Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Lunch with Giles Allison and 2008 preview

I inflicted Ortega, the tapas bar (otherwise known as my alternate office), on Giles yesterday but he coped pretty well with the low-fat, healthy food. I was talking to one of the (very attractive) waitresses the other day and she said that she has put on ten pounds since starting, as they eat all their meals there. Fortunately, it's all gone on her bottom which looks even better than it did before!

Giles, who is very focussed in his approach to painting, asked the killer question about what projects I would be working on in 2008. Of course, I hadn't even thought about it but next year I am not, for the first time for a couple of years, participating in the Guildford effort for the Society of Ancients Battle Day. This is because they are doing Poitiers next year (in 20mm plastic, I believe). Whilst I like the concept of the Hundred Years War the thought of all that heraldry put me off. If they had gone for Agincourt in 28mm I might have been in trouble, however!

So, I don't have a big project looming over me for the first four months of the year. I can, therefore, do what I want; probably not a good thing. I have given some initial thoughts below, however. It will be interesting to see how many of these I achieve!

Most of these pictures below are from my "partially completed units" shelf. I organise" my painting as follows.

The Lead pile

The lead pile is in six of those little drawer units you get in DIY shops for holding screws. There are fifteen drawers in each and I reckon an average of 30 figures in each ( a lot more in some!). So that's pushing 3000 figures, or ten years painting. On top of that I have six file boxes of Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings figures.

Who knows what's in there?

The next storage is for figures I have filed and based but not painted or part painted figures I have put to one side to finish later. I have twelve file boxes of these. Thay include some figures which are finished but I need to re-base with static grass etc (like most of my Ancient Germans).

The ones at the front get done first: in theory!

Once I have taken figures from the lead pile and based them or retrieved old figures from the filing boxes for completion they go onto my desk. I usually have about 100 figures on my desk in varying stages of completion and keep about 20 at the front which are the ones I intend to finish next.

Once a figure is completed he goes up onto the shelf where, hopefully a unit is being put together (although sometimes this can take months or even years).

Once the unit is finished they go away into the white file boxes.

So what will be finding its way onto my desk in 2008?


I will definitely carry on with this and am hoping to finish my next British Regiment, the Royal Marines Light Infantry, this weekend. I do need to get a lot more Beja done though. I have finished over half of the camel troops that I need so that may be a good initial target.

Great Northern War

Although this is a very recent project the fact that someone else is doing it at Guildford has spurred me on. Another 35 Musketeer Miniatures figures arrived yesterday so I plan to get a lot of these on the go in the next few weeks.

Early Saxons with some Artizan Vikings and some Greeks and Pulp figures in the foreground.

Early Saxons/Arthurian

The Dark Ages is probably my favourite period and I will continue to paint the Musketeer figures. Five more and I will have finished a unit. The new Gripping Beast ones look nice too and Musketeer are promising more figures by Paul Hicks next year. I am currently reading an enjoyable novel called The Skystone, by Jack Whyte, the beginning of a seven book series set around the time of Arthur. I may even try to build my long-planned late Roman villa but, as Giles said yesterday, time doing scenery is time when you aren't doing figures. I am also going to try and paint another Grand Manner Dark Ages house over Christmas, but my children can help with that!

Spartans and some Dark Ages.

Greeks and Spartans

I will carry on doing these and hope that Artizan get their musician done so I can finish the first unit of Spartans.

Punic War

Crusader are releasing a host of great new figures and I have bought a lot of their Spanish. I might try to get some of these done to oppose my two painted Roman legions. there are a lot of articles about the Roman wars in spain in this month's Ancient Warfare magazine.

These will be my main five projects for the beginning of the year and I would expect to have something from at least one of these five in the "immediately pending" section on my desk at all times. There are also some subsidiary things I'd like to move along too, though.


I want to get enough figures painted to try out the .45 rules. Ihave half a dozen of two "teams" from Artizan and they shouldn't take too long to do.

Some Chinese cavalry sneak up on the Swedes

Back of Beyond

I have a Chinese Warlord Army but I have some more infantry and some cavalry to paint. These are nice and quick to do.

Needs a blog!

Lord of the Rings

I have literally hundreds of figures to paint and I am working on some Gondor archers at the moment. I may paint enough for a Battle Companies force so I can try to beat my little boy at least once as Rohan are rubbish.

Needs a blog!

WW1 East Africa

I recently based some figures for this and, like the BoB figures, they are pretty quick to paint.

Napoleonic Quatre Bras

I have four Dutch Jaegers nearly done (this weekend, definitely!) and will do the odd figure (they take ages) as I see fit.

3rd Century Romans and Palmyrans
I've got some Palmyran Cataphracts to do (and Queen Zenobia) so will continue to do some of these.

A whole Caesarean unit ready to paint!
Caesarian Romans

I have based a unit of Caesarian legionaries and will try to get these done soon too. I actually have reasonable Celtic and Ancient German armies finished so these would be useful.

Needs a blog!

Wars of the Roses

One unit of heavy cavalry will pretty much complete my army. That will be a first!
I may trawl through my boxes and look for figures that are started and well on the way which I could finish quickly (lots of Lord of the Rings and some ECW too).

That is quite enough I think. I'm not planning any new periods at present, although I will be keeping a close eye on the Perry plastic ACW figures due in March (Danger! Danger!). I seem to have kept pretty solidly to my average of six figures a week but I was out the country sixty days this year. Hopefully there will be a few less trips and a lot more painting in 2008!


  1. Ye gods - and I thought my un-painted pile of lead was large... you however, take the biscuit! :o))

    PS. You make reference to JC's Quatre Bras blog - where is this?

  2. Crikey - those voltigeurs are outstanding, and as for the grenadiers....! Thanks for that - I'll keep visiting....