And then there are the - thankfully fairly rare - days like today. The day when some of the exciting feeling of a new project disappears like the early morning mist on the Veldt. The day when you actually count up how many figures need painting...and converting. The day when reality makes first contact with your dreams!
Oops. That's the day you look at the little metal figures and shake your head. Sometimes laughing in disbelief. Sometimes softly, trying to convince yourself this was a good idea. And you slowly recount the figures. No, surely there can't have been that many. I must have miscounted. No...I counted right the first time. Oooops.
Yes, mes braves, its time to show you The Box.
Well, they they are. Les Tirailleurs Senegalais. Oh, and there's another layer below them of more Tirailleurs and French Legion Entranger. And some machine guns. And some casualties. And some other stuff I don't need to trouble you with right now.... And some spare heads....actually, rather a lot of spare heads.
I know what you're thinking. That's quite a few figures to convert ... and that really is a lot of heads to swap....
...and you'd be right!
It's been a slightly subdued morning in the painting room after I realised how much I had to do and just how small those lovely Woodbine Design Company heads are.
But every journey starts with a first step. I've selected the first nineteen figures for preparation, conversion and basing. I've chosen figures which are similar enough to give me a feel for how to manage the conversions over a larger group, but varied enough so I don't get bored. And, because I keep convincing myself I enjoy a challenge, I've included a company command base in the first batch as well (with some Forgotten & Glorious Tirailleur heads).
And yes, that is a lot of modelling putty in the photograph below. Sadly, perhaps even depressingly, no enterprising figure manufacturer has yet cast anything I can use for a coupe-coupe machete to be glued onto the belt of the figures. Ahh....so that's what the modelling putty is for...
All done by December? What are the chances? Ninety 28mm figures (including the Legion Etranger), in three months. To be honest, there's maybe be a slim chance of that happening. Which is just enough of a chance to go for it!
And, although books about the Tirailleur Senegalais are a little thin on the ground, I've plenty of inspiration for wargaming in Africa from other sources - some eminently respectable, some a little more eccentric!
So, wish me luck. I better get moving. Those Adrien helmets won't swap themselves!