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Showing posts from June, 2015

A Few More Doctored Photographs for Your Perusal. . .

A general view of the 2013 refight of Elbow River from early in the game.

Arguing Austrian/Zichenauer engineers during the same tabletop encounter.  I painted a few different version of the uniform worn by Austrian engineers here -- there was, apparently, a change in uniform regulations between the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War according to my Osprey volume on the subject -- to add some visual interest.

Gawking local gentry along the edge of the battlefield.  The figures come from various manufactures here, including Eureka, Blue Moon, and Minden plus those oblivious frolicking Jacdaw aristocrats in the background.

Minden Austrians painted as Saxon staff.  These would be really nice, but I loaded too much Woodland Scenics fine grass scatter material onto the bases, darn it.  The trick, as I once read in a book I've got on model railway and diorama scenery, is to let some of the ground material below (in this case stained fine sand) show through.  The suggestion…

A Few Figures from Fife & Drum. . .

"General Washington I presume?"  A Fife&Drum staff group.  The figures were painted mostly with oils over a base of white acrylic gesso in late 2013.  A few small details were picked out with Citadel hobby acrylics.
Up too early for a Sunday morning thanks to bright sunlight streaming into the bedroom. So, what better way to wake up than to kill a few hours than with a mug of coffee and some classical music via ABC Classics FM from Australia via the internet?  Exactly.

Fooled around with Photoshop Elements late yesterday afternoon and during the early evening after the Young Master's bedtime, brightening and cropping a number of old photos from the last few years.  Here are a couple of pictures that feature figures from the Fife&Drum line.  The American War of Independence isn't really my thing (not enough cavalry generally), although the Battle of Guilford Courthouse is interesting, but it's hard to resist purchasing and painting a few of these figures for…

General de Latte. . .

"Who cares about the tortuous Stollenian artillery bombardment of our center!  It's time for some coffee and a pastry or a cookie."  De Latte and di Biscotti confer during my 2013 refight of David Barnes' Battle of the Elbow River.
Here's photograph especially for Tony.  It's General Phillipe de Latte (at left) and his lickspittle of an ADC Major Paolo di Biscotti (at right).  Once we are in a house again, and a new Zum Stollenkeller has been set up, these RSM95 figures will be replaced by a couple of Minden castings that currently reside in one of the packing cases lining the rear wall of my bedroom closet.

-- Stokes

De Latte's Positions. . .

General Phillipe de Latte's lines take shape early during the 2012 refight of Sittangbad that took place in the former Zum Stollenkeller. 
Here are a few cropped and brightened photographs that shows General de Latte's front lines and my own fairly early during the partial refight of Sittangbad, aka Neu Sittangbad, in early 2012.  I took the part of Stollen's General von Tschatschke, of course, and the part of Zichenau's evil, conniving, and tactically more astute General de Latte was played by the mysterious Mr. Horne in Australia (the man behind the Duchy of Alzheim, one of my painting, collecting, and blogging inspirations).  


De Latte's army outside Neu Sittangbad bears down on isolated Stollenian jaegers in village.

The figures pictured above include a slew of RSM95s plus some Revell Plastics, metal Spencer Smiths, a few by Garrison, plus a MiniFig or three, and a regiment of blue-coated infantry figures that were a shot-lived brand known as Huzzah! Miniature…

'Action!' Refight Mid-August 2008. . .

The opening positions in my refight of Charles Grant's 'Action!' in mid-August 2008.  The Army of Zichenau, commanded by the ill-tempered General Phillipe de Latte, is in the foreground while the Army of Stollen, commanded by General von Drosselmaier (or perhaps General von Tschtschke?), is just visible in the distance to the east of Pelznikkel Village.
Here come a couple of golden oldie photographs that have been given a little editing help in Photoshop Elements.  This was the inaugural action fought on my then just completed wargaming table in mid-August 2008, using the figures I had on hand at that time.  Enjoy!
-- Stokes
A closer in shot of the initial Zichenauer positions just to the west of Pelznikkel VIllage.

Stollenian Command Vignettes. . .

A bunch of figures completed during 2006-2010 and given the vignette treatment during Spring 2013.  Mostly RSM95 figures with a couple of vintage plastic Spencer Smith figures and three by Miniature Figurines.
Thought some of you might enjoy revisiting a few old favorites, who have been brightened up and better defined with Photoshop Elements.  This photograph was taken before I began using a lightbox for my photography, so the illumination isn't the greatest.  Still, they don't look all that bad after a few minor digital adjustments.

-- Stokes

Report from Michigan. . .

The third and fourth companies of that monster 80-figure regiment I began last winter.  Mostly RSM95 figures with a couple of Minden Austrian standard bearers at right.  Now, if I could just find my paintbrushes and the rest of my (acrylic hobby) paints.
A bright, cool and breezy morning outside today after heavy rains yesterday afternoon and late last night.  Feels like Northern Europe if I you'll allow me to be so bold.  Good thing too as the trip to Berlin is fast approaching.  I've already got Deutschlandradio Kultur on the computer to begin brushing up on my German.  I can understand (in speech and reading) quite a lot actually thanks to years of studying other languages in the same family plus three semesters of German for Reading knowledge.  I always laugh and say Norwegian is like Low German but with easier grammar and a sing-song accent, but my speaking vocabulary in Standard German is still kind of limited.  Ah, well.  Nothing that seven weeks won't help a bit.  &…

A Few Old Photographs. . .

