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2012 – A Year in Review…

Well, I started this post back on the 28th and only got as far as a title! Did a little more last week and over the weekend and finally finished it today. So a little late but we shall see how it goes. So, how was 2012? Lets look at it from Highs, Lows, Slight Diversions and then Plans.

Highs

Well, it has to be Ayton again! The weekend in May (the Jubilee weekend) was yet again a weekend of great figures, a great game and great company throughout. You could not wish for a better bunch to game with and a better atmosphere. There are some pics from the game in the Ayton 2012 gallery, and the actual battle is written up by the ever faithful Private Lamm in his Journal entry. Getting everything painted and ready for this meant that at least the first few months were productive and quite a few boxes were filled in in the Painting Master Plan.

I did manage to add to quite a few other projects over the year. Added to my FUBAR forces even if I didn’t manage a game!

Patrol 02Started to recreate my ImagiNation forces in 6mm and was quite pleased with my converted Adler SYW lancers!

Savage Swan Uhlans
Savage Swan Uhlans

And added numerous bits and pieces to my Cold War Commander forces even if I didn’t manage a game this year!

D-30s
D-30s

I even started recreating the Savage Swans in 15mm Romano-British form!

sabot03So I think there were a lot of good little outputs this year. And it ended on a high with the final meeting of the Tyneside Club where we pulled together the Ayton troops again for a little Byzarbian Interlude!

IMAG3073

The cavalry of the Sultan Pasha arrive to help?
The cavalry of the Sultan Pasha arrive to help?

Myself, Ken and Phil did battle for a wagon train and it ended a hard fought draw (well, that’s what MY reports say!).

I made a good few shows as well and as with last year these seem to be moving more and more towards social gatherings rather then just an excuse to buy stuff. It’s been good to meet up with the denizens of various online forums and chat with traders. I look forward to the 2013 calendar.

So overall, not a bad year in a lot of ways.

Lows

The real downside has been the lack of games. The two big ImagiNation games and a small AWI participation game at the Pendraken Birthday Bash: and that was it. Not a good tally for the year even if all three events were great fun. Towards the end of the year my painting enthusiasm definitely went AWOL. Haven’t painted anything for a couple of months and although I feel I’m heading back in the right direction with sorting my painting space, until I come up with a PLAN things are still a little vague.

Slight Diversions

The title of the blog was chosen with care! I’ve wanted to do a 10mm project for a while and this year I’ve started (or at least spent on) three. I bought a huge pile of Pendraken Sudan figures. Then sold them. I bought some Italian WW1 figures. And sold them. And I have a pile of 1st Schleswig-Holstein War figures and these I still have and these will get done. Just maybe not this year!

I also almost made a start on my GHQ WW2 North Africa project, then realised it would be madness with everything else going on! I was almost tempted to sell the lot and concentrate on the Moderns but I picked up so much of the stuff quite cheap it would be a huge expense to ever replace them. So they stay….

To be honest, the 15mm Dark Age dabbling is a diversion as I’ve only got a dozen or so figures painted and no one else plays the Lardy rules and in a lot of ways the enthusiasm boat has sailed…

So we move on to…

Plans

Now, several yeas ago, after my bemoaning the lack of games that year, my wife said I should aim for six games the following year, one every two months. I think that following year I managed three games so it wasn’t too bad! But this year, 2013, I’m going to aim for something similar. But with a slight twist.

Six games. Six periods. Six painting plans!

I want to use the potential for six games to drive my painting. Either adding to existing forces to enable a game, starting a new force, or even just completing terrain to make a game possible. So here are the six:

  1. 28mm C19th – This will be the troops for this year’s Ayton game in May. Spencer Smith FPW figures. It won’t be a huge force, just the Savage Swans redone in another period! Plus a few Ottomans
  2. 28mm C18th – There is another WD3 gathering in Scotland in September. I am still hoping things may change and I can actually make so I shall paint new troops (mostly the Old School stuff recently acquired) to take and if it doesn’t happen then I will arrange another mini-WD3 game at the Tyneside Club
  3. 6mm SF – I have enough for a game and enough scenery but there are a few more bits I want to paint/add and some thoughts on rules. But I intend to have a game this year either solo or at the club.
  4. 6mm ImagiNation – I want to complete enough of the 6mm figures to get a small game going. I’ve enjoyed doing these and it will be nice to use them. Likely with Maurice rules which I’ve wanted to try for a while.
  5. 15mm AWI – Now this may seem a strange choice given their lack of activity over the last couple of years but I do like the period and the recent B&D Miniatures releases have got me wanting to paint a few and have a game. Plus, Stephen, at the Club should be a suitable opponent!
  6. Cold War Commander – despite having painted and based quite a lot over the last year I didn’t play a single game! So the plan with this lot is to finish off troops for both sides, finish off terrain and then get a game going. And the VERY tentative plan might be to do enough to put on a demo game at Border Reiver in September.

