Friday, January 30, 2009

Minden Austrian General

Regiment Andlau lead by General Brentano - Minden Miniatures (click pix to enlarge)

I spent a part of the evening painting one of the new Minden SYW Austrian mounted colonels, which I painted as a general in his red waistcoat and breeches. He would be one of the lower "General de Bataille" commanders with lapels and gold lace affixed to the border of the lapels. The coat pockets should also be bordered in gold lace. This fellow will command my growing brigade of Austrian Minden Miniatures.

Here is a closer view of the Austrian general.

You can see a close up view of the mounted colonel figure and it gives you a sense for how elegant the horses from the Ansell Stud Farm are. Richard has done the impossible: he has sculpted a horse that surpasses the old Stadden H1 and H2 30mm horses. Let me put it another way, this is one of the best horse figures that I have ever seen in the miniatures world. Outstanding figures like this are a true joy to paint. I black primed the figure, then layed down a coat of umber brown and then dry brushed a soft coating of ruddy brown (both colors are from the Reaper Pro Paints range of paints).

Over the weekend I will post part two of the list of Austrian "German" regiments that had pom pons and sort them by facing colors, as I did to the list sans pom pons.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Correction on Minden Pom Pons

I was incorrect when I stated that the Minden SYW Austrian fusiliers do not have pom pons on their tricorns. In fact, THEY DO HAVE POM PONS, so mea culpa and my apologies go out to Frank and to Richard Ansell, the sculptor.

I had assumed that Austrian tricorns had a little bow on the side of the tricorn, in the Prussian manner, but when I took a closer look at some of the pictures in the Osprey book, I realized that there was no bow on the Austrian tricorn and that the pom pon was sort of on the side rather than fully on the top of the tricorn, as per the Prussian tricorn.

Then I took a closer look at the Minden figure, and sure enough, the little chunk of lead on the side of the tricorn is indeed the pom pon. It is partially obscured by the upright position of the musket. Also, since all bits of equipment are done to correct scale, sometimes things are smaller than we are used to after working with other chunkier/distorted figure ranges.

I guess that the good news is that if you are painting a regiment without pom pons, you could be lazy and simply paint over the pom pon with black paint, which will hide this item nicely, or you could do a little bit of surgery with an exacto knife.

On the painting front, I am still working on figures 33 through 50 in my 60 figure battalion of Austrian regiment Andlau. I added the eyes, the highlight white color on the coat, and blacked in all of the buttons. Anytime I have metal on a figure, I paint the item black before dotting it with the brass or pewter color. This makes the metallic paint really stand out better.

It looks like I should have this batch of figures done by friday. I only have to paint the musket barrels, the brass bits and then add some highlights on all of the brown bits (hair, musket stocks and fur satchel pack), the red and the flesh highlights. I also primed two Minden Austrian mounted colonels this evening so that I can paint one of them tomorrow evening. My can of primer leaked badly and I suddenly found my hand covered in black paint. Yuck.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Minden Austrians Update

Minden Austrians painted as regiment Andlau. GMB Designs flags. Click each picture to enlarge the view.

I have now finished 32 of the 60 figures that I will need for the Austrian regiment Andlau for our convention game at Little Wars on Saturday February 7, 2009. I think that I have a better feel for how to paint these figures now, so the second batch of 15 figures (+2 flag bearers) went a little bit faster than the first 15 figures. By the way, I think that the Minden flag bearers are superb. You have to drill a hole through the hands with a pin vise tool, but then you will never ever have to worry about the flag pole breaking off of the figure. This is a good thing.

The next 18 figures are coming along nicely and they ought to be completed by the end of the week. That will give me 50 figures in the battalion. I ought to be able to finish the final 10 figures in time for Little Wars, but it will be a near run thing, especially since I will have to terrain the bases and make movement trays.

Two grand divisions in column of divisions.

Frontal view of the column with an RSM mounted officer to show the relative similarity in size.

I received my shipment of Minden Prussian infantry and artillery plus some Austrian artillery and mounted officers in the mail today. The Prussians will be painted in the new Hesse Seewald uniforms; however, I have to finish the Austrians first. I am also eager to paint the Austrian mounted colonel as it is a nice figure (well duh, aren't they all nice) and I want to try painting the exquisite horses that Richard Ansell has sculpted. Based on the mounted officers that I have seen with my own eyes, I know that I will be absolutely blown away when I see the cavalry. The anticipation is exciting.

