It's time for the annual review of the year, which has very much been a bit of a downhill slide after a promising start. I set out this year to focus on World War Two things, with the scope to try out some other sidelines along the way. In the end I have completed two projects to the point at which they are playable, the first being the Victory at Sea French fleet and the second the RN and Kriegsmarine Action Stations coastal forces. However, it took me all year to get the Chain of Command platoon assembled, based and undercoated but at least I got that far, leaving the painting for a summer holiday project in 2015.
Although the 28mm WW2 Japanese didn't get painted, I did put together an Airfix-style jungle outpost using the excellent Sarissa Precision mdf kits, which will be great when I actually get round to a game of Chain of Command. The kits were easy to build and look great, so I'll be making some more mdf flat packs as soon as I can find some useful ones in 15mm. I also scratchbuilt a crashed missile objective marker for AK47 and assembled a Lost World temple thing for the club participation game, although the pirate ship that I started on didn't get past the hull stage.
Other half completed things included the 10mm Aliens project, the 1/2400 scale Second Schleswig War flotilla for Iron and Fire and the 28mm Ronin project, that I started but then hesitated with, due to the fiddly painting and second thoughts about the old Citadel figures that I decided to use. It's definately one that I'll come back to though, perhaps with some alternative figures from the Perry Miniatures range, as I have a shedload of mdf buildings to put together! On the plus side, the AK47 superpower backed army rumbled toward completion including lots of new APC's, softskins, AFV's and even a Hind helicopter gunship.
AK47 continued to be my game of choice in 2014, with three cracking games using the 'classic' rules ending up in two victories and one ignominious thrashing. I also enjoyed some new games at the club including a try out of Judge Dredd and Victory at Sea, both of which were good fun but a little clunky as I was learning the rules in the process. I was on more familiar ground and a less precipitous learning curve with my late war US infantry platoon in Bolt Action, the RFC dogfighting through Knights of the Sky and the Texan Oil expedition getting ambushed in the Back of Beyond, all of which added to the gameplay. My scratchbuilt armoured train also made it onto the cover of this!
|That's my train that is...|
A very special mention has to go out to the long suffering but loyal Bag The Hun playtesters at the club, who helped me to fine-tune a couple of scenarios this year, one a convoy strike in the Med and the other a low level fighter interception over the Russian Front. The latter scenario, 'Catch the Pigeon', ended up as a published scenario in the Toofatlardies Xmas Special, along with a trio of Malta scenarios aka 'Hurricanes over Hal Far' in the Summer Special. The Westland Whirlwind themed 'Rhubarbs and Roadsteads' project is one that I've been working on over the year, so some new linked scenarios are definately on the cards.
One thing I won't be tackling is anything in 28mm for the immediate future, aside from the Chain of Command Japanese, after struggling through the SAGA Normans over the summer holidays. This was fun at the time but, after trying out the basecoat and dip approach, I won't be trying it again. The four point warband looks OK from a distance but it's not up to scratch on closer inspection, so perhaps the time and effort involved in proper, fiddly 28mm painting is not really affordable. I may do half a dozen figures at some point but 15mm is much more likely to fit in with my workload next year.
So, on reflection 2014 wasn't a complete washout even if it fizzled a bit toward the end. To use a slightly cheesy football analogy, it was definately a game of two halves, with a good start but a lacklustre finish. I have worked through some of the issues that I've come up against this year (I'm sounding like some sort of new age lifestyle guru now?), so have some cunning plans for 2015 that will mean a return to my previous levels of output and enthusiasm over the next twleve months. I hope you have had a great New Year and best wishes for all your projects in 2015!