Phil Olley once wrote in an early Battlegames article that without goals and a target, of sorts, you achieve nothing, or at least very little. So, here is the first of four related goals for 2017. 30 RSM95 French cuirassiers in bearskin bonnets, slated to become Wurttemburger cavalry.
Next, 30 RSM95 Prussian and Austrian hussars, with a few Minden trumpeters, that will be painted in the uniforms of two separate units of freikorps hussars although I haven't yet decided which ones. Most of these have been hanging around in the lead pile for years, so it's high time to do something about that and get 'em painted. Then, no more hussars, ever! I'm channeling my inner Joan Crawford, here, as portrayed by Faye Dunaway in the delightful holiday classic, Mommy Dearest (1981). Two hours of seasonal fun for the whole family!
Then, there is this unit of Prussian dragoons, also RSM95 with the addition of Minden trumpeters and standard bearers. Once again, these have been hanging around forever in a plastic box in both Zum Stollenkeller Mk. I and more recently Zum Stollenkeller Mk. II, so 2017 will be the year to do something about getting them painted.
And finally, those Eureka Saxon Cuirassiers, which will be painted as. . . well, Saxons since these provide some very colorful alternatives to most of their Prussian and Austrian brethren. These and the French cuirassiers in bearskins above were 50th birthday gifts to myself this last November. Hey, once you round that particular millstone, you need all the help you can get, right?
Well, we have a bit under a week to go until Christmas Day, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet! Suffice to say, things are more or less in Christmas mode hear at Totleigh-in-the-Wold even though both the Grand Duchess and I are not quite finished with university stuff (sigh). But, the Christmas trees are up, the rest of the house looks festive, we have about 10 inches of cold snow on the ground here in Mid-Michigan, and we've already enjoyed tobogganing and cross-country skiing this weekend, so life is pretty darn good.
Toy soldierly speaking, the next few weeks will see a lot happening down here in Zum Stollenkeller. First, there will be a small solo affair during Christmas Week in which I try out those mostly plagiarized rules 'Call It Macaroni!' that I've babbled on about for a couple of months. Once again, the scenario will be Charles S. Grant's 'Holding Action(1)'.
Otherwise, I'll complete those darn six Prussian limber teams that have sat not-quite-finished since early October. Primarily, only the straps and harnesses remain before I can gloss everything and then give the bases some terrain features. There are then some extra drummers to bring the musician contingent of a few existing Stollenian 60-figure line regiments to an even four, which will enable two drummers to be placed behind both right and left flanks when these units are in line. The 80-figure Zichenauer line regiments already have four drummers.
Then, there are a number of Minden Austrian and Prussian standard bears already affixed to temporary painting bases needing just their coat of white gesso before painting can begin in earnest. These will, as I have mentioned here recently, replace existing MiniFig standard bearers, and eventually each line infantry regiment will have two standards. Flag designs will also be rationalized a bit, so that everything looks a tiny bit more systematic while still retaining some color and flash.
Beyond that, 2017 will be the year that my cavalry arm gets a much-needed and long delayed infusion as will be apparent if you have looked more closely at the photographs above. Besides the previously mentioned reorganization of existing regiments, there are four unpainted 30-figure, two-squadron regiments in the queue. Two of these (RSM95 figures) have been in the lead pile for seven or eight years, since I purchased them at cut-rate prices from a GD of S visitor in Arizona, and needed only the addition of a few Minden musicians to round things out. The other two were purchased recently to celebrate "that" particular milestone of a birthday from which there is no return. It seems AARP sends me stuff everyday now with all kinds of offers in an attempt to secure my membership. Sigh. I suppose blue hair, plaid lap blankets, puree'ed food, and a day nurse are not far off!
Anyway, the additional units of cavalry are both cuirassiers, one Saxons from Eureka and the other French in bearskin bonnets from RSM95, who will be painted as Wurtemburgers, one squadron in white coats faced red, and the other in red coats faced black. These should be fun to paint and get me back into the swing of things with actual combat troops after several years of mostly painting civilian vignettes and various kinds of transport/logistics pieces. In the meantime, I think a refill of coffee is in order before entering final course grades from the fall semester, which this rather long post has put off for a few minutes rather nicely. We don't procrastinate, do we? Neeeeeever!
Let's close today's post with a fun seasonal image, an old Norman Rockwell illustration, presumably from The Saturday Evening Post. My thinking is that ol' Mr. Postman must surely have some Minden or Fife and Drum figures in his mailbag, maybe a Charles S. Grant title, paints and new brushes. . . or just some socks and underwear. You never know.