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?