Skip to main content

And Now the Dragoons Themselves. . .

Yes, we've been here before.  But I am especially fond of this painting by David Morier (1705?-1770), which shows a grenadier of the Batthyani Dragoon Regiment with a few different details from those given elsewhere online.  I might give my own officers red breeches and saddle cloths.  You know.  Just to keep things interesting.

Well, things have been a little quiet here at Stollen Centrale the last few weeks.  Nothing virus-related, thank goodness, merely the usual intrusion of real life into normally free summer daytime and evening hours.  Lots of professional development this year in the form of two online courses all about. . .  Wait for it. . .  teaching courses online.  I am also going up for promotion in the fall, so there has been lots of time consuming activity gathering all of the materials into a portfolio and writing a teaching narrative, which has proven surprisingly difficult.  All of which is to say that there aren't enough hours in the day for the fun stuff.

But, I finally managed to finish highlighting the tack on those 36 Minden dragoon horses, and have set them safely to the side in a large plastic tub for the time being.  Two mischievous cats plus inquisitive small hands belonging to The Young Master, who has trouble with the concept of "Don't touch things that are not yours."  The dark gray highlight is a bit light up close, but at arm's length everything looks pretty good in my view. 

Time now, though, to begin painting the 36 dragoons themselves.  I'm a bit behind schedule here since we are already steaming toward mid-July -- and things are rather unpleasantly steamy here in much of the United States at the moment -- but there we are.  And I'm faced with something of a temporary painting conundrum.  How in the world do I fix the 36 figures to some sort of temporary painting bases to get on with the base coating and so forth? 

I recall now why I have more typically glued the troopers and officers to their horses first and addressed everything together with past cavalry units.  I've thought about using a dot of superglue gel on the underside of the saddle cloths to glue four or five figures each to unused pencils or lengths of wooden dowel pins in a manner similar to gluing several infantry figures to tongue depressors to facilitate assembly line painting.  I've also considered using tiny balls of that sticky blue poster tack -- the kind that is not supposed to leave greasy marks on walls but, in fact, does -- on the ends of large nails, all of which could be stuck into a large piece of styrofoam sheet to keep everything upright and safe between painting sessions. 

Thus far, no dice.  Primarily because I have not ventured out yet to purchase superglue gel or that 3M blue poster tack from our local big box craft store.  I'm a bit stuck to be honest though since neither option seems terribly practical.  Any suggestions?

By the way, the planned uniform for the dragoons is that of the Batthyani Regiment, which, according to Kronoskaf, was primarily dark blue with red distinctions as was the saddle cloth.  I'm hoping that will speed painting along somewhat since, once we get into August, and even in a normal year, things start to get busy with preparations for the new academic year.  Of course, 2020 has turned out to be a very strange year so far, which has thrown off the summer and related hobby activities.  No doubt, the ongoing pandemic will present a variety of additional unforeseen challenges as we barrel toward and into the autumn semester/term.

-- Stokes 


Der Alte Fritz said…
Congratulations on the potential promotion, well deserved no doubt.

I glue my cavalry figures onto the horse before painting, using Elmers Glue. Foot figures get glued to a small cardboard square for painting. I've never been a fan of the glue several figures to a stick, finding it hard to get my brush in between the figures to paint some of the details.

I hope that you have air conditioning in this 90F heat wave, or take up quarters in the cellar.
Yeah, I think the next time I undertake any cavalry, I'll go back to gluing the riders onto their horses before any painting begins. Live and learn as they say. Both, A/C and many hours down here in Zum Stollenkeller, which is several degrees cooler than the ground floor and upstairs. Whew! I've never done particularly well in high heat, but the older I become, the more it takes the wind right out of my sails. Mowing the lawn, even during the early morning or evening hours, when it is this hot just about ruins me for the rest of the day.

