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Monday, July 22, 2019

Celts from Crusader

The steady stream of warbands emerging from the workbench continues.  This time, a surprise.  A dozen Celts scramble off the painting desk but no more BTD Celts.  Having exhausted the stockpile of BTD Celts, attention turns now to Crusader Miniatures figures. 
First, these Crusader figures are superbly sculpted.  Secondly, I ordered a medium-sized boxful of these figures from NorthStar Miniatures during a recent Bargain Sale.  Several of the Celtic collections were deeply discounted so perfect time to strike.  I filled my cart on this offer.  During the first six months of 2019, I managed to add one warband to the collection each month.  With a pile of Crusader lead in-house, perhaps that rate can be maintained until fall?

With Telamon as an immediate goal for all of the Celts, I need to soon stop and take an assessment on how this steady progress is driving toward this objective.  If the cavalry contest is excluded, there may be enough BMUs to produce at least a bathtubbed version of the battle soon.  I really should see where I stand with respect to progress made and effort remaining.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Cycling the Palouse

Recent weather on the Palouse featured unseasonably cool and wet conditions.  For many weeks before, the Palouse experienced beautiful weather with temperatures touching into the mid-80s F.  Perfect conditions for cycling.
On one of those daily excursions last week, I chose a 25 mile out-and-back.  The journey would take me through some of the rolling farmland of the Palouse.  With the fields still green, this is a beautiful area over which to cycle.  The rolling terrain is suited to a rouleur style of cyclist.  For me, the constant up and down of the hills can be a leg breaker over sustained efforts.  I prefer a sharp climb to the never-ending undulating terrain.  On today's ride, I get my wish.  

Today's ride featured a passage through an area gutted by wildfire two years ago.  While some of the woods have been cleared of the burnt trees, most remain just as they stood.  Riding through the narrow canyon lined by burned woods on both sides provides an eerie feeling.  Will the burn ever be cleared and replanted?  I do not know.
Part of the enjoyment of this route is the switchback climb up from the valley floor to a cattle ranch near the summit.  Grades are typically about 8% for a little over a mile.  The terrain is rugged and dry.  On the descent, speeds can reach 40mph before hard braking before the hairpin turns.  Quite fun but filled with anxiety when the roads contain debris.  While the sensation of descending at 40mph cannot be translated through photos, please enjoy the photos from my part of the world.

Next up:  more painted figures.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

1859 Bersaglieri in 18mm

With San Martino on the table and expectations for a lengthy engagement, I found one additional battalion of Sardinian Bersaglieri could be pressed into service.  Rather than paint only one, twelve figure battalion, I opted to push two battalions into the painting queue.
The two Bersaglieri battalions off the painting desk today muster out as the 7th and 8th.  With their completion, the Bersgalieri components of the Sardinian OB for the 1859 campaign are finished. 
Figures are from Lancashire Games and seem to be a little larger than other figures in this range.  Sculpting style is slightly different too.  I wonder if the Bersaglieri have a different sculptor than some of the other figures in the 15mm 19th Century, European Wars' line?  For Bersaglieri, I much prefer the figures from Mirliton.  I have several battalions of those in my Sardinian Army and they are quite good.  No matter that the Lancashire are a bit larger.  Good figures that fill a niche in the Sardinian Order of Battle.

Next off the painting desk expect to see a return to Ancient Celts.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sardinian 1st Grenadier Regiment

In the May replay of the Battle of San Martino (see Battle San Martino Game 1), the battle scenario was expanded to bring into play the action to the west of San Martino.  In the battle expansion, the Sardinians attempted to put pressure on Benedek's Austrian Corps with an outflanking maneuver.  This western flanking action included maneuver and attack by Durando's 1st Sardinian Division.  Durando's division contained three brigades including two, four-battalion regiments of grenadiers.  Not having the full complement of eight grenadier battalions, two battalions of Garabaldi's Redshirts were pressed into service.  With Game 2 of the San Martino battle, all eight battalions of grenadiers will be present under arms.
Just in time for a second replay, two grenadier battalions answer the call to arms.  These two battalions will relieve the two battalions of Redshirts.  Each grenadier battalion is a dozen figures in strength and produced by Lancashire Games.  One battalion is in advancing pose while the second is in a pose I would classify as "march attack." 
The 1859 project continues to see activity on the painting desk.  In work are three Sardinian guns and crew, two battalions of Bersaglieri, and six mounted officers.  While the Bersaglieri are ready for duty (but not yet photographed), they are not needed for this battle.  The other reinforcements will not make it to the table in time for an appearance in a planned Game 2 but will come to the colors soon.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Roman Heavy Infantry

