Saturday, 11 January 2014

New Year, new project

I have left the blog for far too long so now, with what I think is an unusual project I will be able to document proceedings.
Since moving down to Kent, as written about in previous posts, I have painted a few plastic Medieval Russians. Then I started painting my 10mm Khwarazmians. Finished all that I had of them and painting went off the boil for a while, not because I didn’t have anything to paint, it was just that nothing seemed to inspire me. Then at a chance meeting with Henry Hyde, the editor of Miniature Wargames and Battleground magazine (MWBG), I happened to ask him if he would be interested in any articles on the Mongols. Since then I have written six; the first three about the Mongol Reconnaissance into Georgia and southern Russia in 1219-1221 -the third article will be in February's issue- and the following three about the 1241 campaign in Europe proper. As you will be aware, writing them has taken a fair wedge of time. Alongside that, the writing of the articles has inspired me to start writing a book on said campaign, my magnum opus if you like. At the writing of this post I have written over 25,000 words and am about halfway through. The only foreseeable problem is that I am no historian –not on a professional level anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I can write and I would like to think that I can make things interesting, but have had no prior experience. I am not attempting to regurgitate dusty minutiae ad nauseum, but trying to put my slant on how and why things happened. Whether or not it ever gets published will be another matter but I hope so.
So, moving on.
One of this year’s resolutions was to try and spend at least one hour a day painting, and so far, after eleven days, I have been successful. My latest project, 10mm Medieval Polish, was inspired from two different directions. Firstly as an adjunct to writing about them –the chapter on the Polish Campaign is pretty much finished- and secondly because I happened onto the Pendraken forum about a new Kickstarter project for a Mongol range. I pledged some cash to what I considered a worthwhile cause and then proceeded to have a look at their Early Medieval range. I found knights on caparisoned horses, backup cavalry in chainmail, infantry with spears, bows, crossbows, most of which had heater shields but I could work with what was there. So then I had a look at the Saxon and Norman ranges for some levy types. Norman cavalry with kite shields for variety –bosses would need to be filed off, peasant infantry with round shields and spears etc. Again, all figures I could work with and all very nice looking little chaps to boot.
It just so happened that while I was running all this through my mind the MO phoned and asked if I wanted any figures as a Christmas present. Funny you should mention that, I replied and soon an e-mail was flying through the ether with the required codes mentioned. They arrived in time and then I had another stroke of luck. Ever since I can remember my birthday has been the 12th January so when I got another phone call from the same son asking if would like to finish off the army as a birthday present I nearly did a back-flip with unashamed joy. (Kids, you can try this at home, for a 58 year old man this is not a good idea, trust me.) So now I am the owner of a 99% complete just-started-painting 10mm Polish Medieval Army.
And that is what I intend to do –keep an ongoing account of the army as it grows.

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