A bit of fresh snow on the ground here and a power outage for 90 minutes or so this afternoon. Otherwise, a pleasantly quiet winter's day here at Stollen Central and a perfect time for a review of the year's activities.
Looking back at the plans that I presented right hear twelve months ago, the year 2012 was not the most productive with regard to figure painting or gaming. While the refight of Neu Sittangbad began with considerable fanfare in mid-February, real life soon intervened most cruelly, slowing down the play-by-email proceedings, to a trickle at times. The arrival of two new kittens in the late summer, and their eventual discovery that they could jump onto my wargaming table, led to new challenges and my eventually having to pack up the game and move everything into another room. You can refer to my late November post for a recap of that.
As far as painting goes, there was some in 2012. First, there were two crews of RSM and Minden figures, painted in Saxons and Palatinate uniforms respectively, early last spring although I have yet to paint the two 4pdr. French cannon by Fife & Drum that I purchased to go with them. I also managed to paint a unit of approximately 30 RSM and Minden Croats in June and July, followed in fairly short order by a staff vignette of Frederick II and von Seydlitz. Otherwise, very little to show save for a couple of mounted British officers by Fife & Drum in early December. Even a year-end friendly painting challenge failed to rekindle my painting fire this time around. To be fair though, there was an unusual amount of work related to school in November and December, something that has not always been the case in previous years.
One bright point of light this year. Ok, four actually. I did manage to write, revise, and submit four hobby-related articles for publication in 2012. Two have appeared in recent issues of Battlegames, and another two in the new issue of the Wargamer's Annual. No. I won't tell you what these scribblings are about. You'll need to purchase the publications in question if you want to know.
An interesting thing, writing about the hobby. And I really don't know how Donald Featherstone did it all those years. When painting and gaming time is already so hard to come by, it grows even more difficult when you try to squeeze in time for article development, writing, and revision. Now, I enjoy writing anyway, and writing about wargaming related interests and projects is even more fun. However, there are only so many hours in a day, and until physicists work out a way around it, one must must rob Peter to pay Paul where available hours for hobby pursuits are concerned. In other words, you either write about the hobby. . . or you paint figures and play games. It's hard to do all three and maintain domestic bliss at the same time. Hopefully, 2013 will see a more balanced approach on my part with a bit more painting, a bit more gaming, and some writing about the hobby while still managing to preserve domestic tranquility.
But what's on the table for 2013 then? Well, first, to restart and finish the play-by-email Neu Sittangbad game between myself and Greg Horne in Australia, starring as General von Tschatschke and General de Latte respectively. A small solo game or two would also be fun and inspire me to keep going at the painting table. On that note, I also want to continue plugging away at the 40 or so Minden, RSM, and Fife & Drum figures that comprise those staff vignettes currently on the painting table. I would also like to tackle the planned scratch-built supply and pontoon train of a dozen or so wagons, carts, drivers, and horse teams in the coming year, a project that was planned for 2012 failed to materialize.
If there is any time left, or things progress more rapidly that I envision (A guy can dream, right?), perhaps another unit of 30 cavalry or 60+ infantry -- there is a small but respectable pile of lead and vintage plastic here in Zum Stollenkeller -- and maybe a few additional wargaming structures. I'd like to experiment a bit with foam core craft board, to produce some additional bridges and maybe some municipal town buildings. But I'm getting way ahead of myself! Let's start slow, simply finish these staff vignettes first, and see where 2013 takes the Grand Duchy of Stollen project.
So, with all of that in mind, my resolutions for 2012 are:
1) Paint more.
2) Scratch-build more scenic items.
3) Game more.
4) Read more, both within and beyond the hobby.
5) Write more, both on the hobby and about other things.
Let's see how it goes. Virtually anything accomplished during 2013 here in Zum Stollenkeller will be an improvement over my hobby activities and painting output achieved last year. Happy New Year everyone!