13 June 2008

It's almost the weekend. . . Hurrah!!!

An example of typical Stollenian landscape in the summer. The Electorate of Zichenau and surrounding principalities are very similar appearance.


Happy (Almost) Weekend Everyone! Thank you for all of the very kind comments and observations about Colonel O’Malley’s battalion of imaginary Irish grenzers posted here earlier this week. I really appreciate your continued interest in and enthusiasm for the Grand Duchy of Stollen project.

Today is a cool, grey one here in Stollen Central, perfect for reflecting on the week passed. There were a number of questions in response to my last post, so I thought that I’d do well to answer at least some of them.

Yes, the figures used for the imaginary Irish grenzers were indeed RSM95 -- French musketeers in the firing position along with officers, NCO’s, and a couple of drummers. These were a December 2007 Christmas gift from my in-laws and have been really nice, fun figures to paint.

On that note, the colors used were all Games Workshop acrylics except for a tube of Windsor Newton Alkyd flesh tone. I found many years ago that artists’ oil-based flesh tones look much better than any acrylic or enamel hobby flesh tone available. The alkyd paints have all of the qualities of oil-based paint, but dry to the touch in about 24 hours, making them even better for our hobby than pure oils.

Finally, the various figures lurking in the background of all recent photos include six RSM95 generals and a 32-strong battalion of Revell 1/72 Prussian musketeers. The former were presented to me as an Easter gift this spring by the lovely Grand Duchess. I’ll take a short break from BIG units to paint up two of them over the next few days.

The latter (Revell) figures were a gift last fall from Bill McHenry. These will shortly become a pioneer battalion for the Electorate of Zichenau, organized according to rules laid out in Charge!. When completed, they will assume their pllace in the Army of Zichenau with the title “Freiherr Wilhelm’s Loyal Pioneer Battalion” in Bill’s honor. I’m actually in the midst of attaching these figures to thick cardboard bases measuring ½” x ¾” to add a few millimeters of height and make the plastic figures more stable.

Early results have been favorable. Each figure treated thus far stands much more firmly and measures just shy of 32mm tall, making them a bit taller than the RSM figures. So, once I finish an RSM general and ADC combo, it’s back to these Revell plastics with a sharp knife to trim away a few moldlines before slapping on a coat of white artists’ acrylic gesso and beginning the painting process all over again!

Now, besides painting and preparation of figures, this passed week has also been good on the writing front. I’ve managed to finish a chapter for the ongoing, but as yet unnamed, book project. Now comes the fun part – revising and expanding what’s already there. Seriously, this, for me, is more fun than actually getting ideas down on paper. That’s the hard part! More on all of this later as the project continues and evolves. You’ll understand that I don’t want to give away too much just yet.

Last but not least, the Grand Duchess and I have been training hard on our bikes, getting in just over 100 miles in about four days earlier this week. We’ve got our first big organized ride of the season tomorrow, put on by the McLean County branch of the Red Cross. Needless to say, we’re both excited and eager to get out into the countryside tomorrow morning, making sleep tonight probably a little difficult.

These kinds of rides are always a lot of fun, offering something for all levels of rider. For this event, I believe there are distances ranging from 15, 30, 65, and 100 miles with food stops at strategic points along the way and a big lunch at the finish, although I almost never feel like eating very much after a big ride, especially hot food. Just give me something cold to drink, and I’m fine. The ravenous hunger never hits me until several hours later.

Our weather forecast for tomorrow is good: mostly sunny with temperatures in the lower 80’s (Fahrenheit). So, we are going to ride the 65- mile distance and push on toward the 100-mile “Century” depending on how we feel at that point. Anyway, we both feel good and ready for the ride, an early highlight of the summer cycling season. Just have to retrieve my bike from the shop, where it’s being tuned up, later this afternoon.

So, that’s about it from the Grand Duchy of Stollen today. Wherever in the world you are located, have an enjoyable weekend, and I hope that includes picking up your brushes and applying some paint to figures . Or, better still, set up your armies on the table, and get in a game or two.

2 comments:

tradgardmastare said...

Stokes
Enjoy the bike run tomorrow - I hope that the weather is great for you all. I am off tomorrow to help at my School's Summer Fayre so we are hoping for good weather too.
Term ends in 14 days and I am almost too tired to paint - hopefully Sunday will see some work done on the 15th century Germans...
best wishes
Alan
p.s how soon will you be setting up a game in the StollenKeller ?

Bluebear Jeff said...

Stokes,

I hope that you and the Grand Duchess have a great ride.

Sunday I'm planning on having people in to run our "Battle of Wollmitz" (a re-fight of the Grant's "Mollwitz" from THE WAR GAME -- albeit with smaller battalions).

You never did say what you're thinking of as a first game in Der Stollenkeller.


-- Jeff

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