Vital Statistics!

By my reckoning the title of this post will get me a few visits from Asterix The Gaul fans, who are going to be sorely disappointed (for those who don’t know, Vitalstatistix is the chief of Asterix’s tribe)! This is, however, a post with some very simple statistics in it – if your want more meaningful hobby-related statistics I’d recommend visiting Dave Kay over at Scent of a Gamer!

Having finished some Paraguayan War and Mexican Adventure figures recently I’ve almost come to a dead stop with painting, apart from some cleaning up, priming and basing of figures. So I thought I’d trawl back through my blog posts from the last five years and try and work out which of my wargame interests/conflicts have been a bit neglected, with a view to maybe (just maybe, mind you) doing some work on them in the coming year. Now I did create a simple spreadsheet to log all this in Google sheets, but when it came to trying to create a graph I just had to give up (I’d have been fine with Excel but don’t have that on my Chromebook), so you’ve been spared the graphs.

So, the first thing I did was compare the amount of time that I could attribute to finished figures, vehicles etc. in each year (assuming one 20mm infantryman takes 2 hours to complete). This does not quite accurately map my progress, since unfinished or partially prepared items aren’t counted, but they probably average out across the years anyway. Here’s how the annual comparison turned out:

2017 – 321 hours

2018 – 354 hours

2019 – 300 hours

2020 – 342 hours

2021 – 361 hours (excluding December)

That’s a total of 1678 hours (I’ve excluded 2016 since I only started the blog in September of that year). The first thing I noticed was that I tend to get about the same amount done each year and will usually aim to work for 1 hour a day on something or other. But more surprising was the fact that I’ve got so much done this year, because I’ve never really considered that I had! I think part of the reason for that was because I’ve painted more vehicles and scenery this year, so the actual number of items completed is lower than other years.

Next step was to look at what’s been taking up the most time:

Paraguayan War – 454 hours

WW2 Pacific – 379 hours

Early WW2 – 205 hours

1860s Europe – 194 hours

and these four projects account for 1232 hours, which is 73% of the total number of hours. There are no big surprises here for me. I started the Paraguayan War armies in 2017 and have kept them going throughout the period and am close to finishing off all I need for now. The WW2 Pacific project has been long-running and includes Chinese, Japanese, US, Commonwealth and Netherlands East Indies forces and I’m doing well with them, although I need a second Chinese infantry battalion. Early WW2 was an impulsive decision to get some early war French and German tanks for the 1940 campaign in the west and I’ve enjoyed working on them so will keep adding to this project. Lastly, the 1860s Europe project saw me essentially finish my French and Prussian armies in 2020 in time for the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.

The next step was to look at those interests that have barely (or never) been touched since 2017:

1:600th scale ironclads – 0 hours!

Balkan Wars – 0 hours!

1:1200th scale aeronefs – 10 hours

Steampunk/Victorian Science Fiction – 10 hours

Alternative WW2 – 20 hours

I have other conflicts/interests that had no work done on them, but that’s because I generally consider them complete and don’t intend adding to them. Those listed above have been sadly neglected and they are in different stages of incompletion. I’ve planned on doing the VSF and alternative WW2 stuff for years by adding sci-fi troops/units/weapons to my historical armies, but have only done one or two test models out of the available ones that I’ve set aside for these projects.

I’ve painted aeronef models for years, but really need to finish my fleets off.

The picture above shows my Japanese and Russian fleets in their storage box (Japanese on the left). I’m probably over 50% of the way through these and really need to finish those that have been bought more recently. I’ve also got Chinese and French fleets to paint in much the same condition. One of the things I need to do is create ship record cards for the Imperial Skies rules that I’ve decided to use in future for aeronef games.

1:600th ironclads was a project I started around warships used in the 1894-5 Sino-Japanese War. I have 1:600th scale WW2 coastal forces ships and ACW vessels and like this scale so I thought I’d try something different. The gunnery ranges were short enough and the ships slow enough in 1894 that most of the ships could be used on a 6 feet x 4 feet table. I managed to get the models I wanted from the Old Glory resin/metal ship ranges, Peter Pig ACW “Hammerin’ Iron” range and a few 3D prints from Shapeways (see below, Japanese ships on the right).

