Well, Sir, we finally made it through our front door just after 9pm last night (Saturday) after something like 24 hours awake and in transit. I immediately put the Young Master and his teddy bear "Bear" to bed while the Grand Duchess made me some fresh coffee, and then I quickly unloaded our suitcases from the car. Ahhhhhh. . . Travel is fun, but getting there and back is always an ordeal given the indignities of modern airports, jetliners, and related activities. The Grand Duchess and I sat and chatted for a few minutes, and then hit the hay. I'd bet we were both asleep before our heads hit the pillow. I finally woke at about 7am this morning, so I am more or less back on a regular sleep-wake schedule it seems.
"Wonderful, Stokes, old man," you might say, "Fascinating. But what about your residence in Berlin?" An interesting time to say the least, and I was sorry to leave the city Saturday morning. However, there is every reason to believe that we will be back in two years for the Grand Duchess to teach another summer course or two at The Free University, so it's not all gloom and doom.
On the military history and toy soldier front, we visited the grounds of Sans Souci in Potsdam on a cool, breezy Saturday early during our stay for the Young Master to run around and enjoy a day outside. I also managed to visit the Berliner Zinnfiguren store not once but twice for a couple of good browses. No, I did not purchase anything. Strange, I know, but I have so many books in my collection at this point that I need to be very discerning about adding new things. If something does not strike me as a "Wow!" I put it back on the shelf.
"What's wrong with you, man??!! Didn't you purchase any figures either?" I hear you ask collectively. No, I didn't. Not at Berliner Zinnfiguren. But hear me out. While that particular store has loads of figures in various sizes, most of these are of the flat 30mm variety, which are great. . . in the hands of more skilled painters than myself. And as far as 30mm guns and equipment, which BZ does sell, well, that sort of thing is now provided by Fife&Drum-Minden, and those are so incredibly nice that I saw little need to purchase anything from the Berliner Zinnfiguren folks this time around.
However, I did order a few recently released items from the folks at Black Hussar Miniatures, based, coincidentally, in Berlin-Charlottenburg, and I have included a few photographs here (pirated from the Black Hussar Miniatures blog) for your perusal.
The hay wagon (heuwagen auf deutsch) has a wonderfully ramshackled look about it, and I thought it would fit in very well with that large supply and pontoon train I cobbled together and painted up during 2014. Of course, that meant that I needed a drover to lead the horse, hence the trainknecht. Last , but not least, there is the set of four civilians, who seemed like they might be just the thing for populating a small village or an old tavern on the tabletop once we are again in more permanent housing, and I am able to set up a new and improved Stollenkeller.
So I did come home with a few figures in my bag. I also picked up a couple of other small goodies while we were away, of which more anon. . .