I should be dead …

lead mountain

There’s a wargaming superstition that if you reach the bottom of your ‘lead mountain’  of unpainted figures, you’ll die.  Well, I’ve been at the bottom of my lead mountain for a few weeks now, and I’m pleased to say that I’m still hale and hearty!

I’ve had several projects on the go over the last few years, but all have now either concluded, or are awaiting the manufacture of new figures.


Samurai:  I’ve painted two opposing factions (or ‘buntai’) for 28mm skirmish gaming, and made a lot of terrain.  But I seem to have used up all my enthusiasm for this period in getting this far.  No other possible factions really interest me.  And I have no intention of taking this period beyond skirmish anyway. So I’ve got enough figures and terrain for now.



Pirates:  This project has been pretty well completed for some time now.  We only play with smallish units anyway, so adding more figures to my already more-than-enough collection would be overkill.

More pirates


18th century ‘imagi-nation’:  I’ve painted all the units that were in the film ‘Barry Lyndon’, so the next step in this project would be to paint some totally fictional units.  I’ve always fancied the green and red uniforms of the Russians.  Whilst such a unit would be imaginary, it would seem stupid not to paint actual Russian figures rather than simply re-colour the uniforms of some other nation.  However, my manufacturer-of-choice for this project, Minden Miniatures, doesn’t do Russians yet.  So this project is now on hold until they do (in 2015, I’m told).



Napoleonics:  I’ve got more than enough battalions of British, French, Portuguese and Spanish to play a reasonable Napoleonic game.  Adding more will be just repetitive, and I never use all my units at once anyway.  I’ve also got hordes of individually-based ‘big men’ for leading my troops under the ‘Sharp Practice’ rules – but as most of them haven’t even seen action yet, no more are required.

dtl_Spanish Guerilla Ambush


Colonial New Zealand Wars:  I’ve now got a couple of sides sufficient for  large skirmish games.  Like my Napoleonics, adding to them at the moment would be just ‘more of the same’, for which I really have no need.  However, this is  period dear to my heart, so if Empress Miniatures ever make anything else for this period, I’ll be in like Flynn!



Victorian science fiction:  I’ve only painted one unit for this, and it is barely Victorian science fiction, being a French Foreign Legion unit as they appeared during Maximilian’s Mexican Adventure.  But I just can’t drum up any more enthusiasm to continue with this project.

whole legion_IMG_1290


American Civil War:  I have a couple of miscellaneous units painted up , but this period doesn’t interest me enough to buy any more.



What about starting a completely new period, then?  Well, I hate being at the start-point of a project.  There is nothing out there that is calling to me sufficiently to overcome the hurdle of starting from scratch.

So, where does that leave me?  Well, I’m seeing his as a holiday from painting.  I think I’ll just wait out until either Minden Miniatures (for my Russians), or Empress Miniatures (for new NZ Wars figures) come through.

Another possibility is to do some vignettes to decorate the battlefield, especially for my Napoleonics.  Perry Miniatures and Westfalia are currently making some very nice wagons and other background stuff, such as this lovely little sutler’s cart.

westfaia sutler's cart


So, I aten’t dead yet!

aten't dead




13 thoughts on “I should be dead …

    1. I have been vaguely interested by Greeks before. But I really don’t want to start a new period from scratch. Plus I must admit I’ve never been particularly entranced when watching ancient games in action.

  1. Roly, you have broken the cardinal rule of the model soldier collector:

    “The number of unpainted figures should always outnumber the number of painted regardless the number you paint.”

    1. I’ve been breaking that rule for some time, Mark. My lead pile has usually just kept a few units ahead of my production anyway, until recently my painting caught up entirely!

  2. Have you considered the (wonderfully quirky) Pre-Dreadnought naval period? You don’t have to paint many ships to have a lot of fun with this period . . . and you have many scales to select from.

    Allow me to suggest that you take a look at the “War Times Journal” rapid prototyped plastic (i.e. 3-D produced ships):


    — Jeff

  3. HI Roly, this might be a bit left-field but if you are interested in doing small vignettes have you ever considered painting up some 40 mm AWI figures for display purposes? I know you have some 40 mm Napoleonic playing figures, so you have experience in this scale. Front Rank do some very nice AWI figures in this scale, as do Trident Miniatures. Some of us in the Southern Strategists have recently bought bulk units of Front Rank figures from their Williamite Wars range as a result of a special sale they had on. Have you ever thought of doing some of the William’s Dutch units for this period? Cheers, Wayne

  4. You know what I would recommend! 😉 …

    Seriously I think what might be good is more skirmish game systems, of a period that interests you, whether the look of it, or its play-ability/game system…

    Skirmish systems don’t usually need a whole heap of figures to create a force and you will keep your hand in with painting, which is certainly one of your fortes… and something you enjoy.

    Don’t let those paints dry out!

  5. I saw your comment over on The Woolshed Wargamer’s blog, and had to read it twice to be sure I had read it correctly. My lead pile has grown to the point where I know I have crossed a line to the point where it is now a source of stress (although I am still too tight to think about sub-contracting it out).

    I know you will not be short of ideas and suggestions, but for some reason I can see you painting Perry ECW figures…

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

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