Saturday, November 30, 2013

To the Brushes!

Despite my unrealized best intentions and dismal personal performance in last year's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, supremo Curt kindly invited me to return to the fray for another winter painting frenzy.  This time it will be different!  Well, we'll see.  Its actually a fantastic idea - not so much about competing with fellow painting gamers without borders - but rather attempting to set a goal for yourself and in the process enjoying the creativity and camaraderie of others who are also excavating their respective metal mountains.

Speaking of which, last night I sat down and took a cold hard look at what I wanted to work on for the next few months.  It was somewhat sobering for reasons I will explain below.

Firstly, I won't have to buy a single figure to participate this year.  The image below represents approximately 2,000 points in the painting challenge system.  Some of these I've had lying around for a while.

So what will I be painting?  Probably close to eight years ago I painted up a ton of 15mm Fallschirmjaeger and German armour for Flames of War.  I also did some really great Bocage terrain.  I'll have to post some pics later.  I've never really gotten a chance to put them on the table.  With my sons reaching an age where we can at least attempt to game, I wanted to paint up some adversaries for the Krauts.  So here you'll see some 15mm Battlefront Americans with five Shermans from Plastic Soldier.  The boys love tanks, so let's see if we can't get them on the table in time for a Spring offensive.
Next, some 28mm World War II figures from Warlord Games' Bolt Action series.  Early this year I'd intended to paint them up for the new Bolt Action rules.  Here's the chance to get them on the table: Fallschirmjaeger, SS, Screaming Eagles and Red Devils.  Did I mention my boys love armour?  Also in the pile are some nicely sculpted figures and vehicles from West Wind Productions "Berlin or Bust" series.  These mix well with Bolt Action.

I continue my fascination with the Great War.  The impending centenary of the beginning of the First World War will, I'm certain, be commemorated by many gamers around the globe.  I wanted to paint up some early War figures - British and German.  Included in the pile are German cavalry from Wargames Foundry as well as German and British infantry and artillery from both Great War Miniatures and Battle Honors Miniatures.  

I bought a couple of 25mm Old Glory Mark IV tanks a while back too.  In a previous blog, I noted just how large they are in comparison to the Foundry version.  I toyed with the idea of returning them to the vendor, but now its too late.  So I'll paint them for the campaigns in the Middle East, and more precisely the Second Battle of Gaza.  When did I start doing the Great War in Palestine you ask?  Well, right about now.  This means of course I'll have to buy some more figures: Ottoman Turks, Australian Light Horse, German Asia Corps, British infantry in tropical kit, Indian cavalry.  It just so happens I have a few figs lying around, but not nearly enough of course.    And Brigade Games have some great sculpts.  Such is the nature of addiction.

Finally a few odds and ends: Great War German casualties, a padre (hoping that Curt will allow him as a non-combatant), and somewhere tucked away I'm pretty sure I have some unpainted miniatures I was going to do for Legends of the Old West.

The biggest lesson I learned from last year's challenge was not to wait unit the first day of action to start preparing and priming the miniatures.  This always takes way longer than I anticipate.  So from now until December 15, the sound of filing, snipping, and spraying will ring out from my workshop.

Perhaps the most sobering part of all this is to total up the value of the unpainted miniatures piled on the table above.  In many cases I didn't pay full price.  I've traded them, bought them as part of an Army Deal, or purchased them at discount.  But even taking that into account, they represent quite an investment.  The sensible thing is to get them on the tabletop where they belong.


  1. it does not do to put monetary value to your lead pile in-case the better half finds out the total. Looking forward to seeing some paint splashed on these WW1 figures and tanks and who does not like great Flames of war figures

  2. I totally agree with James... never calculate the lead mountains value. Better my wife doesn't read this^^
    I'm looking forward to follow your progress throughout the challenge and best of luck.

  3. James and Moiterei - I believe you are both what are commonly termed "enablers".

  4. Yes, I'm with James and Nick on this one: In the matters of Toy Soldier Lead Reserves, the truth is best kept from the ones you love. I've simply told my wife that if I predecease her, my collection will more than finance a nice long trip to France in order for her to find Husband Mark II (apparently one that cooks)...

  5. I wish I still had time for this kind of thing - being in University has forced me to put a lot of my hobbies on hold... maybe I'm doing it wrong.


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