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Showing posts from October, 2007

15,000+ Visits to the Grand Duchy of Stollen!!!

The Grand Duchy of Stollen has been visited slightly over 15,000 times since the start of this blog in August 2006. Flags are flying from bridges, government buildings, and the palace in Krankenstadt this morning. And the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus, dressed in the fanciest version of his lobster costume, complete with TWO left-handed claws, will speak before an assembly of his ministers later today. Besides the expected self-congratulations, it is widely believed that the Grand Duke will comment on the continued build-up of Zichenauer forces along the Zwischen river that separates largely Protestant Stollen from its arch-enemy the predominantly Catholic Electorate of Zichenau. Unusually, it is thought that a winter campaign might possibly be waged against Zichenau. Keep reading Die Krankenstadt Tageblat for further developments. Katrina-Bettina von Heffelfinger

Inching along. . .

Well, the title of this post says it all really. A dinner party here that ran really late – complete with obnoxious and uninvited child in tow -- prevented any painting last night. Have a few things to take care of today, but hopefully I can get in a couple of hours to paint this afternoon or evening. Anyway, here are a couple of photos to update you regular visitors to the Grand Duchy of Stollen on my progress with the Zichenauer infantry regiment – “The Newts”, commanded by one Colonel Augustus von Finknottle. The first shot shows where I am with the third company (in the midst of purple facings and turnbacks). The second shot shows the entire regiment. Kidding aside, it will be fun painting the final 19 figures because it’s something akin to zooming down the far side of a monster hill on your bicycle. Or at least that’s how I’m viewing it. One of you mentioned something about the “tipping point” of painting here a week or so ago, and so we’ve almost reached it

Upcoming Release from Italeri. . .

It’s been awfully quiet here at the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog lately. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. Far from it! In fact, I’ve been plugging away, painting the third batch of the 80-figure Zichenauer infantry regiment behind the scenes. This third company of 19 figures is progressing nicely, and I’ll have a photo or two posted here in another couple of days. Just think, almost finished with 75%+ of the unit! On an exciting and related note, I’ve learned that Italeri are poised to release a new set of Napoleonic Austrian infantry 1800-1805 (Item #6093), sometime before the end of the year. As you’ll notice from the above illustration, these figures look like they will work well for the late 18 th century. Hopefully Plastic Soldier Review will have more information on set composition before too much longer. Jim “Alte Fritz” Purky mentioned, in a recent discussion over on TMP, that the casquet (Sp?) headgear was worn by Austrian troops during the SY

Surprised and Delighted. . .

About ten days ago, you’ll remember that I posted a message here asking if anyone might be interested in trading some Revell 1/72 SYW Prussians or Austrians for two sets of IMEX British artillery. Well, Bill McHenry of Texas – Sir William to many of us here and at the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group -- contacted me and asked if I might like a few extra troops he had sitting around . . . without a trade. I was stunned to say the least. Anyway, Bill asked what I wanted/needed. Not wishing to come across as greedy, I asked whether he had about 30 Austrian dragoons (enough for a three-squadron regiment using Young and Lawford’s rules). “Yes,” replied Bill, and then he asked if I wanted some Prussian infantry too. “Hmmm,” thought I. . . Well, to cut a long story short, the figures arrived today, and Bill included much more than I asked for. So, I now have enough Austrian dragoons to eventually form three full regiments of 30 figures each – plus a large squadron (15) of

And Now for Something Completely Different. . .

Almost forgot! Just to give all of you Grand Duchy of Stollen visitors a good laugh. . . Here’s a photograph of yours truly and the Grand Duchess Sonja just before starting the first day of the annual Hilly Hundred over in Bloomington , Indiana last weekend. Two days of riding 100 miles through beautiful rural farmland with some of the most monstrous hills you’ve set eyes on. A few hills were quite steep and over three miles in length by the time we reached the top. The Grand Duchess was amazing and charged up each hill with reckless abandon. Unfortunately, by the end, my tired old legs gave out, and I had to walk the bike up the last few “gentle rises”. As Hans and Franz might say, “Vat a little girly man!" Still, it was great fun with lovely, cool fall weather. I also had the chance to tour the university campus where Sonja did her undergraduate degree. Indiana University is beautiful! And of course, the Afghani dinner we enjoyed with a few fel

One Half of Zichenauer Regiment Now Completed!!!