Steamy Regards,

James Fisher said…
That is a fabulous painting!
It's most interesting to read of others who are keen on painting horses and riders as one. I used to use the figures stuck on sticks with blu tack technique, but have been painting them as pseudo one piece castings for the past two or three years; and have not looked back. Plastic 1/72nd is my usual scale and PVA glue my sticking mode of preference. I find that it works best to put a little glue on both, let it partially set and then join together. Undercoat then goes on the two as one piece. Should I happen to do a less than perfect job with my production line gluing, I simply glue again, re-appling some undercoat, if necessary. If I wait too long (especially in warm/hot weather) and the glue sets before joining, a little extra applied on top of the dried glue and it works a treat!
I now also glue figures (infantry, horses, guns, artillerymen) to their bases and paint them as a 'formation'.
I have some metal figures too and use a product here called 'multigrip' (a contact cement), which works really well with them. Either glue seems to work for metal to plastic (figs or styrene bases).
I hope that little ramble is of interest?
Regards, James
Simon Millar said…
I have some old horses that will never be used, so I blue tack my riders to those, paint them and then glue to intended horse. As long as you're careful when gluing to the horse all will be okay. Regards, Simon
Thank you for the suggestions, men! Very helpful ideas there. I'll try them with a future cavalry formation.

Best Regards,


Popular posts from this blog

Post-Christmas Excitement by Post. . . and a Brief Review

Can't wait to retire to bed this evening with this new arrival!
Earlier this afternoon, Digby Smith's Armies of the Seven Years War arrived with the mail.  A quick glance through the book -- after wrestling it from its Amazon packaging -- shows it to be chock-a-block with information on the various combatants who partook in the conflict, their uniforms, standards, etc.  While I've been aware of Mr. Smith's book for a couple of years, I only got around to purchasing it with some of Mom and Step-Dad's Christmas gift on December 26th.  I cannot wait to examine it more closely later this evening, and might hit the sack right after supper with some fresh coffee and the book, leaving the Grand Duchess and the Young Master to their own devices for the remainder of evening.  Weeeeeell, maybe not quite that early. . .  but all bets are off by 9 or 10pm!

Thursday, January 4th

I just wrote my first review for on this book.  It reads:

A highly interesting title on the v…

Back in the Painting Saddle. . .

It's hard to beat the richness of oil-based metallics.  The Minden mounted colonel that I worked on yesterday evening.  He ought to look pretty good when finished.

I spent a pleasant hour or so last night, following The Young Master's bedtime, carefully teasing tiny bits of Winsor & Newton, or perhaps Grumbacher, gold and silver oils onto the mounted Austrian officer, who will oversee the composite battalion of Minden Austrian grenadiers.  They, of course, are the fellows in the foreground.

Those of you with longer memories might recall that these miniatures have been on the painting table since January.  Real life, however, has meant that progress has been at a standstill since late February.  I even put them away in a box for a couple of months to reduce dust and cat fur build-up!  

However, I managed to get my seat back into the painting chair last night, and here we are.  A steady hand, despite the usual after dinner infusion of strong dark roast coffee, meant only one m…

Stuart Asquith RIP. . .

 The now departed author and hobby personality playing a colonial game in 1978.  No hiding the width of neckties from that era!

Another one of the hobby greats, Stuart Asquith, passed away during the weekend.  While we never met (I am on the wrong side of the Atlantic), I was fortunate enough to exchange a couple of short emails with him 10 or 12 years ago when he was involved with a blog about all things Charge!

Said blog was managed by four or five UK hobbyists during the wave of enthusiasm that followed the 2006 Sittangbad and 2007 Mollwitz refights at Partizan in the U.K. just as hobby and imagination blogging took off in a big way.  Sadly, the blog disappeared pretty quickly, but it was a real blast interacting with Stu even if only briefly and in passing.  He was very personable and humble in his emails to me, expressing surprise that a stranger in the U.S. had an inkling of who he was.

Stu Asquith's writing years ago in Military Modeling, various books, and magazines like Prac…