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Showing posts from May, 2013

A Spring Ball in Krankenstadt: The Guest List. . .

It's finally spring in Krankentadt.  A perfect time for the Grand Duke's aunts to host a ball at the Residenz, a.k.a. Krankenstadt Palace.
Aunts Hilrtrud, Irmagard, and Waltraud, in yet another bid to see the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II marry and produce an heir to the throne, have decided to throw a springtime ball with the purpose of establishing an understanding of some sort between their wayward nephew and a young lady of acceptable family and station.  While the guest list is large, extending to include over two hundred  souls all told, certain names on it are considered special guests of honor.  These include the following individuals:


General Maurice Leger de Main -- A former Saxon general, of dubious social origins, who attached himself to the Grand Duke's household in January of 1773.  Strangely, he has yet to make clear what services he is able to offer Irwin-Amadeus II.

Signore di Polenta -- The Grand Duke's Neapolitan tailor of questionable practices and suspi…

Feberuary 15th-May 15th, 2013 Painting Challenge Output. . .

The title of today's post says it all!  The results of the recent painting challenge.
Here's a photograph of everything I've managed to accomplish in the last three months. . .  wife, child, career, students, and life notwithstanding.  Approximately 74 figures (if my addition is correct), some horses, musical instruments, picnic items, and artist's equipment either wrapped up, or painted from start to finish, in some cases some scratch-building and/or figure conversion, everything glossed, and scenic effects applied to the bases.  A delightful mix of figures by Minden Miniatures, Jackdaw, Eureka, and RSM95 along with a few more by Fife & Drum Miniatures, Miniature Figurines, Spencer Smith, and two or three extra pieces of picnic paraphernalia by Foundry on the lower left-hand corner of the plastic tub shown above.  

Among theses are some civilian vignettes as well as those with a more military theme.  Each vignette is quite a bit different from its fellows.  A refre…

The Final Two Vignettes for a While. . .

The final two vignettes for a while: a couple of Croats from the Slavonian Border Grenz Regiment (left) and the Szluiner Grenz Regiment (right).  The Croats and human casualty are by Minden Miniatures.  The horse casualty if by, I believe, Garrison.  I chopped it from its base and mashed the legs together before gluing it down to the asymmetrical scenic base for painting.  Oh, and the discarded musket beneath the Prussian infantryman is a bit of RSM95 from the Dayton Painting Consortium.

A close-up of the Slavonian grenzer, whose uniform is based on the third figure shown on Plate F in Philip Haythornthwaite and Bill Youngusband's The Austrian Army 1740-80: 3 Specialist Troops (1995).  Whoops!  I forgot to dust off the extra bits of scatter grass material from the horse. 

And here is a close-up of the Szuliner fellow, who has stopped to plunder and pilfer an expired enemy.  His uniform is based on a small illustration and description on page 45 of Haythornthwaite and Younghusband.�…

Gallping toward the Midnight Deadline. . .

It's 10:28am here.  We're in the Homestretch.  Can I make the February 15th-May 15th Painting Challenge Deadline by Midnight CDT tonight?
Just a few things to wrap up here on those two kneeling Minden Croat vignettes.  Some final painting on the dead horse for the first base.  Red facings, lace, shoulder belts, and small straps plus a bit of dark lining on the second.  Two coats of acrylic gloss for both (four figures in total).  Finish with groundwork which involves a few different steps.  

Not that much really.  Should be able to accomplish everything in fairly short order.  But hold on a moment.  Factor in May Term teaching today for three hours, mowing the grass late this afternoon before it rains again (possibly the forecast says), supper, and the usual evening family things.  Hmm. . .   Is it possible?  Well, I'll give it the old college try.  The Grand Duchess might be on her own this evening after the Young Master has turned in at 8pm.  Terraining the bases might, ho…

The Next Officer Vignette in the Queue. . .

A couple of high-ranking, nominally Austrian engineers converse with a field marshal as a mounted infantry colonel looks on.  The figures are, naturally, by Minden Miniatures in the U.K., and wonderful castings they are too.
A birthday for the Grand Duchess, followed by Mother's Day, along with the usual May Term course duties, and an interruption of two days while new basement windows were installed here in Zum Stollenkeller notwithstanding, I managed to wrap up this latest command vignette yesterday (Sunday).  The May 15th deadline in the current painting challenge among my loose group of wargaming friends and acquaintances looms dangerously close now.  However, I will try my best to finish a couple of small vignettes featuring two different kneeling Minden Croats plus a horse and a human casualty before Midnight Central Daylight Time on the 15th.  

And yes, before anyone comments, I realize that I inadvertently reversed the colors on the sashes worn by three of the officers sho…

How did this almost escape me?

H.G. Wells and friends maneuvering their armies around the parlor floor.  Considering where this falls on the wargaming historical spectrum.  Sometime before Featherstone, but after von Hellwig and von Reisswitz.  Might we, therefore, consider Little Wars Late Middle Old School Wargaming? 
The opportunity to read the Sunday paper two days late certainly has its advantages.  Once in a great while, you run across something about our wonderful hobby that doesn't present it in a goofy, uninformed, negative light.  You know the familiar implication:  These guys are a bunch of unsocialized morons in ill-fitting t-shirts and sagging cargo shorts, with matted hair and horrendous body odor, who live with fish tanks full of newts in lieu of an actual S.O., spouse, or partner and, thus, have nothing better to do with their time.  Anyway, I just came across this interesting little essay in the Book Review supplement of this past Sunday's New York Times that is refreshingly different in it…

Time for some Austrians, er, um, Zichenauers. . .

A generic Austrian mounted officer converses with his Hungarian counterpart while a stray Croat takes pot shots at the enemy from behind the relative safety of a broken down gun carriage.
Painting on, and the glossing of, this latest command vignette was concluded late this morning with scenic features added mid-afternoon.  This time, most of the painting was done with Citadel acrylics although the horses, hats, and footwear were done with thinned oils.  The scenic features, as usual, are a combination of Woodland Scenics over sand stained dark brown, which was gathered many years ago from my maternal grandmother's creek bed during a dry spell in the summer of 1984.  The boulder and a piece of rotting tree trunk come from my driveway just outside Stollen Central.  

This time, instead of black lining the reins and harnesses on the horses, I first used a watery dark brown paint, followed by a reddish brown highlight (?!) over top.  Dark brown lining gives a less stark effect than bla…

A Few Techincal Bits. . .

Some of my earlier scenic vignette work from June 2012.  Two companies of historically-based (as opposed to fictitious) Grenz along with  a mounted officer.  Figures are a mix of RSM95 and Minden Miniatures.
Thank you everyone for the recent comments and compliments on all of the command vignettes finished during the last several days.   More are on the way!  Several of you have asked, in the meantime, about certain things, like the gloss medium and bases, so I figured (Get it?) I'd respond here.

The varnish I am using right now is Liquitex (acrylic) Gloss Medium and Varnish, available from arts and crafts stores like Michael's and Dick Blick here in the United States. I believe Liquitex artists' products are available in other parts of the world too.  Anyway, the gloss medium stays exactly where you put it since it is somewhat thicker than Future/Klear acrylic floor finish, which I have used since 2006. 

The problem with Future/Klear is that the stuff runs everywhere.  …