19 January 2019

Strike While the Painting Iron Is Hot!!!

Next up, fleshtone to the faces and hands.  Usually, I have always applied this particular color first, but it seemed like a good idea to shake things up a bit this time around.

Although not really a conscious New Year's resolution, I have quietly determined that I will not let myself be distracted from hobby pursuits this year because of various work and life commitments.  Life is for living, and we should not permit the stressful and/or tedious things to impede our enjoyment of all the various things that we enjoy.  But I have done just that and allowed the stress and tedium to overtake everything else the last 3.5 years.  Enough!  

It has begun to seem , to me at least, that I have lost my hobby bearings the last few years as a result, the residual effects of our big move back in June 2015.  High time now to get things (and myself) back on track.  While I want to avoid being too prescriptive for anyone else, to me historical miniature wargaming should be about fighting tabletop battles, historic or otherwise, with one's figures above all.

That means, or course, that one must get 'em painted first, which requires getting one's lazy you-know-what into the painting chair more often that has been the case for me since about 2014 If I am honest about it.  Things were clicking along fairly well until the spring of 2015, you might recall, when new opportunities knocked for The Grand Duchess and me, and we pulled up stakes to move from the decidedly arid, brown, and flat Central Illinois, to the decidedly more lush environs of Mid-Michigan.  An unfortunate side effect of the move has been, however, that I have never really been able to get the painting train back on the rails in a satisfactory way due to a variety of things.  The daily onslaught of life as I have termed it.

But now is the time, children!  High time to make a more concerted effort and reclaim the hobby that has already provided so much pleasure over the years.  So far, so good for late 2018 and very early 2019, but then we are just two weeks into the new university semester (term), so let's see how things actually progress.  I know, I know.  The best laid plans and all of that.  I can hear the collective mirthful chuckles already.  But, as Phil Olley noted some years ago, in an article on hobby project management that appeared in an early issue of Battlegames, and I'm paraphrasing badly here, "He who has no target, hits nothing."

Recent weeks, then, have felt like things are back on track with the target, if I might use the term, of having enough units painted in the next few years (Two-four?  Or three-five?) for any of the medium to largish scenarios presented in Charles S. Grant's wargaming scenario titles.  Even casual perusal of books like Programmed Wargame Scenarios, Scenarios for Wargamers, or Scenarios for All Ages (Charles S. Grant and Stuart Asquith), present numerous scenarios involving, say 6-10 infantry units per side along with  related cavalry and artillery.  

While my collections has become top heavy, over the years, with artillery crews, guns, and horse teams, not to mention command vignettes and various support elements, I am still a bit short on infantry and cavalry for all but the smallest battles.  So, the target over the next few years is to increase my infantry and cavalry arms above all.

All well and good, you might  say, but how does this relate to what I've got cooking right now?   Glad you asked.

While I wait to make sure all of the gold and silver the oil bits are good and dry to the touch before glossing all of those German curiassiers in bearskin bonnets, to say nothing of finishing the white horse markings and touching up the dandy Prince Soubise and his equally natty aide before they are glossed and get their groundwork, I have turned my attention to other things in the meantime.  

At the moment, that includes a smaller, composite unit of Minden Austrian (German) Grenadiers (above).  These have been sitting around taking up space in several plastic compartment trays with lids, since I purchased a small LOAD of unwanted Prussian and Austrian infantry castings (Minden, but of course!) from a friend in Belgium during January or February 2017.  His asking price, including postage, was simply too good to pass it up, and so I jumped, knowing full well that it might be several years before this relative windfall of figures would be painted in full.  Fair enough.  The drawer of unpainted lead became, well and truly, a veritable pile of lead.

Once the package of exquisite 1/56th scale castings arrived, the first thing I did was to purchase a bunch of those plastic compartmentalized trays with snap-top lids, and then sorted carefully through everything to see what I suddenly had on hand.  It took quite a few days truth be told.  Over and above what was already in the drawer of lead though, enough unwanted new figures arrived (infantry, officers, NCOs, musicians, and mounted officers) to create eight or nine 60-figure regiments plus several (seven or eight) smaller composite grenadier battalions (two small companies each)  like the one shown above.  

Incidentally, I more or less use the infantry organizations suggested in Young and Lawford's Charge!  Or How to Play War Games (1967) as a planning guide for the envisioned units.  Hey, when you're stuck in a rut that satisfying, why climb out of it?

 A grenadier of Hessen-Darmstadt's Leib grenadiers, ca. 1751.

