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Showing posts from March, 2013

Happy Easter. . .

Happy Easter from all of us in the Grand Duchy of Stollen.  I'm off now to breakfast followed by an Easter egg hunt in the back yard for the Young Master.  Enjoy the day everyone!

Painting Jackdaw 18th Century Aristocrats. . .

And a most enjoyable Sunday afternoon it was.  
For a few hours yesterday afternoon, I almost felt like Jackson Pollock as I mixed, applied, and dripped oil and acrylic colors everywhere.  It was glorious.  Most of the large areas of color on 18 Jackdaw and two Minden figures -- plus a couple of Minden horses -- are done now and it's simply a matter of applying lace trim and some other smaller details where necessary and appropriate.  Oh, and the vague hint of oils and thinner still lingered in the air early this morning when I brought a mug of coffee down to Zum Stollenkeller.  The two aromas mingled for a little while before I began the week in earnest.  Somehow, it made Monday morning a little less painful.  Know what I mean?

On other related fronts, a Swedish client (and friend), for whom I did a bunch of editing and proofreading recently, had trouble transferring money from her bank account in Budapest to my Paypal account this weekend. She sent me several anguished e-mails exp…

1101 Posts to the GD of S Blog Since August '06 AND a Finished Vignette!

Two photographs of the 'just finished and glossed' artist vignette.  The small clumps of foliage and easel were also glued down only minutes ago.  Herr Biedermeyer von Spiesburg (in the brown coat) is busy micromanaging our artiste-at-work while the former's valet fetches something from the painter's kit on the bench.  

The figures are from Blue Moon, including a converted duelist, who has apparently become a painter in his spare time.  The chair, bench, and crate are from Foundry, and the bucket is a spare from Minden Miniatures.  Foliage and grass scatter are Woodland Scenics while the sand beneath, which was first stained brown, comes from my deceased maternal grandparents' place in Berks County Pennsylvania, where I grew up.  I collected a small pile of dry sand from the creek bed in front of their fieldstone colonial house during July of '84, and I've carted it along with me ever since in an old loose tea tin.  Oh, and the easel is an original Stokes. .…

A Few Finished Figures. . .

Professor Detrius (in green and pink), the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II, and his dogs Max and Moritz out for a country stroll and some philosophical debate.

A couple of staff groups, Minden figures in the foreground (along with one Fife&Drum officer) and two Fife&Drum figures in the rear.  Sadly, the large base with the five figures has warped somewhat due to the coats of clear matt varnish that holds down the scatter material.  Lesson learned?  Keep scenic vignette bases fairly compact.

And finally, here they are, theGrand Duke's court combo, led by the Maestro Bacharach on the clavichord in the foreground.  Listen carefully, and you'll hear them playing a newly written tune by the Maestro called Walk on By.



Replies to Comments, Questions, and Further Meaningless Holding Forth
Thank you for the nice comments, men! 

-- I fixed the warped base in the middle photograph by slapping some paint on the underside, which seemed to correct the problem overnight. 

-- The musicians …

Another Painting Tip. . .

The latest item to join the ranks of stuff on my painting table. . .  Liquitex Flow-Aid.
The last couple of days and evenings have seen yours truly actually feel well enough to sit down to the painting table and get some things done, or just about done.  I've also started on the base with the painter, country gentleman, and his valet.  The usual Winsor&Newton alkyd oils thinned heavily with Liquin Original for the basic clothing colors.  

They'll need to dry overnight (I painted in my pajamas early this morning), but the effects will be, I think, some of the nicest yet.  The trick seems to be less paint and more Liquin, which, when mixed together on the palette paper, provides a really nice, thin puddle of color to spead around the figure surfaces with the brush and let it settle into folds, creases, etc.  I'll post an in-progress photo tomorrow or the next day.

The other items on this same base -- a chair, bench, bucket, and chest of our good artist's painting materi…

Hoard-Hoard, Organize-Organize. . .

