Friday, 23 May 2008

Ten Months And Counting

I have some sympathy for Frederick and his problems with Croats. In my case it is not irregular infantry hovering on my flanks that are causing concern, but various garden pests that launch their attacks on my veggies. Add to that the sun suddenly going AWOL, and the joys of modelling seem all the greater.

With painting metal soldiers, I can blame only myself if they don't turn out the way I want. I suppose in a way this might be seen as a disadvantage: no excuses are possible. So when I see all the mistakes I have made on the figures I have painted so far, I have to shudder. Indeed, I have to marvel at the sheer variety of them. If I look back I'd ascribe 70% of them to impatience, the urge to get on to the next step before properly completing the current job. The other 30% are due to sheer cack-handedness and lack of talent.

It is now ten months since I started on my SYW 30mm army (the blog didn't start until much later) after a break of roughly twelve years since last wargaming. The internet has changed the hobby markedly during my long period of inactivity. We now have easy access to information of all kinds: uniform details, orders of battle, descriptions of tactics etc. that were hard to get hold of when our only ready sources were the local bookshop, library and periodicals. But, for me, the most crucial change has been the manner in which we can all communicate our own thoughts on every topic to our peers. We can now all play a part in forming the opinions on which the future direction of wargaming depends.

On a more personal note I can take stock of the progress made in the last ten months: nine companies of infantry, three cavalry squadrons, and two guns and their crew. Counting all the supernumaries, it works out at about twenty Olley painting points a month: rather more than I imagined before I sat down to count. I think ten months is a good enough basis to be able to figure out future timescales. The maximum size of battle I'd envisage doing would be that of Sittangbad. Any greater number of figures and I suspect the chore of moving them individually would be excessively tedious: I should have to use a multiple figure basing system if I wanted to do this. I make Sittangbad to be roughly 840 Olley painting points: so, subtracting progress already made, that would take me a little under three years.

Ten months work

Henry Hyde's post on hisFaltenian Succession armies mentions the hazards of being drawn into different periods. For those fortunate enough to be fast painters this is not a problem: for slow painters like me it is 'madness' as the authors of Charge! put it. The most tempting for me would be WW2 as this presents a very different game. Luckily this problem is solved by the simple fact that the best WW2 wargames I have played have been on a computer, using Close Combat 3 (in my humble opinion Close Combat 4 is nowhere near as good a game). I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to try out WW2: you get all the advantages of using a computer, including concealment, accurate morale, proper determination of the effect of suppressive fire (the last is key to allowing proper tactics), all leading to an excellent wargame. And the biggest benefit of all is that you don't have to paint another army, so your modelling efforts don't get diluted by period creep.

At the moment I am working on adding a second squadron of dragoons. This takes a lot of time as I have multiple parts to attach with epoxy glue, so there's not much to show at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to show the enlarged regiment next post.


Fitz-Badger said...

Well, they look good en masse on your terrain!

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hello Andy,

Here's to ten months of inspiring work and to another roughly 36 to reach the critical mass necessary for Sittangbad. Sounds like we both think along very similar lines. I never tire of viewing your paintwork either. Lovely.

On a similar note, what factors drive your figure purchases?

Best Regards,


Andy Mitchell said...

On factors determining figure purchases: I use the simple rule that if the figures were good enough for Brigadier Peter Young, then they are certainly good enough for me.

Steve said...

...I would say that was ten months effort very well spent! Well done...

..thanks for the heads up on CC3 as well - I must have a look around for a copy.. up until now my favourite game was the old SSI "Steel Panthers" game...

tradgardmastare said...

Super figures and very inspiring - ten months well spent!

Der Alte Fritz said...

A splendid looking army you have there. One minor suggestion: big battalions look even nicer when they have two flags per battalion. If you are using GMB flags, they always have a colonel's colour and the regimental color in each pack, or you can buy packs with two regimental flags.