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Showing posts from January, 2013

Easing Back into the Painting Saddle. . .

Here's a close-up of the three figures on foot that are part of the current five-figure staff vignette.  The figures are Prussians from the delightful Minden Miniatures range along with a British infantry officer from the newer Fife & Drum range.  The two ranges work marvelously together since Richard Ansell has sculpted the masters for both.
Back to the painting table -- wasn't that a John Wayne film, or was it a Michael J. Fox film instead? -- for ninety minutes last night after supper.  It felt good to open up a few new bottles of Citadel paints and a tube of oil to begin detailing the five figures that make up the current staff vignette in-in progress.  Ah, I love the small of oil paints in the evening!

And here is a close-up of the two mounted gentlemen.  I'm using illustrations of various Prussian officers in Mollo's Uniforms of the Seven Years War and Haythornthwaite and Fosten's Men-at-Arms series on Frederick the Great's troops as the basis for these…

Can the GD of S blog hit the 200 followers mark?

A photograph from one of the early turns in last year's start of Neu Sittangbad, which has been on hiatus since the attack of the Killer Kittens last November, which necessitated clearing up everything and shifting table location, the removal of a wall, etc., etc.
Things have been too quiet recently here at Stollen CentralToo quiet.It's the usual complaint expressed by many fellow wargamers on so many other blogs and discussion boards.  Work, real life, and the associated mental/physical fatigue take over, and the idea of crawling into bed with a good book after supper in the evening seems more attractive than stealing away to the painting deskor gaming table for a few hours of hobby time.  Yep, the pickings, painting and gaming wise, have been rather slim here on all fronts during the last eight to ten months.

Nevertheless, people have continued to visit the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, read, and, apparently, take an interest -- and even pleasure -- in my verbose ramblings a…

Time for a Commercial Break. . .

French ladies of the 18th century.

Scouting around the web recently for various 25-30mm civilian and non-combatant figures that I hope to use in several planned vignettes has turned up a treasure trove of suitable miniatures.  There are, in addition, one or two highly interesting blogs that have nothing whatsoever to do with model soldiers or wargaming, which I'll mention and include links to,  at the end of this post.

Now, I had a vague idea already that firms like Foundry, Old Glory, Perry, Minden, and Jackdaw make some very nice 18th century individuals and sets of figures.  I was also aware that Willie/Tradition produce a few.  However, I was not prepared for the huge number of specifically 18th century figures, plus numerous others designated as 17th century and/or French Revolutionary era, that are available and might easily be pressed into service by those of us looking to add visual interest to our tabletops, circa 1760. 

Time now for some gentlemen and a few more ladi…

The Plot Thickens. . .

The Lady Marie Cheque de Voyage, daughter of the French ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Stollen.
The already busy social calendar at Krankenstadt Palace has become much more fraught since last we peeked in on things there.  The daughter of the French ambassador along with her mother has just this morning joined Irwin-Amadeus II and his aunts for a extended weekend of dinners, parties, balls, and parlor games.  Keep in mind, that General Leger de Main, together with the Mademoiselle de Ambuscade, the Lady de Badinage, and their respective companions, are already residing temporarily at the palace.  The three ladies, in particular, have been invited by the aunts Irmgard, Hiltrud, and Waltraud, for the sole purpose of finding a suitable match for their wastrel nephew.  

Complicating matters further has been the arrival, late in the week, of Signore di Polenta, a master tailor from Naples, who has brought several new suits ordered by the Grand Duke last summer for first fittings.  He and h…

The Arrival of Mademoiselle de Ambuscade. . .

Presenting. . .  Mademoiselle Amalie de Ambuscade Things are all abuzz at Krankenstadt Palace today.  By mid-morning, the Mademoiselle de Ambuscade and her entourage arrived after an arduous winter journey across Central Europe from Strasbourg in France.  It seems, the Grand Duke's aunts, in their quest to see Irwin-Amadeus II tie the knot and produce and heir, have taken over his social schedule in the New Year and have invited another suitable lady of marriageable age for an extended stay.  Complicating the matter is the fact that the Lady de Badinage [Thanks, Jeff!] and her retinue are already ensconced within the east wingof the palace along with the visiting General Leger de Main in the west wing.  Predictably, the Grand Duke has retired to his favorite red fainting couch in his private apartments with a dram of Absinthe and his favorite clay pipe packed with the finest Virginia tobacco.  Washing his hands of the matter for a few hours, atleast, Hives has crept away following …

The Lady de Badinage Arrives. . .

The Lady Solange de Badinage and her entourage are due any day now at Krankenstadt Palace all the way from Geneva.  The Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II doesn't stand a chance.  Marriage could be waiting in the wings if his aunts have anything to say about it.  Let's hope Hives is his usual resourceful self.

