Yes, whether it was a new school, university, or when I joined the forces, it all happened around this time.
And in all cases, it began with...
...a plan, a timetable, regime, schedule.
Which is what happened when I started to scope out this project. I needed a plan, an overall orbat of how many figures were required, how many masters to go into the moulds, how many spins of those moulds to optimise the numbers and avoid waste/ left-overs, and a plan of how to get them painted.
Don’t want this to sound like a management project, but... we do need a plan, don’t we.
A man outstanding in his field? (or out-sitting in it).
No that's not me, it's a generic stock photo...
Now, if such “seriousness” seems at odds with a hobby, think of it as a plan of campaign… a military plan. An outline strategy.
And let’s hope it survives first contact with the paint brush!
So, wargames notebook in hand…
When I first started considering this project, as I was on my business travels a lot during that period, in airport lounges, and on trains and planes, and in hotels up and down the land, I carried my notebook and scribbled my thoughts…
Gradually, a plan emerged…
...then got ditched, was re-written, ditched again, and re-written. The notes and dreams bounced between the dipsy-fanciful and the highly-practical. And like a swinging pendulum, gradually settled.
Now, it would be foolhardy to recreate these notes here, as most of it is purely personal, subjective rambling about what I want this project to look like, and would make dreadful reading.
Suffice to say, I have a plan - with clear objectives and groundrules and a timetable/ schedule- and heartily recommend it before committing to your projects.
Mine includes a set of criteria, and acceptable fudges and compromises (decisions I’ve willingly made); a clear idea of the “finished spectacle” (something to aim at including an ideal ultimate order of battle; a stage-by-stage building process, creating balanced forces for both sides at each stage; a painting schedule; a casting plan (moulds, number of spins required, etc).
Yes, I know it sounds almost too serious, and some would say “get a life, it’s only a hobby”. But often those same people end up with a whole load of unfinished projects and growing levels of frustration.
For me, creating a robust plan of campaign is very much part of the enjoyment, so it’s the way I do it, and at least I’m happy!
The other point of course is that when so much time and money is being invested in figures, painting, flags, terrain and so on, I think it’s worth having at least an outline plan to work to.
Oh, and just so you know, the Schedule looks like around 6 years’ worth of painting! That’s ok then!
Over the coming posts I’ll share with you some chunks of the plan.
Meanwhile, since you have read so attentively to this point, here’s a couple of pictures to be going on with:
The Nassau Saarbruchen Volunteer Hussars… a single squadron.
These are John Ray figures (with the exception of the officer which is a Suren), on horses from various sources… mainly connoisseur.
Painted by David Jarvis.
Flag is my own invention.
I wanted this unit to represent the early incarnation of what would become the Royal Nassau Hussars in French service. So there are some liberties and best-guesses on some aspects of the uniform, but I’m happy. And delighted with David’s painting.
Thanks for visiting and reading.
Next time I'll tell you why I'm already flagging with the project!!!