23 September 2009

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 and collecting military miniatures right now than about how fast I can get 'em painted.

Although these figures are part of the Grand Duchy of Stollen's cavelry arm, I'll not deviate too much from standard Austrian uniforms worn by these troops because, well, because the colors are already pretty striking thanks to the predominance of white and red. I'll consult my Men-at-Arms volume on the subject though, and might try to provide some regimental distinctions with the shoulder straps or breeches/vests. We'll have to wait and see precisely in which direction my painting muse takes me in the next few weeks, something even I am never entirely sure of until I sit down and pick up a brush. In any case, the horses will be black for the most part -- dry-brushed with dark blue -- so that might speed things along a tiny bit. We'll see how things progress.

A belated thanks to everyone who has sent good wishes to the Grand Duchess and me in recent weeks. Sonja has just finished her seventh month, and everything is textbook and on schedule so far. She looks and feels great, although I suspect Sonja will be glad to have this baby since its difficult for her to get comfortable at night and during the day. But she's been a real trooper about everything and hasn't complained much though.
I do know she'll be happy to get back on her bicycle next spring since she hasn't done any cycling this year at all.

We finished our prenatal classes this past Monday evening, the baby's room is all painted (which resulted in an extreme case of painting fatigue for me) and furnished, and our respective families are all goosey loosey about the prospect of a (-nother) grandchild to spoil. In the next few weeks, the Grand Duchess and I have a couple of infant CPR classes to attend and two on nursing (i.e., breast-feeding) in October, before settling down to the relative "quiet" of a newborn in mid-November.

And yes, I've started the new routine of very early morning painting/base-coating since I'm up frightfully early five days a week anyway. Late at night works well too, during the weekends. And with all of this preparation for baby, my latest alter ego (there are many) has manifested itself in recent days --
Herr General Heiner von Puder und Pamper. Who knew that having a baby would lead to the development of a new character in the Grand Duchy of Stollen pantheon? Let's see. To which branch of the Stollenian service might this new officer find himself assigned? ;-)


Bluebear Jeff said...


Since you purchased this unit in honor of the publication of your BATTLEGAMES article, might the colonel's name be von Hyde?

-- Jeff

Fitz-Badger said...

"Herr General Heiner von Puder und Pamper"
Sounds like a candidate for the diplomatic corps... lol

Martin said...

Oh Stokes!

You innocent you you! Bless your sense of being an optimist. I think that's the first time I ever read "quiet" and "newborn" in the same sentence. Well...we'll see. I suppose there is a first time for everything.

What branch for your new General? Why the answer is obvious! The Quartermaster's Corps - since he'll be spending his time going back and forth from home to the grocery store, or drug store, or specialty baby store, or local mall, etc., etc. on an endless quest for diapers, formula, bottles, clothes, booties, car booster seat, blankets. The list just goes on and on.


tradgardmastare said...

good to hear news of the Duchess and of your painting too. I think your new character should command some jaeger as the Duchy could do with some of these marksmen ( recruited from gamekeepers within the Duchy of Stolen ) to keep you on target in the days to come..
p.s have you added anything of late to the "Charge" flow chart or is it finished....

Grimsby Mariner said...

I always found that we used to run out of clean coffee cups. You'd be having a cup and reading/painting/relaxing when baby would wake and want attention. Leaving the half finished cup off you go never to return to it. I lost a lot of paint brushes the same way too either through dried paint or bending out of shape from being left in the wash pot when the second shout from Mother came.
And you are quite right to pamper the Grand Duchess - she's doing all the work after all, you're just the hired help!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

You took the hint then Stokes?? :o)))

I hesitate to say it - but I much prefer your painting to your composing! ;o)

Stokes Schwartz said...

Thanks, Men!

Jeff -- Good idea!

Fitz -- Possibly, or aome other kind of rear echelon position.

Martin -- "Quiet" was definitely meant tongue-in-cheek! My early delusions have given way to hollow-eyed resignation and despair. Can the loony bin be far off?

Tragardmastare -- No updates to the old painting chart since late summer. The Army of Zichenau is finished save for a final squadron of hussars and a few more mounted officers/ADCs.

Paul -- Oh, yes! Hired help is an apt term. And I know all about the strange requests and extra trips out at odd times already. I suspect it will become more pronounced after baby arrives. Can greying hair be far off?

Steve -- Ouch!!!

tradgardmastare said...

apologies for confusion. What I meant was the Charge Rules flow chart that you kindly sent me as a playing aid...

Stokes Schwartz said...


No worries. If I had thought about it a minute, I would have understood what you meant. Nope, haven't added anything to the Charge! flowchart since I sent it to you. I imagine I'll add/tweak things a bit the next time a game is in the making.

Best Regards,


johnpreece said...

I am really pleased to hear that all is well with the Grand Duchess, we will all be wishing her well as the date draws closer.

I wonder if we could take bets as to when this regt will get finished? Still, it is an exciting moment to prepare and line up the castings and embark on a major new unit.

By the way pay no attention to Steve, wargamers are notoriously out of touch with the 'happening scene, dude'.

Der Alte Fritz said...

Get sleep. Now and lots of it. Savor it and enjoy it so that two months from now you will have some vague memory of what sleep was and how delightful a thing it could be.

That said, for all the work involved in caring for babies (and it is 100 times harder than you can imagine), they are a wonderful part of life and I'm sure that you are going to have a blast being a father.

On the plus side, if your heir has colic and screams all night like ours did, you will be up all night, which could allow you to squeeze in some extra painting time in the wee small hours of the morning.




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