It is, dear friends, that time of year again. The nights in the Northern Hemisphere draw in, the weather gets colder, leaves fall from the trees…
And from all corners and parts of our planet can be heard the varied sounds of metal being filed and sanded, flash being carved from 28mm miniature figures and paintbrushes applying Humbrol matt enamel undercoat, as participants prepare for the annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.
This year will be the ninth such Challenge, and my seventh (if I am counting correctly). It is one of my favourite hobby events of the year, as wargamers around the globe have fun painting miniature figures over the winter months when the weather is chilly and unwelcoming – or sit in shorts and tshirts in wonderful places like Australia and New Zealand and wonder if their airbrushes can work in the heat.
This year, I’ve gone for an ambitious target of 850 points. I made it to 1,272 points last year – but that was a special kind of Challenge for me as regards painting. Let’s see if I get off the starting grid before getting too excited for Challenge IX.
And before I say much more, three cheers for Curt (the organiser of the Challenge), Sarah (his wonderful and long-suffering wife), and all the Challengers past and present (and their partners and loved ones) who make the Challenge such a special event.
It’s possibly not giving too much away to reveal that, with the Flemish and Spanish forces for Laarden 1688 almost finished, its time for me to paint their adversaries, in the shape of the armies of The Sun King, Louis le Grand.
For those not bored enough to have clicked away from this page (thank you, patient friends), we will have a new, French, guide to the impending campaigns swirling around Laarden in 1688. I am very sure that you will be in the best of velvet-gloved hands in the company of the Marquis de Montchevreuil, the epitome of a courtier-soldier from the salons of Versailles.
Devotees of Don Fernando de Torrescusa, Marquess de Girona, Envoy of His Most Catholic Majesty, Carlos the Second, King of Spain should not be downhearted however. Don Fernando will certainly still be featuring on the blog through the winter months, along with his somewhat picaresque companion, the Flemish cavalier, Antoine de Gautier.
So, here are possibly some clues to things which might be happening here, on Roundwood’s World, in the next four months.
I hope you can join me for at least some of the fun.
But now, as they say, 'every journey starts with a first prep'. There's metal to be filed, and sanded, and undercoated...