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Showing posts from August, 2009

Baby's Room Almost Finished. . .

A quiet day today enabled me to get just about done applying a coat of Olympic "Flax" (golden yellow. . . that's more or less aurore to you Bonapartists!) to baby's room-to-be. In-laws are mercifully on the way back to Seattle, the Grand Duchess otherwise occupied with their departure, and all is once again right with my little corner of the world! I'll finish trimming in around the windows tomorrow afternoon once I get home and change clothes. And then a quick second coat with the roller and voila! I'll also snap a few photographs and post them if there is time before dinner and our first birthing class. I dare say that the rooms is hardly recognizable after a single coat of primer and the first coat of paint. Makes me wonder why on earth I just didn't go ahead with painting the room a year ago. On other fronts, I was up really early this morning (before 5am) thanks to the Grand Duchess, who had occupied the middle of the bed and was sound asleep

Priming, priming, priming. . . Gotta keep on priming. . .

Here's a shot of some of my supplies. The three cans of primer are just out of sight to the left of the photograph. The three cans you see are the "Flax" light golden yellow. I e-mailed a copy of this photo to good ol' Mom and entitled it "My Blue Period". One way or another, my life is approximating Picasso's right now! ;-) After almost six hours of work, with a short lunch break, I have managed to apply a coat of white universal primer to all four walls of the future nursery. No photos of that, but I thought I'd post a couple of what the room used to look like before I got started today. A previous occupant of the room painted all four walls this mid-blue color. As much as I liked applying a similar shade of blue to the facings of the recently finished 80-figure unit of fusiliers, it just doesn't work as an interior color. At least not when it covers all four walls. So, a primer was necessary to ensure good coverage when I apply the

A Fantastic New Range of Horses by EBob. . .

The new range of EBob horses come in two or three different sizes, all within the 28mm range, and are cast in two halves, allowing one to mix and match different horse halves for a varied "look" to your cavalry units. They certainly are lovely! Trolling around the Miniatures Page a short while ago, I came across what is promoted as a new range of 28mm horses for commercial use. They are, to say the least, some of the very best miniature horses I have ever seen. The prices are steep, but apparently you are also paying for the commercial license to produce and sell these castings. Price notwithstanding, here's the link: Ok, enough time wasting here, men. I've got me a nursery to prime!

A White-washin' Aunt Polly's Fence??!!

Is it really true? Will Stokes be painting a fence like Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer? Not exactly. For the next few days, I'll actually be a paintin' the future room of "Little Nimbus" as the several gallons of primer and Flaxen yellow paint plus rollers, roller pans, brushes, and the like -- now waiting on the floor of the bedroom next to ours -- will attest. Yep, I'll just be a paintin' fool through the weekend while the Grand Duchess attends her baby shower on Saturday with her mother and sister, who arrive this evening for a few days. Now, some of you might be thinking to yourselves, "Well, Stokes, that's either plain old dumb luck, or very astute planning!" I'll never tell. ;-) By the way, for those who might be scratching their heads, Little Nimbus is the name by which we refer to the future heir to the Grand Duchy of Stollen since we are waiting until the baby is born before we learn its sex. We have specific names all picked ou

And here they are -- the 7th (von Flickenhoffer's) Fusiliers!

For your viewing pleasure, here is the fourth company of fusiliers -- all done and varnished with two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish. Nice and shiny they are too! On a few figures, you'll notice, I need to retouch the green bases, but that will only take a few minutes when I sit down after supper this evening. Here is a somewhat close-up shot of the company NCO and a few of his charges as well as the 3rd company to their rear. Two coats of clear glossy varnish seem to approximate that Peter Gilder-esque look, which I have grown to prefer over the last few years. Two coats are glossier than a single coat too. I read somewhere online that Mr. Gilder wanted his figures to look like tiny porcelain miniatures, hence the glossy finish he used. For a classic wargaming project like the Grand Duchy of Stollen project, that's just the sort of appearance I hope to impart to my troops. Here is a higher angle, third photograph, showing the entire regiment on parade. And

Grand Duchy of Stollen Blog Nearing 70,000 visits!!!

