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Showing posts from June, 2008

Getting there. . . Slowly, but surely. . .

Well, where in the world did June go??!! Another sunny, cool summer day here at Stollen Central. I’m enjoying a mug of coffee as I write this at 9:50am, pondering the things that need to be done (in real life) today as well as the next several weeks of painting, modeling, table construction, writing, etc. It’s not an altogether unpleasant task. ;-) Did manage to sit down for 90 minutes or so last night with the battalion of Revell plastics I’m happy to report. Finished applying the white acrylic gesso base coat to the remaining dozen or so figures and began applying black undercoat to the first half of the unit, which was “gessoed” last week. This time around, I decided to experiment a bit with the black undercoating and used my GW Chaos Black for the task, emulating Henry Hyde’s process with his Spencer Smith Von Eintopf regiment back in 2006. Happily, the GW paint is much thinner and has much better coverage than the Liquitex acrylic black that I’ve been using for the pas

It's been a looooong week. . .

Whew! Haven’t had the energy for much painting this week with all of the back and forth with the publisher who has contracted me to translate that book by a Norwegian author. Reading and approving contracts has got to be one of the dullest things on the planet! Another bit of consulting work I’m involved in has also cut into painting time during the evenings. So too has bike riding with the Grand Duchess. We have just under 100 miles in the saddle for this week! I’ve actually been on my bike six days out of the last seven, and it’s a funny thing. When you are that physically active, you’re just hungry all the time! And really bushed, so Sonja and I are having a free day (no biking) today, which is good, because it’s rained off and on all day here in Central Illinois . Another activity that’s taken away from painting time has been my “old school” rock and roll project. Our band has managed two practices this week and will have at least three in July. So far, it’

The Eventual Table and a Scenario. . .

The basic set-up with a few Zichenauer officers and Magister Militum tent pavilions, to provide a sense of table dimensions. Well, I just couldn’t resist setting up the three folding tables late last night, to gain an idea of how much area they occupy, before I went to bed. So, in the first photo this is what you see – an area 72” x 90”, which, when covered by the planned two foot square sections of MDF board (painted light green), will become 72” x 96”. A lovely 6’ x 8’ of gaming space. More than I’ve ever enjoyed before. I’ll space the tables out a little bit before placing the MDF boards, so there are no unsupported edges that might catapult soldiers and scenery into the air if I carelessly lean on them. My good friend on Vancouver Island, Jeff Huddelson, mentioned in a comment yesterday that I might be able to have even more space if I purchased a fourth table. It’s an idea I really like, but I want to leave enough room to move around all four sides of the planned table

Von Kallweitschen and Von Gedacht Are Now Finished.

Ok, here are Major Anders von Gedacht and General Hermann von Kallweitschen all touched up (black lining fixed on the former and white cuffs/black lining added on the latter). Not Dallimore-style painting by any means, but nice, simple "unfussy" painting to borrow John Preece's term. Perfect for my tastes! And here's the star of his own show, the General himself. Von Kallweitschen knows almost nothing about military theory or practice, but he'll talk for hours about how others get it wrong -- without ever asking the advice or opinion of those who are more experienced on the field of Mars, for example Major von Gedacht or Colonel O'Malley. For all of Kallweitschen's shortcomings, though, his gold-braided red waistcoat looks pretty good now. What a dandy he is!

Latest RSM95 General and ADC Almost Finished!

The almost finished Zichenauer officers in situ: General Hermann von Kallweitschen hails his ADC Major Anders von Gedacht. Judging by the grim look on his face, Gedacht must wonder just WHAT his foppish superior wants now. But he holds his tongue in the true manner of an officer and a gentleman. Here, you can see that Gedacht's saddlecloth needs a bit of black lining to provide definition between the red and silver. It actually needs it on both sides. Here, Genral von Kallweitschen holds forth on the proper deployment of light troops to the much more experienced Colonel O'Malley as Major von Gadacht looks on sternly. O'Malley and Gedacht are already fast friends and, no doubt, will have a good laugh about all of this over cigars and port later this evening. You can also see that Kallweitschen needs his white shirt cuffs painted in and some black lining around the gold braid across his red vest if you look closely.

Lazin' on a sunny afternoon. . .

In the summertime. Truly one of the great songs by the Kinks, led by the talented Ray Davies. Our ABBA Fest was a resounding success yesterday evening. Lots of friends, food, laughter, and (campy) 70s music. It was great fun, and the Grand Duchess and I have decided to do it all again in a year. But with Swedish flags next time! This morning, I put the Grand Duchess on a plane to a four-day conference in Virginia , so now it’s just me and the kitty for a little while. Sad to say, I haven’t done ANYTHING today, and it’s been rather nice. I think I’ll get back to those two mounted RSM generals this evening though. A couple of hours’ work should just about finish them. Tomorrow, I’ll apply acrylic gesso to that unit of Revell Prussians, who are slated to become a pioneer battalion for Zichenau. In other news, I have my three 30”x 72” folding tables, which will form the basis of my gaming table! Office Max had a sale on these this passed week. Initially, the Grand

Here's yet another helping of Stollen!

