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Showing posts from October, 2009

Introducing David Paul I of Stollen. . .

Happy Halloween everyone! Here's just one (I promise) photograph of David Paul I of Stollen, taken at about 11:30am last Tuesday morning when he was about an hour old. Paul and I headed to the nursery for the first full check-up of his vital signs and his first sponge bath while the Grand Duchess Sonja was in recovery. Paul's rather peaceful composure here was a clever ruse it turns out. His first night home (last night) was a looooooooong one, and I think Sonja and I had about three hours of sleep between the two of us. Oh yes, I can hear many of your voices now, "Stokes, we tried to tell you. . . " I imagine there will be many such moments for the next 18 to 21 years or so . All the same, he's really an amazing little guy with the most pretty eyes when they're open.

Churchbells Ring throughout the Grand Duchy of Stollen. . .

. . . and the capital city of Krankenstadt. At 10:18 this morning, the Grand Duchess Sonja gave birth to David Paul I of Stollen, who weighed in at 7.1 pounds and measured 19 inches. Mother and baby are doing extremely well while the father is tired though relieved and content . He was the first to hold the baby, comfort him, and has already assisted with the first full check-up and bath of the grand ducal infant. It has indeed been a glorious day!!! Wednesday Addendum Thank you everyone for your warm wishes. I wonder what 'ol Irwin-Amadeus and Hives will do with this news? My guess is pack the trunks and head to Aunt Agatha's for a long weekend!

Baby less than four hours away!!!

Yawn. It's 5:41am on Tuesday, October 27th. The Grand Duchess Sonja and I will go into surgery in just under four hours, and about 20 minutes later, we'll be introduced to the tiny heir to the Grand Duchy of Stollen. Must dash as it's going to be a big day. More in a couple of days along with a photo or two. Charge!

Continuing with the Cuirassiers and T-Minus Two Days and Counting. . .

Just a quick update this morning. First off, thank you to everyone for your kind words about the first twelve Austrian cuirassiers. They are a fun unit to paint, and I worked for an hour or so on the second squadron of one officer and eight troopers last night, applying black Liquitex acrylic paint to the horses, men's hats, and cuirasses. You might recall that I typically prime all of my figures, metal or plastic, with black acrylic gesso (available in most artists' supply stores), but I add the acrylic paint on top of that for a couple of reasons. First, while gesso provides good "tooth" for later coats of paint, it sometimes is a little spotty in its coverage, allowing the metal to show through a wee bit. Second, on those parts of the figure that stick out, like the top of the men's heads and the horses' ears/tails, for example, the gesso can rub off without careful handling. The black Liquitex acrylic provides some added durability since it encases th

Glossy Cuirassiers!!!

Here they are in all of their Peter Gilderesque, shiny glory, the first squadron and regimental staff of the Anspach-Beyreuth Kuirassiere. . . still a little wet after the application of the second coat of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish. Now, here's a close-up photograph of the first squadron itself. My cavalry are all organized, more or less, according to the rules laid out in Charge! -- three squadrons of eight troopers and one officer plus a regimental staff of a colonel, standard bearer, and a trumpeter for a regimental strength of 30 figures. Finally, here is the colonel along with his standard bearer and trumpeter. You'll notice that I finally decided to paint out the red sleeve chevrons on said trumpeter to bring this unit more in line with its historical counterparts in Austrian service during the Seven Years War. Historical veracity notwithstanding, the three squadrons sent to the Grand Duchy of Stollen in 1767 by the Margrave of Anspach-Beyreuth are commanded by

Breaking News!!!

Found this item posted by John Curry on the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group yesterday evening: "I thought this group would like to know that Donald Featherstone's latest book is now in print. As so many people on this group have been so helpful with the History of Wargaming Project, it seems fitting that this book in particular should announced on this group first. The news of the new book broke early as a printer told a few friends who were wargamers 'guess what I saw at work today'. These few friends told a few more, who then put it on their blogs. For the last three weeks I have had many enquiries per day. So I am pleased to say the lorry arrived today full of new books to sell. For further details see Foreword by James F. Dunnigan SPI, How to Make War, The Strategy Page 'Donald Featherstone was one of the dozen or so people who, in the 20th century, turned wargaming into both a hobby and a more

Coming Soon: Photos of the First Dozen Finished Cuirassiers!

The title says it all really. One more coat of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish this evening and then a couple of photos of my finished work. The figures look pretty darn good with only a single coat of Future/Klear, but two gives them that porcelain-like appearance that Peter Gilder so liked for his figures. Agh! My computer has been at the University Tech Services for two days thanks to a virus, which managed to turn off my firewall and anti-virus software and invade my system the other day. Hopefully, it will be ready to reinstall in Zum Stollenkeller this evening after band practice. In the meantime, I'm using the Grand Duchess' new Mac laptop at the moment, which is really nice, but it sure ain't my trusty Sony Vaio PC. And I sure hope my old school book files have not been damaged or lost! :-( By the way, our heir apparent should be here next Tuesday or Wednesday. Minor complications with Sonja's pregnancy have meant that her doctor has decided to bri

Cuirassier Update. . .

