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Showing posts from June, 2014

Painting, painting, painting. . .

This photograph shows the dark red -- not really right for a smaller room -- that was the old color.
The Grand Duchess and Young Master return sometime Monday evening, barring delays along the way due to predicted strong thunderstorms of course.  Yours truly has been busy the last week or so with some surprises for them, including repainting the upstairs bathroom as well as uncluttering (decluttering?) the living room and library on the first floor.

Of the two of us, I am really the more domestic.  While the Grand Duchess makes some fantastic things in the kitchen, I am the one who does our laundry each week, makes the beds, and keeps the first floor of the house straight and vacuumed.  It will come as no surprise then that it has occurred to me in the last 18 months or so that the rooms on the first floor could look even better with some careful rearranging and through simply putting away other various smaller items.  You know, getting rid of that cluttered late Victorian over-decorat…

Waterloo Day and an Interesting Question. . .

The Iron Duke at the Battle of Waterloo, 18 June 1815. 
Usually the day escapes before I realize it, but not today!  Hence the picture above.  Next year is, of course, the biggy.  The 200-year anniversary of the Waterloo campaign, but I am just as likely to be distracted by the "static" of family life and somehow forget.  So, I'll mark it today.  Somewhere, I have an old cassette of French Napolonic marches.  I wonder if it still even plays?

It's very odd, but the era when the battles that comprise the Waterloo campaign took place, 199 years ago, does not seem that far away to me.  Maybe that's due to my steeping myself in the campaign for so many years?

Some of you long-time Grand Duchy of Stollen visitors might recall that my first 20 years or so in the hobby centered on creating 15mm corps level Waterloo-era forces.  A goal that I never quite reached thanks to a number of common enough wargamer mistakes: not enough time (blame two graduate programs with an over…

Time for a Painting Breather. . .

Another couple of steps completed on the first five carts and wagons.
The Humbrol fumes seem to have abated somewhat here in Zum Stollenkeller.  My friend the 6' rabbit pokes his large head less frequently through the wall to my left at least.  The oil glazes have now been applied to the ox, horse teams, and mule as have the alkyd oil fleshtone and black to the hats, heavy riding boots, and a few pairs of shoes.  Time to let everything dry out a bit before painting the human clothing, and picking out various other details.

As usual, I have tinkered a bit with my painting approach, this batch of figures being no different.  For the black areas this time, I undercoated with an acrylic gray before applying Winsor and Newton Alkyd Oil black this morning, thinned liberally with Liquin Original.  As Peter Gilder suggested many, many years ago in one of those Military Modelling guide booklets, it looks pretty darn good already.  Highlighting and shadows accomplished in one fell swoop.  Pre…

Here's where things stand at the moment. . .

So, Stokes.  How are things going with that supply and pontoon train?   Reasonably well, albeit at a leisurely painting pace.  The Grand Duchess and Young Master are away for 2+ weeks at the in-laws, and I am enjoying the utter peace, quiet, and time to myself.  Thoroughly.

You can see from these two photographs that the first four wagons and a vivandiere cart are about finished, and it's time to turn my attention the various beasts of burden and riders/drivers/drovers and the vivandiere herself.  Most of the horses have been given an undercoat of Humbrol enamel yellow, orange, or one of two browns.  

The air down here in Zum Stollenkeller was redolent with the aroma of solvent-based Humbrol this morning.  Cannot begin to fathom how many millions of brain cells I must have killed during last evening's two-hour session at the painting table.  However, I was able to make the coffee this morning and managed to shower and dress a short while later without too many difficulties, so t…

Don't look now. . .

Don't look now, but guess who finally got off his painting you-know-what yesterday evening?  Yes!  And I managed to apply a white basecoat of acrylic artists' gesso to the first five wagons, carts, and associated beasts of burden.  So, it seems like the latest painting funk might -- just might -- be losing its grip on me.  If all goes well today, I'll begin slapping paint onto at least some of these this evening.

Now, one of you asked the other day how I plan to paint the teams and wagons/carts since they are already glued to their permanent bases.  Well, here goes. 


1) I went ahead and glued everything to its permanent bases simply to have something to hold onto during painting.  I've become used to doing this with all of the officer and civilian vignettes painted during the last 18 months or so.

2) Last night, I used as large a brush as possible to apply my white acrylic gesso basecoat.  

3) Runny washes of the gesso were applied to help reach those tight spots beneath t…