Saturday 10 July 2021

The Story so Far…

 It seems only fair that having worried about how many figures I have in my lead pile that I give some sort of update as to how my assault on it is going. We all have such unpainted lead piles; I hope my offering might give some encouragement.

Army                      Foot     Cavalry     Other      Total

Polish GNW          48         48                                  96

Danish GNW          8                                             8

Officers / snipers     9                                             9

Sappers                  12                                             12

Scots                      48            18                              66

Muscovite              102         75                            179

Civilians                  39                                          39

Gunners                  33                      13                   46

Irish ECW              48                                            48

Anglo-Dutch WSS 56          30                                  86

Totals                      403         171     15                      589

So, there you are. Since the last count, I have been keeping a spreadsheet of how many figures I have painted, and how many are left to paint. This sounds rather sad (it probably is, but I like to keep my hand in as basic Excel stuff). I reckoned, I think, that I could manage perhaps one thousand 6 mm figures a year and, roughly six months down the line, I am about half-way there.

A more detailed look would throw up some anomalies. For example, in my original counts no sapper, officers, snipers, gunners or civilians were mentioned. These came about in various ways. Firstly, as I have mentioned, I obtained an Irregular star fort at Christmas, along with the sappers, and that inspired me to paint up some Irregular siege officers and the snipers which I already had. The sappers came with the Irregular siege works pack, along with some trenches and other bits and pieces which have, along with the star fort itself, been painted and might hit the table sometime fairly soon.

The civilians were a chance find in my unpainted lead box. I have painted some of them before, I am sure, and they were left-over from an old project on the Scottish Borders in the late Sixteenth Century. Unfortunately, one of them had broken off at the ankles (hence the odd number), but the rest are now safely painted and based.

The Polish and Danish GNW figures have been in action in the GNW in an Afternoon project. For newly painted bases, the Poles did fairly well. The Muscovites have been covered in a few posts from bare metal to in action. They seem to be a quite entertaining army, with a large proportion of cavalry which leads to rather quick and decisive actions.

The Scots ECW painting has been in two parts. Firstly I found a number of highlanders who had been undercoated by never painted. I suspect they were part of the same Borders project the civilians were intended for, but I cannot quite remember. These were finished alongside some of the Muscovites. The cavalry are the first part of a large-ish order I got from Baccus about 18 months ago, designed to beef up my Scots (who had no cavalry) and also to provide extra shot for the infantry I do have. These infantry too were originally aimed for the Borders project, but have been ‘repurposed’ This was along with the Scots lancers, many of whom are painted but a number of which are still pending. The painted ones have been in action in the Armada Abbeys campaign, of course, and done rather well.

The Irish ECW painting was part of the same batch from Baccus. This is the second regiment of three bases of Irish infantry. I am still at a bit of a loss as to what might constitute ECW Irish cavalry. I dare say I shall rope in some Scottish or possibly English ECW horse for the purpose. I do not think that the Irish horse from the Sixteenth Century forces will cut the mustard; I doubt that by 1640 the Irish were in mail.

I suppose that the other thing to mention is the number of wargames which have taken place. Part of the idea of keeping count was to stop me being haunted by the hordes of grey armies and driven to paint (which I am not keen on) rather than have games. The problem is that if I get driven by the painting I get bored and forget the purpose of the whole thing. So, to date, I can report 15 battles having been undertaken, all except one have been reported here. The missing one was a Hussite one which was a trial of some rule modifications which were rather crazy in the battle, even though they seemed reasonable on paper.

So, ‘what next? I hear you cry. Well, as you can see the Anglo-Dutch WSS army has finally been painted after, I estimate, 20 years in undercoat. The first part of the Bavarian WSS army have been undercoated and are waiting their opportunity for some colour, pleading with me not to leave them another 20 years in black. I am also working my way through a Russian village, having painted the church and undercoated some houses.

After that, given that most of the above are early modern figures, I have a feeling that a return to the ancients period is on the cards. I am quite enjoying the ancients battles and the rule developments, and I think that another go at Marathon with some Persian infantry reinforcements might be on the cards. The early Persians also constitute the biggest part of the ancients unpainted lead pile, so to get the numbers of grey Persian foot down under two hundred would probably be a nice thing to have done. After that, I might well try to reduce the pile of Irish ECW infantry below two hundred as well, although at present I do not have a particularly good idea in mind for their use. I am sure it will come.

As for wargames, I am trying to alternate painting and gaming weekends. The assorted campaigns will continue when I can think of the next scenario which fits in with the narratives. Jules will have a final battle in Britannia, for example, and the Sarmatian civil war needs resolving. Mind you, the Imperial Romans were starting to duff up the Dacians when they were hit in flank at Temeshvekovar, so it is possible that they might have another go at recovering their gold and imposing their authority on the natives.

We shall see, but it is nice to have all these ideas flowing, as long as I do not get crushed by the collapse of the lead pile.


  1. Apologies if you have mentioned this before and I have forgotten / missed it, but how do those figure counts relate to the number of bases (that helps me visualize how big you envisage these armies as being)?

    1. On the whole I do quite small armies, so the Bavarians are 13 bases in total, 5 cavalry (6 figures /base) and 8 infantry (8 per base). I don't have the patience for more.
      The Irish are 16 foot per base, however, because that's how I've done the ECW figures.