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Showing posts from April, 2013

More, More, More Vignettes!!!

More RSM95 figures removed from their old single bases and regrouped into command vignettes.
I have just finished regrouping older figures in my collection, painted during the last several years, into three additional command 'scenes,' one Stollenian at the front and two Zichenauer at the rear.  On the rear left, you'll note General Phillipe de Latte (dark blue) conversing with his rather animated ADC Major Paolo di Biscotti (white), who makes the point that one can never truly enjoy coffee cakes and sweetbreads without fresh espresso.

"The Grand Duchy of Stollen? Does that guy ever sleep?"

The most recently "finished" figures.  Miniatures by RSM95, Miniature Figurines in the background, and a couple of vintage plastic Spencer Smiths at the far right.
When you're hot, you're hot!  Well. . .   Ok, maybe not exactly hot -- Let's not get carried away with yourself too much, Stokes! --  but when the painting and modelling muse is actually present in the house, go with it!  She is, at times, an elusive figure after all, so it's best to strike while the iron is hot.

The figures above have been painted and in my collection a long time.  Some since December 2006.  They've popped up in various photographs of my painting table and battlefields-in-minitature presented here routinely.  But they were, until Sunday, based individually.  That evening was the first time I actually got around to removing the figures from their old glossy green bases, and I next tacked these various generals and ADC officers down onto scenic bases.  The usual brown-stained cree…

The Latest Batch of Figures. . .

A lone Eureka Saxon grenadier (Vielen Dank Stefan!) at attention, painted here as a generic Prussian sort of fellow, guarding (wait for it) . . .  a wooden crate.

Here's our lone grenadier once more, this time shown with a bunch of Minden figures finished several weeks ago.  He is guarding a Zichenauer dragoon officer, who is being interrogated by several Stollenians and an English officer seconded to the Stollenian Army.  "The box!  The box!  Tell us, my dear von Boffke, what is in the box?"

More figures by Minden Miniatures!  Here, Hives (in gray greatcoat) and the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II eavesdrop on an argument between two Stollenian engineer officers, who cannot determine which way is up on their map.  
Besides the Eureka and Minden figures show above, the extra bits in these photographs include a crate and barrel from Foundary, rocks and twigs from my driveway outside Stollen Central, and sand from my maternal grandmother's creekbed, which I stained with thinn…

Presenting Aunts Irmgard and Waltraud. . .

The Grand Duke's aunts, Irmgard in the green riding habit and Waltraud in the blue, younger sisters of the formidable Aunt Hildegard. . .  She of the yellow dress along with Uncle What's-His-Name and the large group of frolicking aristocrats in a previous post.  All three women are as ferocious as the gorgons, scheming,and eager to see their nephew marry and produce an heir to the throne of the Grand Duchy of Stollen.  But for the good graces of his faithful English manservant Hives, poor Irwin-Amdeus II doesn't stand a chance!

Rats!  I see that in my rush to gloss the figures and terrain their base, I neglected to add the silver and brass bits on the harnesses of the their horses.  No matter.  I'll take five minutes tomorrow afternoon and do it before movng on to the next batch of figures.

The two aunts viewed from another slightly different angle.  I'm especially pleased with the way Aunt Waltraud's blue riding habit turned out.  Very thin Prussian Blue alkyd …

Stay Tuned!

Bertie Wooster's ferocious Aunt Agatha, called 'Mrs. Gregson' by Jeeves and all others.
After a lovely, uninterrupted Sunday afternoon's worth of painting, my own Aunt Irmgard and Aunt Waltraud (courtesy of Minden Miniatures), mounted on horses and based together on a single scenic base, are finished painting-wise.  If time permits after supper, I might even return to Zum Stollenkeller this evening to slap a couple of coats of clear, glossy acrylic varnish on them.  Some limited groundwork will follow tomorrow before I move on to completion of painting the base featuring Irwin-Amadeus II and Hives on horseback along with two flummoxed engineer officers, arguing over whether their map is correct.

Frolicking Aristocrats Finished with a Flourish!

Here they are, freshly glossed and terrained.
Finally finished those frolicking aristocrats by Jackdaw, and I must admit that I feel pretty pleased with them despite the apparent inability to cease and desist with the alliteration.  Maybe I can have something done about that on an outpatient basis?  At any rate, I kept the groundwork to a minimum, adding just a few tiny tufts of vegetation after the sand, a wash of thinned brown paint, and some grass scatter material.  I concluded that my cast of characters here (and they will all receive names) has dispatched to a pleasant clearing, or even a handy meadow, post-hunt to observe occasional tabletop battles from a distance rather than some thickly wooded copse.  After all, you can't frolic like this bunch in rough country and broken ground can you?  Now, it's "Tally ho!" with aunts Irmgard and Hiltrud plus their respective steeds.