How's this for a Box o' Bits?  Available from most any home improvement or do-it-yourself store, it's a great way to consolidate all of those left over figures, bits, and pieces of stuff that wargamers and figure painters accumulate over the years.
Sounds like one of those 1960s Eurospy James Bond knock-offs, doesn't it?  On the mend here, and as such, I was sent on an errand by the Grand Duchess yesterday evening to our local Lowe's home improvement and do-it-yourself store.  What do you think caught my eye as I walked down the nail and screw aisle after finding what I had been sent for?  Yep, you guessed it.  A stack of those plastic organizer boxes for nails, screws, nuts, and bolts.  Also ideal for all of bits, bobs, and pieces of stuff we wargamers acquire and hang onto for some eventual use.

Long displeased with my various boxes of bits here in Zum Stollenkeller, I've had a vague idea floating around in the back of my mind for that the situation would need …

Painting Projects Yet to Come. . .

The painter vignette with everything, save the easel, all tacked down to the basswood base and waiting for two thin coats of white acrylic gesso.
Just two more photos of things slated for the near painting future.  It feels good to be upright, out of bed, dressed and somewhat better.  Nice to spend some time puttering around here in Zum Stollenkeller trying to get things positioned just so on a base before gluing them in place and thinking ahead to base-coating and painting.
-- Not Quite as Mondo Dismo

A bunch of frolicking aristocrats and a few servants by Jackdaw after the trimming of flash although there wasn't much.  I'll arrange these on bases of between two-four figures each, but the various configurations presented here seem nice for a day in the countryside spent dining, socializing, dancing, and, of course, drinking far more than one ought.

The Return of Mondo Dismo. . .

Must admit that I feel very pleased with the hour's or so conversion work and easel construction that has produced this totally unique vignette, which must now be base-coated and painted.  The easel itself wasn't that difficult, but gluing it together without getting adhesive everywhere, or all over my fingertips required considerable breath-holding.  Not easy to do when you've got a cough and slight rattle in the chest.  

The really tough part was converting the "artiste" from a contentious guy with a flintlock pistol into a painter, holding a brush in one hand and a palette in the other.  After carefully trimming away the pistol from his right hand, destined eventually to wield a brush instead, it was time to work on his left arm and hand, preparing both to accept the envisioned painter's palette.  That required some forethought and surgery, two things that long-time visitors to the GD of S blog will recall I usually avoid like the plague!  No matter.  We…

Moments of Clarity through the Fog. . .

This illustration is more a comment on how I've felt the last few days than it is on my mental and/or
hobby acuity, but it seemed somewhat apt for today's post.

Once in a while, glimmers of brilliance shine through the fog brought on by fever, cold, odd sleep patterns, and over-the-counter medications.  It occurred to me sometime during the 24-hour period that was this last Saturday what I might do with three odd Blue Moon 18th century duelists that were part of a bunch of unpainted figures, purchased from one of two Jims a few years back.  So, I stole down here to Zum Stollenkeller about an hour ago for the first time since Friday midday and went to work with hobby knife, pin vice drill, a few matchsticks, thin card, and crazy glue.  
I now have a virile young artist with his shirt open to his navel (think Fabio on the cover of any number of bodice buster novels twenty years or so ago), who holds his painter's palette in his left hand and a brush in his right, with which he …

Rats!

Ten glorious days of spring vacation began with the conclusion of my last class of the day yesterday,  Ahhh. . .  Grand plans of painting, finishing those Eureka musicians, and maybe setting up Neu Sittangbad once again.  Oh, and reading/grading a stack of student papers, which, despite my best intentions, I was unable to finish before the end of the week.  And what do you think has happened?  Yep.  Like clockwork, the achy joints, stuffy head and nose, and chills began yesterday evening and put me to bed finally around 9pm.  Feeling pretty rotten today although that has been tempered with liberal amounts of orange juice and over-the-counter cold/flu medications.  But rats!  I'm pretty sure it's the flu.  Just. . . Rats!