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Showing posts from May, 2008

Crossbelts and Turnbacks. . .

. . . and whiskers on kittens. These are a few of my favorite things. At least at the moment! The turnbacks were originally painted British Rifle Green, but examining a variety of sources on uniforms of the Irish Wild Geese regiments showed that many had, in fact, white turnbacks. So, white it was, which meant carefully retracing the coattails of the figures with a #1 round brush and paint from a 10-year-old bottle of Ral Partha white, purchased from a gaming shop on State Street in my old stomping ground of Madison , Wisconsin during fall 1998. Amazingly, the paint has done well in that time with the help of an occasional few drops of water added to the bottle. Then, it was onto the shoulder belts and sword belts around the waists of the musketeers. Contrary to my initial intentions stated here, I decided to make these white, which was indeed striking on the single crash test dummy, who received this treatment. Once again, though, referral to my Funken and vari

My Painting Fingers are Bloodshot!

All of red coats are FINALLY done with no mistakes to fix. Whew! Here's one of Colonel O'Malley, his adjutant, and regimental sergeant major. You'll notice that the basic colors of his trusty steed have also been filled in Ok, all of the red has now been painted in on the 1 st (O’Malley’s Most Honorable) Grenzer Battalion . I don’t want to paint any more of this color for a while as much as I like it. Next up: brown musket stocks, tan shoulder belts, and white sword belts. Charge!

Baden Powell it Ain't!

25/28mm Large Medieval Jousting Tent, available from Magister Militum. Thank you everyone for your kind comments and encouragement regarding the red-coated Irish battalion of mercenaries that I’m in the middle of painting. That kind of thing always helps get one through some of the more taxing bits. I should be able to finish the red coats later this evening and get on to Colonel O’Malley’s horse and perhaps the brown musket stocks. Expect another photo or two shortly. Now, there was a question posed here the other day about those brightly colored pavilion tents in the background of those last photographs posted. These were purchased in March 2007 from Magister Militum -- – and were, I believe, designed by the late Ian Weekley. The particular model I purchased was the “25/28mm Large Medieval Jousting Tent”. Among other things, Magister Militum offers a wide variety of cast resin tents, buildings, and fortifications that are suitable for

The Grand Duchess Returns (and Some Photos)!!!

Here's a second shot of the entire battalion in-progress. Lots of smaller (but somewhat faster) details once all red jackets are finished. In the distance, you'll observe the recently arrived Colonel O'Malley and his small staff supervising the training if his men. Here's a tighter shot of those figures whose redcoats are finished -- slightly more than half of the "1st Most Honourable Grenzer Battalion". Painstaking work to apply the three coats of red, but the results are pleasantly rich and bright in appearance. Well, there has been much going on lately here in Stollen Central. The Grand Duchess arrived home last night via the shuttle bus from Chicago-O’Hare. I met her at 12:55am, drove us home, fixed Sonja a little midnight breakfast, and then she collapsed into bed. Has air travel always been so stressful? I don’t think so. In any case, the Grand Duchess is home, and all is right with the world. Both the Grand Duke and Royal Feline are happy!

Progress on the RSM's but no photos just yet. . . Sigh.

Well, the new digital camera and lenses that my mother presented to me in March are a bit more complex than our little Cannon “point and shoot” camera with which I’ve taken photos for the blog until now. That little camera has been traveling with the Grand Duchess for the last couple of weeks, hence the attempts with the larger, more complicated gear. At any rate, I managed to get in a decent amount of time on the RSM’s on both Saturday and Sunday. The figures now look pretty good. All green breeches, smallclothes, and facings are complete as are the white gaiters. In addition, I managed to paint 13 of the red coats. And all with a minimum of painting mistakes. It was a good weekend! The one extremely time consuming part of this has to do with the color red. Since I use a black undercoat, it takes three coats of GW “Blood Red” to get a nice, even, rich color. However, the time and effort are worth it. I think you’ll agree when I have some worthy photos to post h

Photos are coming!

The green facings are FINALLY finished on those RSM French musketeers. I even applied white to the gaiters and the red to the coat of one figure to see how they will look when completed. The answer is: not bad at all! Stay tuned for a photo or two later this weekend. Enjoy the day everyone. I'm off to my film history course.

It was just one of those evenings. . .

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Yes, that’s right. . . I tipped over my open tin of Humbrol British Rifle Green last night. %%$&^*# amp;^*# !!! My work area really was a sea of green for a little while. However, my mind remained clear, and I resolved to use the pool of green paint as my reservoir and simply continued painting until all coat tail turnbacks were finished. This took a couple of hours, so collars will be completed this evening. I still have a little paint left in the tin, but I imagine it won’t be long before that dries up. It’s a little sad because I’ve had this tin of paint since purchasing it at MiniFigs HQ in Southampton in December 1988! Funny how one hangs onto certain sentimental memories, isn't it? On a happier note, thank you for your interest and kind words concerning my upcoming musical venture. In fact, I met with the guy who will become our lead guitarist last night. He plays extremely well in that bluesy Clapton/Page

Sky of blue and sea of. . . green?

