Four squadrons of 15mm MiniFigs French Napoleonic Dragoons (with two Essex elite company figures in Bearskins), a gift from good ol' Mom for Christmas 1989, finally painted during the late winter-early spring of 2006. She and my step-father lived in Southampton, England at the time where he was a lecturer at the University of Southampton, and when they returned to the States in late December '89, she brought me a shopping bag FULL of 15mm Napoleonic MiniFigs. Still one of the greatest Christmas gifts I have ever received.A few evenings ago, while rooting around through several boxes of things that were never opened after our April 2008 move into "Stollen Central" -- looking for some carefully hoarded heavy cardboard tubes for the current building project -- I unearthed my boxes of carefully painted 15mm Late Napoleonic Minifigs, on which I have not set eyes in more than five years. Many of us have parts of our toy solider -- Ahem, military miniature! -- collections that are put away into lengthy storage for one reason or another. Nothing remarkable there.
But, what is remarkable is how SMALL they seem to me now after almost five years of working with 25-30mm figures. How in the world did I ever resolve/manage to paint these? The castings are nice enough, but so tiny to my 44-year old eyes. Amazingly, the painting doesn't look too shabby either after all this time. However, I'm not really sure I could go back now and expend that kind of painting effort on figures so small.
In hindsight, which is always 20/20, you know, painting the larger figures is much more fun and ultimately more rewarding from an artistic standpoint than spending several weeks on a single 15mm unit or two. However, part of the blame is mine since I always tried to paint my tiny figures to a standard similar to that of Peter Gilder and Doug Mason, over whose 25mm glossy Napoleonics I drooled for many an hour as a teenager and twenty-something in the 1980s when their work featured in almost every issue of Miniature Wargames and, later, Wargames Illustrated. Still some of the best painting and modelling out there in my book even all these years later.
15mm Dragoons next to nominally 30mm (1/56) Minden Prussian Hussars of the SYW. Quite a startling difference in size and painting difficulty, don't you think?