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Showing posts from April, 2007

First Annual Golden Grenadier Award

Here it is! And pretty darn cool looking the certificate is too. Thank you to "Dwarfman" for his efforts to incorporate Oberfeldwebel Klatschen into the design. That makes it particularly special given the Oberfeldwebel's growing status and renown in the Grand Duchy of Stollen. I'd like to mention that my follow painters in the contest also submitted impressively colored figures too, each one worthy of note in its own right. These little works of art included a couple of Prussian SYW cuirassiers, George Washington on horseback, a fantastic fantasy figure -- a mounted "Prince Imrahil", and a 40mm Dark Age Saxon figure on foot. And each figure was painted to standards as high and exacting as the Oberfeldwebel. Hats off to you men. I am continually impressed by how high the figure painting standards in the hobby have risen. Well done to everyone!

And the next unit in the painting queue is. . .

Well, it looks like the votes are all in here at Stollen Central. And the next unit I will paint, following completion of the RSM95 grenadiers, is (drum roll, please). . . a unit of plastic 1/72 Revell Austrian grenadiers , wearing that neat bearskin with the silk bag flopping down one side! Final votes were three for these same grenadiers, and two each for the staff, cavalry, and artillery. Thanks to all of you who participated in the survey. Now, what makes this REALLY exciting is that this first unit of Zichenau infantry will consist of 80+ figures organized in four companies plus a small regimental staff! Each company will have an officer, a sergeant, a corporal, a drummer, and 16 men. The staff will consist of a mounted colonel, an adjutant, a standard bearer, a regimental sergeant major, and a pioneer, leaning on a great big axe. Total regimental strength? A whopping 85 figures! I decided to do this because the army of the Electorate of Zichenau will be slightly sm

The Krankenstadt Tageblat -- Society Page

Grand Duke Embarrassed by Palatial Hijinks Krankenstadt, The Grand Duchy of Stollen Yesterday evening, a large state function, given by Grand Duchess Frederikka von Schwerin und Hoch, was held at the Palace of Krankenstadt on the picturesque heights above the city, to celebrate the recent rise in tourist-based trade and commerce here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen. Many visiting dignitaries, diplomats, and aristocrats of the region were in attendance, including the newly appointed minister of tourism and travel, Herr Peter-Erich von Euelenspiegel, who was the guest of honor. Also in attendance were Stollen's Minister of War Heinrich-Schatzi von Pelznikkel, the Minister of Trade,Herr Rastus-Uwe Georg von Gebogenius an der Pickelhaube, and Prussia's new ambassador to Stollen, the gregarious and perpetually bemused Honorable Herr Heinz von dem Salat. Led by the gallant Oberfeldwebel Klatschen, a company of the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja’s Own) Grenadiers was in attendance outsi

The Grand Duchy of Stollen Appoints a Minister of Tourism and Travel

8000+ visits have been registered at the Grand Duchy of Stollen since the creation of this blog last August! Thank you again to all of the duchy’s regular tourists, fans, well-wishers, and enthusiasts. The duchy would be a dull place without your visits, observations, and assistance. And certainly not as exciting and intrigue-riddled a place for the newly appointed Minister of Tourism and Travel, one Herr Peter-Erich von Eulenspiegel -- “Rotten Peter” to his enemies, and there are many! Looks like Stollen’s Leib (Grand Duchess of Sonja’s Own) Grenadiers will have their first whiff of black powder sometime next fall when they will follow their Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II, sans his lobster costume, north to one of the annual Charge!/BIG Battalion games put on by Bill Protz, Jim Purky, et al in the Northern Chicago suburbs. I’ll have them all painted well before then, and I’m sorely tempted to add another 20 figures, so that the grenadiers will have a four-company establishment

A Brief Communique to Hesse-Engelburg

The Palace of Krankenstadt , The Grand Duchy of Stollen 21. April 1768 My Dear Prince, We are most impressed with the mustering of Hesse-Engelburg's forces and will watch the continuing developments with an interested, albeit cautious, eye. As you know, our own Stollenian army remains in a state of unpreparedness and disorganization, though it is our sincerest hope that the recently returned Oberfeldwebel Lebrecht Klatschen will soon have the men and officers in shape once again. Until then, we hope that the Grand Duchy of Stollen does not figure into Hesse-Engelburg’s plans for territorial expansion in the region. However, our own Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II has requested that I inform you of his willingness to allow Hesse-Engelburg troops unmollested transit through Stollen should the need arise, i.e., should you wish to "protect" a neighboring state that is contiguous to our own territory. This is by no means to suggest treachery on our part, merely a real

We Have a Winner!!!