I noticed that the Austrian infantry does not have a pom pon on its tricorn. That is actually OK since a large number of regiments did not have the pom pon. I have counted as many as 22 of the "German" musketeer regiments sans pom pon (and 20 "German" regiments had pom pons in case you were wondering). Here is a list of the units that do not have pom pons:

Red Facings
IR8 Hildburghausen
IR10 Jung Wolfenbuttel
IR11 Wallis
IR18 Marschal
IR25 Thurheim
IR26 Puebla (also has red turnbacks)
IR35 Waldeck
IR49 Angern
IR50 Harsch (red turnbacks and white button lace on lapels)
IR57 Andlau

Blue Facings
IR4 Deutschmeister
IR13 Moltke
IR20 Alt-Colloredo
IR23 Baden-Baden
IR24 Starhemberg
IR27 Baden Durlach
IR29 Loudan

Green Facings
IR9 Los Rios
IR49 Luzan

Other Colors Facings
IR14 Salm-Salm (Black)
IR16 Konigsegg (Violet
IR38 de Ligne (Rose or pink)

My plan is to have up to six Minden Austrian infantry regiments in my army and each battalion will be in a different facing color so that I can tell them apart (because otherwise, not much else distinguishes one regiment from another in the Austrian army and 6 battalions all in one facing color would get confusing). I will then paint a company of 6 to 9 grenadiers for each of my Minden regiments and then converge the Minden grenadiers into one battalion of 36 to 54 figures. I am sure that I will be tempted to paint a couple of Hungarian battalions as well. My goodness, this project could really grow.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Frederick the Great's Birthday

King Frederick II reviews the regimental flags on his birthday.

Yesterday, January 24th, was the anniversary of Frederick the Great's birthday. Now normally, I clear off my 6ft by 12ft wargame table and hold a grand review of the infantry and cavalry. However, this year I still had an unfinished wargame set up and so I could not hold the normal review. I recalled that the Funcken book on the Lace Wars has a nice picture of all of the standards for each infantry regiment parading their flags past the King. So I tried to recreate that picture and thought that it turned out fairly well.

The parade of the regimental standards between an aisle formed by IR6 Grenadier Garde.

I pulled the two standard bearers from each of my battalions and set them up in a parade, in order of the regimental number. So IR5 is at the front of the column followed by IR12, IR18 etc, in numerical order. The two Garde regimental standards were initially placed in the background, in front of the Alter Fritz Gasthaus (this is a model of the actual building in Hochkirch).

Then, to embellish the photo shot further, I lined up members of the IR6 Grenadier Garde (Suren figures) on each side of the parade route. At the head of the column, you can see Frederick himself (Foundry figure) with Bevern (left, holding baton) and Driessen (right, in lighter blue dragoon uniform) and assorted staff members in the third rank.

Frederick greets the head of the parade column, lead by a Suren drummer of IR6 Garde.

A frontal view of the column as it passes between the ranks of the IR6 Garde.

Frederick acknowledges IR15 Garde and its standards.

In the picture above, we see Frederick (Foundry) reviewing the standard of the Garde (Suren figures holding GMB Designs flags). I used the Suren Prussian officer figure as my standard bearer because his right hand is open, making it perfect for holding a flag pole. The officer on foot is the same figure, sans flag. The grenadiers at attention are also from the Suren range.

An overhead view of the entire parade ground. Building by Herb Gundt and victory column made by Bill Protz. All figures were painted by Der Alte Fritz. All flags are GMB Designs.

The picture above gives you an aeriel view of the proceedings and provides a better idea of the scope of the diorama, on a two foot square terrain tile that I made. All photographs were shot with my Canon digital SD450 camera, mounted on a tripod for stability. Oh, and turn off your flash when you shoot indoor digital pictures. You will not need the flash.

Austrian Update:
I will be posting more pictures of the Minden Miniatures SYW Austrian regiment Andlau that I have been working on. I completed the second batch of 15 figures yesterday plus the two standard bearers. I started blocking in the grey undercoat on the next 18 figures, which I hope to complete by the end of the month. They should be available to fight in our game at the Little Wars Convention on February 6, 2009. We are going to do Charles Grant's Lobositz game from his book "The Wargame Companion".

