18 February 2014

The Latest Four Figures Finished. . .

Two frei-corps officers, whose uniforms are based on those of the Lubomirski and Bauer hussars  with some artistic license taken.  Especially since the former were a Prussian unit, and I was well on my merry way painting the fellow on the left before I realized that he represented an Austrian hussar officer rather than a Prussian wearing a colpack.  No matter.  As with all the rest of my figures, these two will fight for fictitious powers after all.  I also find that often enough different versions of uniforms existed side-by-side and/or were worn at slightly different times according to records left to us.  And don't forget, too, that officers moved freely from one army to the next for different reasons.  So, why wouldn't the Lubomirski fellow in blue and brown sport the uniform worn in Prussian service while sitting atop an Austrian saddlecloth?  Figures are from the delightful 1/56th scale Minden Miniatures range.

Just enough extra time this morning -- before reading and grading a dozen student papers, working on a translation, and finally preparing some discussion questions for a film class this evening -- to snap a couple of pictures in the trusty foamcore lightbox of my latest four figures, which will serve as aides de camp on the tabletop for the armies of the Grand Duchy Stollen and its arch enemy the Electorate of Zichenau.  

The figures are not perfect, but they look reasonably good to me, and, most important, they are finished.  Just four more single aide de camp figures to do, and then it's on to the long-planned pontoon and supply trains.  It would seem that I am actually making progress so far in 2014.  Who'd have thunk it?

And it's funny what you sometimes discover purely by accident.  While setting up to shoot these figures, I bumped a tiny toggle switch on the upper right corner of my Sony Cybershot DSC-TX20 and discovered a zoom function.  A zoom function!!!  And this after having and using the camera for eighteen months.  Clearly, I should not be turned loose on classrooms full of unsuspecting college students.  But let's keep that our little secret.

I have found that the sweetspot with my current set-up is to have the subjects 5"-6" from the camera, which I mount on a small tripod.  Three lamps aimed at the top and sides of the lightbox provide plenty of indirect light, while a ten-second delay on the shutter prevents camera shake.  Nice, bright, and sharp raw photos result, which I then crop, adjust colorcast, and sharpen with Photoshop Elements 9.  Knowing that I can now zoom in even more on the figures helps too.  Maybe not quite professional grade pictures, but much, much better quality photographs than what I have posted for quite a few years here on the GD of S blog, which, amazingly, is approaching its eight anniversary in late August.

Finally, and in reply to a few recent queries, yes indeed.  I have a solo game planned for the week of Springbreak in March.  It will be based on a historical battle from another period, so you'll have to guess which one when that gets started next month.  That's all I'll say for now though.  All right.  I've got to do some real work now. 

-- Stokes

A Prussian cuirassier officer, whose precise unit escapes me at the moment, and an officer of the Bayreuth Dragoons.  Again, the figures are Minden, and they were a joy to paint, taking a Friday evening and Saturday afternoon to complete both although the glossy acrylic varnish had to wait until Sunday morning during that particular weekend.


Martin said...

As Darth Vader said, "Impressive. Most impressive."

Bluebear Jeff said...

Lovely figures, Stokes. Good to see that you are still painting.

-- Jeff

CelticCurmudgeon said...

My dear heinz-Ulrich,

Once again a tour de force! These are excellent examples of your painting mastery. The aides - do they deliver orders and other messages from leader to leader? Or are they simply to add presence to your command stands? The horse colors are terrific - neither I nor my minions in the residence assigned to such things cpaable of such delicate touch.
In deep admiration, I remain,
Gerardus Magnus
Archbishop Emeritus

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thanks, men! These figures will carry orders between the various command groups in my collection and/or look good just standing around. Just four more similar figures, and then it's on to other things for a while though.

Best Regards,


Fitz-Badger said...

Excellent work on both the painting and the photographing!

Springinsfeld said...

Excellent work as always.

Peter Douglas said...


Love the figures. I also love that it took you 18 months to find the zoom function! That's a me move if there ever was one.

You might have to do something drastic like read the manaul or hand the camera to the Young master to show you all the fetures.


Paul Robinson said...

Look good to me too.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

The Young Master is already so adept with his mother's laptop and I-pod that it's frightening. Tryuy frightening. I sometimes feel like I'm in the stone age, and it's not like I don't use this stuff too, but our son is amazing with it.

Best Regards,



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