An illustration not of Irwin-Amadeus II and his manservant Hives, but of Frederick II and the philosopher Voltaire in the study at Sans Souci Palace, which the Grand Duchess and I visited one wonderfully sunny, warm Saturday this June while in Germany. It was an indescribably delightful time! I notice from the counter at the right of the page here that Irwin-Amadeus II, his trusty English valet Hives, and company are getting very close to 70,000 visits since August 2006. I believe there have been something in the neighborhood of 6,000 since mid-June alone! At any rate, I encourage lurkers and newcomers, who may never have left a comment or suggestion here, to take a few moments to introduce yourself and tell the rest of us about your own wargaming/painting/collecting/reading interests. It's always loads of fun to hear from others about their particular interpretation of the wargaming hobby. Charge!!!

The day almost slipped past. . .

To celebrate the third anniversary of the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, here's a photograph of that very first unit I painted back in August/September 2006, the 2nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers -- 60+ Revell plastic Prussian musketeers, scrounged from about a dozen boxes of figures. Due to the start of the new fall semester, a ton of dull administrative stuff, and a couple of excruciating meetings with a department head, who seems totally out of touch with reality, August 19th slipped by me yesterday. And then I remembered a short while ago, sipping my early morning coffee as I sat before the computer. Yes, August 19th marked the third anniversary of the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, which I began to document the creation and painting of two Sittangbad-sized forces of 25/30mm old school miniatures, inspired by Young and Lawford's armies as described in that wonderful book Charge! Or How to Play War Games . Yep, three years ago, I began the journey that has led us down the path o

Fusilier Painting Is Finished!!!

So, here's a general view of the fourth company, 7th (Von Flickenhofffer's) Fusiliers, all done save for the two clear protective coats, which are on the agenda for tomorrow. Here is a close-up shot of the company drummer. I used to dislike painting musicians, but a bit of artistic license and somewhat better painting skills than twenty years ago make them easier and more fun to paint today. I love adding the tiny diagonal markings (What are these called? Anyone know?) to the upper and lower drum loops! The third photograph features a few figures from the front. Gosh, how alliterative I've become! I think I should see a speech specialist. Help!!! I can stop myself! Anyway, the combination of a black basecoat, followed by a tan undercoat, really helps to give added definition and depth to white uniforms, especially at arm's length. And here is a view of several figures from the side as the rest of the regiment looks on from the rear of the painting/radio desk.

Monster Fusilier Regiment Nears Completion -- Austrian Cuirassiers Stand at the Ready!!!

Yep, you read it right. After a fit of activity early yesterday morning and late this afternoon, all of the mid-blue facings on the fourth and final company of the 7th Von Flickenhoffer's Fusiliers are finished. All that remains are the black gaiter buttons and the metal trim on the fusilier caps. Then two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish and tally ho! Afterward, it's on to those thirty or so RSM95 curiassiers that have been sitting in formation on the ol' painting table for oh so many months. Jim "Alte Fritz" Purky isn't the only one who is going to be painting Austrian heavy cavalry, though mine won't have the lovely blue facings of his Alt Modena Regiment that's currently in-progress up at Chez Fritz. By the way, click on Jim's Hesse-Seewald link at right to ogle several recent photographs of the Minden cuirassiers that he is using for his aformentioned Alt Modena Regiment . The initial squadron is stunning. Ok! Fusilier photo

Granddaddy's North Carolina "Pulled" Pork BBQ Primer

Yours truly, watching over two slow-cooking pork shoulders about ten days ago. The meat has been cooking about three hours, more or less, here. I've had a few questions about this in the past couple of days, so I thought I'd provide my (grandfather's) own recipe and then direct those of you who'd like more information to the wonders of the Internet (thank you Al Gore!). For this recipe, you'll need the following: The Pork BBQ. . . 2 large pork shoulders 1 large bag of charcoal Hickory chips A covered grill. Not an open bearbecue pit! 1 cup of apple cider vinegar Coursely ground black pepper (to taste) 1 package of good quality hamburger roles The Slaw. . . 1 large head of cabbage Equal parts white sugar, white vinegar, ketchup Lea and Perrin's Worcester Sauce (to taste) Course ground black pepper (to taste) The Iced Tea. . . 1 two quart pitcher 5 bags of Lipton tea 3 sprigs of spearmint 1 cup of sugar The Process Explained. . . 1) Slow cook two large pork shou

Slowly getting there with the final company of fusiliers. . .