Despite not having finished any of the models, they’ve all been prepared, assembled and based, with most primed as well. The Old Glory models showed their age and most had missing or damaged parts that had to be ordered from the US and I had to add a lot of details myself. I think where I’ve baulked at getting started with painting these is that I’ve not painted any yet! I really only need to paint the Chinese battleship (top left in the box) and two of the Japanese cruisers (top right) to get me started, although sorting out the paint schemes does not appear straightforward.

Last to be mentioned are my 20mm Balkan Wars troops, shown in their box below.

These originally grew from me painting Romanian, Bulgarian and Ottoman troops for WW1 and at first glance I’ve got a few figures. But all of the figures in the top row of the box are WW1 Romanians and no good for the Balkan Wars since most wear a steel helmet. This leaves me with four Bulgarian infantry battalions, five Ottoman infantry battalions and an MG company, artillery battery and cavalry squadron for each side. Haven’t got any pictures of my Bulgarians, but have a few older ones of the Ottomans.

Above are some regular infantry, from Lancer Miniatures.

In the older blue uniform, the figures above are reserve infantry, also from Lancer Miniatures.

And finally, an artillery piece and crew, all from the Irregular Miniatures Incredibly Useful Guns and Crews ranges. I can paint up some generic Russian infantry in fur caps and greatcoats and they double for both WW1 Russians and Bulgarians, but I also have enough Serbian, Greek and Ottoman figures left to add a few battalions for each side of the conflict.

So my thinking is that during 2022 I maybe need to get some bits done for the neglected projects as a priority and let everything else fit round them. I had thought about asking for comments about what I should paint next, but only an idiot would ask that sort of question!


  1. Wow. That’s some real data crunching! I started trying to keep track of what I paint, and do ok for a while (even tracked hours painting) then drop off.

    Pretty inspiring post, though, and makes me wonder how much ive completed.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks General! πŸ™‚ I think I found it easier to think in terms of hours, since that makes it a bit easier to reconcile the variation between figures, vehicles, ships scenery etc. It did at least make me realise that I’d got more done this year than I first thought!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think I could do this exercise, as I’m too much of a hobby butterfly, as Luke would say, and like to paint what takes my fancy, but I applaud anyone who can dedicate themselves in this scale

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Since you (didn’t) ask – I think you should prioritise more of those Balkan troops! The ironclads is always an era and topic I enjoy, even though outside of my own hobby work.

