Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mass Production Methods

First, I would like to welcome new reader ZeroTwentyThree to the blog. I hope you enjoy it.

It has been awhile since I wrote on this blog and that has been because I take on too many projects simultaneously. I don't know why I do it, but there you are.

I made some Prussian Napoleonic Landwehr and sent them off to Bob Barnetson to be painted. You can find the results on his blog. I've finally gotten them in an am happy to report that they look as good in person as they do in the pictures. I am currently building a batch for Bob right now and that has prompted this short blog entry.

One of the lessons of making my wooden soldiers is that much of the time spent is in switching between tool bits - the various sanders, grinders, and drills. Because it takes so much time (and puts wear on the tool) it makes sense to minimize that as much as possible, which means doing quite a number of similar bits and pieces before moving on to another.

For example, I have to use a jig to make my shakos and it takes a few minutes to use it properly, so it makes sense not to make only one shako, even if that is all I need. So now I typically grab as dozen spools or so and make them into shako, storing the excess in zip lock storage bags until I need them.

Another technique is build several different types of units, or units in different stages of construction, at the same time. Often you find yourself gluing two components together and then needing to sand one of the components just glued. Rather than weakening the bond from sanding it too soon, it is better to switch to another task, either making new components or working on ones that have dried thoroughly. This usually means having several different projects to work on at the same time.

Right now I am working on a Napoleonic infantry unit (I have not decided on which specific one yet, which is the beauty of these figures; most of the detail is in the painting) and two small cavalry units. When they ar built, I will take pictures and then send them off to Bob for painting.

I still need to finish my 25mm Romans DBA army and I have to figure out a better way to make artillery. Plus I have to make it a little smaller if I want to have any hope of using it on anything other than a humongous table.


  1. Does this mean you'll be building some CNC Napoleonics armies?

  2. Actually, I am building 14 figure infantry units as that is what is needed for Drums and Shakos Large Battles. A rather ambitious project, I know, but when it is complete it will look awesome.

    I did play a game of CCN last weekend, introducing it to a Memoir '44 veteran, and I appreciate the game more. I still do not like how the British reverse slope and fire and charge tactics are not modeled, but as a game it is a good one.




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