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Showing posts from November, 2014

Lightbox Photos of the Last Six Carts, Wagons, and Teams. . .

 No doubt, the huge casks carried by this wagon contain some sort of cheap rot-gut, which the soldiers of Stollen and Zichenau will nevertheless enjoy during the approaching Christmas Festival.

The first of two wagons that carry loads of lumber used  by the pontoon train.

This French Napoleonic caisson was generously donated by our very own Master Conrad Kinch late last summer.  Thank you again, Conrad!  It fits in well with everything else.  I didn't bother staining the sand with my usual wash of acrylic Raw Umber, and you don't really notice much of a difference, so I might just dispense with that particular step in future where command bases, vignettes, or future wagon/cart additions are concerned.

This horse cart carries a payload of items cobbled together from various bits and pieces -- two large barrels of coal, two small casks, three different chests, and a large sack of flour -- added during the last ten days or so, once painting, glossing, and basing were completed.

Yo…

Lightbox Photographs of the Sutleress Vignette. . .

A better photograph of the various and sundry supplies stacked behind the sutleress tent.  Bundles, barrels, and bales of stuff along with a hammered tin lantern on top of the pile.
Here are two final photographs of the sutleress vignette, taken in the 'ol foamcore board lightbox a short while ago, this time against my preferred neutral light blue background.  The figures are, as mentioned many times already, from the various sub-ranges of 30mm Suren (Willie) figures.  The supplies and provisions come from several different manufacturers, including Minden Miniatures, Eureka, and (I think) Foundry.  The table and tent were scratch-built with white card for the former, copier paper for the latter, and bits of toothpicks.

Except for the alkyd oil fleshtone, everything was painted with acrylic washes over a base of white acrylic gesso.  Two coats of acrylic gloss varnish were then applied to everything in the vignette as and when it was finished.  Last of all, the base was finally treat…

Presenting the Finished Sutleress Vignette. . .

Submitted for your approval, the now finished Suren sutleress vignette.
Here it is.  A wee bit too grassy (I wish a bit more sand showed through the grass scatter material), but let's just say these enterprising ladies have chosen a sunny, grassy area some distance from the main road to set up shop in sight of any troops marching by. 

I won't be doing anymore non-combatant scenes for a while, but the next such tableaux on the long-term mental list will be either a group of soliders' wives (Suren/Willie figures) doing the laundry around a big, boiling cauldron. . .   or a Lutheran pastor (Black Hussar Miniatures) attempting to save a group of  fallen women (more Suren/Willie figures) overseen by their madam, who I have christened the Naughty Lola. 

Relax, guys!  No nudie figures to see here, just more of these delightfully weird and characterful female figures culled from the various 30mm Suren/Willie ranges currently in production.  All I can say is that the late Ted Suren cl…

Now, it's time for the ground cover. . .

The three Suren ladies offer a range of foodstuffs and drink to weary lead and plastic soldiers in 25-30mm, including bread, rolls, cheese, a leg of something, spirits, and various additional supplies in crates and bundles around back.
Everything now has had two coats of glossy acrylic varnish, and the three sutleresses have been glued into place on the vignette base .  Just the usual sand and Woodland Scenics groundcover to add now.  If the modelling gods smile on me this evening, I jut might have an hour or so to take care of that.  If not, then it's first thing on the agenda for tomorrow (Saturday).

Since this vignette is intended to be handled on the tabletop, durability was a consideration.  I have, therefore, resisted the urge to use heavy black thread to model the tent ropes tied to pegs in the ground on a larger base.  The more pedantic among you will just have to use your imaginations.  Hmmm.  I just can't seem to escape that word.  But then, we are operating within a s…

Freshly Glossed!

The three ladies in question are now all dry, have been given two coats of shiny acrylic varnish, and detached from their temporary bases.  They are now awaiting completion of their lemonade stand, which is currently in-progress.
So far, so good.  Managed to gloss the three Suren sutleresses yesterday and even work a bit here and there on their tent and provisions for sale in between various cooking and table setting activities for the American Thanksgiving holiday.  Thank you for the kind holiday wishes everyone, but the way.  

If all goes well, I should be able to wrap up the tent and wares today, apply the usual gloss, and maybe even do the usual minimal groundwork that I add to my vignette and vehicle bases to help set the scene.  I've also ordered a small early Christmas gift to myself from Minden Miniatures.  Just a handful of figures really, you know, to help complete a few other ongoing or planned vignettes.  But enough prattle!  Time to repair to the painting table.

-- Stoke…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving greetings to Americans at home and abroad.  While the state of the world at the moment is woeful, I nevertheless maintain that there is still a great deal in life for which to be thankful.

-- Stokes

A Sutleress Update. . .

Barring a few small touch-ups tomorrow plus the usual two coats of glossy acrylic varnish, I'd say these ladies are about finished.
It's funny how fast you can move, artistically speaking, when the painting muse comes to you.  Or any muse for that matter.  Nevertheless, I've flown this evening after supper and the Young Master's bedtime, and the three Suren suttleresses are nearing completion.  If all goes well, I ought to be able to start on their tent and provisions for sale on Friday after Thanksgiving.  The finished vignette should be really something I think.  And now, gentlemen and ladies, I bid you good night.

-- Stokes

Suren Suttleresses in Progress. . .

The three ladies in question, currently under the brush.
All of the various bits and pieces of my pontoon and supply train have been finished except for the remaining groundwork for that red caisson and it's four-horse team. Watch for some Kodak moments here in the coming days. 

Otherwise I'm taking a small diversion during the long Thanksgiving Weekend and painting up a few of those Willie (Suren) female figures ordered last spring, along with a small supply and provisions tent and table -- plus various bits of sustenance and a few trunks, crates, and barrels -- before moving onto the Minden pontooniers in the background and then that 80-figure composite regiment of RSM95 infantry, which will be painted up as a unit of Ernestine Sachsen infantry and a conjectured battle flag.

