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 middle distance, astride the rather fat paintbrush, is another such driver, this time in a round hat, who has already received his base coat pf white acrylic gesso. After he is painted, he'll be attached to the front left horse of the brown lumber wagon to his right.
But I've saved the best for last. The Maurice de Saxe wicker carriage vignette, which was given to me by the Young Master, is destined to become the conveyance for my own fictitious quartermaster, who is, perpetually, not feeling well. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present General Joachim von Bauchschmerzen (German for tummy ache), who could not be present here today due to, you guessed it. . . a bad stomach. Nothing that some Milk of Magnesia and a hot water bottle won't soon put right though.
It's funny how things work. When I ordered all of these extra wagons and carts after last Christmas, when the Grand Duchess and Young Master started things off by presenting me with a few of the then recently released Fife&Drum pontoon wagons and teams, I naturally thought that would do it. Then, later in the spring, I decided one more pontoon wagon and a few extra pontoons were necessary.
Then, in the summer, the forthcoming Maurice de Saxe vignette came onto my radar screen, followed a short while later by a hay wagon and an ammo cart from Westfalia Miniatures, which simply look too good to resist. If those are not beneath the Christmas tree this year, I'll order them in early 2015 and paint 'em up in fairly short order. Then, no more wagons or carts. Honest. But at some point in the future, I hope to add limbers and four-horse teams plus riders for my 10-12 cannon. Building a collection of model soldiers, even a fairly small one, is indeed a slippery slope. Something I'm certain many of you visitors to the Grand Duchy of Stollen know already.
Anyway, be sure to stop back in a few day's time to see the finished final six wagons and carts, and then next weekend, I'll have to try my hand at a few panoramic photographs of the entire supply and pontoon train. That should be an interesting exercise in miniature photography.
Ol' Von Bauchschmerzen, by the way, is at present thought to be making his way circuitously from the family estate somewhere in Bavaria northeast to The Grand Duchy of Stollen via Nürnberg, Dresden, Berlin, Stettin, and finally Königsberg before crossing the Stollenian frontier a few days later. He is not due to assume command of the train until sometime in December.
And, for good measure, an Orson Wells high angle shot of same. For what it's worth, the Grand Duchess ventured down here to Zum Stollenkeller mid-afternoon today and noted that she liked the red wagon and caisson, which she feels are a nice change from various shades of gray and brown .
Finally, here are a few more of the recently received Minden civilian laborers who have just had their bases pared down, so that they will stand in two extra Fife&Drum pontoons. After a fashion, they will have punting poles added to their hands and become part of the 26-strong (two companies) Corps of Pontoniers. In the distance, you can see their fellow pontoniers, already holding bridging timbers at the ready.