Sunday, August 30, 2009

Arch Diplomant or just a Backstabber

There are games you play in your youth that can disappoint when you get to play them again. I would include several wargames in this example as well as board games; in particular, but of no obvious relevance I recall how rubbish 'Operation' is once you have adult motor skills and can hold your attention to a task for more than five seconds - 'Oh, the buzzer went off, me and my four-year-old companions will laugh like drains for the next two minutes'...

Gladly when I got to play 'Diplomacy again for the first time in about 20 years, there was no such disappointment.

There ended up being only three of us on the day, which is possibly the worst multi-player option. But nevertheless a good game was had, though in 4 hours we only managed 6 out of the maximum 14 years (12 turns) of play.

I had control of Britain and Turkey, whilst James was France and Russia, and Ross took Germany and Austria. I vaguely recalled Turkey being in a strong position whilst Britain is weaker, so resolved to use Britain as Turkeys Pawn in a bid to conquer the Balkans and Russia. Sure enough my diplomatic style - be matter of fact with my opponents, tell them the truth, especially about what they had in mind for each other, but not all the truth; and try to give the impression the only sensible thing to do was what I told them - worked a charm. James early on in particular left both north and south Russia unoccupied, thinking I meant him no ill will. I did, and marched into both areas unopposed. Russia never recovered!

Still, it didn't all go my way. Germany was building up a degree of strength, and was able to dodge the British navy, long enough to occupy London, the Liverpool. England was done for, the British role of supporting Turkey made them sacrificial for me however. The long game was the Balkans and slowly Turkey and France pushed the Austrians out.

James had quietly and unopposed built the French into the largest force in the game, whilst Ross discovered that his strike into England had served only to trap his armies there. At the end of the game, he was in big trouble, with the French massing on his borders, and his Austrian ally reeling under pressure around Serbia and Vienna. It was clear that France and Turkey, given time would divide the spoils of Europe.

Great fun, but a little slow due to the three handed nature of negotiations; the game really needs four or more players. Still I think the next time we play, hopefully not in another twenty years, we should manage a few more leaders.

Another aspect of playing this was plenty of time to wander round with the camera. What caught my eye most despite the size, were these sweet looking 6mm Romans, based for Warmaster Ancients:

Oh dear, they looked lovely, and I had a long chat about available armies and so on. Some years ago I broke up and sold my old 6mm ancients as I had no opponents for them. Now I'm tempted by one of my old favourites, the Numidians again. Dammit, I was trying to buy less and paint more!

The other historical game of the day was a large Flames of War game, on an 18x4 foot spread, with I guess a one to one scale battalion on each side.

Personally I find FoW doesn't appeal as a rule set; it takes the GW mould in making the period accessible and covering all the info a player could need; and that's good. But it also goes down routes I don't like: Exception rules tagged onto basic rules to cover virtually every contingency, an obsession with getting as much on the table as possible, using short ranges to accommodate this on small boards, being wedded to a points system for (shudder) 'Tournament play', and so on. The result to my eye is a game, which doesn't end up feeling right, neither in look or style of play.
Of course, I am quite particular about modern wargames anyway. I too would play company and battalion sized actions, but at the 'Step Up' scale typically; where a Section of figures represents the whole platoon, so thirty or forty men represents a company. That would be the most I'd put on a 6x4' table. rather than 100+ men and a dozen or more tanks...
Still for spectacle, some of the pictures are nice!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Introductions in book form

A few entries ago I talked about Battle! By Charles Grant. This set the ball rolling on a brief and very successful hunt for the other book I mentioned, ‘Introduction to Battle Gaming’ by Terence Wise. For a surprisingly small price I managed to get hold of a copy via the second hand options on Amazon. Whilst in the same time frame a judicious use of library catalogues allowed me to get hold of two other comparative books: Donald Featherstone’s ‘War Games’, from 1962 and ‘Wargaming, An Introduction’ by Neil Thomas, and released in 2005. Consider this entry a review by comparison of all three.

How does the Terry Wise book compare to my memories of it as a child? I reckon I probably borrowed this from the library only two or three times as a nipper; yet regardless of that I suspect I read it cover to cover a dozen times. On getting hold of my very own copy I did exactly the same again, reading it from cover to cover in an afternoon.

The photos are even more evocative, with a homespun charm that is common to all of the wargames books of the sixties and seventies. As is some of the advice. I remember making my own papier-mâché hills by exactly the fashion Terry shows; whilst buying the same Merit trees he recommended – somewhere they are still in a box of terrain of mine.

