Thank you for the book recommendations so far everyone! I will look more closely at these later today.
At the painting desk, I spent about two hours yesterday evening carefully applying various basic colors to the flags that will eventually grace my version of Austria's Wied Infantry.
60+ figures, thank you very much. I know, I know. No prizes, awards, or gold stars on my behavior chart taped to the refrigerator door are necessary. Big battalions, squadrons, and batteries are just one more reason I should have my head examined. Trying to hold myself to self-imposed standards in any case you understand. Ahem.
But painting, collecting, and occasionally playing with large tabletop units are a kind of madness I can easily embrace and enjoy. Blame Young and Lawford, the Grants, as well as certain other hobby cognoscenti and glitterati past and present. Historical miniature wargaming encompasses many related activities, but it's all about "the look of the thing" most of all.
Now back to the flags!
Still more work to do on these later today following a Zoom meeting with a work colleague midday, but things are off to a rollicking good start I think. Next to a pair of flags I painted for my version of the Ernestine-Sachsen regiment back in early 2016 -- with assistance from Greg Horne, the man behind The Duchy of Alzheim blog -- these should be the most colorful and complex flags I have attempted to this point.
Just imagine them once finished, mounted, and flying at the head of the regiment. You can almost hear the Wied Infantry's band playing if you cock your head just right.
(Collective Groan) Come on, Stokes! stick to the point.
Ok, ok. . .
My preferred method for painting flags is to print out and paint in darker colors first. Sort of wargamers' paint by numbers. A method learned from Minden Miniatures' maven Der Alte Fritz several years back. It prevents fading of printer inks and helps my flags match my painting style a bit more closely.
While commercially available flags are more convenient, and some of them are small works of art all by themselves, they are almost too perfect if you know what I mean. Many commercially available flags are also a bit on the thick side once applied in my view. Hand painted flags, by contrast, somehow blend in more effectively with the figures.
Once the flags are attached to the poles and furled (I glue in a tiny bit of aluminum foil to help keep everything in place before cementing the two halves together), I go back and apply highlights to raised folds. Darker colors are left in the recesses. I finish by cleaning up and/or disguising any white edges that are still visible Works pretty well for me.
And yes. I am aware the nominally 'yellow' flames around the edges of both flags are rather orange at this point, but I'll fix that at a late stage with yellow highlights. [Later -- Found a bottle of acrylic 'Mustard Yellow-ish' paint and retouched the orane flames to tone them down to something closer to the yellow parts on Austrian flags.].
All of this vexillological artistic license came after a wonderful mid-afternoon lie-down with those two Phil Olley Battlegames articles on project management I mentioned a day or two ago. But you know how that goes. Once one of the cats joined me and began purring against my outstretched legs, it wasn't long before I went out like a light for a blissful 90 minutes with one of the open magazines across my chest and my trusty little vintage Sony ICF 7600 shortwave radio tuned quietly nearby to a Spanish language station.
With an nod to the late Keith Moon, we live life out here on the bloody edge in The Grand Duchy of Stollen, you know.
When neither worked, more out of a sense of desperation, I resorted to hand drawn and hand painted flags.
I've found they meet my needs and are more in keeping with the painted figures and minimal basing.
Examples on my blog: