Napoleonics, ACW and North Africa, Oh My!

I've learned over the years to accept that there is no short cut when it comes to my painting.  It simply takes as long as it takes, however long that may be.  Don't get me wrong, I've tried different methods over the years.  Sometimes I followed the latest trends, other times I flew directly in the face of them.  I had a go at batch painting.  It didn't work for me. I tried using a white undercoat and applying my colours in thin washes. It looked good, but it was a pale wash out when I put the model next to the rest I had painted my usual way.   I even recently tried the gray undercoat that seems to be used more and more on posts these days.  That just did my head in when it came to my bases, so that didn't stick either.
 Of course, things haven't stayed the same either.  Whilst my favoured undercoat is still black, I no longer leave black outlines between items on my models.  That of course just aged me!  I also no longer use inks.  I do however sometimes use the Army Painter Inks, which as we all know are not inks, but are instead some very nice washes.  I began painting with Games Workshop paints.  That lasted for many years.  Until I discovered Vallejo, that is.
But over the many years I've been painting miniatures, one thing has always remained constant.  My fear of making a mess of them.  I suspect the main cause of this paralysis is never having a lot of money.  I cherish the miniatures I buy.  I don't want to ruin them.  And whilst I know I could make my money go a lot further if I dropped the scale, I just love modelling at my beloved 28mm.
If you're a regular reader of this blog (which you can follow by pointing your cursor over the black boxes to the right of your screen and clicking the Follow button when it pops up) you'll know that a combination of multiple jobs, low income and studies means I don't get anywhere near as much time for my hobby as I'd like.  That's why there have been such lulls between posts over this last year.  So when it comes to painting, I often hold off for fear that I'm too tired, might duff it up, don't know what to paint, can't remember which colours to use for a certain uniform and so on.  Whatever the excuse, the truth is I often do myself out of an opportunity to paint when the time comes around.

So I decided that my pick and mix approach to painting wasn't getting me anywhere fast, and something needed to be done about it.  I'm blessed to have just about enough figures to make two opposing core forces for three different theatres of war.

So I decided to make use of my social media presence, diminutive though it is, and see what my friends thought.  I decided to be clever and put a poll on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Let's deal with my Facebook post first.  I decided it was best placed on my page StiuMac's Worlds in Miniature.  Of course, once I had begun, I realized that the poll option wasn't available on pages.  Sigh.  So I wrote it all down and thought I was clever asking people to vote by making a comment.  You can see how well that one turned out:
Moving on then, we come to my post in my Twitter feed.
This looks a lot more promising.  Definitely a few bites here.  However, I should point out that poor MarkB never managed to view the poll options for some reason known only to the interweb.  I really appreciated Mark's comments and encouragement, though.  Ultimately his vote was for the American Civil War.  Now, if you add that into the results above, you'll see that it means each option had an equal number of responses.  Now, this might be interesting and may even suggest that I could actually for once in my life have my finger on the pulse of people's interests, but it doesn't put me far on the road to making a decision.

Thankfully things turned out slightly more helpfully on Google+.
Of course, I had added a fourth option on this post, just to fulfill my wanderlust tendencies to date. And although it has been a close call between North Africa for WWII and Napleonics for Sharp Practice, the latter is the clear winner.

This is actually a good thing, as I personally began to favour this project over the others once I had launched these polls.  I've always wanted to game this period.  I've long been put off for fear of criticism from the purists and experts.  But my experience with the overwhelming feedback I have received on social media have put those fears away.  All I've got to do now is get on with it!

And finally, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote on my polls.  I appreciate your time and thoughtful input.  And if the Napoleonic period wasn't your preferred choice, please rest assured that I will be working on these other projects soon.  In fact, if I end up reverting to my old ways, then that may happen sooner than any of us think!


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