Well, along with planning the painting of "the nursery", making another batch of slow-cooked North Carolina pulled pork BBQ with red slaw (an all day process), and weathering the hottest weather we've had all summer, I have managed to do a bit more painting on that final batch of RSM Prussian fusiliers this weekend -- shoulder belts, musket stocks, barrels, and bayonets, musket straps, hair and mustaches, plus some additional metal bits and pieces that aren't really visible here. Basically all that's left are the mid-blue facings, the white ruffles at the front on the men's necks, and the rest of the metal trim on the fusilier caps. Here's a close-up shot of two figures, front and back, which gives a better idea of what I describe above. The green shoulder strap denotes the fourth company. The first, second, and third companies have red, blue, and white shoulder straps respectively. Not exactly historical, but it helps me to keep things more organized

Old School Wargame Miniatures Confront the Post-Post-Modern: The Garrison Comparison

Well, I don't know about the title -- I was trying to parody academic paper titles -- but here are the promised comparison photos for Bill McHenry and anyone else who might find this sort of thing interesting. In the above photograph are featured miniatures by (from left to right): Zvezda (a 1/72 Napoleonic Saxon cuirassier conversion), Revell (a 1/72 Austrian dragoon), Garrison (a 25mm Austrian dragoon officer), RSM95 (a 30mm Austrian cuirassier), and Holger Eriksson (a 30mm Swedish dragoon). As you can see, height-wise, the metal Garrison figure is very close to his plastic brethren, though a bit on the well-fed side for anatomical purists. By the way, Garrison figures would go very well with those produced by MiniFigs I think since the two are very similar in height and build. The Garrison figure pictured here is also much shorter than his 30mm RSM or Holger Eriksson cohorts. Now, for some gamers/collectors, these slight differences in figure size and dimension might seem pro

Coming Soon: A Figure Comparison

Good morning everyone! Bill McHenry sent me a lovely e-mail (Thanks, Bill!) this morning in which he asked a favor. Would I please post some figure comparisons of my plastic mounted Revell and Zvezda figures along side the new Garrison miniatures that I purcahsed in June? A brilliant idea, Bill, and why I didn't think of it myself, I don't know! But, I won't get to it until late this evening, following the usual daily stuff, a visit to the vetrinarian, band practice, and supper. I'll even sweeten the deal and add a mounted RSM, Spencer Smith, MiniFig, and Holger Eriksson each to the mix. So, we'll be able to get a good idea of how these various figures work together. On a completely different note, drop by The Indras' myspace page if you haevn't done so in a while and have a look around. Here's the link: . We were recently asked, out of the blue no less, to send a copy of our demo CD to the guy who runs the on

Some more painting to report. . .

Happy to report that I am almost (just ALMOST) finished with the application of white to this final company of Von Flickenhoffer's Fusiliers . The coats and shoulder belts are now completed, leaving the musket straps and neck ruffles along with the officer's gloves. I'll complete these tomorrow evening before moving onto the mid-blue facings, which are limited to the cuffs only for this particular regiment. So, the completion of this particular step should be a fairly rapid and trouble-free process. Then, if there is time, and I still feel like it, white wigs for the company officer and Regimental Sergeant Major (a recently discovered an extra fusilier figure I didn't realize I had in the lead pile), with brown hair for everyone else. That leaves only some metal bits here and there, brown musket stocks, and leather bayonet scabbards. And then, I think the entire regiment will be all done save for two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish. Could the end actual