A Great Year’s End

My last post of the year as things wind down for 2017.  Mostly good things to report.  Got lots done.  Finished some projects, played some games, though fewer than I’d like.  Tried some new products that I’ll share with you in a few.  But mostly, things just feel positive. I’m healthy, have a wonderful supportive wife, and three great if barky Australian shepherds just kind of round things out.

I wish I was one of those guys who was super organized and kept track of everything I bought or painted.  I always have the best of intentions, but never quite get there.  But here’s what I accomplished in 2017

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The Aztecs and Spanish

Began this project in 2016, bought and painted 400+ figures.  It is unquestionably my most successful project because I’ve painted every complete unit I own.  Talked about buying some more figures, but never quite got to it.  Now I just need to game with it a bit more.   On the list of things to do for 2018 is to remount the figures in the 3, 2, 1 system.

Cuban Missile Crisis Goes Hot

This was another Enfilade project and one that meant a lot to me.  This is project Dave Schueler and I worked on beginning with a quickie game at 2016 Museum of Flight.  It was a lot of fun.  I really enjoyed painting the planes, but, for me, the piece de resistance was completing the SAM-2 battery. Thanks to George Kettler for all the goodies that really helped me pull this off.

The Big Buy–Dave Smith’s planes

I’ve mentioned this briefly, but it definitely deserves more space. As Enfilade was ending, Dave Smith from North Vancouver offered to sell me his collection of 1/300 airplanes. It is huge, clocking in at over 700 miniatures.  There is a whole lotta stuff, some which I find interesting and some which is less so.  But there are tons of cool planes.  Sometimes the cool planes have to be supplemented with more cool planes.  I paid more than I ever have for any other project, but so far it has been a very fun, very worthwhile investment. I’ve used some of the planes in my Falklands project and more in my current Malta/Mediterranean project. And they will continue to make appearances in my work in 2018 and beyond. Sorry there are just too many stowed in too many places to show.

Argentines Canberras, Skyhawks, Daggers, Pucaras, and Super Etendards.  A Sea Harrier and a Vulcan for the Brits.  What I wouldn’t give for a 1/300 Nimrod.

The Falklands Project

This was one of my must-do air projects. Dave Schueler and I collaborated on a scenario for the Museum of Flight day.  It went okay, but I think the scenario needs another playing or so before Enfilade.  I painted about 50 planes for the project and don’t anticipate needing anymore unless I decide to add a couple of C-130’s or can find a Nimrod maritime patrol bomber.

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America Rampant

This was a project of mind and will rather than a lot of buying and painting. This was my decision to take all of my Louisiana project and remount it for my own version of The Men Who Would Be Kings. The modification worked, and I could easily play with what I have. I’d also like to add the unpainted miniatures I have and when ready buy some more to refight the Battlle of the Wabash.  I’m projecting that as an Enfilade 2019 game. Haven’t added much yet, but still have two units of Indians on my painting table. That said, I have run three games using the rules, and I also remounted about 450 Americans, Indians and Spanish to the 3-2-1 system.

From left:  Defenders of Malta: Hurricane 1’s and 2C’s, Fairey Fullmars.  A dozen Fiat G.50 fighters.  Eight Italian SM. 79 bombers.  Note the space in both boxes for more planes, lots more.

The HMS Illustrious turns into the Malta campaign

Dave and I really like putting together air battles with purpose, whether that is bombing a ship-the Tirpitz-or an air strike on a land target-Cuban Missile Crisis Goes Hot.  We’ve identified our target this year-the combined German and Italian air attacks in January 1941 against a task force built around the HMS Illustrious intended to escort convoys to Greece and Malta.  We’re definitely on for that, and the planes are pretty much painted, though I may paint a few more just to add to the mix available. That has broadened into a greater interest in painting the planes available for a Malta campaign.  The Italian and German siege of the little island lasted from June of 1940 to October 1942, with lots of aircraft upgrades on both sides, so lots of opportunities to use those planes from the Dave Smith pile o’planes.

What to Expect in 2018?

The first thing you can expect is a lot more of the same.  I have a terrific interest in the Spanish American War range by Miniaturas 1898.  They are gorgeous and the owners have done a great job of supporting their work with historical information, and it is my intention to start acquiring figures maybe in the summer, maybe after Enfilade 2019. More about this project at some future time. But I do have few definite projects to work on for the coming year.

America Rampant and the Wabash I’ve already written about this.  It will take a lot of painting and some additional figures, but it’s a natural culmination of this project.  It’s my chief idea for Enfilade 2019, and it will certainly require some interesting scenario and terrain design for the unique setting.

Mad Wet Max

Mad Wet Max–This is sort an anger management version of Thunderboats.  Miniatures, racing on the water, armed in a sort of post-pretty form.  For the most part I have the miniatures, it’s just making suitable modifications for the game.  Friday night at Enfilade.  Looking forward to some playtests.

More air stuff–Let’s just start with this one truth–I love painting 1/300th airplanes.  There is lots of Malta to continue painting through all six of its phases. Still in the Hurricane and SC 300 phase, but it has far more permutations to go through. I’m also looking at a Downtown Hanoi Vietnam air war campaign.  Starting almost from scratch for a lot of this.

And of course I have zillions of other figures to distract me if I need to do something else, including re-basing all my figures for Lion Rampant.

Have the best of New Years, and I hope you can find enough to keep you busy for the coming year.

 

4 comments on “A Great Year’s End

  1. Many interesting projects to look forward to in 2018. I am especially interested in seeing development of your Spanish-American War project.

    Happy New Year!

  2. dean says:

    Congratulations on another impressive year, Kevin. Wow, that’s a lot of aircraft you picked up from David. Looking forward to your 2018 projects.

    • kgsmyth55 says:

      I spent days cataloging the planes and then an afternoon with Daveshoe identifying the ones I couldn’t figure out. I’ve honestly had a great time just working on airplanes the last few months. Hope you have super new year Dean.

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