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Showing posts from May, 2009

Two Orders of Old School Figures on the Way to Berlin!!!

These are a few of the wonderful Holger Eriksson cavalry, very similar to those I've ordered, from Peter Johnstone, the man behind Spencer Smith Miniatures in the Great Britain. The photograph above comes from the Tradition website.

Well, I've bitten the bullet and actually sent off my orders to Rob Young at Garrison Miniatures and Peter Johnstone at Spencer Smith Miniatures and paid for everything via PayPal (a very handy innovation I must point out). Before too long, the extremely patient and long-suffering Grand Duchess will observe yours truly unwrapping the respective orders (30 HE cavalry and two dozen or so artillery crew) in our Berlin apartment sometime in June. Gosh, the new month begins tomorrow! Where did May get to?

The last week has been a busy one with not much time left for figure painting or gaming. But I did manage to take about ninety minutes late Monday or Tuesday evening before bed to apply fleshtone to the final 20 RSM Prussian fusiliers on the paintin…

How come there's never enough time in the day for the fun stuff?

Do any of you have this somewhat rare (and expensive when you do find it) uniform guide in your book collection? I've found it any number of times in the past few years via Amazon Marketplace, but the price has always been just a bit dear.

Sigh. That about describes life over the past week or ten days. I've been teaching a daily May Term course on Scandinavian/Nordic film and basic film theory, which has been terrific fun given the mix of good students I have, but the almost daily reading (heavy) and preparation just seem to eat up any free time. The class meets for three hours at a time, so it's pretty intense as well, and I'm tired once I get home and change out of my jacket and tie. Then, there has been the typical summertime upkeep outdoors along with some things the Grand Duchess left for me to take care of.

And on top of that, the publisher with whom I worked on that translation last fall has sent me a list of minor corrections, suggested by the book's auth…

A Quick Post Today. . .

The Grand Duchess and I are talking between Berlin and Bloomington via Skype in just a few minutes, so a quick post is in order. The Garrison Prussian artillery crew samples arrived in the mail earlier this afternoon, and they are wonderful. Their size falls between the Revell plastics and the RSM95s the make up most of the Grand Duchy of Stollen collection, and I will send a full order and payment information to Rob Young at Garrison later today or tomorrow. I'm also treating myself to a regiment of Holger Eriksson cavalry, mentioned a few posts back, and will send the order to Peter Johnstone at Spencer Smith Miniatures later this weekend as well.

Whew! Just finished mowing the grass in the front and back, which, since we have had no rain in the last several days, was a hot, dusty job. But it's all done for another week. Finally, in amongst all of the other "real life" stuff currently vying for time, my band The Indras has landed several paying gigs over the…

I'm reminded of British comedian Bernard Cribbins. . .

And his song, or at least a number he performed on his TV show many years ago, "Monday Morning." Is Mr. Cribbins still with us? I always enjoyed watching reruns of his 1970s TV show when I was a teen-aged, long-haired Stokes in the very early 1980s.

And so it is Monday again. Lots to do today, so I was up early to make the coffee and feed the Grand Ducal feline. But, I did make myself sit down last night and do a bit of work at the painting table. So, the two mounted RSM officers now have a coat of Future/Klear, and very smart they look too. I'll add a photo later this evening. I also finished applying a coat of black artists' acrylic gesso to the fourth and final company of the RSM fusiliers, three companies of which are currently serving in the vile Stagonian invasion of the long-suffering Grand Duchy of Stollen!

So, those figures are now base-coated and ready for painting. I leave to join the Grand Duchess in Berlin three weeks from tomorrow, so I think …

And suddenly, it's Sunday!

Where in the world did the last few days go? No painting since before the Grand Duchess left last Thursday and no Saegewerkdorf updates (Jeff has been a bit under the weather). Nope, yesterday it was mowing the grass for a good part of the afternoon. And here we are at the end of the weekend with student papers to read, and final course grades to tally and submit. Sigh.