Three squadrons of the Anspach-Bayreuth Curassiers.  The figures are RSM95.

 The Action at Zollamtstadt Bridge, fought in late December 2007.

The commander of Stollen's cavalry arm, Count Pavel Petrovich von Butinski, who always has a piece of unsolicited advice whether those around him want it, or not.

 A close-up of two Holger Eriksson figures, painted as, more or less, Von Trumbach Dragoons.

The surrender of the odious General de Latte (in dark blue at left) to Stollen's rather flamboyant General von Tschatschke (wearing pink) at the conclusion of the epic Battle of Theodorstal Valley, fought in August 2010.

A nicely done map of my campaign area, done for me by Tyler Provich in late 2006.  The green 'Disputed Territory' is the long contested Duchy of Schleiz, an area rich in game, timber, and other natural resources.

Three squadrons of the von Trumbach Dragoons.  The figures are from Holger Eriksson, purchased while we were in Berlin during the summer of 2009 (before th…

Back in the Saddle and a Few Questions. . .

A Fife&Drum Hessian general on horseback with a Minden Prussian hussar officer on foot.  I painted this particular vignette a couple of three years ago during an especially productive stretch of painting.
Back in action, more or less, here on the northern edge of East Lansing , Michigan today, a bright, sunny, breezy day of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  The Grand Duchess and Young Master have just arrived back from half an hour or so at the swimming pool for a break from our slow progress through unpacking some of our stuff, repacking what we don't need right now, and deciding which boxes simply to leave sealed up until we move from here into a house once our former home in Bloomington, Illinois sells, and we have the funds necessary for serious house shopping and a down payment.  

The apartment community -- apparently the word "complex" is no longer in vogue -- is right along the edge of East Lansing and rural Bath Township, so it is very quiet here.  Just other young…

Waterloo Day 2015!!!

'Scotland Forever' -- the charge of the Royal North British Dragoons -- by Lady Elizabeth Butler.
In the midst of unpacking and setting up our temporary digs here in our new city of East Lansing, Michigan this morning.  The model soldiers seem to have come through the move pretty well.  However, I could hardly let the day go by without some small commemoration to the thousands of officers and men in those three armies who marched, fought, and (in many cases) fell on this day two centuries ago.

-- Stokes

Better Pioneer Photos. . .

A company of pioneers on the way to some kind of digging task just off camera.
Wrapping things up here this morning and early afternoon with two additional Minden pioneer photographs before switching off the beholder that is my desktop PC and boxing up the last few things here in Zum Stollenkeller for the load-up tomorrow morning and trip to East Lansing.  These photos, and a few others, were taken, as usual, in my makeshift foamcore lightbox -- the next one, Lightbox Mk II, will be even better --  before I took it apart and stowed my lamps in one box or another.   I'll be offline for the next several days, but enjoy perusing these two pictures of the recently finished two-company unit of generic pioneers who will one day serve in either the Army of Stollen, or the Army of Zichenau, as and when needed.

-- Stokes

Another company of pioneers about to fortify a defensive position.  The gabions were a suggestion from Jim 'Der Alte Fritz' Perky (the man behind Minden and Fife &…

Two Companies of Minden Pioneers Finished!

The freshly glossed (two coats) Minden Pioneers and equipment.  The photograph is a bit bright, but since much of my usual lighting is packed away now, I overcompensated in Photoshop, so everything would show up without difficulty.
Whew!  Saturday has never felt so good.  We have had a packing crew here for two long days this Thursday and Friday.  The load-up and departure of our belongings is Monday, and we head for Michigan Tuesday midday after the cleaning ladies have finished giving everything the once-over.  In the meantime, I have managed to finish the current and final painting project for a while.  With any luck, I'll have time for some better lightbox photos tomorrow, and then I get to pack the last remaining bits into  couple of book boxes filled with styrofoam peanuts.  

While these latest figures are definitely not perfect, I'm calling 'em done.  If you squint your eyes a bit, and remove your glasses if you wear them, they don't look half bad.  In any case, t…

A Minden Pioneer Update. . .

Almost finished and ready for a coat or two of gloss.  Just in time to get pack up in styrofoam peanuts for the move.
Things have been deathly quiet here at The Grand Duchy of Stollen blog lately what with the coming move and all of the hundreds of little things to do before the packers arrive bright and early on Thursday morning to pack up the household in advance of the moving van arrival Monday next.  Zum Stollenkeller has been packed up -- I did not want to leave that for someone else -- save for the painting table, and it isn't really my space anymore, which is kind of sad.  I've loved this quirky old house and will miss it terribly.  

We have a pleasant temporary three-bedroom apartment lined up in a quiet area on the edge of our new city, but going from a spacious craftsman-style house, built in 1925, with loads of character, into a much smaller generic apartment does not sit well with me, and I must admit to having serious misgivings about it.  Until the current house is…