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Royal Hounds

Der Alte Fritz's Hund - Dave

Frederick had his whippets, and not to be outdone, Der Alte Fritz has his Golden Retreivers. We have two of them: Katie (age 12) and Dave (age 6?), the latter of whom is featured in the picture above. We adopted Dave two years ago from a rescue agency that works specifically with Golden Retrievers. We like Goldens because they are so gentle with children and are loveable and fun to be around. We also thought that old Katie would like to have some company, however, that was not really the case. I think that Katie resents having another dog around the castle.

We thought about giving Dave a new name after we adopted him, but somehow, his name seems to fit him just right. We also call him "Big Guy", The Wooly Mammoth, and Aslan (think about it for a minute). The Prinzessin, Lady Emma Cuddlestone-Smythe has taken to Dave and considers him to be "her dog". The big galoot likes to take a tennis ball or Kong toy and place it under the couch. Then he will see if he can paw it out from under said couch. When he can't, or won't, he wimpers up a storm and Himself is forced to fish the toy or ball from out under the couch. After watching The Big Guy do this several times in a row, I realized that he was teaching ME to play fetch. Hurrumph!

Der Jung Hund (Dave - left) and Der Alte Hund (Katie -right)

We have had Katie since 1996, so she will be 13 this summer. We bought her as a puppy and somehow survived puppyhood and its attendant house breaking, teething, and gnawing of furniture. We have an early 19th century French pine farm table in our kitchen that Katie decided to "antique" or "distress" a little more with some judicious gnawing of the table leg. Katie puts up with Dave, but at times I think that she doesn't like him. She is definitely the smarter of the two.

It is fun watching the sibling rivalry that my dogs have. Katie will steal Dave's dog toys and vice versa, while Dave will take over Katie's dog bed in the laundry room. They are like children at times, but they are fun to have around the house.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Minden Austrian Infantry

Minden Miniatures SYW Austrians - Regt. Andlau (click pix to enlarge)

I finally finished those infernal Esterhazy Hussars last week (see pictures further below) and pitched right into some of those wonderful Minden SYW Austrian infantry that have been patiently waiting on my painting table. Oh what a joy to paint, and what a joy that they are not hussars. I painted the first two figures from start to finish. I always do this when I am working with new or unfamiliar figures, because this gives me a better idea of the order in which I should paint the various parts of the uniform. For example, should I do the first shade of the coat, and then the red facings, or should I paint the skin first? When should I paint the musket and the pack, etc.

After finishing the first figure, I decided that there was still too much black paint showing through on the cross belt lining. This is because I paint the cross belts black, and then paint a white "skunk stripe" (that would be a "polecat stripe" for those readers in the UK) down the middle of the belt. So on the second figure, I painted all of the cross belts light gray and highlighted the belt with a stripe of regular white paint. I think that this technique worked better.

Another view of the first 15 Minden Austrians painted

I selected the Austrian regiment Andlau for the subject of my first Minden Austrian battalion. This is a typical Austrian uniform of white coat and breeches and red facings. The drummers in this regiment still retained the reverse colors, so you can see the drummer in his red coat with white facings. He almost looks Hanoverian.

Regiment Andlau will eventually be 60 figures strong, so what you are seeing in these pictures is the first grand division of 15 figures. I have the next batch of 15 figures primed and on the painting table now, so I ought to have these done by the end of this week, giving me 30 figures. I have tomorrow off as the US celebrates Martin Luthor King Day, so that should give me 3 or 4 hours of serious painting time. I can probably complete 15 figures per week, which is enough to get the battalion completed by the end of January. The regiment Andlau will then see its baptism of fire at the Little Wars convention on February 6th and 7th, 2009. It will be flagged with a GMB Designs flag.

Someone on TMP posted pictures of his Minden Prussian artillery crew along with a Foundry gun (he replaced the wheels with Front Rank wheels to get the size right). This made me take a closer look at my Berlin Zinfiguren cannon, and guess what? The BZ cannon models are nearly perfect for the Minden figures. The gun wheel does stand as tall as the Minden figure's chest, so that is the right size in my book. So I plan to use the BZ Prussian and Austrian cannon with my Minden figures.

