Monday, December 30, 2019

Year End - 2019

2019 saw my first full year of keeping this blog.  Posts are somewhat infrequent and scattered, but I've been able to stick with it.

On the reenacting front, I was able to attend 8 events in kit this year, and one as a spectator.  A couple of the gatherings were private get-togethers, and several were official Warner's Regiment events.  It's difficult to pick a favorite this year, though presenting a talk to the public while having a chicken standing on my head at Hubbardton does sort of stand out.

For sewing projects, I was able to complete an outfit for G to wear, though she keeps growing, so we'll need to do it again this year.  Another yearly ritual seems to be breeches.  This past year it was a pair for a friend.  This coming year I'll need to replace mine again.

On the gaming side of things, we have a few games of Wings of War, plus several board games, but no major games yet.  I did get a lot of painting done (for me), completing about 61 28mm figures, which is an increase from last year.  I also built a few small pieces of terrain.  This coming year I have a couple of focused projects to concentrate on.  The first is the Battle of Valcour Island, using paper-craft miniatures and rules from War Artisan, and the second is a go at a 6mm scale Battle of Hubbardton, at 1:1 figure scale (roughly 1,500 troops per side).  I've found a few guys who may be interested in playing some historical scenarios, so I'm going to put some effort into getting those games going.

Historical research this year was light.  Other than my usual general reading on various events and period crafts, I did get to visit the Vermont State Archives to look through Ira Allen's survey book.  That was a pretty cool moment.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the School of Instruction in Pennsylvania, hosted by the Department of the Geographer to the Army.  I'd really like to attend that one day, so I'm going to look into it again this year.

Overall, 2019 was a pretty good year, hobby-wise.  I'm looking forward to continuing in 2020.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Midwinter's Eve

Happy Midwinter's Eve!
A couple of weekends ago, Gabriella and I attended the Midwinter's Eve celebration at the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum.  This was sort of an informal formal affair for us.  As an informal affair, a couple of us were sporting our winter beards, which would not have been in fashion at the time.  As a formal affair, members of Warner's Regiment appeared in uniform.

Before the public event the museum was holding, the Regiment gathered in the tavern room of the museum's Visitor's Center for the first of our "Winter Quarters" gatherings.  During Winter Quarters, we work on repairing our gear, making new things, and rolling and filling the seemingly never-ending supply of cartridges we'll use in battle next season.  I enjoy these gatherings, as it's a way to stay connected to our friends in the unit during our off-season.

As darkness fell, it was time to switch gears.  The museum's Winter's Eve even was open to the public, supplying snacks, drinks, music, dancing, and lantern-lit tours of the the Ethan Allen house.  We all switched into kit and were transported from the twenty-first century to the eighteen century.

Eighteenth Century Eyes.
 Walking from the Visitor's Center out to the house by lamp-light was amazing.  It was too dark for photos, but it was easy to be transported back in time.  Rain from previous days had made the ground damp, and warmer weather had settled in, creating a light misty fog over the property.  Walking out to the house, you could just make out faint candlelight in the windows, welcoming weary travelers home.
Welcome home.
Inside the house, volunteers from the museum were portraying Ethan and Fanny Allen and family.  They had the fires going, candles lit, and snacks for guests on the table.  While there was dancing in the Tavern, many of us chose to gather in the warmth of the Allen kitchen, enjoying gingerbread cookies and each other's company.  At one point, looking around at all the men in uniform, I imaged that this must have been much what it was like when residents of the New Hampshire Grants gathered in Dorset some 240ish years ago to vote on their leaders and their future.

Volunteers, guests, and the Regiment gather in Fanny Allen's kitchen.
Good food, conversation, and company by the warmth of the hearth.
At the end of the evening we left our friends.  Feeling content with our final even of the year, we're both looking forward to 2020.

Warmth of the kitchen.
From video of the event, from the Museum's YouTube channel:

Monday, December 23, 2019

LPL - Final Entries

With the year winding up, I'm going to include my final Lead Painters League entries in a single post.  Rounds 8, 9 and 10 saw me at the bottom of the pack, which was unsurprising.  Overall, I finished in last place, but I'm actually pretty happy with that.  Score-wise, I kept up with the competition, staying within 10 points of my closest competitor.  More importantly, I was able to get a lot more painted than I usually do, and proved to myself that I can make the time to paint if I put some effort into it.

Entry 8 - Rural Residents
My eighth entry to the contest was another set of Perry miniatures.  Most were civilian, but I believe one of the men on the right came from an infantry pack.  Overall I was pretty happy with how these turned out.  The field worker figure was my first time painting dark skin, and I wasn't sure how it would read, but it turned out okay.  Also for this round, I built a bit of background scenery, which I'll cover in a later post.

Entry 9 - Sharpshooter's Revenge
For the ninth round of the League, I assembled some figures from a few different packs of Perry Miniatures.  The man lying face down on the ground is from their plastic British Infantry set.  The man on horseback came from a pack of generals of some sort.  The two infantry men on the left started out as figures from an artillery set.  I carved off their artillery accessories, removed their right arms, and added muskets and arms from a British Infantry plastic sprue.  The crouching figure is not from Perry.  He was found in a box of random stuff I found in a drawer, and may have come from Wargames Foundry originally.

With this group, I'm happy with the poses and the overall scene, but I wasn't happy with the painting.  I rushed a bit, and the metal figures had been painted before, so some stripping and repainting was required.  I'm tempted to strip the paint from these again and make another attempt.

Entry 10 - 2nd New Hampshire Command
My final entry to the competition was a command stand that I painted up in the uniform of the 2nd New Hampshire Continentals.  I don't recall where these particular sculpts are from, but I believe they were intended to be militia originally.  After a short bit of research, I decided that I like the sky-blue faced red regimental coats and buff colored flag of the 2nd, so I went with that.

Finally, here are a few shots of the entire collection of miniatures that I painted for this year's Lead Painter's League.  Fifty figures was the requirement for the overall competition, and I managed to paint up 56.  I'm very happy with my overall output, and I like that I've painted up enough AWI sculpts that I can start to seriously look into hosting some small skirmish level games.

Lead Painters League 2019 - Overhead

Lead Painters League - Assembled Forces