21 August 2016

Has it really been ten years??!!

 Why, yes!  The Grand Duchy of Stollen blog is ten years old.  What a long, strange, and delightful trip it has been.  

This time way back in 2006, I was busily painting up my first large regiment of infantry just before school started.  That unit of figures is still with me and is one of the regiments holding General von Bauchschmerzen's frontline, the 1st Musketeers, in the current Battle of Doltz.  

Below, you can read the very first blog entry from August 19, 2006.  Oh, and that first regiment of plastic soldiers?  I am ashamed to say that they accompanied us on our camping honeymoon through the Dakotas and Minnesota during late June and early July of that year.  My thinking when I packed the car for us to leave on the morning after our wedding in late June of '06 was that I could grab a few minutes here and there during the trip to prepare the 60+ figures for painting -- with the X-acto hobby knife I took along too -- once we returned three weeks later.  The Grand Duchess has never let me forget that particular less than informed decision.

 Since then, I've babbled incessantly about this and that (often about things that have little or nothing to do with toy soldiers and wargaming), built up a couple of respectably sized mid-18th century armies, refined my painting and modelling skills in the process, read a few books, learned a bit more history, added to my book collection, written a few articles, fought a few tabletop battles, shot off my big mouth, stepped on a few toes, been raked over the coals a few times as a result, made a few friends around the globe, and most recently introduced my son, The Young Master, to the wonders of toy soldiers.  Here's to more of the same for the foreseeable future.

-- Stokes

19 August 1768

"Bist du mein liebhaber?"

This is the question Prince Ruprecht is reported to have uttered to Princess Valerie as she climbed into his stagecoach late one night in the winter of 1768 before they rode over the frontier separating her own Pillau-Zerbst from the prince's Electorate of Zichenau. And her answer of course was, "Ja, schatzi -- Ich bin deine liebhaber!" This, then, is the reason for the latest round of hostilities between my tiny imaginary countries on the fringe of Europe.

Welcome to the blog I have created to tell the ongoing story of my own imaginary 18th century wargame campaign! My inspiration comes from the Old School Wargaming group at Yahoo, Greg Horne (the man behind The Duchy of Alzheim blog -- I love your figures Greg!), and my own fascination with Young and Lawford's chestnut classic Charge!: Or How to Play Wargames, which goes back to 1994 when I purchased a reprint of this wargaming classic. Soooo -- I'm creating two small armies, as well as a few mercenary units, using the marvelous (in my own view) 1/72 SYW figures produced by Revell AG in Germany.

Periodically, I'll report on my painting progress and post a few photos plus a map of Stollen, Zicheneau, and the surrounding principalities sandwiched between extreme northeastern Prussia, Courland, Poland, and Russia.

Enjoy, and please feel free to send me your comments. It's great fun to hear about what other wargamers and figure collectors are up to.


Wellington Man said...

10 more glorious years please, HU. Happy Birthday! WM

The Good Soldier Svjek said...

Congratulations, here's to the next 10, Tony

Paul Robinson said...

Congratulations Stokes. Always enjoyed your blog and looking forward to continuing to enjoy reading about your exploits.

Chris Gregg said...

Congratulations Stokes and thank you for such an interesting and varied time that you have given your readers. I started mine in 2011 being strongly influenced by yours and the blogs of a few other old-schoolers, so thank you for that and subsequent inspiration and for your support for my own humble endeavours.

Old School ACW said...

Congratulations old man.

Allan Tidmarsh said...

Congratulations from his august majesty King Leopold of Wittenberg



Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


My blog is only eight years old, and I have some way to go to match your ten years of blogging.

All the best,


A J said...

Happy Birthday to the blog! Here's to many more.

Andy McMaster said...

Congrats Stokes. Ten more please!

Matthew Sullivan said...

10 years?! Congratulations! What a milestone!
I'm looking forward to your next 10!

Fitz-Badger said...

Congratulations! It's been a pleasure to follow your progress with your armies and your painting, see your family grow and move and flourish, watch the various battles and other events of Stollen and "friends". Here's to many more years of the grand Duchy!

Si Bath said...

A truly brilliant ten years. If I could only follow one Blog on a desert island, this is it. I look forward to however many years there are yet to come. Best regards, Simon

Neil said...

Congratulations!!! Yours is one of the earliest blogs I have followed and I enjoy it immensely!

Maj. Guiscard said...

That is very impressive.
Congratulations! Well Done


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