Anyway, I am basing the colors of the attire worn by the three suttleresses above on the following painting of Frederick II exchanging some sore of interaction with, presumably, Prussian peasants.

So far, so…

Just the Clear Acrylic Varnish Left. . .

Here's where things stand with the last few items for the supply and pontoon train.
Snatching bits and pieces of available time yesterday and today to get those RSM95 and Minden pieces finished and varnished.  I worked through the painting process a bit ***backwards this time around just to shake things up, so the alkyd oil fleshtone on the faces needs to dry before I can apply two coats of glossy acrylic varnish and then attach the five drivers, currently astride a paintbrush and a pencil, to their previously completed teams and do the groundwork for the caisson and four-horse team in the background.  

Except for the oil-based fleshtone, all of the figures and horses shown above have been painted with acrylic stains and washes over a base of my usual white acrylic gesso (two coats) this time around rather than the usual treatment of oils thinned with Liquin Original and acrylics for some limited detailing.   I used Liquitex Flow Aid to thin the various Citadel and old, old, old bot…

The Last Few Bits and Pieces. . .

The final few bits and pieces of the wagon train, barring the previously mentioned Colonel von Bauchschmerzen, his coach, horses, and uhlan escort.  Von Bauchschmerzen, due to be painted next month, has in the meantime stopped off for several days in Karlsbad, to take the springs, before continuing on toward Dresden.  Once there, he is to pick up a large order of porcelain tableware ordered by his wife, Frau von Bauchschmerzen.  
Call it an exercise in speed painting this weekend.  I've got a bit of a lull for a few days before I am inundated with various student papers and/or drafts thereof, which will occupy considerable time from now until the end of the term in about three weeks.  So, I've decided to see how far along I can get with the four-horse team and the various drivers pictured above by Sunday evening.  

Cross your fingers and toes though.  The Grand Duchess has a day-long regional conference here in town all day today, so it's just the boys here at home.  I'v…

Throwback Thursday. . . um, Friday. . .

The young, long-haired Stokes, referred to occasionally here.  I was about 17 (Thank you Janis Ian), and I think the photograph dates from April or May of 1984. Not sure which one of us looks more wilted here, the potted plant, or yours truly.  In any case, there are not many photos from those heady days of the 1980s that have been digitized, but here is some evidence that might be used against me in a court of law.  

The curl is natural, assisted only by a few spritzes of Vidal Sasson hairspray (what was I thinking?), although it looks from this photo like the poodle-like souffle of hair on the crown of my head had fallen, or been mashed, by this point in the day.  Look closely, and you'll also spot a RUSH concert t-shirt.  The Canadian band was a favorite of my drummer buddy Donny (we still talk on the phone once in a while), a year ahead of me, and I admired the playing of that band's bass and keyboard player Geddy Lee a great deal at the time.  

This was also the time, more o…

Five Down and One to Go. . .

Here's where things stand as of late Wednesday afternoon.
Hmmm.  I need to be careful.  Otherwise, I might actually tick a few things off the long-term painting "To Do" list.  As usual with the ground work, I've tried to suggest minor roads, tracks really, somewhere in region of historic Courland where the Grand Duchy of Stollen is supposed to be located.  

As usual, the bases were treated with sand that the long-haired, much younger me collected from my maternal grandmother's creekbed in the summer of 1984, which was then stained with a thin wash of Raw Umber acrylic paint and a flow aid.  Then came the Woodland Scenics ground foam rubber, tacked down with acrylic matt medium, along with a few judicious clumps of foliage material held in place by careful drops of Gorilla Superglue.  Funny how terraining the bases, even a tiny bit, really pulls everything together and helps the figures and equipment to look well and truly finished.  Seems to bring everything to lif…

Armistice Day. . .

American doughboys "over there" in 1918.
On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. . .

-- Stokes

We're almost home!

Here's a photograph of the final six wagons and carts, teams, drivers, and ox just after receiving their second coat of acrylic gloss varnish earlier this afternoon.
Contrary to any rumors you might hear, I have not been abducted by space aliens.  I have, however, been so bold as to take some time for myself the last few days since my 4-th, er, um, uh. . .  29th birthday and get back to the painting table.  Time to wrap up those last few wagons and carts that are part of what is becoming a rather formidable supply and pontoon train.  So, that means glossing before a few tiny metallic bits are touched up and then the usual ground cover can be added.

You'll also notice that I've replaced the horses that came with the red caisson last summer, courtesy of one Mr. Kinch, with the new ones from Minden along with a civilian rider, part of the small but respectable bunch of Minden Miniatures given to me as a birthday gift last week by the Grand Duchess and Young Master.  In the mid…

Ah, another 29th birthday. . .

A rather idealized portrait of the Duke of Cumberland.
Today is again my "29th" birthday -- funny how quickly these seem to come around -- and, in celebration, I've ordered myself three new Richard Ansell sculpts, sold by Crann Tara Miniatures in the United Kingdom.  With any luck, the Duke of Cumberland, Lord Albemarle, and Henry Hawley, plus their steeds, should wing their way to my doorstep before too many days elapse.  Once here, they'll form another wonderful little staff vignette, which I'll paint up during the long Christmas Break.  I'm looking forward to it.  Can you tell?  The remaining six wagons and carts are just about done by the way, and afterwards, there is a rather large regiment of RSM95 infantry in the painting queue.  Sigh.  No rest for the wicked!

-- Stokes


Later. . . 

Thank you for your kind birthday wishes, everyone!  It has been a low-key, but nonetheless joyous birthday celebration.  In silent observance of the occasion, I even wore a rece…