Friday, 1 January 2016

Goodbye 2015 and hello 2016!

With the year ended it is time for a review.
A total of 23 games were played across 11 different historical periods: Ironclads in the Austro-Prussian War, Dark Ages, Napoleonic, WW1, American Civil War, French and Indian War, Franco-Prussian War (x2), Austro-Prussian War(x2), WW2 (x3), Medieval (x4) and War of Spanish Succession (x5).
From a painting perspective it has been the most productive year for many years. The Bavarian War of Spanish Succession army was required for a game in October. I managed to complete it between January and September, with a three week overseas holiday in between, with two weeks to spare. In fact the goal stretched, almost doubling, as the project progressed and now counts every Bavarian unit present at Blenhiem.
The infantry
The cavalry
The entire army
I have had an interest in in the Wars of the Roses for quite some time and the intention was to build up a small retinue of half a dozen units.  But that was it, just an intention. Then when in France in May I made an impulse purchase of two boxes of the Perry plastics and seven months later the project ended - the original half dozen units had stretched to 23!

Talbot's Retinue
The entire army
I started the Crimean War project late last year, intending to complete it this year, but it was delayed because of the desire to complete the two projects above and the hiatus that resulted from our Alaskan trip in August. All the same I have started the Russians, French and Sardinians.
The first Russian infantry regiment
The Russian High Command
The French Chasseurs à Pied
The Zouaves
The first of the Sardinian infantry
The Brigade of Guards
The British First Division, Guards on the left, Highlanders on the right
Other items added to various collections this year include Franco-Prussian War artillery, some imperial guard, some dismounted hussars and uhlans, a few Russo-Japanese War Russians to finish an incomplete infantry regiment. I painted up some NZ Wars figures that I had designed years ago to be given to a friend. I made a number of scenic items, both for myself and for others, the most notable was the Roman villa. Finally, I reworked a significant volume of figures (rebasing a couple of units and re-varnishing more than 2,800 figures that had an unsatisfactory semi-gloss finish on them). I also got around to basing up the Perry Miniatures Russian Napoleonic command set that I bought a few years ago.

The villa 
The Russian Napoleonic command set
Breaking it all down by projects the count is:
Wars of the Roses:
324 foot
24 mounted
War of Spanish Succession
265 foot
75 mounted
2 guns
Russo-Japanese War
22 foot
1 mounted (actually one ammunition mule and its attendant)
Franco-Prussian War
47 foot
6 mounted
5 guns
Crimean War
127 foot
2 mounted
2 guns

NZ Wars
16 Maori Warriors
Scenery Items
1 x statue
1 x vineyard
1 x Roman Villa
2 x haystacks
4 x small fields
2 x RJW gun emplacements
1 x RJW fortified hilltop
14 pieces of rail fencing
Reworked items
36 figures rebased
2,818 figures re-varnished (including RJW, FPW, APW, WSS, ECW, WotR and WWI collections)
All up the count was:
801 foot figures
108 mounted figures
9 guns
26 scenic items
2,854 reworked items
Purely as an exercise I rated these against the painting scoring system set down in the Analogue Painting Challenge: 5 points per foot and 10 per mounted figure or gun. I calculated the value of scenery items by equating them to the time it took to construct, paint and base against the time it takes me to paint and base a foot figure (I can complete 5 foot figures a night so the Roman Villa that took 14 nights was worth 70 points).  Then I looked at the varnishing of the armies, which took me about eight weeks, and equated that in a similar way.
The points count was:
Foot ​​4,005 points
Mounted ​1,080 points
Guns ​​90 points
Scenic items ​388 points
Reworks ​280 points
Grand total 5,843 points.
I doubt that next year will be anywhere near as productive. While I intend to complete the Crimean War project in time for our weekend away in the second half of the year, I don’t have a clear view of any new projects. There are many possibilities, including (in no order of preference):
• Russian Napoleonic
• Great Northern Wars
• Saxons for 1866
• Carlist Wars


  1. Mark, you were indeed very busy in 2015! Nearly reached 6,000 painting points? Unbelievable rate of production! Many great projects and excellent results.
    Of all of your projects, I most look forward to seeing progress made on your Crimean War project. Figures look so fine. Loved your Roman villa project. Fantastic result there, too!

    Happy New Year to you!

    1. Happy New Year to you too Jonathan (although as I type it is still the 31st where you are)!

      I fear that I shall not be as prodigious this year as last, largely as a result of cost - the armies I want to build this year will be metal and not plastic. The Crimean armies will grow rapidly - there is an order for Sardinians, Chasseurs d'Afrique and French artillery on it way now, thanks to the Foundry Christmas special - and has to be finished by August in time for our annual weekend away.

  2. Stunning, absolutly stunning! Beautiful figures and buildings...Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Phil, Happy New Year To you too!

  3. Mark a fantastoc performance - that really is some going.
    Looking forward to seeing this years efforts.
    Have a great new year.
    All the best.

    1. Thanks Stu,

      How is the RJW going for you? Have you done any of the Tsuba Japanas cavalry yet?

  4. Hi Mark,
    I think I can only aspire to produce a fraction of what you've managed this year - hope you've enjoyed doing it all! Have enjoyed reading your news and browsing through all the photos and the Roman villa is one of my favourites as well!
    Worryingly enough I have a plan for figures in 2016 through to early 2017, which I could achieve easily if I could match your output!
    Anyway, Happy New Year from the UK, where it's now comfortably 2016!
    All the best,
    John Paterson

    1. Thank you John,

      I need to restrain myself this year...I am beginning to run out of storage space!