Esterhazy Hussars Pictures - update

Two squadrons of Crusader Miniatures Austrain Hussars in the SYW

I did not have time to post an updated picture of the two squadrons of Crusader Esterazy Hussars that I painted over the past couple of weeks. They are shown above, without the eventual terraining of the bases. I have one more squadron to paint, but they have been pushed back to the end of the que because I am simply tired of painting all of that dreaded hussar detail, particularly the Van Dyking on the shabraque.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Esterhazy Hussars Are Completed

I am pleased to announce that I have finally completed the second squadron of the Esterhazy Hussars in Austrian service. They were a bit of a chore to paint, but now I have 24 hussars to add to my Austrian army for the Seven Years War. This brings my overall Austrian cavalry contingent up to 180 figures, or 15 squadrons of 12. This is slightly half the size of my Prussian army, but I can also rely on Graf Frey's 5 or 6 squadrons of Austrians and 8 squadrons of Saxons that are currently attached to Monsieur Chevert's army. So the numbers are getting closer, albeit the Prussians have a lot more cuirassiers.

That could be changing over the next couple of months, for I was browsing the net this evening and noticed the announcement over on the Minden Miniatures (see the link on the left hand side of this page) site that the Austrian and Prussian cuirassier "greens" are nearly completed. Frank Hammond provides some sample pictures on his web page, and they are as handsome as we have all grown accustomed to with regard to the wonderful Minden range. So let's see, I could use a 60 figure regiment of Austrian cuirassiers and a similar number of Prussian cuirassiers that will form the core of my new Hesse Seewald heavy cavalry. These won't be available for awhile, until Frank can get the molds made and figures cast, but they will definitely be worth the wait.

I will not be lacking things to paint, as I have an order of some 200 Minden Prussians wending their way across the great pond and hopefully I can start on one of the new green-clad Hesse Seewald regiments in February. Or I could paint a second Minden Austrian battalion that I have on hand. So there is much to look forward to in February.

The completion of the Esterhazy Hussars at the mid-point of January indicates that I am on schedule with regard to my painting plans for January. This gives me two weeks to work on the Minden Austrian regiment Andlau that I started last week. Given the fact that the US has a national holiday this coming Monday, I will have a long 3-day weekend available for a painting frenzy. Yesssss!

I will try to get some pictures of the hussars and the Mindens posted over the weekend. My camera chip is getting full and it takes a good 15 minutes or so to down load even a few new pictures, then more time to adjust the settings on the pictures in order to get them ready for my blog.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Esterhazy Hussars

First squadron of the Esterhazy Hussars - by Der Alte Fritz (click picture to enlarge)

It is a bit of a paradox that the best looking troops on a Seven Years War battlefield are also probably some of the worst performers. Such would be the case of the hussars for most nations, save those of Prussia who were trained as battlefield cavalry. The corolary to this rule would seem to be that the worst troops are often the most difficult to paint. Again, the hussars cop the honors in this regard. It seems like a waste of my time to paint them, but I need them in my Austrian army.

I have had a package of 39 Crusader SYW Austrian hussars sitting in my Closet O' Lead for two or three years now, just begging to be painted. I had been able to resist their siren song of painting love, but my will power finally broke down just before Christmas (2008). It was probably the playing of our Kleine Krieg Game in early December that opened my eyes to this obvious need. I could also cite the fact that I had built the Prussian cavalry corps up to 32 squadrons of 12 figures each, compared to a paltry and embarassing 10 squadrons of Austrian horse. I mean, we like to win our wargames, but we don't want to just walk all over our opponents (the Austrians) either.

With that in mind, I selected one of the most colorful hussar regiments in the Austrian army: the Paul Anton Esterhazy Hussars (H24). The uniform consists of a brown busby with red bag, light blue pelise and dolman, red breeches, yellow and blue barrel sash around the waist, and their unique yellow riding boots. The uniform was not difficult to paint, but I had a rather hard time painting the shabraque with its yellow Van Dyking atop of the red field. I did not want to spend extra time painting in the jagged Van Dyking edging in black, and then painting over the background with the yellow. It was a painstaking process as it was.

Esterhazy Hussar rank and file. Note the unique yellow boots.

Esterhazy Hussar command figures from Crusader Miniatures

In Christopher Duffy's book, By Force of Arms, he indicates that the regiment served at Prague and Leuthen in 1757. It served as the screening force for the Austrian march from Stolpen to Hochkirch in 1758 and very nearly captured Frederick II in the process. It was at Maxen at 1759 and collected a bundle of Prussian war trophies that are safely ensconced today at their ancestral home at Forchtenstein Castle (near Vienna). More on that later. It was part of Lacy's raid on Berlin. The regiment was not engaged in any major actions during the 1761 or 1762 campaigns.

