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Showing posts from April, 2009

Coming This Evening. . .

Turn about is fair play as the saying goes, so the good General von Drednoz will have a chance to unleash some grenzer fire on General von Drosselmaier's Jaeger zu Fuss battalion later this evening. Stay tuned for the results and Kodak moment right here!

Confound those blasted dice!!!

Late in Turn #1, General von Drosselmaier gave the orders to his battery and two companies of Jaeger zu Fuss to fire on enemy troops within range -- from left to right across the battlefield, a squadron of hussars, a company of grenadiers, and a company of grenzers. Unfortunately, the dice did not exactly cooperate with von Drosselmaier's high hopes.

Most upsetting was the Stollenian battery of artillery (not shown), which was poised to inflict terrific carnage on General von Drednoz's first company of von Hirschbock Grenadiers. Sadly, the targeted infantry was 28"-30" from the battery, which meant that at least a "5" on a D6 was required for the battery to hit its target. Alas, no such number was forthcoming when the old bones were rolled, meaning that General von Drednoz can breathe a small sigh of relief. . . at least where this turn is concerned!

Meanwhile, Stollen's second company of Jaeger zu Fuss inflicted only the lightest of wounds on a the…

Coming This Evening -- Results of the First Combat!

Ugh! Most of the day yesterday was spent reading through -- and providing copious commentary on -- ten student papers. Now that doesn't seem such a huge amount of reading until I mention that these were, on average, nine to ten pages long. So that was actually quite a bit of reading AND writing. When I finally finished last night, after picking up the Grand Duchess, who returned home yesterday, it was 11:25pm. :-( So, this evening, it's back to Saegewerkdorf and the first combats in need of resolution. Hopefully, I'll throw a few good rolls!

A Bit of Repositioning for the Stagonian Troops. . .

Leave it to the NCO's to sort out the officers' difficulties! Here are the von Hirschbock Grenadiers after some careful redressing of the individual companies of the regiment.


And the same is true in the cavalry. Here, the third squadron Stagonia's cuirassiers has shifted itself backwards by several paces, so that it no longer is in the front line with the first squadron and regimental staff.

Turn One -- Addendum. . .

Wait!!! It seems General von Drednoz's field officers have not quite understood -- surely, there are historic precedents of this problem in the field -- what his intended orders were for the movement of his grenadiers and cuirassiers. The calculation of artillery and musketry is, therefore, on temporary hold until the two units manage to sort themselves out under the watchful eyes of General von Drosselmaier and his staff from atop their hill outside Saegewerkdorf.

Turn One -- Troop Movement. . .

Here, we can see what the new Stagonian position is following General von Drednoz's inital moves. As General von Drosselmaier suspected, his foe is not only heading right for the village, but also attempting to defend his flanks and, to the north, encircle the Stollenian Jaeger zu Fuss and 4th Dragoons stationed there. . . or at least pummel them mercilessly with his guns.


And here is another general view of the new Stagonian positions, taken from a slightly different perspective. This particular photograph shows how, when miniatures by different manufacturers are kept within their separate units, your eye no longer notices slight differences in height, chunkiness, and the like. What you see, instead, is the size of the various units involved. Among others, the shot above exhibits 1/72 figures by Revell (small 25mm really), 30mm Spencer Smith (with a Holger Eriksson trumpeter and guidon bearer) cavalry at the rear, 30mm RSM95 figures, plus a few 25mm MiniFigs cannon and stand…

News Release. . .

Stagonia's General von Drednoz Orders General Advance on Saegewerkdorf

Stollenian Army to Attempt Expulsion of Vile Stagonians


Krankenstadt, The Grand Duchy of Stollen (24 April 1769)-- General von Drednoz, commanding the most vile Army of Stagonia, has issued initial orders to his troops. While their exact objective and movements have yet to be seen, it is widely thought that von Drednoz will attempt to sieze and hold the small town of Saegewerkdorf, now the main center for lumber production in Stollen, and its mill facilities on the outskirts of town. Indeed, observers report that von Drednoz has already disassembled the workings of the mill and sent them back to Stagonia, ostensibly to protect that equipment from any damage it might otherwise incur during the course of battle.

