So, why not retreat to the warmth and coziness of Zum Stollenkeller when schedule and baby permit? Exactly. And as promised, here are two photographs of things I've produced in the last several days at the painting/radio table on the western side of Zum Stollenkeller, behind me at the moment.
First, we have a minor conversion above that I'm reasonably pleased with. The mounted Huzzah Prussian officer looked like he needed something in one of his hands, and his left arm obscures the hilt of his presumably sheathed sword, so out came the pin vise and a farly large drill bit to bore a hole in his right hand. Once that was done CAEREFULLY, I used my X-acto/modelling knife to cut between his fingers and thumb, to open up the hand, which accepted a spare RSM sword nicely. A few dots of super glue later, and voila! A mounted officer with his sword drawn, urging on his reluctant men. I did all of this work before attaching the colonel to his horse, which would have complicated the surgery somewhat. By the way, the 60-figure unit of Huzzah miniatures he commands will join the Army of Stollen when finished.
Next, comes a photograph of those two most recently constructed buildings. The church/ town hall/ guild hall on the left is just about finished, but I need to look at my various North German-Baltic Red Brick Gothic town building photos and possibly add a few buttresses here and there, made from balsa wood strips. I think the structure might also look more finished with two or three steps added to the gabled end of the building. The warehouse on the right is all finished and based on the kind of structure you can still see in many old town centers along rivers and canals across Northern Europe and Scandinavia, though these have usually been renovated and turned into condominiums, offices, or some kind of stores. At least as far as I have noticed.
Of course, these structures aren't Herb Gundt- or Ian Weekely-quality models. They are rather simpler, more practical buildings, which will serve nicely on the tabletop once painted with simple acrylic browns, reddish browns, and greys. Once more, I've built them using cheap materials like heavy cardboard scrounged from the back of writing tablets, balsa wood purchased from the local craft store, and plain old white PVA glue (Elmer's). Tools include the previoiusly mentioned X-acto/modelling knife, a cutting mat (the true star of so many photos here), a metal ruler, a small modelling saw and mitre box, and a common pencil.
There is one more house I want to assemble, a lovely fachwerk farmhouse/barn, like the kind that still dot parts of present day Poland, the Kaliningrad Region, and slice of Lithuania (aka the former East Prussia), and then that's enough buildings for the foreseeable future. I have many at this point. Probably more than I need really. However, the miniature "engineering" isn't quite finished yet. As some of you might remember, one of my New Year's resolutions, if you can call it that, is to fight more battles based on those wonderfully challenging Table Top Teasers by Charles Grant et al. And many of those involve streams or rivers, crossed by multiple bridges of one kind or another. I have only one of those at the moment, so, you know already where I'm headed when next the building bug bites.
Finally, nope. The Indras are not attempting to get onto American Idol. Just four guys in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, who are having a lot of fun playing great old music one evening a week, and apparently we do it well enough that others don't mind listening to us once in a while. Simon Cowell need not apply!