Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vimy Project Planning

As I mentioned in the previous post I am back to working on the Vimy Project. The short version of all that is that on Sunday, 9 April 2017 – on the centenary of the event - I’m planning on staging a massive game of the Canadian Corps’ attack on Vimy Ridge. To do this I’m going to have to acquire and paint a division worth of minis for the Canadians each year between now and then, as well as make miniature terrain of the ground over which they fought AND acquire (or cast) and paint the opposing Germans. 

About seven years ago (really… THAT long!?) I started the initial planning . I modeled, cast, and painted my own miniatures (then for two brigades of the 4th Canadian Division and two regiments of Germans that were holding the lines opposite them, built the terrain the 4th Division fought over, and eventually ran the game at Mayday 2007. Initially I’d planned to carry on with doing one division a year (or every other year?) and have it all done for the 95th anniversary… but… well… I got doing other things… In the meantime I’d had plans for doing the Battle on the Plains of Abraham for the 250th anniversary or that… and the Battle of Queenston Heights for the 200th anniversary… and didn’t manage to do either of those… Well I’m not going to miss this one! So…

This Year (2014)

I’m going to do the 3rd Division… I’ve already done the 8th Brigade and one battalion of the 7th Brigade (42nd (Royal Highlanders) Battalion). I need to finish painting the rest of the 7th Brigade (which I already have the miniatures for – except for a Trench Mortar and crew…). Then I need to acquire and paint the 9th Brigade (probably from Brigade Games).

Despite having my own miniatures that I could cast as many as I like of… I decided I’d do a brigade of miniatures from each manufacturer that do late war British/Canadians. I know… it’s a bit daft… but that’s how I roll.

I will also have paint up two regiments of Germans (Reserve Infantry Regiments No. 262 and 263). These I will probably use my own home-cast figures…

That’s a total of seven Canadian and six German battalions to paint – or about 200 figures. Very do-able.

I also have a bunch of guns and crews I’d like to do (3x 18 pdr, 4x 4.5” howitzer)

I also need to build terrain for the 3rd Division to fight over. But I’ve been building a lot of terrain lately, so that shouldn’t be too difficult… and I need to finish fixing up the 4th Division’s Terrain. I started this process a year and  a half ago, but then lost steam and only managed to finish one of the four terrain sections.

Next Year (2015)

In 2015 I will do the 2nd Division. This division I have NOTHING for So I will need to acquire three brigades worth of figures (I was thinking a brigade each from Gripping Beast/Woodbine, First Corps/Kingmaker, and Irregular Miniatures). I will also need to cast up and paint Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 3. And, of course, the terrain… Also I think there was a few British battalions on loan from the British 5th Division that I’ll need to do…

The terrain will get a bit more challenging each year as the area fought over gets larger.

The Following Year (2016)

Unlike the 2nd Division I actually HAVE a bunch of stuff for the 1st Division – and some of it’s even painted! One brigade (2nd Infantry Brigade, I think…) will be made up of miniatures from Old Glory - which I already have. Another Brigade (the 3rd Infantry Brigade) had three Highland battalions. Two of those are made up of the very first figure I ever modelled and cast – a highlander, and the third are Old Glory - and most of those are already painted. The Brigade had another regular infantry battalion and I’m not sure what I’ll do for that… maybe just cast my own. The remaining Brigade I will use Wargames Foundry  figures – and I already have one battalion of them. Opposing them was the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 1 that I’ll need to do

Each year I’ll probably have to do a few extra German battalions that were thrown in from various reserves along the line…

In all that’s 28 Battalions of Canadians I need to finish up and 12+ battalions of Germans (let’s say about 17 – including the bonus reserve battalions). That’s about 700 infantry to paint in the next three years. There’ll be a bunch more – guns, MGs, mortars, brigade and regimental commanders… let’s say 800… That’s a little less that what I’ve been averaging the last few years – so if I manage to only spend 1/3 of my hobby time for the next three years painting Vimy stuff I should have little trouble getting it done!

(So I should have lots of time still for other distractions – like  A Song of Blades and Heroes and  A Fistful of Kung Fu – Hong Kong Movie Wargame Rules!) 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More planning for 2014 - what to do with the rest of the year... besides all the Vimy Stuff? 

A Summer Game Weekend? 


  1. I'll follow this highly ambitious project closely.

  2. My head is spinning just reading about this mate. What on earth will you do with all this stuff when you're done?

    1. Well, once the whole Canadian Corps is done I could build all sorts of other terrain boards for other later war battles... Regina Trench (at the Somme), Passchendale, Amiens, Canal du Nord, Cambrai, etc, etc...

      Rent a van and haul it to conventions every couple years...? I don't know...