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Showing posts from June, 2018

Württemberg Horse Grenadiers: Painting a Test Figure. . .

The test figure is shaping up nicely although some of the details do not match the Knoetel plate that serves as one of my main references.

Spent a pleasant hour or so yesterday evening after the Young Master's bedtime working on a single test figure from those 30 RSM95 French cuirassiers in bearskins.  These are destined to become, more or less, one squadron of Württemberghorse grenadiers, or more properly 'Leib-Grenadiere zu Pferd.'  A second squadron, based on a different German heavy cavalry regiment in French service, will be painted in either dark blue or white coats.  The two squadrons will form a fictitious composite regiment that will serve in either The Army of Stollen, or The Army of Zichenau as and when scenarios require. 

On a related note, the Grand Duchess and I had a discussion about the proper German terminology for these troops late last night, and yours truly was actually right.  For once.  It seems all of those years of struggling through my German-langua…

The Engine Kit Is Almost Finished. . .

Between toy soldiers and model car engines during the last ten days or so, things have been kind of busy here in Zum Stollenkeller Mk II.

The Young Master and I just finished installing the distributor, the spark plugs, and adjusted everything into synch on his engine kit started on Father's Day (June 17).  It works! If all goes well, we can finish the final few steps tomorrow and fire it up with additional AA batteries.  Then, it's on to the Smithsonian jet engine kit.  Stand back and hold on to your hats for that one!

-- Stokes 


The Young Master and I finished the last few steps on his engine kit Thursday evening before bedtime reading, and it works like a charm.  The drive shaft works the pistons and exhaust valves plus other parts, and the four "sparkplugs" (little yellow fairy lights) also light up in synch to the exhaust valves opening and closing.  Easily the most complicated kit yours truly has even assembled, but the two of us managed it, and the Y…

A Summer Painting & Modelling Challenge Progress Check. . .

Not a hobby photograph, or a Waterloo painting, this morning, but a summer evening photo of the old Hanseatic wharf in Bergen, Norway, a place where I once spent quite a bit of time as a (graduate) student in 1990, '98, and again in 2000.  Haven't been back to the city in 18 years, but the place is amazing on clear summer nights when the sun hovers on either side of the horizon and time seems to stand still.  Norwegians know how to make the most of their summers.

Another wondrous summertime late-night shot of the waterfront in Bergen.  Hobby "weather" forecast the remainder of the summer?  Mostly sunny.

Just to show how things stand in my summer challenge to myself:

1)  Finish the Minden replacement infantry standard bearers. -- Done!

2) Paint the Eureka 'Ooh, You're So Awful' vignette. -- Done!

3) Paint a 30-strong unit of Wurttemburg Horse Grenadiers. -- In-Progress 

4) Construct a North German red brick church.

5) Construct a half-timbered warehouse.

Still f…

A Waterloo Night Infantry Standard Update. . .

The freshly glossed standard bearers and standards that I have been nattering on about for months.  They'll join their waiting regiments tomorrow evening, and then dragoons, dragoons, dragoons!

Well, that's the second mini-project for the summer completed!  At long last, the infantry standards and ensigns are finished save for three small touch-ups, which I could probably ignore, and no one would know the difference.  But, you know how that goes.  

Most of us want our figures to be "just so" by the time we finish them at the painting desk.  Whether that comes from perfectionist tendencies, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or simply a desire to produce the best brushwork we can given available time and ability, most figure painters and gamers, I think, fall into this camp.  Otherwise, we'd play classic Avalon Hill board games with small card counters, right?  Waterloo anyone?

Smart-assed kidding aside, I seem to remember reading something by Terry Wise, Stuart Asquith…

It's Waterloo Day!

One of my favorite paintings of the June 18, 1815 battle by Henri Phillipoteaux.

Today, I've got the strains of various French Napoleonic marches ringing in my ears.  Whatever happened to the cassette tape I had with all of those period marches on it?  

Anyway, looking forward to a bit of toy soldiering this evening after the Young Master's bedtime during which I'll apply the second coat of acrylic gloss to my various Minden replacement standard bearers.  Stay tuned for a late-night photograph or two.  And then it's back to that regiment of red-coated heavy dragoons in bearskin bonnets.  

Not The Scots Greys, sadly, but rather 30 Wurttemberg troopers and horses more fitting for the mid-18th century.  If you listen closely, however, you can almost hear the thunder of hooves off in the distance.

-- Stokes

Little by Little. . .

'Portrait Painter at Work' by Franz von Persoglia.  

Ok, maybe nowhere near approaching the work of a professional artist and portrait painter like the one shown above, but the picture is kind of nice and sets the right 18th century vibe for this short post.  

I am working my way through applying clear, acrylic gloss varnish (two coats) to those dozen Minden Austrian and Prussian replacement standard bearers this afternoon.  Two are all done and drying while four others have had a first coat.  Taking a coffee break at the moment and fending off a cat apparently starved for affection while the Young Master works on a project of some sort across the room.  

Otherwise, a rainy, cool, and quiet Saturday -- the best kind -- here at Stollen Central.  Hopefull, I'll finish everything this evening and can cement the figures to the waiting command bases within their various infantry units tomorrow with some photographs to follow after that.

-- Stokes

First of Four Summer Projects Almost Finished. . .

My particular treatment of the Eureka Miniatures 'Ooh, You're So Awful!' vignette.  The current English ambassador to The Grand Duchy of Stollen, the libidinous Lord Hawthorne Rumpee de Pumpee (he is of Huguenot stock), takes liberties with a handy kitchen maid while his long suffering wife, Lady Thalassa and a disapproving Stollenian bystander look on.

Things are almost finished with the first of my four proposed summer hobby projects save for two or three of the invariable touch-ups and the sparing application of a few clumps of Woodland Scenics coarse foliage here and there to enliven the circular bases.  These figures will join my rather large group of frolicking aristocrats, servants, and a painter, who bears a startling resemblance to the Italian model Fabio ("I can't believe it's not butter!").  A few of you might recall this bunch of figures from when they were painted back in 2012 or 2013.  

Of course, as luck would have it, I seem to have misplace…

Hobby Time at Last!

The last two or maybe three evenings have seen me back at the painting table for the first time in several months, applying acrylic colors to the Eureka 'Ooh, You're So Awful' vignette.  Needless to say, it has been time delightfully spent.  Very relaxing and plenty of headway made along with questions from the Young Master, who played nearby and occasionally sauntered over to see what Dad was up to before returning to his own projects.  He is writing and illustrating his own rather lengthy Geronimo Stilton novel at the moment and building a Tinker Toy robot for instance, school and piano lessons permitting.

But back to the Eureka vignette.  Just tiny details now, like shoes, metal buckles, buttons, and hair ribbons.  I am especially pleased with the way the white table linen, china cups and saucers have come out.  The ol' painting hand was rather steadier than expected!  No photographs until everything is finished, but I'll include a few period illustrations and pa…