06 September 2015

You can almost hear a pin drop. . .

The next nineteen RSM95 Prussians midway through the white basecoat of acrylic gesso.  I like to apply two coats of the stuff before starting actual painting.

Very quiet around the temporary Stollen Central the last few weeks what with all of the required new employee seminars, professional development workshops, online training, and so forth before the start of the fall academic term last week and now course preparation four afternoons/evenings a week.  Factor in visiting various houses that look interesting to us with our real estate lady and/or attending various open houses at homes currently on the market along with the Young Master, who is having some trouble adjusting to a new school and life here and is requiring some extra time and attention, and, well, there has not been much time at all for soldiering in any sense.  Nevertheless, I did manage to sit down two weekends ago and apply the first of two coats of white acrylic gesso to the next batch of RSM95 Prussian musketeers.  

Roughly half of the 80-figure composite regiment of infantry finished during the late winter-early spring of 2015 in the old Zum Stollenkeller.  A company of Kurmainz grenadiers is at left with a company of Sachs-Weimar musketeers on the right.  Most of the painting was completed with my usual oil, or alkyd oil washes/stains but some of the details were picked out with Citadel acrylics before the two coats of acrylic gloss medium were applied.  I'll tack everything down to permanent bases once all 80 are completed with a supernumerary third rank of musicans and NCOs.  Playing a bit with Perter Gilder's suggested basing from In the Grand Manner, don't you know.


Those with long memories might recall that I began painting a large (eventually) 80-figure regiment of these figures sometime last winter.  With the exception of the white coated and green faced Kurmainz grenadier company, the unit is meant to represent a composite unit of Ernestinisch Saxon infantry.  In a nutshell, one company was painted in blue faced red coats to represent Sachs-Weimar troops last winter, those above are slated to become Sachs-Coburg infantry in white coats faced red, and the final batch of 19 will be painted, once again, in blue coats with with yellow facings as representatives of Sachs-Hildburghausen.  Dig around on the Kronoskaf Project Seven Years War website, in the Reichsarmee section I believe, and you can learn even more details about the actual units that wore these uniforms.  

I'll finish off the unit with a couple of Minden Austrian standard bearers, who are just off camera above, but they need their hands drilled out, brass rod cemented into place to serve as flagpoles, plus Front Rank finials and flags before any true painting can take place.  Naturally, I cannot find the darn box containing my pin vice, tiny drill bits, or the brass rod and finials.  It could be anywhere in my closet or the garage.  Grrrrrr. . .

In any case, for my last ever infantry unit of 80 figures (only 60-figure units from here on), it seemed like a good idea to break up the monotony by painting a unit that features several different uniforms.  And indeed, it certainly helped combat the nefarious and persistent 'Tedium Demon' last winter with the first two batches of 19 figures each  reaching completion in very short order.  Then, of course, we were offered our respective new positions in Michigan, which brought everything else to a screeching halt as we began preparing for a major move and the sale of our home in Illinois along with the time in Berlin, which had alrready been organized and paid for by the time job offers came through from MSU.  

Our German trip had its fun days and moments, parenthetically, but I would never recommend  trying to cram a move AND time abroad into the same three-month period like we did this summer.  We ought to have our heads examined, and I said as much to the Grand Duchess last spring, but she was adamant.  Sigh.  Hindsight is always 20/20, and I, for one, wouldn't do it that way again and would stick to my guns more stubbornly.  We should have stayed put after the move north and kept life on a calmer footing during July and August. A chaotic existence is not fun when you slow down long enough to look at it without rose colored-glasses.

But back to soldiers.  This is where things are at the moment.  If I am permitted an hour or two to myself today (Sunday), I might be able to slap a second coat of gesso on the 19 figures shown above and then begin painting with my usual thinned down alkyd oil fleshtone in the next few days as we settle into the first full week of classes on campus.  With any luck at all, I'll have a little more to show in the next post.

-- Stokes

3 comments:

Robbie Rodiss said...

Stokes,
You must be one of the few wargamers that uses a gesso style of painting. The effect is really beautiful and with the two coats of gloss varnish it gives your figures a porcelain effect. I dont know if you were ever aiming for that, but it does make them very pretty.
By the way, in my experience its always best to never say, your partner was ever wrong, even when it is obvious they were.One is it keeps the peace, and secondly it drives them nuts.
Great stuff, Robbie.

REDTROOP said...

Those drills can be slippery little fellows. Searched high and low for mine. Finally gave in and bought a new fancy one with a wooden handle and the next day my old one turns up.
I hate moving at the best of times, but with an overseas trip thrown in I'm surprised you didn't go mad.
Cheers.
Neil.

Paul Robinson said...

Stokes,
Your figures are perfect as always. You achieve a style and format that is very pleasing to the eye.
as for moving and going abroad - everything is different in hindsight. The only issue would be if you had stayed at home would you have regretted missing anything you did abroad? if the answer to that is yes then you did the right thing by doing both.

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