Here is something not seen at the painting desk in ages, Romans!  Not just any Romans either.  This twelve-count of warriors is from the always handsome range of Aventine Miniatures' Romans.  These figures have been lingering in the lead stockpile for longer than I remember.  I could look it up to see exactly how long but won't to avoid potential embarrassment
With the surge of a half-dozen Celt and Gallic units mustering off the painting desk in 2019, it was time to add some opposition for the barbarians before force size swung completely out of balance.  Seeing the number of Celts still in the painting queue, it made good sense to throw a little opposition into the mix.
After the two Celtic units working their way through the painting queue are completed, it will be time to assess progress on the build-up for Telamon.  Celtic cavalry are still needed for the battle but perhaps excluding the cavalry action from the battle is possible?  More research needed.   

Sunday, July 7, 2019

More 1859 French On the Move

The flow of troops to the front continues with the sighting of a French line regiment on the march.  As has been the situation of late, this three battalion, 36-figure regiment is made up of Lancashire Games' figures.  I have yet to tire of painting these excellent figures.  Likely more to come.
While a large backlog of these Frenchmen remains in The Lead Pile, inventory stockpile numbers has been reduced by over 100 figures in 2019.  Still, some days it seems I barely make a dent in the unpainted mountain of lead.  The recent concentration on painting French, Austrians, and Sardinians is having a material effect in the storage bins as unpainted transforms to painted.
What is upcoming for the 1859 project?  More Sardinians are working their way through the painting queue including more grenadiers, Bersaglieri, artillery, and command.  With a long holiday weekend, perhaps time can be found to return to completing a few turns of the San Martino battle?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Painting Analytics - First Half 2019

Figure 1
As alluded to in my previous post, I finished off the first half of 2019 with 619 figures painted and transferred over to the "Completed" side of the ledger.  Given that my 2019 painting plan targeted a completion of 900 figures for the year, I am well on my way to reaching that goal. 

Figure 1 illustrates the mix of periods tackled and shows that I am doing a satisfactory job of sticking to my forecasted project mix too.  The 15mm 1859 Franco-Austrian War and 1799 Suvorov projects account for nearly 60% of the output.  With attention trained on fielding Celts for a Telamon battle, 84 Celts were added during the first half of the year.  Still a lot more Celts in The Lead Pile to add during the second half of the year. 
Figure 2
Figure 2 demonstrates that my effort was focused on 15/18mm projects for much of the YTD.  Nearly 71% of total output was concentrated on this size.  For me, this is a respectable output and puts me on track to reach goals set in January.  I may consider revising my total production goals for the year, however.  Either that or leave the goal at 900 figures and switch to seeing more 28mm figures in the painting queue.  Still, seeing the heavily laden bins of 15mm figures being drawn down in The Lead Pile motivates me to continue hammering away at the smaller scale.
Figure 3
Figure 3 shows the monthly production by ERA on an unadjusted or actual figure count basis.  While the early months of 2019 saw below average production due primarily to travel for work and leisure, spring saw a "spring" in painting productivity.  Will that higher productivity survive the tests of summer?  Probably not since July and August are shaping up to be busy with family activities.  We will see what summer holds.  
Figure 4
While Figure 3 provides a raw count of the figure totals, Figure 4 takes those raw figure totals and adjusts them for scale.  The result is a monthly tally on an adjusted Painting Points basis.  Seen in this light, February and March totals look quite anemic in comparison to April and June.

In the first half of 2019, nearly 50 BMUs or units passed over the painting desk.  Of my favorites, I must count the French Ligne battalion of 20mm Les Higgins' figures painted for Tony at Prometheus in Aspic.  That was a fun exercise in applying paint to a figure not seen before.
Tony's Les Higgins' French
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