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Showing posts from November, 2009

Second Cuirassier Squadron Nears Completion!!!

Here's the first of several photographs I discovered on our other digital camera that were taken during last spring's Battle of Saegewerkdorf between Jef Hudelson and me. . . The game that was flooded out after only two turns! :-( Above are the Stollenian generals, surveying their position just to the southeast of the village.


Here is the extreme left of the Stollenian line before advancing on Saegewerkdorf.


Here is the battery of Stagonian artillery that caused a fair amount of trouble opposite of Stollen's right flank.


One of the primary targets of that artillery was Stollen's cavalry arm, the 4th (Trakehnen) Dragoons.


And here is the opposite end of Stollen's infantry line, occupied by the 2nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers.


No photo quite yet, but the second batch of Anspach-Beyreuth Kuirassiere is just about finished. One more tiny thing to paint, then it's onto touching up a few black areas, followed by my usual two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish. D…

Whimsy, whimsy, whimsy. . .

A small sample of the various headgear I'd like the figures for my fictitious early-mid-19th Century forces to wear.


And I don't mean Lord Peter*!

You know, a funny thing happened at our usual late Saturday breakfast yesterday. While I held Paul, and we finished our coffee and orange juice, the Grand Duchess actually asked about the imaginary 19th Century armies I've been nattering on about for the last several days. Specifically, she wanted to know how they would differ in appearance from my mid-18th century figures. So. . . I held forth, being careful to limit my remarks to only about five minutes. You know how easy it is to go on and on about something when you are enthused.

What I envision is a fairly wide and whimsical mix of figures in Albert and kiwer shakos, kepis, early (high) pickelhauben, raupenhelmen, bearskins, busbies, czapkas, and the like. I'll fastforward my narrative to the mid-late 1840s (before weaponry became too accurate and rapid firing), ratio…

A Bit More Painting Progress on the RSM Cuirrasiers. . .

An Orson Welles inspired shot (hee, hee), showing my painting area and the middle squadron of the Anspach-Beyreuth Kuirassiere just before coloring in the saddle cloths with red.


A poor quality close-up photograph of that same second squadron.


A couple of brief painting sessions today enabled me to finish the white/silver edging of the saddle cloths and fill in the remaining black areas carefully with red. Next up, it's onto the swords, scabbards, and associated bits. We're getting very close to finishing this batch of figures, and hopefully, if Young Paul cooperates, I can finish and varnish them within the week. Famous last words. . . Ok, ok, wipe those wry grins off your faces, please!

Painting Continues Apiece. . .

54mm Holger Eriksson figures in 1845 uniforms worn by Swedish infantry. I really like these, but Sadly I'm not sure they are available in 30mm. The photo comes from the Holger Eriksson website (link at left).


Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes everyone! We had a lovely day and dinner yesterday evening, followed by two episodes of the brilliant Boston Legal (final two shows from Season #4) on DVD with pie and coffee late last night. Young Paul was wide awake and watching between us on the bed. I'm not sure, but I believe he's already a fan of. . . Denny Crane!

Lots to talk about this morning, but where to start? Ok. First, I managed to squeeze in about an hour of painting time yesterday afternoon while Paul dozed, to continue work on my second squadron of the Anspach-Beyreuth Kuirassiere. I'm in the midst of red saddlecloths at the moment, which I'll finish up this afternoon and/or evening -- white/silver edging and then fill in the red carefully. It…

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

To all citizens and residents of the United States who visit the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog from time to time, Happy Thanksgiving from the four of us -- the Grand Duchess Sonja, young David Paul I, Princess Rannveig (the Grand Ducal Feline), and Yours Truly! Here's to a peaceful day of feasting, friends, family, fraternization, and (perhaps) football on the TV.

A New Game of Toy Soldiers Is in the Works. . .

After enjoying issue #19 of Battlegames several times over the past few days, I've decided to set up my 6'x8' table once more this weekend and prepare for a solo game next month after the academic term ends on December 4th (It's about time!). So, this time, I'm going to take a crack at the Table Top Teaser in that issue, which is a two-part game, featuring a smaller preliminary action, followed by a larger set-piece affair.

I believe I have enough figures for the latter, especially if I reduce the force size a bit as the Grants (Charles Jr. and Charles S.) suggest at the end of their teaser. And I've even got a few 6' lengths of foam packing material to make the additional hills I'll need. Might need to replenish my supply of Olympic "Meadow Green" latex paint though, so that I can give the new slopes a couple of good coats before setting up the figures.

Goody, goody, goody!!! This game/project should be fun since I haven't had th…

A New Link or Two. . .

