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Showing posts from October, 2012

Has it been three years already?

T oday is the Young Master's third birthday!  Bells are chiming in the capital city Krankenstadt this morning, and the Grand Duke Irwin Amadeus II (with the help of his trusty valet Hives) has declared a national holiday throughout the Grand Duchy of Stollen, which will be marked by a large parade of troops through the downtown area mid-afternoon and an opulent costume ball at The Residenz this evening.   Here in our little neck of the woods though, where in the heck has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday -- and at the same time like it has been forty years -- that the Grand Duchess was wheeled away into the delivery room for preparation at an extremely early hour, and I was handed some scrubs to don before following to hold her hand throughout the procedure that brought us young Paul.  How funny and strange the passage of time is, and nothing makes one realize that like having a child and watching him or her grow up. We are off to an area zoo today since our weathe

Up in Smoke. . .

Cheech Marin ( L.) and Tommy Chong (R.), pictured above in a still from their 1979 film Up in Smoke. I t takes all kinds as the saying goes, and I'm certainly not judging anyone, but the following true story happened at the end of one of my classes today.  My teaching colleagues around the world, in particular, will appreciate it.  This afternoon, I had a student turn in, with no warning whatsoever, his Position Paper. . . three weeks late. I pointed out that it was due on October 3rd, and was now so late that there simply was no way he would receive any credit for it. I reminded him that the paper due today was his Topic Proposal (which students were to write based on their responses to 25+ very specific questions about their ongoing research projects).  "Oh," he replied with a troubled gaze, "Then just use my position paper for my topic proposal." Sigh. Two very different papers based on two entirely different prompts. By the way, th

Preparing for the next Painting Challenge. . .

A variety of Minden Miniatures,  Fife&Drum Miniatures, and RSM95  figures all lined up and waiting for the start of the next painting challenge. A nother painting challenge is almost upon us here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen!  Our loose group of painting ne'er-do-wells, located at various points around the globe, has agreed on October 24th-December 24th, 2012 as the period during which each of us will attempt to complete a particular painting (or modelling) goal.  My pledge is very modest this time given the workload of recent months.  Just 19 mostly mounted figures for several staff vignettes, complete with terrained bases, grouped and posed more or less as in the photograph above.   I might also draft in one more mounted RSM figure to go with the RSM hussar officer head conversion at the left of three figures in the center foreground of the picture, bringing the total to an even 20 figures.  The tricorn-wearing hussar officer, while I'm very pleased with the way h

What are YOUR experiences and thoughts?

A mid-week posting here on the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, lately an extremely rare creature indeed.  But I'd like your experiences and thoughts about using oils to paint wargaming figures.  A useful tool full of interesting possibilities and endlessly varied techniques?  Or a quaint relic from the early days of the hobby that should best be forgotten?  You be the judge.  Ok, talk amongst yourselves!   Later. . .  Thank you for the comments so far.  All very interesting.  Now, as long-time visitors to the Grand Duchy of Stollen might recall, I have used oils for various painting tasks with increasing regularity during the last couple of years. I've been largely pleased with the results, so, let's visit my totally random and not fully explored thoughts on the medium at this point.  Here you go: 1) Tubes of oil last a looonnng time. 2) Oils offer endless possibilities. 3) Many and varied techinques to keep the painting tedium demon at bay. 4) Vast range of color

Gentlemen, make ready to FIRE!!!

  At the start of Turn Seven, the rest of the cavalry brigade finally makes it into position, more or less, behind the Mittau Volunteers on General de Latte's left flank. De Latte's main infantry line attempts to straighten itself, but, oh dear,  it looks like a few of the Mittau Volunteers are attempting to wade into and across the marsh!  Fed up with the consistent potshots taken at them by General von Tschtschke's Jager zu Fuss in Eispicke Village, de Latte's Electoral Pioneers charge the enemy riflemen, hoping to wipe out, or at least dislodge them from the relative comfort of the built up area they have occupied for most of the game. Another artist's rendering, this time showing the entire Zichenauer cavalry brigade on General de Latte's left flank just outside Eispicke Village.  Across the battlefield, things don't look good for von Tschatschke's splendid Anspach-Beyreuth Cuirassiers.  One half of General de Latte's

De Latte stirs and issues orders for Turn Seven. . .

A deceptively undissipated General de Latte as he is usually portrayed in official portraits. F rom the desk where he has been busy keeping the accounts for his estate during the last few hours, General von Tschatschke hears a stirring from the direction of the chaise, in the corner of the drawing room where the dissipated General de Latte has dozed the afternoon away.  Let's eavesdrop on their conversation, shall we? "I say, de Latte!" General von Tschatschke exclaimed as he put down his quill pen and closed the ledger on his desk.  "You were out like a light, old mixing bowl.  It's almost six o'clock." "Not so loud, my dear von Tschatschke.  Not so loud if you please.  My head feels like it may split open at any second."  He sat up slowly on the maroon chaise with the golden dragon flies all over it and rearranged himself with great care.  "Be so good as to ring for a footman or two."  Von Tschatschke stood at the desk, appr

Meanwhile, back at the Residenz. . .

The Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II sits for a portrait, painted by noted Stollenian aritist Herr von Bahlsen, while Hives hovers just off camera. M eanwhile, as battle rages on the frontier around Neu Sittangbad, we rejoin the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and his steadfast English valet Hives in the music room of Krankenstadt Palace where they observe the work so far on a new portrait of the Grand Duke and ruminate about various items in Stollenian life and society. Irwin-Amadeus (peering at the canvas through a lorgnette):  Oh, I say, Hives!  It looks nothing like me so far.  Where the devil did we find this chap, von Bahlsen anyway? Hives (dusting various Chinese vases arranged on a table across the room): They say his pedigree is impressive, Sir.  From what I have been led to believe, Herr von Bahlsen comes to us from the Academie de les Artistses here in Krankenstadt where he has taught painting and sculpture for a decade after many years abroad in Stockholm and then S