So there you go. Now I’m not going to commit to the demo game until I KNOW I can do it. If Wd3 Scotland happens then I will be painting towards that and it may be madness trying to run a game the week before! We shall see. Sometime over the next week I will produce a list of actual targets and replace the painting plan to the right. Then it becomes official and I can start preparing the excuses for not hitting the targets!

So on to 2013 and I hope a few of you pop by to keep an eye on progress. I’m going to TRY and be a little more active on the blog. If I’m actually painting then it shouldn’t be an issue.

 

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Rack’em up!

Ever since chatting with Dr Mike at the Derby show I’ve been planning on getting a new paint rack. The old one I had was just not up to the job. You can read the construction report here and although useful for the larger ‘odd’ paints it was really no use for the large pile of Vallejo paints I now have.

So after seeing the good Doctor’s rack (so to speak!) I finally went for one of these from Progressive Engineering Solutions.

rackThis will take 89 Vallejo type pots which to be honest should be all I need! At £35 +£5 shipping they are not cheap. Mine arrived day after posting which given it was the Friday before Christmas was bloody amazing! I had a couple of minor issues assembling. Instructions are petty clear and the quality of the laser cutting is spot on. I’d have liked an extra layer of bubble wrap just to protect the corners a little more but no real damage done. I wanted to keep the ‘clean’ cut side facing the viewer on all sides so inserted the side as appropriate. There does, to me at least, seem to be a ‘smarter’ side to laser cut MDF. Anyway, duly constructed it looked a little skewed. I assumed this would correct itself when everything was tightened at the end. Bit no… still skewed. So I carefully took the WHOLE thing apart again and reversed one side panel and this pulled everything square again. So check it’s square when you make yours! Also, when you tighten it all it compressed the MDF where the little nuts slot in and when you come to reassemble it they don’t slot in as easily! Fiddly but doable. But best not done late at night after a few drinks!

Would I recommend them? Yes. They are solid. Neat. and I’m sure if you used a variety of paints you could get each layer with a different hole size.

The main reason I wanted this is this:

All getting a little messy...
All getting a little messy…

Now this is after I’ve removed all the ‘in progress’ stuff! I also use the desk for remote working so there is little space for typing and mouse. Before anyone goes for Gold in the Olympic Conclusion Jumping, the pile of tissues to the right are from a recent delivery of figures!

Now this is what the ‘in progress’ pile looks like:

Way too many projects on the go!
Way too many projects on the go!

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • GHQ T34/85s for CWC Syrians
  • GHQ British for North Africa
  • Stadden, Holger Eriksson for Ayton 20?? – well, not sure yet!
  • 6mm ImagiNation (center)
  • Stadden (bottom left)
  • 20mm plastic WW2 (don’t ask)
  • 6mm ImagiNation (front right on grey tops)
  • More Holger Eriksson

This lot excludes all the CWC Modern stuff I have on the go. And the 15mm Dux B!

So, I have way too much on the go and I still need to buy and paint stuff for Ayton next May! So the broad plan of action is:

sort out the table

sort out the ‘in progress’ pile to something more manageable!

make a plan for 2013

The latter is going to be the hard bit. As I only managed two games in 2012 I an going to aim for six, yes SIX!!! in 2013. And the plan is to play one game in each of six ‘periods’ to encourage me to actually complete enough of one period/scale to play a game!

More details on this soon as I make up my mind and try and plot a ‘sensible’ painting schedule!

I may even resurrect the old Wargaming Neutral plan again!

Laters…

 

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Super Secret Santa! Ayton 2013 starts here!

Just a quick note as we are about to head off to the in-laws for excessive eating and drinking! Big thanks to my Secret Santa as I can now start work on Ayton 2013 as the first of the troops have arrived in a nice little package from Spencer Smith Miniatures! This may be just the thing to get my painting mojo resurrected!

Thanks to Ian (and Cath!) for the work in organising it and again to my Secret Santa for a great pressie!

Other pressies included the ASL Journal 10 (will I now start playing again?), a nice bottle of Talisker, some much needed posh smellies, numerous chocolates and a case of beer from Skinner’s Brewery. Hopefully more to come at the in-laws!

Kids have been good, especially Hannah who is not well (temp hit 40 last night) and is being a little star!

Hope you all have a great day!

Andy

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Merry Christmas!!

Suppose I’d best do this post now as I’m sure the next few days will be hectic. I’d like to wish all those who frequent my pages a Merry Christmas and Happy 2013! Hopefully your lead based activities will flourish and you may even complete a few projects!

santa-and-tank

I shall be posting my end of year review and plan for 2013 over the next few days. Once I figure out what the latter is! 🙂

Enjoy the festivities and eat, drink and be merry!

All the best

Andy

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