Minden Miniatures and the end of the hobby?


Just to prove I haven’t been doing absolutely nothing of late, here is a quick progress shot on some general staff figures I’ve been (verrrry slowly) painting.

These are some more of the fabulous Minden Miniatures range of 28mm figures, depicting some of the real-life military leaders from 18th century Prussia and Austria.

On the left are the two Austrians –  Field Marshall Prince Charles of Lorraine and General von Loudon, in their spiffy white and gold uniforms with acres of gold rococo trim.

On the right are their Prussian opponents, in somewhat more muted uniforms – Major-General von Seydlitz and (most recognisable of all) King Frederick II ‘the Great’.

I now only have a couple of other staff figures from these two sets to finish painting, and then that is it – I’ll have reached the bottom of my lead mountain!  (For those visitors to this blog who aren’t wargamers, ‘lead mountain’ is the common nickname for the backlog of figures waiting to be painted, in many cases quite huge.)

True, I do still have a box of various miscellaneous bare-metal figures stashed away, but none of them are particularly required for any project.  And so with no desire on my part to get them done, they’ll no doubt languish forever in the bottom of my cupboard.

So, what now?  Well, to keep me from the reputed consequence for a wargamer getting to the bottom of his lead mountain (ie dying), I do currently have two Renadra plastic buildings on their way from the UK for my colonial New Zealand Wars armies.  These are their brand new ramshackle barn kit (isn’t “brand new ramshackle” an oxymoron?) and their wooden church.  OK, not lead, I know – but they’re still wargaming projects, so hopefully should count …

After that?  Well, truth to tell, I have lost my painting mojo so much of late that, truly, I am not really keen to start anything else at all.  I’m actually enjoying life without feeling the pressure of a painting queue.  

Plus in recent years I don’t feel I’ve been painting as well as I used to.  I’m not sure why – maybe aging eyes?  But overall I don’t feel as satisfied with my painting results as I used to.

Hmmm, does that mean I’m coming to the end of my tenure in the hobby?  After all, the other hobbies I’ve had during my life have generally lasted ten years before I got itchy feet – and I’ve been wargaming several years beyond a decade now.  

Anyway, let’s see what happens.  Maybe Empress Miniatures might come out with another release of figures for their superb New Zealand Wars range, and that’ll probably save me …  


13 thoughts on “Minden Miniatures and the end of the hobby?

  1. In some ways Roly I feel guilty for, in the numbers of years I have known you, to not having succeeded or even come close to getting an army ready that I can field against yours across the table…. The BP ruleset set offered tantilisations for all the H&M forces; Naps, WSS/SYW and ACW and whilst the availability of cheap plastics made buying an army easy, getting it painted still remains a lengthy chore… that, and I am pulled in so many other directions, 15mm WWII, a love or LOTR and now VSF /Steampunk with EotD and GASLIGHT, …
    I can only hope you remain engaged in the hobby and if prepared to dip your toe in the EotD, we may again meet over the table top?

    1. We did succeed with pirates! We’ve both got splendid forces and lots of scenery for those!

      It isn’t the gaming or army collecting that is making my enthusiasm for painting wane. It is just the freedom I’m currently feeling as a result of no painting project pressure! My natural laziness coming to the fore maybe?!

      1. I guess you have to paint because its something you want to do, and enjoy it If you feel pressured to do it, then don’t bother… you don’t need to feel that way.
        More than happy to get the pirate stuff out again if you fancy a game?

  2. I used to build plastic kits – still have a box full of unbuilt aircraft and ships in the shed. Basically I ran out of time, as much as anything else – too much else to do. Buit they call every so often… 🙂

    1. Yes, I used to make model aircraft and cars, too. But I don’t think of got any unmade kits squirreled away. If i did have them like you do, I can see that they might occasionally call as a rainy afternoon activity.

  3. Why not use the opportunity of being free from having to paint to focus on playing wargames? When I started in this hobby, painting was a chore of necessity to get to my goal of playing with my toy soldiers. Along the way though, my hobby turned into a hobby of painting. Now I certainly enjoy painting figures, but it takes me away from my true purpose , which is to game, either solo or with friends.


  4. Oddly enough, Jim, gaming itself isn’t something that really pulls me. I do like it as an occasional social activity – but I would be just as happy (if not happier) just setting up the table with some mates and looking at it, whilst we talk military history and stuff!

    I think some of my mates find it hard to believe that if I pop by when they’re gaming, and they offer me a role, I say no, I’m just happy watching.

    Putting together armies and painting them have been my main hobby. The gaming is just ancillary.

    1. True, I’ve never been without a hobby for as long as I can remember, even if the hobby has changed, usually decade by decade.

      But I hope I’m not giving the impression that I’m totally throwing the towel on this hobby. Just that I’m enjoying not having a painting queue, and waiting for something that REALLY grabs me to come along (like more NZ Wars figures).

  5. Roly hii ..
    Well done working through the lead Mountain .. Im afraid mine is still there ..
    Was wondering about your thoughts on the Calpe Range of French .. he finally did it a few years too late for me ..although I may be tempted into a Battallion or two sometime ..
    They do look the part dont they wondering if your hand is hovering over the order page on his web site 🙂

  6. I’ve heard really good reports about Calpe’s French figures, Paul. I know that Peter Haldezos collects them.

    Personally, I figure I’ve got more than enough Napoleonic French infantry, though mainly by Front Rank. So, no, my hand hasn’t been hovering to order any more of them!

  7. Roly hii
    Yes I agree the building painting research gives so much pleasure .. remember the Guilford Courthouse project when I was putting that together the Relationship I struck up with Donald Long the head Park Ranger at the Battlefield Museum at Guilford was really amazing .. and rememebr all the material and books he sent me through free of charge .. just two like minded people coming together over the miles through a common cause borm through Wargaming ..
    Our Moving Diorama Games .. are in the memory forever ..

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