Wednesday 2 January 2019

End of Year Round-up

Every year when I review the year's hobby production and forecast the coming year’s schedule I always think, "this year won’t be as big as the last."


Well 2018 would have been less than 2017 if I hadn’t decided to expand the French in Egypt by half, doubled the Ottoman force, increased the War of 1812 armies, added the Spanish Napoleonic army to the equation and decided on a reasonably sized expansion to the Carlist armies.


The end result is that what I expected to be quiet-ish year has been my busiest year for many years. What is different about this year is that the size of the result is not skewed by the usual high proportion of scratch built items since those have only accounted for only 11% of the 2018 total. The bulk of the result has come from painted figures.


The 2018 year total landed on 13,060 painting points based the formula of 5 points for a foot figure, 10 points for a cavalry figure or piece of equipment and 10 points for every hour of scratch building. That is 2,330 points above the 2017 total of 10,730. All up 1,486 foot figures, 372 mounted figures, 34 guns, 19 pieces of equipment and 34 scratch built items were completed.


I worked on nine projects during the course of the year, five of which were completed in their entirety, three still have items to complete and one (the scratch built items) is a constant work in progress. I also suspended the Swedish Napoleonic project and introduced the Carlist War expansion in its place.


The Completed Projects:


The Egyptian Campaign of 1801 had three sub-groups:

• French in Egypt expansion which counted 208 foot figures, 27 mounted figures, 6 guns and 1 limber             

• British in Egypt which counted 390 foot figures, 33 mounted figures, 6 guns and 6 limbers

• Ottoman Turks in Egypt which counted 74 foot figures and  48 mounted figures


The French 1812-13 project was the biggest project by far this year and counted 507 foot figures, 206 mounted figures and 13 guns.


The War of 1812 Project (originally targeted as an American force only, but which has also absorbed some British artillery and cavalry, plus a stack of Woodlands indians) was completed with 70 foot figures, 6 mounted figures and five guns.


The Ongoing Projects:


The Crimean War British Heavy Brigade has been started, but issues with supply persist so only 12 mounted figures were completed, while 18 are outstanding.


The Spanish Napoleonic army is well under way with phase one, the 1805-1808 portion, complete with 170 foot figures, 18 mounted and two guns painted. The 1809-1810 portion that will make up phase two will start in February.


The Carlist War expansion has started but only 61 foot figures, 22 mounted and 2 guns are finished. The remaining 72 foot figures will be finished in 2019.


Constant Work in Progress

The never-ending scratch building section has seen 34 pieces completed including the Egyptian Village, the War of 1812 Blockhouse, the Maori village, some Indian lodges, the basing of a bunch of palm trees, the two of six Napoleonic fortress guns and included the completion of two 54mm figures.


So to the statistics:



The Current Year


So what does 2019 hold? Well it DEFINITELY will not be as high a count as the year just gone. The plan is:

• Finish the projects in hand – Carlist expansion, Spanish Napoleonic, Crimean War Heavy Brigade

• Work on a Swedish Napoleonic force

• A small number of British units for use in the early Peninsular war and Napoleonic coastal operations.


The rest of the year is to be given over to another project, that I shall discuss later, and playing games.


Speaking of games played, the count was 23, one down on target and was broken down as follows:

• 6 Napoleonic (3 in western Europe, 2 in Egypt and 1 in the Russian winter)

• 4 American Civil War

• 3 WWI (2 Europe 1914 and 1 East Africa)

• 2 Medieval

• 1 each, Russo-Japanese, War of Spanish Succession, Carlist War, French and Indian, Austro-Prussian, WWII, American War of Independence, English Civil War


This year’s goal is to get above 24 games.


New Year greetings are delayed this year because we headed off shore to Fiji to see out the year. Four days were spent in and around the pool where the two biggest decisions of the day were whether to have the pork belly bites or the burger for lunch and whether to wash it all down with a Heiniken or a Fiji decision in most cases was the former food type and the latter can be seen in part below (some veteran readers of this blog might think that they have seen a similar image last year and they would be right, but that image was taken on Christmas Day 2017 and this one was taken on Monday, just gone...and the glass in this instance has a little less amber liquid contained within).

