Monday 1 January 2024

2023 - the Year in Review


When I was younger, so much younger than today...oh no...that's a line from a Beatles song...

I remember as a young lad thinking "in the year 2000 I'll be 42...I'll be so old..." I also remember predictions that there would be human habitation on the moon and Mars by 2020 and the fiction that was Star Trek seemed a real possibility. Yet here we are at the beginning of 2024. I am still here, I don't feel all that old (except when my sciatic nerve gives me jip), there are no humans living on the moon, Mars or beyond, and NNC-1701 (the starship Enterprise) is still a figment of a Hollywood imagination.

As usual for my first post of the year I am doing my annual wrap up. So what were the results of 2023? Well, down on 2022, but that was expected.

Seven projects were worked:

  • Ottoman Turks - started
  • ACW - some artillery sets added
  • Napoleonic Prussians - completed with two grenadier battalions added
  • Napoleonic Russians - completed with six battalions of grenadiers added
  • Napoleonic Austrians - a full force added, almost complete
  • FPW Prussians - all infantry, cavalry and artillery completed
  • FPW French - all infantry, and artillery completed, cavalry started
The total count was 1,423 foot, 132 mounted, 34 guns and 52 pieces of terrain and equipment.

Adjusting this through the usual points system (5 for foot, 10 for mounted, guns and equipment and 10 for every hour of scratch build work) this gives a total of 9,695 compared to 11,510 from last year a drop of 15.8%. The full breakdown is below.

The Franco-Prussian French make up the bulk of the work, followed by the Austrian Napoleonics.

The number of games was less than last year at 18, with a broad range including Cruel Seas, Paraguayan War, WWII, ACW, Napoleonic, AWI, FPW, western gunfights, Crimean War, 100 Years War, Spanish Civil War, Sudan War and WWI Aircraft.

Checking the Google statistics I see that the number of posts has reached 887 (120 this year), followers have gone up about 30, comments just under 11,000 and the visitor count exceeds 544,000 -  although I note from dramatic spike in visitors in the last month that the bots are back.

So what is to be expected in 2024? A greatly reduced volume of production for one. With retirement just around the corner and the prospect of a drop of household income by two thirds, something has to give and that will be any expansion into any new periods. I also need to take into consideration is that the collection now consists of 15,439 foot figures, 2,376 mounted figures, 306 guns, 197 pieces of equipment and a couple hundred of other bits stored in 179 storage drawers and boxes (and I am not going to think about all the terrain pieces)...I reckon that that is probably fact some items that have never been outside the box since I finished them may be "let go".

While the days of big purchases are over some existing projects will be completed:
  • Franco-Prussians some French cavalry and generals for both sides are needed.
  • The Ottoman Napoleonics - I have most of the figures on hand, but there are a few items missing like commanders and artillery.
  • Two battalions of Austrian Grenadiers are in the wings.
  • A couple of stands of ACW horse holders are lurking near the painting tray.
There we's wishing all a great start to the New Year.


  1. Happy New Year, Mark! Once again, amazing productivity from your brush. While you may have your mind set on slowing down at the painting desk as retirement looms, I would not lay any money down claiming your painting days are behind you. You will find new projects to tackle in retirement.

    1. Oh I am sure there will things to paint, just not at the same pace. I'm hoping that playing games will feature more and more after retirement...which is only 270 days away.

  2. A terrific result Mark, especially as they are all 28mm and done to such a high standard. I'm over halfway through my summer break and am already becoming frustrated at how much less productive I am than when a return to work is just around the corner.

    1. I am back to work on Wednesday ☹️. Now I wish I had taken another three days leave. Our Friday flight out of Nadi was cancelled due to an engineering issue so we didn't get back until mid-afternoon Saturday and we had a full day of activity organised for Saturday that had to be abandoned and now can't be completed until next weekend 😡.

  3. Well as always Mark I'm amazed out your consistently high output, both in terms of numbers and quality. When I 'retired' we took a 2/3 cut too to our income, which we can just about cope with as we had paid the mortage off many years before. Given my lead mountain I don't really need to order anything new and in fact am trying to shift stuff but with no success. Storage is an issue that is being addressed too and one that I think I have a reasonable solution too. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank Steve. Like you we carry no debt and by my calculations we can live a comfortable retirement, with restraint.

  4. Great movement on your new armies. Looking forward to some great

    1. Thank Joe. I too am hoping for mor AARs and less preparation.

  5. that's a lot of miniatures painted and a respectful amount of games played so it's been a pretty good year for you I'd say. Though the stats of your painted collection is pretty damn epic as well. Why are you been painting anymore? LOL.
    Hopefully retirement will lead to getting some of those miniatures out of the box that have never seen the table.

    happy new year! 😁

    1. Welcome back Stew...Happy New Year to you too. I saw your "ARISE" post pop up and am looking forward to reading it...I am stuck in a hospital bed right now and am sure that reading of your adventures during your sabbatical will ease my boredom.

  6. An impressive amount of painting as always Mark…
    I suspect your ‘slowing down’ will still be more productive than my top speed 😁…

    All the best and a happy new year. Aly

    1. Thank Aly. The slow down will hit soon as j have no new figures on order.