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Showing posts from June, 2010

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Contact: Katrina-Bettina von Heffelfinger
Die Krankenstad Tageblat
4 Schlossplatz
The Grand Duchy of Stollen

For Immediate Release:

Opening Shots Expected within the Next Week

Krankenstadt, Grand Duchy of Stollen, 29 June 1770 -- As the various units in the Army of Stollen assemble just to the west of the capital city Krankenstadt, the Zichenauer juggernaut has firmly established itself in the extreme southeast of the Grand Duchy during the last several days. General Phillipe de Latte, commanding the Army of Zichenau, has chosen the small town of Zwieback, just inside Stollenian territory, as his main base of operations. His men have begun digging fortifications around the town and establishing a small magazine there as well as a field bakery and supply depot. Firm lines of communications have also been established between Zwieback and Hissig, the capital of Zichenau.

Deep Advance by Zichenau into StollenExpected

Stollenian officers who…

Following the long weekend. . .

(Inside the Grand Ducal coach, returning to Krankenstadt after a long weekend of frivolous gaiety at Aunt Agatha's).

Irwin-Amadeus II: (Scrutinizing the silver snuffbox in his hands) I say, Hives, have you noticed anything about this new snuffbox of mine?

Hives: (Nose buried in copy of Plato's The Republic) Sir?

IA: Something just isn't right about it. It's "off," you might say.

H: (Turning a page) Off, Sir?

IA: Yes, Hives. Peculiar.

H: (Still reading) Peculiar, Sir?

IA: Oh, dash it all, Hives! Don't be so obtuse! You know what I am talking about.

H: (Lowers book to his lap) Might his highness be referring to the Zichenauer coat of arms clearly engraved on the underside of the snuffbox in his possession?

IA: (Spirits lifting somewhat) Yes, Hives! That's it.

H: No, Sir. I must admit that particular detail has eluded my attention.

IA: (Spirits nosediving) Hives, dash it, I would appreciate you not having fun at my expense.

H: Very good, Sir.

IA: What in the wo…

Meanwhile at Aunt Agatha's Country Home. . .

(Hives enters Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II's chambers, rolling an ornate silver tea service on a cart before him).

Irwin-Amadeus: (Yawning, stretching, and sitting up in bed) Ah, there you are Hives.

Hives: (Pours cup of Darjeeling tea, adds two sugars with a dash of milk, and places the cup on the bedside table next to the Grand Duke) Good morning, Sir.

IA: (Takes sip of tea, burns lips, and winces) Thank you, Hives. What time is it, please?

H: (Consults pocket watch) It's just gone half past nine by my watch, Sir. Breakfast will be served in the dining room in one hour.

IA: Oh, dash it all, Hives. Why on Earth must Aunt Agatha insist on having breakfast at such an ungodly hour?

H: (Tactfully) Many people would say, Sir, that 10:30 in the morning was the best part of the day.

IA: (Takes another sip of tea, again scalds lips, and follows with a pained expression) Well, I suppose there is nothing for it then but to dress myself. Hives, draw my bath, please.

H: (Crossing room to o…

The Plot Thickens. . .

Contact: Katrina-Bettina von Heffelfinger
Die Krankenstadt Tageblat
4 Schlossplatz
The Grand Duchy of Stollen

For Immediate Release:

General Phillipe de Latte at Its Head

Somewhat more organized military intelligence now confirms that the Army of Zichenau has crossed the frontier at Zwieback and is moving slowly along the main road toward the Stollenian capital by way of Effibriest and Instetten. Reports also indicate that the notorious French mercenary-adventurer, and veteran of the Seven Years War, General Phillipe de Latte, de facto consort to the Electorate of Zichenau's ruler, Princess Antonia III, is once again in command.

Allied Principality of Pillau-Zerbst Provides Small Levy of Troops to Zichenau

Besides the usual preponderance of baggage wagons, chamber musicians, dancing girls, vivandieres, and birdcages, the Army of Zichenau's slow pace can also be attributed to a larger than normal artillery trai…

A Stollenian Press Release. . .

Contact: Katrina-Bettina von Heffelfinger
Die Krankenstadt Tageblat
4 Schlossplatz
The Grand Duchy of Stollen

For Immediate Release

Enemy Troops Rumored to Be on the March against Grand Duchy of Stollen

Krankenstadt, The Grand Duchy of Stollen, 25 June 1770 -- Rumors have come into the capital in recent days, from farmers and villagers living close to the Zichenauer frontier, that troops belonging to the Electorate of Zichenau are on the move in the area. Indeed, postal coaches to and from the region have confirmed the gossip as fact in more than one instance. Is an invasion of the Grand Duchy of Stollen afoot? At the present time, it may be too soon to tell, but tongues are wagging in the streets and salons of the city this morning.

Government of the Grand Duchy Schedules Series of Emergency Talks

And how might the Stollenian government deal with the threat? That too remains to be seen, though the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II will m…
Yet another lively representation of some 18th Century hussars by Richard Knoetel. I never tire of looking at this particular branch of service. . . and, lately, daydreaming about how I might eventually paint those Minden Prussian hussars.

Well, not much painting the last few days here at Stollen Central. Real life, looking after Young Master Paul, a new translation project that rolled in the other day, and our annual Abba Fest (to celebrate the coming summer solstice and Midsommar. . . I must keep the Grand Duchess in touch with her Swedish roots) last night precluded productive painting. Sadly, there are just so many hours in the day!

