Skip to main content

Posts

Prussian 3rd Garrison Regt. Update. . .

  Still a few small things to do, including apply fleshtone to a left hand on an officer that I somehow missed at some point plus lace on the drummers and officers , but we're very close to the glossing stage. L ots of painstaking work to clean up edges, highlight folds, and touch up various bits and pieces the last few evenings.  My trusty little Sony Cybershot, I fear, has gone to that big electronics place in the sky and no longer seems to be working.  Well, I've had it since 2013, and small electronics don't last forever, so I cannot complain.   With that little hiccup in mind, I snapped today's shot with my iPhone, brightened, and cropped it in Fotor before sharing it here.  Again, the blue is not quite so bright in reality, but the auto-improve, or whatever they call it, makes for nice bright photographs in which everything shows up.   Not long before these are done, and The Young Master was suitably please when I asked him to have a look a few minutes ago. -- Sto
Recent posts

Almost There With the 3rd Garrison Regiment. . .

The figures are not quite this bright in reality.  The autofix feature on my Fotor online editor makes things really, really bright, which helps small objects show up, but the colors are sometimes artificially enhanced.  Still, they aren't half bad. H appy to report that my work on The Young Master's 3rd (Prussian) Garrison Regiment is almost complete barring buttons, flags, gloss varnish, and permanent basing.  Yes, you heard right.  And we've only been picking away at them since January 2021! But it is amazing how a couple of small things will suddenly brig a unit of figures in-progress to life.  For these particular figures it was the addition of the light blue pompoms and white tassels on the tricorns.  Except for a few touch-ups, followed by the many brass buttons, they are just about done. Blogger access issues continue to plague me at home, so I am writing this post at work while taking a coffee break (Monday morning.  Photo uploaded Tuesday morning).  We got a new i

Lately, There Are Days When I Feel Like My Head Will Explode. . .

  A nd I am not just talking about the frightening state of the world just now, but then we've been moving ever further into this general area since at least late 2016. No, I am referring specifically to the continuing issues I seem to have with using Blogger.  Access to my blogs, even with a recovery phone number, has become increasingly sporadic and frustrating when it comes to troubleshooting what the problem(s) might be.  I think I might move to Word Press or Wix before long and include a link to the new premises here for visitors who might like to find me in my new digital digs. Of this, more later. Lots and lots of cross-country skiing, however, has kept me sane this winter.  We even managed a final quick tour at a small, local area last Saturday before temperatures jumped from the teens to the mid-50s Fahrenheit Sunday and melted all of our lovely snow here in Mid-Michigan.  I have not skied this much since Norway in 1999-2000 in any case, so no complaints. The Grand Duchess

Other Ways to Help the People of Ukraine. . .

  Other Ways You Can Help Ukraine. -- Stokes

Ways We Can Help. . .

  Verified Charities to Help Ukraine -- Stokes

There Are No Words.

 

February Skiing "Up North". . .

Bad Dad and The Young Master on Day #2. The Grand Duchess gives us a slight smile as she glides by on Day#1. Don't look now, it's The Young Master leading the way. The Young Master demonstrates Step One of the Dead Bug method for getting up after a fall. N o, not toy soldiers, painting, or wargaming, but healthy, bracing winter fun outdoors at Forbush Corner Nordic Center outside of Frederic, Michigan.  Our second visit this winter.   15 miles on cross-country skis over two days with some pretty challenging hills on certain intermediate and difficult runs.  Very cold temperatures, blowing snow, windchills below 0 Fahrenheit, and near whiteouts at times on Day #1 completed the picture.  It was almost our own Heroes of Telemark moment. . . without the heavy water plant guarded by German soldiers above a forbidding gorge.   Day #2 was warmer, sunny, and just as delightful.  The Young Master kept a running tally of falls.  Paul - 1, Mom - 1, Bad Dad - 3.  But I plead a sticky lef

For Der Alte Fritz. . .