 A grenadier of Kurk├Âln's Wildenstein Infantry, ca. 1757.

The specific unit shown at the top of this post will be based on both Hessen-Darmstadt's Leib Grenadiers in white and grenadiers of the Wildenstein Infantry from Kurkoeln in blue each with red facings.  Not an exact replica, you understand, since the large Austrian cuffs are wrong for the Hessen-Darmstadt troops, but close enough for yours truly.  Essentially primary colors plus black, white, browns, and metallics.  Simple.  To the point.  Eye-catchingly, mouth wateringly good.  And no complicated infantry standards to complicate the picture and slow down time to completion.  What's not to like?

Thus far, I've just been blocking in the main colors using a couple of #6 round brushes.  Things have gone so quickly, that I have been motivated to keep going.  I've managed to get all of this accomplished in less than a week, really about three evenings of 60-90 minutes each plus a few additional 10-30 minute sessions.   It's amazing what even a short painting session can accomplish.  Belated thanks also to Greg Horne, of The Duchy of Alzheim blog, for sharing the large brush tip with me some years ago.  Basically, use as large a brush as possible, with a good point, for the bulk of your painting.

What also seems to speed things up appreciably are the temporary painting base strips of six-eight figures.  Imagine that!  I've always painted infantry before using single temporary bases, and it is amazing the amount of time wasted simply picking up and putting down each figure, not to mention turning it around to paint all sides of a particular figure part or item.  I don't know why it has taken me three plus decades to figure out this simple method for more efficient and rapid painting, but there we are.  

Clearly, I am nowhere near as intelligent (or quick-witted) as I once thought.  Exceedingly dim, rather, possibly so called 'slow normal,' or as my late maternal grandparents might have chuckled and said, "Stokes, you're about as sharp as a mashed potato sandwich!"

Kids, don't try this at home.

-- Stokes 


Apropos my previousremarks about life being for living, we have finally had enough snow just today for cross-country (Nordic) skiing here in Mid-Michigan without the need to drive several hours north, or over nearer to the Lake Michigan coast.  Given the dropping temperatures, the snow ought to be around in our neck of the woods for a while, so the three of us are planning to head out for a skiing adventure tomorrow (Sunday) morning after breakfast for the Young Master to break in his new, longer skis that Santa Claus brought just this Christmas.  

So, for a few hours tomorrow, we'll stand in for Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, and the fetching Ulla Jacobsson in The Heroes of Telemark.  Don't tell her, but the Grand Duchess has always reminded me of the late Ms. Jacobsson!  It must be the icy Swedish blue eyes, round face, and general stature.  Who knew that I was looking into my future when I first saw the movie as an 11-year-old?  Crazy, man.  Crazy.


For those who might be interested, this is the order in which I have applied the various colors so far:

White Basecoat
Tan and Dark Blue (Coats and/or Breeches)
Black (Hats, Bearskin Bonnets, Shoes, and Gaiters)
Mid-Brown (Fur-covered Haversacks)
Dark Brown (Musket Stocks, Pikes, Drums) 

Fleshtone (Faces and Hands)
Green (Figure Bases)
Dark Red (Silk Bags, Facings, and Turnbacks)
Etc., etc.

12 January 2019

Soubise and Aide Vignette Progress Photos. . .

Several photographs to share following a lengthy painting session this afternoon, devoted entirely to holding my breathe and applying lots of oil-based gold paint to Soubise and his aide.  Not too many brush mishaps either, which does not happen that often.  I must admit to feeling pretty pleased with the results of this particular painting session, so I'm stopping for the day.  No sense in lousing up previous work thanks to tired eyes or a shaky brush hand.  Anyway, some white markings on the two horses, touch-ups, and glossing next followed by some limited groundwork, and then we can call 'em done I think.

-- Stokes

One of several references I found online that I am using as a guide to help paint my version of Soubise.  His tactical shortcomings aside, the uniform illustrated is reason enough to add him to my numerous command vignettes.

He Would Have Turned 102 on January 9th. . .

My late maternal grandfather, David Lewis Stokes, the subject of this particular post.

The shoulder patch of his unit, the long defunct U.S. 13th Airborne Division.

This past Wednesday -- January 9, 2019 -- would have been my maternal grandfather's 102nd birthday.  Hard to believe since the image of him that I carry in my mind is of a tall, blond, soft-spoken small town North Carolina boy, who seemed, when I was young, to be as tall as an oak tree and strong as an ox.  

