Sunday, July 21, 2019


Hi all,

Interesting, if disruptive, news from Monkeyland.  Looks like we are moving, to what will hopefully be our forever home.  Having settled in to a long-term position here in the East, the Beloved and I have spent a good chunk of the last couple years squirreling away a nest-egg, and looking at houses.  It seems like we've found one, and assuming some necessary work is completed, we will be moving into it at the end of the summer.  This has implications for hobbying, as you can imagine.

The Cub and I got in another 40k game down at the shop.

In the short term, it means some disruption, in that I will be packing up a fair bit of my hobby stuff in preparation for the move.  A chunk of this has already been done, in fact, and all that's left on my shelves if is the stuff I'll be using in the next few weeks; Blood Bowl, SBG, and Khorne.  I also left out my 6mm SYW, in the vain hope I'll put together another solo game.

The cheeky monkey brought his knight on behind my lines with reserve shenanigans.

In the medium to long-term, having a house of our own opens up a number of possibilities, including expanded gaming space.  While the house isn't huge, I will have a dedicated office / nerd room for my gear and small games, and a rec room I can take over for larger games.  It also means storage will be less of an issue, both because of room and permanence of stay.

View from the left flank.  
This, of course, has led my wandering thoughts to the topic of the Big Boy project.  Anyone who's followed this blog knows I've toyed for years with the idea of a long-running historical project in 28mm, but for a range of reasons (space, stability, the need to focus on one thing for more than 5 minutes), I've never really pulled it off.  The move, or at least, the anticipated conditions of my life post-move, now make this a realistic possibility.

Cinematic moment when the drednaughts come to grips!

I'm a little stumped, however, about what to do.  My core criteria are a) most models must be available in plastic (cost, quality, and durability are all now higher for plastic than metal), b) it's got to be something in which I can sustain interest (so likely needs some variety in the army), c) it's got to be something I can read about / immerse myself broadly in the hobby (so there needs to stuff written on it, both fiction and non-), and d) it's got to be something with which I could reasonably expect to get in a game (so based in a way that is flexible, and in not too obscure a period).  The last is more wishful thinking, as given my circumstances, it's likely a solo army / hobby project, but it's worth keeping in mind.

Also got in a rather fun game vs. Easterlings with my Rohan

My "bucket list" army has always been Indo-greek Successors, but in 28mm, the bulk of the army is hard to find, and mostly metal.  Carthaginians or a Macedonian / Successor army (Diadochi?  Imperial Alex?  Pontic?  Generic successor morph?) are another possible option.  Napoleonics would seem an obvious choice, and certainly meet my criteria, but that is a very deep rabbit hole indeed, and opens up questions about theatre and period that make me a little twitchy (that said, the new plastics from Victrix are sooooo lovely -  have you seen the lancers?). 

Dark ages are another option.  Victrix is doing some very nice plastic Vikings and Saxons, and while the armies don't offer much in the way of variety (would you like some medium infantry with your medium infantry?), the models themselves offer lots.  I could get behind the idea of a Mercian horde, although I'd need to paint Vikings to oppose them.

Hail Theoden!  King!

There's counter-considerations.  I have the core of several 15mm historical armies, and shifting to 28mm would likely be the death knell for those projects.  I already paint and play in 28mm, and have painting queues for games I enjoy (MESBG, AoS, BloodBowl, 40k).  I even have pseudo-historical projects I could paint within those systems as a hobby lark (nothing stopping me from painting Bretonnians in historical heraldry, for eg.)..  I also have historical projects (6mm SYW) that I'm still pursuing.

The thing is, though, I've wanted to do something like this for a decade, and not doing it, now that I have the space, seems a shame, however sensible it would be to consolidate / focus on what I already have.  There's also the sad reality that I'm finding smaller scale stuff more of a challenge to paint these days - my eyes and hands are not what they were, but 28mm is still relatively comfortable.  The real issue for me is the need to choose and commit to one thing.  For a certainty, I only have the time, concentration, and resources for one big project.  It's a nice problem to have (and one that certainly have time to consider), but a problem nevertheless.  Any thoughts much appreciated.



  1. The only comments I can make, based partly on observation but mostly on experience are:

    1) whatever you choose, figure ranges, rules and opponents come and go so make sure its something that you are interested in for its own sake. Picking something because it is popular or easy to get or you might be able to find an opponent, is often successful on a short term basis but not in the long run where you might find yourself going it alone.

    2) Don't rush.

    3) Its almost always possble to find attractive uniforms etc so finding the history and the historical battles interesting and easy to research in depth (as in years worth of reading etc) is always good if possible. Having relevant good quality films available for inspiration is a bonus.

    4. Dabble a bit before making the decision. Try a box of this or that and see how you like working on them before committing to painting hundreds. Same for rules and types of battles. use some stand in figures to try the period.

    5. Trust your heart more than your head.

    1. Solid advice, Ross!

      I would enjoy seeing more of your 6mm and 15mm historical if they make the cut.

      Best wishes in your move.

    2. Thanks, Ross, I do very much appreciate the advice. 6mm will go on, for sure, Jonathan.

  2. Very best of luck with the move, but given that I am still looking for that elusive subject, not sure I am in a position to give advice. Reading Ros' comments, have fun sounds sensible.

  3. First up good luck with the move! I have to say before I moved to the house I'm in I was also only going to do one big project (the Italian wars) which after about five years is nearing completion ( I've certainly got enough to do both sides of a battle,but hey never say never!) and have also put together a bolt action force,added most of an army to my ECW collection and made a start on Napoleonics. I'm prepping up dark ages stuff now for Dux Bellorum which I have fancied for a while. I guess it's nice to be focused on one big project but I find it's also quite good having a few other things on the go to stop you getting bored! I'm all the way with 28mm,it means I need one set of terrain ( well up until I did winter Russians!) and I can actually see them which helps! I'm sure I've been of no use but good luck!
    Best Iain

    1. Iain, you've been most helpful. It's good to remember that main project =/= only project,

  4. Moving is most disruptive for wargaming, but a great opportunity to sort out one’s priorities and jettison projects that never really got off the ground. When I moved several years ago I did a ruthless purge of miniatures and my hobby is better off now. Good luck with everything. 😀