09 July 2009

Garrison and Holger Eriksson Figures!!!

First, thanks to everyone for all of your good wishes about the coming baby. Sonja and I are even more excited, if such a thing were possible, following the big check-up the other day. And of course the two sets of future grandparents can hardly sit still from the sound of things. But let's talk soldiers now since that's the main point behind the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog.

Some of you might recall my plans this past spring to order a few HE and Garrison miniatures and have them sent to our temporary Berlin address where we stayed during the month of June. Well, here they are in all of their shiny, unpainted glory. The photograph above features two Holger Erisksson guns manned by Garrison Prussian artillery crew. For a mounted officer, I ordered two Prussian dragoon officers, which fill that particular gap in the Garrison range pretty well. A small compromise that works nicely.

Rob Young at Garrison pointed out in our communications back and forth that he did not like the Garrison guns very much, so I simply added a pair of HE guns to my order of cavalry, of which more below. Another mounted officer and enough crew for two guns (not shown here) were part of my order to Rob, and they will be used to man a couple of guns from MiniFigs that I have sitting around in my box of unpainted lead.

The cavalry to the rescue! So, here is that beautiful regiment of 30 Holger Eriksson cavalry. Instead of the more dramatic gallop, this time I opted for four variants of a walking horse for officers, troopers, trumpeter, and standard bearer. Even unpainted, I really like the look of these figures. Click on the photos for a larger view if you like.

Finally, here is another shot of these little lovelies. And in what uniform might these eventually be painted? Well, David von Linienblatt over at his Not By Appointment blog has recently posted a few examples of Saxon and Bavarian cavalry uniforms of the SYW period, so I'll very likely use one of those as the basis for these when the time comes.

Oh, and how do these figures fit in with the rest of my collection? They are actually a bit smaller, or finer, in build and dimension than the RSM Austrian cuirassiers sitting on the other end of my painting table. Height-wise, the two are very close, but the HE figures are finer sculpts/castings. On the table, everything should work well together.

Now, some of you, who are parents already, are no doubt chuckling to yourselves and thinking, "That's great Stokes, but how do you expect to continue your painting with a baby on the way?" Well, I'm taking a pointer or two from Greg Horne in Australia and preparing Zum Stollenkeller for the eventual arrival of the Prince/Princess of Stollen, so that I can continue the Grand Duchy of Stollen project, albeit at a slightly less frenetic pace.

For example, we took delivery of a small playpen yesterday that will be set up right next to my desk here, so I can look after the baby whenever neccessary AND still get some painting in during the evenings and weekends. This is just one of the measures that the Grand Duchess and I are taking in our quest to avoid becoming what she calls "Baby Zombies". And perhaps that will be easier said than done, but we're going to try our best not to let parenthood take over absolutely every waking moment at the expense of other interests. Sure, bicycling and skiing together will have to take a backseat for a few years, but Sonja and I want to adjust our lives in such a way that we can have a child AND still enjoy some adult interests/activities rather than opting for one, or the other, but not both. We'll see how things go, but that's the vision we have right now. After all, the baby will have to sleep sometime! ;-)

On other fronts we've had several days of heavy rain off and on here, so naturally the room next door is, shall we say, damp again and the dehumidifier has run constantly since the weekend. My office has remained dry, but it's been a chore to get the painting mojo going again after several weeks away. Much easier to have dinner and coffee with the Grand Duchess in the evenings and spend time talking on the front porch, reading, or watching a DVD. So, tonight, following band practice and dinner, a couple of hours at the painting table, darn it!

And speaking of band practice, The Indras have a couple of dates this weekend, including an early show at a local place tomorrow evening and, if the weather holds, a local arts festival, presented by our local National Public Radio station WGLT, on Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed that we don't have any rain that day as attendance could be huge if the sun cooperates and shows its face.

Finally, I made the pilgrimage to Berliner Zinnfiguren while in Berlin last month. In short, it's a wonderful little shop full of books, paints, and other items of interest to the military hobbyist/wargamer. Unfortunately, they had no 25-30mm fully round figures for sale! I knew before leaving the U.S. that they stocked many larger models as well as an array of 30mm flats, but I was surprised that they did not even have the 30mm Prussian SYW figures produced by Martin Hille. And I asked in both German and English, to make sure I understood everything and made myself clear. Ce la guerre. . .