Well, the one beacon of light in all of this is that a sample figure or two will be on the way from Garrison Miniatures tomorrow thanks to the good graces of proprietor Rob Young. I'm eager to see these in the flesh and, maybe, add some to the Grand Duchy of Stollen collection. We'll have to see. But it is certainly exciting waiting for the samples to arrive.

On a different note, my band The Indras has managed to land a gig at one of the premier nightspots in Bloomington (Daddio's) in mid-July, so we now have three appearances lined up for July and August. Best of all, the person in charge of hiring…

A Possible Solution to the Artillery Conundrum. . .

Hah! The artillery question may be worked out. I posed a question about size and compatibility of the old Garrison SYW Prussian range over at the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group this afternoon, which yielded quickly the answer I sought. Seems there is life in the old girl yet.

John Preece and Doug Crowther indicated that the Garrison figures are indeed 25mm and comparable in height to MiniFigs, but much slimmer and with better proportions. An added advantage is that they are also cheaper than MiniFigs at this point. So, without seeing any photos of the SYW miniatures by Garrison, my impression is that they will be reasonably compatible with my RSMs, Spencer Smiths, Revells, and scattering of MiniFigs already in the collection.

It would appear that these might, therefore, be just the figures I require to finish up Stollen's artillery contingent. But I must be strong and wait for a definite response from Rob, the man behind Garrison Miniatures, before I dash off an order vi…

Grand Duchy of Stollen Project Progress as of May 14, 2009. . .

Well, Blogger still refused to accept my HTML (Aaagghh!!!), so I've simply printed, scanned, and uploaded my chart as a jpeg picture. Not quite as nice looking as I had hoped, but it presents all of the vital information anyway.

As you can see, there is still quite a way to go before the initial Sittangbad-sized forces are complete. Note to self -- get off of lazy you-know-what and get moving on return from Germany in July! Still, I can probably finish the fourth company of von Flickenhoffer's Fusiliers in the next three weeks once my May Term film course finishes.

In July, it's onward to the regiment of RSM cuirassiers that has been sitting on my painting desk since last November when I purchased them as a birthday gift to myself (and in celebration of last year's article in Battlegames). These will be followed by more (as yet unporuchased) artillery, another 30-figure unit of cavalry, and then another 60-figure unit of infantry, hopefully before year's end. Ke…

She's leavin' on a jet plane. . .

Well, I put the Grand Duchess on the shuttle bus up to Chicago-O'Hare this morning for the start of her journey to Berlin, where she will be doing some work in a few archives for the next few weeks. Yours truly will join her on June 9th-10th for the remainder of her stay (until July 2nd). We've got an apartment in a nice section of town all ready to go, plus a side trip to Luebeck to mark our third anniversary (Where does the time go?) before returning to Berlin.

All of which gets me thinking. Of course, there is the obligatory trip to Berliner Zinnfiguren, but I also want to visit a military museum or two while in Berlin. Can any of you who have been to the city suggest a good one, please? Of course, my interests lie with the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly the former. I am also very interested in old coinage, so any museum featuring coins from pre-1871 eras would be fascinating to see as well.

But back to the soldiers! I've been looking at my Grand Duchy of S…

What's your favorite part of the wargaming hobby?

I'm borrowing a series of questions posed by Jim "Alte Fritz" Purky over at The Miniatures Page because they are kind of interesting and thought provoking. They certainly made me think a bit as I sipped my morning mug of coffee today. Just what is it about the hobby that you enjoy most? Is it the painting and collecting of hundreds of finely detailed and painted metal or plastic miniatures? Or is that something you'd rather get through, so you can get on with the more important gaming? Do you enjoy building and modeling your own terrain and scenery, instead, creating finely detailed miniature tableaus? Maybe you most like to peruse the various wargaming magazines, books, and/or blogs or websites, gazing at others' lovely and inspiring work? Or do you prefer reading the military history on which your other activities are based?

