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30 Holger Eriksson Dragoons Finished!!!

 First, here is a close-up of a trooper and the regimental trumpeter just to illustrate the detail I added (sword knots, stirrups, bits, and bridle buckles).

After two months of fairly easy paintwork, which was more fun that I've ever had painting any unit of figures, the HE dragoons are all done, save for a couple of coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish on the second and third squadrons, which I'll apply tomorrow evening.  The painting scheme is, as I've mentioned here before, based on that illustration of the Trumbach Dragoons by Bob Marion in the first volume of Charles Grant's and Phil Olley's Wargaming in History.  

Now that I have painted some Holger Eriksson figures and added them to the Grand Duchy of Stollen collection, I understand the charm of these lovely old miniatures.  I've already arranged with the Grand Duchess to have an order sent to our friend in Berlin,which my wife will pick up during a brief trip to Germany and Poland next summer.  I simply MUST have more of these!  Maybe some charging dragoons next time around?  Although, the infantry figures are mighty nice too.  Decisions, decisions!

But next up, it's that unit of 30 Minden Prussian hussars, which I purchased last May.  While these are more finely detailed figures, I'm going to give them as much of an old school treatment as possible.  That means, of course, a white basecoat with Humbrol tan, brown, yellow, and orange enamel undercoats for the horses, followed by very thin washes of Winsor-Newton and Grumbacher oils: Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Venetian Red, and Light English Red.  The Preece-Gilder method (as in John and Peter) as I now call it.  And glossy, glossy, glossy!  To say that I am excited to begin with these is something of an understatement.

That leaves, then, just one final 60-figure regiment of RSM Prussian musketeers, and those two MiniFig cannon to paint, which will complete the basic Sittangbad-sized order of battle.  I started this in late July 2006, following our honeymoon oddly enough.  Wonder what Freudians might infer about that?  Wait!  Better not examine that subject too closely.  ;-)

Afterward, there are some specialized troops I want to add (baggage wagons, pontoon troops and equipment, some Croats/Pandours, etc.), plus a unit of 30 RSM Prussian dragoons and another couple of 60-figures units of RSM Prussian musketeers that have been sitting around here for a couple of years.  But we are probably looking ahead to 2012 and 2013 there.  However, I'm content to bask in the glow of completing my dragoons this evening. . . A contented sigh!

Next, here's the entire regiment, begun in earnest on 5 December 2010 and finished a leisurely two months later on 6 February 6 2011.

Finally, here's the ol' painting progress chart, updated just a few minutes ago.  Whoops!  I see that my arithmetic is a wee bit off, but still not much left to do now, light at the end of the tunnel, and all that, what, what?

Meanwhile, on another front, I dug out those 30 Minden hussars late yesterday afternoon and lined up the horses on my painting table here in Zum Stollenkeller.  Figured I'd strike while the iron is hot as the saying goes.  

Anyway, I need to pick up some kind of foxy 'poxy to attach the officers and troopers to their mounts and then attach their sword arms.  One of these figures will be converted into a guidon bearer, which shouldn't be too difficult (he said with naive enthusiasm).  Not strictly accurate perhaps for a lot of hussar units (most?), but we are dealing with imaginary regiments and battalions here in the Grand Duchy after all.  And I do like flags!  

I intend to base the uniform of this next unit, by the way, on that worn by the hussars of Lauzun's Legion in the American War of Independence (three examples shown below).  Many of you will no doubt agree the uniform in question exhibited a very pretty combination of colors.  Here are just three of the prints I've found on the web:

There are others, and these frequently exhibit conflicting information (of course) with regard to the precise shade of blue for the dolman and pelisse, the color of the breeches, etc., etc.  The idea drifted across my mind that it might be fun to paint each of the three squadrons in a different color of breeches and/or saddle cloth since the minor principalities surrounding the Grand Duchy of Stollen and the Electorate of Zichenau have yet to supply any cavalry to the war effort.  

