My lack of blog posts over the last few months doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy! I’ve done quite a bit of Paraguayan War stuff, but haven’t had the chance to post anything about it. Since my first proper game is planned for next week, I’m now having to try and get things finished sharpish!
Now getting stuff varnished outdoors in the UK at this time of year is a nightmare – it’s either 1) cold, 2) windy, 3) raining, or 4) all of the above. So figures have been sitting round waiting to get varnished but it’s crunch time! By a stroke of luck, She-Who-Doesn’t-Allow-Varnish-To-Be-Sprayed-In-The-House had a hairdresser’s appointment, so now was the time to strike (of course, if I was finishing my figures off with hairspray that would be allowed and I would have a wide variety of hairsprays to choose from – apparently they don’t just come in matt and gloss). In my experience, statistically based on previous hairdresser’s appointments, I’d have a good half a day to get stuff prepared, varnished and tidied away as if nothing had happened!
So, there was a lot to do. Since I’m using movement trays for the rules I’ll use to game the Paraguayan War, these needed a coat of varnish to make them a bit more durable. Over the past few weeks I’ve got 12 infantry trays, two cavalry trays and three artillery trays stuck together and painted (see here for the trial run) and that’s enough for the troops I’ve got finished. I also wanted some base strength and casualty markers to put on the bases and that’s what the 20mm wooden discs are in the picture above that I’m in the process of painting marks on.
I’ve also got three infantry units, a cavalry unit and two HQs painted. Shown above are two Argentine National Guard infantry battalions, the one at the front being the Legion Militar, its soldiers wearing Zouave-style uniforms. I painted the Argentine HQ shown on the right because the plastic ACW officer in the slouch hat is dead ringer for the Argentine President Bartolome Mitre, the man who commanded the forces of the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay) in the early stages of the war against Paraguay.
The cavalry unit was also Argentine, in dark blue uniforms and red-trimmed shakos. I think these were Early War Miniatures WW1 Chasseurs d’Afrique, the uniforms being fairly close to what I needed. To the left of the cavalry in the photo above is a Brazilian HQ, with the officer and drummer in the campaign uniform of blue jackets and white trousers and kepi covers. The last group of figures, standing at the front of the picture, are a mixed bunch of Paraguayan infantry to distribute amongst my other units (which is why there are two flag bearers – one other unit didn’t get one). Since firearms were not always available in the numbers required, I’ve included some spearmen amongst them (these are Newline Designs ACW infantry flag bearers).
My original plan for this project called for 170 figures to be finished by the end of this year (I started them in April/May last year). I recognised that I might not get that many, so I decided to try and finish units I needed for a game and that’s come in at 157 figures and four guns, so I’m not too far away. I’m still going to add more units but at a more leisurely pace from now on, mixing them in with other stuff. Since I’ve got this far, this is now probably the last time I’ll refer to this project as a new project!
So, time to tidy away varnished figures, bases and dust sheets and wash some dishes so it looks like I’ve been usefully employing my time while my wife’s been out!