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Showing posts from July, 2011

The Third Time's the Charm, Or Revamped Hussars. . . Again!

Still quite a bit to paint, but I've finally got the color of blue that I'm after.  Should have done this to begin with.  Why in the world didn't I listen to the little inner voice in the first place? Sometimes, I guess, you just have to skin your knees a few times before things fall into place.  So, after trying out a wash of light blue acrylic over a white acrylic undercoat on a single hussar test figure Thursday evening, yesterday afternoon I re-applied (long, drawn-out groan) a white undercoat to the dolmans and pelisses of his 11 cronies.  Later, after supper and bedtime for Young Master Paul, while the Grand Duchess packed and streamed an episode or two of Desperate Housewives online, I stole away back down here to Zum Stollenkeller, to apply washes of Games Workshop light blue (Icy Blue?) and see how things stood this time. Voila!  Eureka!  Shazam!  Holy Utility Belts Batman!  This is finally it.  The third time's the charm.  The watery light blue settled in

Late Summer Maneuvers. . .

  The tactically adept -- or at least high-rolling -- Colonel von Adalnowski, a retired Stollenian officer and bon vivant of considerable notoriety. As August approaches, the time for annual late summer maneuvers is upon us in the Grand Duchy of Stollen.  It comes as no surprise, then, that the army has departed this week for the more open country of the northeast where such maneuvers are typically held each year.  However, due to a recent lateral promotion , the young Major von Topfsange (pictured below) finds himself inexplicably left behind and confined to a corner desk job in some  government office building or other in the capital city Krankenstadt. "Plodding, plodding, plodding," grumbled von Topfsange, "Does this paperwork never end?  I should be leading a regiment or two of cavalry on those blasted maneuvers!"  As the major continued to read through another one of the seemingly endless form letters, signing and stamping it with a government seal before pl

Hussar Update. . .

This picture shows where we stand with the first squadron so far after several months of stop, start, mostly stop, and then start again. Here are the hussars at the end of last night's painting session.  I had to redo the blue dolmans and pelisses with a wash of GW acrylic Regal Blue -- Sigh -- since I wasn't at all pleased with the way the wash of Winsor Newton Griffin Alkyd Cobalt Blue turned out.  Too splotchy in its coverage once everything had dried.   That might have had something to do with the acrylic basecoat and the oil-based wash now that I think of it.  Blast!  Should have thought things through more carefully before doing that.  Where was a tin of Humbrol white gloss enamel when I needed it most?  Well, live and learn as the saying goes.  Still, it did help to offset the yellow and gold braiding which I touched up a bit too, to brighten it up a bit.  Tonight, yellow cuffs, collars, and (hopefully) the vandyking around the saddle cloths.  The following painting

Hussar WIP Photos Coming Soon. . .

Hussars and infantry from Lauzun's Legion, a French unit that fought for the Americans during the later years of the American War of Independence.  Some of you might recall that I am basing the uniform of my unit of imaginary hussars on this one. Just a quick post to mention that I finally returned to the Minden hussars with a vengeance last night and worked on them for about 2.5 hours.  Not much to look at yet, but the first dozen sit on the painting table with bright red breeches (Cadmium Red) and mid-blue dolmans/pelisses (Cobalt Blue).  I'll post a photo or two later this evening for your perusal before I continue work on them.  Gotta strike while the painting iron is hot, you know.

North German Church Finished. . .

In this first photograph, you can see the newly finished church at left along with an older spired building of some type to its right along with a few mounted officers by RSM95 (ex-Pax Britannica) to provide a visual reference with regard to building dimensions.   And here is another picture of the church.  This time taken, more or less, from the rear to show the rounded sanctuary (???), a feature that I am particularly pleased with.  Cutting the paper towel tube in half was not too difficult, but it was a pain in the neck to get the angles just right so that the five small pieces of "roof" fit together without an appreciable gaps between them.  I must have held my breath just right, because it worked the first time! Just checking in quickly to provide two photos of the now finished North German Sankt Mariakirche .  As with many of my buildings and houses, the doors and windows are suggested rather than highly detailed renderings, but it's still apparent what they are

Daydreaming of a Rathaus and Municipal Buildings to Come. . .

Touch-ups to the North German church, shown in my previous post, are complete, and things look much more convincing.  I need only finish and paint the stairway and attached it to the main entrance, and then that's all finished.  Stay tuned here for a few photos in another day or so.   In the mean time, my mind has wandered, and I've decided that I need a town hall, or Rathaus in German, along with a municipal building or two before I cease construction and turn my attention back to painting soldiers.  As many of you know already, however, when the lightening bolt of inspiration to do something strikes, you should go with it. . .  even if it's not the primary focus of a particular project.  That, or I could simply be avoiding the resumption of work on those 30 Minden hussars.  Anything is possible here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen after all! So, what actual structures do I plan to base my envisioned tabletop built-up-areas on?  Well, a jaunt around the internet the last

Photographing Your Metal Men in Miniature, or Learning to Use a Digital Camera

First off, here's a mundane shot of some red-coated Irish Grenzers (RSM figures) under one Colonel O'Malley.  A long forgotten unit of Wild Geese, who are currently in the service of Zichenau. Almost since the start of the Grand Duchy of Stollen project, during the summer of 2006, I've used small point-and-shoot cameras to record my progress and occasional tabletop actions here.  While I've enjoyed using my old late 1990s-era Poloroid Elf (remember those?) that used actual film and more recently our little Canon digital model, I've long harbored a desire for better photographs that present everything within the frame in sharper focus, i.e., greater depth-of-field.  Blame it on the wonderful photographs that routinely grace the pages of Henry Hyde's Battlegames magazine and the Wargaming-in-History series of books by Charles Grant along with his Christmas annuals.  The latter two feature the photographic handiwork of Phil Olley. But back to the subject of to

Happy Independeence Day from the Grand Duchy of Stollen!

Yours truly, the Grand Duchess Sonja, Young Master Paul, and his pal Miss Kitty after this morning's annual July Fourth parade held for the neighborhood children.

Buildings, Barbecue, and Other Assorted Things. . .

Here is the eventual North German Lutheran 'church' discussed in this post. Well, it's been a busy several days.  Heck, several weeks is more like it!  But now's the time to return to the sadly neglected Grand Duchy of Stollen project.   First off, I managed to finish and send off two outstanding projects, both hobby related, yesterday after a few months of sporadic work as and when time permitted.  With any luck at all, these should appear before too many months elapse.  Shouldn't really say much more about that right now though and should stop mentioning it.  Bad, possibly obnoxious form and all that.  What I will mention is that I've also recently finished a work of children's fiction, which I will send off to a publisher after the Fourth of July weekend concludes, to begin what I am sure will be a long round of rejections and resubmissions to other publishers.  It the publishing gods smile on me, eventually my story might see the light of day.  More on