23 September 2017

Lauzun Legion (Minden Prussian) Hussars Freshly Rebased!!!

Here's the two-squadron regiment of hussars on their new 40mm wide x 50mm deep bases.

The Litko bases arrived in record time with the mail today.  Late this afternoon, I set about painting them.  After dinner and the Young Master's bedtime (we are working our way through a wonderful National Geographic for Kids book on insects, spiders, and other assorted creepy crawlies) I returned to detach the Minden figures carefully from their old unpainted illustration board bases, touch up the edges, and finally cement each rider and horse in place on their new (and F-I-N-A-L) bases.  

I am very pleased with the outcome and will add a couple of additional trumpeters, already in the leadpile, to the flanks of the two squadrons at some point in the not too distant future, eventually raising the regimental strength to 32 men and horses.  Tomorrow, I'll tackle basing the ten completed artillery crews. 

And now I am off to play a game or two of Yahtzi with the Grand Duchess and enjoy a glass or three of a new wine -- a red Zinfandel -- she picked up today while out running some Saturday errands. 

-- Stokes

Unusually, the dice gods were with me, and I was on fire for the first game of Yahtzi last night, while The Grand Duchess easily won the second game.  The wine was rather mellow, reminding me odd of a Merlot.  Sadly, we conked out by about 11:30 and retired upstairs.  What a couple of lightweights we are!  However, I discovered new episodes of Call the Midwife (Season Six) on Netflix and watched two (and looked over Prussian hussar uniforms) before giving up the ghost and turning out the bedside lamp.  

You know, I have 30 or so RSM95 Prussian hussars that might look really nice, albeit understated, painted as the 6th (von Wechmar) Hussars.  This, of course, is a very dangerous thought since at one time I believe I might have sworn publicly that I would never again paint a unit of hussars.

19 September 2017

Grrrrrrr. . .

A rather nice rendering of a Lauzun's Legion hussar, ca. 1781, from Uniformology.

Well, I sat down to stick my regiment of Minden Prussian hussars (painted as Lauzun's Legion hussars more or less) onto new 3mm ply bases the other night and made an unexpected and mildly frustrating discovery.  The galloping horses with legs outstretched actually need bases that are 50mm in depth rather than the 45mm deep bases I have on hand.  The metal figure bases are too long as are the outstretched legs of the horses.  Blast!  

So, a short while later, I placed a small order online, admittedly somewhat unanticipated, with Litko for bases 40mm wide x 50mm deep plus some  60mm wide x 120mm deep for my deployed artillery crews.  Hopefully, I'll have these in two weeks or so, but in the meantime, it's hurry up and wait.  Don't you just hate it when that happens?  I know.  I know.  First World problem as they say.

-- Stokes

Later. . .   On a Hot, Sticky Thursday, September 21st.

The basing gods have smiled on me this time!  Amazingly, the Litko people turned my order around very quickly, and it is already wheeling its way to me via USPS Priority Mail.  With any luck at all, the new bases might be here by Saturday afternoon, and I can continue with the rebasing of existing cavalry and artillery crews.  Service has always been fine from Litko for previous base orders -- no complaints -- but it sometimes took a couple of weeks before the order was filled and sent out to me.  Once in while the stars do indeed line up.

16 September 2017

Two More Cavalry Regiments (Almost) Rebased. . .

Holger Erisksson dragoons painted, more or less, as Von Trumbach Dragoons, and RSM95 Austrian cuirassiers painted as, if memory serves, Austria's Anspach Cuirassiers.

Almost another two cavalry regiments (two squadrons each plus regimental staff) rebased this Saturday afternoon and this evening. . .  even with planning for two classes on Monday,  The Holger Eriksson dragoons still need some retouching on the edges of the figures' individual bases, and then I can tack 'em down at some point tomorrow (Sunday).  One figure each will be replaced with standard bearers carrying white colonel's standards hopefully before too much longer, but they don't look too bad in the meantime.  Next up, a regiment of Minden hussars!