  A handy photograph from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.   A fter a warming trend with rain midweek, the weather has turned cold again, new fluffy snow is on the ground, and trail reports from up north are for very good (cross-country) skiing this weekend.  The skis are brushed down and ready to load into the car later today for another weekend jaunt to Northern Michigan following a haircut this morning and a few other work-related loose ends.   Blame my all-consuming love for the winter on Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, and the fetching Ulla Jacobsson.  'Live to XC Ski!' as the saying goes on a favorite bumper sticker decal. In other hobby news, painting continues apiece on the Young Master's 3rd Garrison Regiment of infantry.  This week saw work on the two drummers.  Photo updates coming soon, but I think I've just painted two of the nicest drums ever.  Beautifully rendered heads, hoops, and cords without making a mistake.  Hey, it happens once in

January Skiing. . .

  Dano-Norwegian skijaegere engaging the swedes, presumably during the Napoleonic-era judging by the uniforms. H ello, hello!  Still alive and kicking here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen, but hobby activity has been restricted of late due to the start of the spring semester and the fact that we have been skiing as much as possible during late afternoons and weekends since January 1st. Notably, we enjoyed a long skiing getaway over last weekend about 2.5 hours north, where it is much colder and snowier.  We visited two different groomed ski areas across three days while renting a charming small chalet through VRBO.  Besides her "classic" (diagonal stride) skies, the Grand Duchess also tried out a new set of "skate" skis that she received for Christmas.  Hard work, but she eventually got the hang of it thanks to her speed skating experience.  The techniques are not dissimilar. The entire weekend went so amazingly well, and The Young Master skied so strongly even down m

A New Year's Eve 2021 Painting Progress Report. . .

W ell, The Young Master has been too busy for a game with ol' Dad this Christmas week as I had hoped, so I have instead busied myself at the painting table to clean up and make some headway with his version of Prussia's 3rd Garrison Regiment.  Here is where things stand this (Thursday) evening.  Getting through the highlight stage before adding lots of fine detailing.  The two drummers at this point need another thinned coat of very dark blue before I tackle the white sleeve chevrons and swallows wings.  So too do a few of the hats, which need some thinned black in the corners.  Overall though, the figures don't look half bad considering there were two of us working on them last January, February, and March before my son took a break from fairly routine painting in short bursts with me. Clearly, The Young Master prefers the actual games to painting.  And that's ok.  The wargaming hobby is a borad church after all.  And as Greg Horne, the man behind The Duchy

Die Stollenzeit Ist Da!!!

  T he Grand Duchess baked her 2021 stollen this evening, and the yeasty aroma in the house is amazing.  Sadly, I overindulged at the dinner table, and it is doubtful that I'll feel like sampling any of the fresh stollen until tomorrow morning at the breakfast table.   Looking very forward to that eventuality however.  There is nothing like a thick slice or two of fresh stollen with a large mug of fresh dark roast coffee. -- Stokes

Happy Day After. . .

  A s my much loved and missed maternal grandfather used to say, while he stirred his mid-afternoon scotch and water with his forefinger and flicked the drop or two of moister into the nearby kitchen sink, "Happy day after!"  There is something very pleasant about the relative quiet and calm of December 26th after the busy run up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as nice as they are in their ways. Here in The Grand Duchy of Stollen, we have continued to enjoy too many seasonal treats, Christmas music, and yet more Christmas dinner with some delightful French and Italian red wines.  The Young Master enjoyed receiving his Russian artillery, and we hope to have a game sometime during Christmas week although that depends on what he decides to do since it is Christmas Break and he is so over scheduled the rest of the time with one thing and another. In any case, I am already thinking ahead to what I might paint up for him for his next birthday and next Christmas.  One very manage

Merry Christmas Night. . .

  A big day here in The Grand Duchy of Stollen.  We began with The Young Master racing downstairs at about 10am to see if Santa Claus and the reindeer had eaten the treats left for them and to read the annual letter to him from Santa as his mother and I readied breakfast.  We wrapped up the day with my tucking him in a short while ago at 8:40pm with a final wish of Merry Christmas one more time, a brief recap of the day, and a kiss on the forehead before I closed the door to his room and stole quietly back downstairs. The Young Master is now 12 although rather immature in some ways due to ASD and related learning disabilities.  At the same time, he now seems so adult in other ways.  I am sure Santa Claus will not hold the same excitement for too much longer.  Our little boy is growing up with a consuming interest in natural history and the sciences as well as cartoon strips, social and political history, and working toward his black belt in Tae Kwon Do.   So, this Christmas Day has be

A December 23rd Treat for Dr. Who Fans Everywhere. . .