Shaking Off the Post-Holiday Lethargy. . .

A before photograph of the somewhat messy painting table here in Zum Stollenkeller.
Ok, no painting last night, so let the mockery and derision begin!  However, as you know, it can be very hard to get anything accomplished when the painting table is in disarray.  With that in mind, I did manage to clear a few things away that remained from the pre-Christmas wooden truck project.  I next moved the Austrian/Saxon, Continental, and Grand Ducal family vignettes out of the way, so that I can concentrate my attention and efforts on the remaining English and Prussian general officer vignettes.  

I remember writing somewhere in the last few years that, to keep the painting flames hot, it can be extremely helpful not to have tons of unpainted figures cluttering up the painting table.  To my mind, it can be disheartening when you have a huge painting task fully visible before you.  Why risk painter's block (a cousin of writer's block) after all?  Far better to break a painting project dow…

A Little Post-Holiday Lethargy. . .

If it's good enough for the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II. . . Lately, the Saxon-Polish army of the 18th century has been on my mind.
Sigh.  I was just saying to the Grand Duchess, in the kitchen upstairs as I waited for the coffee to brew, that I would fold a basket of the Young Master's clean clothing this afternoon.  Keep in mind, the basket of said garments has been living in a corner of our bedroom for the last five days or so.  But as I explained  -- ok, rationalized -- by the time it's 8:30 or so in the evening, and the Young Master has gone to bed, who in the heck wants to tackle folding a basket of laundry??!!  Far better to have a second mug of coffee and, mentally speaking, put up one's feet.
Similarly, I have been wrestling with a touch of painting lethargy since just before Christmas when I finished those four hand-made trucks for the Young Master.  Oh sure.  The desire to sit myself down and paint for an hour or two most evenings is there, but somehow between…

General Leger de Main Arrives. . .

A deceptively frank portrait of General Etienne Aigner Leger de Main, veteran of the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years war in Europe, who has made his way to the Grand Duchy of Stollen via service in the French and Saxon armies. . .  He says.
The Grand Duke Irwin Amadeus II is all flustered this morning, following the arrival of a foreign officer at Krankenstadt Palace.  Let's eavesdrop on a snippet of conversation between the Grand Duke and his trusty English manservant Hives. . .

Irwin-Amadeus II: And who did he say he was again, Hives?
Hives: The Most Honorable General Etienne Aigner Leger de Main was the title and name he gave downstairs, Sir.  (Hands calling card to the Grand Duke).
IA: (Takes card and peers at it with considerable scepticism through his lorgnette) Hmmm.  Nope.  Never heard of him.  (Puts card down on small silver tray in Hives' hand and takes another sip of coffee). 
H: He mentioned that he wished to offer his services to you, Sir.
IA: Fancy that…

Post-Christmas Excitement by Post. . . and a Brief Review

Can't wait to retire to bed this evening with this new arrival!
Earlier this afternoon, Digby Smith's Armies of the Seven Years War arrived with the mail.  A quick glance through the book -- after wrestling it from its Amazon packaging -- shows it to be chock-a-block with information on the various combatants who partook in the conflict, their uniforms, standards, etc.  While I've been aware of Mr. Smith's book for a couple of years, I only got around to purchasing it with some of Mom and Step-Dad's Christmas gift on December 26th.  I cannot wait to examine it more closely later this evening, and might hit the sack right after supper with some fresh coffee and the book, leaving the Grand Duchess and the Young Master to their own devices for the remainder of evening.  Weeeeeell, maybe not quite that early. . .  but all bets are off by 9 or 10pm!



Thursday, January 4th

I just wrote my first review for Amazon.com on this book.  It reads:

A highly interesting title on the v…

New Year's Day at Krankenstadt Palace. . .

A scene from the New Year's Eve Ball, hosted by the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II last night at Krankenstadt Palace.  The festivities continued into the wee hours.
New Year's Day 1773 dawns at almost midday in the Grand Duke's personal chambers on the third floor of Krankenstadt Palace.  Let's see what Irwin-Amadeus II and his trusty gentleman's personal gentleman Hives have been up to. . .


Irwin-Amadeus II: (Blinking eyes and rubbing temple):  Oh my head, Hives, my head!  Close the curtains, please, for the love of God. . . 

Hives: (Sets down bed tray over the Grand Duke's legs): Early to bed, and early to rise, Sir.

IA: (Reaches for pocket watch on bedside table): Oh, dash it all, Hives!  Not so loudly.  It's only ten minutes to Noon.  Leave me in peace, I beg you.

H: (Gathers Grand Duke's clothing from last night on floor at foot of bed and does not lower voice):  Very good, Sir.  But may I remind you that you have two important appointments this afternoon…