Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Miniature Musings - Happy Birthday, By Brush and Sword!

 Ten year ago today, I posted my first entry on this blog: The Assault on Villa Fontaine - Flames of War AAR. I was just getting into wargaming properly (just starting in college and gaming in my parent's basement) with the 2nd edition of Flames of War, a somewhat unique entry to the hobby that's mostly dominated by Games Workshop.

Handmade bocage and fields (which I still have!), old Citadel Scenery hills, 2D buildings and partially painted miniatures. Ah, simpler times. 

I was also already spreading out into more boutique historical options, like the original edition of This Very Ground for some French & Indian War gaming. 

Of course, Warhammer made an early appearance with some Orks and Imperial Guard. 

Another early post was an AAR of one of my first games with my old Pennsylvania group; a wonderful group of gamers who I still infrequently get the chance to meet up with when I'm in the area.

Not all of my posts were about games. Early on I wrote my first (if infrequent) "Miniature Musings" about the closure of a local hobby shop. While focused on train modelling, Herb's Hobbies & Crafts was a great place for paint, brushes, flock, and terrain; everything a new hobbyist might need to start. It was a shame that just as I was starting in the hobby, a local resource was shutting down. 

I also started posting about painting as well, with my first "Painting Update" featuring the 15mm Fallschirmjager I painted for a friend at the time.

I remember being pretty proud at the time, as not only was it the first "army" I had painted, but I had taken the time and effort to paint splinter camo in 15mm. 

I also worked on my French & Indian War miniatures (18mm, from Old Glory/Blue Moon. I started out pretty focused on smaller scales!). 

It's interesting to look back at how I used to set up mini-dioramas for my miniatures, instead of the light box that I use now. Part of that was the ease of being able to leave my hobby supplies set up in my parents basement (as opposed to my own smaller and basementless home now). With the better camera on my phone in the present, I almost miss that old style. 

As for numbers, I've written 469 blog posts in the past decade (470 including this one). 322 of those have been after-action reports. Painting updates have taken up 99 posts. Musings, reviews, and scattered other posts make up the rest. 

It wasn't until 2015 that I started my end-of-the-year posts reviewing what I had played. The next year I actually kept track of how many games I had played, and in 2018 I started tracking what I had painted. It's actually a shame, when I think about it; what information have I lost in those years when I didn't track those numbers?

So, what the future for the blog? 

I'm not sure. I worry at times that burnout will eventually see me finally abandon the blog on my own volition, or if Blogger finally ends as a service (it's been going since 1999 and has managed to limp along in the current dumpster-fire environment of social media). 

I've had friends and other wargamers express appreciation for the pictures I take of their games, as ways for them to remember the effort they've put in and fun they've had. And I think that's the main motivation for continuing this blog. It's a way to document the experiences of an engaging hobby that's helped me meet a lot of great people and learn so much, while also providing a lot of entertainment. 

I can't say if it'll be here in another decade. But here's hoping!


  1. I hope to see your blog continue into the next decade.

  2. Keep on blogging. I go back and look at my own old posts to rekindle the fire every now and again.

    1. Agreed, it's fun to go back and look at old games.

  3. Blogging (and this blog) is one of the things that keeps me going!