Well, after a weekend of bicycling out of town (in Bloomington, Indiana), reading and marking the latest batch of student papers, plus a minor bout of painting lethargy, I have finished the second company of the 80-figure Zichenauer infantry regiment. The best part is that there are only 38 figures remaining!!! I’m so excited by this that I am beginning on the next batch of 19 figures tomorrow evening when I will set out to apply flesh tone to the hands and faces. If that goes well, I might also begin on the green bases. I’ve half a mind to make a big push this weekend and work on the second half of the regiment in one go. We’ll see. But it would be lovely to finish these figures by early November. Then, I can get cracking on the regiment of Spencer Smith cavalry that the fair Grand Duchess Sonja brought to me last summer. Anyway, here are two shots of the half+ of the regiment that is finished. These plastic Revell figures paint up surprisingly well when time is taken

Pine Needles or Oak Leaves?

Brrrrrr. . . . Finally some fall temperatures here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen, leading me to anticipate cups of hot chocolate, apple cider, pumpkins, and eventually the Christmas season with that lovely scent of evergreen in the house when the tree has been brought in and decorated, which leads me to an interesting question that Murdock asked. Were the sprigs of greenery that the Austrian (and some other) troops stuck in their tricornes sprigs of pine needles or oak leaves? Regardless of the answer, it still means a daub of dark green paint on the figures, but I would like to know, so my historic knowledge is correct. Please feel free to weigh in on this one. I’d appreciate your input.

And Another Step Out of the Way!

Here’s another quick update. The breeches are now finished for the second company of nineteen Zichenauer infantry. No more Warlock Purple for a few days -- thank goodness! Instead, it’s time to work on lots of little details that will go quickly – badges on cartridge pouches, sprigs of pine on left side of the bearskins, some brass/bronze flourishes here and there, the musket barrels, drum cords, and so on. And what the heck! For your continuing perusal, here’s a photo of one half of the regiment, mustered for inspection by one very proud Colonel von Finknottle!

IMEX AWI British Artillery for Trade

I have two boxes of IMEX 1/72 British Artillery of the American War of Independence/American Revolution that I don’t need. They are a little too small to work with my Revell/RSM/Spencer Smiths. I’ll happily exchange them for two boxes of either 1/72 Revell Austrian SYW Dragoons, or 1/72 Revell Prussian SYW Infantry. I purchased the IMEX sets last year, and they have been gathering dust ever since. It's time to find them a good home. By the way, the figures are still on their sprues, and one box even has the cellophane wrapper on it. Contact me, if you're interested.

A Flurry of Painting Activity. . .

While the Grand Duchess was away at her Toronto Conference, I had a busy painting weekend with the second batch of Zichenauer infantry. They aren’t done yet, but they ARE much closer to being finished. Did not get to the purple breeches yesterday, but I was able to wrap up the facings and turnbacks along with the musket stocks and a few other little things that escape me at the moment . . . Must be advancing age, you know. The 41 st birthday is in about a month!

A Quick Painting Update. . .

Well, the first free weekend in about three weeks! So, I spent a delightful day painting the second batch of Zichenauer infantry yesterday! Here’s a photograph I took early in the day after completing the crossbelts and red silk bags in the top in the bearskins. Pleased with the results, I continued in a few later sessions to apply the purple facing color and brown to haversacks, along with a different color of brown for what look like small pouches or canteens modeled on top of the haversacks. If you look carefully,you'll just make out on a few of the figures here that light blue shoulder strap on their left shoulders. I decided that this is how I would differentiate between each of the four companies. The first has purple, the second light blue, the third will have yellow, and the fourth will have green shoulder straps. I decided on this because these figures have sprigs of pine in their hats rather than pompoms or cockades, so it is difficult to represent which comp

Yet another "Old School" book to read. . . Oh, the pain!

The last week has been kind of quiet here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen. Too many student papers to read/mark and company from out of town for a few days meant that it was difficult to get any painting time in during the evenings. But, it hasn't been a complete loss here either. . . Another wonderful little book arrived in a short while ago -- Introduction to Battle Gaming (1969) by Terry Wise. A brief once over reveals what looks to be like lots of interesting reading and plenty of black and white illustrations to peruse too. Best of all, the copy I received is in "Like New" condition and was had for less than $20US! Can you believe it? All I can figure is that the bookseller was not aware of what he had, because I've seen copies of this little gem elsewhere for a heck of a lot more than that! And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, the latest issue of Battlegames was also in the same batch of mail today. So, this evening will be very full in