All of our wonderful snow of the last moth has finally gone thanks to warm temperatures and heavy rains last night. It looks bleak outside this morning, and I think we need a new covering of about 6" of snow, to brighten up things. Even more new snow would be better, but I'll settle for half a foot. Sadly, despite all of the snow we've had around here since before New Year's, I've only managed about an hour on skis this year. Some new snow would enable me to right that wrong, or at least dream about skiing in years to come.
Here in Zum Stollenkeller, I managed to get the Holger Eriksson cannon almost finished yesterday evening. Just a wash and some touching up to apply today, and then it's time for the usual two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish. The cannon look pretty good, but I think the HE molds need to be refurbished, because the castings are not as clean as they ought to be. If I had it to do over again, I would have ordered some more 25mm MiniFig guns or Hinchliffe cannon for the Garrison artillery crew that I finished recently. But I think the HE guns will stand up to examination at arm's length fairly well, so I'm not going to worry about it too much.
And what of those 60+ Huzzah musketeers waiting on the painting table? Well, I dug out the usual plastic bottle caps from various bottles of water and CocaCola, and will attach the first company-sized batch of figures, plus the four regimental staff figures (mounted colonel, standard bearer, the RSM, and regimental adjutant) to these temporary painting bases later today, time permitting. If things go well, I can get these base-coated early in the week and get to painting them before too much time elapses.
Which brings me to a related point. Jim Wright, whose generosity helped swell the pile of lead here in Zum Stollenkeller, wrote a comment yesterday, asking how I paint the faces on my figures. Well, this new batch of Huzzah figures will provide an opportunity to describe that process, although "process" is not really an approriate word for the single step that I use to apply flesh to faces. But, I'm getting ahead of myself here. More pleasures of the flesh later on in a few posts.
Finally, I had a look at my painting progress chart a day or so ago, made a few additions/modifications, and arrived at the following numbers:
Total Figures in Grand Duchy of Stollen Project -- 751
Painting Halfway Point -- 375
Figures Painted to Date -- 579
Figures Left to Paint -- 172
*These totals do not include the various mounted generals and ADCs that I paint occasionally to take a break from the painting of large units.
The numbers above were determined by examining the orders of battle and army strengths of the two forces used by Brigadier Young and Colonel Lawford to fight the Battle of Sittangbad in the most wonderful of books Charge! Or How to Play War Games. I would naturally include my chart in its entirety here, but Blogger has not let me paste in text or charts since September 2008 unfortunately, and though I've tried various tips and tricks, still no dice. It's been somewhat frustrating, to say the least.
In any case, 172 figures is not very many left to paint. It includes two units of infantry, a regiment of cavalry, one more battery of artillery and crew, plus a few more bits and pieces here and there. If I can remain organized and methodical over the next eleven months, it seems entirely possible to complete the basic Grand Duchy of Stollen project by year's end. Keep your fingers and toes crossed!