-- Stokes


The Holger Eriksson dragoons were painted in 2010, or early 2011 using the last of an old tin of Humbrol 'British Rifle Green' that I purchased during a visit to one-time MiniFigs HQ on Graham Road in Southampton while visiting Mom and then new Stepdad in the U.K. for Christmas and New Year's 1988-89.  He was then a lecturer at the University of Southampton before being hired to run a center (and as a tenured full professor to boot) at the University of Pittsburgh, which is what brought them back to the United States at the start of the 1990s.  

Anyway, the dragoon horses were painted with a base color of one or another Humbrol colors and then given a stain of one or another oil colors on top, part of which was then wiped away.  They are some of the nicest horses, I think, in the collection.

On the other hand, the RSM95 cuirassier horses were a much simpler affair.  Everything was first painted black, the horses were given the slightest dry-brushing of Ral Partha acrylic dark blue -- from a bottle purchased in 1997, which STILL manages to yield fluid, usable paint thanks to the addition of a drop or two of flow aid -- and the the bridles and reins were given dabs of silver and brass to approximate the metal parts, buckles, bits, and ornamentation.  Painting horses gets no easier, and I will probably use a similar shortcut when I return to painting heavy cavalry in the not too distant future. . .  with a few very dark brown horses tossed into the mix just to shake things up a bit. 

15 September 2017

First Cavalry Regiment Is Rebased!!!

The 4th (Trakehnen) Dragoons, my first ever cavalry regiment made up of Revell Austrian dragoons painted way back in February and March of 2007, on brand-spanking new multiple 3mm ply, laser-cut bases from Litko.

Well, after a few nights off, I got right back into the rebasing fray and began with the existing cavalry arm.  First off, a unit of 1/72 plastics that I completed during the late winter of 2007.  

The Litko 3mm ply bases measure 40mm wide x 45mm deep, in keeping with the dimensions suggested for close order cavalry in the rule set In the Grand Manner by the late Peter Gilder.  As I mentioned in a previous rebasing post, these have always looked right to me in the many photographs of his collections that I have scrutinized over the years in old issues of Military Modelling, Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated.  What I have always aimed to do these last 11 years, though it is only just now coming together, is to combine the very best visual features of Young and Lawford's, the Grants', and Gilder's approaches to horse and musket wargaming while at the same time imparting my stamp on the subject.  

We're just about there I think although there are several years of painting to get through before we can call things done (ha, ha, ha. . .).  The armies I envision will number 7-10 units of line infantry each, one or two of jaegers/grenzers/Croats, 4-5 of cavalry, along with several two-gun batteries of artillery.  The third arm is actually all done (guns crews, and limber teams) waiting only for the gun crews to be fixed to permanent bases.  And of course there is the famous supply train along with the pontoon train, pontooniers, pioneers, civilians, suttleresses and other camp followers, command vignettes of various types, etc.  All finished for some while now.

Still quite a bit of cavalry and infantry to complete though in light of last year's 50th birthday purchasing-orgy of cavalry castings from RSM95, Eureka and Minden.  I also  took a bunch of unpainted, unwanted, and unloved Minden Austrians and Prussians off the hands of a friend in Belgium for a reasonable price last winter, so the leadpile should keep me busy for the next several yeas I think.  Especially in light of my much reduced painting output these last couple of years or so.  The end product should be a rather nice mid-18th century force when it is finally finished.  That's getting a bit ahead of myself, of course, but I am reasonably certain that there will be more gray in my hair before everything is painted and based.  But the journey is half the fun, right?

Returning to the 30-figure unit of dragoons above for a moment, the regiment itself has been reconfigured as a two-squadron unit with two full ranks and a partial third of one officer and three NCOs.  One of the front rank figures in the far squadron will be replaced with another guidon bearer carrying the white colonel's color before long.  For the sake of the photograph, however, said trooper remains with his fellows albeit uncemented to the base in question for later ease of decommissioning.  