Like all books of this type it is centred around a mix of telling readers a little history, advising them on how to collect their army/armies, and of course some simple rules, with examples typified as what we would now call battle reports.

Of course back then figures choices were remarkably limited. A few metal ranges were available, but Terry pretty much exclusively used Airfix figures for the book, managing to convert entire ancient armies out of a mixture of practically every pre-gunpowder set they made. The historical accuracy is to modern eyes laughably absent, but it was early days.

On this front Terry was in a rich position compared to Don’s book; he made his German tanks from Plaster of Paris as no models of them were available! How lucky we are nowadays to be able to buy pre-made resin models of every tank involved in WW2 or metal or plastic miniatures in whatever scale we fancy of any army imaginable. Instead we spend vastly more time on terrain, and painting, something that neither book shows quite the same demand for.

By Neil Thomas’ book, visuals are far more important, the images in the well presented volume are lifted from Miniature Wargames and show many hundreds of well painted figures on attractive terrain in a variety of scales. And as was a feature of MW at the time, a little light photo-shopping has added to the gloss of many of the images.

Then of course the rules are there. Each of the three books contains basic rules for the chosen periods. I have to be honest, Terry’s rules are not great; deliberately simple, being aimed at children, they now seem terribly crude, at the original reading I had little but a passing interest in the Ancient gaming, and none at all in the horse and musket rules presented, but I did try his ‘Modern’ rules, and they only lasted until I read Charles Grant’s ‘Battle!’; a much superior set.

By comparison ‘War Games’ contains rules by Tony Bath for ancient periods, which have several good features, more complex but superior to ‘Battle Gaming’, and still simpler than most modern rules. In passing, I’d say many of their features seem to have evolved in to Warhammer. The book also contains Lionel Tarr’s seminal rules for WW2 gaming, often spoke of glowingly by old-school gamers; and again, short but effective they are. The thing with all of these rules of course being that they will not stand up to brutal points based competitive gaming, and certainly leave a lot of room for interpretation if unexpected things happen.

Thomas’ book too contains rules, simple, effective ones for six different periods; with the added innovation of army lists allowing fairly equal games.

Over the years the format of these books has not changed then, but what one can say is that the frequency of them has. Back in the sixties and seventies, these books appeared annually, and were, can you credit it, reviewed in mainstream literary press – ‘War Games’ was reviewed by the Daily Telegraph, in the way I suppose that a modern Sunday supplement might review a PC battle simulation! Thomas’ book by contrast is probably the first of its’ type for over ten, maybe fifteen years.

The world has moved on, wargaming is one of those hobbies that has gained a new lease of life on the internet; but such changes mean less demand for the simple pleasures of a cup of tea and a good book.

Not that the passing of simple rules and games based on ideas rather than points values has occurred though, and I’m pleased to see groups of old school wargamers faring well enough, even if they tend to be of an older generation.

Any of the books mentioned are worth a read, but to be honest, unless you’ve been gaming for at least twenty years already, you’ll probably be happier with Thomas’ book. All three are intended for beginners; Neil at least has the advantages of glossy production and the wisdom of those who went before him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Commissions - the 26th return

well it looks like my days of House husbandry are coming to a close in September, which is a relief, I'll say! In the mean time it had been a case of do what one can to make a bit more money, and thankfully there is always trade in the model soldier painting front (though how anyone really does it for a living is beyond me; I like painting and yet the idea of doing it all day every day fills me with dread).
The unit below is one of my rare commissions, for a chap in Spain. Normally I do all my selling on eBay, but occasionally I get a request for custom work.

A typical late war German battalion, based on the 26th Panzer Grenadiers again in this instance, much like one I showed a couple of weeks ago.

This time I went with lighter base colours, and as figure supplies dictated, a few less Zeltbahns, but more figure variety.

I found a use for the MG15 gunner as well this time. He works fine in a HQ context, but looks all wrong in a normal company set up. The officer on the left is one of my favourite models in the Valiant sets, as you get to splash a little colour on his map!

A note on the colour of the uniforms, I've been using Humbrol Acrylic no. 30 for these, I'm not even sure they officially circulate this one now, in the enamel range it is called a matt dark green, but is probably analogous to many olive greens or army greens. It suits the 'Reed Grey' of later German uniforms pretty well in my opinion; and the one good thing I can say about the Humbrol acrylics is that the withstand handling better than their competitors. That said their coverage is bad, plain bad!
If any of my readers are ever interested in a commision job, drop me a comment. I'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blunts' Rescue

Gradually our Napoleonic games are stretching beyond small skirmishes to actions of a company size I suppose. Our last one featured about 80 miniatures, with most of the units formed up as platoons.