Not much painting going on at the moment, though hope springs eternal. Young Paul has has not required copious amounts of time this last week, but I find myself, frankly, too tired mentally to contemplate sitting down to paint by the time 9 or 10 pm rolls around n the evenings. In truth, I've used available time to write and refine a 5000+ word piece on painting figures, so it's not as though I have nothing to show for the past week where wargaming, or at least thinking about it, is concerned.

The Grand Duchess and I got almost five straight hours of lovely sleep last night, and another three very early this morning. Sonja looks more refreshed and rested than I've seen in some weeks, and we were able to enjoy our first BIG Sunday sit-down breakfast (prepared by yours truly) since Young Paul's birth and arrival home almost four weeks ago. Might domestic bliss and some semblance of peaceful quiet have returned to Stollen Central at least for the time being? We'l…

A Small Milestone and Other Errata. . .

Sometime in the night, the number of visitors to the Grand Duchy of Stollen passed the 80,000 mark. Not bad for slightly over three years. I imagine cannon are going off, to mark the occasion, around the city of Krankenstadt in the Grand Duchy of Stollen as the sun rises this morning!

The writing spirit seized me over the weekend, so I've been taking a couple of days away from the painting table to work on "the wargaming book". Remember that? This particular chapter is a longer one, and, remarkably, it seems almost as if it is writing itself. I have done considerable work with young Paul asleep in my lap. It's almost finished, and then the time comes for proofreading and editing, to make things more concise and cohesive.

Many of the intended chapters are finished with not that much outstanding work remaining other than some reorganization of said chapters and adding a few other bits and pieces. But I think it should not be too terribly much longer before I'…

White Step Is Finished!!!

With a huge sigh of relief, the white step is all finished on the second squadron of Austria's, er, Stollen's Anspach-Beyreuth Kuirassiere. Young David Paul I had a quiet night last night, so we got a tiny bit more sleep than has been the case lately. The Grand Duchess and son are out running some errands together this afternoon, so I've had a rare couple of hours to finish this step, take, and post a picture here. Now, it's onto the next step, "The Reds". . . facings, turnbacks, breeches, and saddle cloths. Charge!

And speaking of Charge!, is anyone else having problems leaving comments at the wonderfully whimsical Blasthof Blog? I've tried to post a comment several times in the last few days about Phil Olley's unit of Tarleton helmeted artillery, but the comment won't take. It simply disappears without explanation whenever I click on the publish button. Phil, if you're reading this, your battery is lovely. I might just have to bite …

Pluggin' Away. . .

Ahhh. . . I managed to squeeze in about 90 minutes for figure painting yesterday evening between grading student papers, dinner with the Grand Duchess, showing a film at school, and a fussy baby. Sleep? What's that? So, that second squadron of nine RSM Austrian dragoons now has its shoulder belts and cuirass belts/straps all painted carefully. And no mistakes to fix for once! You can see where we stand at this point from the above photograph.

Probably no time to paint this evening since my amateur rock and roll band has a practice session for a couple of hours, but the next time I sit down to the painting table, I'll tackle the white tunics and gauntlets before moving onto the red facings and saddlecloths. Suffice to say, the figures are indeed starting to look more like little men and horses rather than inanimate chunks of pewter, or white metal, or whatever it is that the RSM's are made of.

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month. . .

Today, thoughts turn to my maternal grandfather David Lewis Stokes, his brothers (Baxter and Jackson), and his brother-in-laws (Bob, Sydney, and Charlie). Amazingly, all six of them served, in one way or another, during the Second World War of 1939-45 and somehow managed to make it home relatively unscathed. So too did the only First World War veteran I ever met, Harrison Terrell, a Pennsylvania Quaker no less, who answered the call in 1917 and ended up in the trenches of northern France. They are all gone now, but I knew each of them well and think about them often. . . well, all the time really. It's November 11th everyone, formerly known as Armistice Day, now called Veterans' Day here in the United States. Please take a quiet moment to remember those who have served in previous and present conflicts around the world.

28mm Prussian SYW Artillery Figure Set on the Way from HaT!!!

Just a brief note today, to sound the clarion call. . . Apparently, there is a forthcoming 28mm set of plastic SYW Prussian artillery in the works from HaT! Thanks to Guy over at the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group for mentioning this exciting news in a post earlier today. The set has a catalog number already and does show up on that company's website, though there is no box art yet and no date of release. But, if you are into plastic figures and cannot track down the increasingly rare (and pricey) 1/72 Revell Austrian horse artillery set, or you are thinking about adding some new figures to your 25mm mid-18th century collection, the HaT figure set might be worth checking out. I'll certainly keep my eyes open for it in the coming months. Click here to view the "roughs": http://www.hat.com/Prev/7YWPA/7YWPAm.html. These early figures look good, so I might just forget my self-imposed temporary moratorium on buying anymore figures once the set is issued!