So, after an enjoyable half-hour of looking around, I decided to be happy with what was already in my possession back at the apartment, thanked the man behind the counter, and made my way up the street to a nearby bookstore. As the saying goes, you can't hit a home-run all of the time. In any case, I have enough unpainted metal and plastic figures here now to keep me busy for quite some time I think, so no harm done. Now, where did I put that paintbrush?


Adik said...

congratulations on the baby! It took me a while to catch up on the news - we also have a baby boy on his way, due in the second half of August, so I have not had much time to read updates from my blogroll.
What a fantastic news! Bravo!

Bluebear Jeff said...


I suppose that you don't want to hear that Zvezda has released Prussian SYW Grenadiers.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of your new lead painted.

Also, at some point, you might want to do a "Grand Review" of all of your painted figures with unit-by-unit photos.

And I wish you good fortune with your plans for your survival as adults after the arrival of your young addition.

-- Jeff

Ken said...

Congratulations on the baby, sir. As for the Zvezda figures, I've just about settled on RSM for my Imagi-Nation, but if someone were to do a really good set of Hungarian Austrian infantry in 1/72 plastic, I'd have to think 'er over pretty thoroughly.

Fitz-Badger said...

Stokes wrote "the baby will have to sleep sometime" - I think they save it up and do it when they're teenagers - :)
Good luck on the rest of it! :D

littlejohn said...

I'll second that on baby sleep time being prime painting time as well. My 3 week old little girl's sleep schedule has been a real help in giving me the reason (excuse) to sit down and paint! Speaking from experience it eventually comes to an end when they get more active...but by then you can start them in the painting sweatshop ;)

good luck!

Der Alte Fritz said...

Stokes: first of all, congratulations on the pending baby. That's very exciting news indeed. Secondly, you are delusional, I'm afraid to say, if you think that you can avoid having your little one take over your life. Enjoy those activities that you and the Duchess do together, because when people say that "a baby really changes your life" they are understating things by a factor of 100 times. The first few months are pure hell, but you will adjust and see that it is all a good thing. Congratulations once again.

Sir William the Aged said...


My heartfelt congratulations to you and the Grand Duchess! Now, as far as that whole "we won't let the baby change our lives thing", as the father of three and now grandfather of 7, let me know how that works out for you ;-)

But, just think of all the new opportunities you have: baby trailers for the bikes, short painting sessions at around 2:00am and 4:00am, learning how to play the bass very, very softly, explaining to the Grand Duchess how and why the baby got Goblin Green all over his/her face and clothes, and the list just goes on and on. I once found one of mine happily munching away on a piece of foam terrain that got knocked off the table. Hey, stuff happens! Best of luck my friend.


guy said...

Hi Stokes,

My top tips for babies is firstly to buy a car seat which is removable and has a rocking support/function underneath. Plonk one child in it, rock in a regular movement with one foot and get on with second job ie reading one's newspaper etc.

Next is to buy one of those body supports which has a long spring attached to the top. This is then hung from the door frame. Once again place little one in so he/she is dangling down, but can then self-bounce repeatedly. The 3 advantages are that one the baby has great fun (ignore the squeals), you are free to get on with other things as the little blighter can't escape and thirdly after about the 1,000 bounce, the baby is absolutlely shattered, falls asleep and peace decends on Stollen. What more could you ask for. Its just a shame I can't find a version to put my 14 year old in.


tidders said...

Some nice looking additions to the lead mountain !

Good luck with balancing personal time versus baby (it'll tip one way I'm sure).

-- Allan

Snickering Corpses said...

This seems to be a time for gamer progeny of late :) The mention of baby trailers is a good one. While there is a time lag and you have to consider the baby's health and energy levels, it's certainly possible to do some biking with a baby.

The only addition I would mention for the playpen near the painting table is don't put it right beside. Make sure there's enough space to keep both the table and items that might get knocked off of it out of immediate range of little fingers. :D

It's also worth pre-evaluating where, once the child is mobile, you might put baby gates and so forth. Plan for baby-proofing now and it will be less of a scramble when the little one makes it necessary.

Bloggerator said...

Dear Stokes,

Naturally, I completely missed the news until now! Congratulations to you and Sonja.

Prepare to have your world turned upside down!

Best wishes,

Greg, Amy and Erin

Snickering Corpses said...

An additional comment from my mother, when I mentioned the playpen by the paint desk. She said to be mindful of fumes and small lungs.


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