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.

28 comments:

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Here's to a better 2012 to for you and your family Giles.

AJ

Scott Mac said...

Kids change everything! My hobby time decreased dramatically when the twins came along, but is greatly offset by the joy of watching their curiosity about "dad's toys," buzzing around with my planes and, um, decorating my Russo-Finnish terrain board "Christmas trees." Enjoy!

El Grego said...

Congrats on five Giles, and I hope to see more in 2012.

Sire Godefroy said...

I would be happy to have a painting bill like yours for 2011! The sheer thought of finishing 7 figures per week is just hilarious. So don't you dare to worry! ;-)

Also, be assured, this blogging thing adds a lot of hobby pressure on all of us. Sometimes it keeps the ball rolling, sometimes it's just unwanted. No worries from here, as long as you feed us humble followers with updates from time to time…

Cheers & all the best for 2012
SG

Prinz Ulrich von Boffke said...

Lots of sage advice here already, Giles, but remember to enjoy the "painting journey" most of all in your various projects. Still, it sounds like there were a number of highlights to 2011 from a personal and wargaming standpoint. Here's to 2012 and a a game or two for you before too long.

Best Regards,

Stokes

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

I think your painting output is very commendable and your right it takes longer to finish units.
As always I really look forward to your posts! Good luck on 2012!

Christopher

Paul Darnell said...

All the best for the year ahead Giles

Rodger said...

Happy New Year Giles and all the best for 2012.

airhead said...

All the best for 2012 to you and yours Giles. They grow up all to soon, so make the most of the time while he is small. He will be asking for driving lesson's before you know it.

Best Regards

Airhead

Sidney Roundwood said...

Five years is a great achievement. You have a wonderful, deeply inspiring blog, which so many of us love. Very, very best wishes for 2012.

Mericánach said...

Giles,

Whatever the frequency of your posts, your blog has been - and continues to be - one of my favourite places to visit on the internet.

"Tarleton's Quarter" is a showcase for the hobby and demonstrates all that is great about wargaming and gaming. That didn't change in 2011, and I don't see it changing in 2012.

Long may it continue, and thanks for all your hard work with it.

All the best to yourself, the Kiwi and Hugo for 2012.

M.

irishhighlander said...

Hey, I have 5 children! I had to put off my wargamming until the last youngest stopped putting stuff in her mouth! I've finally been able to build a small plastic AWI force. Now the wife says I have enough toys.

legatus hedlius said...

Congratulations on five years! All you have to do is wait until Hugo is old enough for his first Airfix figures.

My little boy (now 14) prefers computer games but he doesn't take much persuading to do a Lord of the Rings game or, latterly, a Darkest Africa one.

We really must meet up this year as I am down in Docklands reasonably often.

paulalba said...

Hope this year will see a lot more figures painted for us both.
All the best for 2012!
Awe ra best
paul

Robert said...

Happy New Year to you all, Giles. May your blog continue to inspire in 2012 and beyond.

-Robert

(Still agonizing on whether to detour into either the AWI or French Indian Wars...)

Willie Anderson said...

Five years wow!!!
Great place to visit always something of interest whether a new post or in the archive.
As Mericanach says great showcase for the hobby!

Best wishes

Willie

BigRedBat said...

5 years is a great achievement with a blog. From personal experience, everything gets a whole lot easier as the kids get older.

That Austerlitz game looks great!

Cheers, Simon

Silver Whistle said...

The delays in your post just make us appreciate them all the more when they do eventually arrive.
Happy New Year to you and your family.
Pat.

David said...

Always enjoy your Blog and admire your work. Enjoy 2012 and all the joys it will bring ~ oh, and wargaming as well!

Giles said...

Many thanks for all your kind comments - very much appreciated!

Giles

VolleyFireWargames said...

Suggestion add a search gadget to your blog so people can search your blog for specific topic postings (for example if I wanted to look at the Carlist War figures you have painted - i would just plug Carlist War and find the posts I wanted) Otherwise a great blog as always

Giles said...

Volleyfire - I'll look into that, but there is a label system right down at the bottom of the front page, which is pretty extensive - so, for example, you can find all Carlist War posts or just the BAL ones.

Giles

VolleyFireWargames said...

OK thanks I see it (the label list)at the boottom of your blog post musta missed it - Sorry about that - V

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin said...

Giles your blog was inspirational in getting me into AWI and thanks for your kind comments on my blog

Roger said...

I am always really impressed with this blog, I espescially like your Dutch-Belgian units. Its all very inspirational!

RTB said...

Glad you are still alive. Ive finished the last of my two cases of NZ grape juice ++++

Iowa Grognard said...

Five years of great inspiration and information not easily found elsewhere. Truly a class blog and author.