Saturday, 1 January 2022

Happy New Year!

Here in New Zealand the first half of the year passed pretty comfortably with a couple of short periods of restrictions to close out small localised COVID outbreaks, but we managed to get about pretty freely. I even succeeded to squeeze in 16 games and three short trips to the South Island. 

But all hopes that 2021 would see a return to normal were pretty much dashed when on 17 August the COVID-19 Delta variant came to our shores then escaped from our quarantine facilities and we plunged into an immediate lockdown that lasted 107 days (and some restrictions are still in effect). Gaming stopped and didn’t start again until December meaning that the overall game count was down to a mere 18 games for the year.

Despite the ongoing supply chain issues on the painting front it was a very productive year - my fourth most productive since I started keeping records in 2014 and up 46% on last year, although last year was a very low year. Such is the advantage of staying home for four months. 

In all nine projects were undertaken:  

  • The Great Paraguayan War project was carried over from last year and is almost complete, with just the Paraguayan generals and a few more gun sets to do. 
  • The Tarawera project, including a some significant terrain items, was completed in total, but with the event suspended none of the figures have seen action. 
  • The AWI expansion: 
    • British - adding seven battalions, two guns, a limber, a wagon and three mounted completed with the addition of eleven battalions, six mounted officers and three gun sets with their limbers and wagons to the collection.
    • Hessian - added four line battalions, two j├Ąger companies (with amusettes), a gun, a wagon and three mounted officers
  • Franco-Prussian War 
  • Swedish Napoleonic
  • The terrain tiles have started and will continue on into the  New Year. 
  • A small number of French 1805 infantry were completed as a filler between figure deliveries and about a dozen more are assembled, but enthusiasm to complete them is lacking. 
  • The completion of some ACW dismounted cavalry units has started, but ongoing postal delays means that all the figures for this group have not yet arrived. 
Most of the figures for a token French AWI force have arrived, but don’t slot into the schedule until late-January.

In all the item count was a respectable 1,533 foot and 79 mounted figures, 19 guns, 2 pieces of equipment and 130 scratch built pieces, made up as follows:

As for what 2022 will hold in store I am only certain at this point of five projects:

  • Franco-Prussian War
  • AWI French
  • ACW dismounted cavalry
  • Swedish Napoleonics
  • The Terrain Tiles
While the Franco-Prussian project has the potential to balloon into a mega project the others will be relatively small efforts. That said, I am sure something else will come along to pique my interest during the year.

Happy New Year to you all and raise a glass or two with me in the hope that we will soon see the back of this insidious virus.


  1. Happy New Year, Mark!

    With every year-end wrap-up I am astounded by your productivity. 2021 is no exception. Unbelievable productivity from your hand. For perspective, I managed to paint just over one-third of your totals. I don’t know how you do it. Great job, once again.

    Looking forward to more FPW in 2022.

    1. Thank you Jonathan. While your figure count may be lower, you game count much be through the roof…an a achievement I would love to match!

  2. Wonderful stuff Mark, you really are a painting machine... What a year on so many levels. Looking forwards to see how 2022 takes shape.
    Have a good one.
    Best wishes

    1. Thanks Stu. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you can’t go anywhere!

  3. A good New Year to you and yours , Tony

  4. I’ve never learned to speak statistics… I can barely make my way round English ­čśü
    But I can work out that you have painted a lot more toys than me… as always.

    You are always an inspiration Mark…
    Have a happy and prosperous New Year and Lang May Yer Lum Reek.

    All the best. Aly

    1. I only speak pigeon statistics - I leave the real language to the professionals. In truth my use of statistics is purely as a weapon fear…”OMG did I spend that much?!”

      All the best to you too Aly.

  5. Happy New Year to you too, Mark. I still have to do my final tally but know already that my output will be lower than last year. Three trips to the South Island? I mentally counted two, but three was a good effort. Was it because Fiji was off the menu for 2021?

    1. In fact we have had four trips South…three before lockdown and one over Christmas. We are even thinking of one at the end of this month. Sadly all overseas trips are off the cards while there is quarantine involved…while I could work from home in quarantine, her indoors can’t.

  6. Another very productive year Mark and doubtless the same to come in 2022, although lets hope gaming continues now we are at the Amber alert setting and the internal border restrictions have been removed.

    1. More productive than I expected when I started the year, but once the steamroller starts…Not so sure where things will lead this year…storage is becoming a real issue now.

    2. Maybe you need to investigate off site storage options....?

    3. Not really an option. The answer is to sort out some storage outside for the garden tools then reorganise the garage…then again the real answer is to stop buying new figures!