Waiting in the Wings. . .

Various recently arrived Minden figures along with a lone Eureka Saxon grenadier in the back plus some odds and ends added to provide visual interest.  I'm not sure whether the fellow kneeling over the deceased musketeer is cocking his musket, or pausing to rifle the body for plunder before continuing on his way.
Any available free time today (the Grand Duchess is away at a conference, so it is just the Young Master and myself all weekend) shall be devoted to adding the groundwork to the various bases beneath those frolicking aristocrats, their servants, and their picnic table and crates.  However, there is little time to waste to and much to be done before my current obsession with small tableauxs is cured.


From left to right, Hives and the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus looking over the shoulders of two engineer officers, along with aunts Irmgard and Waltraud.  These two scenes in miniature are intended to go along with the larger frolicking aristocrats scene although they can certainly…

The Scene Takes Shape. . .

The post-hunt picnic takes gradual shape.  
Painting is now complete on the 18 Jackdaw frolicking aristocrats!  Just the clear glossy acrylic coat and limited groundwork to do before moving on to the two Minden mounted ladies, who will become the Grand Duke's aunts Irmgard and Waltraud -- two thirds of that formidable triumvirate of mature members of the female persuasion, who are determined to see Irwin-Amadeus II marry and produce an heir -- this weekend.  Then, it's back to things military with a company of Minden sappers/miners and some additional command vignettes.  No rest for the wicked!


Dogs, discussion, and dancing take center stage.

It seems that Signore di Polenta likes girls too.  And what a dandy fellow he is!

Ponderous Poetry and Presentations.

Aunt Hiltrud and Uncle What's-His-Name observe the festivities.


Nearing the Finish Line. . .

The latest three Jackdaw civilian figures (almost) completed.  I'm especially pleased with the tray of fruit carried by the African servant.  I should have been a confectioner and specialized in marzipans!
Almost finished with the three figures show above, but the gentlemen in green needs a bit more attention. . .  and gold lace on his his cuffs plus a buckle on his white waist belt.  The, it's on to the final base of  four figures: two ladies, a bowing gentleman, and another tray-laden servant.   The ladies are just about finished, so it's really just some detailing for the two males, which i might be able to accomplish in an evening or two, if life is kind that is, early in the week.  

And then there are those two mounted ladies by Minden Miniatures.  They are their steeds require some considerable detailing although the main colors are blocked in.  I'm scrambling at this point to tie up several things, so that I can actually write the accompanying article, which I hav…

A Frolicking Aristocrats Update. . .

ONe of my inspirational illustrations for the current painting work in progress -- Picnic after the Hunt(1740) by French painter Nicolas Lancret.
Those 18 frolicking aristocrats by Jackdaw are just over halfway done.  Eight remain, and they are mostly painted, simply requiring detailing of one kind or another.  I am having a great time painting these, especially the women's dresses, which present some new challenges.  Maybe I should have been a fashion designer, but the servants in their livery with their trays of refreshments are fun and challenging too, especially the African guy in turban, who is offering a fruit-laden tray to interested parties.  Hopefully, I'll have a little time this evening to continue painting.  However, there is a stack of eight or ten student papers just to my right here on the desk that *sigh* needs attention, so it might need to wait until Friday afternoon.

An Amazing Stroke of Luck. . .

Napoleonic Saxons painted by the incredibly talented Doug Mason (one of my painting idols) and featured several years ago on the Unfashionably Shiny blog.  This is just one of many units that will soon be in my possession.
Several months ago, I was contacted by the attorney of a distant cousin -- "Genevieve" -- from the state of North Carolina, several times removed and much older than myself, who passed away early last year.  To make a long story short, it seemed that she had been extremely impressed by and grateful for some translation and editing work I did for her in back in 2007.  Something she never forgot and mentioned often in conversations with friends and family if and when the subject came up.  It also seems that her assets were rather more than anyone in the family suspected.

The long and the short of it is that the Grand Duchess and I have learned that we are now rather more well off that we ever expected to be as academics.  Even after taxes.  I won't belabor…