Or an object lesson on never throw anything away… because you’re going to need it some day!
Sometimes fate can throw you a curve ball and you end up collecting an army you didn’t expect or even envisage ever collecting. This has happened to me recently in a big way, or, if I’m honest, twice!
Over the years I’ve collected quite a few armies, even managed to paint some of them up. Like all wargamers I’ve a number of false start projects or stuff I’ve been meaning to return to, when I get the time, including some 28mm Prussians I’d picked up.
In truth, I never thought I’d collect a Napoleonic army. It always seemed an impossible dream, you needed hundreds of figures and metal miniatures were expensive. Then maybe a decade ago, Foundry had one of its infamous sales… my friend Paul Houghton and I were suckered in. I naturally wanted to go for British but ended up with French as Paul wanted to be Brits. We used a Warhammer variant back then, a few miniatures were painted and we had some entertaining games. Then sadly when Paul died some seven years ago, I put my Napoleonic ambitions on hold.
About two years ago, my friend James Oram suggested we do something epic for the 200th anniversary. With my Napoleonic fervour rekindled, I started collecting Napoleonics anew aided by the new plastics from the Perrys, Victrix and Warlord. My crazy ambitions of having hundreds of figures on the table were nearing a reality. The battle we chose (as you probably know) was Ligny. The few Prussian models I had I gave to James or to other local gamers to encourage them to start painting.
It started with the two of us but with the intent of recruiting local players. Soon, we had another Napoleonic player, Eoghan, who had French. Then another player (Martin) joined with another French army. Two more joined (Malcom and Brent) with, you guessed it, painted French armies! We’d managed to get two Prussian players but it was obvious there would be a huge gap, we had plenty of beautifully painted French armies but not enough Prussians for Ligny.
So with James almost in despair, I stepped in and offered to start collecting Prussians. James has some sixteen battalions painted so far, but we’d need many more for Ligny, so I have some catching up to do. I’ve enlisted the help of a local painter and friend Dave Davies to help me paint up the horde and I received the first units back today. All the miniatures shown are Dave’s work of my conversions.
I had some Prussians, but had given most of them away, so my collection of Prussians has started pretty much from scratch. Had I only held onto the Prussians I started with… I’m currently using a mixture of Perrys and converted HaT 28mm (I’ll cover this and other projects in future blogs).