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Showing posts from August, 2014

Summer has gone to the dogs around here. . .

Hey, these are the hot, steamy dog days of late August in the American Midwest, right?  Anyway, one of you mentioned a few days ago that it would be a good idea to add a dog to the vivandiere vignette that is taking shape (I'm still messing with it before gluing everything in place) on the ol' painting table.  To coin the Wooster twins, Claude and Eustace, that's an extremely sound idea.  So, I did some digging around and turned up a set of four, different sized mutts, which is available from Westfalia Miniatures for 4.00 British Pounds.  

I like the scruffy, animated look of these dogs, and think I'll add the set to my birthday/Christmas list.  Or maybe just order them myself before long.  Why put the onus, after all, on the Grand Duchess and Young Master if they present me with other gifts, and I'm unable to finish said vignette?  That said, there must be other 25-30mm metal canines to be had out there, but I've not had much luck turning up non-cute stuff with…

Right on Schedule. . . Kind of. . .

The current and 'final' -- When in wargaming is anything ever really final where purchasing, painting, and collecting are concerned? -- batch of wagons and carts along with that company of Minden pontooniers.  I've added small (glued together) loads of balsa 'lumber' to the two Old Glory wagons in the foreground.  For now, at any rate, the lumber in the ox cart at the rear right is all loose.
The long summer break is, sadly, approaching its inevitable conclusion, and the Autumn semester begins in earnest on Monday next week bright and early with a 103W Academic Writing Intensive class for incoming freshmen at 8am.  Sigh.  So, it makes good sense to spend my last few, relatively carefree days preparing the final batch of wagons and carts as I wait for syllabus packets to return from Printing Services.  

While people on the outside might grouse about post-secondary educators getting long Christmas and summer breaks, we pay for it later by having more heaped on our plat…

Pontoon and Supply Train Addenda. . .

 The four recently finshed pontoon wagons with their tweaked balsa bridge timbers added.  I'll leave the balsa in its natural color and simply call them freshly hewn.  Sometimes, you've just gotta call it done and move on to the next part of the project.  In the background, you'll also observe the blacksmith's anvil and scratch-built tool table, which needs glossing and some terraining on the base.

Here they are, the threatened company of pontooniers (Minden laborers and a couple of Austrian artillerymen) with bridge timbers and a few tools glued into their hands and all ready for the usual white basecoat.  They turned out so well, that I might just add another company of twelve pontooniers with scratch-built oars and punting poles glued into their hands.  Blame Der Alte Fritz and C.S. Grant!

Finally, here is a close-up of the developing vivandiere vignette made of from a variety of figures and extra bits by Suren (Willie), Eureka, and another firm whose name escapes me …

Presenting the Next Batch of Wagons. . .

 Here is the cargo wagon with payload in place.  I toyed with the idea of  leaving the load of cargo loose but cemented it in place permanently in the end.  The fewer pieces of stuff to lose, the better if you ask me.
Ok.  Here  is the latest batch of finished wagons plus the cargo for the tw0-wheeled horse cart finished in early July.  Not super detailed, as usual, but painted to a reasonably neat standard that looks good at arm's length.  It occurred to me that afternoon, that I need a company of pontooniers to go with the pontoon train.  Luckily, I've got two or three packs of Minden laborers in the leadpile, so I might just take a painting detour with those before moving on to the final batch of five wagons, carts, horses and another lone ox.  I'll see how the mood strikes me though.  Onwards and upwards!  

-- Stokes


Next, we have the two-wheeled horse cart, finished in July, but with the addition of its cargo.

Then, it's on to the mobile field forge with its two team…

Pontoons and Cargo in Progress. . .

 Once the wagons have been given two coats of acrylic gloss, it's time to do the pontoons.  Here they are in the midst of receiving two coats of my usual white acrylic gesso. . .  on both sides.
Things have been busy the last week or so around here at Stollen Central.  The start of another academic year has encroached upon my relatively carefree summer days of the last few months with the annual fall course syllabus revisions and the not required but strongly suggested (and mind-numbing) day-length professional development talks and workshops.  I've concluded that many PhD's love the sound of their own voices.  Hours of pontification and holding forth  without ever actually saying anything.  No wonder so many people (at least here in the U.S.) are suspicious of intellectuals and relegate them to the sidelines of public life.

Still, I've managed to find a little time here and there to continue work on the middle batch of six wagons as part of the in-progress supply and po…

Coming Soon. . .

The next five finished wagons and horse teams along with terrained bases, plus a couple of small surprises.

-- Stokes

Just a strapping lad. . .

The various straps, harnesses, collars, bridles, and reins have their wash of dark brown.
Whew!  Well, I juts finished all of the straps, harnesses, etc. a short while ago on the horses for the second batch of wagons.  

This must surely be one of the most tedious processes involved with painting any sort of horses for a pre-20th century tabletop army, cavalry or transport animals, but it's done.  I actually used a rather large, new #4 round brush wih synthetic bristles and a good point to do all of this and did not make too many mistakes that needed cleaning up.  Luckily.  

But now, it's on to the white markings on the equine muzzles legs, and ankles before continuing to the small metal bits and pieces.  Oh, and that stack of pontoons lurking in the back needs doing, but they should be fairly straightforward.  Then, comes the varnishing stage and finally the groundwork on the bases.  

And then finally -- ha, ha, ha -- the last batch of five transport vehicles: three wagons and two…

Occasionally, words are unnecessary. . .