Despite the threat of rain on a couple of days New Year's Eve was hot (32 deg C) and sunny and a big evening was planned. We had an early dinner with a seven course degustation menu at the resort's signature restaurant then returned to the pool where the night's fesitivities were to be held to find that four evil flamingoes had landed in the pool - one of which can be seen casting its evil beady eye on our position by the pool.

The night was one of fun, music, midnight madness in the pool and culminated in a huge fireworks display. 

We are home now to recover for a few days before going back to work on Monday.

Happy New Year to all!


  1. All the best to you and yours, that's a nice beginning, enjoy!

  2. Congratulations on painting so many figures. It makes my output look very poor compared to yourself. Im also envious of your trip to Fiji but then you deserve a rest after the painting efforts of 2018.All the best for the New Year.

    1. Thank you Robbie. This year will see a tailing off of numbers though.

  3. A remarkable output Mark...
    I think your total this year is more miniatures than I own ;-o...

    All the best. Aly

    1. You see I told you I was unbalancing the earth!

      But things must slow down this year...wait...haven't I said that before, oh yes in 2016, 2017 and 2018...we shall see.

    2. If you stick to plastic for a while... my 42mm collection should keep things in balance :-)

    3. The problem for me is that I am running out of pkastic ranges that interest me.

  4. Mark, your productivity is simply astounding. Super job in 2018 and best wishes for 2019.

    1. Thank you Jonathan and it will slow this year with no big projects planned.

  5. I knew there were a lot, but had no idea you had managed to comeplete close to two thousand pieces. I was feeling quietly chuffed at having completed 880 figures this year, half of which were 15mm, and was quietly thinking to myself I might have been closing in on you. Bugger.

    Love the pink flamingo by the way. We used to have one of those, but he disappeared in a storm last year. I wonder if that’s where he ended up.

    1. 880 is still a very respectable figure.

      Apparently the flamingoes arrive every year for about a week, so maybe yours did join the migration. They were quite evil and kept creeping up on me the pool while when I was quietly contemplating the next project while staring out at the horizon...twice I nearly spilled my Campari and soda.

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you it was, but things need to be reined in this year.

  7. Impressive output in 2018!"things need to be reined in this year",you will excuse me but I'll believe it when I see it,looking forward to mission creep 2019!
    Best Iain

    1. Two problems exist with a high production rate ths year:

      1 - Storage is at a premium and I need to build something purpose built
      2 - Outside the incomplete projects, I am not sure what direction to head.

      I guess it will depend on what new shiny items come onto the market during the year!

  8. Congratulations on another stellar year Mark - of course, you do have an advantage over some of us in that your DM has a much lighter control on defence expenditure - I think an apt analogy would be that you have the US defence budget whilst I have the NZ one! Was supposed to be off to my first game of the year today at JB's but that was over ruled by some social BS!

    1. The budget will be reduced this year for additional manpower, but may expand for facilities.

      I was about to confirm my attendance at next week's game, when a social arrangement was made, so I feel your pain.

  9. Impressive output Mark, and looks like a relaxing NY! :)

    1. Thank you Mark. Yes it was a super relaxing NY - great NY party, sun, pool and I even managed to read Paul Strathern's "Napoleon in Egypt" cover to cover - something quite rare for me as I am usually asleep after five or six pages.

  10. Hi Mark, Nice summary of the year's output. You always had the knack of painting large quantities of miniatures quickly - I remember the Franco-Prussian armies you churned out for the wargaming weekends at Military Miniatures that we enjoyed back in the day. Also a great summary of the games and periods you have played. I don't remember reading about your Tarawera games for 2018 - perhaps I missed your posts, or maybe you haven't written them up. Anyway you have a very nice blog and very inspirational. All the best for 2019. Regards, Bryan.

    1. G'day Bryan, long time no hear. I remember back in the old days withbthose FP armies Incould churn out 28 Prussians in a day.

      You are right there was no Tarawera report in 2018 because our host was in poor health so it didn't happen. All going well the event may happen in early Autumn.