Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2006

Ugh -- I'b stupped ub wid a cold!

Well, if the badly composed student essays weren't enough to delay my painting output the last couple of weeks, depressing me somewhat in the process, the nasty cold that I've had for a few days now is the hat trick! All I've had energy to do in the evenings is to hit the sack after arriving home and having supper. Following a bit of painting progress early in this passed week, my poor Jaegers zu Fuss have had to wait patiently untouched on my painting table since Tuesday evening. The fever is gone and the cold is waning, but I still don't feel 100% like sitting down to concentrate on painting. Maybe I'll do some easy painting work later this evening? I can relate, however, that the light blue facings and turnbacks look marvelous against the dark green coats. Initially, I wasn't sure how the two colors would work together, but it turns out that my mind's eye was not far off the mark this time. Nice when that actually happens. I've painted the pom-poms on


Gotcha! You should be ashamed. All kidding aside, it seems my previous campaign maps have captured the imaginations of others. Good! It's flattering to learn that my own doodlings have inspired others to modify something first put out there into cyberspace by yours truly. With that in mind, look what I found over at the OSW group this morning. Relative to an ongoing discussion there about mapmaking and the associated software Campaign Cartographer, Tyler Provick has been experimenting with different graphics and mapmaking software. He has posted the results of his work in a folder at OSW in the "Files" section. Imagine my surprise, when the first map I opened turned out to be a later version of the map I dreamed up this summer and finally committed to paper while camping three weeks ago! I must say, I like the look of Tyler's map. His version is suitably "antique" looking although I am partial to the brighter colors I acheived with colored pencils and

A little painting and thoughts on standards and guidons.

Happy first day of fall! I have finally managed to get in a little time on my new infantry unit, Stollen’s 32 figure Jaegers zu Fuss! Still in the very early stages, but, dare I say, they’re going to look good. I’ve painted the coats of all 32 figures Humbrol “Rifle Green”, using a tin of this color that I purchased at MiniFigs in Southampton, UK in January 1989! Amazing how the stuff lasts if tins are sealed tightly. In addition, I “test painted” one figure’s breeches, small clothes, facings, and turnbacks light blue. Parenthetically, this was the first time I’ve used my new Games Workshop paints. Anyway, the test figure already looks fantastic! And I haven’t even painted the flesh areas yet. I’ll try to paint all flesh and the light blue areas in another painting session this evening after dinner while my poor wife grades student essays and prepares a conference paper. On another note, I’ve finally decided how I’ll do my standards and cavalry guidons. I’m


Well, I've managed to get my next unit basecoated with one coat of black Liquitex -- Stolen's Jaegers zu Fuss. Hopefully, the second coat will go on much faster. The problem is that reading, grading, and providing extensive comments on all of these student papers has sucked up all of my time during the passed few days. I'd hoped to get in an hour working on these figures last night, but I was so tired by 9PM that reading for a little while in bed seemed more appealing. It's something about the level of concentration and mental energy required. In any case, the lack of free time and corresponding lack of progress has me a little down at the moment. Aaarrrggghhh! On a more positive note, the weather has turned quite cool here in Central Illinois, and autumn is officially on its way in a day or two. Good. Fall is my favorite time of year. Crisp weather, hot chocolate, gourds, and, eventualy, colorful leaves. It just does something for you, you know?

Crash Test Dummies and Other Errata

Arrrggghhh! A minor setback yesterday. . . As I detached my recently completed 2 nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers from their temporary bases, I discovered to my horror that the undercoat and green paint along the edges of each figure’s base pulled away down to the grey plastic underneath. So, now I have 63 figures waiting for some minor painting repairs today and tomorrow. I quickly decided that gluing the figures (reminder: my figures are large 1/72 figures by Revell AG in Germany ) to temporary bases is not the way to go with plastics! Moreover, I concluded that the underside of each base must also be base coated in Elmer’s (PVA) Glue, Liquitex acrylic, and painted in the same green as the topside of the base. Then, the ENTIRE figure is sealed and encased. And TWO protective coats of Future are in order, I think. I’ve also resigned myself to simply holding each figure carefully during the painting stages as I apply a particular color to it. On that note, I next q

A Little Map "How-To". . .

Thanks very much for your positive feedback on the new map! I've got about an hour before my 11AM class and thought I'd reply to early comments about the "New and Improved" map of Stollen, Zichenau, Pillau-Zerbst, et al. Making maps of imaginary worlds is something that has interested me for a long time -- since my teenage days designing various D&D adventures back in those heady days of the early 1980s. I particularly liked Tolkien's map in the back of the Silmarillion and LaGwynn's map in The Earthsea Trilogy. Between 1981-1985, I must have dreamed up and produced 35-40 different campaign maps for use in the D&D campaigns I tried to run. But I digress. More recently, Henry Hyde's articles on creating and developing one's own fictitious wargames campaigns, featured in the first three issues of Battlegames, awoke those same, long dormant cartographic tendencies. I've been doodling and sketching possible maps since mid-July this year, which

A "New and Improved" Campaign Map!!!

