No painting time yesterday evening. The Grand Duchess and I ordered a pizza and worked on a puzzle together at the coffee table instead while Young Master Paul dozed and cooed nearby.
However, I did have a few minutes before the pizza arrived to do some quick assembly of cannon and attach the mounted Garrison artillery officer to his horse with a big blob of superglue. While that took hold, I then stuck the dozen Garrison artillery figures on foot to the usual temporary plastic bottlecaps. We are picking up our Christmas trees later today and decorating the house this evening, but if there is a bit of extra time somewhere, I'll try to slap two coats of black acrylic gesso onto these figures as a base coat, so they are all ready to go later.
A couple of small gifts arrived yesterday afternoon from Wm. Britain's U.S. outlet for Young Master Paul. . . Two lovely 54mm American War of Independence miniatures: A British grenadier from the 44th Regiment of Foot and a musketeer the , I believe, 2nd Virginia Continental Regiment. While Paul is, of course, still too young to play with a bag of cheap plastic soldiers, I figured ;-) it would be nice to start a collection of really nice soldiers for him to enjoy looking at as he grows up. Much like my own father did with model ships that he painted and assembled for me. Anyway, I'll add a soldier or two to Paul's collection each birthday and Christmas, and he'll have something interesting to collect and display in his room.
Which brings me to today's pre-Christmas photograph at the head of this post. It's not really a Christmas illustration at all, but December, to me, has always been associated with bright, shiny toy soldiers of one kind or another. It was in late 1981 that I became interested in miniature wargaming thanks to an issue of Military Modelling that my mother picked up for me in a hobby shop she stumbled on one day. And December 1983 is also the time of year that I began reading and thinking more seriously about Napoleonic uniforms as well as collecting and painting 15mm figures from the era. Since the Grand Duchy of Stollen project is firmly rooted in the mid-18th Century, though, it made better sense to find a picture of suitably uniformed figures to head up the blog entry for today!