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Showing posts from July, 2019

July Painting Challenge: Day #31 (11:44pm Eastern Daylight Time). . .

At 11:38pm this evening, just a few minutes ago, and with 22 minutes left of July, I rinsed my 000 sable 'spotter' and called this composite unit of grenadiers DONE.  The last item painted was/were the hair and wigs, the latter for the officers, NCOs, musicians, and sapper.  The rest got one of two reddish brown shades of natural hair.  

I'll fix the color on these three photographs and crop them tomorrow once I return home from yet another session with the periodontist.  For now, I am going bed.  I'm bushed.

-- Stokes

July Painting Challenge: Day #31 (Morning Update). . .

The von Ditfurth Fusiliers, a later iteration of the von Hessenstein Regiment on which half of my current grenadier battalion is based.

It's 10:15am, and I decided to shake things up this morning and came to a locally owned cafe/bookshop we are fond of for coffee and a cinnamon roll today before returning home to tackle the lawn, have a second shower, and hop back into the painting chair to finish these Minden Prussian grenadiers, painted as Wurttemburgers and Hessen-Kasselers respectively.

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If you'll excuse the groundskeeper digression for just a moment, I have learned a great deal about lawn care in the last year.  One of the easy ways to improve the look of the whole thing is through frequent mowing at a fairly high setting for cool season grasses like we have in the Northern U.S.  

In May and early June, when the grass seemed to shoot up several inches virtually overnight, I cut it every two or three days.  Since summer arrived in late June, the weather warmed, an…

July Painting Challenge: Day #30. . .

Here is where the entire composite battalion of grenadiers stands as of the morning of Day #30. . . Tuesday, July 30th conveniently enough.

A couple of painting sessions squeezed in yesterday around some  quiet time to myself doing other things, but no work in the yard I hasten to add.  The Grand Duchess and Young Master are away for a few days on a mother-son camping trip, so yours truly can focus on getting these finished by Midnight on the 31st!

At this stage of the painting game, it is difficult to see progress given all of the little details that have been painted already.  To me, of course, outstanding items are immediately apparent.  

Apropos that particular observation, I came across a few small areas still in need of paint yesterday while taking care of other details.  These were small enough, however, that it took only a minute or two to rinse the brush, open a bottle or two of paint, and apply color to fix the omissions.  Even with To Do lists, I have somehow managed to overlo…

July Painting Challenge: Day #28. . .

Perhaps the step I have most dreaded doing, but the whalebone trim atop the mitre caps is finished!  My venerable 000 sable 'spotter' well and truly helped here.  The end results are not perfect, but reasonably convincing en masse.  Most important, it's all done.

Inching along this warm Sunday afternoon, Day #28,  seeing to the white trim on the colored mitre cap bags, which, apparently, was stiffened with whale bones way back when.  The step went pretty quickly, and while I made a number of flubs, as expected given the rather fine lines sculpted onto this part of the figures, the mitres snapped into shape pretty quickly once either dark green, or dark yellow were trimmed in, to straighten up the white lines whereever things went all wiggly or sloppy. 

This particular step took about an hour, less time than anticipated.  Even with the more tedious and small items, sometimes paint goes on easily enough that you just keep going until everything is done.  It happens now and th…

July Painting Challenge: Day #26. . .

The unit in question this (Sunday) morning.  Very nearly there with just three days left of July.

The following update should have been posted two days ago on Friday morning, but my camera needed charging for photographs, and then the day got away from me with mowing and assorted yardwork outside followed by a shower, change of clothes, and an evening out for dinner, just the two of us, with The Grand Duchess.  Anyway, here is the update from Friday morning:


The Young Master had an early eye exam at 8: 10 this morning, and his mother, bless her, took him.  So, I had some unanticipated free time and took the opportunity to refill my coffee mug and head down here to Zum Stollenkeller and get to it!

Lots of niggling little details at this point as we near the finish line.  I spent about an hour working on the drums carried by the two drummers who are part of this 33-strong grenadier battalion.  While I took care of the brass shells yesterday, the heads, hoops, and cords needed doing.  This …

July Painting Challenge: Day #25. . .

Here's the current grenadier battalion on the morning of Day #25.  Look closely, and you'll see lots of buttons on the coats and waistcoats plus white markings on the colonel's horse.  The colonel is also done except for his wig and queue.  Lurking in the background are Soubise and an aide (mostly painted early last winter), whose horses also needed white markings and related lighter-colored hooves.