The scenario was a simple one this time, with the British hoping to extricate a Spanish platoon trapped at the farmhouse by advancing French forces and their allies.

The French and their allies advanced swiftly on the farm, hoping that a thin screen of skirmishers could hold the Riflemen at bay. The Spanish were thought to be a feeble opponent, but in fact delivered a devastating volley to the advancing Westphalians. Breaking one of their Platoons.
The Leger came up on their flank though, and were able to deliver similarly effective fire. The Spanish broke, and although they were to rally, they were never a threat again. The second Westphalian platoon held the farm now, although their skirmishers had been slaughtered by Blunt in close combat. His Cavalry sabre cutting down three men, before the fourth wisely fled.

The British line advanced slowly, but was forced to withdraw by Westphalian fire. Blunt, and his riflemen had to try and go it alone, and he succeeded in single combat with the French Captain; but Blunt fell to the eventual weight of numbers. Still by this stage the Westphalians were a spent force and once the British line returned they withdrew too.

But it was by now the end of the day, the Leger had seen off the last of the Rifles and without any loss of their own, withdrew to cover near the farm. The British line was closer to the building, but could not say it held the ground uncontested. A draw.

There were a number of points for clarification in the rules in this game, as it was the first time we'd used more than one formed body of men it wasn't a surprise. After the game I also considered a new system for command and control to limit the number of formations a player can operate in a turn; I've always liked the idea that you shouldn't always be able to use your whole force in a given arbitrary time frame (or turn). These thoughts led to adding some optional personal attributes for leaders to balance the restrictions and make them a little more heroic. I still want to try the rules again, but they are really coming together well now.

Still our next game will be with a commercial set of rules for comparison; I wonder what they'll be like?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


This was the second wargames book I ever read.

I was all of eight or nine years old, it was the late seventies, a time when wargaming books were still in libraries; I was an avid reader, and for my age a prodigious one too. I'd quickly discovered that children's stories didn't interest me much, I preferred history books, tales of war, foreign countries and aliens. Browsing the shelves I came across a copy of 'Introduction to Battle Gaming' by Terence Wise one day, and so ended up as the sad gaming geek I am today.

By my next visit to the library, I had a box of Matchbox Commando's, and was saving for their set of Afrika Korps (no logic to those choices beyond which looked best!). Sticks, pellet firing cannons and 1/32nd scale toys had been replaced by the d6 in all my unwanted board games and the local model shop.

On that next trip to the library, I found a copy of 'Battle' where the other book had been before. Naturally I took it out and started to use it; not just reading it, pouring over the photo's obsessively, reading and visualising the engagements that Charles Grant described, and hoping one day (after a Christmas no doubt, or during some long summer holiday) to emulate them.

Of course I was still only eight, and I'm pretty sure that only the basis of the rules made any sense to me at the time. Also I didn't get to hang on to the book for more than three weeks. So I set about scribbling down the bits I needed in a brown scrap book, and they went on to serve me well for the next few years of playing on the spare bedroom floor.

Fast forward thirty years.

I found an account of a game played with these very rules in the Battlegames TableTop Teasers book, written By Charles S Grant, Son of the late Charles. Now that sparked some memories. And so, good old eBay eventually provided a copy of my very own.

And do you know what, their actually a pretty good set of rules.

Alright, they don't contain a lot of the finesse that newer sets do, but there was an expectation at the time that if you yourself didn't fight in World War 2, and have some idea about how thing worked, someone in your family would be able to inform you. Such was the world back then, when these rules were written the war was only as long ago as the Falklands War is from us Brits today (foreign readers insert your own relevant event from the mid eighties as you wish). So far as rules go Mr Grant had a lot of things simply but effectively covered, given the intention to cover company sized actions with artillery and armoured support it's all very workable.

Simultaneous movement, an easy firing system, integrated communications, a reasonable morale system; it's all there. Of course a mixture of reasons must be behind the assemblage of forces in the book; Mr Grant's Russian infantry attack the Germans in the classic 'Action at Twin Farms' from the back of a platoon of German half tracks, and every side has access to an unlimited supply of Willy's Jeeps for transport. At the time it was written the only decent suppliers of military models in a suitable scale were Minitanks and Airfix; neither range even close to the completeness we are familiar with today.

