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Showing posts from July, 2016

Reconnoitering. . .

A (30mm Holger Eriksson) lone mounted officer reconnoiters the three tiny villages on the western end of the field where, clearly, very large pigeons are a problem (I think that might be spider yuck from the old Stollenkeller).  Here he is on the village green in Doltz where all is quiet on a Sunday morning.

Have the villagers cleared off here too?  No one is lurking inSchtügesdorf where there does not seem to be a cafe either.

And of course only the cows seem to be at home in Bumpfkinzort.  Our lone mounted officer heads back to camp with a massive headache brought on by a caffeine dependency of longstanding.

Reports have come in this morning, from farmers in the area, that a lone mounted officer, of indeterminate army, has been  observed in the villages of Doltz, Schtügesdorf, and Bumpkinzort.  Presumably, he seeks a good cafe for espresso, the Sunday paper, and a taste of something sweet before lunch.  Given the pervasive quietude of this cool, damp, gray morning at the end of July, h…

And the first scenario is. . .

Here's the first shot of the battlefield taken from the southeast.  You can just about make out the two gentle ridges (books) and shallow valley between them in the middle of the table.  As C.S. Grant mentions in the instruction for this particular scenario, these terrain features have no appreciable effect on troop movements.

Another shot taken facing to the southwest this time.  You can just make out the torso of the Jolly Green Giant at the top of the picture.

A final view of the battlefield, including my helper The Young Master, who is not only color coordinated with the miniature landscapehere, but he also decided that we needed a windmill and an L-shaped section of wall.  From left to right, the settlements are Doltz, Schtügesdorf, and Bumpfkinzort.  That's Hasenpfefferwald near the other end of the table.  And the Woodland Scenics Ready Grass mats don't look half bad.  I'll probably purchase some 28mm fields from Hotz at some point to disguise where the three mats…

An Act of War. . . Tabletop That Is. . .

The quiet Village of Doltz.

For Immediate Release

Katrina-Bettina von Heffelfinger
Society Editor
Das Krankenstadt Tageblatt
Grand Duchy of Stollen

The Electorate of Zichenau Declares War on the Grand Duchy of Stollen
Rival Armies Converge on Unsuspecting Village of Doltz

Krankenstadt 30 July 1776 -- Reports from Stollenian agentsalong the frontier are beginning to arrive at the offices of Das Krankenstadt Tageblatt indicating that the armies of Stollen and Zichenau, after much aimless blundering for the last two weeks in the countryside of the contested Mark of Schleiz, are taking up their initial positionsjust outside the bucolic Village of Doltz.  Although it might be Schtügesdorf.  Or it could be the small settlement of Bumpfkinzort.  Time will tell.

Long-time readers might recall the The Mark of Schleiz, currently possessed by the Stollenian crown, is a province rich in lumber, wildlife, grain, and lead.  It is sandwiched between The Grand Duchy of Stollen…

Austrian Limber Teams at the Halfway Point. . .

The three (almost) completed teams and limbers are at left, those waiting to be finished at right.

Here is a close-up of the three ready-ish for glossing.
After almost two hours addressing tiny details following supper this evening, the first three of six Austrian limber teams are juuuusssst about finished, ready for two coats of gloss, and some ground cover on the bases.  There are a few tiny things I want to fix tomorrow evening before moving onto the horse collar, straps, and harnesses, bridle, and reins on the fourth team.  Phew!  Painting draft horses is not for the faint of heart.

-- Stokes

How To Base Figures

A Little Saturday Afternoon Painting. . .

Two shots of the latest painting progress.  The riders, horses, and limbers are about done.  Just lots of harnesses and a hint of traces to wash in dark brown now along with girths and stirrup leathers followed by a couple of coats of gloss varnish and then the groundwork.
A couple of pleasant hours painting during the early afternoon today as the Young Master played nearby and occasionally wandered over to see what in the heck ol' Dad was up to.  Only eight days left in July.  Yikes!  I'd better get cracking on these if I hope to make inroads on the six corresponding Prussian limbers, teams, and riders by mid-August.  Just a little over a month from now, and the fall semester starts.  Sigh.

A word on the brass buttons.  I think, after many years attempting buttons, that I've finally worked it out.  Use  fairly small brush with a good point, like a #1 round, and barely touch the drop of paint to the raise areas on each casting.  If you have not indulged in too much caffeine …

A Jaundiced View. . .

Here's where we are with the six Austrian limber teams and riders this afternoon.
Relax!  No controversial posts today, simply a progress report on the current painting.  But I am rather jaundiced in outlook at the moment, following the application of the yellow facing color yesterday evening, a yellow highlight to two of the limbers this morning (while the carpet cleaners were here), and a second thin glaze of alkyd oil fleshtone on the faces, which weren't quite peachy enough for me.  If I get the limbers done this afternoon, I'll address hair, mustaches, and possibly highlight the riding gauntlets with off white this evening.