After a couple of evenings off, and an annoying, persistent problem with internet access (at all), I'm back at the painting table.  Scrambling to wrap things up on these Minden grenadiers during the final six days of the self-imposed month-long painting challenge.

As a reminder, the composite units are based upon Wurttemburg's 6. Hausgrenadiere, and Hessen-Kassel's Hessenstein Regiment, ca. 1749.  Things are starting to diverge a bit however when it comes to buttonhole lace and cuff details, Prussian versus Swedish, etc.  Most of the details and colors are right howev…

July Painting Challenge: Day #20. . .

 In the midst of applying metallics!  Almost drybrushing the gold and silver on over dark brown and black undercoats respectively (less is more, less is more, less is more. . . .), which has given the face plates on the mitre caps some additional depth.

Hot weather here in The Grand Duchy of Stollen.  So, what better way to deal with the heat than to retire to the cool, darkened Stollenkeller, after a two-day break, to begin applying Windsor&Newton oil-based gold and silver?

While some might grumble about the perceived drying time of the oils, I think you'll agree that they catch the light in a way that hobby acrylics simply don't.  Even when applied pretty sparingly as is the case here.  

One thing.  With oils, a little goes a long, long way.  In fact, I've hardly used any of the very small dabs I squeezed out onto the palette paper earlier this afternoon! I mentioned in a previous post that I have really tried to avoid my tendency of longstanding, which is to say NOT fl…

July Painting Challenge: Day #18. . .

Chugging along now seeing to a myriad of small details to wrap these up by month's end.  

"You know, it's funny. . ."  As 'Vyvyan Bastard' (Adrian Edmonson) used to begin his numerous observations on The Young Ones many years ago. 

Taking my cue from Mr. Bastard then, it's funny.  Up to a point, figure painting can seem like a largely thankless task.  You paint, and you paint, and you paint.  As wargamers, we probably spend far more time painting than gaming truth be told.  Unless we farm out our bare metal/plastic to painters for hire.

As I said, we paint and paint.  For considerable time, a batch of toy soldiers under the brush won't look like very much.  And then suddenly, everything comes together in a pleasing way.

Such was the case with the cuffs of the figures' coats, which I addressed yesterday evening and this morning not that long ago.  Each consists of, as with much else on these grenadiers, a base color and a highlight color, which I have …

July Painting Challenge: Day #17. . .

Belts, buckles, and straps yesterday and today.  Whew! 

Only two weeks of July left to finish (hopefully) the current battalion of 33 figures and a horse.  Of course.  

A couple of sessions yesterday on either side of cleaning out the garage and another satisyfing period this morning after coffee before moving on to rehanging several pictures and a few commemorative plates that have been waiting for a year or more since we had some door and wall repairs made in one case, and the Grand Duchess decided to replace an older picture in the second.  

Speaking of which, The Grand Duchess and Young Master are visiting grandparents in the Pacific Northwest this week, so yours truly is home alone.  Scary, right?  I always joke with my wife that my usual group of floozies will pick me up in their pink Cadillac for some fun and games in her absence.  The spousal reply is typically something along the lines of "Sure, they will."

In any case, while my time is largely my own this week, I was a…

July Painting Challenge: Day #16. . .

Painting more carefully now to avoid getting new paint on figures parts already completed.  Just a few more white shoulder belts to go!

Some time in the painting chair yesterday evening following an afternoon of dental games with the periodontist preparing for an implant later in the month.  Fun, fun, fun.

Back home, after the usual early evening activities around dinner, cleaning up, and bedtime for The Young Master, plus my evening walk around the neighborhood, I got back down to business and returned to the painting table.  This short session saw me applying white to the shoulder belts that support the black cartridge pouches on the right hip of most figures pictured.  

My two decade old 000 sable served me well, and just over an hour later, most of the figures were done with this particular step.  After a haircut this morning, I'll return to finish these, do the white waist belts, and add some sparing highlights for the brown  shoulder belts.  This evening, musket straps, which s…

July Painting Challenge: Day #15. . .

Look closely.  The brown and gray undercoats on all shoulder and waist belts are finally done!  Fairly easy (???) now to go back, hold my breath, and add sparing white or lighter brown highlights here and there.