But ultimately it's the nostalgia that really wins my heart with this one. The text is simple, and clear, and if a little patchy in the sort of all encompassing detail gamers expect nowadays, remains usable and evocative. The write ups of battles used as instruction on the rules fill in the details of a narrative account. And the numerous (if sometimes rather indistinct) photographs, look more authentic than many modern shots of over cluttered games, with too many models crammed into the space and counters everywhere (Flames of War, I'm looking at you here!)
If you have the good fortune to come across this book, I urge you to grab it; it'll take less than a day to read, and whilst you may never decide to use the rules themselves (a mistake I'd say), it is a real reward and a joy to read; to see part of where our hobby came from, and I'm sure for many of us from before the Games Workshop era, a chance to return to our youth.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Universal truth no. 191

When I play Warhammer, it always ends up in a thrashing; usually for me.

Got my Dwarves out for a nice big game, 2500points. It was to be against their arch nemesis, the High Elves, brought along by a nice chap called Rob. Some nice models too as the phot's below hopefully show. Thankfully the Dragon wasn't in play...

Deployment was something of a refused flank on my part and I was hoping to use cover as much as possible to shelter me from the deadly Bolt Throwers and a massive unit of spearmen. I'd gone anti magic heavy to neutralise the expected spell storm from the Elves, with a Runelord and a Runesmith, and lots of anti magic Runes dotted around.

That in fact was one element of the plan that worked well, I think Rob may have cast two spells all game, despite being able to attemp three or four per turn; others failed dismally. The Elves were not slowed at all by the terrain, and half of my artillery conducted itself so very, very badly (two misfires being it's only contribution to the game) that it was symbolically destroyed by the Dwarven survivors at sundown!

I tried a Dragon Slayer for the first time, and he was sort of effective, though having no armour is a real problem. My Thunderers were also having a bad day of it. But at least we were slowing him down in combat, face to face the Dwarves did ok, but the Elves kept outflanking us, and that was our undoing.

In the end only a couple of units and my redoubtable cannon remained when I chucked in the towel on turn 5. A fun game, but another piece of evidence that at 'competitive' wargames, I don't put in the practice with any one army to be successful.

Just as well that's not why I play!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

1er Battalion, Westphalian 3eme Regiment

Another experiment of sorts with the Victirx French, to see what else I could do with them, other than Frenchies of course. The perfectionist may be able to point at a number of minor uniform niggles on these chaps, but good old Blandford makes them sound about spot on!

A unit of thirty two (or 7 firing groups and four command figures in 'March of Eagles'). I started with an off-white, blue tinged undercoat and worked up from there.

For the record, I didn't enjoy it at all, white is one of those colours that is hard to highlight well, and then with white as a base, you have to be so much more careful on the subsequent work. This lot took around 20 hours to do, which is a long way off my usual pace for this level of detail; and they looked terrible until very near to completion - that last hour or two made all the difference.

The commanders are based in two's whilst the light infantry company are singles. With the Fusiliers and Grenadiers in fours this allows for a real variety of formations, such as the column attack, above.

They are supplied with their 1809 issue battalion standard, which according to was only three feet square on a six foot pole.
Historically, the Westphalian troops in the Peninsular were hardly enthusiastic servants of France, deserting in vast numbers; a fair match for my Spanish Junta battalion perhaps? My intention is to sell this lot on, hopefully within the club, so I can at least face them across the table from time to time. Failing that it'll be to eBay with them.
I don't think I'll be doing the 2nd battalion any time soon!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thrown Back Again.

Last week I had my second game with the American Civil War figures I prepared. In fact I ended up in overall command of the Union army on this occaision. My two suboordinates leading the attack on the Confederate held hill, whilst I brought forward the reserves.

The battle was a historical refight, but other than being very early in the war, the rest of the details escape me. The Union forces firstly delivered two fairly weak brigades against the Confederate right, with orders to concentrate only on that sector, in the hope of breaking it early. It didn't take much to draw the 'Rebs' out of their favourable position (walking towards them, as ever, was enough). We had high hopes of being able to turn their flank, but the rebel cavalry proved ridiculously effective on the day (in fact the Union won only a handful of the melees in the game, out of some 30+ played through). We were bounced back repeatedly and with reducing numbers our left became a case of damage control.

General Simmons lamentable dice rolling certainly didn't help, the fact that his men lasted the battle, given his propensity for rolling a '2' on a d10 over fifty percent of the time (a remarkable feat in other circumstances, I'm sure) was cold comfort for a brave but ill coordinated attack.

