Well, the Christmas trees have been removed from the house, and the decorations have been put away for another year here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold. The house looks a bit empty, but on the other hand, it's nice to have the holiday clutter gone and the pine needles vacuumed up, which itself reintroduces a pleasant aroma into the house for 3o minutes of so afterwards. Ahhhh.
Spent the middle third of Sunday afternoon having a series of thinks (Thank you, Dr. Seuss!) as I made a concerted effort to unpack the final half-dozen moving boxes occupying space in our bedroom. Not entirely new thoughts, mind you, but rather expanding on what I initially shared about my 2016 painting goals a week+ ago on The Feast of Stephen, otherwise known as December 26th. Here are my expanded blatherings. . .
1) Finish the latter half that monster 80-figure infantry regiment I began in January 2015. Another 40 figures or so.
Afterthought -- I have the third group of 20 or so all ready to go on the painting table here in the new and improved Stollenkeller. I even managed to find my pad of painter's pallet paper recently, so I might start by applying flesh tone this evening to these after the Young Master's bath and bedtime. He starts school again tomorrow morning.
2) Paint the four Minden SYW personality figures, Russian artillery crew, and two Russian guns (a cannon and howitzer) I received from the Grand Duchess and Young Master for Christmas 2015.
Afterthought -- I also came across a couple of fairly large and unassembled Minden Austrian cannon that were purchased as part of an artillery equipment Kickstarter project Jim Purky ran a year or more ago. Forgot all about these as we do, of course, and rediscovered them several nights ago while unpacking the ol' pile of lead, which now resides neatly in a bottom built-in drawer. What a delight! But what to do with these? Must think that one over. In any case, I plan to order one more baggie of four Russian artillery crew from Minden when the time comes, so that each of my two guns has a full crew of six in keeping with the organization laid out in Charge! Or How to Play War Games, which remains my wargaming touchstone almost ten years into the project and more than 20 since I first enjoyed reading Young and Lawford's words.
3) Paint limbers, four-horse teams, and limber riders for the approximately one dozen cannon in my two 25-30mm imaginary mid-18th century armies, the Army of Stollen and its nemesis the Army of Zichenau. Yikes! If I'm not careful, the wargaming table will need to grow in order to accommodate these and that pontoon/wagon train I assembled back in 2014.
Afterthought -- I came across a two horse team of Austrian and Prussian limber riders each while rooting through my stuff the other night, so I won't need quite as many of these as first thought. Still a lot, but not as many. I also rediscovered an unassembled hay wagon, horse, and drover by Black Hussar Minitures that I purchased last summer while in Berlin that I also forgot about. One more piece to add to that large supply train from 2014. And now that I think about it, adding another few feet to an end of the table really wouldn't be such a terrible thing. . .
4) Finish painting a series of female camp followers (laundresses, ladies of ill-repute, and a Lutheran pastor who has his work cut out or him) that have been languishing in my "to do" pile for the last 18 months or so. These are mostly Suren 'Willie' 30mm figures with one or two from Black Hussar Miniatures.
Afterthought -- The Suren "Willie" ladies of ill-repute and Black Hussar Lutheran pastor trying hard to save their souls were already attached to their vignette base at some point last year before the move to Michigan, so all they will need is a coat of two of white gesso at some point this year when I get to them. The remaining three female figures will become yet more vivandieres and a lone laundress along with some Minden civilian farm laborers plus one or two others. All of the ladies are part of a larger (and ongoing) camp follower mini-project which I began a couple of years ago. Not combat troops, but vignettes to add personality and period feel to the peripheries of the tabletop. Thinking like a model railroad enthusiast here.
5) If time, replace my 25mm MiniFig standard bearers in my infantry units with pairs of Minden standard bearers, which were purchased in early 2015 and have also languished in the "to do" pile, along with some Front Rank cords and finials along with lengths of brass rod, ever since.
Afterthought -- I came across these too along with the lengths of brass rod and finials that were ordered a year ago. It will be fun to rationalize the infantry standards carried by my line infantry and give each unit two standards instead of the current one. The Minden figures will, of course, fit in well with my RSM95 figures as well as a few early units made up with 1/72 Revell SYW figures. At that time, 2006-2007, I used MiniFig 25mm Austrian and Prussian standard bearers, something I have continued to do. While I like MiniFigs, they don't really work well in units consisting primarily of other 25-30mm figures though, so it is high time to rectify things! 2016 is the year. I am going to make sure it happens.
Finally, our umpire Greg is away this week, so our play-by-email refight of Sittangbad is on brief hiatus. Another thing that occurs to me, though, is that I ought to try hard to play four-six games of my own in 2016. Perhaps linked games or some kind of mini-campaign as discussed by Charles S. Grant in one o the Wargaming in History books. A very full program as Mr. Kinch noted in a comment several days ago, but as I replied, my sense of purpose, focus, and fire has been renewed given the enforced absence from hobby-related activities in 2015. Let me at 'em!