Like so many of his era, Granddaddy was involved in the Second World War, the European Theater in his case.  Initially an anti-aircraft gunner in a Pennsylvania National Guard unit stationed on Curacao where he defended the Dutch oil fields, he later transferred and trained as both a paratrooper and glider-borne infantry.  Scary stuff when one considers how so many similar units of troops fared during WWII when facing the enemy.  

Arriving in Le Havre, France during the winter of 1944-45, his new division, the 13th Airborne, never quite saw combat though it was slated to be dropped into Germany and, later, Japan.  Luckily, neither ever happened for a variety of reasons, and the men were shipped home to the United States in early 1946 where the division was demobilized.  Unlike countless others, he came home relatively unscathed.

Most of my Grandfather's history as a soldier I know from my own reading about his division (I have his division history book on my shelf), or by piecing things together that others in the family have told me over the years.  Granddaddy really never talked much about his own wartime experiences, with the exception of  a few funny sergeants' stories.  I once asked him, though, about a fellow in the division who was killed in a training accident, and all my grandfather said was that he had been very close by when it happened, that they had been friends, and then the subject was changed.  Somehow, I knew, even at the age of six or seven, that this was something he preferred not to discuss, and I didn't bring the subject up again.  

By and large, my grandfather and I had a good relationship, and I idolized him as a boy.  He was basically a gentle soul, who would have given you the shirt off his back if he thought it might help you somehow.  And he rarely said anything negative about anyone, or anything.  When he did, the remark was usually so understated and/or oblique that it in no way led to hostility or hurt feelings.

Once, when I was about 22, with very long, puffy 80s hair, Granddaddy and I were out together running errands for my grandmother.  We stopped by a local supermarket bakery to pick up a cake she had ordered, and the lady behind the counter at one point said to my grandfather, "Well, Grandpa, what do you think of his hair?"  Pausing for a beat or two, my grandfather chuckled quietly and replied, "Oh, let's just talk about Jesus," which elicited laughter from all three of us.

Granddaddy and I remained close until the day he died in mid-July 2006, the night before my wife, The Grand Duchess, and I returned home from our honeymoon in Minnesota and The Dakotas.  There was a brief message from my mother on our telephone answering machine on the afternoon when we got in asking me to call her.  Since he had not been well enough to attend our wedding three weeks before with my grandmother, I realized at once that Granddaddy was gone.  In the time since, not a day goes by that he doesn't cross my mind at some point.  And often more than that.


In hobby news, things are to the point where I can start all of the gold lace on the 'Soubise and Aide' vignette over on the painting desk.  For this task, I'll use oil-based gold paint applied sparingly with pretty dry bristles to avoid mishaps.  Of course, you've got to be careful, but there is no getting away from the rich brilliance of oil-based metallics.

I've also sorted through the drawer of lead this week, selected, and tacked down to temporary cardboard painting bases enough Austrian infantry to create a 60-figure+ regiment of Austrian or Reichsarmee troops as well as a 30-figure+ combined battalion of grenadiers in bearskins, according to the organizational guidelines laid out on Charge!  Or How to Play War Games.   

I'll tackle the small combined grenadier battalion first I think.  It makes sense to start with the smaller unit right now given the usual demands of work and family life.  Once both of these units are finished, I'll return to the cavalry later in the year and paint up some two-squadron regiment or other.  Probably some Uhlans de Saxe, or maybe some more Saxon curiassiers, but who knows?  At this point, that's putting the cart before the, ahem, horse. 

-- Stokes 

Two attractive possibilities for the respective halves of the planned combined grenadier battalion: Hessen-Darmstadt's Leib Regiment and Kurkoeln.  Half the fun of planning what to paint comes, I think, from looking through loads of old illustrations in books and online.  If there were a Ph.D. to earn somewhere in uniformology. . .

05 January 2019

Soubise Takes Shape. . .

Soubise (left) and aide take shape.

A few different short sessions in the painting chair this Saturday afternoon and into the early evening.  I've already gone ahead and added highlights to certain areas, including horse tack and coats.  

Soubise's coat, in particular has three different tones of acrylic red.  I finished by just barely touching small amounts of scarlet to the highest areas, taking care NOT to highlight the small of his back, which would get less natural light than, say his shoulders, upper back, or the very ends of his coattails.  

Still plenty to do, yes, but the two figures and their horses are starting to look kind of nice if I do say so myself.  Maybe a bit more work this evening after the Young Master's bedtime?  I'll see which way the painting wind blows.

