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Saturday, 8 December 2018

First Snow

It's a wonderful sunny and snowy day in the Imperial Duchy of Blagovia! The temperature is sitting at -2C, with a windchill of -7, and not a cloud in the sky. We unexpectedly got about 3 or 4 centimetres of fluffy, light snow last night, which made for a delightfully easily job of shoveling the driveway this morning. I was able to get the last of the Christmas lights up yesterday (-17C with the wind), and now the tree is all that's left. Christmas preparations are  proceeding well thus far.

Things have aslo been proceeding surprisingly well on the painting bench. I have completed and based a battalion of Jagers (RSM95 Austrians) for my Pichelsteiner forces, and a battalion of Nabburg Jagers (RSM95 Hanoverians) which are not based yet. In addition to these units, I have completed about 60 percent of my Nabburg Fusilier Battalion (Eureka Saxons), and about the same for my Pichelstein Musketeers (RSM95 Hungarian Infantry). All in all, I am quite happy with my painting progress. I think that I will be ready to set up for a battle over the Christmas holiday, or very early in the New Year.
In the meanwhile, lovely shot of a winter forest in Nabburg.

More later...

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Day, 100 years later

Canadian Soldier

Today is Remembrance Day, a day that marks the end of  WW1, also known as the Great War, and commemorates the sacrifice of those British and Commonwealth troops that served in this conflict. Coincidentally,  today also happens to mark the 100th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities. The participants are all gone now, consigned to the pages of history texts, and yet it would seem that we are desperately in need of their conviction and courage these days. The familiar evils of tyranny, and suppression, are still very much alive and well these days. In fact some might say that they are thriving! Although we cannot say that the First World War was fought to end these patterns of behaviour, many of the participants surely felt that they were doing just this. After the guns fell silent at 11:00am  on November 11, 1918,  the Western world, so horrified at the slaughter of the previous four years, felt that this was a war so horrible that no other wars could be considered if one remembered the horror of the trenches. Sadly, how wrong they were.
Today I will spend the day with family and then, later, sitting in front of the fire, have a drink to the memory of those that served, and to those that I served with. I may even meet up with some of the lads and talk about the old days, but probably not. Lest We Forget…..

In Flanders Fields

By Lt Col John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Pichelsteiner Jager

As I stated in my previous post I have been concentrating on painting my Pichelsteiner forces. I have mostly finished their single Jager Battalion, only rifles hair and mustaches to do. I really like the colurs that I have gone with -a dark green coat, with leaf green vest, trousers, lapels and turnbacks. I have given them brown gaiters, and a black grey cap, with a yellow feather. The officers and NCO's have the same uniform as the ranks, but with  exception of a gold and silver edging, respectively, on the front plate of their cap. The Pichelsteiner Jager's use the Austrian style Jager uniform.

Simultaneous with my Jagers, I have also been painting the Pichelsteiner musketeers. They have only a single regiment of native infantry, the rest of their forces being either mercenaries, or "Leutonian volunteers." Pichelsteiner Musketeers are dressed in the style of Hungarian Infantry, but have Leaf Green coats with buff trousers and vests. Mercenary formations typically wear the uniforms of their home nation, but trimmed with Leaf Green, and Leutonian troops fighting under the Pichelsteiner flag retain their own uniforms and regimental banners, although many wear leaf green ribbons or arm  bands in recognition of their service to the house of vonPichelstein.

Once I finish these units I think I will turn my attention to some cavalry, forces which I have completely neglected thus far.

I did the following in paint, with the blank templates being acquired from my usual source the Not By Appointment blog. I will get some of the finished units up here as I base them.

Pichelsteiner Jager   

Pichelsteiner Musketeer

Happy Thanksgiving

Where has the summer gone? The last time I posted on here it was July. Autumn seemed a long way off, and here it is Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving is in October, unlike our American cousins who have theirs in November. We may not have Pilgrims and such, but the spirit behind the day is the same –giving thanks for a bountiful harvest.  

