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More Photos from The Grand Review. . .

Two brigades of Stollenian infantry march toward the enemy.

The unassuming market town of Hasenpfeffer.

Stollenian guns and crew await the command to fire.

Stollenian transport  makes its way toward Hasenpfeffer.

Camp followers get up to all sorts of mischief.

My son the Young Master asked this morning if General von Bauchschmerzen ever feels well.  I replied, never.  'Bauchschmerzen' means something akin to 'tummy ache' in German.  One picks up all kinds of stuff when wife and child communicate in a second language at home.

A swarm of Zichenauer Croats screening the approach of their line infantry in a manner rather more appropriate for the Napoleonic era than the mid-18th century.

Zichenauer line infantry.

Zicheauer cuirassiers and dragoons.

Zichauer guns and crew ready to open up on the approaching Stollenian Army.

Stollenian hussar officers and trumpeter sound the charge!

Meanwhile, and as always, the upper crust of Hasenpfeffer decide to frolic in some open country just beyond the town limits.

"Wow!  Oh, my gosh!  Look!  When are you going to have a battle with them?" were the Young Master's first words when I took him down to Zum Stollenkeller here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold Sunday morning before breakfast to show him what ol' Dad had got up to late Saturday evening.  I had to explain, among the many questions that followed, that it probably would not be until the Christmas break when I would actually have enough free time for a small game or two.  


On a related note, and although the Young Master loves our two cats Gunnlaug and her brother  Onyx, he was somewhat troubled when I informed him that after some photographs, everything would need to be carefully put away to protect it from said cats.  One might make the argument that my wargame table is more the cats' than mine these days, which means that anything hobby-related left unattended for more than a few hours is at great risk of feline molestation in one form or another.  

While our finished basement here at Totleigh, where I also have my home office, is fantastic, I wish it was configured differently with a room, large enough for the table, equipped with a door that  would keep the blasted animals out and OFF the table.  I'm spoiled, I know, but it would also be nice to be able to leave things out in situ once in a while without fearing for the safety of my vignettes, units, and scenery.  Sadly, everything seems to be fair game for chewing, knocking off the table, and/or abduction.  It's enough to give one heart palpitations!  That said, I too adore the cats, but they have some less than charming habits where toy soldiers and scenery are concerned.


Several new followers have hopped on for the ride in the last couple of months, so allow me to bid you welcome.  I hope the GD of S blog lives up to your expectations and remains inspiring and fun.  It has been a pretty wild and wide-ranging journey so far around here during the last 11 years.

Thanks as well to everyone for your kinds words the last few days where the rather hurried Grand Review was concerned.  It was a blast to see almost everything out on the table at once.  

Almost as I said.  Besides the cavalry shown in the pictures above, I have a regiment of Holger Eriksson dragoons, painted by John Preece in the U.K. and used in the Partizan 2006 Sittangbad refight, that I have not yet been able to detach successfully from their lozenge-shaped bases despite soaking everything in a shallow cookie sheet of hot water overnight not once but twice.  I think I managed to get two figures separated.  Otherwise, no luck so far, and the figures are fragile, so I need to be very careful to avoid tragedy.  If/when I can remove the rest of the 30 figures from the individual bases, I will tack 'em down to multiple bases and they will take their rightful place along side their 25-30mm brethren.  If anyone has suggestions on removing these fragile figures from the current bases, I'm all ears. 


So, besides some games in December and January, what is in store for the Grand Duchy of Stollen down the road?  Well, I have a mass of cavalry by various manufacturers to paint, mostly heavies and dragoons along with two squadrons of hussars (I know, I know. . . ), five to eight units of Minden Austrians and Prussians, replacement infantry ensigns and new standards, plus a few more mounted generals and ADC's, a wagon/cart or two along with draft animals, and some Russian guns and crew along with another couple of limbers at some point.  All of this stuff resides in the lead pile at this point, so it is simply a matter of finding the time to get it painted.  I imagine there is enough here already to keep yours truly busy for the next several years without any new purchases.  But.  We know how that goes don't we?  


I have also had the lingering thought lately that the Young Master will eventually need his own small unit of line infantry, possibly a company of riflemen, a squadron of cavalry, and a gun or two with crew before too much longer plus a mounted officer vignette to command his small legion.  Here, I think RSM95 figures would be just the thing.  The metal is harder, and the figures sturdier with fewer things to bend or break as easily.  Paul is not quite ready for some serious wargaming figures of his own, but maybe for his ninth or tenth birthday.  His eighth is coming up at the end of the month (Can you believe it?  I can't.), and for now it is still painting and drawing, toy airplanes, Star Wars, Legos, Mine Craft, insects, birds, geology, outer space, and weather although you can hardly fault a busy youth for those particular interests.  It seems like our blonde, freckled boy might be something of a Renaissance man even at seven going on eight.


But back to Dad's conspicuous consumption for a moment (and clearly I cannot point the finger at anyone)!  There are new items in the pipeline from both Fife & Drum/Minden as well as Crann Tara that look mighty tempting.  A small mule train about to become available from the latter company might be just the thing to go with my existing transport train.  At some point, I'd also like to scratch-build a camp for my troops with a field bakery.  Black Hussar has had some wonderful mixing, kneading, and baking vignette figures for a year or more, and these would be just the thing. . .  along with a few additional pieces for the envisioned camp of 12-14 tents.    But I'm getting far ahead of myself here!  Suffice to say, that wargaming, in its various guises and permutations, is an amazing and expansive hobby.  It certainly provides a vast litany of things to do, plan, carry out, and achieve over time.  A life-long hobby if ever there was one.

Best Regards,



Steve J. said…
Very, very impressive Stokes.
A delightful and comprehensive collection and a pleasure to review.

So what's next? Fortifications for Hasenpfeffer?
Huzza ! what a magnificent collection ! , good to see them all at once .
Dan Foley said…
I like the village. It evokes the feeling of northern Europe and toy soldiers.
Der Alte Fritz said…
It has been fun watching your collection and buildings grow over the years. They are spectacular.

Wellington Man said…
Brilliant in just about every possible way. Thank you very much for posting, Stokes.
Best regards, WM
marinergrim said…
Very inspiring and probably quite gratifying to know how far you've come with the project. Well done.
I love the way you paint your figures. It is almost a porcelain effect and totally different from most wargamers. Beautiful.
Anonymous said…
Wow...a very impressive display. Great to see, thank you for posting.
Gallia said…
Congratulations. How very satisfying you must feel about the whole ensemble. I am happy for you and your treasure. Prodigiously lovely consistent, striking, appealing, colorful and fun evoking promises of future stories, imagineering and naturally games with them. --- solo and otherwise.
Bill P.
Extrabio47 said…
Absolutely lovely, Stokes. What a magnificent collection! I too very much admire the brushwork and the beautiful “old school” gloss finish.

Thank you for sharing.

Neil Moulden said…
A Grand Review indeed. I'm am looking forward to the Christmas break even more now.
Stryker said…
A grand review indeed! The infantry units in particular are most impressive with so many troops in the ranks. Well done!!!
warpaintjj said…
Makes you very proud I should imagine?
It's all coming together rather nicely isn't it?
Best wishes,

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