As for me, I guess that I enjoy each one of these activities to varying degrees. Sure, painting is sometimes a chore (especially th…

A New General and ADC. . .

Meet General Nikolai von Frobenius (left) and his faithful ADC Captain Erik Skjoldbjaerg (right). Von Frobenius, on hearing that his ancestral estate may be in danger of falling into Stagonian hands, has taken indefinite leave from his post in the Russian army and raced home to offer assistance to Stollen's General von Drosselmaier. He is accompanied by Captain Skjoldbjaerg, a Dane who served von Frobenius faithfully through the entire Seven Years' War.

Save for a couple of minor touch-ups with the paintbrush and two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish, the two are ready to join General von Drosselmaier and Major von Kallweitschen outside of Saegewerkdorf. Perhaps von Frobenius will be able to alter the course of events on the battlefield?

I've got an acute case of table envy!!!

While clearing away the model soldier casualties and snapping a few digital photographs this afternoon, it occurred to me to measure my table and room dimensions. And guess what? One more folding table will enable me to increase my table size from 6'x8' to 6'x 10'! I already have the necessary exta three 2' squares at hand and all painted and ready to go.

Once everything has been rearranged, there will be plenty of space down one side of the enlarged table, and just enough room to to move around its ends. If things are a bit tight there, I'll configure the tables in such a way that I can remove one of the 2' square panels in the middle as a make-shift trapdoor. . . much like I have read Brigadier Young had built into his table.

Why this idea didn't occur to me sooner, I don't know. But it is a terribly exciting realization now. When I shared the news with the Grand Duchess, she just looked at me and laughed. Imagine that. The nerve. The …

Late in Turn Two. . .

Here is a panoramic photograph, more or less, from the northeast, looking toward the southwest. Closest to the camera are Stollen's Jaeger zu Fuss and just four Leib Grenadiers (on the left), facing General von Drednoz's red-coated Grosfurzen Grenzers on the right. In the middle distance, the rest of the Leib Grenadiers and 11th Engineer Battalion (left) are facing the might of Stagonia's von Hirschbock Grenadiers (right). In the village, a few Leib Grenadiers face a strong force of Du Lepp's Fusiliers, including a full-strength company just outside Saegewerkdorf to the west. And in the far distance, von Drednoz's hussars await further orders along with the two companies of sappers, one of which occupies the sawmill complex itself just before the wooded area at right.


In this picture, General von Drosselmaier's reserve of infantry and two guns are clearly visible. Farther afield, you can see Von Drednoz's three squadrons of cuirassiers and battery of a…

The Changing Situation at Saegewerkdorf. . .

In the photograph above, you can see that while the latter still hold two buildings in the village, the line to the south of Seagewerkdorf has been greatly reduced. The engineers now number less than a company of effectives, while the grenadiers have only slightly more than half of their original number still standing.


And to the northeast of Saegewerkdorf, von Drosselmaier's company of Jaeger zu Fuss along with his company of Leib Grenadiers have been whittled away by the Grosfurzen Grenzers. While the first company of grenzers has taken heavy casualities itself, the second stands at the ready just behind them. In fact, it was the second company that inflicted a further three hits on the Leib Grenadiers, essentially rendering that sub-unit of troops ineffective in its current position.


"Ah, I love the smell of Games Workshop acrylic hobby paint in the morning." said General von Drosselmaier to his young, impressionable ADC, Major von Kallweitschen, as the two men obs…

Table-top warfare is a dirty business. . .

Heavy casualties on both sides! At less than 6" range, Stagonia's Von Hirschbock Grenadiers on the left scored an unbelievable 28 hits on the 11th Engineers and third company of the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers on the right. For their part, the two Stollenian units managed to inflict 18 casualties on their vile foes. Still, it seems that the flower of General von Drosselmaier's army has experienced a major setback. Perhaps that is putting it rather lightly?