Well, some inclement weather blowing through Central Illinois yesterday afternoon and evening prevented bicycling AGAIN. High winds, hail, and dangerous cloud to ground lightning. The storms presented a perfect opportunity to take shelter in Zum Stollenkeller with the shortwave radios on and paintbrushes in hand. So, for about three hours, I applied Humbrol “British Rifle Green” to the breeches, vests, shoulder straps, and cuffs of thise 33 RSM French musketeers on the painting/radio desk. They still look very strange, but they’re getting there. Tonight, I’ll finish with the turnbacks on the coats. Then, it’s on to hair/officers’ wigs, followed by gaiters and shoulder belts. Painting is great fun once you make yourself sit down and do it. The best part is watching the tiny uniforms take shape during the course of several painting sessions. Now, I moan about the poor bicycling weather above because the Grand Duchess and I have signed up for a big organized area ride in

All Kinds of Progress in Zum Stollenkeller

Since the Grand Duchess is out of town for another week, and we had chilly, blustery, and rainy weather all day yesterday, I spent the time at work here in Zum Stollenkeller. First, I sat myself down at the computer and wrote for a couple of hours. More than 1600 words. Very rough, but at least there is something on “paper”, which I’ll add to this evening. Second, all flesh areas are painted on the 33 “Irish” grenzer. I divided the job into two lots, before dinner and after dinner, so it went fairly quickly. Still lots to do, but the painting gets more interesting from here on in, and the figures appear rather more life-like than a week ago. Tonight, it's on to the white gaiters and maybe the green breeches. Finally, I’ve been pondering the various criteria that people might take into consideration when shopping around for wargame figures. So far, I’ve come up with the following: realistic proportions, casting quality (moldlines, flash, pitting), level of detai

It's not easy, bein' green. . .

33 Green bases of RSM95 French musketeers painted? Check! Next up? Their faces and hands. Then the painting starts to get a bit more interesting. On another note, do any of you Stollen regulars know which very famous Jim Henson/Sesame Street muppet recorded this song in the early 1970s? My mother bought the 45rpm single for my sister and me, and we played it to death – much to Mom’s chagrin, I think. But she was very kind and patient. . . still is as a matter of fact, even viewing this blog from time to time! A fitting thought for this particular Sunday. Today, Mom lives and paints in Mexico where the constantly tropcial temperatures agree with her temperament more than in southeastern Pennsylvania where I grew up. She's quite talented too, recently being asked by the City of Merida and the government of Yucatan state to produce a few pieces for exhibit in various museums around the city. You'll forgive my bragging, but she's my mom, and I'm so plea

Paintbrushes Stand at the Ready in Stollen. . .

For Immediate Release: Painting in Earnest to Resume in Zum Stollenkeller! Latest Battalion Possibly Ready for Summer Campaign Season Krankenstadt, Grand Duchy of Stollen, 10 May 1768 -- Recently shamed into action by Hesse-Seewald’s “Alte Fritz”, Stollen’s tailors stand ready to begin clothing the next battalion, slated to join the slowly growing collection of 18 th century miniatures who now occupy Zum Stollenkeller . Rumors abound as to the precise details of the uniform in question. However, those closest to the developing situation generally adhere to the opinion that the uniform will resemble that worn by the Irish regiment of “Wild Geese” as seen on the front and rear covers of Young and Lawford’s chestnut Charge! Or How to Play Wargames . As a J รค ger Battalion, the New Unit Will Carry No Standard in the Field Thanks to clear pictures of the standard carried by Brigadier Young’s troops, the unit in question has been identified as the historic Berwick Regiment.

Just look at that Irish regiment!

After celebrating the birthday of the Grand Duchess yesterday (eternally 29!), I check Phil Olley’s War Cabinet this morning. . . and what do I see? Amazing updates for May 2008 to his growing Pils-Holstein collection. If you haven’t already, take a look here: . Just look at that! Impressive isn’t quite the word to convey how neat Phil’s collection and architecture look so far. I'm eager to see what units might be added next. Especially pleasing to the eye is the latest addition – a regiment of “wild geese”, the Dillon Regiment. Jeepers, I’ve got to get cracking on those RSM95 figures sitting behind me. Only half undercoated in black acrylic so far. But Phil’s Irish mercenaries inspire me to get back in the saddle and finish this step later in the evening. Then, all will be ready to proceed with the more interesting parts of the painting process. For the record, my smaller battalion of RSMs (33 figures) will be painted

You've simply got to check out these new figures from Huzzah Miniatures!

SYW Prussians on the march. . . Just a few of the new "old school" figures being offered by Huzzah Miniatures in Great Britain. Well, it’s yet another blustery, grey, and wet day here in Central Illinois . Perfect for biding one's time down here in Zum Stollenkeller with the soldiers, paints, and shortwave radios. Seems that the lawn mower will have to wait until another day. ;-) On that note – are you sitting down? – Allan, the man behind The Kingdom of Wittenberg blog, sent me a link this morning to a new venture in Great Britain , Huzzah! Miniatures . Briefly, it’s a brand new line of slender, correctly proportioned 30mm wargame figures dressed in accordance with mid-18 th century uniform conventions. The figures certainly call the classic Spencer Smith miniatures to mind, as seen in The War Game and Charge! , but they have better detail and, indeed, a unique charm all their own. Prussian infantry has been covered already, including a mounted officer,

Fresh Coffee Must Be Good for Headcolds.

Happy May 1 st everyone! The headcold seems to be on the wane this morning, BBC World Service is online, and I’m enjoying a large mug of fresh, strong coffee in Zum Stollenkeller. The semester is just about over, the weather for today will be warm, and life seems pretty good at the moment. Painting has, unfortunately, not been happening this week although I did get basecoat onto those RSM figures Sunday evening. Hopefully, this weekend will see me returning to the painting desk since we are supposed to have chilly temperatures and lots of rain, which plays havoc with bicycling and work in the backyard (“back garden” for UK and Commonwealth visitors). Head congestion notwithstanding, I’ve been able to enjoy lots of great painting work via some of your blogs and the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group. It of course has got me thinking several months ahead about upcoming painting projects here in Stollen Central. You might recall that I’ve got about 32 Revell plastic Prussian infant