The first large historical army I owned, was the New Model Army in 15mm which I loved, and picked the brains of the late, great Peter Armstrong for tips on painting it all up fast, plaguing him with early morning visits to Games Workshop on the quieter days, and learning from a man who was, at the time, the master of all things paint orientated and an ECW buff himself.
It was a large undertaking in the early 80s on £3 per week, and the figures I chose were a mix of Mikes Models and Gallia. Darren Ashmore, Roger Smith, Mark Bamford, Keith Rhodes and Steve Smith all collected regiment upon regiment , and as many of us were reenactors, we took our ECW very seriously back then.
We played some great games using the Gush rules for the Renaissance including sieges, marching our arMies on to the field before starting at an appointed time, all in the name of getting that sense of 'period feel'.
I had 28mm armies in later years, but they never quite caught that same vibe as the original.
Last night I commissioned Lancashire Games to paint that army for me again as well as an opposing Scots Royalist army. I used the WRG lists but reworked them to 1:33 and to be based in elements with a view to using Horse, Foote & Faith fast play rules. I spent this afternoon writing the painting instructions for Allan at Lancashire, who is in my opinion a gentleman of the old cut, who must be sighing as he reads through it all.
Tonight, I am off to see Big Country, whose music kept me company on many a long distance trip to an ECW event or wargames show. It doesn't get much better.
I am in a state of retro gaming bliss as you may imagine.