Oberfeldwebel Lebrecht Klatschen has won the Golden Grenadier Painting Competition, taking 34% of the votes cast!!! I've just received the breaking news from the administrator of the contest. Thanks to all of you who cast your votes for the Oberfeldwebel. He'll enjoy an extra large stein of Turkish coffee and a clay pipe of the best Virginia tobacco with his junior N.C.O.'s at their favorite haunt, 'Der Andere Schuh' (the other shoe) this evening. Once the e-certificate arrives in the Grand Duchy of Stollen, I'll share it here. Thank you again, and a hearty thank you also to the other painters who partook in the contest. Their entries and painting skills are certainly also noteworthy. Well done men!

Breaking News from Spencer Smith Miniatures!

Jonathan, the man behind Hesse-Engelburg, inquired the other day at the OSW Yahoo discussion forum whether or not Spencer Smith figures would work with RSM’s. Dig around in the photos over at OSW. There are a couple of photos originally posted by Henry Hyde, which give a good answer to that question. Spencer Smith infantry figures stand at about 30mm base to eye. Cavalry are proprtionately taller, standing at about 40mm from base of horse to eye of trooper. As long as you do not combine the two ranges in the same unit, I think they will work fine on the table top, so long as they are kept in distinct units. Henry’s photos show that the Spencer Smith miniatures are very similar in stature to the RSM’s, though perhaps just a wee bit shorter. The sculpting style between the two ranges is rather different though. On a related note, Spencer Smith has just added to its range of 18 th century figures. Although designated as War of Austrian Succession, many would be appropriate for

Looking Ahead -- A Grand Duchy of Stollen Tourist Survey

Well, I just finished attaching the remainder of the RSM95 Grenadiers I’ve been nattering on about to their temporary 1” card squares. In the next evening or two, I’ll apply some acrylic gesso to Company B, followed by my usual black undercoat the next evening. Then, painting can begin as usual. As I was working, my mind wandered ahead to what I’ll work on next after the entire 63-figure Leib Grenadiers are finished. Probably mid-May. A little slower than I had initially hoped, but life keeps throwing curveballs in the way, and the Grand Duchy of Stollen campaign is only a hobby after all. Anyway, I will have the core force of three infantry units, a cavalry regiment, a two-gun battery, and three staff finished for Stollen. It will then be time to begin painting a core army for Stollen’s arch enemy, the Electorate of Zichenau. And I’m a bit torn concerning where to start. So, I’ve decided to conduct a survey among you regular visitors to the Grand Duchy of Stollen.

Lurching toward a "Historical" Narrative. . .

As some of you might know, I’ve been at a loss as to how one might explain the “history” and origins of my own Grand Duchy of Stollen (and its enemy the Electorate of Zichenau). What has given me problems is that Stollen et al are located to the northeast of extreme eastern Prussia , sandwiched between Frederick II’s lands, Russia , Poland , and Courland . Far outside the historical boundaries of The Holy Roman Empire. Although I must play around with things in considerably more detail, I think I can now explain things a bit better. My rationale for Stollen and Zichenau? Their origins can be traced to the crusades of the Teutonic Knights, during the 1200s, to Christianize the pagan Slavic tribes in the area – the Prussi, Letts, Livs, et al. In the centuries that followed, people from Hesse and the Saxon duchies settled the region and efforts at “germanization” of the original inhabitants followed. Hansa merchants from prominent trading centers like L ΓΌ beck, Greifswald ,

Company A of Grand Duchess Sonja's Own is Done!

Excepting the clear coat of Future floor polish, the 19 figures that comprise Company A of Stollen’s Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja’s Own) Grenadiers , plus the staff of six, are finished! The stars must have been in line Sunday afternoon and early evening. I was able to get all of those little final details done. 48 garters, and I must have painted 500+ gaiter buttons today! Anyway, here are three new photos with better lighting. At the top is a shot of the regimental staff, including mounted colonel, ensign, and Oberfeldwebel Klatschen at the far right. The second picture shows the "doctored" Hessian infantry standard up close. It's not exactly like the one carried by Brigadier Young's Erbprinz/Poltava Guard Regiment , but close enough. Let's say that I've personalized it a bit! Finally, another photograph Company A in 'column of fours' with an as yet nameless captain and drummer at the front and a sergeant at the far rear. All officers wear w

First Company and Staff Almost Finished!!!

