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's kind of like coloring within the lines of a coloring book as a child! Needless to say, it felt good to pick up the paintbrush again, but I had to end prematurely to check several things baking in the oven and tend to Young Paul.
Another item -- There is currently a fascinating discussion over at the Blasthof Blog about the precise make of certain cavalry figures pictured in Charge! Or How to Play Wargames. Lots of speculation about possible conversions and so forth, insightful observations about Willie figures on Stadden horses, and some remarks about Holger Eriksson miniatures. Why, it's almost too much to bear and just makes me itch to get my slothful you-know-what- back into the chair at the painting table and get cracking!
Which brings me to my final point this morning. A day or so ago, Alan asked in a comment about whether I'd given any thought to bringing the Grand Duchy of Stollen and Electorate of Zichenau into the 19th Century at some point. Whenever I've been asked a question like that before, I've always said probably not because, as all good history books indicate in an obscure footnote somewhere, both territories were swallowed up during the various partitions of Poland late in the 18th Century. However, I've recently made the huge mistake of looking more closely into which figures I MIGHT use for such a project if I WERE to undertake it. And the pull is VERY strong. In fact, I fear I've been bitten by the bug and will have to do something about it in a couple of years when the Grand Duchy of Stollen project (two Battle of Sittangbad-sized forces) has been completed.
So, what about the figures? Well, I've looked at Spencer Smiths, Holger Erikssons, Suren/Willies, and Stadden/Tradition miniatures. The 30mm Spencer Smith ACW figures could provide some nice figures in kepis for a battalion or two of jaegers or light infantry, sort of like the Saxon infantry of the mid-19th Century. Holger Eriksson produces 54mm Swedish figures in an 1845 uniform -- wearing an early, high-crowned version of the spiked pickelhaube (shown in the photograph above) -- which could serve admirably as the Germanic Stollenian Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers or another Stollenian regiment of infantry if I chose to move up in size. Not sure if there are any suitable HE 30mm figures wearing the spiked helmets though. Looks like I'll have to explore this possibility more closely since I've become a real fan of Holger Eriksson's wonderful castings.
Moving right along, Suren and Stadden (Tradition) each have various 30mm Russian and British Crimean-era figures, plus some nice mid- to late 19th century Prussians, that could be pressed easily into Stollenian or Zichenauer service for the rest of the infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The 42mm Shiny Toy Soldier range, by Aly Morrison, looks really nice too, but I'll stick to 30mm classic figure ranges for my eventual 19th Century project I think.
Oh, the possiblities have me nearly dancing in my seat right now! There's just something about these old ranges of miniatures. But I'm getting ahead of myself and must remain single-minded in my resolve to paint and complete the current project. And my painting progress chart reveals that I have just slightly more than 200 figures to go until that lofty goal is reached! In the meantime, ladies and gentlemen, Chaaaarrrrge!
Later. . .
Sittangbad-sized forces again because they are attainable even at a fairly leisurely painting pace. And as far as rules go, I'll remain faithful to the basic set outline in Charge! when I get to the point of having enough mid-19th Century figures painted, to stage a game in several years. Naturally, I would include a few of the advanced game rules on an as-needed basis. For me, the rules contained in Young and Lawford represent the pinnacle of BIG battalion horse and musket gaming. That's not an edict, of course, just an opinion. There are lots of things I like very much about the Grantian rules presented in The War Game, it's simply that I stumbled onto and read Charge! first, and it has remained my favorite of the two, during the intervening years.