I did one of these last year mostly as an exercise in accountability; it turned out to be a great way of remembering just what I’d achieved on the hobby front and I resolved to repeat the endeavour again this year.

Last year’s headline figure was a grand total of 255 figures painted; far more than I’d ever managed in a year previously, and more than I expected to paint this year with a big terrain build for Salute looming 

Not to beat around the bush, I somehow painted over a hundred figures more this year - a total of 372 28mm-equivalent figures. 

That increase was largely, I think, due to my commitments this and next year. I’ve painted nearly 150 Napoleonic figures this year as part of putting on games at the 2023 and 2024 editions of Herts of Lard. The rest is down to my ongoing shift from skirmish games towards big battle multibase games like TTS!, as with my Italian Wars Swiss and Syracusan Greeks

The Rules

The rules of this accounting, since I haven’t spelled them out before, are pretty simple:

  • Only figures properly ready for the tabletop count as done - painted, varnished and based.
  • You ‘bank’ each figure in the year it was finished, even if you started it the year before (or earlier!) Think of it as an incentive to finish half-completed figures.
  • 28mm infantry score one point regardless of complexity; a single Napoleonic figure takes up the same table space as the simplest-attired peltast in a tunic.
  • If you haven’t finished with more figures than you started, then it doesn’t count; repainting and rebasing gets you nothing.
  • Other figure types and scales should be pro-rated sensibly. I count cavalry as two, tanks and other medium sized vehicles as 5, and any sort of weapon which wouldn’t be carried, such as a cannon, counts as one. For 6mm figures each strip of four infantry or three cavalry counts as one.

I’ll go through the painting project by project, roughly chronologically, with the odds and sods grouped together at the end. As last year, I’ll cover terrain separately.


I began the year preparing feverishly for the inaugural Herts of Lard in early March. Duncan and I had decided to put on a game based on an ungodly mashup of the French raids on Britain and Ireland around 1800 with the plots of the Gilbert and Sullivan light operas The Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore. It was precisely as silly as that sounds!

My part in this was to supply the complete Royal Navy and Pirate factions, plus a handful of others and terrain.

The Pirates I had started late in 2022 - to keep costs down I padded out the core of lovely Foundry figures with some Frostgrave crewmen, and these needed a good deal of conversion to make them look less c17th. I began painting them in one big batch over Christmas and finished some time in January.

The leading characters - Frederick, Ruth, the Pirate King and his lieutenant Samuel got purple clothing to help them stand out.

With the Pirates done, I moved on to the other figures; a single Group’s worth of Royal Marines and some officers.

I also did a few more sailors, but the bulk of the sailors in this shot I painted later this year in preparation for HoL 2024! By the end of the year I expect to have about 100 of one make or another. 

These are a mixture of the lovely Perry and Brigade figures, bulked out with some rather more old fashioned sculpts from Newline Designs.

When putting on Pirates one of course needs to provide General Stanley’s Daughters. I had real trouble finding enough sculpts of vaguely era-appropriate Georgian women; in the end a mixture of Perry, Front Rank and Eureka did the job, with some careful painting.

And of course, where his daughters go so does General Stanley (left). The other chap on the horse is for this year's Herts of Lard - he'll stand in for Nicolas des Brusleys, governor of Ile Bonaparte.

Standing in for the gallant policemen of the operetta, as this was supposed to be 1800, were the men of the Stanley Militia. I actually only painted 17 of these for the game; the rest I added later and suddenly I had myself a full battalion’s worth of the 19th Foot ready for the Wars of the French Revolution. Handy!

They are of course Perry AWI infantry; I understand that the uniform didn’t change much until the introduction of the shako a few years later.

One group not represented at last year’s HoL are these civilians; they’re intended for this year’s game where we’ll be taking a trip to Reunion circa 1809 for the raid on St-Paul Harbour.

All together these two linked projects account for fully 150 figures - if you count 149 it’s because there’s one sneaky French Representative-en-Mission type who I couldn’t find when taking them!

17th Century

A minor aside, this one; we put on a huge ~1640s London Bridge game at Salute but my involvement was almost exclusively on the terrain side. At some point between January and April I painted these five figures for the show.

Since then, I’ve used them for some Flashing Blades-esque action using my own rules since Sidney’s version is still not available!

1940 British Infantry Platoon

I seem to paint one platoon a year for Chain of Command. This year my club got very into the campaigns of 1940, so I placed an order with Empress Miniatures and picked up a platoon of BEF at Salute.

As usual with my CoC forces I did the core platoon of 37 men plus a selection of support options - 3” mortar, Vickers MMG and an A13 cruiser tank. They didn’t do all that well in game, but I console myself knowing that they didn’t do any worse than their real life counterparts!

The tank was a 3D print from a company whose name I forget, which is probably a good thing as I'm not all that impressed with it - the shape seems correct but it's very light on detail and when printed in resin cost about as much as an equivalent resin cast or plastic kit.

Late Medieval/Renaissance

The other game I played a lot of this year was To The Strongest!, and as detailed in a post over the summer, I got hooked on the Italian Wars, and so took a first tentative step into multibasing by moving my Swiss pikemen onto multibases, which required some repainting and an extra seven figures adding.

I had great fun painting these, and the multibase enabled me to squeeze six figures onto one base, recreating the tightly-packed line of a charge en haye.

