Thursday, November 3, 2011

On The Road Again

It's been a few weeks since I last posted anything, but that does not mean that I have not been active. I'm plugging away at some of my Fife & Drum Continentals, this time in brown coats and white facings. I kind of like them better than the usual red, white and blue. On the whole though, my painting output has nose dived, hit the brick wall, gone fishing, what have you. I think that the hobby has kind of burned me out lately, so I continue to go at it here and there when ever I feel like it, rather than force myself into an unrealistic painting schedule just for the sake of painting and finishing units.

The hobby needs to be fun, not a chore.

We do have an upcoming game of BAR Napoleon on November 19th at Schloss Fritz. This will be the inaugural game in the new Man Cave. Bill P. has been working like a demon to get four squadrons of British light cavalry done for our Peninsula armies. This game set up will be along the lines of Bill's Colonial Campaigns with Major General Pettygree, i.e. a few large units and an emphasis on grand skirmish gaming, rather than massive armies of French and British. Bill is painting some of MG Pettygrees ancestors, who history tells us fought bravely in Spain to defeat the mighty armies of Bones Apart. I'm looking forward to this game.

Genealogy has been my main interest of late. Tomorrow, I am traveling 350 miles to Ohio to search out my ancestors in Crawford County, Ohio. They come from Pennsylvania Dutch stock and moved west to Ohio around 1845. My great great grandfather, Jacob, seems to have lived off the grid for quite awhile as I'm having a devil of a time finding his exact birth and death dates. Hopefully, this trip will solve some of the questions.

A trip to the county courthouse probate office should turn up Jacob's death certificate and a copy of his will. These, in turn, should provide definitive vital statistics and pin point where his burial site is. Then, I plan to traipse through a few old cemeteries to find the head stones of Jacob and his family, and photograph them for posterity.

So far, I've traced the family back to Andrew, who was born somewhere in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, circa 1766. Once I get Jacob's data pinned down, then I will tackle the more difficult task of finding Andrew's birth place, name of his parents, and date of his marriage to Jane (we don't know what Jane's last name is). This involves searching through church records in Lancaster, because that is where such records were kept until the mid 19th century, when the counties started to track such things. Fortunately, I have a distant cousin in Lancaster who can read Old German and enjoys searching through dusty records and old cemeteries. It sounds like fun.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Richard Ansell has started on the next 16 Fife & Drum AWI figures -- British centre company men and Grenadiers in bearskins. These ought to be ready by January 2012. I have to say that I'm pleased with the work that Richard has done on this range as well as the superior casting work that I'm getting from Griffin Designs in the UK.

More later, I've got some tombstones to find.


  1. Good luck with your genealogical research, sir. May you enjoy it and be successful as well . . . but enjoying the search is the more important of the two.

    -- Jeff

  2. Aha! The Pennsylvania connection. I knew it. Welcome to the club. My ancestors found their way to North Carolina via some time spent in Pennsylvania in the first half of the 1700s before pulling up stakes and heading south. Strange that my branch of the family found its way back to thr Philadelphia area, which, of course, is where I hail from. Have fun this weekend!

    Best Regards,


  3. Lancaster? Home of Cold Wars? Sounds like a good opportunity to double dip, even if you just drop by for an afternoon to see the sights and shop.

    Good decision I think to take the production pressure off.
    The AWI figs are looking great!


  4. Dear Alte,

    You have been maintaining an incredible rate of painting production for ages it seems, for your own table and for the benefit of guys like me. It is no wonder you are feeling burned out. I greatly appreciate the grenzers you did for me, they are patrolling the bookshelf above my head here as I type. They are beautiful distractions! I hope the family root research is fun and rewarding (I can trace some on my own into MA and NY, but not so far as PA, it is enlightening to learn about their circuitous routes here). Good luck, recharge yourself and many thanks!


  5. My own painting output is erratic, so I don't hold that against anybody. Sometimes things just take hold and beg to be painted, and others are truly a chore.

    The best piece of advice I've ever got is to not make your hobby your career - you end up with the exact kind of burnout you describe.

    Hopefully the chance to use the figs you've worked so hard on will spark the painting desire again!

  6. Hey!

    Sorry to hear you are a bit burned out... I would just say only do what you are interested in! If you feel like painting five vikings, do that! If you feel like painting a single 40k figure, do that! Just do whatever you WANT to do.

    Anyway... love the blog as always!