01 December 2009

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!

The first of our seasonally fitting graphics for the 2009 Christmas Season. . . an Advent star, similar to the one we hang and light in our front window each year, except that ours is made from steamed and shaped birch bark. It's much prettier than it sounds!

You knew it was coming, didn't you? Yes, it's December 1st, and the Christmas season is upon us here at Stollen Central. That all-too-brief time of year, when I cast aside my usually cynical, somewhat pessimistic veneer and enjoy the spirit of good will and a small dash of sentimentality, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I hung and lighted our birch bark Swedish Advent star in the front window last night to mark the occasion. Must help the Grand Duchess remain in touch with her Karlsson and Olson heritage you know.

And guess what? Yes, my fabulous wife has promised to make one of her deliciously authentic Dresdner Stollens in the next week or so. Can't wait to sample that with some fresh coffee. It doesn't get much better in December. And the weather forecasters say we could even have a bit of snow on the ground by week's end!

The university term ends on Friday, December 4th. Hurrah! Things are winding down after an especially busy, and very fortunate few months here, and aside from the usual grading of some final papers next week, it's fairly smooth sailing on into Christmas and the New Year. Hmmm. This alliteration sickness of mine has grown worse I fear! Anyway, as has become the traditional here at the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog these last few years, you can expect to see an appropriate seasonal graphic or two each day throughout December and into January. . . plus the occasional photograph or three of my ongoing GD of S project. There might even be a small Table Top Teaser-inspired battle happening in the next room and some pictures of that event.

Speaking of model soldiers, the second squadron of Anspach-Beyreuth Kuirassiere is almost done barring a little touching up with the paintbrush this evening and two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish tomorrow. They already look mighty sharp if I do say so myself. Then it's on to the third and final squadron, bringing the regiment up to its full strength of 30 figures. And as Robert Plant once sang, then "It's time to ramble on." So. . .

Had a look at some figures in the ol' pile of lead here in Zum Stollenkeller last night, to decide what's next on the painting agenda. I think I'm leaning toward a battery of artillery and two mounted general/ADC pairs before continuing with a 60-strong unit of Stollenian musketeers in January. For that, I think I'll try to expedite the painting process by dressing them like one of the French regiments of German mercenaries, who wore primarily mid- to dark blue uniforms with minimal facing or turnback colors to paint. I'll need to check my Funcken tonight to refresh my memory. But half the fun of this hobby is in the planning I think. Happy first day of Advent everyone!

Can't forget the Stollen! My wife, the Grand Duchess Sonja will prepare one very much like this in a few day's time. My mouth is already watering at the thought of it.

I have just checked my painting progress chart and made a momentous discovery after checking and rechecking my numbers with a handy calculator. It seems, boys and girls, that I have less than 200 figures to go until the Grand Duchy of Stollen project (two Sittangbad-sized armies) is complete. Here are the numbers. . .

Total Figures to Paint -- 750 (Not including mounted generals)

Figures Painted as of December 01, 2009 -- 557

Painting Halfway Point -- 375

Figures Left to Paint -- 194

Pretty neat, huh? There is an outside chance that, providing I am really organized and focused in my painting over the next twelve months, I might be able to finish everything by this time next year. Unlikely, but it COULD happen. You just never know. In any case, it's just the shot in the arm my painting mojo needs at the moment with all those thoughts of mid-19th century figures floating around here.

1 comment:

A J said...

The Stollen project is so close to completion? An excellent way to begin advent! I look forward to seeing photos of the finished armies.


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