    There’s only so many hours in the day, isn’t there? And never enough for hobbies!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Marvin! πŸ™‚ Balkan Wars troops are at the top of the list currently, with some prepared and a test figure under way! Even adding a unit to each side would be decent progress. I have a feeling ironclads might have to wait until some more WW2 ships have got painted, but we’ll see!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, that’s some stats there John, wish I could come close to those hours – at a guess I’d say I was coming in close to half that.
    I’ve been trying to concentrate on one or two games at once, but it’s so hard! I mean, there’s always something else calling out, ‘Paint me! Paint me!’ how does anyone expect us to ever see anything through, eh!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Haha, I know exactly what you mean, Justin! πŸ™‚ I think you’ve been doing well and staying focused on your painting. You should probably also bear in mind that you’ve also been playing games, whereas I’ve fallen right behind on that part of things!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks John. I sometimes wish I could drop one and concentrate on the other, but for me they do go hand in hand – I paint to make the games look good and I buy more games so I have something to paint, though I think I’m well ahead of myself on the latter!
        There’s nothing better than seeing an army develop and you’ve done some wonderful things that make me quite envious, as I tend to flit around far too much!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Apologies for a late response John, sadly full of the lurgy at the moment but now catching up! The way I read it you have have done a great deal over the years but you have a great deal more to do! The good news therefore is we get to see a lot more of what takes your fancy in 2022 and beyond. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m glad to see that keeping a spreadsheet is helping you too, John! You’re a real Renaissance man with the wide variety of wargaming settings you are interested in too. I didn’t realize you had that many projects on the go either! I’m curious to see what you decide to work on next as all of the projects sound fun to me πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Pete! πŸ™‚ I normally just keep track of figures but opted to estimate hours instead so that I could account for vehicles, ships and scenery etc. My baseline estimate is that a 20mm infantryman will take 2 hours of effort, from getting him out of the pack to putting him away varnished.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks mate! πŸ™‚ If I’ve got some anniversary/centenary games planned and I need stuff for them it usually keeps me focused, so I might not paint more but I’ll keep on one track. Usually these sort of things I’ll work up to months in advance. In 2020 I focused on the 150th anniversary of the Franco-Prussian War and got all pf the forces done that I wanted to just in time, but couldn’t have a face-to face game. It was also the 100th anniversary of the Russo-Polish war and the Miracle on the Vistula but I didn’t get the chance to add any more troops to my armies for that, so I’m doing now!
      Sorry I’ve rattled on a bit, the quick answer’s “yes”!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Chris! πŸ™‚ I can do both steampunk and dieselpunk, so good suggestions. The good thing about WW2 is it can keep you busy for another 35 years if you let it! I thought I’d ignored WW2 a bit of late, but my early Pacific War stuff has kept it ticking over nicely!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Hey John great post and as those of us who follow you know, you have a wide range of hobby genre interests – this just demonstrates that to a deeper level. I love that you have a vision for each project and that you are cranking away. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ridiculous numbers! That’s dedication. Pretty good priority, I mean early ww2 is clearly more interesting than late and 1860s are such an interesting period in Europe and abroad. I always am stunned anew how brutal the war of the Triple Alliance was.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Anthony! πŸ™‚ I’d agree with you about early WW2 being more interesting than later, although I still like late war stuff. 1860s definitely interesting as well! If I wasn’t running out of space I’d probably have a go at some 1939 Polish armour, 1860 Garibaldini, Neapolitan and Papal forces, Hanoverian, Saxon and Bavarians for 1866 and some Black Brunswickers for 1870. The Paraguayan War was horrific, but exceeded by the Taiping Rebellion that finally died out in the 1860s!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well an unmovable slow KΓΆnigstiger looks great compared to a Sherman, that’s very true – but if you want to win that game you only need planes as their is no Luftwaffe at that time haha.
        Polish armor, I think I saw a video of lindybeige where he presented a Polish tankette. Curious little fella (the tankette). Italian stuff looks similar I think and fared somewhat similar in WW2 as Polish armour.

        1860s Italian are looking like a mixture of 1848 Prussians interesingly and Austrians as well. Papal forces are really interesting, saw them in a book, French/Austrian/British-styled stovepipe-like shako combined with Swiss Guard units, sporting morions and I belive French-style tunic.
        Brunswickers are really great as well. They keep their Hussar-like black-uniforms and only devellop their shakos to mentioned style.

        Hanoverians are still heavily British inspired at that time, but they are slowly absorbed by Prussia, as the Prussians used the Hannover devellopped steam engines for their war effort against the Austrians in 1866. And as Hannover back then is bascially a British colony (even though Britain is in fact Hannoverian I think some of the Georges who took over the throne was foremost the ruler of Hannover and only later became British king funnily) the Hannoverian steam engine might be actually a British import, though I’m not sure.
        Bavarians and Saxons are much less flamboyant at that time. Baverians especially didn’t use their “Raupenhelm” the cascet hat that reminds you a little of the Royal Horse artillery’s hats of the Napoleonic era. Saxons looks simliar to Bavarians I belive, as they wore their tunic and simple peaked caps and would have fought alongside the Austrians against the Prussians.

        Taiping Rebellion is something I haven’t heard about yet. I only know of the Boxer rebellion in 1900 I think, that was surpressed by a united force of the German Empire, the British, the Russian, the US (I think) and the Japanese, which was something never heard again.

        Sorry for going on this historical excursion, I really love babbling about uniforms. haha

        Liked by 1 person

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