Skip to main content

A Little Christmas Week Tinkering and Thinking Ahead to 2014. . .

Supply Train en Route to Valley Forge.

We've had several nice, quiet winter days here at Stollen Central since Christmas Day, which have given me time to tinker with upcoming vignettes in preparation for painting and some online research with regard to suitable pieces for the long-planned supply and pontoon train.  As you might recall, the Grand Duchess got me off to a good start with the latter, presenting me with two each of the Fife&Drum powder wagons and pontoon wagons for Christmas.  

Besides, suitable horse teams, I will also order a third pontoon wagon, and see if I might be able to order an additional 3-4 pontoons by themselves.  I'll also look and see about what figures in the Minden Range SYW range might be suitable for conversion to pontoniers.  As many of you will undoubtedly agree, planning ahead constitutes a large part of the fun to be found in the wargaming hobby.

Where the rest of the supply train is concerned, I've combed the net and decided on several wagons and carts by Old Glory and Blue Moon.  The painted models look good online , the prices seem very reasonable, and, in most instances, they come with the horse teams.  I'll need to double-check, but the drivers and/or drovers might need to come from the Minden Miniatures range, but that's certainly not a problem.  So, if 2013 was the year of vignettes, both officers and civilians, 2014 is going to be the year of the bridging and supply trains.  By the way, you can read about my (ongoing) vignettes project and see a boatload of photos by having a look through the 2014 Wargamer's Annual.  Ok, grotesque and downright sad Miley Cyrus-like self-promotion over.

So, what else is on tap for 2014 and, in all probability, 2015?  First and foremost, there are four final vignettes awaiting completion on the painting table right now.  Three of these are officers, and the fourth will be the Minden gentlemen and ladies, two of each, given to me for Christmas by the Young Master.  Next up are 8-10 RSM, Minden, and Fife&Drum figures on horseback, which will become Aide de Camps on single bases.  Third, we've got all of those wagons and carts, which I'll order after the first of the year.  These will probably take most of 2014 to paint and complete, although I will not be teaching a May Term course this spring for the first time in eight years, so there will be an extra month of available time there.  

During the second half of 2014, it will be time to paint another 80-figure infantry regiment to bring the Electorate of Zichenau's infantry contingent up to full strength.  This unit will be made up of RSM Prussian and Austrian figures that have been languishing around Zum Stollenkeller for several years now.  No new purchases necessary.  The four companies will each wear a slightly different uniform, much like many of the contingents that made up Reichsarmee formations during the mid-18th century.  There will also be a 32-figure militia battalion made up of Fife&Drum and Minden figures, some of which the Young Master also gave me this Christmas.  

And finally, to go with the Minden blacksmith, his assistant, and the horse they are reshoeing, and which I purchased last January but have not quite finished, I plan to order the 30mm Prussian field forge from Berliner Zinnfiguren in Germany.  Not a cheap item, especially when postage and handling are factored in, but it's just one of those things you've got to have if you are modelling some of the various support elements that might accompany an 18th century army in the field.  We can blame Der Alte Fritz for sowing this particular seed when he shared a photo of this particular piece on his Hesse-Seewald blog a few years back!

Anyway, you see now why I am going with an 18-month or two-year plan instead of the more usual 12-month look forward.  Since I've fallen off the straight and narrow here the last year or so where organization, time management, and painting diligence are concerned, I'll need to make up a new painting progress chart for all of this, much like the one I used during the 5+ years or so it took me to complete the initial and primary part of the Grand Duchy of Stollen Project, i.e., two Charge-sized armies of 25-30mm metal and plastic figures.   In a nutshell then, here is what we are talking about for the next 18-24 months:

1) Finish the final four vignettes (three of officers, one of civilians)
2) 8 single-based ADCs
3) 3 pontoon wagons with extra pontoons, teams, drivers, and pontoniers
4) 9 supply wagons and carts, teams, drivers
5)  80-figure infantry unit
6) 32-figure militia unit
7) Berliner Zinnfuguren 30mm Prussian field forge

Beyond 2015, it looks like I'll finally come back to some cavalry to round things out and then stop painting for a little while to work on some other part of the GD of S Project.  There are, at present, about 90 unpainted cavalry castings in the lead (RSM) and plastic (Spencer Smith) pile here, one of hussars and two of dragoons.  By the time I finish painting those, it will be high time to take a break from the painting table for a while, catch my breath, and hopefully get in more games than is usually the case.  Beyond that, who knows?  But whatever happens, I'll remain in the mid-18th century.  Historical or ahistorical, it just feels right to me.