Tomorrow (Saturday), I'll either rebase a unit of RSM95 Austrian cuirassiers, or a regiment of Holger Eriksson dragoons depending on how the spirit seizes me in the morning.  Giddy up!

-- Stokes

Incidentally, this post is #1500 since I began this blog way back in August of 2006.  Since then, I've nattered incessantly on about painting and playing with toy soldiers, terrain, scenery, tables, scratch-built houses, favorite hobby-related books, magazines, and personalities, plus a game now and then as well as a variety of non-wargaming related fluff as and when the mood struck (skiing, camping, bicycling, child-rearing and fatherhood, occasional travel to foreign parts, house moves, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseam).  Which is really just a round about way of saying thank you for being a part of The Grand Duchy of Stollen experience.  There's still a bit of life in the ol' boy yet I think.

10 September 2017

Irish Grenzers and Composite Grenadier Battalion Rebased!!!

Whew!  The existing regiments of line infantry are now ALL rebased.  

I wrapped things up with a unit of Revell Austrians and Prussians, which are, according to the stipulations laid out in Charge!  Or How to Play War Games, battalion strength.  I'll call them a composite battalion of grenadiers, AND a light battalion of RSM95 Irish grenzers in the second photograph. . .  Technically, the grenzers are NOT line infantry, but I rediscovered them lurking in a plastic tub yesterday, and they also really needed refurbished bases, so. . .  

Time to take a short break for a few days now, and then start rebasing existing cavalry regiments: cuirassiers, dragoons, dragoons, and hussars.  There might be another regiment or two lurking in my plastic storage tubs, but I'll need to look and see what's what later in the week.

-- Stokes

09 September 2017

The Ermland Garde Newly (Re-) Based!!!

The newly rebased Ermland Garde (actually Revell SYW plastic Austrians), first painted way back in the summer of 2007.  Individually based (or rather UN-based) to begin with, this is the regiment's second -- and most definitely final -- rebasing.  Other than a bit of touching up with GW 'Goblin Green' around the edges of the figure bases, this was fairly easy and fairly quick to do this evening after dinner while I enjoyed a large mug of strong black coffee and some online jazz in the background.

Full steam ahead!  Just one more unit of line infantry to rebase tomorrow, a small two-company unit of combined grenadiers.  Next up in the rebasing queue, a plastic regiment of Austrian dragoons painted way back during January-February of 2007.  At this rate, I'll have to replenish my supply of Litko 3mm ply bases before long!

-- Stokes

08 September 2017

Rebased Zichenauer Provisional Regiment. . .

The newly (re-) based provisional regiment, made up o RSM95 Austrian, French, and Prussian figures along with two or three Hanoverian officers and the not-yet-demoted MiniFIg standard bearer, who will eventually be replaced by two RSM95 of Minden flag bearers and carrying new standards.  He has not been cemented to the central command base in anticipation of the approaching demotion.

Just flying through the rebasing here, and only two existing line infantry regiments remain after this one, The Ermland Garde and another composite formation, both consisting this time of Revell SYW plastic Austrians and Prussians.  I might actually be able to get the line infantry all done before Sunday evening  Cross your fingers and toes.

-- Stokes

Flickenhoffer Fusiliers Rebased!

Zichenau's Flicknhoffer Fusiliers freshly rebased, and with the former fourth company hived off to a newly raised composite regiment just beyond.  As usual, these two regiments await the issue of two new standards and two new standard bearers each (Minden or RSM95), so the current ensigns have not been glued down but included merely for the sake of the photograph.

There is no denying that organization and a bit of drive help to get things done.  I'm just breezing through the "To Do" list today.  Rather unusual for a Friday, but you've got to strike while the iron is hot.  Someone remind me of this in about six weeks when it will already be Midterm, and I'll be mired in the figurative sludge of the semester.


To answer a couple of questions from Gerardus Magnus. . .  Yes, the current rebasing efforts are meant to impart a more consistent, finished look to everything that has been painted during the last 11 years.  Long-time visitors might recall that I started out with totally unbased figures, but as the armies grew, moving several hundred  or more in a game became too time consuming.  So, the decision to move in the direction of multiple bases was made in 2012 or '13 during my refight of The Battle of the Elbow River.  

