Monday, January 19, 2009

"Bad People" --

One only needs to read a newspaper or turn on the TV to know that there are a lot of bad people in the world. This isn't about them.

This is about those "bad people" . . . people like Stokes Schwartz, Bill Protz, Jim Purky, Phil Olley, Henry Hyde, Charles Stewart Grant and so forth . . . all of those people who are tempting me to go the "big battalion" route.

Oh sure, we know them as really nice guys who enjoy our hobby . . . but they post photos and write articles and books extolling the virtues of large units . . . and soon the desire to add more figures begins to seep into our subconsciousness . . . becoming a siren's song luring us toward financial ruin.

But they look so good . . . *sigh*.

-- Jeff


Der Alte Fritz said...

And I have a nice big red shiny apple to give to you as well...

It is contagious isn't it? I have been painting Big Battalions for about 3 years now and I never would have thought that the project would grow to the extent that it has. I attribute this to the availability of some great looking figures (Minden, RSM, Stadden, Suren, Front Rank and Crusader -- and once in awhile some Foundry) and being part of an active gaming group.

Playing games on a regular basis inspires one to paint more units for the army. Eventually, you run out things to paint, not that you can't think of more units to paint, but rather that you have no more storage and transportation space.

So then one goes into tangential project within the same period, adding new armies,etc. It never ends as long as the enthusiasm is there.

Martin said...

Oh come on Jeff! It's not that bad! You can quit anytime you want. Why...I myself have quit the Big Battalions School Of Thought several times over the last few years. It was the most terrifying five minutes of my life. So I go on slowly accumulating the large units, because I know that I can stop anytime....I can stop anytime...I can stop anytime.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Hi Jeff,

And your little dog too! ;-)

Best Regards,


Gallia said...

Und Mein Lieber Jeff,
Let us not forget about BIG REGIMENTS OF CAVALRY! After fielding a brigade or two of such things, one need never quake at the sight of a regiment or even a brigade (gasp!) represented by 12 castings.

Oh then there are the new things to learn, do, maneuver and avoid regarding such magnificence.

I'm just up from my painting table where the fourth squadron of Saxon von Brühl Dragoons are decently underway with their new garments and gear via my brush.

Güte nacht,

PS Come to Jim's BIG game in the Fall.Come to Jim's BIG game in the Fall. Come to Jim's BIG game in the Fall. Repeat twenty times every day.

Der Alte Fritz said...

Yes, I remember well the first time that Bill trotted out 60 Carabiniers in the SYW French army. It was awesome, and frightening. Shock and awe, if you will. We called the unit The Thundering Herd.

I then resolved to paint up enough CR2 Prinz von Preussen cuirassiers to counter them. And then for good measure, I painted 60 of the Seydlitz cuirassiers to outnumber the French.

But then that cheeky Chevert added two by 36 figure regiments of heavy horse, and his ally, Graf Frey added an equal number. And now I was outnumbered.

I then declared, "as God is my witness, I will never be out-cuirassed again. Ever!!!" So I painted the CR13 Garde du Corps and the CR10 Gensdarmes.

See how it works?

Bluebear Jeff said...


Yes indeed . . . "bad people" . . . your example proves it. Thank you.

-- Jeff

old-tidders said...

I hear the call of the big battalions, but having a shortage of storage and gaming space I have limited myself to small units.

However my 40mm collection for skirmish games is based on big unit sizes.

-- Allan

Snickering Corpses said...

Should I be hurt that I don't count as bad people in this context? :>

Bluebear Jeff said...


If you like you can consider yourself in the "and others" . . . but those that I named have specifically been pushing "big battalions" for some time.

-- Jeff

Prinz Geoffrey said...

I am painting up one (1) big battalion for the SYW convention, it sure does take some effort. I hope to use it occassionally as I am not near the other big battalion guys and maybe add a battalion here and there, I do enjoy painting the larger scale. Maybe you just paint up one "gateway" unit.

Gallia said...

Here's an easy thing,

Raise battalions in the 24 to 36 miniatures range, get going and a year or two later add some extra miniatures to beef them up to whatever you like; 36-48 perhaps. We played for a couple of years where our battalions were at 48. 48is a very good number.

Same thing for cavalry. In the past two years I raised two new Saxon cavalry regiments. For example, a year ago about this time I painted the first squadron of 12 von Brühl Dragoons. In the Spring I added the second. Last July I added a third. The fourth is being painted now. Spreading it out helps. You get a rest and in between you can change things and paint something else.

It is actually easier to add miniatures than paint from scratch. For me anyway.

Abour four years ago, I did this with my ECW forces. Most regiments of foot were changed from 30 to 48 miniatures. Adding 18 new chaps per unit was easy, fast and satisfying. One can get to closure really fast. Happiness of a kind.

Thus, if anyone has existing SYW forces, the above may work for you.

Good Painting To All,

Fitz-Badger said...

The big battalions look impressive, that's for sure! But for me at least it's easy to resist the lure. I don't have the time, space or patience to do big battalions! Once I've painted up a half dozen or so cavalry or maybe a dozen and a half infantry I'm ready to move on to another unit with a different look and color scheme or some other project as a break. I'm sure I would go "quite mad", "stark raving bonkers", etc. if I were ever rash enough to make the attempt to do a single big battalion, let alone a whole army! Not that any of you who seem to excel at raising big battalions are "loony tunes"!
"you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!" ;-)

A J said...

I admire the big battalions but lack time, patience and money to follow the call. One of these days I will expand my infantry regiments to 36 figures apiece, and cavalry to 24. Pipe dreams...

littlejohn said...

yes I'm limited to about a 12" frontage for a regiment of musketeers so I'm trying to keep things at 36 men per...but boy those thundering hordes sure do look wonderful.

Der Alte Fritz said...

Keep in mind that Bill and I have been painting figures for our armies since 2005, so we are going on 4 years now. Rome wasnt built in a day and neither were the Gallian and Germanian armies. We went without cavalry during the first year.