Warts 'n' All!

Even in my little world, things don't always go according to plan. This may come as a surprise to some of you, who see me as some sort of painting automaton, churning out unit after unit. The past couple of days, since returning from Partizan, have been anything but productive, and I have been forced to have a bit of a rethink. Here are my thoughts - sorry if it's all a bit 'stream of consciousness and (because my brain doesn't always think in straight lines) disjointed.

Over the past two and a half years, I have completed (well, as complete as any wargames project ever is) two major projects ('Britannia' and 'Fire in the East'), and got a long way through a third (AVGUSTVS to AVRELIAN). On top of that, I've had a really tiring summer - loads of DIY, and coping with family problems. Now the kids are back at school, and my lad is struggling. He's very, very bright, and very self-motivated, so what he doesn't need to hear from the teachers is their 'mantra' "It's GCSEs now, this is when it gets serious, you've got to work much, much harder." So he's getting in a stew - which means he isn't performing to his best. So, on top of all the tiredness from the summer, everything's proving a bit much for me right now.

And then I've got this new project - Pyrrhus versus Republican Rome. I sat down at my painting table yesterday, got the first unit (Hastati) out and looked at them, half-painted. You know what? I just couldn't face painting them. Not them in particular, but the thought of another big project - it just seems too daunting at the moment. Maybe in a while, when I've had a chance recover a bit and collect my wits. But then the feelings of guilt started - Keith at Aventine Miniatures sold them to me at a decent discount, on the expectation (based on previous 'form') that I'd paint them up pronto and buy more. I feel as though I'm letting him down - and I really don't want to do that, he's a super bloke. And I still like the idea of the project, and want to do it - I just can't face the thought of yet more long months painting oodles of Romans and successor phalangites. So what am I to do?

I think a 'pleasure project' (not that the big projects aren't meant to be a pleasure too - this is supposed to be a hobby - it's just that they aren't a pleasure right now) may be in order, something stress-free to recharge the batteries a bit and rediscover the joy. That Perry Miniatures 'Bombard' that I bought on a whim on Sunday at Partizan is just the sort of thing. Maybe a small medieval 'skirmish' project? I've got a box of the billmen/bowmen too. And I've no shortage of suitable terrain and stuff, so the effort involved is likely to be fairly minimal - really just a matter of painting a few dozen figures and finding some rules. And it'll be a useful exercise, in that it'll help me find out whether painting liveries, heraldry and all those other medieval complications is really my thing - then I'll know whether a 'Kingdom of Heaven' project could ever be a real possibility.

One good thing that has happened lately results partly from Saturday's events, and having made contact with that charming gent, Henry Hyde of Battlegames. I must admit to being a suspicious character, and I've been 'had' before when a new magazine has come out. Often what happens is that it's launched in a blaze of glory, I subscribe, three issues appear and then it's gone, never to be seen again, taking my hard-earned brass with it. So, I didn't subscribe at that time, just in case - once bitten, twice shy and all that. And then, somehow, I just never got around to it, and time has slipped by, as it is wont to do.

Now Battlegames is up to issue #23 (which Henry kindly gave to all the attendees at Saturday's game), and I'm all too well aware that I've been missing out on something really good. In fact I haven't been getting a wargames magazine at all since Battlefront took over Wargames Illustrated. So I have subscribed to Battlegames. And Henry, being the good egg that he is, has a really good deal for subscribers to the paper mag - you can also get a sub to the digital issue for a quid a go... AND you can buy PDFs of all the back issues - also for a quid each. Guess whose hard disk is now groaning under the weight of all those issues of Battlegames? Having a new Macbook Pro, I can, if I feel like it, even read them in bed... Though I'm really not sure how the missus is going to react if I roll into bed carrying a 'puter!

Copyright Dr. P.C. Hendry, 2010