18 November 2006

Clip, clip, clip. . .

Clip! I spent the late-night hours Friday clipping 60 Revell 1/72 SYW Austrian dragoons (four boxes) and their respective horses from the plastic sprues on which they arrived, grouping both men and mounts into squadrons of similar poses afterward.

I like these figures. They have very little flash and/or few mold lines that must be trimmed away. This is not terribly hard on plastic figures when using a sharp, new X-acto blade. But, if you’re like me, this is a tedious process . . . and I’d prefer to get on to the basecoat and painting. That’s the fun part!

Anyway, the dragoons will be the next unit of figures (30) I add to the Grand Duchy of Stollen’s tiny army, and I plan to use my month long Christmas break from teaching to do that. Parenthetically, while community college students can be a real pain in the neck, the occasional breaks make the job of trying to teach them something about the writing process tolerable. And I say this as a former community college student myself, before I transferred to a big Midwestern university – the beautiful University of Wisconsin-Madison. But back to the dragoons!

First, The Electorate of Zichenau will eventually get its own regiment too. But, I will need to purchase a fifth box of Revell dragoons in the meantime because I’m a little short on officer figures for the second planned regiment.

Second, I’m still not sure what the predominating uniform color will be for Stollen’s dragoons. I’ve looked through my Funcken and Mollo uniform books many times at the historical dragoon uniforms for the early and mid- 18th century, and I like them all! Green is nice, but I’ve only just finished the Jäger zu Fuß in green coats. I also like the white coats of the early-18th century Prussian dragoons, according to the Men-at-Arms books on Frederick the Great’s troops, but many of the Zichenau infantry will be clothed in white, so I’d like to avoid that color for now. This leaves mid-blue, similar to the mid-blue worn by Prussian dragoons of the Napoleonic era.

Hmmm. Decisions, decisions, as my 7th grade English teacher used to say. Ok, I guess that I use mid-blue (maybe GW’s “Regal Blue”?) for Stollen’s dragoon regiment and Humbrol “Rifle Green” for Zichenau’s corresponding regiment of dragoons – I wouldn’t want them to get mixed up, would I?

As for today, Saturday, it’s a wonderfully overcast and chilly November morning. Since my wife is away, I’ll have the whole day to indulge in painting! So, it’s flesh tone, grey coats, light green facings, turnbacks, breeches, and vests for 13 artillery crew waiting over on the painting/radio desk. If I get to it, I’ll add GW “Goblin Green” to the figure bases too although that might have to wait until tomorrow.

I would also like to finish the base coat on the two cannon and perhaps start painting those tomorrow – brass barrels, red woodwork, black metal work. And there is also the mounted officer’s horse to paint. I think this time I’ll go for some kind of “chestnut” coloring – a reddish-brown coat with a slightly lighter mane and tail to match.

Finally, I’ve got my first two finished regiments in formation over on my painting desk. The Jäger zu Fuß occupy the right of the line and, unusually for light troops, are in a two-deep line with their mounted colonel and two drummers to the rear. To their left are the 2nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers in a three-deep line. The third line is formed by NCO’s, three drummers, the standard bearer and the mounted colonel.

The two units look fantastic arrayed like this! And (get ready) do you know how much space this brigade formation occupies? With small spaces between the subunits of each regiment, the jäger and musketeers cover almost 28” (71cm) of space from one end of the line to the other – Glorious!!!


Bluebear Jeff said...

I don't have ready references for this, but I think that I recall that in the WAS and very early SYW that Prussian Dragoons were in a lighter, almost cornflower blue.

At least that's what I recall painting my 15mm Prussian Dragoons as some 20 years ago -- so I think that it's correct.

And, anyway, you can paint them any color you want . . . after all 18th century records for the Grand Duchy are not readily available, so I'm sure that, since you have the only extant copy, no one can dispute you.

-- Jeff

Grand Duchy of Stollen 1768 said...

HI Jeff,

I'm thinking Humbrol's "British Rifle Green" for the coats with pink facings and turnbacks! Should be eye-catching and quasi-historical. I know I've read of some unit somewhere that had these colors for its uniforms -- some volunteer jaegers in Blucher's 1815 army, perhaps?

Best Regards,


MurdocK said...

Yes the flashing cleaning is tedious, painting is fun, but neither as good as gaming on the TABLE!

Anonymous said...

There are some lovely plastics out there now. The priming process is tedious but it is far quicker than having to remove flash from poorly cast metal figures (and mould lines from miscast figures from any manufacturer).

Bluebear Jeff said...

For anyone who doesn't know what these figures look like, here's a link to some pictures of them:


I'm impressed!

-- Jeff

Bluebear Jeff said...


Okay, that was too long a URL. So here is one using "tiny.com" (which "shrinks" long URLs). Try this one:


-- Jeff

Anonymous said...

For something completely foreign to me, I find myself strangely wanting to read more.....which means you need to post more!!! What's next for the Grand Duchy?

Grand Duchy of Stollen 1768 said...


I knew you'd turn up sooner or later, Marnie! And it's funny you should ask that. Once I have enough figures painted for two small forces (a couple units of infantry, some cavalry, and a battery of artillery each), I have the distinct impression that the respective generals of Stollen and Zichenau will meet on the field of battle for a few preliminary small actions.

For some historical background, why don't you have a look at the first two posts from August this year? Those will bring you up to speed on recent happenings in the grand Duchy of Stollen and the rumblings of war that many contemporary observers see gathering on the horizon.




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