But that's getting a little ahead of ourselves, isn't it?  Speaking of Miss Cyrus above, I've got to "twerk" my way upstairs to the kitchen now.  It's twenty minutes to five o'clock in the afternoon here, growing dark, and time to refresh myself with a fresh mug of coffee, a glass of eggnog (or maybe both?), and a couple of pre-supper pfeffernusse.  I'm planning on 90 minutes or two hours at the painting table his evening after the Young Master's bedtime -- to begin work on a Doug Mason-inspired vignette -- before the Grand Duchess and I meet for a drink of something medicinal beneath the Christmas tree about 10pm.

-- Stokes


Der Alte Fritz said…
Sounds like you have some wonderful plans ahead for next year. Hopefully I will have added some uniformed and civilian drovers , to go along with my new limber horses, by the middle of 2014.

The set of Minden pioneers can be used for your pontooniers figures. They are open handed so they can be carrying ropes ( made from twisted wire), pieces of lumber, or some of the tools that come with the figures.

The BZ field forge is so good that I probably will not add one to my equipment range.

You can add a pack of pontoons so that you don't have to purchase multiple wagons just to get the pontoons. I like wood coffee stirrers at Starbucks to use as bridging material

Thank you for another enjoyable post -- it helped me to get over my funk of watching Aaron Rodgers defeat the Bears, yet again.

tidders2 said…

Looks like you've got plenty planned to keep you busy this year.

Currently drawing up my little list for this year - nice to get a plan of sorts in place

best regards

My Dear Heinz Ulrich,

Many warm wishes from the residence for the most Happy and Prosperous of New Years. Your description of planned activities for 2014 sound like a most enjoyable set of anticipations.

While Der Alte Fritz suggested wood stirrers which are available in the large markets, at least in my region, for the planking of your pontoons, there is another alternative. You can obtain a two inch widepiece of bass wood. Cut it to the desired length. Place pieces of wood underneath. If your pontoons are, say 2" apart, you would glue the cross pieces so that they would lock the bridge in place. The surface would be scribed at appropriate distance to represent the beamed surface of the bridge. It looks good and allows for several different lengths of bridge to be made.

Gerardus Magnus
Archbishop Emeritus
Anonymous said…
A man always needs a good plan. Weather one sticks to said plan is another matter. I look forward to seeing your wagon train come to life over the coming year.

Popular posts from this blog

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 on this book.  It reads:

A highly interesting title on the v…

Back in the Painting Saddle. . .

It's hard to beat the richness of oil-based metallics.  The Minden mounted colonel that I worked on yesterday evening.  He ought to look pretty good when finished.

I spent a pleasant hour or so last night, following The Young Master's bedtime, carefully teasing tiny bits of Winsor & Newton, or perhaps Grumbacher, gold and silver oils onto the mounted Austrian officer, who will oversee the composite battalion of Minden Austrian grenadiers.  They, of course, are the fellows in the foreground.

Those of you with longer memories might recall that these miniatures have been on the painting table since January.  Real life, however, has meant that progress has been at a standstill since late February.  I even put them away in a box for a couple of months to reduce dust and cat fur build-up!  

However, I managed to get my seat back into the painting chair last night, and here we are.  A steady hand, despite the usual after dinner infusion of strong dark roast coffee, meant only one m…

Stuart Asquith RIP. . .

 The now departed author and hobby personality playing a colonial game in 1978.  No hiding the width of neckties from that era!

Another one of the hobby greats, Stuart Asquith, passed away during the weekend.  While we never met (I am on the wrong side of the Atlantic), I was fortunate enough to exchange a couple of short emails with him 10 or 12 years ago when he was involved with a blog about all things Charge!

Said blog was managed by four or five UK hobbyists during the wave of enthusiasm that followed the 2006 Sittangbad and 2007 Mollwitz refights at Partizan in the U.K. just as hobby and imagination blogging took off in a big way.  Sadly, the blog disappeared pretty quickly, but it was a real blast interacting with Stu even if only briefly and in passing.  He was very personable and humble in his emails to me, expressing surprise that a stranger in the U.S. had an inkling of who he was.

Stu Asquith's writing years ago in Military Modeling, various books, and magazines like Prac…