27 April 2008

A FREE Sunday. . . finally!

Helped by the fact that it’s unseasonably cold and rainy outside, so the backyard will have to wait until another day where leaf raking is concerned. That means -- hold on to your hats guys – I’m going to fire up the old paintbrush and apply a base coat of gesso to those RSM French musketeers sitting over on the painting desk in just a little while. Funny how something so mundane can, nevertheless, get the blood boiling and make the hair on the back of one’s neck stand to attention!

Last night, the Grand Duchess and I had two couples, with whom we are friends, over for dinner and drinks yesterday evening, and it was a resounding success. Lots of good conversation and laughter along with my Algerian couscous recipe followed lots of fresh, strong coffee. Sonja and I slept in this morning and enjoyed a late breakfast at the dining table, during which we discussed the events of last night. In fact, I only just arrived here in Zum Stollenkeller a short while ago, and it’s just after 2:30 in the afternoon. Lazy Sundays are great!

Now, many of you will, no doubt, enjoy this next bit of news that I’ve meant to tell you for some days. Yes, I have come into a huge amount of 1.5” to 2.5” Styrofoam sheeting, in which several new bookshelves (that we purchased for our library) were packaged. Big pieces of the stuff that are about 6’ long x 2‘ wide. Lots and lots of material with which to create hills, earthworks, redoubts, and maybe even some Vauban-inspired fortifications over the next several months. I mean there’s an incredible amount of packing material just outside my doorway here. . . much to the chagrin of the Grand Duchess. In short, it’s a packrat’s dream! Well, Mom always said that I am easily entertained! I guess she is right. ;-)

I’ve also been rereading a short chapter on the activities of engineers in wargames by Donald Featherstone from, I think, Advanced Wargames. Just haven’t had the energy in the evenings to get back into that Martin Amis novel I began last month. Anyway, very interesting stuff in Featherstone since I want to be able to use engineers/sappers/pioneers more than only occasionally on my table. From what I’ve gleaned about these specialist troops during the last few months from David Chandler’s wonderful book on Marlburian warfare, I think that there are all kinds of interesting possibilities, which might spice up horse and musket era wargames rather nicely.

Thank to everyone who sent me suggestions and pointers for wargaming tables over the last few days. While something along the lines of Brigadiers Young’s huge table with a trapdoor in the center is sorely tempting, I think I will try something a bit more practical and: 1) Either look for a second-hand ping pong (table tennis) table, or 2) visit a store like Office Dept or Office Max and purchase a few of the 6’ long folding tables over which I’ll place pieces of 1” thick particle board. Green cloth would be easier and cheaper, but I want to paint the table surface Grassy Meadow, a shade of green latex paint produced by Olympic Paints here in the USA that is almost the same shade as GW’s Goblin Green – the color I use to paint the bases of my figures. Well, that’s the idea anyway.

Finally, I see that the new issue of Battlegames – Issue #12 – is due before long, so that’s something else to look forward to. I’m especially eager to see the article by Stuart Asquith on a battle from the 1866 war between Austria and Prussia. And there are always several other interesting pieces too, regardless of period in question. Sadly, it looks like the article I sent to Henry in late 2006 has not made it again. Sigh. Well, maybe next time.

Ok, I should stop writing now and get over to those RSM musketeers. And you too – Get those brushes out and get painting, men! Those figures won’t paint themselves.


Bluebear Jeff said...


I'm happy for you and your "FREE Sunday" . . . enjoy it.

As for styrofoam, it has been my experience that furniture stores are always tossing scads of large pieces into their dumpsters . . . and they don't mind someone taking it.

Sure, lots of stores toss styrofoam . . . but most of it is small and/or molded to odd shapes. The nice thing about furniture stores is that much of it is in very large flat pieces.

I'm about to head of to try something different -- a pulp-era RPG/miniature game.

It starts in 1934 in Rio de Janeiro (sp?). I'll let you know how it works (or doesn't).

-- Jeff

tradgardmastare said...

Thanks for the update - sounds a great day!
I look forward to watch things evolving as the days go by....
best wishes
p.s when can I order the book....

A J Matthews said...

Welcome back, Stokes! It's always nice to have a spell of free time.

You might like to take a look at The London War Room for engineer figures in 25/28mm.

They stock a small but useful SYW range of engineers/sappers wearing armour, plus a few eclectic troop types such as Spanish militia and mountain troops which can fit any ImagiNation. The LWR's service is excellent.

Snickering Corpses said...

Glad to hear the update, and congrats on the chance to relax! I've picked up Duffy's "Fire and Stone" about seige warfare, though it's sitting on the "to read" pile and likely to do so for a while yet.

And yes, I'm still waiting for my own article to appear. Perils of Henry having so much material and so few pages to put it on, I'm sure.

Martin said...

Hey Stokes,

Wouldn't it be neat if they did paint themselves?! On the other hand, I would be depressed if they did a better job of it than I could!



Snickering Corpses said...

Stokes, you'll like the latest post at the Frivolous Fusiliers blog. A Blasthof refight!



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