Here is a "new and improved" version of the campaign map I posted a couple of days ago. I hope it is large enough to see here! I've added many lakes (based on our beloved Minnesota and the Polish/Baltic region) as well as the three major cities in the region. Locations of the smaller cities and towns in the more inconsequential principalities have been left to the imagination for now. The area depicted covers approximately 100 square miles. Some of you might recall that Pillau-Zerbst's Princess Valerie was sighted cavorting publicly with Prince Ruprecht II in Hissig, Electorate of Zichenau last spring, sparking the latest round of foment in this corner of Europe. Keep an eye out for the couple -- She's beautiful but scheming while he's a dastardly cad. Why the French mercenary General Phillip de Latte wants Valerie back is anyone's guess! How Ruprecht II has escaped having his throat cut in various duels with the brothers of spurned lovers and cuckholded h

Who is that mad man?

The "real and true" Grand Duke of Stollen -- hard at work recruiting the first regiment of his army in what Sonja I , The Grand Duchess of Stollen, refers to lovingly as "The Purple Room." And no, my stuffed friends perched on the books and radios DO NOT talk to me!

Just a small update and. . . a campaign map!!!

My second round of six bottles of GW paints arrived a short while ago along with a large (and I mean LARGE) box of Warhammer figures and scenery that I did not order and, fortunately, for which I was not charged. Still, I had to call Games Workshop to let them know about their error and arrange for United Parcel Service to pick up the small army of figures at no charge to me. But anyway. . . The paint is here, and that’s what counts. I made a big push to finish trimming the mold lines away from my next unit – Stollen’s Jaegers zu Fuss . All 32 figures are now trimmed and glued to their temporary bases, awaiting their coats of Elmer’s glue and black Liquitex acrylic. Since I’ll have about 50 undergraduate papers to read and grade (a largely thankless task, I assure you) this coming weekend, it seems unlikely that I’ll be able to do this before next week. As a result, it seems that meeting the September Painting Challenge at OSW seems increasingly unlikely. But I’ll

The guns have arrived. . .

A package arrived from GFI today. My troops now have guns, two generals, and an ADC! Best of all, in height, the 25mm MiniFigs are an exact match for the Revell 1/72 figures. The former are a bit stocky in comparison to the latter, but once painted, I don’t think this will be noticeable. The three grenadier drummers (in mitre caps) will look great, beating time for my take of the Erbprinz Regiment. A two gun battery of artillery is next on the painting agenda following my two-company, green-coated jaegers. At some point in all of this, I’ll take a weekend and paint the general staff as a break from working on larger units. It’s all very exciting and inspiring. Expect photos of each component of Stollen’s army here as the project moves forward.

And a few more photos. . .

Ok, here are a few of the 2nd Musketeer regiment in process during late-July and August. Enjoy!

Finally a few pictures for your viewing pleasure!

Thank you so much to everyone for your patience. And now (drum roll, please), for your viewing pleasure, several photos of the 2nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers. I hope you enjoy them. I've chosen photos showing the gradual completion of work begun in late-July and finished in early-September 2006 -- from no paint at all to all finished exept for the protective "Future" coating. It's interesting to compare the next batch of figures in later photos with the completed figures in the foreground. Quite a difference, eh? The same unpainted background figures are slated to become a unit of jaegers, who will fight along side the 2nd Musketeers against forces belonging to the Electorate of Zichenau. For future photos, I hope to obtain and use a digital camera with a macro feature, which will make photographing painted miniatures a little easier -- and the finished products a bit clearer and more interesting to view. Oh, and before I forget, I have finished and colored a basic

There's intrigue afoot in imaginary corners of Europe!

Later. . . While I’ll be away camping this weekend, my troops from the Grand Duchy of Stollen will stand watch along the frontier. As of now, all seems quiet. But there's nevertheless a lot going on in the Principality of Saxe-Bearstein and the Duchy of Alzheim. Take a look at Jeff's thoughts on basing his figures at: Meanwhile, in another isolated corner of "Imaginary 18th Century Europe", Greg provides us with an interesting conversation between two vaguely French-sounding officers as they enjoy too much wine and speculate on the coming battle with Vulgarian troops camped across the valley. Read more about the unfolding situation at:

Goodies. . .

