The return of Adeptus Titanicus had me immediately excited. I'd always loved the concept of Epic 40,000, and seeing a much more manageable size of Titans return had me hooked immediately.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on the first box set released, complete with multiple Titans, terrain and the rules. While I haven't had as many games as I'd like, the ones I have played have been a blast, and I've very much enjoyed painting up my Legio Krytos Titans and House Malinax allies.
Oh 2020. Certainly an interesting year, though not in the ways I'd hoped. I did, however, manage to complete a few projects I'm still quite proud of. The big one is the Death Guard Kill Team I did for the lovely people over at the Nova Open Charitable Foundation.
2020 also saw the release of something I'd been waiting a long, long time to see, plastic Sisters of Battle. I'd always been drawn to the faction, as I'm a huge fan of warrior women in full armour, power armour, and the general Gothic aesthetic of 40k, and this faction combines all of that and pushes it to an extreme. With their release as a full plastic army, I bought a couple units and started a small collection. I've since added to it with a couple characters and units, and remains one of my favourite armies to date.
Once again, I was lucky enough to work with the NOCF on a charity project, this time taking the form of a Blood Bowl Team. I was very excited to say the least, as Blood Bowl is such a violently wacky and fun game, and the new Black Orcs were beautifully sculpted and perfectly matched their aggressive mood. Along with the team, I also painted up their Star Player, Varag Ghoul-Chewer, as well as 3 converted Trolls.
Of course the new and updated Necron models released this year were very exciting, and I’ve painted a fair few over the year, including my own small collection, very much inspired by Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, as well as a large army for one of my clients . (Which continues to grow!)