-- Stokes

04 January 2019

A Small Painting Breather. . .

These two figures have been hanging around for several years now.  Since 2013 or '14 maybe?  High time then to do something with them!

A piece of sage advice came from one visitor (Wellington Man?) to the Grand Duchy of Stollen during the last few days, who suggested that I reward myself for finally getting the monster cuirassier regiment done by painting something small next.  Hence the command vignette above, which I worked on in two short bursts of painting yesterday and another slightly longer session during the evening, just post-bedtime for the Young Master.  The figure in red at right is intended to be, or at least is based upon various illustrations, portraits, and a painted 40mm flat found online of Charles de Rohan, Prince of Soubise.  

Still blocking in the main base colors and highlights in acrylic at this point, but I must admit to feeling very pleased with the way the basic horse colors turned out.  As usual, these are oils -- Van Dyke Brown and Sepia -- applied over yellow and a leather tan hobby acrylic bases respectively.  I further wiped off the excess and then feathered over each with a clean, dry brush to soften the remaining color.  Awfully time consuming for, say, a regiment of 30 horses, but the extra time and effort is worth it for a command vignette.  Stay tuned in the coming days to see how things shape up with these two.

In the meantime, the 30 cuirassiers in bearskins have been placed in a plastic container for safe keeping while a few remaining tiny bits finished in oils dry to the touch before I apply two coats of acrylic gloss.  I've also set up 60 or so Minden Austrian (German) infantry for basecoating but have yet to decide whether these will become proper Austrians in 'white', who will march beneath earlier WAS-era flags. . .  Or blue coated Reichsarmee troops (in uniforms of Austrian cut), who will eventually take the field beneath equally flamboyant standards.  I haven't been able to make up my mind quite yet, but daydreaming is the thing as I mentioned in yesterday's post.  

Further back in the painting queue, are some Minden Uhlans de Saxe, I think, given to me by the amazingly wonderful Grand Duchess for Christmas 2016, that really ought to see the light of day on the painting table.  And, given an apparent surplus of Austrian grenadiers in bearskins currently residing in the drawer of lead, if things go well and I actually have some time left during the last quarter of 2019, I might just whip up a smaller tw0-comany composited unit of Grenadiers drawn from a couple of regiments with widely divergent uniform and facing colors.  Given my scarce hobby time and glacial painting production of late, though, that is, without doubt, getting a little ahead of myself.  Let's get Soubise and his aide finished first!

-- Stokes

03 January 2019

At Long Last, It's Stollen Time!!!

This year's Stollen, which the Grand Duchess snapped a picture of after dusting it with powdered sugar.  It is and has been wonderful.

Der Stollen is da!  The Grand Duchess came through yet again and baked us our annual Christmas stollen last night.  Authentic Dresdnerstollen baked using the usual recipe from one of Sonja's German language cookbooks.  A few weeks late, sure, but then she is a busy lady in her recent associate dean guise of the last two years.  One final bit of Christmas in any case.  A stollen to honor the arrival of the three kings then. 

Needless to say, the house smelled heavenly once the baking began thanks to the yeast and butter, and you should taste it.  Holy cow!  Melts in your mouth is something of an understatement.  I was surprised with an inaugural sample slice and some chocolate milk while in bed very late last night, and I'll enjoy a second piece with fresh coffee for breakfast in just a little while after I wake The Young Master who, no doubt, will join me in an orgy of stollen induced reverie.  

The particular cookbook that contains the recipe Sonja relies on to make our stollen each year.  The title in English is something akin to Unforgettable German Recipes (Excuse any errors in a more precise translation.) and also includes recipes from former German territories to the east of present day Germany.

Long-time visitors might recall that the name for this ongoing project and related blog first occurred to me way back in early December 2005 (Before we were even married. . .  Shhhh.  Don't mention that to the children!) as the Grand Duchess baked us one stollen and a second to share with her German students during final exam week prior to Christmas break.  Tormented by the aroma wafting through our apartment from the kitchen, the name came to me: The Grand Duchy of Stollen.  

The Grand Duchy, its arch rival The Electorate of Zichenau (ruled by the conniving Princess Antonia III and her consort General Phillipe de Latte), and several smaller related territories, including the long-contested Mark of Schleiz, sit at the eastern end of the Baltic Sea, more or less in the vicinity of present day Latvia.  East of the sun and west of the moon, so to speak, kind of, sort of analogous to the historic Duchy of Courland with a healthy dose of Kleinlitauen (Lithuania Minor) and the city of Riga thrown in.  

