May was the month of my Hundred Figure Painting Challenge. I painted a lot of stuff. Honestly I’ve managed to paint quite a bit each month. Maybe not a hundred figures, but enough to make progress on lots of stuff each month.
No, I didn’t approach a hundred figures in August, but I did finish my Philippine-American War project. That was huge. Even more exciting, I’ve scheduled my first game with them for September 19th under Dave Schueler’s pop-up tent in his front yard. I am pumped. September will begin with work on some needed terrain bits for the scenario I planned to run at Enfilade. I completed 44 figures for this project this month.
I got some other work done too. I have long admired the P-38J’s of Medal of Honor winner Richard I. Bong’s 49th fighter group. They fought in the South Pacific and ran up some impressive kill totals flying the rather unforgiving twin engine plane. I ordered six of the Raiden version of the Lightning, had a couple of GHQ versions that are at least 15 years old, as well as a couple more of the Dave Smith bounty from a few years ago. So ten planes to paint up. They weren’t hard, but a bit more challenging than I thought they’d be.
The 49th Fighter group were in natural aluminum. I used the color from the Vallejo USAAF CBI set. It’s a really nice color, that goes on very well. I did two coats, though I probably could have gotten by on one. I followed with USAF Olive Drab for the anti-glare panels on the nose and inside the engine nacelles. Then it was lining. I chose to use charcoal. On most planes it’s not a problem to be a little imperfect, but the aluminum showed everything. So there was some painting and then repainting. And a little more repainting. Red tips on tails, nose and spinners, and voila life is good. The last hiccup happened when I tried to apply decals to those twin booms. Not enough room on the models for those roundels, so they got wing insignia only. don’t tell. I made up for it by painting numbers on the nose. 10 planes for the month.
It was a banner month for painting ships. I wrote about the two War Times Journal ships I received–Texas and Cincinnati. I liked them well enough to order a few more from the Spanish American War era. The first will be the Chicago, one of my favorite ships from the era. It’s the C in the ABCD original ships ordered for the American New Navy of the 1880’s. I also ordered the New Orleans, built in the British Elswick yards for Brazil. Finally, I ordered the Isla De Luzon, which was a teeny, tiny cruiser captured and repurposed from Spain during the Spanish American War. Looking forward to those.
I also wrote about my ships from Brown Water Navy. I ordered a few more vessels from Shapeways–also from BWN. These are 1/1250 ships from that pre-dreadnought era. They are the Presidente Errazuriz and the Presidente Pinto, built for the Chilean Navy in French yards. They are very small, weighing in at just 2,000 tons, but completing my group of Chileans for a scenario I’d like to run. I also received the U.S. monitor Monterey, which was built on the west coast and motored (very carefully) to Manila after Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet and American forces captured the archipelago. All seem very nice, and I’m excited to paint them up.
I also wrote about ordering and painting up a pair of Richmond class ironclads from Thoroughbred Figures. I went with the Raleigh in its dark blue finish, and the Chicora in its pale blue. They were very fun to paint. They are also terrific models. Can’t say enough good about them.
Finally, I’m up to my elbows working on my ships for the Cod Wars. This is the proto-conflict between NATO allies Iceland and the United Kingdom over fishing rights in expanded territorial zones claimed by Iceland. These really accelerated into near conflict as Icelandic Coast Guard vessels rammed Royal Navy frigates protecting British fishing trawlers in the 1970’s. It was an ugly business.
The ships however, not so ugly. Decapod designs them and they are sold through Shapeways. I bought my fleet o’ ships last September and completing them is my big project for this September. I’ve gotten a chunk of them done already. There are about twenty-five to paint and I’ve finished ten.
There’s lots I can write about these ships and the conflict, but I’ll spare you with a simple review of Decapod’s work. 3D printed models can be a crap shoot. Some are great. Some not so much. But the printed ships I see coming from War Times Journal and Shapeways are pretty nice. The amount of detail never ceases to amaze. The same is true of the Cod Wars vessels, which feature fairly good sized British frigates of the 1970’s down to fairly small fishing trawlers that make up the bulk of the required vessels. Nicely detailed–maybe too nicely in some cases, but no complaints from me.
I painted 14 ships during the month of August, bringing my painting total to 68 miniatures for the month.
My retiree plan was to largely paint miniatures I stockpiled and I’ve pretty much stuck to that. I’m making less money now, and I have to be careful, though that doesn’t mean I can’t buy stuff every now and then. With bars and restaurant closed to lunching with my buddies, I’ve invested wisely in a variety of ship projects. I bought ten ship models this month. The difference from the past is that I don’t stockpile them. I usually turn them around quite quickly.
September should be a month wrapping up the Cod Wars, including making game markers and the like. I have terrain pieces to make for my Philippines game, and then more ships to do as well. Don’t know how many figs I’ll paint but it will be plenty.
September is also a month that will have some additional distractions. Rusty, my 12-year old Australian Shepherd will likely have ACL surgery this month and I’ll be his primary care giver, so I’ll have my hands full helping out my big red buddy. In addition, I’m unretiring for a couple of months and going to work for Pierce County as an elections worker. I’m excited. I’ve always wanted to do elections work and it will bring in a little more game money to boot.