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!