Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Fourth year anniversary

When I started this blog in January 2007 I had no idea how long it would last, and so I would like to thank all those who read, follow and comment on this blog as the interest you show is very much appreciated. I can't really do a "review of the year" post as I haven't done much this year apart from painting figures. I only managed one show and one game (pathetic, I know), but then I realised a long time ago that the parts of the hobby that I enjoy most are painting and collecting figures and then discussing the hobby with like-minded people. Like many others, I suspect, the lack of a permanent gaming table is one reason why I don't actually game much (and the lack of any club affiliation is another). But I assume that will be remedied at some stage in the future and consequently I haven't stopped buying up pieces of terrain this year - some lovely buildings from Paul Darnell for my First Carlist War, Sudan and 1815 projects and the two Tablescape buildings for the AWI. I have not succumbed to any "shiny-itis" impulse buys this year, apart from a few packs from the North Star colonial Africa range. I bought the Perry plastic Napoleonic French hussars box at Salute and still have not decided what to do with them. An early idea was to paint a few as Diemar's Black Hussars for the AWI, but having researched the uniform I don't think these figures will work (unless I concoct something that is half plastic hussar and half Queen's Rangers hussar); so I may just paint them up for 1815.

Painting totals for this year are (all 25mm):

- AWI: 122 foot, 12 cavalry and 5 guns;

- 1815: 81 foot, 17 cavalry and 1 gun;

- First Carlist War: 44 foot and 1 gun;

- Darkest Africa: 19 foot;

- First Crusade: 7 foot and 1 cavalry.

That makes 340 pieces or "points" (i.e. counting cavalry as 2), which is a significant, albeit expected, reduction on last year's production of 524 points. Still, a weekly average of 7.8 figures isn't that bad. Looking at the figures I am surprised at how few Carlist War figures I painted - that was the AWI's gain but I will need to spend more time on the former period this year.

I am still unsure where the ECW, First Crusade, Sudan and Darkest Africa projects are going. I suspect for each of those periods it will be a question of painting something up as and when the mood grabs me. I should make an effort to at least finish off the Crusades units I have half-finished and some ECW command stands. For 1815 I had intended to continue to paint at least one brigade of infantry a year, but I can see that target slipping. So instead I will just paint the 3me Ligne, which will then finish off Bachelu's division. After that I will paint up the remaining brigade and divisional command stands and then work on some foot artillery. The AWI this year will see more French, British infantry battalions, British Legion cavalry and hopefully some American militia cavalry if Eureka make/release them. In the First Carlist War leadpile are line battalions for both sides, the French Foreign Legion and British lancers.

All that depends of course on finding painting time, and I fear that will be squeezed further this year. The Kiwi is determined to move house by the end of the year and as that will mean moving out of central London (we have no idea where to) I will have to start serious commuting to work. Whilst that won't impact much on morning painting time (because that vanished when Hugo was born), it will on my current evening painting hour of 7.30-8.30pm. Putting the house on the market may also necessitate packing my painting stuff away completely. Ho hum.

I hope readers had a good Christmas break. My brother worked out yesterday that over the past 2 weeks he had drunk 35 different wines, and I suspect my tally was similar. Personal wine highlights included: Chateaux Calon-Segur 96, Leoville-Barton 95 and d'Yquem 97 on Christmas Day; Puriri Hills "The Pope" 2005, Hugel Alsace Pinot Gris 1989 and Graham's 1977 port on Boxing Day; Jeanneret Clare Valley Riesling 2003 and Pol Roger 1999 on New Year's Eve; Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2009 and d'Arenberg "The Sticks and Stones" 2002 on New Year's Day; and Bollinger Grand Annee 2000 throughout the festive period. Hic.

Next up: more British line and American artillery for the AWI, Isabellino skirmishers and the 61me Ligne. The photo above is of Eclaireur's and my recent refight of Freeman's Farm - more on that anon.


Anonymous said...

Its been a pleasure to follow your Blog and work Giles and so here's looking forward to your next few years efforts

Anonymous said...

