Not much has happened during the last couple of weeks here at Stollen Central due mostly to professional and service commitments. Sigh. However, we are at the star our our nine-day Spring Break, so I'm making efforts to rectify the situation. That's as it should be after all, right?
First, I've wrapped up the glossing on my Fife&Drum Banastre Tarleton and Francis Marion figures, who will have their groundwork finished this evening. Depending on how I fell, I might just dust off the foamcore lightbox and camera to snap a couple or three photographs of the finished miniatures to share here.
Next, I have started on those final two RSM95 figures, a cuirassier and a dragoon officer, which I'll paint, naturally, as a Saxon cuirassier officer and a Prussian dragoon officer in one of the early white uniforms, something I've always wanted to try. Nothing worth sharing here yet, but the horses are largely done, and I've slapped my usual undercoat of tan all over the the riders, which will get its white highlight -- the typical method I use for white uniforms -- this evening.
Thirdly, as the photo above will attest, I've got everything needed now to model my generic pontoon and baggage trains, a mix of Minden, Fife&Drum, Old Glory, and Blue Moon items. Most of the wagons and carts will be a nondescript brownish gray, although the Berliner Zinnfiguren mobile forge, which the Grand Duchess is picking up during her research visit to Berlin in May, will get its more or less appropriate shade of blue once she arrives home in late May or early June. Can't wait to begin assembling and painting all of this stuff! Much like the various civilians and vignettes I've been working on during the last 14 months, new and different stuff to paint once in a while gives one that much needed shot in the arm. . . A remedy for that occasional bout of painting ennui that overcomes all of us from time to time.
In addition, I've been thinking ahead about cooking up various military camp scenes -- inspired by the work of Jim "Alte Fritz" Purky, Phil Olley, and Charles S. Grant -- at some point up the painting road. While Perry has a recently released American War of Independence set with soldiers and female camp followers, which is the easy road, I'm thinking about making things a bit more challenging. There are quite a few suitable male and female figures in various parts of the 30mm Willie range which are suitable for sutlers, vivandieres, and camp followers of less repute. Moreover, it strikes me that there are a number of figures that might have some application in the Minden range too, for instance the civilian and military laborers and the drovers and/or sitting wagon drivers which would be very easy to have sitting around tents, campfires, or a small table and tent set up at the edge of a camp by an enterprising cantiniere. I've already found a number of photos online of the kinds of things AWI reenactor groups do here in the U.S., which provide inspiring insight into how all of this might look.
And it would be remiss of me not mention a planned solo encounter that is coming up here in Zum Stollenkeller before too long, based on the Battle of Buena Vista, fought in 1847. There was a very good article on the subject in a very early issue of Miniatiure Wargames way, way back in the early 1980s, and I've always meant to take a crack at it. Looks like now is the time. I will not be doing a straight refight, however, but will apply the scenario to my own forces and set-up. One change I'll make though is to have rather less rugged terrain on my tabletop, which would not be in keeping with the part of Baltic region of Northeastern Europe -- corresponding roughly to modern day Lativa and Lithuania -- where the Grand Duchy of Stollen and its arch enemy the Electorate of Zichenau are supposed to be. So, expect rather gentler hills and ridge lines than is/was the case on the actual battlefield in Mexico. But there will nevertheless be a strong horseshoe-shaped position for one of the armies to assail and attempt to knock out. It should be a fun exercise, and there will be photos and progress reports right here of course.
And speaking of Miniature Wargames. . . I finally subscribed (digitally) yesterday, and it's a winner. Something many of you probably realize already. Yes, I'm coming very late to the table since editor Henry Hyde took over the reins a year or so ago, to say nothing of my finally joining the 21st century and going digital, but there you are. Anyway, if you too are a fan of the revamped MW with Battlegames, and have not already done so, you could do worse than drop Henry a line electronically and thank him for the delightful infusion of thought about, discussion, and dissemination of the hobby that the magazine clearly needed before he took over. It cannot be an easy task assembling a polished magazine every month, so why not show our appreciation for something that clearly works on so many different levels? Hats off to Henry and Miniature Wargames, say I.
Alright. Time for another cup of java and then it's back to the painting table.