Not much time in the painting chair yesterday (Sunday), but I did manage to apply the rest of my usual light gray to the white shoulder belts and waist belts late in the afternoon.  Today is earmarked for highlighting these with dashes of white following an appointment in the periodontist's chair, and some time straightening the garage.  Oh, joy! 

It makes sense to take care of the musket straps and shoulder straps (on the left) after that (must check on the colors for those) before then coming back to the brown shoulder belts to highlight those very carefully and SPARINGLY.  I have found over the years that one of my annoying painting habits is to flood the brush (and area) with color.  It still happens, even now after almost four decades of painting 15-25mm figures when m…

July Painting Challenge: Day #14. . .

Not quite at the halfway point of the month, but things are progressing well I'd say.

Painting time has been a bit less plentiful the last couple of days, and I took a night off on Friday, but I've still managed to get in some time at the ol' workbench.  Progress has been so steady the last week or so, that it seemed like a good idea to spend some with The Grand Duchess and Young Master for a change! 

On Saturday afternoon and evening, however, I returned with renewed vigor for a couple of sessions to start trimming in the shoulder belts on my current battalion of composite grenadiers.  Another fairly slow step to avoid possible later touch-ups. 

In the photograph above, I'm down to applying very light gray to just a dozen remaining figures before I can go back and add sparing white highlights to the white belts supporting the cartridge pouches/drums.  I'll then go back and repeat the process but on the brown shoulder belts/haversacks before adding some additional re…

July Painting Challenge: Day #12. . .

Little by little, the figures take shape.  Still lots to do though.  Next up?  Shoulder belts and straps.

Another two or three fairly brief session in the painting chair yesterday afternoon and evening (Thursday), working primarily on adding some highlights to coats, breeches, the tips of toes, insteps, and the upper half of the right rear calves on all of the figures.  Areas that would catch the light on a a typical sunny day in this particular pose.  This part of the painting process is, for me at least, slow work as I take care not to get any errant splotches of paint where they should not be.  It's better to minimize later touch-up work whenever possible. 

At the same time, I must make sure to let enough of the darker undercoat show through, in this case a very dark Ral Partha blue, a midnight navy really, to give some depth to everything.  It looks weird up close under the painting lights during the actual painting, but once everything is dry at arm's length, or so -- stand…

July Painting Challenge: Day #11. . .

Here's where things stand as of the morning of July 11th.  Still a way to go, but things are coming together.

Not quite as frenzied a flurry of painting yesterday, but still managed two, or perhaps three  (But who's counting?) sessions in the chair blocking in the turnbacks and lapels on all of the coats except for the drummer in yellow, darn it, which I'll address later this morning following breakfast with The Young Master.  

I mentioned the white shoulder belts yesterday, but once I thought through the step, it made more sense to paint the lapels before the shoulder belts rather than try to wiggle a tiny brush into that space between the musket and left arm after the fact, to put color onto the sliver of lapel visible there.  As always, I adjust and modify the painting process based on, not only the particular figures in question, but also previous experiences with the brush.  Painting lots of figures in one go is always an education of sorts as you learn what works best.…

July Painting Challenge: Day #10. . .

At the end of Day #9, 9:36pm, the basic blues and most of the brown areas are done (musket stocks, pole arms, drum shells, dark green and yellow mitre bags, etc.).  Whew!

As I mentioned in my previous post, yesterday -- If it's Tuesday, this must be blues and browns. -- was largely free save for vacuuming the entire house this morning (the wonders wrought by a new package of Miele C1 bags) and the usual summertime activities with The Young Master, who allowed ol' Dad considerable time in the painting chair today.  Several sessions throughout Tuesday -- half a dozen?-- bring us to the updated photograph above.  

I'm painting more carefully now in order NOT to foul up any previous brushwork.  And as with previous units, painting is always an interesting lesson in which you revisit, recall, and dredge up sometimes long unused skills and unthought of advice picked up here and there over many years and filed away somewhere between my ears.  

It's very similar to putting your k…

July Painting Challenge: Day #9. . .

Half of 'em, at least, are actually starting to look something like proper wargaming miniatures by this stage.

A couple of painting sessions yesterday afternoon and later during the evening post-mowing the grass, edging the driveway, and those suburban dad sorts of things.  The Grand Duchess has stated that I and two or three other neighbors are in tacit competition with each other for the nicest lawn.  I feel so misunderstood!