I must admit to holding a light hearted grudge against the Esterhazys, related to my visit to Forchtenstein Castle in 2005. The castle holds one of the largest collections of SYW era Prussian militaria, collected from the surrendered army at Maxen. The site was also used for the filming of one of the Dracula movies in recent years. In addition to hundreds of captured muskets, grenadier and fusilier mitre caps, uniform coats, cartridge boxes and other bits and pieces of equipment (which I was able to see, for the most part), the castle also boasts an impressive collection of Prussian regimental flags. The flag exhibit hall was closed on the day that I visited the castle, much to my regret (for I will likely never have the opportunity to pay a return visit).

I plan to exact my revenge over the next decade or so by defeating the Esterhazy hussars on the table top in battle after battle. Yes, that will serve those Esterhazys right. Whenever I see the Esterhazy Hussars or the Nikolaus Esterhazy infantry regiment, I will attack them without mercy and cut them down. However, I first must paint said units and frankly I am not enjoying it. Perhaps the Esterhazys are having the last laugh then. Only time will tell.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Mindens Painted

Minden SYW Austrians (2 on the left) compared to an RSM Austrian in the center on a penney, and a Prussian fusilier painted as the Hesse Seewald Prinz Heinrich Fusilier Regt.

I have finished the first squadron of the Esterhazy Hussars in Austrian service, as well as the repainted Hinchcliffe Austrian cuirassiers, and a few more Minden samples of the Austrian regiment Andlau. Several people requested a comparison photo with the RSM range, and as you can see in the picture above, the two ranges are compatible in terms of sculpting style and overall height and thinness. I would say that the Minden figure is a better sculpt, having slightly better anatomical proportions and more details and equipment. The figure on the far left uses black undercoating for everything, including the belts. The second figure from the left involves painting the belting grey and then painting a single shade of white over the grey, instead of retaining the black underneath as a sort of underlining technique. I think that covering up the black is the way to go. The black lining just stands out too much.

I also painted the one Prussian fusilier sample that I had in the imaginery uniform of the Prinz Heinrich Fusilier Regiment (IR9) in the Hesse Seewald army. He sports a green coat with straw breeches and waistcoat, and red facings. The mitre cap plate is brass, as are the buttons, while the mitre cap bag is straw with a red border. I like the way that this sample uniform turned out, so I expect to order a battalion of fusiliers once I make some headway on the other battalions that are already on order.

Hinchcliffe Austrian cuirassiers repainted by Der Alte Fritz

The picture above shows the Hinchcliffe figures that I repainted over the Christmas holiday. I thought that they turned out OK and placed an order for 24 more figures in order to bring the regiment up to three squadrons totalling 36 figures. Frank Hammond informed me that his Austrian and Prussian cuirassier castings are on the horizon, so the temptation is large to delay painting any more Hinchcliffes until I have a chance to tackle the Minden cuirassier figures.

Esterhazy Hussar officer - Crusader Miniatures

A troop of Crusader's Austrian hussars painted as the Esterhazy Hussar Regt.

Finally, I have posted a couple of taster photos of the Esterhazy Hussar Regiment that I am working on. I have 40 castings, but may only paint 24 of them for the time being. They turned out nicely, but I didn't have a lot of fun painting them. Another squadron of 12 figures sits on the painting table, but for now, I believe that I will work on a batch of 30 Minden Austrian infantry for a change of pace. I am starting to get burned out on painting horses. I will probably post more Esterhazy photos tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Painting Plans for 2009

Minden Miniatures SYW Prussian Artillery and Berlin Zinnfigure 12-pounder painted by Ioannis. There will be a fair number of these figures joining my army in 2009.

Happy New Year everyone - I am looking forward to a fresh, new and exciting 2009. As befits the beginning of a year, one's thoughts turn to the various wargaming projects that are on the table. So this is a good time to start planning for the new forces that will get painted over the next twelve months.

But before I get started, I want to mention how terrific the Minden Miniatures Prussian artillery crew is, as shown in the picture above. Thanks to Ioannis for allowing me to borrow some of his pictures to use on this site. You can find a link to the Leuthen Journal in my list of favorite links, on the left hand side of this page. I also like the bold blue colors that Ioannis uses on his Prussian artillery carriages. It really makes the model stand out on the table. I will have borrow this concept when I paint my own gun models. (you ought to see the Austrian gun carriages that Ioannis has painted, as shown on his web site - excellent stuff!)