Stollenian Army Numerically Inferior to Its Enemy

While Stollen's own forces have swelled recently thanks to the mutiny and defection of an independent company of infantry from the Stagonian army, pl…

General von Drosselmaier invites General von Drednoz to fire and/or move first!

After several weeks of shilly-shallying, gnashing their teeth at each other from across the battlefield, and making friends with the local "ladies", both armies have shaken themselves out and into deployment. Above, you can see the vile Stagonians, arrayed before the sawmill, which they have already occupied, d--n their eyes!


Here is a second view of the initial Stagonian deployment. General von Drednoz has not neglected to throw out a cloud of his grenzers near the left end of his forward line.


Here is an artist's rendering of that wiley company of the Umgraben Sappers, who have occupied the sawmill with orders to destroy the works inside, so no matter what happens, Stollen and it's troubled Grand Duke -- Irwin-Amadeus II -- will be denied its sawmill and the lumber products it produces. Grrrr. . .


Here is a picture of the du Lepp's Fusiliers, just joined by their third company as they assume their position in General von Drednoz's front line. Don't th…

Freshly Varnished Fusiliers. . .

Here's the freshly varnished third company of von Flickenhoffer's (du Lepp's) Fusiliers, drying and just about ready to be carefully removed from the bottle caps and placed on the table in the next room of Zum Stollenkeller. Now it's onto a general/ADC pair, to be followed by the fourth and final company of this monstrous unit of RSM fusiliers.

Word reached Stagonia's General Drednoz late this evening that a third company of the du Lepp's Fusiliers will reach his position late tomorrow, meaning that he can begin his attack on Saegewerkdorf and its nearby sawmill.

Fortunately, this news comes just in time as an undependable company of allied infantry defected to the Stollenian side early this morning! This latest treacherous development means that both armies are more or less on equal footing with their infantry and artillery. Stagonia's only appreciable advantage would seem to be in the area of cavalry.

When informed that he now had some additional troops a…

Third Company of Fusiliers Almost Done and Sawmill Village Refight. . .

Well, the last several days have not left much free time here in Stollen Central, but I have managed, by hook or by crook, to get that third batch of RSM fusiliers almost finished -- just gaiter buttons and a couple coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish this evening, and we are all set.

Of course, this means that the long delayed battle for Saegewerkdorf between Jeff Hudelson and me MUST start. No more fooling around. Conveniently, the Grand Duchess will be away for several days, which gives me a bit more unstructured time during the evenings, so it looks like we have an "all systems go" on that front finally too. I suspect that a company of infantry on the Stagonian side might defect to to Stollenians, meaning that both armies will enjoy parity at least in terms of infantry and artillery. The Stagonians still have a bit more cavalry, but I can't do anything about that quickly.

Last but not least, have you ever had one of thos crazy, pointless ideas just when you …

Your Favorite 18th Century Film? A New Poll. . .

Just a quick post this morning since the Grand Duchess and I have some work to take care of in the attic before our spray insulation is applied Tuesday morning.

I've been pondering various movies set during the 18th century since we viewed the Hillary Swank movie last weekend, and I've also looked around on the web. It turns out that there are many movies that fall into this category if we go all the way back to the 1930s. For the latest poll (at right) however, I've limited the movies titles to ones that I have either seen or know of. So, have a look, cast your vote, and maybe take a few minutes to leave some comments here, especially if you know another movie that is period specific and worthy of tracking down. The Great Catherine, by the way, is not the more recent Catherine Zeta Jones film but rather a comedy with Peter O'Toole and (I believe) Audrey Hepburn from 1968 or '69.

Hopefully, I can squeeze in some time to get the long delayed game with Jeff Hudelso…

Whites Almost Finished on Third Company. . . Whew!

Here is a photograph, showing where we stand with the 3rd Company of von Flickenhoffer's (currently masquerading as du Lepp's) Fusiliers. I'm getting reasonably good at approximating creases and shadows in cloth with my two-tone tan/white approach to approximating clothing spun from natural, undied (undyed?) wool. The rest of the painting should fall into place quickly since all of it involves relative small areas of coverage: mid-blue facings, muskets, musket barrels, crossbelts, a few straps, and so forth.


