02 January 2012

What's in store for the Grand Duchy of Stollen in 2012?

The previous twelve months here at Stollen Central were somewhat difficult ones from a hobby perspective.  No games, and not a whole lot of painting occurred until late in 2011 thanks in large part to my feeling intimidated by those 30 Minden hussars and a stop-start, stop-start, "Here I go again, oh no. . .  On second thought, maybe not" approach to painting them to completion.  Chalk it up to the five-year itch.  But, spurred on by several wargaming friends, who proposed a painting challenge during September and October, the blasted things were finished after a fashion.  Thanks to sheer artistic adrenaline and satisfaction at having survived the hussars, plus another painting challenge, I pressed on with the final 60-figure unit of infantry in early December, the 6th (Luebecker Musketeers) Regiment of Infantry, and they should be all done in a few day's time.

2011 also saw the construction of a number of buildings here, including a small farm, featured in a short article by yours truly that appeared in Charles Grant's recent Wargamers' Annual for 2012 as well as a second, longer article on painting white uniforms.  By mid-summer, I was at work, tearing apart an old structure and salvaging what I could, to convert a church made during the winter of 2007 into something that looked rather less Jolly Old England Anglican and more Baltic German Lutheran in appearance without taking up too much space on the table.  You know, ANYTHING to avoid sitting down to paint those hussars!

But let's return now to the present and, indeed, the future.  A wargaming friend asked recently what I might do next once my initial Sittangbad-sized forces are finished.  A return to 15mm Waterloo-era Napoleonics?  Mid-19th Century tabletop warfare?  Nah. . .  Very happy to report that I'm staying the course and keeping to the mid-18th Century in a fictitious sense.  So, what exactly does that mean for the coming year?

First, I see more actual gaming on the tabletop here than has been the case for some time, and I've devised a small campaign of four-five battles, using scenarios from Scenarios for Wargamers (1981) by Charles S. Grant.  Second, I'll restrict my painting plans for the year to just two or, at most, three. . .  ok, four units for the year.  These include:

1a) A two-company unit of pandours/croats using RSM and Minden figures (31 figures).  I will place the order for these with the Dayton Painting Consortium and Frank Hammond tomorrow morning.

1b) Two three-figure staff sets, Austrian and Prussian, again from Minden Miniatures (six figures and horses).  One can never have too many mounted officers, generals, and marshals in my view, so I will place an order for these before too many months have elapsed this year.

2) A two-gun battery using RSM crew for one gun and Minden crew for the other.  I'll paint these in two different historical uniforms for each gun crew.  I like the Bavarian and Saxon uniforms a lot, so these will provide the basis for my painting here (13 figures and two guns).  The castings are already in the lead pile here at the GD of S.  On the ol' painting desk actually as photos from the last several months have revealed.

3) Also in the pile of plastic here is 30-figure unit of classic Spencer Smith charging cavalry.  These were purchased, and made their way here, from the far off Duchy of Alzheim last September.

4) A 30-figure unit of RSM Prussian hussars (I know, I know. . .), already in the pile of lead, which I'll convert into uhlans by the simple addition of spare flagpoles that will get little lance pennons attached to them before they are, in turn, attached to the figures.  Since these are hussars, I'll do my utmost to keep the uniforms and painting schemes as simple as possible.  Oh, and there is some historic precedent for cavalry dressed as hussars and armed with lances in the 18th Century.  Apparently, a squadron of Lauzun's Legion was armed thusly during the War of American Independence, at least according to official regulations.

If things move along at a more rapid pace than I am used to, I might also take a stab at building a few different kinds of bridges from scratch since so many of Charles Grant's Tabletop Teaser scenarios seem to feature river crossings.  Otherwise, no new buildings this year since I have plenty of one kind or another already.  Probably more structures than are really necessary for the time being.

What else remains in the vault here at Stollen Central?  Well, I still have a unit of 60 RSM Prussian musketeers along with 30 Prussian dragoons and horses in bare metal.  There are also about 20 or so RSM Austrian grenadiers in a box, to which I want to add eventually another 60 Austrian fusiliers, to make up an 80-figure regiment painted as Bavarians (with lovely Cornflower Blue coats).  And there are also some additional odds and ends here from Minden, Holger Eriksson, and RSM that I'd like to paint up as generals and staff, perhaps in small vignettes, to add some interest to the tabletop.  And let's not forget building up a small wagon train plus a bridging unit with pontooniers, etc.  But, once again, that is probably getting well into 2013, so it's probably best to keep my eyes focused on this year for the time being.

Finally, ideas for three or four different hobby-related articles have occurred to me in the last few weeks , and I've been jotting down notes on scraps of paper and in an old yellow composition book that I keep around for such things as these ideas have expanded and grown.  With any luck at all, one or maybe two might appear eventually (it takes a loooooong time from initial submission to acceptance to final publication).  We'll have to see how it goes, but it's a great deal of fun thinking about and actually sitting down to write on things one is interested in and excited about.  And yes, I know, I ended that sentence on a preposition!  Shhhh. . .  Don't tell my students!

In a nutshell, then, that is what I foresee for the coming year and my activities in the wargaming hobby.  We'll see how things pan out during the next 12 months.


SteveGill said...

I do envy your ability to stick to the one period and that all sounds very promising, lots to look forward to for the sympathetic blog-follower.

CSG's teasers certainly tend to feature a lot of riverine activity and, however many I accumulate, I always seem to be just one bridge short :-)

Good luck with the project.

tradgardmastare said...

Exciting plans for 2012.I look forward to seeing them unfold here.
best wishes

Bluebear Jeff said...

As an alternative to "flagpoles" if you don't mind stiff wire, try visiting a welding supply store.

They usually have some very fine "wires" (not the right term, they are for welding) of various thicknesses that can be cut to your desired length.

-- Jeff

Phil Olley said...

Happy New Year Stokes.
Looks like you have a busy 2012 planned.
Looking forward to more of your excellent blogging in the year ahead.

tidders said...

looks like a intresting year ahead for the Duchy of Stollen. Will look forward to your mini-campaign

-- Allan


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