Much like the various tiny German contingents that were part of Napoleon's Grand Armee that invaded Russia in 1812, one squadron of my hussars might come from Zeller-Schwarzkatze, a second from Pillau-Reuss, and a third from Pillau-Zerbst.  Well, you get the idea, though it might change somewhat by the time I actually get to painting the figures.  You know how it goes!  But let's focus first on the horses as was the case with the Holger Eriksson dragoons.

Where all of the painting happens here at Stollen Central.

Finally, a recent discussion with some wargaming friends about our respective painting tables/desks/habits has prompted me to take and post this photograph of my own painting & radio desk here.  It's not obsessively neat as you can see, but I find that keeping things somewhat orderly, along with some literal elbow room, makes me much more inclined to sit down for 90 minutes or two hours of painting.  Or modeling.   No, not that kind of modeling (I'm too sexy for my cat. . .)!  I'm talking about tabletop houses and scenery of course.

This appearance is pretty typical of my painting table.  Once in a great while, it might become more crowded, particularly after a purchase or gift of figures.  If and when that happens, it's time to put a few things away before I can begin again in earnest.  By the way, the "table" is actually an old hollow core door (as we call them here in the United States) that I scavenged from someone's front curb several years ago.  It's placed across two inexpensive filing cabinets.  Quick and dirty, but it has worked rather nicely for me these last few years.  

Prior to that, I never even enjoyed a permanent painting area where I could leaves things in situ until the next painting session.  That might be one more reason why the 15mm corps-level Waterloo project finally died on the vine after 21 years.  Too many stops and starts (thanks to finishing my undergraduate degree and then two graduate programs) brought on by too much schoolwork, far too much studying, occasional residencies abroad, and packing up my life in boxes every few years to move yet again as one program concluded and another began, inevitably at a different university several hours (or an ocean) away.  Jeeze Louise!  The current care and upkeep of a 15-month old toddler seems much easier by comparison.  The Young Master is napping right now incidentally, so all is quiet and still at the moment.

Ok, we've come to the end of this week's Grand Duchy of Stollen update.  Yes, for real this time.  Now, what are you doing still reading this blog?  Sit yourself down at your own painting table and finish that unit currently in-process.  Go on!  Those figures won't paint themselves.



tradgardmastare said…
Splendid fellows Stokes!
Grimsby Mariner said…
Quite the spectacle there!

Excellent work.
SteveGill said…
Congratulations on completing an outstandingly fine regiment.

HE figures, white undercoat, oil-stained horses, gloss finish - it can't get any better than that!
Bluebear Jeff said…
Congratulations, Stokes! They look very impressive.

-- Jeff
MSFoy said…
Stokes - they look sensational. There is still something mesmerising about big units. Interested that the floor product is a recommended finish - I'm sure you have plenty of experience of it, but has it been in use for long enough for us to know how it looks after 30 years or so?

This may not seem like an immediate issue, but I have some pretty old soldiers in my cupboard now - the ones I painted with acrylic varnish or medium are as good as new - many of the ones which were painted with Humbrol or Imrie-Risley or Rose varnish have yellowed or crazed and had to be repaired. I'm not sure if the Klear people expect their floor finish to lie undisturbed for 30 years, do they?

Great blog, as ever

Conrad Kinch said…
Good stuff - I always find painting cavalry a laborious business.
Jiminho said…
The HE horsemen are splendid. and a nice choice of uniform there as well!

The parade of figures in the web page banner is also most impressive! Stollen's foes will surely look on and tremble.

Fitz-Badger said…
Very handsome work!
Giles said…
What a unit! Great work, Stokes.

Best wishes

Thank you, men, for your very kind and enthusiastic comments. I appreciate them very much.

Best Regards,

Neil said…
Congratulations on the raising of your latest regiment of horse!
tidders said…
Lovely regiment of dragoons

Great painting desk, I hope you keep it that tidy all the time :)

-- Allan
Thanks for the additional comments Neil and Allan. Oh yes! The painting desk actually does stay fairly neat since I also do my shortwave radio listening here. And as I explain in the related post, a reasonably straight painting space helps me to sit down and actually get something done during those more recalcitrant painting times. Works for me at any rate.

Best Regards,

Paul said…
Hi Stokes
These are your finest work to date

Well done !!

Thank you Paul! You're too kind.

Best Regards,


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