Right now I am fully retired from the U.S. Air Force, but still working full-time. Forty hours a week (well, technically 80 hours over two weeks, divvied up as 44 the first week, 36 the second) takes up a lot of time. I have many hobbies, some of which I have not pursued in many a year.
The picture above is an illustration of one of my hobbies. Napoleonic miniatures and the table-top gaming what is in it.
The last time I painted any of my many figures (all of which require far more room than I have available, mind you, the square footage is there, it's just that The Missus Herself would prefer I not leave my "toys" scattered about the living room) was 22 years ago.
We were settled in to the new digs, the new job, and I felt that I had time to pursue the hobby. I remember the day I was sitting at my desk in the Home Office (the one in Little Rhody, not the one in London) painting a figure of the Emperor Napoléon mounted upon his white horse Désirée.
We were expecting my parents, coming down to make their first official visit to the abode. So I was painting. I heard, then saw, their car pulling into the driveway, so I downed tools, put the Emperor back in his box and haven't lifted a brush since. Just haven't had the time for one reason or another.
The job has become more intense, though far more rewarding from an intellectual and financial point of view, than it used to be. Takes up most of my waking hours, either being there, or thinking about it. I can't leave it be, I'm a professional and the job takes up a lot of space in the old brain box.
In six months, that will no longer be the case.
So I have many things planned to make my retirement interesting and filled with interesting stuff. That picture above shows the latest acquisition of stuff I find interesting.
Each box contains what is called a "Starter Army," one box is Wellington's, the other is Napoléon's. Note the small package in the upper right of the photo. Paints those are, nice ones, with brushes, instructions and other paraphernalia so's that I can paint all those soldiers in those two boxes.
How many soldiers you might ask? Over a thousand in each box, infantry, cavalry, and artillery (both foot and horse) enough to wage a fair size battle atop the dining room table. (Provided management blesses that idea.) The troops are approximately 15 mm scale. I say approximately because the company in Britain which produces them wanted to have a scale of their own I guess. As they make all the stuff you need for multiple armies (the Prussians are on the way, available but not at a price I'm happy with), I'm okay with that.
I have three videos for you, two of them show you what's in those boxes (and it mentions a price, which I didn't pay, getting them through Amazon was about 2o to 30 dollars cheaper per box), both British and French (unless you're a real grognard¹, you only need to watch one of those, other than the unit types, they're both similar). The third video shows the troops deployed (though unpainted) and gives you an idea of what they look like in "action." I thought that they were quite impressive overall.
The beauty of this scale is that it doesn't require as much room as the bigger figures. Which should please management here at Chez Sarge.
They were pricy however, amazing how the cost for things plastic goes up as oil does. Related they are, related they shall remain. I used the money The Missus Herself, The Nuke, and LUSH gave me for Fathers Day. It's what happens when I have cash in hand and am left unsupervised with Amazon up on the computer.
I buy things.
In other news ...
I have hit a complete writer's block on the new novel. Currently I have one of the main characters sitting in the pilot's seat of his Ju-88 wondering just where the Hell he is and what day it is. Am I over the Channel at night, on a daylight mission, and is it late in the Battle of Britain or early on, say in September, where I left the story?
North Africa and the Eastern Front both beckon and I'm keen to get there. But I need to do the preliminaries dontcha know?
Bear with me, we'll get there.
¹ A grognard is what the Emperor called his veteran troops, literally means "grumbler." For those of you familiar with La Vie Militaire, the troops spend a great deal of time complaining. In a wargaming context, a Grognard is someone who has been at this for a long time. About 57 years for myself.