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Showing posts from September, 2007

You see, the thing about long-distance bicycling is. . .

. . . that it boosts your metabolism to such highs that you can wield the paintbrush very quickly indeed. ;-) Sorry Frank, just kidding! Actually, I am now waist deep in student papers from all of the courses I’m teaching this term, so painting has unfortunately slowed down a bit here at Stollen Central this week. Poor me! However, I was able to paint the bronze bands holding the musket barrels in the wooden stocks for the 1 st company of Zichenauers, which is now all finished except for the clear coat or two of acrylic varnish. You can see 'em up close and personal by clicking on the photo at the top of this post. I’ve also included a close-up of Colonel Augustus von Finknottle below. The graininess of his coat (darn those acrylic whites) should be less obvious after a coat or two of Future. Still, I think he’s a dashing fellow at the head of his regiment, “The Newts”. What would Bertie and Bingo say? How about Honoria? And what might Jeeves think? Last night

Further Painting Progress . . .

The last few evenings have seen work on the musket barrels and bayonets of the first company of Zichenau’s Ermland Garde , plus the faces, hands, and bases of the second company. If the silver oil has dried to the touch by this evening, I’ll complete the brass bands that hold the muzzles to the wooden musket stocks. Then, it’s on to the cream undercoat and white top coat for the coats of the second company. Although, now that I think of it, I have promised the Grand Duchess a 25 mile bike ride this evening, so maybe this will have to wait until Saturday. Yes, we've finally recovered a bit from last Saturday's big ride and feel like getting back on our bikes. Well, at least it’s a good thing that the lesson planning for Friday is minimal tonight! Charge!

Another "Old School" Book Arrives in the Grand Duchy!

Yes, ha-ha, it has finally arrived! Something to break the monotony of a day spent translating a book from Norwegian to English. That’s right; it’s Solo Wargaming (1973) by Donald Featherstone! I actually managed to find a copy online at a considerably more reasonable price than is usually the case for this particular book. Although it lacks a paper cover (not the one shown), the copy of the hard bound book I just received is in remarkably good condition. Best of all, the Grand Duchess Sonja actually made it something of an early birthday present to me. So, I’m sorely tempted to skip painting this evening and retire early to bed because a quick thumb through the book reveals all sorts of interesting reading. I'll try to write up a concise review and post it here in the next several days. Charge! Ooops -- wrong author!

First Batch of Zichenauers Nears Completion!

The title says it all. I am almost finished with slightly more than one quarter of the 80-figure Ermland Grenadiere Garde regiment. And you know? They don't look half bad. So, three cheers – Hip, hip, hip! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! The next painting session should see these babies all finished save the clear coat of Future acrylic floor polish. The remaining items include: silver musket barrels and bayonets, brass musket fixtures, officers’ gorgets, mounted colonel’s sword, brass scabbard tips and sword hilts. Oh, and I mustn't forget the few bits of brass hardware on the furniture of Colonel von Finknottle's horse! Things went so swimmingly this afternoon and early evening that I pressed on and attached the flag, recoloring its horizontal stripes. I wanted something eye-catching, so I used a number of different colors to alter the real Baden-Durbach regimental standard. I’m very pleased with the results. So, barring any delays, by Wednesday or Thurs

Some Interesing How-to Questions Posted at OSW

“Larry” from Belle Plaine, Kansas posted several questions over at the Old School Wargaming Yahoo discussion board recently, asking how to go about developing imaginary 18 th century countries and their armies. Well, there are all kinds of ways to do this, but let’s look at the specific questions Larry asks and address each in turn. 1) Where do you get the maps you use for your fictitious countries? I made it up, deciding that I wanted to sandwich the Grand Duchy of Stollen, its enemy the Electorate of Zichenau, and a few related tiny principalities to the northeast of eastern Prussia -- between Courland , Russia , Austria , and Poland in the late 1760s. That area of Europe seemed to have the geographical "room" for a few extra states, which "history" shows were absorbed by their larger neighbors in the final partition of Poland in the 1790s. 2) How do you come up with the interesting names and heraldry? Just give free rein to you imagination. That's proba

Did Someone Say 1/72 Metal Figures??!!

