02 February 2013

Stollenian (Prussian) Staff Group Almost Done. . .

Just about there with this current group of Minden Prussians and one Fife & Drum Englishman.  Have spent a delightful few hours detailing them carefully today between folding laundry, hanging wet shirts to air-dry, and running the vacuum cleaner around the first floor of Stollen Central since we are having dinner guests this evening.  The modern maid, er,  um, husband.  Whew!  You know, my parents certainly had a social life and their own respective hobbies, neither of which always included their children (nothing wrong in that), but I cannot recall things being this crazy for the family when I was four or five, and I remember that time pretty well.  Saturdays and Sundays were almost always relaxed, quiet affairs regardless of what was going on, or who was involved.  What have we done to ourselves as a society in the meantime that makes even weekends hectic?

Anyway, for those who are interested, quite a bit of the painting this time was done with oils (thinned wth Liquin Original): horses, main uniform colors, flesh, and black areas.  Small details were picked out with acrylic hobby paints, though most metallic areas were also painted with silver and gold oils (straight from the tube), which you just cannot beat for brilliance.  It helps to have a steady hand, good lighting, and don't get too much paint on the point of your brush.  What you want to do is use a light touch and simply brush (ha, ha) the very tip of the bristles against areas of the figures that need metallic paint.  Things like lace, buttons, badges, sword blades, etc.  Careful.  You can always add a tiny bit more, but it's awfully hard to remove oil color once it's on the figure.

The randomly shaped bases are made from thin basswood which I cut out and then sanded away any remaining rough edges back in Novmeber of last year.  I tried thin plywood a year ago for some of my units, but it's difficult to cut out and it warps, whereas the basswood seems a bit sturdier while being rather easier to cut out.  Odd.  Anyway, once things are good and dry with the oils in another week or so, I'll do any necessary and final touch-ups, apply the usual two coats of acrylic gloss, and then add some minor terrain features to this base and the two British officers in the background.  Then, it's high time to move on to the base with Irwin-Amadeus II and Hives looking over the shoulders of two engineer officers as well as two of the Grand Duke's aunts on horseback.  All of these are Minden Miniatures castings by the way.

And there's no rest for the wicked either because I finally got around to placing small orders with Minden Miniatures, Eureka-USA, and Old Glory UK for various and sundry agricultural and civilian laborers, a few extra French Artillery crew to mix in with the laborers, a variety of musicians plus Frederick II, a pair of his whippets, Voltaire, and J.S. Bach, along with a bunch of mid-18th century lords and ladies and a servant or two by Jackdaw.  It's going to be vignette city here in ten days or two weeks!

In the end, I decided against placing an order for the Blue Moon duelists just yet.  I've got to think about that.  From the photographs featured online, I'm not sure that I like the shapes of the faces and heads on some of those figures.  While others might love them, they strike me as slightly odd.  Too "pulp" game-ish in appearance if that makes any sense.  It might just be the painting style though.  Anyway, lot's to do and lots to await here at the Grand Duchy of Stollen.  

And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to bid you fond adieu for now.  I must hop in the shower and then dress before thinking about what to fix the Young Master for supper since he'll have his evening meal before our guests arrive.  The Grand Duchess will prepare us a Moroccan Tangene over couscous from a cookbook yours truly gave her this past Christmas.  You ought to smell the aroma that fills the house when this stuff cooks.  Indescribably fragrant, and actually enjoying it once seated at the table is "ambrosial," as my maternal grandmother used to say whenever she thought a meal was especially good.


johnpreece said...

Mmm,that sounds good. Have a very enjoyable evening, but keep in mind if you can get the guest's coats early enough their might be time for quick spot of painting before bed.

Bloggerator said...

Cheeky Mr Preece, I like the idea.

Stokes - I rather like the earth tones of your bases. Brown but not too brown if you follow me. Too often the little lead men of others seem to be wallowing about in some kind of rich, red-brown gravy. I like to get some gray-white in there if I can.



Martin said...

My word - air drying shirts - how domesticated.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Stokes - read this, and when I subsequently read this post I thought of you....


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Wow! Roly really did a job on his Minden ladies, gentlemen, and their mounts. Amazing! Thanks Steve.

Yes, sadly, Martin, I am frightfully domesticated. Blame my mother and grandmother, who made sure I could do my own laundry, iron my own clothes, run a vacuum, and load/unload the dishwasher as well as set the table properly by the time I was 13. I don't know whether to feel embarrassed or proud about it, really, but my wife sure appreciates everything.

Best Regards,


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thanks, Greg! Yes, I remember reading in a book I bought years ago on model railway and diorama scenery that most soils and tree barks (when dry) actually are more grey than they are dark brown. Of course, that's an oversimplification, but the basic idea is pretty sound I think. Once these figures get their usual glossy treatment, I'll tack down a thin layer of sand with artist's acrylic matt medium, stain it with more brown acrylic paint, maybe dry-brush some tan or grey on top, and finish with a very thin layer of Woodland Scenics medium green finely ground foam to approximate grass (also held down with the matt medium). To finish, I'll add a few coarser bits of Woodland Scenics material to approximate tufts of weeds and small bushes with maybe a broken twig or two and a discarded drum, musket, or something else to add a bit more visual interest. Geeze, it's getting awfully close to real modelling here!

Best Regards,


warpaintjj said...

I really love the depth of colour on these and especially the sheen on the horse's flanks - beautiful beasts!
Have fun,


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