The time always seems to be just post-SYW in the 1760s stretching into the early '70s before things grew nasty in the American colonies.  The Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II has distant ties to the Hessian duchies further west, but his own insignificant holdings are a blend of Hanseatic and Baltic German culture and administration superimposed over a panoply of ethnic Poles, Lithuanians, Letts, Russians, some German and Dutch settlers, along with a few remaining Danes and Swedes from an earlier age.  Much like the historic area in question once was prior to the upheavals of the 20th century.

Anyway, while tracking down of the then out-of-production Revell SYW sets began early in '06,  which formed those early units,  I began the blog the following August after our camping honeymoon in Minnesota and the Dakotas in direct response to reading an article by Greg Horne on hobby-related blogging in an early issue of the much missed independent Battlegames.   

Greg is, of course, the man behind The Duchy of Alzheim blog, which was highly influential and responsible, in part, for bringing me back into the wargaming fold and lighting the fire beneath my own mid-18th century aspirations, an era that first tickled my fancy during the summer of 1994, when I found and purchased an old paperback reprint of Charge!  Or How to Play War Games.  At the time, his blog detailed Greg's collection, painting,and gaming activities using primarily RSM95 figures.  While Greg's blogging activities are less frequent these days -- like me he has started a family in the years since -- but The Duchy of Alzheim is still well worth visiting for interesting reading, lovely examples of painted figures, and related hobby inspiration.

Speaking of soldierly things, I spent an hour or so last night examining the drawer full of carefully sorted and stored lead, to see what might be next in the painting queue for 2019.  I selected a number of Minden Miniatures possibilities that include another command vignette of Marshal Soubise and aide (highly do-able given that we are talking about just two figures), a regiment of Austrian infantry, and/or two squadrons of Uhlans de Saxe (more fanciful at this point given the sheer number of figures).  I may change my mind, of course, but then daydreaming about everything is part of the fun.  Here's to more painting in 2019!  Onward and upward!

-- Stokes

01 January 2019

Ok, Time to Stop Tinkering. . .

Here's a shot of the nearly finished composite regiment of cuirassiers in bearskins (RSM95 French cuirassiers in bearskins) although mine are based on Wurttemberg's Leib Grenadiere zu Pferd and another regiment of Germans in the French service.

Ok, time to quit tinkering and get 'em glossed for better or worse.  Except for a gray highlight on one of the black bearskins, they're done darn it!  Now, let's start thinking.  What might I do next with all of my copious spare time?

-- Stokes.

And here is closer in shot that, hopefully, enable you to see the finished carbines in somewhat better detail.  Besides the obvious Winsor&Newton silver and brass (a mix of gold and silver), the wooden stocks were painted using dark brown Rhinox Hide and highlighted with Doombull Brown

31 December 2018

2018: A Year in Review. . .

The Grand Duchess and I are looking forward to a quiet evening at home tonight with a sparkling wine toast at midnight.

Well, here we are at the end of yet another Christmas season and year.  On a personal and family note, it has been reasonably good as far as years go.  The Grand Duchess and Young Master continue to go from strength to strength in their work and school activities, as does my sister with the former.  She relocated from Phoenix, Arizona back to Washington, D.C., after an absence of 20 years or so, in December 2017, which was followed in fairly short order by quite a promotion,  Good ol' Mom and Stepdad continue to tick along and have recently relocated back to the United States (Pinehurst, North Carolina), so they are a bit closer than in Merida, Yucatan State in Mexico, and my stepfather has begun his phased retirement, planning to conclude professing at The University of Pittsburgh in another couple of years. 

As for yours truly, things have been reasonably good during the last 12 months, although I wish there had been more time hobby pursuits.  A lament (frustration?) that is probably a familiar to many who dabble in miniature wargaming around the world.  Things were not quite moribund here in The Grand Duchy of Stollen however.  Close, but not quite.  As always, there was much hobby-related reading, rereading, daydreaming, and planning of future tabletop exploits.  

The year began with a bit more piecemeal work on painting up replacement infantry standards and some dabbling with a new light tent and hobby-related  photography.  I also managed to track down and purchase the first 24 issues of the now long gone Practical Wargaming late last winter via Ebay.  These continue to provide much food for thought, entertainment, and dovetail nicely with my first two dozen issues of Miniature Wargaming

During the late spring and summer months, I actually managed to find the time (the spring semester/term ended at the start of May) to do a number of things including finish pairs of Minden infantry standard bearers that replaced old single MiniFig 25mm figures.  I also painted the Eureka 'Ooh, You're So Awful' vignette, and began work on a 30-strong unit of RSM95 French Horse Grenadiers in bearskin bonnets, which I have recently almost finished except for a couple of coats of acrylic gloss.  All of that took me until the end of August, when the university machine cranked into action once more, and free time disappeared.  Again.