Based on last year's painting production of approximately 800 figures, I can probably plan on being able to paint, on average, one battalion of 60 infantry figures or four squadrons of 12 cavalry figures in any given month. Some months will be higher and some will be lower, no doubt, but experience tells me that 60I/48C is fairly accurate for planning purposes.

Drawing Up A Plan
The first order of business is to get a pad of paper and a pen and start writing down the names and types of the units that you want to paint in 2009. This provides one with a sort of inventory of wargame units that you have backed up on the docket. For example, I would sort the units by historical period and country, so I would make a list of all of the SYW Austrians that I would like to add to my army for the year. Then I do the same thing for the Prussians, British, Jacobites and the new Hesse Seewald army that I have planned. I also do the same thing for my 1806 French and Prussians.

My total SYW "wants" list tallies 1,210 figures while my Napoleonic "wants" list tallies 590 figures, for a grand total of 1,800 figures. A little bit of simple math tells me that if I paint 60 figures per month, that I am looking at a backlog of 30 months worth of painting projects to work on. Or to put it another way, that is two-and-a-half years of painting on the horizon! Clearly this will not all be accomplished during 2009. It also does not take into account any distractions into new historical periods (Sudan or NW Frontier figures) or any other figures that might strike my fancy.

A Workable Monthly Plan
The list of 1,800 figures to paint is daunting, but at the same time, it provides me with a lot of variety to choose from with a nice mix of infantry, cavalry, SYW and Napoleonics. Unless I am painting Prussians, of which I never tire of painting, I can do some SYW Austrian infantry one month, then cavalry the next month, then switch over to some Napoleonics, then back to SYW, and so forth.

Since my highest priority is to build up my SYW Austrian army, those units will go to the top of the que beginning this month. So January 2009 is Austrian Month.

January Plan

2 sqds of 12 Esterhazy Hussars (Austrian) - Crusader Figures
1 btn of 60 Austrian infantry regiment Andlau - Minden Miniatures

(remember, I am trying to be realistic here - I had a head start on the hussars and nearly have a squadron painted, but they don't count in the final tally until the month they are completed)

February Plan
1 sqd of 12 Austrian Horse Grenadiers - Crusader Figures
1 sqd of 12 Austrian de Ligne Dragoons - Crusader Figures
1 btn of 60 Austrian infantry regiment Luzan - Minden Miniatures

(this phase of the Austrian buildup will now be over, having added 2 btns of infantry and 4 sqds of cavalry since the first of the year. I will be ready to try something different now)

March Plan
1806 Project: French 1er regt de Chasseurs a Cheval - "old" Elite Miniatures (34 figures)

(note that I am not planning any other units for this month, because I know that preparation for the SYW Association convention and Spring Break will consume much of my time)

April Plan
OK, I know that I will be dying to start on my Minden Miniatures Hesse Seewald army, with the Prussian figures. In fact, it is likely that I might slip a 50 figure regiment into the painting que earlier than April, but this is only a plan and things can change.

1 btn of Hesse Seewald Infantry (50 figures) - Minden Prussians
4 sections of artillery for HS (20 figures) - Minden Prussians

May Plan
1 x 72 btn of 1806 French line infantry

(it is time to get the 1806 project going again)

June Plan
1 x 60 Prussian 1806 btn - Elite Miniatures

or 1 x 48 1806 Bayreuth Dragoons - Imperialist Miniatures

(I'm not going to present plans for the second half of the year just yet. I want to see how the first half turns out; however, the above list demonstrates how I plan things out)
I think that you get the general idea of how the planning process works. It starts by making a realistic assumption of what you think that you can paint in any given month. There is no point in me planning on 120 infantry in a month when history tells me that this is far above my average production. You can change your plans from month to month, and you probably will too. The point is, that the planning process gives you a realistic idea of what you can expect to add to your army lists for 2009.

Austrian Update
I am currently working on some Crusader Austrian hussars for the SYW. I have to say that I do not enjoy painting these figures due to the excrutiating amount of lace and detail that is sculpted onto the figure. If the detail is there, I sort of feel an obligation to paint it. I am almost done with the first squadron of 12 figures and expect to post pictures by the end of the week. Concurrently, I am working on a batch of thirty Minden Austrians. When the hussars demoralize me, then I switch over to the infantry for awhile for a nice change of pace. In general though, I do not enjoy painting Austrian infantry. I find the mass of white a bit boring and I'm never satisfied with the way that they turn out. I leave too much of the black undercoating showing through. This is something that I need to work on.