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Showing posts from May, 2011

A Fairly Decent Weekend's Work. . .

Just a quick post for now.  The three-day weekend has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and I didn't manage to get to those Minden hussars after all.  But, I have made a huge headway with that group of buildings, which are just about finished except for a few small details still in process.  With any luck, I shall be able to finish those in the next evening or two and then paint up everything in various earthy tones though you;ll have to wait on photographs of those I'm afraid.  At any rate, then the decks will be cleared, and I can finally get back to those hussars with a clear conscience.  In the meantime, my poor painting table is a mess with scraps of cardboard, balsa wood, toothpicks, and coffee stirring sticks scattered all over, to say nothing of sawdust and blobs of spilled glue.  Kids, don't try this at home!

Let's Get back to Business. . .

Here is a new group of buildings that I was asked to design and assemble last winter, and, as you can see, I need to get moving now that school has finished for a while.  Not much to look at yet, and I've had some trouble with the gable on the building in the middle of the picture, but things will improve once assembly and painting are complete.  Then, it's on to the final two small items which are part of this collection of buildings.  
Hopefully, I can make serious progress this weekend and get very close to finishing these.  Painting is the easy part though.  When dealing with angles and trimming cardboard, cursing a poor fit, stabbing yourself with the hobby knife, cursing some more, and finally gluing everything together, well, it kind of takes time.  Ok, enough talking about it.  Time to get going again.  After all, these buildings won't assemble and paint themselves, will they?

Now, where did I leave that paintbrush?

A pair of new shoes, won recently on Ebay.  Vintage Florsheim Imperial Wingtip Brogues in Tan. . . for the rediculously low price of US$ 20.00!  Can tweed 'plus fours', knee-length Argyll socks, and a long weekend at Aunt Agatha's be in the picture?


May Term ended today, and none too soon.  It's always a great deal of fun sharing my love for all those old 1940s and 50s films noir with undergraduates in their late teens and early twenties.  It is also a great deal of work reading and preparing nightly for almost a month of daily three hour classes, reading through student assignments, and so forth.

It is, therefore, with great internal fanfare that I celebrate my final day in the classroom. . .   at least until mid-August rolls around again!  Time to get back to more important things like painting model soldiers and pushing them around the gaming table in their hundreds.  Along with somewhat more routine nattering on about it here on the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog than …

Getting Started in the 18th Century. . .

I've had a new comment posted for a January 2009 posting -- The 18th Century? What's the Fascination? -- from a relative newcomer to the hobby, who asks about getting started, figures, and so forth.  So, I'll say a few random words about my personal preferences and then turn things over to anyone else who might care to chime in here with further advice.
As far as getting started and finding inspiration, I'd suggest that you can do no better than to find and read the two books shown above: Charge! Or How to Play War Games (1967) by Peter Young and James Lawford and The War Game (1971) by Charles Grant.

Both titles are available in recent reprinted editions at reasonable prices and filled with all manner of historically-based explanation and explication.  In addition, the two books present detailed rules for fighting 18th Century battles.  They also contain a variety of inspiring photos, useful information on painting figures, building your armies, creating scenery, etc.…

"I couldn't hear the sound of my own footsteps. It was the walk of a dead man!"

Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade with a cigarette and the maltese falcon. . .  The image that comes to mind for many when the term Film Noir is mentioned.

A non-toysoldierly post today I'm afraid everyone!  Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the first day of May Term, and I'll be teaching my course on classic Film Noir, something to which I always look forward.  Lots of reading, viewing of different films, and discussion -- to say nothing of student papers and projects -- over the next few weeks, but it's always interesting and thus a lot of fun.  
We kick off with Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944) tomorrow at 10am.  This particular movie is one of the  best examples of the genre/style/school, which typically makes quite an impression with young viewers these days given its emphasis on story, plot, and character development in complete and utter contrast to many of the more contemporary films they know.  That is to say it, Double Indemnity, is not chockablock with endless car chas…