01 April 2009

The 18th Century: It's a slippery slope, you know!

Above, stands the finished 11th Battalion of Engineers, marching behind Colonel von Denimpke. The unit arrived from Arizona at the end of February complete except for a musician, two company NCO's, and two company officers. But Jim Wright was kind enough to include enough extra sample figures of one kind or another in the weighty treausre trove of RSM figures he sent to me at the end of February. So, yours truly was able to make up unit numbers easily.

Since the Grand Duchess and I returned from Mexico a couple of weeks ago, I set about painting these extra few figures in the same style and uniform as Jim's two-dozen musketeer figures, bar the faces. And once everything was laid out on the table in the next room, the slightly different style in our painting became a minor detail that is hardly noticeable. The inclusion of this now full-strength painted unit in Stollen's order of battle certainly jump-started the Grand Duchy of Stollen collection. There is now one less unit to paint as I lurch toward "initial" completion of the project, slated for December 2010, which leaves some additional time for other parts of the project.

But as many of you will undoubtedly know, and I'm sure I've also read this somewhere in a certain well-known magazine edited by one H.H. living on the southern coast og the U.K., one is never really finished, right?

Since Summer 2006, when I began work on the Grand Duchy of Stollen collection in earnest, I've had a huge amount of fun. That almost seems like an understatement actually. Suffice to say, it almost seems like there should be a law against the level of fun that I've had in the last 2.5 years, what with all of the daydreaming, reading, painting, modeling, gaming, and correspondence with various like-minded souls around the globe. What began as a small diversionary project has by now assumed rather more importance in my wargaming ethos. To the point that the (imaginary) mid-18th Century is something on which I will continue to focus even after the GDofS project reaches its initial target at the end of next year. And with all of those great photographs of Charles Grant's and Phil Olley's collections and games in The War Game Companion, how could I possibly stop with the relatively small Sittangbad OOB that I initially set out to, more or less, duplicate?

So, it's all settled. I will simply have to continue adding to the collection, albeit at a slightly more leisurely pace after the end of next year! And, here's a surprise. . . I've even had the lingering thought of perhaps selling off my fairly large collection of 15mm Napoleonics to help finance this envisioned increase in troops. Gasp! Horror! No! It can't be!

Yes, this shocking little revelation is something I never would have imagined doing even three years ago, but I'm simply enjoying myself too much now. I mean, how can bell-topped shakos and Corsicans with an attitude compete with metal-fronted fusilier caps and poor, misguided Irwin-Amadeus II? Not much of a comparison really. Which makes it hard to consider a return to 15mm Napoleonics. Careful cataloging, advertising, selling, and sending off what I have is still a way off though, but the idea is , nevertheless, firmly entrenched in my mind as something that will very probably happen before too much time has elapsed. My only regret is that I didn't get with the program much sooner where the mid-1700s are concerned!


Der Alte Fritz said...

You are simply following the advice of Brigadier Peter Young who states that it is madness to collect figures for more than one period.

I have been culling down my collection, having sold all of my 28mm Napoleonics a couple of years ago. The American Revolution and ACW collections have also been sold. I will keep my Late Roman armies, but the rest is 18th Century. There is no end to the number of armies that I can still paint in that period.

tidders said...

Slip Sliding away, I know what you mean. My main focus is 18C, which I've decided to stick too. So much to have fun with.

I've a cupboard full of model railroad stuff which is getting near to being sold - I'm just not using it and I need the space for more soldiers !

-- Allan

littlejohn said...

Paring down to the essentials is the key..though selling "Peter to pay for Paul" is sometimes a bit painful as when I said goodbye recently to my 40mm F&I...to hopefully resurrect as 25mm RSMs...It's just so hard to keep "fire discipline" in the face of all the possible periods.


Martin said...

Huzzah Stokes,

By all means consign all those pernacious 15mm midgets to other "good homes" and plow the profits back into the GDoS!

(I won't even mention the fact that as time, tide, and presbyopia ware on, the small figures get difficult to see, let alone paint.


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