29 November 2009

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), 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.


Grimsby Mariner said...

I always liked that early Victorian uniform from the Crimea with the big bushy bearskins. Add in those helmets and I'm hooked.

Der Alte Fritz said...

Stay the course lad, stay the course. That's what Brigadier Young would say.

And ditch that word "whimsy". Yuck! It sounds like interior decorator speak for little frew frew chatchkes and you don't really want to be know for that, do you?

Peter said...

I still believe it's your single minded approach to the project that is the key of your succes (and the envy of others). Keep painting, keep painting, ...


tradgardmastare said...

I'm all for whimsy - why not?
Stokes I admire your dedication and single-mindedness . Keep going and the 19th Century will come along sooer or later. There's no harm in planning is there!
I had a look at the Tradition 25/30mm today online - most tempting . I fear I coul dbe moving back in time from 1919...

Fitz-Badger said...

I admire your ability to make a plan and stick to it. I'm tempted to start some Colonial gaming (been watching old movies like "Bengal Lnacer", "Beau Geste", "Bonnie Scotland", and others, and getting an eyeful looking at some of the Colonial blogs). I'm just in the "thinking" stage on that, although I do have a few books for reference when the time comes. It's fun to think about doing another period. :)
And I'm all for whimsy myself!

Xaltotun of Python said...

I painted a 20mm Napoleonic Hussar today. I'm sorry. It won't happen again. Sorry.

Frankfurter said...

I figure the classic pith helment look used by the British and later by the Italians could fit well into such a plan too!

tidders said...

Stick to one project.

I keep getting distracted by my other interests - ECW, WWII and Dark Ages; plus trying to decide what else to start !!

-- Allan

Prince Henry The Navigator said...


You're an evil evil man. I'm already wondering what the vile New Brunswickers, and glorious New Orcadians would be like 150 years on. Would they despise each other? I find my self lingering over catalogues a couple of weeks ago, I ignored AAAARGH!



Paul said...

Hi stokes, i always enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work !

For troop types, Stadden 25 are an exact match in height & build for RSM 30, i mix the two in my syw set up.

they have some interesting Bavarians
in raupenhelm as well as others that could be used for mid 19 century.
all the best


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