YES YES YES YES YES YES!
My little box of soldiers arrived in the mail. I bought a single box of plastic War of the Spanish Succession Infantry, manufactured by Wargames Factory. This gives me 24 models in marching pose, and 12 of optional configurations. But before I can very excitably start assembling these guys, I really REALLY need to know which forces I am building, and how they will be organized.
To start with, I wanted to figure out exactly what I was doing with the troops of El Principado de la Comadreja. Since they are nominally from the Spanish Netherlands, and heavily influenced by the Holy Roman Empire, I decided to use the Prussian soldier listing from the core Songs of Drums and Shakos rules. To make it really easy, and to keep my “everyman” feel for the force, I decided on basic line infantry and a NCO. With a target size of about 300 points, that neatly gave me a group of 10, with 9 soldiers and an NCO all equipped with muskets and the NCO additionally with a sword. Literally, I was up in the middle of the night working on these things, I was that excited to be working on them. It has been FOREVER since I have started a whole new project like this, and by the time I got my miniatures in hand, it was time to get started. I got a little happy with the multi-part soldiers, using four of them to make the NCO and three troopers, the other six were all the marching poses. I used a variety of Tricorn heads for them, exactly the look I had envisioned. These were EXACTLY what I wanted and damn, I am happy with them. I can’t remember the last time I was this pleased with what $20 had brought me.
I had forgotten to decide something important before assembling my models; namely, how I was going to base them. It wasn’t until after they were finished that I decided I wanted to trim the integral bases off, and pin them to 25mm round plastic bases. So I went ahead and prepared the bases, while those were drying up I removed the bases from the feet of the figures. I lost a few swords and a head or two while doing this, but nothing that could not be re-attached easily. A quick coat of white gesso to prime them, and the first group of soldiers for El Principado de la Comadreja were ready for painting.
My favourite color combination is black and yellow... originally I just thought it was pleasingling wasp-like, but I later learned that those colors are associated with suicide in Freudian psychology; now, it is my absolute favorite! So a nice black uniform, with yellow stockings, cuffs, and scarf sounds just the trick. And the waistcoat and trousers in dark grey, just to break it up a little. And as a final touch, white powdered hair and/or wogs far ahead of their time, just to make a nice contrast to all the black. And then, as I started to do the detail work, I slowly remembered what an absolute pain in the ass it is to paint yellow...
My immediate follow-up was my second assembly project, which I had been really looking forward to. I was going to build El Conejo Malo himself, the Lacepunk Punkrabbitt. I have gotten pretty good over the years at removing the feet, bunny tail, and head from a variety of Ral Partha’s Leaper and Thumper models, and then re-attaching them, Frankenstein-style, to plastic models. This time was no different, but I really wanted him to have a tricorn like the rest of my models. Fortunately, the WSS Infantry set come with plenty of extra heads, so it was no problem to remove the head from one and drop it onto the bunny head of my new conversion piece.
Except… except it looked too big. I don’t have a picture of it, but it definitely didn’t look right. So, I decided on a tiny tricorn, more like what a lady would wear in the city, but easily available from some leftover Essex 15mm WSS Dutch I had bought a lifetime ago and never finished. So I clipped the little hat off a dragoon, tried it on for size, and it looked perfect on his head. A little putty work for hair and I have a new tabletop avatar!