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Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year

Well another year is almost gone. Where has the time gone? A productive year on the paint bench, considering the insane work schedule I've had. I managed to get more troops painted this year, than I have in the last five years! This was largely due to the wonderful Fife and Drums minis forum run by Der Alte Fritz. The caliber of work there is second to none, and truly inspired to get back on the paint bench, dust off the lead pile, and even buy new miniatures. Unfortunately, I have not been as diligent in posting pictures of my work as I should be. Maybe a New Years resolution? I also did not manage to get in the much hoped for game over the holidays.

Any way, on behalf of His Grace and myself I would like to wish you all a happy, healthy and productive New Year!

A wonderful Russian New Years card commemorating 1753

Monday, 24 December 2018

Christmas Eve

This will probably be the last post before Christmas.  Looks like we might  have a white Christmas after all. It started to lightly snow last night, and has kept up through the morning. The ground is covered with a nice dusting of wet snow, and it looks like it's not going to stop any time soon. A couple of loose ends to tie up, and I can pull the cork on the first bottle of Christmas wine in preparation for the Christmas Eve feast. I will leave you with my favourite Christmas carol, sung by the wonderful Annie Lennox.

Seasons Greetings to all!

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Merry Christmas

All the preparations have been done, the last minute items have been gotten, the gifts have been wrapped, and now we wait. It's a strange December in Blagovia this year. The temperature has been cold but not a trace of snow on the ground. Looks like it's going to be a brown Christmas, although the lawns are quite green if truth be told.
I haven't managed to get any work done on the painting bench, but maybe this evening I'll be able to sneak away for a few hours.
Merry Christmas to all, and best wishes for the new year. His Grace Duke Borislav wishes all the best for everyone!


 In keeping with the season, a holiday card from Blagovia illustrating what winters are usually like in the Imperial Duchy.

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.