    A pre-Christmas gift from my wonderful sister in Washington, D.C.  An official Dr. Who Tardis mug.  As she wrote in her email to me this morning, "It holds more coffee because. . .  It's larger on the inside!" Easily the coolest mug I have ever had, I will use and enjoy it often.  Wearing my extreme nerdiness proudly here, I have been a fan of the series for over 40 years since 1977, when WHYY (Public Broadcasting Service) in Philadelphia used to air Tom Baker episodes every Saturday afternoon.  Usually all four installments of a particular story in one two-hour block.   My sister and I used to sit down together to enjoy these together each week, at nine and ten years old respectively.  In fact, she was the one who introduced me to The Doctor.  While I am open to other doctors, my personal favorites remain Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee, and Peter Davison.   Hmm.  The mug is empty.  Time for a refill.  -- Stokes

It's Almost Christmas in The Grand Duchy of Stollen. . .

  Another old seasonal favorite of mine.  You don't see magical Father Christmases like this anymore sadly.   T he ground is white with fresh snow east of the sun and west of the moon in the far off Grand Duchy of Stollen. Billowing, silvery drifts are piled throughout the country. The rivers and lakes are frozen solid. The woods are still but for the distant jingle of sleigh bells in the bracing air. The sky is slate grey, and heavy coal smoke hangs over the villages and towns. It is Christmas Eve here in the Grand Duchy, somewhere very near to Frederick’s Prussia, sometime during the mid-18th century.  Citizens of Krankenstadt bustle to and fro through snow-covered streets of the small capital city of the Grand Duchy, running last minute errands before the Christmas festival begins in earnest. The red brick North German Gothic storefronts feature special Christmas items and treats like the marzipan for which the city is known, and the happy faces of children peek in through th

Russian Artillery Almost Finished. . .

    F inal touch-ups and two coats of extra shiny acrylic gloss tomorrow (Thursday), followed by careful wrapping, and placement beneath the Christmas tree.  A reasonable approximation of SYW Russian artillery.  Whew!  I wasn't sure I could manage it there for a couple of days. -- Stokes

A Pre-Christmas Russian Battery and Crew Painting Update. . .

  Said battery and crew.  The guns are basically finished and mostly glossed.  Still quite a bit to accomplish for the crew however.  Not my best painting, but they should still reasonably good at arm's length once painted and glossed.  I am, however, very pleased with the red coats, breeches, and waistcoats. H a rd at work in the evenings recently painting the Minden SYW Russian artillery for The Young Master's Christmas gift. At the fine detailing point now, so maybe I can get them done and glossed, carefully wrapped , and beneath the tree in the next couple of evenings.  Or three.  Since these are imaginary troops after all, I am ignoring some of the historically correct details and going for the overall effect.  They are nevertheless looking pretty good to my eyes at this point.  Certainly far from perfect, but I think our Paul will appreciate using them against ol' Dad's troops during our Christmas Week game.   On that note, I plan to set up the folding tables tomo

Featherstone's Words on Shaken and Disordered Units (1988). . .

  A Featherstonian battle in progress from decades past.  Photograph "borrowed" from the Man of Tin blog. R ules of Wargames in the American Civil War Period (pp. 34-35 of Feathertone’s Complete Wargaming, 1988) “The effects of being fired upon or taking part in a hand-to-hand melee are reflected by the morale of the unit as a whole being affected in that it is – Unaffected , when it remains where it is on the field, able to move, fire, or fight in the next game move in the normal style. Shaken – when the unit withdraws its normal move distance, still in good fighting order, but not able to move forward (or towards the enemy) until the next game move.   It may fight in the normal way if attacked. Disordered – when the unit withdraws its normal move distance, but ends with its back to the enemy, unable to fight or fire until its owner   is able to score a 4 or over on the dice, which he may throw at the beginning of each subsequent game-move.   Each failure to make the 4