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), rationalizing that the Stollenian and Zichenauer armies are wearing a mix of older (left over) Napoleonic-era dress along with certain newer items of kit purchased from nearby Prussia, Russia, and Austria. Some uniform items will be supplied by Britain as well. Of course, there is plenty of historical precendent for that kind of thing. Why, just look at the historical armies of the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns for instance.
In particular, I'm eager to paint a unit of infantry in kiwers with those sharp looking, single piece gaiter trousers like certain late Napoleonic era Russians and Prussians wore, at least according to official uniform decrees. I'll also paint a unit of British guards in those lovely, tall bearskins, but in white and purple as an updated version of Zichenau's Ermland Garde. Stollen's elite Leib Grenadiers will wear pickelhauben with light blue coats and red trousers. Again, a modernized version of their current dress. The rest, I'll very likely paint in a mix of historical and imaginary uniforms, giving them their own Stollenian or Zichenauer flags. Some of you might remember that I usually print out historical SYW or Napoleonic flags, attach them to the standard/guidon bearers, and then carefully paint in my own colors, to personalize things somewhat.
It's funny the things you think about as you move along through those same retitive painting steps of the current project. Now, Alan suggested the other day that I might treat myself, take a break from the 18th Century, and perhaps start one of these units sooner rather than later. Ah. . . a painting vacation? That's a nice idea, and maybe some painters/gamers/collectors could do it without compromising their focus on the current project. However, I need to work on the Grand Duchy of Stollen project until it's finished. My failed 15mm Waterloo project of the 1980s and '90s taught me that. Hopping around from unit to unit will lead down the road to ruin, and nothing will get finished. It's a slippery slope indeed if I jump ship now and begin painting something else at this point. Nope. Verbal cliches aside, it's best to slog through the mud until everything is done. But in the meantime, I've got lots of interesting things to dream about and plan. And lots of different figures to look at on various websites!
*Lord Peter Wimsy, the chief character in many short stories and mystery novels by Dorothy L. Sayers.