14 April 2007
First Company and Staff Almost Finished!!!
What's that? Could it be? Are they just about there? Will he soon be able to get a move on with the second company? A resounding and emphatic “YES!” to all three questions! The first company and staff of Stollen’s household regiment, the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja’s Own) Grenadiers, is all finished except for the black garters and buttons on the gaiters. So, tomorrow, I must use a small brush to paint 48 garters and about 300 tiny black buttons on the gaiters. Oh, and the girth and stirrup leathers on the mounted colonel’s horse.
After the silver oil paint has dried on the metal fronts of the mitre caps in a few days, then I’ll add the Future floor polish as a protective varnish followed a day or two later by the Hessian infantry standard. As I mentioned a few days ago, this will be carefully doctored, so it more closely resembles the standard carried by Brigadier Young’s Erbprinz Regiment although it won’t be an exact replica.
While I’m waiting for things to dry, I’ll begin basecoating Company B of the regiment with artists’ acrylic gesso, followed by the usual black undercoat with Liquitex acrylic paint. Then it’s time to get busy with the real colors. This time, I’ll paint the bases green first, followed by the faces and hands, then the white wigs. This seems to make the figures come “alive” sooner for me. Oddly, I find it easier to keep up the momentum if the flesh and hair are completed first. So much for my imagined flexibility! Wonder what an analyst would make of it? Ok, don’t answer!
Now, for even more exciting news, here are three photos of the Leib Grenadiers! The top two show the almost completed Company A along with the regimental staff.
Look closely, and you’ll notice that Oberfeldwebel Klatschen has been removed from his paint bottle and has rejoined his regiment at last. That’s him in the front row of the first two photos, just to left of the standard bearer (your right).
It’s a good thing Klatschen has returned, because the men were getting restless in his absence. He’s a popular fellow with the rank and file, something the regimental officers recognize and acknowledge! As some of you might know, a unit just can’t function as well without its sergeant major, and the Leib Grenadier officers were beginning to have a difficult time of it. So, it pays for the colonel to ask Klatschen’s opinion in all matters of drill, discipline, and tactical movement in the field.
The photo at the bottom shows the entire Leib Grenadiers all lined up on the painting table. Companies B can C await basecoating and undercoating. Some of them are listing a little. It must be too much of that Stollenian “fire water”. Just wait until Oberfeldwebel Klatschen gets a hold of ‘em and drills the men back into shape!