My Many Crimes of 2021

I begin every year with plans, plans, plans and then at year’s end I’m left with a puddle of poop. Why is that? One of my friends gave me a verbal dope slap and said to stop my damn planning and I’d be happier.

I made all kinds of suggestions at the end of 2020 about what I would get done, and what I might not get done:

I finished all the 72 woodland Indians I had for my America Rampant project (Rebels and Patriots rules for a fictitious conflict between an expansionist United States and rickety Spanish Empire in America.) I also added some figures to those Spanish to make them playable for R and P. I wrapped up all the ships for the Spanish American War. I think I have everything from battleships to monitors to really terrible gunboats–and Vesuvius and Katahdin–I just don’t think I can stoop any lower.

Hue was the culmination of our Vietnam project. David Sullivan left and me masked.

At the beginning of 2021 I made noise about acquiring a few Gringo 40’s Vietnam era USMC for a little skirmish game. I did that. While Vietnam never turned into a raging crazy project, I did paint about 160 figures–Americans, NVA and Viet Cong, a few vehicles and some of the most elaborate terrain of my life that became the Hue game David Sullivan and I ran at Enfilade. I painted all my figures except for the 15 or so ARVN figures I seem to be saving for a rainy day. I see myself adding a few more ARVN and maybe some cool terrain bits from Acheson Creations, but I’m about done

One of many Gringo 40’s Marines. An M-60 team

I said I’d paint 150 planes for the year. I painted 12. More to do in 2022. I have a big stack of Vietnam era planes I’d like to work on.

Old Glory Cuban rebels from the Spanish American War. There’s plenty more where these came from.

John Gee and I chatted off and on throughout the spring about perhaps expanding my Philippine Insurrection project to include the Caribbean and the Spanish-American War. I took him up on it. I painted some Spanish for him, and added some for myself. I got a bunch of units painted for The Men Who Would Be Kings and got sidelined by yet another new project. I don’t know. Is THIS a new project or just the expansion of an old project (which falls completely within the unwritten Smyth Proclamation of Purposes: No New Projects (but project growth is okay.) I’m such a failure.

I also promised to paint 50 ships. I don’t know if I did that. I think I did, but maybe not. I wrapped up all my ships for the U.S. vs. Spain. Dave Schueler and I agreed to do the Japanese fleet at the The Battle of the Yellow Sea (1904.) I’ve done some but there are plenty more to acquire and paint. I took on yet another new project by agreeing to run the Battle of Lissa at Enfilade in May. It’s in 1/600 scale and I’m doing a little more than half the Italians. Seven ships. Five are completed. I still have a significant stack of ships to paint, I need more Japanese and I’m slowly acquiring a few of Matt Lawson’s 1/600 Brown Water Navy ACW river gunboats. There will always be ships. If there weren’t I’m sure I’d try carving them out of soap.

One should always have a bunch of ships either under construction, or laid close by to get under construction. Spanish and American ships awaiting final attention.

I don’t know about you, but I love just hanging out with my gaming buddies. I have awesome gaming buddies. They are terrific to game with. No rules lawyering. Not too competitive. It’s always fun to see or hear about what folks are working on. However, it can dangerous. In one conversation David Sullivan was talking about The Texas War of Independence and/or The Mexican American War and it seemed that 10 minutes later four or five of us were ordering figures for the Mexican American War. It’s a Rebels and Patriots project and I ordered Mexicans and Americans. About 150 figures. It’s really coming along well. I’m working on the final Mexican unit and I am about 40% done with my American forces.

Finally, I wrote about the resurrection of my Maxmillian project. I’ve already added some figures to this once-completed activity. This morning I ordered even more. There will be plenty of cavalry, when I once was just scraping by. There will be lots more Imperial troops and Republicans and a few more French for good measure. John and Dave are both adding some figures to the period, so I will only be mostly alone on this one. Hoping for Camerone in the spring.

Here is the first of three large orders of Maxmillian in Mexico figures. Not quite sure what possessed me to do this, but I have. These are Foundry figures. More Foundry figures are on the way as well as a sizable order from Gringo 40’s. Enough figures for a lifetime of Maxmillian.

I’m not gonna say never, no, nothing dammit for 2022. But it seems to me I have a zillion loose ends to work on. So, hopefully no new projects, but at least they’ll be a tough sell. I’ve got some figures to paint.

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