Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2012

Currently on the painting desk. . .

General Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz

Alte Fritz himself, Friedrich II von Preussen Thoroughly enjoying painting the two mounted Minden Minatures versions of these key personalities from the SYW-era. . .  at a slow pace.  They are already mounted on a nice large, squarish multiple base, which provides plenty to hold onto as color is applied.  I might add a broken gun carriage or a busted up wagon wheel once we get to the terrain stage after all painting and varnishing are complete.  So far, so good.  No annoying mistakes with the paintbrush or others kinds of painterly mishaps.  Life is good.

A clean desk. . .

The freshly cleared off painting table here in Zum Stollenkeller.  Let's see if this helps keep the painting fire going over the next several months.
A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind.  Or so goes the saying seen commonly on those cute little stickers and among personal effects/paper weights/dust gatherers that reside on the desks of paper pushers throughout the English-speaking world.  Or at least here in the United States.  Well, might I be so forward as to suggest that maybe, just maybe more of us might get more accomplished with a little less clutter on our respective painting tables?  I know I feel more productive with a clear workspace.  It's certainly food for thought.
So with that very idea in mind, I've spent a pleasant hour or so this afternoon figuring out future painting projects, sorting through things, and putting away various bits and pieces that have been living on the painting desk for MONTHS here at Stollen Central.  Ahhhh. . .  Looks better already.…

The von Eyczing de Csiklos Panduren are finished!!!

A shot of the entire battalion of pandours with the notorious Count von Eyczing de Csiklos and his small staff at the rear of the unit.
The final painting and groundwork are now finished on my combined unit of pandours.  I won't make terrain on my bases a regular part of the routine here at Stollen Central (except for several planned mounted command vignettes), but there's no arguing that the treatment really adds something to the overall presentation of tabletop units.  To my eyes, this particular unit calls to mind various miniature predecessors painted by the likes of Doug Mason, Phil Olley, and Jim Purky, so I've managed to achieve what I envisoned before starting, which is not always the case.  My painting is improving I guess.
Speaking of which, all brushwork was done with a combination of oil and acrylic washes over a white basecoat as I mentioned here the other day.  The multiple bases, to which the figures were affixed, were cut from very thin plywood sold in my l…

We're about to get just a bit bigger here at the Grand Duchy of Stollen. . .

Meet the new Grand Ducal Felines. . .  yes, felines. . .  Princess Gunnlaug (left) and her brother Prince Onyx (right).
The Grand Duchess, Young Master Paul, and I made a vital journey midday Thursday to meet our new kittens for the first time at the 2nd Chance for Pets Animal Shelter 30 minutes away from home.  Absolutely lovely, sweet, calm kitties, who like to be held and cuddle together in you arms or an available lap.  As you can tell from their respective expressions, Gunnlaug at left is the more relaxed of the two while her brother is a bit more apprehensive.  Young Master Paul was curious, full of smiles, and patted Onyx on the head very gently before having his attention diverted by a little Shizu dog that was milling around the outter office of the shelter. 

Now, you can blame the Grand Duchess for our switching oars midstream to adopt both kittens.  Normally more a dog person, she felt it would be better for Gunnlaug to have a friend, and when we learned that the kitten had …

The Results of the May 24th-July 24th Painting Challenge. . .

The almost finished combined battalion of Croats.  I need to add a few small shrubs and some weeds, courtesy of Woodland Scenics, around the rocks and at the base of the tree stumps. 


Here is the current work-in-progress, which I've been noodling around with since June 24th.  The painting has been done using a mixed media approach -- oil and acrylic washes over a white base coat, artists' acrylic gesso.  Delusions of painting grandeur on my part?  Maybe.  But there are many kinds of things used by actual artists in their work that are useful to the miniatures hobbyist as well.  The gesso is more generally used to prepare canvases for painting, depending on what a painter wants to achieve, but it also seems to work nicely on plastic and metal miniatures as a base for further painting.
Anyway, I hope to finish the final brushwork on the mounted hussar officer later this afternoon/evening  and then mount him along with the standard bearer and musket-armed officer to a single base, …

A New Member of the Family. . . Meet Gunnlaug-Elvis!

Exciting times are upon us here at Stollen Central!  We have decided that we are ready to adopt a new kitten and have found Gunnlaug-Elvis at a local pet shelter.  She will come home with us in about ten days after she reaches the eight-week mark, but the lady I've spoken with on the telephone e-mailed us a few photographs this morning.  Look at that face!  Can you believe that the shelter has a hard time finding homes for black cats?  As I remarked to my wife, "Is it still the Middle Ages??!!"
As to our kitten's name, well, Gunnlaug is an old Norwegian female name that you just don't come across too much these days, and the Elvis part comes from the police officer character "Geir-Elvis" in the wonderful Norwegian-American television dramedy collaboration called Lillyhammer, which stars Little Steven Van Zandt (yep, Bruce Springsteen's guitarist), who is the show's star and one of its creators.  
The program defies easy description, but basical…

The 1001st Post at the GD of S Blog. . .

The mid-summer masquerade ball at Krankenstadt Palace, July 1772.
While the Battle for Neu Sittangbad rages on the frontier, a mid-summer masquerade ball is in full swing at Krankenstadt Palace in, you guessed it, Krankenstadt, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Stollen.  To celebrate the 1001st post here at the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, let's eavesdrop on a snippet of conversation between the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and his trusty English manservant Hives, who are in costume as a lobster and a flamingo respectively, observing the arrival of various guests from across the ballroom. . .