And here is a close-up of the company NCO along with the next General/ADC pair, who hover impetuously in the background, awaiting their basecoat of black gesso. I'm thinking of giving them uniforms based on those worn by Russian generals of the mid-18th century just to shake things up a bit. In any case, these two figures will provide a nice break between the third and fourth companies of the 80-figure fusilier regiment, which looks like it will be completed by …

Sigh -- A Dreary Easter Monday. . .

The Grand Duches and I watched an interesting movie last night. So, if you enjoy 18th Century period pieces, rent The Affair of the Necklace (2001) with Hilary Swank and Adrian Brody among others.

Set in France of the 1780s, the film has its basis in historical events, which, we are told, contributed to the French Revolution of 1789 in no small way. Well, I suppose that sort of statement can always be disputed, but 18th century buffs will enjoy the movie for at least two additional reasons. There are lots of interesting, very nicely done examples of daily dress, at least among the upper classes and royalty. And there are even a few sequences featuring French infantry and cavalry of the period.

Historical accuracy notwithstanding, you might like this movie too. It's an enjoyable way to kill two hours when you just don't feel like visiting the painting table. Significantly, though, your mind and imagination nevertheless remain in period, which is a good thing.

A Rainy, Dreary Good Friday. . .

Above is the latest batch of figures to get my attention -- the third company of von Flickenhoffer's Fusiliers. Here they are, getting their tan undercoat before the application of white. Just to break things up a bit, I went ahead and started the fusilier caps this time. Completing all of the flesh, hair/wigs, and at least the basic mid-blue and metal plates really helps to make the figures look like something even though there is still much to do.


The title of this post says it all, really. Still, the long weekend is looking up! Clearer, warmer weather tomorrow and Sunday apparently, plenty of time to work on the above figures, time to put the figures into their final starting positions for the Saegewerkdorf Village game with Jeff Hudelson, and maybe time for a bikeride with the Grand Duchess tomorrow or Sunday (and maybe both?).

Plus, my band The Indras is playing out tomorrow evening at the NV Ultra Lounge, an upscale bar about 10 minutes away from here in Normal, Illinoi…

Stollenian Spies on Overtime. . .

Word reached General von Drosselmaier's breakfast table early today that a third company of Stagonia's du Lepps Fusiliers might possibly be on the way to join the rest of their army. However, the general's informants report that this latest draft of troops is still several days' march from the frontier of the Grand Duchy of Stollen.

Just how many days it could take the draft of white-coated fusiliers to reach the frontier is difficult to judge at this point. But, it is yet one more factor to consider as the tactical situation develops around the village of Saegewerkdorf, and the opposing armies assume their initial positions. Never one to suffer ruffled feathers visibly, however, von Drosselmaier reacted to this morning's news by calling for his pipe and his fiddlers three.

Whatever might happen now, one thing is certain. Clearly, the good General is not troubled by recent memories of his illustrious tactical performance, or his appointment of the disgraced Col…

More Information from Stollenian Agents. . .

Agents currently in the service of Stollen's General von Drosselmaier fed him a disturbing piece of information this morning while he dined at the breakfast table al fresco on a low ridge to the east of Saegewerkdorf . It seems a previously overlooked unit of infantry has been discovered and confirmed as part of vile Stagonia's order of battle -- the notorious red-coated Grosfurtzen Grenzer!

Their presence with Major General Drednoz's army means that the Grand Duchy of Stollen is somewhat outnumbered in terms of, not only cavalry, but also where infantry numbers are concerned. When informed of this latest development early today, von Drosselmaier seemed unaffected by the news, first finishing his softboiled eggs, followed by a dose of snuff and a good sneeze. He next replied to the valet who conveyed the information from his spies, "Very good. That will be all for now. Clear the table and fetch my horse."

Just what went through von Drosselmaier's mind a…

Sometimes, good things come in small packages. . .

