Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Saturday, 4 May 2019

French Refurb Project - Getting Organised

The bewildering thing about a big refurb project is that every time I look in a known box of figures I find when I count them that the number is not what I thought it was last time. On occasions, this is because a new box has materialised somewhere else - one which I have forgotten about. It is possible for the effort of trying to keep track of what I'm doing to become so great that it leaves little time or energy for doing whatever it was I was supposed to be doing.

Enough.

The refurb figures which are painted and finished are now properly mounted on magnetised bases, and everything is logged on a proper spreadsheet. If I leave gaps on the bases where the figures are missing, or still being painted, then I can see at a glance where I'm up to. Another (cunning) advantage of this approach is that if on a short evening I decide to paint half-a-dozen figures, I can plan exactly where they will go, which is a considerable help with stuff like company pompom colours - not to mention motivation.

When a unit is actually complete, I finish off the bases, supply an official 110mm x 110 sabot, give 'em a flag, and they move from the box-files to The Cupboard, ready for warfare. Snapshots of this morning's state show two box-files in use - one for the Hinton Hunt and Der Kriegsspieler battalions and one for the Les Higgins battalions. The figures are not incompatible, but I keep them separate for historic reasons which are a bit dim and distant now.

Higginses on the left, HH/DK on the right. The big brown areas are where I've got masses of rank-&-file on bottletops in a big Really Useful Box, being worked on; the smaller brown areas are usually because I'm missing a command figure or a flanker (which may, of course, be on a bottletop as well) - there is a general shortage of drummers for the HH/DK units at present - I'm hoping to make use of some Schilling castings to plug the gaps.
And here are the boxes the other way up, so you can see I have nothing up my sleeve. A lot of the DK figures are ex-Steve Cooney. The furthest-away columns in the left hand box are ex-Eric Knowles Hinton Hunts - waiting only for drummers - I believe I have some proper HH drummers lined up for these. Nerds with exceptional eyesight may detect some HaT plastic eagle-bearers in the right-hand box. That's how desperate things have become in the world of 20mm French light infantry. It's OK. Everything is beautiful in its own way.
In addition to this lot, the recently-arrived Freitag Battalion flashed through to completion without loitering in the boxes, so that's already in The Cupboard. I have two further battalions away in foreign parts, being worked on, I have two battalions of Higgins figures on my own bottletops, being retouched in the evenings, I have three Higgins light infantry battalions waiting to be started (though they look pretty good to start with, so that might not be a big job - put your hand up if you've heard this song before), and a further Higgins battalion which is currently scheduled to be retouched as the 3eme Suisse, though I may have a change of heart and transfer them into the French army (which would involve stripping and repainting from scratch). Then there is a mass of DK figures - also on bottletops, which are in the current queue. I also have some (small) shipments of command figures coming from Art Miniaturen and Old John, plus a trial pack from Newline, to see if I can live with undersized drummer boys. And I have some command figures at a painter.

Yo.

After that, I am hoping to slow right down on the French army. I have Higgins figures for yet another light battalion (though no command at present) and also for a battalion of Young Guard voltigeurs (same situation). I am going to have to train myself to stop buying old figures I don't really need. What happens is that the planned army establishment gets a hike to accommodate the extra figures, and it all justifies itself. So all I have to do is stop.

Easy. What could go wrong?

Anyway, organisation is the key at the moment.

13 comments:

  1. It is funny (peculiar) how collections of figures (both painted and unpainted) change and multiply over time. You are going about your refurbishments in a very organized way, which I admire. If I think too hard about what is the Drawer of Unpainted Lead immediately to my left here, and my own rather haphazard approach lo these last several years, it gets a bit depressing. Little by little as Mr. Plant sang.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. It really gets very complicated very quickly - not helped that the actual logic is supplemented by personal taboos about not combining certain combinations of manufacturers in the same unit.

      You're right - the little chaps do move about when no-one's looking. The exact location of a particular toy soldier is a probability distribution rather than an actual physical place.

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  2. Well organised Tony, as one would expect from you. 'My' French battalion should be embarking for Blighty in a week or so's time, 15 down including the mtd officer, rest undercoated in mid grey on the bottle tops.

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    1. Bless you Lee - all help very much appreciated - I shall celebrate them and cherish them.

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  3. "Stop buying old figures I don't really need"
    I've heard that one before!

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    1. I just wanted to see how it sounded...

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  4. For some reason I'd be happier if the Freitag Battalion (I wanted to write "Battailon") were ceremonially placed in a box at least temporarily before being transferred to the Cupboard.

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    1. Such an elite battalion with a fine pedigree and reputation has no trouble recruiting to full strength immediately! No need to linger in the recruitment center.

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    2. Absolutely correct - the recruitment box-files are for units that need to be trained and smartened up - the elite boys just get fast-tracked into The Cupboard. The Freitag guys are currently standing next to the Old Guard in The Cupboard - I haven't heard any arguments.

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    3. Oh, I don't know about that gents. Resentments build up over lesser things than that. But maybe I'm just a stickler for procedure ;-)

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  5. Very rational and organized. Work is progressing, albeit slowly, on my own battalion.

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    1. Thank you sir - it is a great help and relief to have such prestigious support!

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  6. Very organised Tony....
    I should really take a leaf out you book over rebasing my Crimean War collection... instead of just looking at it hopefully every month and hoping that the basing pixies have paid a visit...;-)

    All the best. Aly

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