My boss, StuG, is a jolly decent bloke but he’ll probably be panicking now at the title of this post! He knows that the time is approaching where retirement is a viable career option for me, and I refer to this as Plan B! Thirty years ago retirement was maybe Plan Z, but it’s worked its way closer to the beginning of the alphabet now! The good news for StuG (if he chooses to think of it that way) is that I’m not retiring quite yet (should I maybe have said that sooner?)!
So, why mention retirement? Well, another colleague said that he thought I wouldn’t want to retire because I’d have nothing to fill my time in with. Oh, so seriously wrong! See the picture above! Stuff needs painting!
I only finished one model in July (and that’s here) but I’ve been busy preparing stuff to work on later this year and into next year. Some of the stuff is from armies and periods that I wargame that I’ve maybe neglected in the last few years, and other stuff is getting done because there are maybe some anniversaries of different battles and wars on the horizon (and I like to try and remember these in amongst all my other wargaming projects).
So, first in the planning queue are figures and guns for my Boxer Rebellion armies, both Allied Powers and Chinese. I’ve come up with some additional rules to use with the 19th Century European Warfare Rules by Neil Thomas to try out in a colonial warfare setting. I’ve got plenty of figures for Boxer Rebellion armies, so really all I want to do is round out some of the units. I’ve got a good selection to work on, infantry, cavalry and artillery units, but mostly only three or four figures in each unit (shown above – not a great picture I’m afraid, but there are Chinese regular troops, Russian infantry, Indian infantry, British sailors, French Colonial troops and a selection of cavalry). In some cases I need to partially re-paint some older figures to fit in, the worst offenders being Japanese infantry who were painted in khaki uniforms (khaki summer uniforms were mentioned in the Osprey Boxer Rebellion book and I now that to be incorrect) but I now want them in blue! Since I also use unit bases with these rules, I’ll have to get some extra ones made for some of the Chinese units.
Next up are Franco-Prussian War figures (shown above), with next year being the 150th anniversary of the start of the war. I’m quite well off for Prussians, but I still want to add another gun battery, a hussar regiment and an infantry battalion (and in that order of importance). My French have been cobbled together over the years from colonial and WW1 troops who look the part, but I need to add a “proper” infantry battalion, a zouave battalion, a dragoon regiment and a mitrailleuse battery (these are the figures in the bottom half of the photo above). By careful choice of uniform colours, and adding some spare officers and colour bearers, the zouaves can be either French or Brazilian, the latter forming an extra unit in my Allied army for the Paraguayan War (since I haven’t added any units for this conflict this year). To counter this extra Brazilian infantry battalion I also converted a Paraguayan cavalry battalion from ACW figures (they’re the six horsemen top right in the picture above).
This just leaves some 20th Century stuff to be done (shown above). I’ve nearly finished all of the tanks I got under way in April, with the Russian T-26s now being shaded and awaiting drybrushing (top left). The only two vehicles remaining untouched from April are the Russian and Japanese cars, but I’ve built a German 38(t) light tank and want to also make up two Panzer II kits (yes, they’re still in the box)! There are fewer figures than the earlier periods though, just some Polish infantry (bottom left) and Red Army troops (bottom right) for the Russo-Polish War (fought from 1919 to 1920). Again, these are just some extra troops to fill out my forces, the bulk of which are already done.
Some of the featured figures/units are “must haves” whereas others are less important but I’d like to get them painted if I can. Needless to say, some might drop out and other things get added. Realistically, when I finally do manage to retire, I would imagine my wife will ensure that I have less free time to paint figures than I have now – maybe retirement will have to wait!