Minden Miniatures SYW Prussian Artillery and Berlin Zinnfigure 12-pounder painted by Ioannis. There will be a fair number of these figures joining my army in 2009.
Happy New Year everyone - I am looking forward to a fresh, new and exciting 2009. As befits the beginning of a year, one's thoughts turn to the various wargaming projects that are on the table. So this is a good time to start planning for the new forces that will get painted over the next twelve months.
But before I get started, I want to mention how terrific the Minden Miniatures Prussian artillery crew is, as shown in the picture above. Thanks to Ioannis for allowing me to borrow some of his pictures to use on this site. You can find a link to the Leuthen Journal in my list of favorite links, on the left hand side of this page. I also like the bold blue colors that Ioannis uses on his Prussian artillery carriages. It really makes the model stand out on the table. I will have borrow this concept when I paint my own gun models. (you ought to see the Austrian gun carriages that Ioannis has painted, as shown on his web site - excellent stuff!)
Based on last year's painting production of approximately 800 figures, I can probably plan on being able to paint, on average, one battalion of 60 infantry figures or four squadrons of 12 cavalry figures in any given month. Some months will be higher and some will be lower, no doubt, but experience tells me that 60I/48C is fairly accurate for planning purposes.
Drawing Up A Plan
The first order of business is to get a pad of paper and a pen and start writing down the names and types of the units that you want to paint in 2009. This provides one with a sort of inventory of wargame units that you have backed up on the docket. For example, I would sort the units by historical period and country, so I would make a list of all of the SYW Austrians that I would like to add to my army for the year. Then I do the same thing for the Prussians, British, Jacobites and the new Hesse Seewald army that I have planned. I also do the same thing for my 1806 French and Prussians.
My total SYW "wants" list tallies 1,210 figures while my Napoleonic "wants" list tallies 590 figures, for a grand total of 1,800 figures. A little bit of simple math tells me that if I paint 60 figures per month, that I am looking at a backlog of 30 months worth of painting projects to work on. Or to put it another way, that is two-and-a-half years of painting on the horizon! Clearly this will not all be accomplished during 2009. It also does not take into account any distractions into new historical periods (Sudan or NW Frontier figures) or any other figures that might strike my fancy.
A Workable Monthly Plan
The list of 1,800 figures to paint is daunting, but at the same time, it provides me with a lot of variety to choose from with a nice mix of infantry, cavalry, SYW and Napoleonics. Unless I am painting Prussians, of which I never tire of painting, I can do some SYW Austrian infantry one month, then cavalry the next month, then switch over to some Napoleonics, then back to SYW, and so forth.
Since my highest priority is to build up my SYW Austrian army, those units will go to the top of the que beginning this month. So January 2009 is Austrian Month.
2 sqds of 12 Esterhazy Hussars (Austrian) - Crusader Figures
1 btn of 60 Austrian infantry regiment Andlau - Minden Miniatures
(remember, I am trying to be realistic here - I had a head start on the hussars and nearly have a squadron painted, but they don't count in the final tally until the month they are completed)
1 sqd of 12 Austrian Horse Grenadiers - Crusader Figures
1 sqd of 12 Austrian de Ligne Dragoons - Crusader Figures
1 btn of 60 Austrian infantry regiment Luzan - Minden Miniatures
(this phase of the Austrian buildup will now be over, having added 2 btns of infantry and 4 sqds of cavalry since the first of the year. I will be ready to try something different now)
1806 Project: French 1er regt de Chasseurs a Cheval - "old" Elite Miniatures (34 figures)
(note that I am not planning any other units for this month, because I know that preparation for the SYW Association convention and Spring Break will consume much of my time)
OK, I know that I will be dying to start on my Minden Miniatures Hesse Seewald army, with the Prussian figures. In fact, it is likely that I might slip a 50 figure regiment into the painting que earlier than April, but this is only a plan and things can change.
1 btn of Hesse Seewald Infantry (50 figures) - Minden Prussians
4 sections of artillery for HS (20 figures) - Minden Prussians
1 x 72 btn of 1806 French line infantry
(it is time to get the 1806 project going again)
1 x 60 Prussian 1806 btn - Elite Miniatures
or 1 x 48 1806 Bayreuth Dragoons - Imperialist Miniatures
(I'm not going to present plans for the second half of the year just yet. I want to see how the first half turns out; however, the above list demonstrates how I plan things out)
I think that you get the general idea of how the planning process works. It starts by making a realistic assumption of what you think that you can paint in any given month. There is no point in me planning on 120 infantry in a month when history tells me that this is far above my average production. You can change your plans from month to month, and you probably will too. The point is, that the planning process gives you a realistic idea of what you can expect to add to your army lists for 2009.
I am currently working on some Crusader Austrian hussars for the SYW. I have to say that I do not enjoy painting these figures due to the excrutiating amount of lace and detail that is sculpted onto the figure. If the detail is there, I sort of feel an obligation to paint it. I am almost done with the first squadron of 12 figures and expect to post pictures by the end of the week. Concurrently, I am working on a batch of thirty Minden Austrians. When the hussars demoralize me, then I switch over to the infantry for awhile for a nice change of pace. In general though, I do not enjoy painting Austrian infantry. I find the mass of white a bit boring and I'm never satisfied with the way that they turn out. I leave too much of the black undercoating showing through. This is something that I need to work on.