14 January 2017
The Grand Review of January 2017 at Hasenpfefferstadt. . .
Monkeying around with most (but not quite all) of the figures and scenery I've painted and cobbled together since August 2006 this afternoon. I've meant to stage a grand review for a few years, but have not done so until now, Saturday afternoon. So, here are my two armies converging on the market town of Hasenpfefferstadt, where the local gentry seem oblivious to what is happening around them.
The two companies each of pontooniers and pioneers, my various artillery crews, plus a regiment of cavalry I purchased a year ago from John Preece in the U.K. are not present on the tabletop, but everything else is here. The term 'groaning board' comes to mind (a 12' x 6' table). Still, there are plans to add to the GD of S collection, including those five additional units of cavalry currently in the painting queue, a few more units of line infantry, and two additional pairs of cannon (Austrian and Russian) along with artillery crew to man them as well as a few more odds and ends. . . AND getting all of my bases painted green, which should keep me busy for a while longer! In the meantime, enjoy perusing the photographs.
The fields and roads are by Hotz Artworks, the buildings are all scratch-built, and the trees are cheap cake decorations purchased in bulk from a baking supply company ten years or so ago and stuck onto Litko terrain bases which I painted dark green early last summer assisted by the Young Master. The Hotz items are, by the way, reasonably priced and very effective for quickly adding some realism and interest to the tabletop. I heartily recommend them.
The longer term goal I have set for myself, once these five new regiments of cavalry are completed and existing line infantry regiments have been reflagged (painting has commenced on the replacement standard bearers), is to increase my Stollenian infantry from four regiments to eight (60 figures each) , and the Zichenauer infantry arm from three regiments to six (80 figures each). I know, I know. . . Each army, once complete, will have a line infantry arm of 480 figures, excluding the jaegers, grenzers, and croats of course.
All of this will provide forces large enough to tackle most Charles S. Grant scenarios or table top teasers as I move through middle age and drift into my dotage, although my wife The Grand Duchess might say that I am already there! She often jokes about it being Solider Season all the year 'round. The character 'Brian Lane' (an inactive wargamer and anorak played by Alun Armstrong), along with his wife 'Esther' on the British TV series New Tricks is especially funny in this regard. In a number of ways, they remind me of my wife and me.
Returning to toy soldiers, there is also a Black Hussar hay wagon in the lead pile that I ordered a year ago for the transport train (and forgot), a few more mounted officer vignettes (let's blame Peter Gilder and Doug Mason for the number of these I've painted already), and Black Hussar also has some nifty field bakery personnel that I hope to add to the mix of painted figures at some point. Der Alte Fritz's own bakery set-up has always fascinated me. Not strictly necessary in wargaming terms, of course, but a neat thing to occupy some unused corner of the table.
Yes, indeed. Much like model railroads, a wargamer's layout is never what we might politely call "finished." Happy Sunday everyone!