Meet General Hermann von Kallweitschen and Major Anders von Gedacht. Just a quick post today because the Grand Duchess and I are preparing for a Swedish “midsommar” (or ABBA Fest as we call it) party, which we are throwing here tomorrow evening. We got the idea from our Minneapolis-based grad school friend “Swedish Allison”, the originator of the yearly ABBA Fest tradition. But that’s a whole different story. Anyway, we do this to put the Grand Duchess in better touch with her "Sweduality". Sonja is almost enitirely Swedish-American, although she is named for the Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie. Anyway, at the top of this post is an in-progress photo of the latest general in the service of the Electorate of Zichenau and his ADC. Meet General Hermann von Kallweitschen and Major Anders von Gedacht. Still lots to do, but you get the idea. RSM figures almost seem like they paint themselves. Wish it was always that easy! Next, and especially for Jeff von Saxe-

Nearing the Halfway Point with the GDofS Project!

Just a quick note today. According to the painting progress chart I’ve drawn up, we will be at slightly less than the halfway point of the Grand Duchy of Stollen old school wargaming project once the current unit of pioneers is done next month. Based on my painting output of the last two years, it looks like (roughly) another two before the Sittangbad-sized forces are finished. Naturally, those BIG 80-figure infantry units for the Electorate of Zichenau take the most time. Artillery crews and their guns take much less as do the generals and ADC's. But enough nattering on from me. See for yourselves: Completed Units As of June 15, 2008. . . Grand Duchy of Stollen Regiment Unpainted In Progress Painted 2 nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers x Jäger zu Fu β Battalion x Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja’s Own) Grenadiers

The pile of lead just keeps growing and growing!

The latest addition to the growing pile of lead (and plastic) here in Zum Stollenkeller. Two RSM generals all ready for the paintbrush. Happy Father’s Day everyone! Hope you are enjoying a Sunday with your loved ones. . . or maybe seated within the recesses of your various “painting retreats”, hard at work on that next unit of figures. The Grand Duchess and I had a stellar day yesterday. We finally opted for the 65-mile route on the Red Cross sponsored Ride and Stride , figuring that it was better to finish the ride feeling good instead of going for the 100 mile mark and feeling totally spent – wiped out even – by day’s end. With the five plus miles to and from our house to the start/finish point of the ride, we came in at 76.42 miles by the time we returned home. Not bad when you consider that yours truly is now on the wrong side of 40! ;-) It was a great day, with pleasant temperatures and bright sunshine and a light wind, which sometimes made for tough going when the

Addendum. . .

An aerial view of Krankenstadt, capital city of the Grand Duchy of Stollen, located onthe Greater Zwischen River, which flows northwestward toward the Gulf of Riga. A few of you have asked me when I might stage another battle between the Grand Duchy of Stollen and the Electorate of Zichenau. Well, as soon as possible! It hinges on two things: 1) Getting that unit of Revell Prussians painted, which should take about 4-5 weeks; and 2) Purchasing the necessary materials for and assembling my semi-permanent wargaming table, which will be 6’x8’ and painted a lovely light green, complimenting my figures and scenery in a simple, attractive, and yet unfussy “old school” way. So, the first battle in Zum Stollenkeller ? Hmmm. . . Well, I’m thinking either some small scenario from one of Charles S. Grant’s wargame scenario books, or a refight of the SYW battle in Charles Grant Sr.’s Wargame Tactics , or a second, slightly larger engagement fought at Zollamt Bridge, the action I stag

It's almost the weekend. . . Hurrah!!!

An example of typical Stollenian landscape in the summer. The Electorate of Zichenau and surrounding principalities are very similar appearance. Happy (Almost) Weekend Everyone! Thank you for all of the very kind comments and observations about Colonel O’Malley’s battalion of imaginary Irish grenzers posted here earlier this week. I really appreciate your continued interest in and enthusiasm for the Grand Duchy of Stollen project. Today is a cool, grey one here in Stollen Central, perfect for reflecting on the week passed. There were a number of questions in response to my last post, so I thought that I’d do well to answer at least some of them. Yes, the figures used for the imaginary Irish grenzers were indeed RSM95 -- French musketeers in the firing position along with officers, NCO’s, and a couple of drummers. These were a December 2007 Christmas gift from my in-laws and have been really nice, fun figures to paint. On that note, the colors used were all Games Work

Painting on Irish Grenzer Battalion Finished!

Battalion assembled, Sah! Gentlemen, meet the 1 st (O’Malley’s) Most Honorable Grenzer Battalion ! Barring a glossy coat of Future floor polish and a couple of tiny touch-ups, painting has been concluded on this unit of infantry, which will join the ranks of the army fighting for the Electorate of Zichenau. Overall, I’m very pleased with the figures’ appearance. Not connoisseur quality, but just fine for my collection and wargaming use. Next up in the painting queue, a few RSM95 generals on horseback before moving on to that battalion of Revell Prussians. Charge! Battalion staff up close. Colonel Thomas O'Malley. Close-up of Company B . Close-up of Company A officer and drummer. Close-up of drummer. . . who still needs his white shirt cuffs (groan!).

Rain, rain, and still more rain. . .

I feel like the A.A. Milne characters above, on that particular blustery day, when they were floating around in an overturned umbrella until they were rescued by Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. And there’s more rain in the forecast. In fact, we’re under a flash flood watch here in Central Illinois until sometime tomorrow! All of this rain plays havoc with mowing the grass and bicycling needless to say. But the Grand Duchess and I did manage to get in a 30+ mile ride during a couple of hours early yesterday evening before the next front blew in. So, this evening, it’s an hour on training rollers in the basement. Not the most exciting way to ride a bike, but it keeps one in shape and might even help melt away those extra winter pounds. I’m not quite there with my battalion of imaginary Irish grenzers (sigh). I managed to finish the muskets and drummer for the second company of the battalion yesterday evening, following the bike ride and dinner. All that remains now are the