Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2018

A Vastly Improved Depth of Field. . .

  The slightly better of the two latest photographs. The slightly less good (a wee bit too overexposed and bright) photo. M onkeying around yet again with the large Sony A100 again just now between finishing a homework session with The Young Master and returning for a bit to the painting table.  I think I have it worked out now with the two test shots above: 50mm lens, tripod, f22, ISO 400, and a shutter speed of between 1/8th and 1/16th of a second plus the 10-second self-timer to prevent camera shake.   This complex brew of settings seems to produce nice, bright images in which (almost) everything is in sharp focus.  Just have to figure out how to adjust the white balance, and then I think we're there with markedly improved close-up photography here at Stollen Central.   What I am after is photographs of my painted vignettes, units, and occasional games where everything within the frame is in focus (depth of field. . .  hence the small f-stop setting), something t

A Replacement Infantry Standards Update. . .

One exposure taken with my trusty little Sony Cybershot DSC TX-20 on, I think, the 'beach' setting oddly enough. J ust a quick update this early Sunday afternoon to  share my plodding work on the replacement infantry standards.  Here is what is (almost) finished at this point, the final weekend in January.  The two Hanseatic flags that I shared last week, a pair of historic standards in the background that are destined for my own Ermland Garde (one of thse very early regiments made up of Revell plastic SYW Austrian grenadiers), and the colonel's standard of W├╝rttemberg's Garde zu Fuss, consisting of 30mm figures by Huzzah!, which was given the red regimental standard at the time painting was completed in 2010 or 2011.   In any case, both of those particular flagpoles still require the careful addition of Front Rank tassels, cords, and finials before the two figures are ready for glossing and to join their regiment.  I've also decided, on that note, to wait u

A Random Selection of Village and Rural Buildings. . .

The tollhouse T hese better lighted photographs of a few of my scratch-built buildings are for Pat, who has asked about them in an inquiry he posted about "Grantian" building models over on Jim Perky's Fife and Drum Miniatures Forum .   All of these have appeared previously in two of Charles Grant's Wargamer's Annuals .  The first four structures shown are in the most recent 2018 edition accompanying my article on how to build a Baltic German town center, while the large farmhouse and barn at the bottom of the post were, I believe, part of a shorter piece several years back on how to build an East Prussian farmstead.   Any of the buildings shown should work in a Mollwitz-Lobositz context as far as providing the right kind of tabletop window dressing.  In any case, I've included our usual runway model pals Frederick II and von Seydlitz to provide an idea of the various building dimensions . -- Stokes  The village inn and pub. . .   The Duke

Friday Evening Camera and Light Tent Experiments. . .

This particular photograph, one of many , was taken with an old Sony A100 DSLR using a 50mm lens and settings of, I beleive,  f18 or f20 and ISO400 (I should have kept better track of these.).  I used the 10-second timer setting to avoid camera shake.  Despite all of the diffused light bounding around the light tent, this photograph (and most others taken with the A100) still required quite a bit of brightening later, leading me to suspect that I need to slow the shutter speed, so the shutter is open for longer, which will permit more light to pass through.  Maddeningly, very few pictures taken with this camera tonight were in sharp focus once I transferred them from the camera to my computer and enlarged them. M onkeying around with cameras, the light tent, mini daylight spots with diffusers, and a light blue backdrop which I prefer, this Friday evening.  Mixed results at best, but we're getting there.  In all cases, I use Pixlr, and online photo editing application, to adj

Advanced Miniature Photography

Time to Quit Fooling Around. . .

The almost finished Hanseatic flags and standard bearers in question.  These were the town flags for Bremen (L.) and Elbing (R.). I like them very much, and so borrowed both into my semi-fictitious setting.  They strike me as just the thing for a regiment based on the infantry of the period from Hamburg, Bremen, and Luebeck. I finally got down to business this afternoon and painted two Hanseatic flags, which will, after glossing, join my 60-strong regiment of RSM95 Hanseatic infantry that I completed back in, oh, late 2011 I think.  They still need a couple of coats of acrylic gloss, but I'm calling them almost done save for a few final touch-ups.   This (Saturday) evening, I managed to return down here to Zum Stolenkeller , where I assembled two Minden Austrian guns that have been floating around here since 2014 (?) and the two French 8pdr. guns given to me this Christmas by the Grand Duchess.  I also glued a number of artillery tools into the hands of several French, but

Friday Morning Light Tent Experiments

W asting time this morning taking a bunch of test shots with my Sony Cybershot camera and new light tent stuff.  Still trying to find that sweet spot though I might need to drag out the bigger, maddeningly more complex camera to manipulate f-stop setting for a better depth of field.  I have become the Orson Wells of 30mm.  Except that I do not plan on drafting a 50-page memo to studio executives complaining about how they have tampered with my work.  At least not yet.  See what you think and let me know. -- Stokes

Presenting the Freshly Rebased Frederick II and von Seydlitz!!!

  Frederick II and von Seydlitz Chew the Fat I   Frederick II and von Seydlitz Chew the Fat II W ell, here we are.  The newly rebased Minden Frederick II and von Seydlitz figures.  I am reasonably well pleased with the way things turned out.  The 3mm ply Litko base looks much better than the old hand-cut base that was roughly square in shape and, frustratingly, warped later.  Not very fitting for King Frederick II and his officers you'll agree.   Litko Game Accessories, by the way, sells a number of different amorphously shaped 'terrain' bases that are perfect for command vignettes, small copses, a building or two, or other basing needs that might need something a bit different than the usual square and rectangular bases on which we typically mount our combat troops.  I used a bunch of these to mount my collection of Zvezda Fir and cake decoration Birch trees back in June 2016 with the help of the Young Master shortly before he finished 1st Grade.  To view bas

A Quiet Start to 2018. . .

A Knoetel (???) illustration of King Frederick II and von Seydlitz at Zorndorf. N ot a whole lot going on here at the moment in Stollen Central with the usual hubbub of daily life, the start of the new university semester, and so forth.  But I did manage to snatch a few hours yesterday to assemble that pair of French 8 pdr. cannon and begin to sort out the accompanying crews, all of which were given to me for Christmas last month by the Grand Duchess.  These, you might remember, are slated to be given uniforms resembling those worn by the artillery contingent of Lauzun's Legion.  A medium to dark blue with lemon yellow facings and turnbacks rather than the more usual red of the French artillery arm.  I've decided to paint the woodwork of the cannon red with black metal fittings simply because it is a striking and attractive color combination.  When I get to doing so of course. ********** I also spent some time yesterday rebasing a pair of figures, Frederick II and vo

Happy New Year from the Grand Duchy of Stollen!

A final vintage image for the 2017-2018 Christmas season. H appy New Year from all of us here in The Grand Duchy of Stollen!  May 2018 see you enjoy more hobby-related reading, painting, gaming, and socializing.  It's still frigid and snowy here in Totleigh-in-the-Wold, so following a special breakfast of Swedish waffles made for us by The Grand Duchess, the three of us are heading out for some more cross-country skiing shortly -- The Grand Duchess discovered a local place with groomed trails and even a warming hut with a wood-burning stove yesterday -- before returning home to clean up and take down the Christmas trees and the related decorations before enjoying another helping of New Year's dinner this evening.  And the perhaps some toy soldiering of some kind this evening following the Young Master's bedtime. -- Stokes  And some suitably 18th century themed dancing. Finally, the three of us enjoyed two hours of special New Year's Day skiing thr