What's that? Could it be? Are they just about there? Will he soon be able to get a move on with the second company? A resounding and emphatic “YES!” to all three questions! The first company and staff of Stollen’s household regiment, the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja’s Own) Grenadiers , is all finished except for the black garters and buttons on the gaiters. So, tomorrow, I must use a small brush to paint 48 garters and about 300 tiny black buttons on the gaiters. Oh, and the girth and stirrup leathers on the mounted colonel’s horse. After the silver oil paint has dried on the metal fronts of the mitre caps in a few days, then I’ll add the Future floor polish as a protective varnish followed a day or two later by the Hessian infantry standard. As I mentioned a few days ago, this will be carefully doctored, so it more closely resembles the standard carried by Brigadier Young’s Erbprinz Regiment although it won’t be an exact replica. While I’m waiting for things to dry, I

A Few Stollen Moments

Well, after I finish my post-dinner cup of coffee and then do the dishes, I think I'll sit down and get in some painting on the RSM95 grenadiers sitting over on the painting desk. Inspired by the arrival and vicarious excitement of Jonathan's own RSM95 Prussians over at Hesse-Engelburg, I feel the need to get moving and finish that first 1/3 and a bit of Stollen's Leib (Grand Duchess of Sonja's Own ) Grenadiers . The Grand Duchess actually has a couple of commitments over at the university this evening, so, I'll have some time to fill. . . Actually, I'm just avoiding a batch of student papers that need reading and grades assigned :-( Next, thanks to Phil Olley for his kind remarks in his latest Broadside update over at Phil's War Cabinet. And he's also been kind enough to supply a link to the Grand Duchy of Stollen, Principality of Saxe-Bearstein, and a few other fictitious 18th century places. Looks like we're stars now Jeff! ;-) All kidding

"And it's Oberfeldwebel Klatschen leading along the backstretch. . ."

Happy Easter from the Grand Duchy of Stollen! As of this morning, Oberfeldwebel Klatschen is leading in the Golden Grenadier Painting Competition with 12 votes (35%). Imagine what the Oberfeldwebel could do if he had Hillary Clinton’s campaign budget at his disposal. Why, he might even be able to get unstuck from that Armory paint bottle!

Vitally Important Painting Updates

So what's been happening in the Grand Duchy of Stollen lately? To borrow a word from Jacob Marley's ghost, "Much!" Currently, Oberfeldwebel Klatschen is leading the Golden Grenadier Painting Competition by two votes. As I wrote in response to Jeff Hudelson’s comment here a few days ago, “Come on, come on, come on! Go Oberfeldwebel Klatschen! Ruuuuuuunnnnn!!! Otherwise, I’m almost there with the first batch of RSM95 grenadiers. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get too much work in during the last couple of days due to writing, teaching, and family commitments. The Grand Duchess Sonja sang in a municipal chorus last night, supporting an Illinois state symphony through a production of Beethoven’s 9 th Symphony (you know, the European Union anthem) here in Bloomington at the new Center for the Performing Arts. Needless to say, it was a rousing evening of music that was over all too soon. And we were able to walk home – no parking woes necessary

The Golden Grenadier Painting Competition

Gentlemen (and perhaps Ladies), If you're tooling around here with nothing much to do in the next few days or so, repair forthwith to the "CAMRA, SOSAC, & Olmec Derision Society" Yahoo discussion group. Sign in (join if you haven't yet done so), click on 'Polls' over on the left side of the screen, and then on 'Vote for Your TWO Favorite Models'. The five figures entered will show up, and you can decide on the two you like best and submit your votes. The web address is: Of course, you'll notice that Oberfeldwebel Klatschen is participating in the contest, and I hope some of you might cast your vote for him. But let your conscience, figure, and painting tastes guide you in your decision. Since the entry deadline was extended twice, I'm unsure how many days are left for voting. It's probably a good idea if you do this sooner rather than later though. In the meanwh

Company A on Maneuvers

Just a quick update after this evening's painting and photo session. My wife is waiting with a German movie on DVD! Here are two shots of Company A of Stollen's Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers formed up in a Column of Fours as shown on p. 46 of Young and Lawford's Charge!. This evening I finished the white shoulder belts (a two step process of white washes to avoid the evil clumping that bedevils users of acrylic whites), the "wooden" brown spontoons of the two officers, and the brown musket stocks. Tomorrow will see me add the Windsor Newton silver oil color to the musket barrels and flintlocks, the spearheads of the spontoons, and maybe the mitre caps on the enlisted men and drummer. Oh, I've got to do the latter's straps and shoulder belts too, I see. Sigh, a military miniature painter's work is never done! Until later then. . .

Getting There with the RSM95 Grenadiers!

Well, unfortunately the Grand Duchess has a nasty cold and has been in bed all day sleeping and reading gardening magazines. Between my visits with meals on trays, cold/cough medicines, etc., I've had quite a bit of unstructured play time to myself today. So, I've managed to get quite a bit of detail work finished on the first 24 RSM figures. Still enough to do, but you can see that I've finished the red vests along with the red facings and turnbacks, yellow lace on collars and cuffs, plus the frilly white cravats on the officers and shirt cuffs on the enlisted men. And not too many mistakes. . . On that note, I think I've finally got this neat "mistake removal" trick down. When you get paint where you don't want it, immediately rinse your brush well, leave the bristles fairly wet, and begin brushing over the area where you've made your mistake. You might have to wipe the bristles a time or two on your paper towel to remove the moisture and color