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Showing posts from September, 2011

Minden Hussar Update: Photo Coming Soon. . .

  In the meantime, here is an image, presumably of 18th, or very early 19th Century vintage, of a Swedish hussar.  A member of the Crown Prince's Regiment no less. Happy to report that I am nearing completion of the first dozen of those 30 Minden Prussian hussars that I've been moaning about here for months.  That should leave me with just over a month to complete the remaining 18 (in three batches of six) before the completion date of November 5th. . .  the day before my 45th, er. . .  um. . .   ah. . .  29th birthday!   Anyway, my wife actually asked how painting was going the other evening about 9:30pm when we joined each other on the front porch for a few moments of quiet and calm.  Caught off guard -- because the Grand Duchess almost NEVER asks about my soldier hobby -- I almost choked on my single malt and spluttered that things were going well, but if I had it to do over again, I would have purchased hussar figures from Spencer Smith, something I will do in future sinc

160,000 Visits to the Grand Duchy of Stollen!!!

Sometime in the night, we passed the 160,000 visits mark. . .  Since August 2006 mind you.  A hearty thank you to everyone who drops by occasionally to read my sometimes bizarre ruminations about wargaming and model soldiers, clothing, shoes, Nordic skiing, bicycling, and so forth.  Watch for another short post with a photo or two this evening once the next four Minden hussars are finished.  Eight (almost) down and only 22 to go by November 5th.

The Imelda Marcos of Wargaming??!!

Shoes by  Johnston Murphy. . .  Very comfortable, but too formal for anything but a suit and tie, which isn't required most days on university campuses. . .  unless you are a fraternity pledge, and your "brothers" require you to dress up on a given day. While I plug away at those Minden hussars -- And who really wants to look at endless updates of each group of four figures currently under the brush? -- I thought I'd share a photograph of today's footwear choice and, indeed, my bottom half.  I've decided to buck societal trends and rechristen the end of the workweek "Dress Up Friday" instead of the dreaded "Casual/ Blue Jean/ Dress Down Friday," or some variation thereof.  Puh-leeze!  At any rate. . . (A 1940s Pathe Newsreel Announcer's Voice): And here comes the ravishing Stokes, who is modelling a delightful pair of black captoe oxfords with navy blue socks and a three season wool two-piece suit also in navy blue.  As he saunters c

Coming Soon. . . Minden Hussar Update

An 18th Century painting (ca. 1748) by David Morier, purporting to show grenadiers from Bavaria's Leib, von Seckendorf, and von Preysing regiments.  What's interesting is that the blue is quite dark, which seems to throw the issue of Cornflower Blue coats into question.  Might that particular feature have been a mid-19th Century innovation that has incorrectly been applied to earlier period uniforms?  Thanks Greg! No photos just yet, but the next four hussars in the pile are nearing completion.  Just a few small details on the troopers plus the white markings, hooves, and reins/harnesses on the horses.   In the meantime, have a look at these extremely useful tips on dressing well at the Put This On blog, a site dedicated to helping men dress like adults.  I have a look at this almost everyday, and while I knew the basics already thanks to my father and grandfather, I manage to learn something new each time I visit the blog.  It's a good read in any case.

More Minden Hussars. . .

 The first four hussars, featuring the rear of the regimental colonel's white pelisse. The first four hussars with the colonel turned around, to show his front. The next four hussars in the painting queue, already quite a way into the painting process. The Grand Duchess went to a small party thrown by a professor from a neighboring state univeristy in the next town over last night, to schmooze and introduce her recently hired colleague.  Attempts at fostering greater collegiality between the two German departments, or something like that.  She followed that with several hours at a 'ladies' night in' party at one of our own colleague's houses closer to home.   So, following Young Master Paul's dinner and bedtime routine, yours truly was able to escape down here to Zum Stollenkeller for several hours of uninterrupted painting!  Almost five in total, something that hasn't happened really since my graduate school and immediate post-graduate school bachel

Breaking News: First Four of Thirty Minden Hussars Actually Finished!!!

More photos and commentary to follow, but I must take the cat to the veterinarian to have her rabies and distemper shots updated.  And, as you might expect, actually getting her into her cat carrier box thingy is a trial to say the least.

Finally Cool enough for Tweed and Corduroy

Here's a photo of my bottom half today. Vintage Florsheim wingtips (brogues), olive Argyll socks, and tan cords. On the top: Harris tweed blazer and pale green window pane button-down shirt by Brooks Brothers with an olive green knit silk tie by Lands End and a subtle green, black, red, and white paisley silk handkerchief peeking out from the blazer pocket. Even if my students aren't interested in what I have to say, they'll have fun looking at me. . . and laughing about it later!  Now, how about those Minden hussars, Stokes?

The August Heat, a Shrieking Toddler, and Other Erratica. . .

The 2nd (Von Laurenz) Musketeers on the march in August 2008.  They were the very first unit painted for the Grand Duchy of Stollen collection during August and September '06.  And it took only a dozen boxes of Revell SYW Prussian infantry to assemble this mighty unit. It occurred to me late last night before I drifted off to sleep that mid-August came and went without my marking the fifth anniversary (and something like 865+ entries) of the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog.  Clearly, the summer heat, the persistent painting funk of many months' duration, and Young Master Paul's growing pains, along with preparations for the recently started autumn university term occupied my mind to such an extent that I just plum forgot! So, I thought it a good time to page back through the early entries to this blog, made during August of 2006, when I returned home earlier this afternoon to take my toddler shift while the Grand Duchess journeyed to our nearby campus for her own round of te

Cool baby, real cool. . . Pt. III

Cool baby, real cool. . . Pt. II (Goodbye Pork Pie Hat)

Hussar Progress Photo. . .

  Ok, a very modest four figures here, not the usual squadron-sized batch of eight or nine, but at least I've managed to get my seat into the painting seat, pick up a brush, and open a few bottles of paint.  Still lots of things to do like the guidon, the stripes down the outside of the breeches, the scabbards and stirrups, some more black lining for definition here and there, etc., etc.   And let's not forget a few touch-ups to fix those inevitable forthcoming mishaps with the brush!  Still, I'm fairly well please with the way things have gone the last few nights and eager to return for an hour or so of painting this evening.  Oh, and how do you like that depth-of field in the picture? 

Cool baby, real cool. . . (So What)

A Bit of This and a Bit of That. . .

Neither a grenadier, nor a hussar, nor a cuirassier he, but one of the many illustrations on male style done by Laurence Fellows, during the 1930s-50s, for the defunct trade magazine Apparel Arts and the more widely recognized Esquire Magazine, the latter of which is now very different from what it was when my father had a subscription 40+ years ago.  Esquire has become an awfully trendy rag in more recent years, catering more to the urban male hipster subset -- that seems more interested in cultivating a well-groomed five-o'clock shadow over trousers that are too short. . .  oh, and reading about the ten kinky things your girlfriend wants most in the bedroom, but won't ask for -- than used to be the case many years ago when hard journalism still mattered and people actually read and discussed articles by writers like Gay Talese. It's been an interesting week here at Stollen Central.  Spurred into action by a few wargaming friends, I've managed to sit myself back in t