Saturday, September 17, 2011

What I Really Need Is Time

It is three in the morning here in Hesse Seewald and I am waiting for a coat of grey primer to dry on some of my new Fife & Drum Continentals so that they will be ready for painting later on this afternoon. A few more minutes and then I can flip the figures over and give them one more spritz on the other side. Then it will be off to bed.

At any rate, since I seem to have a little bit of time to waste here, I was thinking how ironic it was that I am always seeking more time to do hobby related things, and for once I seem to have all the time in the world. Alas, it is not being spent on the moving of troops across the wargame table.

Many years ago, circa 1986 or so, I was just entering this hobby and I had ideas that I would always be setting up games or scenarios on my table and having a go at it solo. As my collection of figures grew, mostly in the Seven Years War period, I should have spent more time solo gaming and less time starting new historical gaming periods. However, the bug of Napoleonics caught my attention, and then ACW came along after that. With each new historical gaming period, I was spending more time at the painting table, building new armies, and less time doing any actual gaming.

Mind you, I was doing plenty of gaming with my group - probably once or twice a month, but the plan for solo games fell by the wayside. Fast forward to 2009 or 2010: I had disposed of my vast Napoleonics collection (around 10,000 28mm figures), the AWI and ACW armies were long gone, and I had even sold off my Dark Ages collection and terrain. My intention was to pare the collection down to primarily one period: the 18th Century, with a focus on the SYW.

Taking a page from John Ray in the UK, my plan was to build up my new SYW armies with a lot of detail and depth to include a lot of vignettes on the battlefield as well as more camplife dioramas. That was going alone fairly well, but then I found myself side tracked by another foray into Napoleonics (the Peninsula War this time) and then the AWI, as I started the new Fife & Drum range of figures. All of these wonderful plans have diverted my attention from the core SYW collection.

The Minden Project of Austrian and Prussian armies is about 75% complete at this time. I feel like one more solid push could get me over the finish line and then it would be off to the races with some free kriegspieling or what have you. I would like to do at least one solo game per month and get really granular with my Austrian and Prussian armies.

Typically though, my plans have been diverted again. This weekend, I find myself getting ready to paint more AWI Continentaals so that I have some sample units to show to the public, and hopefully gin up a few more sales so that I can plow the proceeds back into more AWI figures. Then it will be on to Peninsular Napoleonics as I need to get some more things completed before our first rules play test on November 1st. So that will keep me busy.

So I find myself once again without enough time to work on the Minden Project, much less game with the armies. I still need the following items:

Prussian cuirassier regiment
Prussian hussar regiment
Prussian grenadier battalion
Prussian fusilier battalion
2 more Prussian limbers and supply wagons

Austrian cuirassiers
Austrian hussars
A few more Austrian dragoons
1 Hungarian battalion
2 Austrian limber teams and 4 supply wagons
Austrian general staff and senior command

All of the above just covers items where I have the lead figures on hand. I just need, you guessed it, MORE TIME.

Oh well, those Fife & Drum figures should be ready for one more coat of primer, and then it is off to bed for me.

Good night everyone (3 AM right now).


  1. The bane of every wargamers life, just not enough time!!!!

  2. One suggestion, sir, if I may.

    Get all of your Minden figures on painting sticks and prime them . . . if figures are primed it is much much easier to actually find time to get paint on them.

    As for solo gaming, you might want to schedule at least one scenario a month out of Grant's "Programmed Scenarios" book.

    -- Jeff

  3. There is never enough time. You do sound like me, 2 or 3am and stilling going for it.

  4. I feel your pain. I would suggest that you make time to enjoy using the figures you have, so as to avoid a possible "painting slump" due to painting fatigue.

  5. I can relate completely.

    What I find disheartening is how time flies when painting. Sometimes I swear I just sat down and its 45 minutes later.

  6. In general terms I agree with Jeff, getting base coated figs ready to crank into action is important.

    More important I have found is having a particular event that NEEDS these miniatures. That way you are committed into the painting moving forward.

    Second VISIBILITY: what I mean here is having the project consistently and constantly visible so that you do not base coat them and 'forget them' as other pressures arise. I found this really valuable to move me along in my painting actions with my Russian forces for a convention event.

    Finally I agree also with Brig Dundas, PLAY! Hence the idea of having a particular game event that the minis are needed for...that way you get to game with the units as they come out.

  7. Someone on tmp pointed out, in the 350 thread, that if a certain kind of hobby rule writer ever did finally write the perfect set of rules, they would file them away and start a new one.

    I have apparently trained myself over the years to do that, since I have done it 10,000 times.

    Since we will fight the way we trained, we train the way we will fight.

    Each of us has our individual approach, much of it in common, but different, and would not have it any other way unless by the influence of another mind.

    If you did have all the time and used it, you would be done. Then what? The void? Face the abyss?

    I know Hal would start another one pronto and never get there.

  8. I just wouldn't worry. It's a hobby and time is immaterial. If the Minden project takes another 6 months then frankly great - 6 more months collecting, painting etc. Play with those troops you have. Get side tracked with another bear battle with your daughter.No one is going to affected by a self impossed unnecessary deadline. I'm sorry staying up until 3am is nuts. Go to bed!


  9. Don´t worry, Alter Fritz, the winter in Prussia is long and brings a dry wind from the East - the right ambiente for figure-painting.
    You´re a great artist with your hands, your figures are always marvellous painted and arranged. Give yourself also a break sometimes!

  10. What do you mean, more time - at 3 am ?!?!?!

    Spare a thought for those of us with a regular metabolism, who need our 7 hours of sleep a day!

    Beyond that - what Guy and Scheck said: It's a hobby, just enjoy whatever you're doing at any given moment of it!

    All the best,
    - St