Hurrah!!! A small package from the Dayton Painting Consortium arrived this afternoon. Now, you might recall the very reasonable second-hand purchase of unwanted RSM figures that I made, courtesy of Phoenix, Arizona's own Jim Wright at the end of February/start of March this year. Jim sent all kinds of goodies. But, in order to make everything fit in with my slavishly followed Charge! organization, I "needed" (When do most of us ever really "need" anything else?), a few extra items from Rich at the Dayton Painting Consortium, so everything would be up to strength. Hence the order and nice little surpise brought to me by the Grand Duchess mid-afternoon.

"So," you might ask, "what did you get?" Well, a number of things, including six drummers, nine officers on foot, seven Austrian hussars in busby, and two rearing horses. This compact little shipment brings the units sent by Jim up to full strength, according to the rules outlined in my fa…

Stollenian Spies Earn Their Pay. . .

Spies in the pay of Stollen's General von Drosselmaier, privately referred to as "The Craven One" by officers junior to him, report that the invading Stagonian Army is formulating plans to sieze the village of Saegewerkdorf, strengthen it, and establish a suppply depot and magazine, which will provide the vile ones with the means to cement their hold on the Grand Duchy should they win the coming battle. Never ones to shirk when there is spying to be done, and as equally reprehensible as the Stagonians, Von Drosselmaier's agents of have also recovered a copy of this rough map, prepared presumably by Stagonian engineer officers.

Daydreaming Ahead to Future Units in the Collection. . .

Here's an example of the Lowendahl Infantry regiment that I like particulalrly well due to its non-fussy nature. What looks like a mid-blue coat with white facings, lace, and gaiters, offset by yellow/gold hatlace. Something a bit different, but simple, which will help speed up the painting process just a little, which given my "leisurely" (ok, slow) output is a good thing.And although they take a bit longer to paint, I like white gaiters more than black.


Last night, I turned in early with a volume by Fred and Lillian Funcken, covering the uniforms worn by various countries' armies in Europe between roughly the mid-18th century to the end of the 19th century. I stumbled on this book in 1990 one sunny spring Saturday when I was tooling around the main shopping street in the old part of Luebeck, Germany, which was still West Germany at the time. Unfortunately, the binding has dried out with time and several pages have come loose, but I still pull this wonderful book…

The 18th Century: It's a slippery slope, you know!

Above, stands the finished 11th Battalion of Engineers, marching behind Colonel von Denimpke. The unit arrived from Arizona at the end of February complete except for a musician, two company NCO's, and two company officers. But Jim Wright was kind enough to include enough extra sample figures of one kind or another in the weighty treausre trove of RSM figures he sent to me at the end of February. So, yours truly was able to make up unit numbers easily.

Since the Grand Duchess and I returned from Mexico a couple of weeks ago, I set about painting these extra few figures in the same style and uniform as Jim's two-dozen musketeer figures, bar the faces. And once everything was laid out on the table in the next room, the slightly different style in our painting became a minor detail that is hardly noticeable. The inclusion of this now full-strength painted unit in Stollen's order of battle certainly jump-started the Grand Duchy of Stollen collection. There is now one less…

The Orders of Battle. . .

The great Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie as Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster. . . some of the inspiration behind my own Irwin-Amadeus II and his unflappable manservant Hives.

An intrepid and ambitious young trooper from a squadron of Stollen's 4th Dragoons rode carefully forward under the cover of darkness last night and identified the following units that comprise Stagonia's army of vile invaders:

1st (vonKirschstein) Kuirassier -- 3 squadrons
Hockdorf Hussars -- 2 squadrons
9th (vonKrinkle) Infantry -- 1 company
4th (duLepps) Fusiliers -- 2 companies
1st (vonHirschbock) Grenadiers -- 4 companies
Umgraben Sapper Battalion -- 2 companies
Feldpaff Battery of Artillery -- 2 guns and crew


It remains a mystery who the general is in command of this most vile assemblage of men! Opposing them on the eastern side of the Saegewerkdorf battlefield are the following units from gallant Stollen's own army, which is commanded by General vonDrosselmaier:

Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenad…