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Showing posts from September, 2009

Plugging away. . .

The horse painting is more or less finished here. A nice grey for the trumpeter (with a white wash on raised areas) and black horses for Colonel von Heide and his standard bearer. Look closely, and you'll see the dark blue dry-brushed carefully onto the flanks, necks, and legs of the two horses concerned, providing a 'dark' highlight. Hmmm. Is that an oxymoron?


A husband's work is never done. But, I managed to squeeze in a couple of roughly hour-long painting sessions yesterday on either side of assembling a complex piece of IKEA furniture and mowing the grass in the front and back yards. Who know that assembling a bathroom storage cabinet with a single drawer could be so involved??!! Still, the three cuirassier command figures, Colonel Heinrich von Heide and company, are coming along nicely. Hopefully, I'll be able to get an hour or so in this evening. Keep your fingers crossed!


Just a little painting a day. . .

So, the facings are now finished. Tonight, red breeches and, probably, the dark blue dry-brushing on the horses will follow. If time, I'll also quickly paint in the white wig on Colonel von Heide and the brown hair on the other two figures.


Keeps the mountain of lead and plastic at bay. Or something like that. Following our trip up to IKEA yesterday, we returned home yesterday evening and each enjoyed a few hours of personal time before settling in together, to watch Tootsie (1982) with Dustin Hoffman. Amazingly, I had never seen this particular movie before, and it was extremely funny. Dustin Hoffman truly is an amazing actor.

Anyway, I managed a bit more work on Colonel Heinrich von Heide and his regimental staff last night before movie time. First, the by-now-familiar tan undercoat, followed by white. The red facing color on the cuffs and skirt turnbacks followed. Not really much to look at just yet, but, to my eyes at least, the figures already appear much better than j…

While the Grand Duchess is away. . . playing Mah Jong no less. . .

From left to right: The regimental inhaber Herr Colonel Heinrich von Heide along with his standard bearer and trumpeter. These are going to be a fun bunch of figures to paint and a nice change after all of that white-coated infantry last spring and summer.


Imagine! The nerve! So, obviously I have had a couple of hours to myself this evening. And what better way to spend that spare time than working on some RSM95 wargaming miniatures.

Just a little bit of painting on the first three figures tonight: green bases, the faces, and a quick coat of Liquitex black acrylic paint on the horses and tricornes. I like the blue-black of this particular color -- very suitable for noble cuirassier steeds. It dries quickly with a nice sheen and a stretchy surface, so it stands up well to handling and doesn't flake off of metal or plastic figures. An added benfit of Liquitex is that it helps prevent the black gesso undercoat from rubbing off the ears and muzzles of the horses plus the boot …

Ready, set, paint!

Here are the thirty RSM95 Austrian cuirassiers -- purchased last year to celebrate the publication of my article in Battlegames #13 -- all base-coated and ready for painting.


On the advice of Steve-the-Wargamer, I think it is high time to return to painting, which is of course the primary reason behind the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog. So, here is the next unit in the painting queue -- 30 RSM95 (nee Pax Britannica) Austrian mid-18th Century cuirassiers, all base-coated with two applications of black acrylic artist's gesso and ready to go.

I'll attack the regimental staff of three figures with the paintbrush first -- colonel, trumpeter, and standard bearer. One squadron at a time will follow -- one officer and nine troopers -- until the unit is done. With the baby on the way, I fully expect the painting of this unit to take "a bit" (he says with a wry smile) longer than usual. But then I'm not a fast painter anyway, and it's more about the joy of painting …

In the Palace Music Room with Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and His Faithful English Manservant Hives. . .

The recently acquired Flemish-made harpsichord, played by the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II during his more relaxed, lucid moments.

Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II (poised on bench before his Flemish-made harpsichord, picking out chords and singing):

Oh, Prin-cess, Prin-cess Antonia.
Why'd you invade my ho, ho, ho, ho, home-i-a?
With the setting sun,
My men were on the run,
And my sawmill parts on the way
Back to Vile Stag-oooon-ia.

(Pauses and writes a few lines on the musical score sheet before him with quill pen, and continues).

Oh, Prin-cess, Prin-cess Antonia.
What do you think they'll say in Pruss-ia?
If I'd had hussars,
You'd have been seein' stars,
But all the whileI was avoidin'
The state of Mat-ri-moooon-ia. . .

(His voice fades)

Hives (Entering music room with tray): Your late morning tea, Sir.

IA (Stops playing and looks up across harpsichord toward doorway through which Hives has entered): Thank you, Hives. Thank you. Dreadful business all that with the i…

Article Ruminations, Part III. . .

This is the issue that started it all, the March 1981 issue of Military Modelling, including Battle for Wargamers!

A rather quiet Labor Day here in the United States today. Cool weather has meant that I have managed to get a number of domestic things done around here early in the day, leaving me feeling especially virtuous. So, what better way to fill the available time than with the third and final installment of the "Article Ruminations" series, in which I provide a retrospective of those magazine articles that have influenced my wargaming over the years. Ok, here we go.

Let's start with the March 1981 issue of Military Modelling, picture above. In the fall of 1981, I was in the midst of my new fascination with Dungeons and Dragons. One day, while I was at school, my mother was out running errands and happened upon a local gaming shop (remember those?). On a whim, she went inside, where she purchased a few Ral Partha fanatsy figures and this magazine for me. When I…

Article Ruminations, Part II. . .

Another nice illustration of some mid-18th Century Prussian troops.

The other day, I held forth ad nauseum about several articles in old issues of Wargames Illustrated that managed to capture my fancy years ago (the 1980s and early 1990s) and remain interesting these many years later. This time, I'll continue in the same vein, looking at another five articles from my early days in the hobby when money was short, but the imagination was vivid, and anything seemed like it might be possible.

Where technical matters were concerned, Bill Leeson's "Artillery Effects in the Reiswitz Kriegspiel", contained in the April 1988 issue of WI, certainly was influential. While I knew of the Prussian Kriegspiel, I had no clue about its details or rules. So, Mr. Leeson's piece on how artillery fire was adjudicated in the Reiswitz variant of the game/simulation made for fascinating reading. It even led me to devise my own relatively simple artillery rules, which, sadly, I never w…

Article Ruminations. . .

The Battle of Koeniggratz, during the summer of 1866, by Georg Bleibtreu.

Have you eve come across certain articles in a wargaming magazine, past or present, that just scratched that "itch" so well, that you read them again and again over the years? Me too. And I've long meant to mention a few of them here on the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, but various other things have always gotten in the way. But no longer! Today, teaching is almost finished for the week, I'm taking a break from painting the baby's room, and the long Labor Day holiday weekend is almost upon us here in the United States. What better time than now to natter on about a few articles from the past that remain fun and inspiring to revisit years after I first read them? So here we go.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, before more serious concerns in life, like graduate school, forced me to put wargaming on the back burner for several years, I had a subscription to Wargames Illustrated, a ma…