I have failed to photograph them, but I also painted six crosswbomen! You'll just have to take my word for it.

As well as the Italian Wars proper, I painted a few leftover Wars of the Roses figures - I may incorporate them with a little repainting into my French/Swiss army for the early Italian Wars, or may leave them be in case my group ever rekindles its interest in the WotR.

All of these are the superlative Perry plastics.

I'd previously used the Duke of Buckingham figure from Perry's Lancastrian High Command pack, with a head swap, as a General for my Swiss. This left me with the other two figures and so at some point I painted them as a break from batch painting.

I don't expect to need models for Henry VI or Margaret of Anjou very often, but they were a fun opportunity to practice painting patterned fabrics and they're generic enough to make good set dressing.

Syracusan Greeks

The experience of rebasing the Swiss led me on to redoing my later Syracusan Greeks, whose hoplites I’d painted back in 2021, and which I expanded last year with more light troops.

I already had four units of ten figures each, and during the first part of the year I expanded this to five units of ten, which I decided was plenty of units, but I wanted them each to be of 18 figures in three ranks. That meant another 52 figures to fill them out, which I did in a few batches over summer and autumn, before touching up the older figures and rebasing them all onto some wavy-edged MDF bases I cut on the laser.

These are almost exclusively a mixture of Victrix and Warlord figures.

In addition to the Greeks proper, I also did a unit of Gallic mercenaries for a bit of variety- these are Warlord plastics, and to be frank I'd recommend Victrix instead!

Early Medieval

No decent photos of these guys, sorry!

My largest project in this period this year didn’t count anything towards my tally - repairing and improving my Anglo Saxon army, which I painted long enough ago that it featured on this blog back before I stopped posting regularly!

The main task apart from touch ups and improving faces (always the part of any model which best rewards attention) was adding LBMS decals to their shields.

All this was done towards making the army respectable for a Saga doubles tournament in October, at which I teamed up with a friend and his Scottish army to re-enact Oswald Iding’s return to Northumbria. 

I made this ~3D map of the area as a display board to show off our armies on; I'll go into more detail in the terrain post that will accompany this one.

It would be remiss of me not to show our roster, which Alex wrote up as an Old English-style poem!

On the subject of events, Footsore kindly gave us some Anglo-Danish warlord figures as event prizes for a TTS! event I helped run in November, so I painted mine up promptly.

I did paint some other figures too, continuing my streak of painting one late/sub/post-Roman unit a year- this time some Gripping Beast ‘Wolftail Warriors’

Finally on the Early Medieval front, these four Viking ship crew from Gripping Beast will man a longboat at this year's Salute game.

28mm Miscellany

Rounding out the 28mm figures, I painted a fairly typical assortment of periods.

Firstly, always a fixture in my painting calendar, some pulp models for my long-delayed Adriatic game. They’re the usual assortment of manufacturers - I think the majority are Wargames Foundry figures from their Dad’s Army set.

These casualty figures are resins from a smaller manufacturer whose name I’ve forgotten - I bought them at Salute, and used them to make some markers with twin dice cells for Shock and the like.

I thought I’d finished painting my Italian platoon for the Western Desert back in 2021, but I found this Elephantino gun languishing half-painted in a box, and so re-ticked off that project.

Unfortunately I also added another barely-started project after Salute, when a friend convinced several of us to jump in on the Rubicon figures and do some Vietnam games. Nine months later and these six VC are all I have to show for it - and not one game played!

A similar tangent, albeit one which did actually see some use on the table! Another friend had the bright idea to play games set in the Star Wars universe using the new What a Cowboy! rules set, with the logic being that Star Wars is basically a Western set in space.

I then stretched that idea well past breaking point by declaring that the Blues Brothers is basically a Western too (it absolutely is not), and that therefore droid versions of Jake and Elwood made perfect sense (they absolutely did not). 

I’m not sure why I bought these - they may have been a sleep-deprivation induced impulse buy at Salute. Whatever they are, they’re painted!

I played my once-a-year Middle Earth game in December (although this time we used Saga’s magic rules), and so painted another handful for Orcs to bulk out my army of Mordor. With Midgard on the horizon, I may paint more this year.

Other Scales

The vast bulk of my output is normally in 28mm, but I tend to paint at least a few items in other scales each year - normally 6mm.

This year, like last year, I painted a few 6mm Napoleonic Austrians  - someone has stepped up to paint a French army to oppose them, so there’s now a realistic prospect of a game some time in the next year. 

With the two battalions I did last year, I now have a complete infantry brigade, with some supporting elements, and some command stands.

This summer also saw a brief burst of interest in WW2 Naval games, with the release of Sam Mustafa’s Nimitz. I set about gathering some British forces for the Narvik campaign, and I actually blogged about how I made their bases too.

These ships are the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth, the cruiser HMS Penelope and the destroyers HMS Hardy, Havoc and Hotspur.


What does 2024 hold? Well, there are the aforementioned games I’ll be running at Salute and Herts of Lard, both with substantial painting and terrain commitments. 

After that I expect to focus on the Italian Wars, my ancient Greeks and the Warhammer army that I didn’t get the chance to do the first time around (Goblins, naturally).

Actually, in all honesty I expect to do the usual assortment of projects and finish few if any of them. A realistic New Year’s resolution if there ever was one!