Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Fifth year anniversary
I always post a review of the year on the anniversary of this blog's commencement. "Why bother?" I suspect many readers will ask, given that this blog has been dozing in winter quarters for large parts of the year, most recently over the past couple of months (when even I have been appalled at the poor number of posts). It's been a year of considerable upheaval, to be honest. Not just a large house move and very stressful sale of the old place, but various other personal stuff I won't bore you with. Suffice to say that the Kiwi and I won't miss 2011, although 2012 will bring its own challenges, I'm sure. Usually at this time of year the January gloom is warmed by the thought of our annual trip to New Zealand (and occasionally Australia), but we are not taking Hugo anywhere near a long haul flight after the poor lad's experience last March. So the next trip will be Christmas 2013, which is a long time to wait. I've been surprised to realise how much I will miss visiting NZ this year; it's beginning to feel like a second home already.
In wargaming terms it has been a lean year: not a single game, only 1 show attended and far less painting time than I had anticipated. The year's painting tally, set out below, is pretty shocking when compare to the heady BHE days ("Before Hugo Era"). I like to think that I'm pretty adept at squeezing every ounce of painting time out of the day, but I need to make a better effort. I have already found myself cutting the odd corner to speed things up, like using base colour and 1 highlight instead of 2 (especially on things like musket stocks and bayonet scabbards. But a key reason why posts have been scarce the past few months is that my concentration on Napoleonics and resulted in the painting of large units which just take much longer to do. My last 5 painted units have have respective strengths of 26, 24, 18, 30 and 46 figures. That's 130 painted figures but only 5 posts' worth (I haven't yet posted on the most recent two, the 3eme Ligne and 5th KGL Battalion). 130 infantry figures in AWI terms would be 7 or 8 posts' worth. There are plenty of "small unit" options in my principal areas of interest, so I'm going to try to maintain a steady flow of those to ensure more regular posting.
2011 tally, all 25mm unless specified:
- AWI: 86 foot, 7 cavalry and 3 guns.
- 1815: 178 foot.
- First Carlist War: 40 foot and 1 gun.
- NZ Wars: 42 foot and 1 gun.
- Liberators (15mm): 24 foot.
- Other: 8 foot.
Counting 15mm figures as half a point each, that gives me 385 points, which is actually an improvement on last year's total of 340. Again it equates to just over 7 figures a week. I'm actually painting in batches of 8 now, rather than 6, but sometimes that takes longer than 1 week to finish.
Highlights of the year (aside from watching Hugo's Santa impression, which is hilarious) were the publication of the deluxe edition of the "British Grenadier!" AWI rules (which contains many photos of my collection), visiting Eureka Miniatures in Melbourne, finally taking the plunge with the Liberators! 15mm range, spending a month painting the Empress Miniatures NZ Wars figures and seeing my 1815 collection expand . I have now painted all 3 of the Perry plastic 1815 infantry sets and I am convinced that hard plastic is the future of 25mm wargaming in this period.
Plans for 2012? More of the same, really. I expect I will paint more AWI and First Carlist War and fewer Napoleonics. I want to spend some more time on the Liberators! project and I've also promised Eclaireur that I will work on some more ECW. To be honest, the main reason the AWI has been on the back-burner recently is that I'm waiting for the Perry plastic figures to come out before deciding where to go with the British and American forces; that's also why I've only painted French infantry this year. But there is the cavalry too, and I will press on with the Eureka dragoons. No doubt some other things will catch my eye as the year progresses.
I have two games to post about shortly. The first, Freeman's Farm (top-right), took place in December 2010 and the second, Austerlitz (top-left), earlier this week. The reason why Freeman's Farm hasn't been posted about earlier is because I took photos primarily for inclusion in the new edition of "British Grenadier!". Now that has been out for some time, I feel there's no harm in posting some of the same pics on this blog.
Happy New Year, everyone.