Cuirassier Painting Update. . .

Managed to find about 90 minutes of painting time yesterday evening, and so beat a hasty retreat to Zum Stollenkeller for some time with the little metal men while the Grand Duchess spoke to her parents on the phone, and young David Paul I slept. As the Grand Ducal Feline lounged contentedly in my lap, I finished painting the tack on the horses: girths and stirrup leathers, using a ten-year-old bottle of Ral Partha "Leather Brown" that still flows nicely despite its age. Then, it was onto the stirrups, bits, and silver/brass buckles on the halters and reins, for which I used newer bottles of Citadel's (ex- Games Workshop) "Mithril Silver" and bronze. So, the horses are basically finished for the second squadron of nine figures, barring a few of those inevitable touch-ups. Grrrrrrr. . .

Next up, the white gauntlets, tunics, and shoulder belts on those same officer and troopers. Then, it's on to the red facings and saddle cloths. Hopefully, I'll get…

Presenting The Blasthof Blog!!!

For your classic wargaming edification, please take gander at the brand new Blasthof Blog, a site contributed to jointly by Stuart Asquith, John Preece, Steve Gill, and Phil Olley. Their venture is intended to promote, among other things, the particular aesthetics and types of figures exhibited within the delightful Charge! Or How to Play Wargames (1967) by the late Brigadier Peter Young and Colonel James Lawford.

Another stated goal of the Blasthof Society is to examine, discuss, and celebrate all ideas having to do with the rules and commentary as presented in the book. This is exciting news to say the very least, and I encourage anyone sentimental to the notion of wargaming in the classic sense to drop by their blog often, have a look around, and leave a comment. The link to the Blasthof Blog can be found at lower right, among the growing list of links to other sites and blogs of interest. Click on it and be sure to let Stuart, John, Steve, and Phil know that we're interest…

Painting Bliss in Zum Stollenkeller. . .

Sent to the painting/radio table last evening by my wonderful wife (Yes, it's true!), I had a blissful 90 minutes or so, to work on the second batch of RSM Austrian cuirassiers. Nothing much to look at yet, but the nine horses are now drybrushed with dark blue, and I began undercoating the tunics with tan as part of the usual tw0-step process for white uniforms. And later, Sir Paul actually let us sleep for almost two hours straight last night before summoning everyone for a change of diaper and another round of feeding in the wee hours of the morning.

Bit by bit, we're adjusting. . .

Just a quick off-topic post. Everything is going well in our new life with "Sir Paul" though we are tired for much of the time due to all of the normal kinds of things that occur in caring for a newborn at home, but we are taking the time for sit-down dinners together in the evenings once Paul has had his late afternoon feeding.

Speaking of the devil, the baby is setting down and sleeping for a bit longer during the evenings and nights, and the Grand Duchess Sonja is up and around as if she never even had surgery less than a week ago. Paul was very calm, wide awake, and inquisitive during his first post-hospital check-up with the pediatrician this afternoon, watching the doctor and his mother converse through the entire 20 minute exam. Sonja has a brief visit with her doctor tomorrow for a post-birth follow-up, but she looks and feels really good all things considered. Needless to say, she's a real trooper.

Now, believe it or not, I have just been ordered to the pain…

Meanwhile, in the drawing room at Krankenstadt Palace. . .

Just back from several idle days at his aunt's in the north of Stollen, we eavesdrop on a snippet of conversation between Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and his trusty English manservant hives. . .

Hives: (Enters the drawing room, carrying a tray with a pot of hot tea, toast, and a large helping of thick slice Scottish orange marmalade atop it) Your breakfast, Sir.

Irwin-Amadeus: (Gazing wistfully through picture window onto frosty palace topiary in the garden beyond). Ah, there you are, Hives. Were you able to scare up some of that delicious marmalade you brought back with you from your last journey home?

H: Yes, Sir. Shall I place your breakfast on the table here, Sir, or on the harpsichord over by the window, Sir?

IA: There on the table is fine, Hives. Thank you (Continues ruminating through window).

H: Will there be anything else, Sir?

IA: No, Hives, no. Thank you (pauses). Oh, dash it all! If things weren't troubling enough already with Princess Antonia of Zichenau, thos…