Hi Giles,

It's always a pleasure to read your blog and view your latest brushwork.

I look forward to 2011 to the same alongside wishing you and your family the very best for 2011.

Good luck with the move.


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Your blog is what inspired me to begin my own and so it's no surprise I've enjoyed following your posts and always look forward to seeing more.I rate your blog the best every year and suspect I will this year as well as your combination of pics with historical background information is second to none on the blogs.
I wish you the best of luck on your aspirations for the future and looking forward to your next posts.
More pics of the Freeman farm battle please!

All the best

Jan said...

Happy new year, Giles!

I love reading your posts and seeing your work, which is massively impressive to me. You have both more skill and more patience than I do for painting, and as a result, your work is streets ahead of anything that shows up on my table. :-)

I'm the opposite to you in that most of my hobby time is spent gaming. I sympathise on the issue of the impending commute; I drive about 45-60 minutes one-way to work, which kills a lot of my weekday spare time (though I did manage to basecoat five 15mm batteries and eight hussars last night).

I hope the new year brings you pleasure in painting, researching, and discussing, and more opportunities to game. :-)


jmezz382 said...


Always a pleasure ! Keep up the great work and I look forward to what your blog and work will bring in 2011

Joe ... aka Mezz

Stokes Schwartz said...

Agreed! Looking very forward to more from your brush and collection this year, Giles. Please feel free to include the occasional wine update too. ;-)

Best wishes for 2011,


El Grego said...

A job well done on four years Giles! And, don't worry, your game+show total beats mine by 2...

Iowa Grognard said...

I always look forward to checking your blog for updates. Finding "Tarleton's Quarter" prompted my AWI collecting and rediscovering the period in my leisure reading. Looking forward to what you treat us to in the coming years, even with less time.

On a side note, I heard Eureka may not produce more AWI militia as most of the interest was older and there have been releases by other companies since. I really hope they do, they produce some nice stuff.

Furt said...

Your blog is indeed a true inspiration with some of the finest painting around. Good luck with the move and continuing the hobby with less time available.


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

For a 'slow' year you did fantastic, particularly considering the changes in your life recently. I know many gamers who's painting output went to nill after their first born.

Congratulations on another great year and also on your 4th year of the blog.


legatus hedlius said...

Looking forward to another year of superlative painting, Giles.

We msut meet up, maybe in February after my Turkish trip.

You could always move out to where I live: Britain's answer to Beverly Hills! Does the Kiwi like leopard print?


Andy McMaster said...

Congrats on four years! Always a pleasure to see what you've been painting. And always something here to aspire to.

I can't believe you have a painting hour! Wait until you have a second kid though!

All the best


painterman said...

Well done on 4 years of the blog; always a pleasure to read and always inspirational. I'm in same position as you re gaming, perhaps we need a forum for 'lonely gamers' to meet up? Jealous of the time you get for painting though - long commuting really kills the spare time and energy levels for me (so don't move too far out of the city).
Here's to the next 4 years - perhaps some of us bloggers may even have finished one of our projects by then (but I doubt it!!)?

Docsmith said...

Blogging for four years is an achievement in itself IMO but you have made one of real quality and I have gained huge inspiration with viewing your wonderful painting.

I too enjoy more the collecting and painting aspects of the hobby best but do allow yourself to be tempted out for the odd game or three - as you can see from my latest post its a whole lot of fun and helps keep a chap sane! (well, sort of anyway)

Keep up the great blogging Giles!


airhead said...

You are the man Giles, congratulations on your four year anniversary, great blog, content is king and you have it in spades. Keep up the good work, and all the best with all your plans for 2011.

All the best


Sire Godefroy said...

Like many others I was originally inspired to take the step into AWI gaming by visiting your blog. Since then the 18th century has become a main focus - so thanks for that and, of course, for all the genius and love showing in your projects. It sets most of us apart from your ongoing, inexhaustible effort. Hopefully there are many more years to come for this blog!


PS: Please don't complain about your lack of games. A chance to play with Eclaireur, the Perry twins or other such illustrious people is just worth waiting for. ;-)