Early in the afternoon the reserve brigades began to arrive, we had parity of numbers now, and on our right outnumbered the poorly equipped Confederates. But they were able to out-gun us locally; concentrating battery fire in support of their infantry, by focussing on our strung out advance. On reflection it would have been wiser to spend a turn preparing a coordinated attack.
The worst shortcoming however was that where we finally had a cavalry superiority, we were still unable to beat the enemy. In fact after several rounds of jostling, the union Cavalry gave up the fight, allowing the Reb's to charge down our guns.
In the centre we were beginning to make way, but as night fell, the union morale seemed to break and the attack was called off; mostly withdrawn in good order.
In short the Union got pasted, whilst the Confederacy added to it's reputation as a superior fighting force.

Elsewhere there was the usual selection of 'Warhammer' games, but Pat and John from the Harrogate club made one of their occaisional visits too to play Blitzkrieg Commander; Here's a snap of John's Para's flanking the German lines...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

How to - Paint damn fast!

I took a break from the Napoleonics, to do something quick and simple, it is always nice to get a result in double quick time, and these were old figures lying unpainted for over a decade and so in need of some love.

Now, presently I've been doing a lot of fancy work, but for many game orientated hobbyists, such fancy work is unecessary; what you want is results, as fast as possible to avoid the dreaded bare metal or black undercoated army of doom. I have several armies done to this standard, including my dark ages forces. So today I'll run you through how to paint units and get them looking reasonable in a couple of hours.

So the unit below is going to be represented by a single figure in the shots; but it is a force of 8 Carolingian cavalry. The first thing to say for the following techniques, is know their limits. I have concluded this method, the black wash technique, works well for Medieval and earlier figures, Fantasy models and anything from WW1 onwards. I don't think it does the intervening period much justice, but it would certainly work.

So having selected our subject and reviewed how they should look. Lets get started:

I'll say more on undercoating. If in doubt, go for black but consider the colours you intend painting over them.

For example, if the bulk of the figure is to be finished in red or flesh, start by base coating a reddish brown; for white, start with a pale grey or very pale blue. This may mean you can't rely on a spray can, something I seldom use anyway, but it does reduce the need to apply multiple coats of paint. The brown here is fine for hiding missed bits in shadow, works great as a base for horses and supports the grimy, dark ages feel.

Remember, you are using black to shade, so unless you have to, avoid it as a pure colour on the models. If black is demanded I elect for a deep slate grey instead, so only the folds will become black later on.

Uniformed troops are always a bit quicker to do as there is the routine of painting the same area on each one. But variation is surprisingly easy to achieve, especially with colours that should be muted and dirty looking, just keep adding a little more of a contrasting shade to your paint mix as you go. Add little details as you see fit, you don't need to go overboard to improve the appearance, a single stripe on clothing, or a shield emblem takes seconds. The key to making it faster is to plan in your head how to use your present base coat to add detail to other figures, in areas where they've already been done.
Because of the effects of the shading, I suggest brighter than normal metals; these figures used Natural Steel and Gold for example. When all this is done, you should have finished models, if in flat colours, looking a little bland.

Varnish plus pigment is the speed painters best friend. If you are not a proficient painter this is a great technique to hide mistakes and neaten up a messy job too. Just don't get too much pigment in the varnish; the ratio's above are the right place to start, but don't add much more black paint.
Also, consider using other pigments if the models are very light coloured; most of my ancients' armies are shaded in red brown rather than black...

Painting thinned down glue on will not do! And adding only small areas of scatter to a painted base looks bad! The textured and static grass option is nicest, but to a job of this size would've added 30 minutes to an hour. And besides, it wouldn't have matched the rest of the army.
So anyway, a simple technique That means a table ready unit is only three hours work. Perhaps spread over two days, you'd hardly feel like you were doing anything! I reckon in the same time, twice as many infantry could've been completed; making it less than 15 minutes per figure.
And in this case the finished result adds another 250 points to a Warhammer Ancients army.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Patria, and Blunt's Company

I thought I'd combine these two posts, so it doesn't get too repetitive for you, dear readers!

As mentioned, I completed a second Line unit of Napoleonics; I bought a box of the Victrix French, thinking I was going to end up doing a French army, only to find the situation reversed and I could get on with my first choice. So what to do with them instead?

A little browsing through one of my Blandford resources, this time their 'Peninsular War' volume (good luck finding that one, pretty rare now), and I found these chaps would work well. The 'Patria' Regiment, a Junta Battalion formed by the Spanish after the occupation.