But, today is Fathers' Day here in the United States, and I have requested some painting time this afternoon and evening, which the Grand Duchess, in her infinite wisdom, has granted. So, after the three of us enjoy coffee and maybe something sweet in a local cafe, it's back to Zum Stollenkeller for some basecoating and other work to get …

The Final Push. . .

Some Austrian hussars by Knoetel. It's almost impossible to decide which uniform to model my own hussars on since something new and even more fantastic seems to turn up daily with regard to these theatrical troops. But variety is the spice of life I'm told!

Not for the Grand Duchy of Stollen Project, that is still several months away, but for that current crop of Huzzah musketeers, which I glued temporarily to 16 plastic bottle caps yesterday evening after dinner. It was next time to put away the new Huzzah Prussian hussars for now and dig out the Holger Eriksson dragoons from last summer. I'd forgotten what nice castings these are. Not as much fine detail as the Minden figures, but enough so that you know what you are looking at. And not much flash or too many mold lines to remove with a hobby knife either, so the figures won't take an inordinate amount of time to prepare for painting. And that means that the painting queue for the next 3-4 months, maybe slightly…

A busy weekend was had by all. . .

Here's the second company just after receiving its first coat of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish last night.

The past weekend was a busy one with my band playing two gigs back-to-back Friday evening and again early Saturday morning. . . Whew! Glad I don't do this professionally! However, although we were dog tired Saturday morning, we rocked the local farmers' market like it has never been rocked before with lots of people actually stopping to listen, and many introducing themselves between sets, to compliment us on our choice of material and playing. Lots of fun in each case.

On the soldier front, finished up the white lace on the second batch of Huzzah musketeers Saturday evening and applied the first shiny, protective coat of "varnish" ;-) last night. The second coat of Future/Klear will follow this evening late, and I'll detach the figures from their plastic bottle caps tomorrow and start getting the third and final batch ready to basecoat. By th…

Here we go again. . .

Another hussar uniform that has caahgt my eye recently is attributed to Freicorps Mayer. "Decisions, decisions!" as my 7th Grade English teacher used to say during his more humorous moments.

It never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there who get their kicks from sabotaging, ok vandalizing, others' things. That happened recently to out neighbors across the street here, who had to repair a low retaining wall around an ornamental tree in the front yard that a few trouble-makers tore up one night recently. Similarly, I keep getting these strange comments from somewhere in Asia, or from someone using a keyboard and computer set-up with Asian (Japanese?) characters.

Normally, I might suspect that these comments come from someone who does not have a full command of English, but some of the links related to these posted comments are, shall we say, highly questionable. Grrrrrr. . . . So, for the time being, I'm afraid I've had to enable comment moderation…

A Brief Painting Update. . .

Visions of different hussar uniforms and colors are filling my head at the moment as that recent order of 30 Minden Prussian hussars makes its way across the Atlantic to Stollen Central.

Mother and sister have been in town to visit the grandson/nephew, Young Master Paul, so socializing and family activities have assumed prominence in lieu of painting the last several days. However, they have now returned to their respective homes, leaving much more free time in the evenings once again. So, I stole away down here to Zum Stollenkeller last night for about 90 minutes of painting, applying dark brown and white paint respectively to all of the musket stocks and white sword knots on those 16 Huzzah musketeers. All that remains is to do the white button lace this evening, and then the painting is finished. If there is time, I might even make the big push and apply the usual two coats of Future/Klear, to impart a glossy, protective finish. And then it's onto the third and final batch!…

Small Painting Update. . .

I've gone an done it. Yep, I've sent an order to Frank Hammond for 30 of his new Prussian hussars plus an extra officer and another trumpeter to provide staff for Stollen's cavalry brigade.

Spent a productive hour last night working on that second batch of 16 Huzzah musketeers. For the most part, I painted brass bits: cartridge pouch badges, sword hilts and scabbard tips, plus the band that holds the barrels to the musket stocks. Next, my attention turned toward painting in the red strap on the figures' left shoulders, between the shouldered musket and necks. I then spent the remaining 15 minutes of so touching up any black areas that needed it, for example gaiters, cartridge pouches, and hats. Tonight, it's onto the musket stocks, barrels, and bayonets. Barring any mishaps with the brush, these figures will then be about done save for my usual two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish. Only 16 figures will remain to complete for this unit then. I'…

Now, let's get back to painting. . .

Ha. . . I submitted my final grades for the May Term film course I taught this morning, and now the summer is mine, mine, all mine (cue diabolical laughter)!!!

Well, the long Memorial Day holiday weekend here in the United States has been and gone without any painting done here in Zum Stollenkeller, but the Grand Duchess and I are finished with our students until late August now, so I hope to rectify things beginning this evening after dinner, when I'll fire up the paint brushes and get things moving again.

First up, finishing that 60+ figure battalion of Huzzah musketeers that's been the object of much sporadic work this spring. Then, it's onto another battery of artillery, which I'm going to paint in Shaumburg-Lippe-Buekeburg uniforms, that is, primarily light blue with white waistecoats and black facings. Afterwards, the object of my painterly attention will be that 30-figure regiment of Holger Eriksson Dragoons, as I've mentioned before, which were sent to Ber…