At any rate, since you can see the collars of the coats on these Minden Prussian grenadier figures, I carefully trimmed in dark green and dark yellows with a #1 round, taking care to leave a thin line of the previously painted black and white neck stocks showing,  before starting to block in the basic dark blue of the coats with a #4 round during the latter session.  

Strangely, all went well during these two rounds of painting with no mistakes this time to fix later.  It happens now and again. 

Fatigue from the day finally kicked in around 10:30pm, so I left …

July Painting Challenge: Day #8. . .

Here is where we are with the painting project challenge to myself for July.  Neckstocks have been trimmed in -- much easier now than trying to add later --  as have the basic colors for the breeches, which will get highlights later.  I did the same for the waistcoats and went ahead and applied the highlight in most instances as well as one of the leather aprons for one of the two drummers.  So far, so good, but no rest for the wicked.

Lots of time in the painting chair the last few days, 30 minutes here, 90 minutes there, and so forth.  Just about halfway done blocking in all of the main colors.  You can see that I have already begun adding the highlights on the waistcoats of a few figures.  FYI, the old GW Vomit Brown makes a great yellowish-brown base for the later Citadel Golden Yellow highlight on top.  

Amazingly, that little bottle of GW paint --  Vomit Brown -- has lasted since since the fall of 2006.  One of the very few left from that time, so I'd better hurry up with the…

July Painting Challenge: Day #5. . .

Still quite a way to go, but the figures are beginning to look like something.  Not sure what, exactly, but something.

Managed to squeeze in some painting on the evenings of July 3rd and July 5th.  The 4th was taken up with family stuff in celebration of Independence Day here in The United States.  The photograph above illustrates where things stand currently.  

Moving forward it seems most prudent to block in the very narrow black and white (gray with a tiny white highlight) neck stocks first before slapping on the basic dark blue coat color.  

Eventual breeches will be white (gray with white highlight) for the Hausgrenadiers of Wurttemburg on the left and blue (dark blue with medium blue highlight) for the Hessenstein Regitment on the right, with the various command figures shown split between the two.  Waistcoats white and yellow when I get to that point. 

I might paint the drummer for the Hessenstein Regt., at right, in the older fashion of reverse colors, that is a yellow coat with …

Happy Fourth of July!

A selection of soliders from The Continental Army.  I doubt they looked this clean after traipsing through the woods though.

Happy 4th of July from The Grand Duchyof Stollen!  Before we can dig into the batch of North Carolina Pork BBQ, red slaw, and hush puppies for dinner the evening, I've got a cabinet door to rehang after one of the hinges broke early this morning.  That's on top of mowing the grass, which I've taken care of already and various other "suburban dad things" as my sister says.  And, of course, I plan to get back to the current batch of Minden grenadiers, which are my July painting challenge project. 

In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to share a few suitably appropriate images representing soldiers of the various combatants who partook in the Revolutionary War as we call it here in the United States.  Have a fun day, but please be careful should you plan to set off any fireworks.

-- Stokes

A fusilier and hussar from Lauzun's Legion.

A Ro…

July Painting Challenge: Day #2. . .

As promised, and right on schedule, the alkyd oil fleshtone areas and craft acrylic tan undercoat for the horse.  Giddy up!

A rainy evening made it easy to forego my usual walk after the Young Master's bedtime, so I managed to get into the painting chair a bit earlier than planned.  An hour or so later, and the fleshtone and basic undercoat on the horse have been blocked in.  Tomorrow evening, the blacks: officers' hats, cartridge pouches, gaiters and shoes.  Beyond that, either basic dark blues, or dark browns.  We'll see how the painting muse strikes. 

-- Stokes

A July Painting Challenge. . .

The current painting project and challenge for July.  Can I get the 33 Minden figures and one horse all painted, glossed, and based by the evening of the 31st?
As many of us do, we let our minds wander while doing mind numbing tasks. . .  Like slopping on the white/black/gray basecoat with a large brush, which sometimes seems to be endless even so.  I've never gotten the hang of spraying the blasted stuff onto the figures.

Anyway, as I finished up the final six of the composite grenadier unit shown above late this afternoon, it hit me like a bolt out of the blue.  Why not challenge myself to paint one item a day for the 31 days of July and see how far I manage to get?  

So, since some things take longer than others, I will not set myself a time limit, but rather make the pledge to paint just one part of the figures per day, two if things go quickly.  There are 33 figures and a horse here.  Is it possible for me, Uncle Glacial, to get these done or almost done in one month of painting…