15 June 2008

The pile of lead just keeps growing and growing!

The latest addition to the growing pile of lead (and plastic) here in Zum Stollenkeller.

Two RSM generals all ready for the paintbrush.

Happy Father’s Day everyone! Hope you are enjoying a Sunday with your loved ones. . . or maybe seated within the recesses of your various “painting retreats”, hard at work on that next unit of figures.

The Grand Duchess and I had a stellar day yesterday. We finally opted for the 65-mile route on the Red Cross sponsored Ride and Stride, figuring that it was better to finish the ride feeling good instead of going for the 100 mile mark and feeling totally spent – wiped out even – by day’s end. With the five plus miles to and from our house to the start/finish point of the ride, we came in at 76.42 miles by the time we returned home. Not bad when you consider that yours truly is now on the wrong side of 40! ;-)

It was a great day, with pleasant temperatures and bright sunshine and a light wind, which sometimes made for tough going when the route took us in a westerly direction. . . straight into the wind! We also ran into and visited with several old cycling friends, which made the various food stops more interesting than simply a place to refill our water bottles and grab a banana or cookie. Best of all, the long-term forecast for this week is for mostly sunny skies and pleasant temperatures, so we can very likely get in two hundred miles before week’s end. Wow, if this keeps up, shedding 10 pounds or so by August might actually become a reality!

Following dinner, we walked downtown in the early evening to enjoy a free concert, which is put on every year by WGLT, our local National Public Radio outlet, which features a jazz and blues format. It was one of the best such concerts we've been to, with a headlining act from Texas, Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King, who were truly smokin'! We enjoyed funnel cake and lemonade with the music and ran into, you guessed it, some more of those same bicycling friends who we had hobnobbed with earlier in the day. It's always strange seeing each other in normal clothing when you are so used to people in tight spandex biking gear and helmets!

On the wargaming front, yesterday was a windfall here at Stollen Central. The package of unneeded figures arrived from Jim “Alte Fritz” Purky and was waiting on the porch when we returned. For an hour or so yesterday evening, it was like Christmas morning here in Zum Stollenkeller. The nicely packed box held more than 60 of the new Huzzah Miniatures, enough officers, NCO’s, musicians, and men for a Charge-sized battalion. These are marketed as old school 30mm figures, and fit in very nicely with my RSM’s and the Revell 1/72 plastics

In addition, there were also a couple of extra goodies inside the package. These included more than two dozen RSM95 French musketeers, which will become a large independent company of infantry fighting for the Electorate of Zichenau, a gun crew, and a very cool Seven Years War Association mug with a neat picture of Prussia’s own Frederick II on the side. Needless to say, the Grand Duchess, who is a professor of German Language and Literature, was terribly jealous when I drank my coffee from it at the breakfast table this morning!

So, let me take this opportunity to send a hearty and sincere thank-you out to Jim. The figures and mug will indeed have a good home and, after the requisite painting, assume a place of honor in the tiny armies of Stollen and Zichenau.

On the figure painting and preparation front, two of my six RSM generals are all base coated and undercoated. I’ll start painting those this afternoon by applying GW Goblin Green to the bases, grey and brown to the two horses, white to the wigs, and flesh to the faces and hands. I’m also working my way slowly through the battalion of Revell plastics, which are slated to become a battalion of pioneers commanded by engineer officers, so busy, busy, busy here in Stollen Central. Fortunately, the grass is not looking too sloppy outside, which means that I can leave mowing it until tomorrow or Tuesday.

Finally, there have been a couple of questions about the recent map of Krankenstadt and the photo of the rural Stollenian idyll. The former is an old plan of Königsberg, now Kaliningrad, the one-time home of philosopher Immanuel Kant and place where, I believe, Prussian kings were crowned. From all of the pre-1945 photos I have seen online, it was a beautiful city. What a shame so much was destroyed during and after WWII. The photo is one taken in the Masurian region of Poland, also once part of East Prussia. It’s an area of lakes, marshes, and thick forests – kind of like Northern Minnesota, a place the Grand Duchess and I love – a landscape much like one might find when traveling through in the Grand Duchy of Stollen.

Ok, it’s off to the painting table!


Fitz-Badger said...

Great biking! :-) I should get back into it myself (but now we're starting to get into Summer temps - mid 90's and higher - I know, excuses, excuses)

The RSMs and Huzzah minis look like they work very well together.

tradgardmastare said...

Excellent biking - are you not tempted by a hobby horse/proto bicycle mounted scouting unit in 25mm ?
The figures look great and I await their painting up with much enthusiasm.

tidders said...

What a nice parcel to open !

I's nice to see the Huzzah miniatures.

-- Allan

Bill McHenry said...


Glad to hear you liked Smokin Joe and Bnois, I've seen them several times. In fact, one of my good friends used to play drums for Smokin Joe and is on the "Served Up, Texas Style" CD. His name is Jaz Stephens and I've known him about 40 years.



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