Although its been pretty quiet around here, I haven't been idle. Work has been erratic, and the days have been long and tiring. I have never been a quick painter, but the free time that I have had to devote to painting has been productive.  I've been steadily churning away and painting my Nabburg forces, and those of her hated enemy the Burggrafschaft of Pichelsteiner. Unfortunately, my Blagovian army has been horribly neglected. Every time I go and look at them I just simply lack the interest to really do anything with them. I put them on the painting bench, and just as quickly return them to the "to be painted queue." I hope his Grace will understand!

I'd like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I really need to get some of my painted units up here, for good or bad.

Monday, 30 July 2018

A Painting update, and some WIP's

Although things have been quiet in Blagovia, Nabburg has been busy of late.
So far I have done 3 companies of Leutonian musketeers (8th MR, (LaRue), and 3 companies of Nabburger Grenadiers (GR1), and I am well on the way to finishing a battalion of Nabburg fusiliers.
I am very happy with the painting, but the miniatures, even though they are well sculpted, have horrible mould lines, flash and even cavities. A shame really, because had they been moulded better I would have purchased several more boxes and completed my two armies in 1/72.
When I started these units it was primarily done for two reasons: as a test canvas and as a means of gathering some troops to wargame with in an area of limited space. Keeping these two points in mind I approached the clean up with a "good enough" attitude. Now that I can see what the units look like painted up, I will start to get some Minden and RSM95 miniatures and start creating my Nabburg and Leutonian forces in 30mm.
As an aside, one thing that became evident after I took the pictures was that the Grenadiers really need some touch ups on the eyes and  mustaches, and the rough edges along the legs and arms are not noticeable at normal viewing, let alone from 3 feet..

Fusiliers FB1(with a grenadier in the far left background)

Leutonian Musketeers

From the back

Nabburg Grenadiers

From the back

Changes a plenty!

Big changes at Festung Borislav. Well I finally reached my limit, and as my nephew used to say when he was a kid: "Enough is enough!" I have recently been painting up a storm, primarily 1/72 HaT Prussians as Nabburgers and Leutonians, and my painting bench has reached saturation. As a result of this, a couple of weeks ago my painting ground to halt. It did so because I spent 20 minutes looking for a colour, only to find that it was right in front of me,  buried and hidden behind another pot of paint. This was the proverbial final straw. It gave me the impetus to finally finish my study/library/painting bench. Located in a corner of the basement that is the coolest in the summer and the warmest in the winter, it promises to be sanctuary from the chaos of the world. Although not quite all done yet,  the shelves that will hold my paints are drying in the garage as I write this, and my books need to be taken out of the boxes, where they have been stored for some time, and arranged on the shelves (not visible in the pictures). All in all I am extremely happy with my efforts. I really think that the clutter and disorganisation was part of the reason that my painting output is so slow and erratic. Sometimes it's hard for me to get motivated when I have to spend several minutes clearing a suitable space and putting the required colours at hand. Too often I just walk away and find something else to do, instead of going through this routine! It also didn't help that my painting area was squeezed into the furnace/laundry room   Once everything is ship-shape and Bristol fashion I will post all of the finished results. In the mean time, some pictures to illustrate the before and after. 
One thing that the picture doesn't show is how small my old painting area was. It only measured 2'x3'.

Old messy bench

Another shot of the mess.

New clean bench.

New building bench, not so clean, yet.

My favourite part: the reading area.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Nabburg Uniforms

In keeping with the Nabburg theme of late I have decided to post some uniform plates. The Nabburgers use Prussian style uniforms, with the national colour being orange. The uniform templates are, of course, from Not By Appointment, re-coloured with MS Paint. I will soon post some of the painted units from these regiments and battalions that I gave completed thus far.

GR.1_Nabburg Grenadiers

IR1 Nabburg

FB1 Fusilier Battalion 1, Pfreimd

1st Bttl_Jäger zu Fuß Deindorf 

HR. Koblitz (OrangeHussars)