And I don't mean Bill, Tim and Graham! Things are proceeding slowly this week as far as The Grand Duchy of Stollen is concerned! To much prep work for the writing and film courses I teach and not enough time in the evenings for more important stuff like prepping and painting the next batch of figures. Which brings me to the next point. I have managed to trim the mold lines and flash from six Prussian musketeers in the firing pose and glue them to temporary 1 inch cardboard squares -- my usual way of doing things. They already look good, but it sure is interesting to have them on my desk side by side with the 2 nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers who are all finished except for the protective coat of Future floor polish, something I am going to test on one of the small fellows momentarily as soon as I finish posting this latest entry here. I have not forgotten the photos, and there will be many. Rest assured! Other goodies. . . I received the first six bottles of

And So The Work Continues. . .

I fixed my problematic flag last night by painting over the center in orange again. Then, I got busy and painted a light blue ring around the orange lozenge and gold grenades outlined in black in each arm of the large orange cross. Despite no center design, the flag – excuse me, the “standard” – looks interesting and eye catching. I might simply leave it as is. My next two units, soaked and later scrubbed in soapy water on Saturday and Sunday this passed weekend, were all dry yesterday, so I examined them more closely and began trimming the mold lines off one of the firing musketeers. Unlike the marching pose figures that now make up the 2 nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers, there seems to be considerably less flash and mold line to trim carefully away from this batch, even though they are from the same sprues! I’ll organize the new batch of figured – 43 figures total – into two units. First, a 32-figure unit, according to Young and Lawford, which will eventually become t

The 2nd Musketeers Are All Painted!!!

I finally completed the 2 nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers last night! They look fantastic if I do say so myself. As soon as I finish the current role of film (this week hopefully), I’ll scan several photos and post them here and at OSW. The only glitch is the flag. First, the eagle I painted in the center of each side is about the lamest looking bird anyone has ever seen. Second, I think that I’ll cut away the molded flags and poles in future, replacing them with one’s I make myself. But then there is the problem of making a convincing finial for the top of the pole! Anyone have any suggestions? For central designs, I’d like to try some decal transfers like those I’ve seen other’s use in their work, for instance Phil Olley. Otherwise, I am very pleased with the results of my initial foray into another size and “period” (albeit an ahistorical country and army) besides 15mm Napoleonic figures. This week, I hope to gradually cover the entire unit in a coat of

Later. . .

I’ve just concluded about four hours (with breaks) of painting musket stocks and bayonets plus the one remaining spontoon finial and the flag pole. Though I’ll leave the musket barrels until tomorrow, I’ll try to return later this evening and paint the redesigned eagle on the center of the flag (obverse and reverse). The 2 nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers really look amazing! Throughout the painting process, I’ve tried to avoid sheer perfectionism, which can severely slow one’s painting rate, and go for a mass effect. While an individual figure might not be perfectly detailed, the regiment is impressive in mass. As soon as my more technologically adept wife returns home, I’ll have some scanned pictures ready to upload here and at OSW. This will give me another couple of days to finish the unit in its entirety

Let's flesh out some geography, shall we?

During the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about fleshing out the geographical names of my imaginary grand duchy, electorate, and principalities. I’ve decided to name my river(s) the Greater Zwischen and the Lesser Zwischen. Each flows into the main river, the Blue Zwischen, which separates Stollen and Zichenau. Once the Blue Zwischen moves through my territories, it then flows northwest and empties into the Baltic somewhere near Riga . Numerous smaller streams and rivers empty into the system. The lay of the land in this forgotten corner of Europe is flat with low hills, numerous lakes, and large tracts of forest, consisting of spruces, aspens, birches, and the like. Winters can be quite cold with snow while summers are generally cool and damp, although heat waves are not unknown. The names of the primary cities in the region are: Grand Duchy of Stollen: Krankenstadt Electorate of Zichenau: Hissig Principality of Pillau-Zerbst: Schmitten

Almost -- but not quite -- finished!

Not quite finished with the Von Laurenz Musketeers – Groan!!! My four-course teaching load this semester got in the way of my painting a bit this last week. BUT, we have a three-day weekend here in the USA beginning this afternoon, so I’ll be able to wrap things up easily. As mentioned, just muskets, barrels/bayonets, the central flag design, and the flag cords/tassels to do. Then it’s a couple coats of Future floor polish followed by a Kodak moment AND the much sought after photos will be posted here. Thanks to those of you who’ve visited here and requested pictures. They are on the way – I promise! Next in line is a 32-figure unit of light infantry – Stollen’s Jaegers zu Fuss – who will be painted in dark green coats with light blue facings and turnbacks. They stand ready for a bath in warm soapy water followed by a liberal coating of Elmer’s Glue, which I also hope to complete this weekend. It’s gonna be a busy few days, but I’m looking forward to it.