Long-time visitors might recall that the idea for the Grand Duchy of Stollen was hatched right about this time way back in early December of 2005. The Grand Duchess was baking an early stollen to share with her German students one Saturday afternoon while I doodled away across the hallway of our old apartment in my old office, aka The Purple Room. At that point, I was giving free reign to my imagination, cooking up plans for fictitious mid-18th century combatants in much the same spirit as the late Brigadier Peter Young and Charles Grant Sr. When suddenly, it hit me. . . One of my two perpetually warring countries would be called The Grand Duchy of. . . Stollen!
Over the next few months, the idea took firmer shape as I threw myself headlong into the 18th century, reading more about the actual War of Austrian Succession and Seven Years War, their personalities, campaigns, the armies involved, and their delightful uniforms. Here we are nine years, and several hundred 25-30mm figures later. If only free time weren't so rare and precious though. It seems like I either have time only for painting, or very occasional gaming, or writing about some feature of it, but rarely all three at the same time. Much like real life, finding the right balance seems to be a challenge. I don't know how greats like Donald Featherstone seemed to manage it. But, ah well. I'm enjoying myself at any rate, and that's the main thing.
And now, if you'll pardon me. It's back upstairs to the kitchen for another slice of stollen and a refill of coffee.