Happy Weekend everyone! One of you regular Grand Duchy of Stollen visitors, though I cannot remember who just now, asked about figures by the German firm Art Miniaturen earlier this week. I must admit, I've known of these figures for about a year or two, but don't own any currently. See the link below to visit Art Miniaturen's online store: The company produces a nice line of SYW figures, but with the very poor exchange rate between the American Dollar and the Euro, I've put off ordering any in quantity to see how they might work with my plastic Revell figures and the lovely metal RSM95 figures. They do seem a bit pricey, but I imagine that this is because they are viewed more as "collector" figures by their manufacturer than wargaming figures. In addition, I suspect that the A.M. figures might actually be a bit on the small side, "true 1/72", to work with those I have amassed already

Presenting Colonel Augustus von Finknottle!

Just taking a quick break from my translation work and thought I’d add a close-up of “Colonel Gussie”, commanding officer of the Ermland Garde, known colloquially as “The Newts” within the Electorate of Zichenau’s army. The figure still needs some details filled in and some additional touching up here and there. But, by and large, he’s just about finished and ready to take his place at the head of the growing regiment. Princess Antonia, the latest ruler of Zichenau, following the mysterious death of her son Ruprecht VII during the summer, recently conferred the “von” prefix on Colonel Finknottle, an English mercenary gentleman from an old family, belonging to the landed gentry. Princess Antonia, it is said, finds the bright white coats and purple facings of “The Newts” most pleasing to the eye!

Some Progress on Zichenau's Ermland Garde

Well, here’s the latest painting update on the first company and regimental staff of the Ermland Garde (The Newts). All breeches, smallclothes, facings, and turnbacks are completed. So too are the green sprigs of pine in the hats and bearskins – plus the brown hair on the enlisted men and white powdered wigs for the officers and NCOs. I've also touched up the coats in a few places with careful daubs of white. Not visible here are the red silk bags, which hang down the rear of each bearskin. NCOs have yellow lace on the outer edges of their red silk bags to set them apart from the enlisted men. I’ve decided to leave the gaiters black for all ranks in the name of expediency. Oh, I’ve also just finished the brown haversacks, which are also out of sight in these two photos. In compliance with a recent request made by Jim “Alte Fritz” Purky, I’ve worked a bit more on the mounted officer, Augustus von Finknottle. "Colonel Gussie" isn’t quite finished yet, bu

Electorate of Zichenau Gets National Flag

Our contentious neighbor to the south, The Electorate of Zichenau, has unveiled its new national colors, which, observers report, fly today from virtually every flagpole and balcony in the Zichenauen capital, the lovely Rococo city of Hissig . Some suggest that the new colors are a prelude to an invasion of our own Grand Duchy of Stollen. Indeed, our small expeditionary force, stationed along the north bank of the Lesser Zwischen River for the last few months, has issued reports, detailing the activities of white-coated Zichenauers on the southern side. A few low ranking officers, in command of detachments at certain key bridges have even noted tentative fraternization between their men and those of Zichenau during the evening hours. Tobacco, beer, and wine have been exchanged along with the occasional small talk and a joke or two, and this despite a marked difference in the two dialects of German spoken by the respective troops. In the meantime, Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus

Standards? What Standards?

Let’s not omit the standard behind which Zichenau’s white-coated Ermland Grenadiere Garde will rally. It’s actually a flag carried by the Baden-Durlach regiment during the Seven Years War, and this example was gleaned from the Warflag website. However, I’ll monkey around with the colors of the stripes to alter it just a bit, making it just al little more “imaginary”. Maybe light purple and yellow stripes?

Weekend Painting Goals Met (For Once)!

Happy September everyone! I actually met my painting goals this weekend, as seen in the photo above. The poor Grand Duchess was sick in bed with a cold, so I had a few extra hours here and there. Therefore, you’ll notice that I painted the flesh areas of about 20 figures, along with the green bases and white coats -- as I stated I would do late last week. The coats were kind of an interesting exercise since I’ve never painted white uniforms before. I was trying to approximate the look of 18 th century “wool”, so I first painted tan acrylic over the black, followed by white over the tan, taking care to leave some of the tan showing as shadow. Generally, I’m pretty happy with the effect, and the figures actually look better this morning than I thought they would! The paints used for this work were Ceramcoat “tan” and an old bottle of Ral Partha “white” that I’ve had and used extensively for about ten years! That little bottle must be magic because it just refuses to