25 September 2010

I had the model soldier dream again. . .

Britain's 93rd Highlanders repelling Russian cavalry early in the Crimean War of 1854-56. I discovered scads of soldiers like these in a shop I visited in my dreams earlier this morning.

Before I was awoken from my slumbers at 8:40am this fine Saturday morning by the charming little banshees of five and almost nine next door, who are permitted to squeal and shout at the top of their lungs whenever they play outside, I was in the midst of a delightful soldier dream. I have this dream about every 18-24 months, and it's fairly similar each time. I've mentioned these dreams here before. However, this go around, I remember distinctly finding boxes and boxes (LARGE boxes) of used HARD plastic 1/72 Crimean-era British infantry in some anonymous shop somewhere. Normal line infantry in the Albert shako, rifles, highlanders, the works! In red plastic no less. For example, I took the lid off one box labeled "British Officers and Musicians" to find enough of said red plastic figures to assemble and field six large battalions of at least 48 figures each. Yep, the box also held enlisted privates with muskets. And the regimental and Kings' standards for each unit were realistically and accurately molded in THIN plastic! What a monumental find!

Of course, very like those first romances of our youth, a dream like that has to end, doesn't it? And so it was with this one that I was rattled into consciousness by those incessant and SHRILL cries just beneath our bedroom window, which lasted for a full twenty minutes until Mom and Dad managed to herd their offending spawn into to the waiting minivan for some god-forsaken trip somewhere. Sigh. It's times like these when habitual beatings and ritual stonings begin to look very good indeed. It calls to mind a 40-year-old Monty Python sketch, where John Cleese and Terry Jones are dressed as middle-aged women (naturally) in an art museum with out of sight children in tow. Periodically and without warning, they each take turns to turn around to slap the offending children before continuing an inane conversation about the art hanging on the walls. But I digress!

What causes me to have the model soldier dream, I wonder? Does it stem from learning recently that the famed Wargames Holiday Centre, the one established by Peter Gilder in Scarborough, U.K. all those years ago, is slated to close? Does is, instead, have its origins in the sad news this past summer of Paddy Griffith's demise? Funny, how one can feel like they know someone else personally after reading his or her books for so many years. Or do I tend to have this dream when I haven't had enough time to indulge in my soldiering hobby? That's certainly been the case in recent weeks, but I don't keep track of what has or has not transpired in the days and weeks leading up to the various renditions of the model soldier dream, to know with any degree of certainty. On the other hand, might the dream mean that I have not entirely made my peace with leaving plastics behind recently?

It's a vexing question to say the least. But I think the cure might be to spend a little time painting today and tomorrow down here in Zum Stollenkeller. The final sixteen Huzzah Prussian infantry that I've been working on for months now are coming along, and should be finished before too much more time has elapsed. Than it's onto some Garrison artillery, Holger Eriksson dragoons, and Minden hussars, which I'm going to paint in the lovely uniforms of Lauzun's Legion from the American War of Independence. It's plans like these that help to keep a project going even during periods of relative inactivity.

Finally, please note, before anyone takes me to task for my comments above, concerning the consistently irritating behavior of the neighbor children, in no way do I condone child abuse. My acerbic remarks are meant in a purely tongue-in-cheek manner. Take them as they were meant, please. But there are certainly enough clueless and inconsiderate parents out there, who do nothing to control their children. The former could certainly use a few swift blows to the head with an object like a shovel or a crowbar to wake 'em up to the fact that their little darlings are a pain in the you-know-what!


Managed a couple of hours working on said sixteen figures yesterday and finished the two-step breeches (very light grey undercoat, followed by white highlights) as well as the white crossbelts. Looking at the figures now, all that remains are the red turnbacks and facings (collars, cuff, lapels, and coat tails. . . a lot of red. . . sigh) plus the muskets (stocks, barrels, bayonets, and a bit of brass). Then, it's a couple of coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish before moving onto those Garrison artillery figures and two MiniFig cannon. Since I have another round of student papers coming due on Friday, October 1st, I'll do my darnedest this week to make some headway toward finishing the Huzzah boys since reading and grading student papers is a notorious and evil sucker of time. Wish me luck.


A J said...

Oddly enough, I occasionally have a similar dream where I'm in a store full to the brim with models and figures, all at bargain prices. Delightful, and I wish it came true! ;)

Sad to know the wargames holiday center is to close, as I enjoyed three holidays there in the 80's when Peter ran it. Even so, I see another center is opening on the isle of Crete.

Conrad Kinch said...

To paraphrase Noel Coward - certain children should be struck regularly, like gongs.

Anonymous said...

I will not tell you what I dreamed about last night...!


Bluebear Jeff said...

At least with children, the sounds are frequently "happy sounds" . . . our next door neighbor has three little "yappy dogs" who incessantly yap away at anything that happens . . . a car drives by, a bird flies over, they hear something or they just perversely decide to make the most miserably atrociously shrill moise.

I'd trade them in for children any day . . . and my dear, kind, gentle wife begs for a shotgun every time she hears them.

-- Jeff

MSFoy said...

If you are a recent father, your eventual revenge on your neighbours is guaranteed. The clock is running.



guy said...

Regretfully it gets no better as they grow older. My delightful neighbour has his late teenaged children to stay on occassional weekends when they are let out of university/remand centre. He has a splendid roof terrace where they congregate. Without fail the next morning my gargen is carpetted with cigarette buts which the dog then tries to eat and other detritus. I have taken up grinding my teeth and threatening to lock my sprogs in the coal bunker if they behave like that.

Back to soldiers, I'm v sad to hear that the WHC is to close. I was fortunate to go there a number of times in the early 80's.



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