Here's a photo update of the first squadron of Anspach-Beyreuth Kuirassiere. Only a few touch-ups to do this evening, and they're done! Next, we have a close-up of the squadron captain and his senior NCO. Note the silver lace for both figures, denoting their big-wig status in the squadron. Hmmm, I think there's a pun or some play on words there. Here's the revamped regimental staff, who now have silver lace instead of gold in keeping with my attempt to paint them as representatives of an actual Austrian regiment of cavalry. Only the English trumpeter figure gives them away. Much as I like my work on the red sleeve chevrons, I might paint them out with white, since Austrian cuirassier trumpeters of the SYW period apparently had very plain coats with little to no decoration. The squadron of cuirassiers I have been working on is just about finished. Last evening, I painted the white/silver lace -- yes, I switched from yellow/gold -- on the saddlecloths of the trooper

Just Another Lazy Saturday Here at Stollen Central. . .

Some post-Seven Years War troops from the Franconian Kreis of the Reichsarmee. Nothing to do with my current painting project, but they are pretty to look at! A brief post before I settle in for some painting on those RSM cuirassiers. We're in the home stretch with the Grand Duchess Sonja's pregnancy. Some minor complications arose this week, so she spent a night in the hospital attached to a saline drip and has been put on bed-rest until her next doctor's appointment next Wednesday. Baby and mother are doing well, but Sonja has been told to spend her time in bed or reclined in the IKEA chair in her office here at home. So, yours truly has been running errands to the grocery store and fixing all meals during the last several days. Sonja's due date is not until November 14th, but there is a possibility that "Little Nimbus" (nicknamed for his/her mother) might be here as soon as next week, depending on what the doctor has to say on Wednesday afternoon. W

A Bit More Cuirassier Progress. . .

Between the usual mid-semester stuff and the final few weeks of The Grand Duchess' pregnancy, things have slowed considerably on all fronts here at Stollen HQ, but I've still managed to fit in an hour of painting here and there. Here are a couple of photos, illustrating where we stand with the first squadron of Austrian/Stollenian cuirassiers after last night. You'll note that all red on the facings, turnbacks, and saddlecloths is done. The carbine stocks, barrels, and firelocks/trigger guards are also finished and the sword blades too. Next up, I'll do the yellow/gold saddlecloth lace and probably also do the one visible brass/gilt shoulder thingies on the cuirasses too. Progress has also been slowed a bit since the figures keep popping off the plastic milk jug lids I am using as temporary painting bases, and I have to keep regluing them. Grumble, grumble, grumble. . .

What's black, white, and red all over?

Why, a newspaper of course! Moldy, old jokes aside, Austrian (Stollenian) cuirassiers are also black, white, and red all over . And so, here are a couple of new photo updates, showing where we stand with the first squadron of the Anspach (Von Heide's) Cuirassiers. All of the white has been applied as have the red turnbacks and facings and the brown hair. Here's another view from the other side of the table ;-) . Next up, the red breeches and saddle cloths with gold lace for the officer and yellow for the men. The actual Anspach regiment had silver/white lace I believe, but I'm not worried by my apparent error much. They'll serve in a fictitious army anyway, so a rather generic appearance is fine with me. Finally, everybody has to get in on the act! Lately, the Grand Ducal feline, Princess Rannveig, has taken to hopping from the table up onto my shoulders and sitting as I work at the computer or paint. Her balance is still pretty amazing for a 15-year-old cat.

It's the Weekend!!!

Saturday is here, boys and girls, so it's time for a little fun. And that means some figure painting here in Zum Stollenkeller ! After a couple of days away, I took about an hour or so to apply a tan undercoat to that first squadron of those RSM95 Austrian(Stollenian) cuirassiers. The photo above shows them drying, waiting now for the application of white to the shoulderbelts and other high points on the upper bodies. This two-part process is how I like to suggest a little depth and shadow to nominally "white" uniforms. On the technical side of things, I used a new #3 Cotman-Windsor&Newton synthetic bristle brush with a sharp point to apply said undercoat, which was Delta Cream Coat "Trail Tan". I was careful and certainly did not hurry since I actually enjoy the painting process, so it took about 90 minutes to do this particular step. My process is not the only way to paint white uniforms, of course, but it's certainly a method that works for your

Cuirassier Painting Continues Apiece. . .

Here they are -- Colonel Heinrich von Heide along with his trumpeter and standard bearer, all done save for the usual two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish. A pretty basic paint job based largely on Austrian cuirassiers of the period though I took considerable license with the trumpeter, who is English since the RSM Austrian SYW cavalry lack a trumpeter figure. The standard is that of Austria's Anspach Cuirassiers, which I printed out, attached, and then painted the appropriate colors carefully over the computer inks to prevent fading later. Besides a quick photograph of the three figures above, I've spent a delightful couple of hours working on the first real squadron of nine Austrian SYW cuirassiers this evening here in Zum Stollenkeller . Nothing exciting to look at just yet, only mundane things green bases and navy blue drybrushed onto the black horses to provide a highlight. This time, I think I'll finish the horses first before moving onto the men. So, t

Almost Finished with Cuirassier Regimental Staff. . .

The colonel, his staff, and their respective mounts are looking rather dashing if I do say so myself. Whoops! The trumpeter's lace should be yellow/gold instead of white. Well, it's not like it will take a long time to fix it this evening after dinner. Got in a good hour of painting last night before enjoying another two episodes of Ugly Betty on DVD with the Grand Duchess (the recently issued 3rd Season). The above photo shows where we stand now with the first three of 30 RSM95 Austrian cuirassier figures. Another evening or two to complete the final and inevitable touch-ups -- plus attach the regimental flag to its pole and paint it -- and the colonel Freiherr Heinrich von Heide along with his staff are all finished. Then, it's time to quit fooling around and tackle that first squadron of the regiment: one officer and eight troopers.