The limbers have been a two-step process so far.  First of all, I carefully slopped -- Can you ever 'slop' carefully? -- thinned alkyd oil Yellow Ochre all over them a couple of days ago.  I have followed today with carefully touching a small brush, loaded with the brighter yellow acrylic you see at right, thinned just a wee bit, to the raise…

The Armies of Stollen and Zichenau Are Once Again on the March!

Look closely, and you'll find that these are not Prussian soldiers on the march but rather Stollenian.  The drums of war are beating here in Zum Stollenkeller Mk II!
Still plugging away with my six Austrian limbers and teams during the evenings although I took a night off last night and watched a couple of episodes of George Gently via Netflix with the Grand Duchess.  Not quite in the same league as Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse, Lewis, or Endeavor, but good entertainment just the same.  The Durham accents are fun to hear and, in a few instances, a challenge to decipher especially for the Grand Duchess, who often will pause the program to ask me what was just said.  Apparently, I am 'Enry 'Iggins.

In other news, the three 50" x 100" Woodland Scenics Ready Grass Mats have arrived and should do well for the time being.  These will be placed over books, er, um. . .  terrain contours, to provide a more realistic scene with trees, buildings, and eventual water featu…

A Painting Progress Update. . .

Here is where we are with the first six Austrian limbers and teams. . .  complete with thumb in the photo.
A flurry of painting activity over the last several days as and when time has permitted.  The horses have been done in a mix of alkyd oil and acrylic glazes over undercoats of acrylic yellow, red, and various lighter browns.  My usual two coats of acrylic gloss once everything is done will impart a shiny, even finish to everything.  

Lady luck has been kind so far, and there have been only a few mistakes that require the necessary touch-ups given the close proximity of everything on its bases.  I prefer to paint my vignettes and wagons/equipment already glued to their permanent bases.  One of my many idiosyncracies!  Painting in this way is not quite like building ships in bottles -- Anyone still do that? -- but it takes some patience and breath-holding.  

This evening, the limbers will get a coat of yellow ochre alkyd oil, which will later get a yellow highlight when dry.  I'll…

A Wargaming Movie? Really? Really??!!

Car chases, explosions, and shootouts heavy on the special effects.  Is this what it might take to make tabletop wargaming interesting to the non-participants?
I've had a troubling thought going around in my mind for quite some time (for a few years?), but I have avoided voicing the opinion until now.  It is beginning to seem like the proverbial elephant in the room to me however.

My question to you is this.  While we love the various permutations of our hobby, are attempts to televise it or make movies about it really in the hobby's best interest?  I saw elsewhere (Yahoo's Old School Wargaming group, I think) this morning that there are plans afoot to make a movie about the hobby if enough funds can be raised through a kickstarter campaign.  Apparently, several big names, a well-known publication, and companies that produce wargaming hobby related products have already pledged their support. 

Fine.  Assuming enough money is raised for the project, but how on ear…

Here we are again. . .

The Battle of Hasenpfefferwald,13 July 1316. . .

The Young Master taking a moment to strike the pose for ol' Dad.
Having loads of fun with the Young Master here today.  One of the very best battle arrays I have ever seen anywhere.  Ever.

-- Stokes

The Young Master hard at work setting up his troops.  The hills are made from the books YMP enjoyed perusing down here Zum Stollenkeller Mk II a couple of days ago.

One of the Young Master's Safari Ltd knights.

The battlefield is set up.  That's Hasenpfefferwald at the left.  The village of Hasenpfeffer and Hasenpfeffer Schloss are next to the Young Master in the background.

Ah, I love the smell of dragon breath in the morning.  Cannon fire from the Blue Army is answered by putrid dragon breath from the Red Army's side of the field.

The reason for the battle.  The huge green dragon and Red Army are after the treasure, which is defended, naturally, by the Blue Army of knights.

The king, queen, witch, and warlock watch the battle develop.

The young general engrossed in his tactic…

First Six of Twelve Underway. . .

Half a dozen Austrian limbers and horse teams in progress.  The work shown is what I have managed to do during four sessions spread over three days.  Next up, the fleshtone on the rider's faces and the brown glazes on the horses.  Giddy-up!
Limbers, horse teams and riders that is.  Applying the white acrylic gesso basecoat was a chore (it always is), but the various undercoats on the horses went much more quickly after that.  Various thin glazes of oil will be applied over these to produce, when all is finished, a variety of horse colors.  I am making a real push over the next 30 days or so to get as much finished as possible before about August 10th since, at that point, I'll need to begin revising syllabi and write a new one for the approaching fall semester at school.  Sadly, this will take up much of my remaining free time until classes commence once more at the end of August.

-- Stokes

The Young Master spent much of his afternoon with me down in Zum Stollenkeller Mk II w…

Battle of Waterloo - model display

Interview of André Rudolph, creator of Battle of Waterloo exhibit in Cor...

André Rudolph Hobby Casting Techniques for quick armies of toy soldiers

Hand Carved Soldiers (1956)

Toy Soldiers (1949)