Edison's response to the young journalist during the interview was along the following lines:
"Young man. You don't understand. I haven't failed 5000 times to invent the light bulb. I've just found 5000 ways that it won't work... which puts me 5000 ways closer to the one way it will work."
I wish I could be so positive about the number of 'failed wargaming projects' I've conducted over the years.
Of late, however, I've been pottering around with a number of 'non projects' on the grounds that occasionally it's just nice to paint a unit here or there, and see where it goes. Free-wheeling, if you like.
And it's allowed me to go into periods I otherwise wouldn't paint.
Here, therefore, are a couple of non-projects I've been tinkering with...
First up: some Normans.
These are Perry Crusader range figures I picked up from Dave Thomas at Partizan (while Jerry Miller, painter extraordinaire, egged me on! The rascal!)
I enjoyed painting them. They're fairly basic once you've dry-brushed the chainmail over a black undercoat. Shield transfers and banners are by Little Big Man Studios.
They were for a 'very-much-on-the-back-burner' project set in the 11th century Mediterranean, with Normans and Byzantines fighting over sundry islands, not unlike Sicily, or perhaps further east. Nice to paint, but will it go further?
The next 'non-project' is The French Wars of Religion.
I've always had a liking for the period, and then TAG go and produce these lovely castings. These are Royal Swiss from the French Valois range. Just a few done so far, and whilst I enjoyed painting them, I may just dissolve the idea and leave it at that... We'll see.
Anyway, all of that is a way of showing that even I can put an Edison-like positive spin on 'failed' wargames projects.
Sometimes, it's nice to simply paint a unit, or a few figures, for no reason other than you like the figures. No harm done.
But, the experience has also taken me to a fresh little side-line that I may begin in earnest in September.
You see; for me, it's all about the figures.
In the end, I believe, you have to choose those figures you want to paint, and want to paint lots of, if you want a full-blown army (or two).
I'm in awe of those who can build huge collections, and particularly those who paint all the figures themselves, steadily turning out high quality, in quantity.
And, I like a challenge... with a heretical twist...