Those of us in academia have late spring and summers free, lengthy Christmas breaks and a week free in late winter, the fabled Spring Break, but it's rare to leave work at work when you hop in the car to head home, and you are never really 'off'.  The implication and expectation is that scholarship occupies all of one's time outside the classroom.  There is always stuff you are reading and thinking about, projects you get involved in, stuff to develop during the summers, whiny young adults who feel somehow mistreated when they have not earned top marks for middle-of-the-road to downright mediocre work, etc., etc.  Like any job, I suppose, you have your pluses, and your minuses. 

In any case, I managed to squeeze in a solo skirmish game before things got too busy during September and wrote up an article that appears in the 2019 Wargamers Annual.  That about sums up my hobby activities for the last year until picking up the paintbrush once more after classes ended in early December a few weeks ago.  Never did manage, though, to construct the planned the North German red brick church and a half-timbered warehouse mentioned in my hobby plans for summer back in May.

As is so often the case, day-to-day life here in the Grand Duchy tends to get in the way of free hobby time the last few years.  I have described it in a recent post as "the onslaught of daily life."  Work and family commitments mean that many evenings, I am just bushed by the time 8:30 or 9pm roll around, and all I want to do is crawl into bed for a couple of hours of reading, or mindless binging on whatever Netflix or Amazon series the Grand Duchess and I are enjoying at the moment.  Priorities, I guess.  

Now, lots of wargamers manage to use routine time at the painting table in the evenings to disconnect, wind down, and recharge, but I need a fairly clear head relatively free of work-life concerns even to contemplate sitting down at the painting table.  Hence my lack of grand hobby plans the last couple years.  The same will follow for 2019.  In short, until my work-life balance magically becomes less out of whack, whatever gets done will make me happy. 

For 2019, I'll keep plans and expectations very modest.  Besides a game or two, I'd like to complete another 30-figure cavalry  regiment (two squadrons and small staff) and maybe also get around to constructing that North German church and half-timber warehouse for my collection of tabletop buildings.  Keep your fingers and toes crossed.

But all of this sounds kind of dour at worst and noncommittal at best .  Let's end 2018 on a more optimistic note.  Whatever your hobby plans might include, I wish you prosperity, good fortune, and good health in your real life away from the painting and gaming tables.  Happy New Year Everyone!

-- Stokes

The last of this year's seasonal vintage greetings that seems to imply reasonably good fortune and prosperity.

30 December 2018

It's Aliiiiiiiive!

Not an overtly Christmasy image, but the child on skis is gazing at a particular bright star in the heavens.

Blaaggh.  I have caught The Grand Duchess' nasty cold, and have felt crummy for the last 24 hours or so.  However, I finally pulled myself out of bed, showered, shaved, put on clean crisp pajamas and some Gray Flannel aftershave before staggering down here to Zum Stollenkeller with a second mug of coffee.  I might just make it after all.  The curative powers of a warm shower and a shave.  

Hopefully, I'll feel like sitting down to the paiting table for a bit this evening and playing that small solo game on New Year's Eve tomorrow.  I've been thinking of a simple Featherstone scenario with two infantry regiments, a cavalry squadron, and a gun each.  You know.  Just to test the water and push some lead around the table for a couple of hours in a low stakes game.

-- Stokes

29 December 2018

Carbines Attached and Some Inevitable Touching Up. . .

Here are the two squadrons together with the colonel in command and his trumpeter at the fore.

Righty-oh.  As far as I can tell, the necessary touching up is now finished.  Not too many, but there were a few tiny areas to address with some red, black, and/or white paint and my trusty 000 sable brush, which is just starting to develop a hook after about 20+ years, but it still manages to do the trick when I need it.  Plus, I needed to do the gold tassels on the silk bags of the the red-coated Wurttemberg squadron at left.  Just their carbine barrels and brass bands on the carbine stocks, then we can begin glossing everything.  I don't know about you, but I can almost hear the thundering of hundreds of hooves.  What a frightful thing it must have been to be on the receiving end of an enemy cavalry charge.

-- Stokes

Yet another quiet old Christmas greeting from long ago to stretch out Christmas Week just a  bit more.


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