An atypical seasonal image: Ol' Fritz speaking to his officers before the Battle of Leuthen began in earnest on 5 December 1757.
When Mom is away. . . The Grand Duchess has taken a bunch of her students to the annual Kristkindlmarkt in Chicago today, so it's just the boys around the house on a dark, windy December Saturday. After breakfast, I thought the Young Master and I might take a walk downtown to one of the cafes there for some hot chocolate and a cookie of some kind for the boy plus the usual observations and conversation about whatever happens to catch our eyes along the way. Then it's back here to Stollen Central for whatever Saturday activity the Young Master might imagine for himself. Ol' Dad will, at some point, retire down here to Zum Stolenkeller for some painting time -- basecoating 24+ Minden pontooniers with my usual white acrylic gesso -- and final assembly of the Minden/Westfalia Maurice de Saxe carriage vignette.
The next several items in the painting queue here at Stollen Central.
Before signing off for today, allow me to provide a few more details about the middle photograph above. Along the back row, the new General Phillipe de Latte at far left, currently awaiting the arrival of his ADC Major Paolo di Biscotti, who should be with us any day now. Skipping over the partially painted and head-swapped RSM95 Prussian hussar officer, a recently acquired group of Crann Tara British staff (the Duke of Cumberland, the Earl of Albemarle, and Lt. General Hawley), who in my semi-fictitious Europe of the mid- to late 18th century will become Lord Huffington-Blather and his officers, all three on loan from the Army of Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg (also known as Hanover), who oversee the pontoniers to their left and before them in the mid-distance.
And last of all, a decidedly less martial and more characteristic seasonal image: December 6th is Sankt Nikolaustag in the German-speaking world and, no doubt, in some other cultures as well. Sometime in the night of December 5-6, Sankt Nikolaus visits homes and leaves small treats in the shoes of boys and girls. Sankt Nikolaus visits our household each year and leaves a number of small goodies in a pair of the Young Master's shoes. . . and yes, in Mom's and Dad's too.
Finally, in the foreground, we have the exquisite Minden-Westfalia collaborative vignette, featuring Maurice de Saxe (aka General Alfons von Bauchschmerzen) and his whicker carriage, which needs only its traces attached before base-coating and painting can commence. Von Bauchschmerzen, besides suffering from perpetual tummy problems, is the officer in charge of Stollen's recently completed supply and pontoon train. Can't wait to begin painting ol' von Bauchschmerzen and his coach as well as his uhlan escort(s)!