In Saegewerkdorf itself, the du Lepps Fusiliers inflicted eight casualties on the company of Leib grenadiers opposing them in the the street. For their part, Grand Duchess Sonja's Own managed to score six hits on the fusiliers. Again, all musketry was at extreme close range.


Across the street and village square, on the northern side of the village, the du Lepps Fusiliers in close order managed to render three of the Stollenian Leib Grenadiers inside the village church hors de combat. Amazin…

Musketry Fire About to Commence!

Coming post-dinner later this evening: a vicious firefight for Saegewerkdorf! In the above photograph, you can see the village buildings with their outter shells removed, revealing how many soldiers are stationed within each building along with some troops still in close order in the streets and village square. Even if General von Drednoz, er. . . Jeff Hudelson and I are only marginally lucky with the dice, it's likely to be a bloodbath within Saegewerkdorf itself. And that's not even considering the vollies between to the two lines of infantry just off to the lower left in this photograph! Fortunately, we both moved our artillery this turn, so those units are not free to fire.


Not nearly as much is happening this turn on the southern edge of the battlefield, but it still seemed like a good idea to at least show how many jaegers are actually placed inside each of the two buildings here in the picture above. Looks like five figures in the house on the left and three in the …

Turn Two Begins. . .

Here's a view the general situation at the start of Turn #2, following movement of the troops by General von Drednoz and General von Drosselmaier respectively.


On his far left flank, von Drednoz has moved and deployed his artillery battery and the first squadron of his cuirassiers. Both units are now much closer to von Drosselmaier's right flank and his regiment of 4th Dragoons (barely visible in the distance here), which are acting as a reserve in the sector of the battlefield.


General von Drednoz has moved the du Lepp's Fusiliers into Saegewerkdorf itself, with the first company occupying one building, and the second company occupying another. The third company of fusiliers waits just to the west of the village ready to fire down the street into Saegewerkdorf should the situation warrant it. Not to be outdone, General von Drosselmaier had a similar idea, and so his Leib Grenadiers had orders to move into and occupy the village too! They control the two buildings in the…

A Bit of Geographical Campaign Context. . .

Above is a quickly sketched map of the campaign area, showing (among other things) the location of the Saegewerkdorf battlefield, the Duchy of Schleiz, which was recently ceded back to the Electorate of Zichenau, and the location of the campaign area relative to other more important players on the European stage of the late 1760s.

While the map is not to scale, it purports to shows an area of about 200 square miles. Also absent from the map is an indication of the numerous small lakes that dot the region and the dense forests as well as the low, sandy, and rolling hils, which feature primarily in the south. For a more detailed descritption of the geography and agriculture of the area, interested parties are referred to early posts from the late summer and autumn of 2006.

I had a dream early this morning. . .

Yes, another soldier dream! This time about plastic marching infantry, a great deal like the old Spencer Smith figures, but not quite. They were similar in size and proportion to RSM Prussian musketeers, but dressed in a slightly older version of uniform. I remember thinking to myself in the dream that these fellows looked suitable for the War of Austrian Succession, or a slightly earlier conflict. And then. . . I woke up. Grrrr. Don't you just hate that?

General von Drednoz's Grenzers Return Fire. . .

A short while later (late in Turn #1), General von Drosselmaier poked his head out of his multi-colored pavilion and called to his yellow-coated ADC -- the dashing Major Karl Heinz von Kallweitschen -- for his spyglass. Peering through it toward the right flank, just north of Sagewerkdorf, von Drosselmaier observed that things were not going well for his company of Jager zu Fuss posted there. General von Drednoz's Grosfurzen Grenzers had just returned a withering fire, which left six Stollenian casualties in its aftermath thanks to a series of fours, fives, and sixes rolled on the dice. Sadly, that means half the personnel of the first company of Jaeger zu Fuss is now hors de combat!

Slightly preturbed, von Drosselmaier turned to the map of the area laid out on a table before him and began pondering the remaining possibilities on that part of the battlefield. Should he recall the company of jaeger? Should he have them move into the village along side the Leib Grenadiers? Or,…