I've always thought the base dimensions laid out for line infantry in Peter Gilder's In The Grand Manner rules captured the closely packed horse and musket appearance that I sought for many, many years.  Blame photographs of the late Mr. Gilder's and Doug Mason's figures in early issues of Miniature Wargames, which I first stumbled across way back in the early 1980s as a callow youth.  Now, I don't listen to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest quite so much anymore, but those photographs, in particular (of 25mm British, French, Austrian, and Bavarian Napoleonics) continue to be one of several hobby touchstones that I turn to again and again.

Second, yes, as you'll see above the newly formed composite regiment at the rear of the photograph is made up entirely of previously painted figures.  It includes a company of Kurmainz Grenadiers along with some vaguely French looking figures at center, who also comprise some of the regimental staff (along with two Hanovarian officers on foot) and some Prussian fusiliers painted originally in white uniforms as part of the Flickenhoffer Fusiliers about six or  seven years ago.  All figures are from RSM95.  

At some point down the road, I might repaint the French and Prussian fusiliers, and provide them with more or less h1storic uniforms, but there are quite a few infantry and cavalry in the lead pile to take care of before I start thinking seriously about repainting anything.  All things being equal, and assuming my health remains pretty good, I figure I've got about 20 years or so of figure painting left in me.  Unless of course we all become cyborgs in the meantime, and then who knows?  In any case, given my fairly modest painting output these last several years, I've got to finish what's already here in all good conscience.

-- Stokes

06 September 2017

Hansastadt Infantry Newly (Re-) Based

Another 60-figure regiment of RSM95 Prussian infantry, painted this time as Hanseatic troops from Bremen, Luebeck, and Hamburg (according to an old Knoetel plate and a few other illustrations equally antiquated) back in late 2011, I think, as part of a friendly painting challenge with some like-minded wargaming friends and acquaintances in the far flung corners of the earth.  New Minden standard bearers and flags are coming here too, so the old MiniFig standard bearer lurks at the rear of the command base, but he has not been cemented into place.

Well, things are cooking here at Stollen Central for the moment, and the existing four line infantry regiments in the Army of Stollen are all rebased.  Time to paint up another unit's worth of bases and get started on rectifying base-related issues for the Army of Zichenau.  A relatively consistent and 'finished' look is the intent.  At this rate, I might be finished with the infantry much sooner than anticipated and can forge ahead with existing cavalry and artillery crews.  No denying that commercially produced bases, terrained or simply painted a uniform green, really help with presentation.

-- Stokes

05 September 2017

Württemberg Garde zu Fuß Based!

30mm Huzzah! figures painted as, more or less, the Württemberg Garde zu Fuß in 2010 or '11.  They await the addition of their white Colonel's color, and I actually have a spare figure all base-coated and in progress.

Three existing regiments of line infantry are now -- for The Grand Duchy of Stollen that is -- all cemented to new laser cut bases with one more to go.  I'll tackle these this weekend although I might paint the base surfaces my usual bright green before then if time permits.  Then, I can turn my attention to the line regiments comprising the Army of Zichenau before turning my attention to (re-) basing the cavalry and deployed artillery crews.

The figures used for the regiment shown above, and sold to me by Der Alte Fritz back in 2009, are from the limited Huzzah! range, which appeared in 2007 or '08 at the height of the "Old School Wargaming" craze.  Sadly, nothing more ever appeared, and the range petered out although the Prussian infantry figures are apparently still sold by Fighting 15s.  If memory serves, there was some serious family illness or emergency that got in the way of anymore being developed for the range.  Too bad since they have a certain something although I prefer the more slender RSM95, Minden, Fife &Drum, and Crann Tara figures at this point.

In any case, here they are, and they don't look half bad.  Next up, a regiment of red-coated, white-faced Hanseatic infantry painted back in late 2012.

-- Stokes


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