These are some of the troops, who fought very incapably for Spain and occaisionally gave poor service to Wellington in the field; including the Battle of Albuera, 16 May 1811 . This particular regiment though was important for me, as they wore old Spanish uniforms, which from the contemporary sources appeared to be close copies of the French pattern, but with coats dyed or produced in Green cloth rather than the traditional white.

The standard is generic. It's worth giving some comments on the Victrix models, compared to the Perries. They do offer a much larger number of poses, many hundreds potentially, but the down side to that is that they do not go together quite as smoothly, and it is fair to say the in places the detail seems less crisp on the unpainted plastic.

Once painted, you can't really see a difference detail wise, but there is a oddly chunky appearance to the models. I feel that the anatomical proportions are marginally out; the heads seem large, though it could be the optical illusion produced by the large Shakos (which Patria did wear, rather than the old Bicorns).
Still the biggest bugbear with the Victrix models is the sprues themselves; though absolutely stuffed with parts (enough for 60 models), the thinnest parts are tagged to the plastic in as many as five points. This makes it almost impossible to remove all the parts without damage, not to say a lengthy process. Also some of the model options are curious. Kneeling figures are hard to use, end of story. For this period I'd rather not have them at all. I used all of them up on this regiment - 8 per box - to avoid being stuck with them in a marching formation.
Lastly, there was a noticeable issue with mould lines and flash on these, that the Perries simply do not have. These are not cast by Renedra (who do the Perries, Wargames Factory and of course GW moulds), and the resultant quality must speak for the vast experience Renedra have by comparison.
Overall the Victrix figures are good, but not as good as the Perries, which doe suffer from the drawback of sameness; each box of Perries will essentially produce exactly the same outcome. Something the Victrix don't at least.

Subsequently, myself and Neil had another go with the British and French. This one I've titled 'Blunt's Company'. The Scenario was the Lt. Blunt and his men were to lead a British company through a rocky pass to the farmhouse. French skirmishers were everywhere however.

At first the British column marched forwards well; before deploying to a perfect line as the farm came in to sight. But their skirmishers were out gunned by the French and soon they were halted. It then became apparent that the rules did not allow the formed unit the will to out fight small bands of men firing on it - something to consider in the revisions - and instead it spent too long dithering in the face of diminishing enemy odds.

At one point it even retired, making a sucessful advance within the available 12 turns all but impossible. Eventually Blunt took command of the Company and it at least delivered one devastating volley to the enemy. But it was too little, too late, and the British mission failed.
My skirmish rules generated some discussion amongst several by standers and I think will be better for a selection of changes to them. They are starting to look like workable rules now, and we've found their effective scale I think; five or six units per side, wether formed or skirmishers seems to be about right for an evening game.
I'll release the rules via the blog when I satisfied with the amendments.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

July Painting Update

So it's that time of the month again, time to review.

Lets be honest, I've spent most of July as a job hunting house-husband. This means that between the usual activities, there's been a lot of time for painting. The latest with photo's is my first line infantry unit for the Peninsular; the 9th East Norfolk:

Yes, more Perry mini's. They are an absolute bugger to paint too. It took around 15 hours to paint the 24 of them. As someone used to the level of detail on GW miniatures and the level of uniform on ancients ,this represented about twice the effort.

They are based initially with March of Eagles in mind, But I understand that 'Napoleon' from Wargames Foundry uses the same convention of 40mm square bases. I suspect that they'll work for most other rule sets, though at this point I haven't a specific set in mind.

Obviously, I haven't done the standards yet. It seems the 9th had a generic enough standard, but as I haven't been able to prove that yet, I'm waiting until I can see some evidence.

Subsequently, I've painted a Spanish Junta unit, which was considerably quicker; being based on French uniforms, with less fiddly lace. And I've noted the hundred-plus WW2 figures I've churned out. Pleasingly they've all sold for my hoped for prices, making me enough to invest in more models (sigh! inevitable, though I did use some of it to pay real bills instead).

So what are the totals?

I make it as:
  • Bought: 326
  • Sold: 111
  • Painted: 343

Therefore I've added 232 figures to my own collection this year so far. In terms of ratio's, it's took a massive dip since last month's high water mark, when I'd pretty much run out of models to paint. But thanks to my free time I've at least managed to keep the painted total above the bought, and it would have been a lot better if I'd not succumbed to some cheap Victrix figures, from Northstar.