Irwin-Amadeus II (Sighs contentedly): Oooo, Hives!  I say!  Those new Valliere 4-pdr. cannon arrived from France mid-afternoon.  Stunning little examples of the caster's art I dare say.  They should really look the business once the woodwork is all painted, and the barrels have been polished to a high sheen.

Hives (Stifling a yawn): Very good, Sir.

 IA: And I hear tell that the Battle for…

De Latte and von Tschatschke complete their moves for Turn 6. . .

A general view of General de Latte's first and second lines, which seem to be suffering from bunching.  You'll note that much of his cavalry arm has formed up in support of his left flank, which is anchored on the small hill in the distance just to the left of an impassable swampy area. . .  unless one is infantry in open order.

Meanwhile, on de Latte's right flank, Colonel O'Malley's Irish Grenzers have pressed on along and through the wooded ridge on the northern edge of the Sittangtal Valley, to begin emerging from the trees and brush. . .  dangerously close to General von Tschatschke's own left flank.

For his part, von Tschatschke's curassiers have set off at the gallop toward a gap that has temporarily opened up in de Latte's line.  Will the armored horsemen reach it before enemy artillery has had time to arrive and deploy?

In this hastily rendered pen and ink, you'll see von Tschatchke's 2nd (von Laurenz) Musketeers are in the midst of an o…

Painting Croats Like Mad!!!

Will I make the July 24th Painting Challenge Deadline?  Only time will tell, but I'll give it the old college try over the remaining 13 days.
In between moving figures around on the ol' wargaming table and other things associated with the Battle for Neu Sittangbad, I've been hard at work on those 33 Minden and RSM95 Croats that I pledged to complete during the May24th-July24th period as part of the current painting challenge of which I'm a part.  It has been a very handy way to avoid starting some Norwegian-English translation projects that have fallen into my lap the last few weeks.  Anyway, the five figures in the middle distance are the current batch (in dark blue tunics and leggings) I'm concentrating on, but you'll also observe the other two batches in various stages of completion.  
On the left-hand side of the photo are three 60mmx40mm bases.  Each of these three bases will be further cut into a 35mmx40mm base (on which three figures will be glued when pa…

Meanwhile, in General von Tschatschke's study. . .

Generals von Tschatschke and de Latte eschew the lovely morning to continue their war game in the confines of the former's study.

General von Tschatschke rubbed his left temple.  The gin-induced throbbing lessened to a dull roar after a fashion.  He glanced at the wargaming table one final time, made a few more notes with his quill pen, and then spoke with an air of authority.
"There you are my dear de Latte!  Take that!"  Unmoved, General de Latte puffed his clay pipe, removed it from between his teeth, and spoke.
"Come, come now, old sneaker.  Do you really think any of this is going to help?  Your boys are fighting a losing battle after all.  You've mishandled your guns throughout the game and your Jaeger zu Fuss in Eispicke Village are all but finished.  Time for you to throw in the old towel, don't you think?"
"Nonsense!" blustered von Tschatschke from across the table, adding, "I've just pulled your troops into a carefully laid t…

Breaking the Fourth Wall. . .

Painting and playing with toy soldiers.  Nothing wrong with it, right?  So, why did I feel so hesitant, and even bashful, about explaining my set-up to a bunch of guests who followed me down her to Zum Stollekeller yesterday evening?  Am I really a much more shy person than I thought?  Or did it have to do with feeling embarrassed about admitting that I'm a 45-year-old man who still plays with toy soldiers?  Let me give you some background.
The Grand Duchess and I had our annual Abba Fest yesterday evening with about 20 friends, something we usually do at the summer solstice in June, but other commitments delayed things by a few weeks this year.  Anyway, fairly early in the evening, my wife was apparently talking to one of our Art faculty colleagues and casually mentioned my Neu Sittangbad set-up here in the basement.  Well, in two shakes, I became the focus of attention as word spread, and many guests began asking if they could come down here to have a look-see.
So, we trooped do…

De Latte's Orders for Move Six. . .

General de Latte grinned devilishly from across the gaming table as his host and opponent walked slowly back into the study with a distinct list to the left.
"Ah, there you are von Tschatschke!  They've finally pried you loose from the gin bottle, I see?"
"I'll shank you not to have fun at my expenshe, old corkscrew!" the older officer thundered, his eyes unfocused as he put a hand to his temple and rubbed gingerly.  "Pardon me for my, my ab, absence," slurred von Tschatschke, "I've been. . .  shomewhat indisposed, you shee."
"Perfectly well, old dressing gown," de Latte chuckled.  "And that's quite an impression of Humphrey Bogart you've got going there.  Or is it Sean Connery?  Now, what about our orders for Turn Six, eh?"
"Fire away!" exclaimed his host, looking around the study.  "Blast!  There's never an ice bucket around when you need it!"
"Alright then," began de L…

The Battle for Neu Sittangbad: Now, where were we?

Last week, as you recall*, things took a turn for the worse for Stollen's General von Tschatschke (aka The Flamboyant Silesian) in the ongoing battle for Neu Sittangbad.  While his own forces have inflicted moderately heavy casualties on the invading Zichenauers, commanded by the French mercenary-adventurer one General Phillipe de Latte, von Tschatschke has suffered equally heavy casualties himself and been forced to fall back on the town of Neu Sittangbad, losing two guns in the process.  Here are a few hasty artist's renderings to illustrate where things stand at the end of Turn Five.

The bulk of the Stollenian army, falling back on Neu Sittangbad.  The various units comprising von Tschatschke's army were previously ordered to begin an orderly withdrawl across the river into the Grand Duchy of Stollen proper.  Whether they can execute those orders with a minimal loss of men, horses, and equipment remains to be seen.

Along the northern edge of Neu Sittangbad, Stollenian cui…