Search This Blog

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!


P.S.

 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.

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)

Monday, 23 July 2018

Quick Update

Work has been busy of late, so very little painting has been done thus far. The few hours that I have been able to to go to the painting bench have been very productive. I have almost finished my last company of Leutonian musketeers, and Nabburg Grenadiers. Only a couple of hours to get them done. I have also primed, and painted the faces and hands, and outlined my 6 companies of Nabburg Fusiliers. Still not sure what colours I will use for them, but they will be the next ones I start when I finish the Leutonians.  What I like to do is use the Vallejo Grey Primer and as a base coat, and then use some GW Nuln Oil to give the miniatures a quick  wash. This has the benefit of a providing some nice shadows, and wonderfully delineating the various accouterments that the miniatures have.
 



Thursday, 12 July 2018

Flags


In keeping with the Nabburg theme here are some flags that I have come up with based, in some cases, on historical examples:

Civil Flag



 Rarely carried into battle, it is sometimes used by Jäger Battalions in an unofficial capacity, as they don't usually carry colours.

Ducal Flag




 Only carried by the 1.Leibgarde, and the  1.Nabburger Grenadiere.

Infantry Flags


Grenadier Kompaniefahnen


 Since the Grenadiers are organised into a single regiment, and not dispersed amongst infantry regiments, they have their own regimental colour (Kompaniefahnen)

IR.1 Kompaniefahnen


  Nabburg infantry regiments carry the same flag, with their particular regimental number stitched to the bottom of the flag.

Colonel colour (Leibfahne)

Nabburg Infantry Regiments do not carry a Leibfahne.

Artillery 

Artilleriekorps



The Nabburg Artillery Corps (Artilleriekorps) were given their colours only recently, and they signify the importance that Duke Heinrich attaches to this branch of service.



Nabburg Mania!


Things have been quiet in Blagovia, with His Grace enjoying the summer at Maison de Jardin, the official ducal country home. The autumn promises to be busy with more troops arriving in Blagovia, specifically a battalion of Battenburgers that have been retained by His Grace's agents for a two year contract. They are due to occupy the North Barracks, which are currently being repaired. Rumour has it that the Blagovian Dragoons will also be re-established.

Nabburg, on the other hand has been very busy of late...

With the discovery of my old Nabburg map a few weeks ago, my painting efforts have largely been focused upon this nation, and have been proceeding a pace. Having recently purchased 1 Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas, I got a real urge to try out some of the scenarios presented in the book, using Nabburg and Leutonia as the primary combatants.  With a true scarcity of 18th Century wargamers in these parts, and thus an obvious lack of opponents,  the "1 Hour"  rules provide an excellent venue for solo wargaming. Having already played a few scenarios using cardboard chits I was eager to try them with miniatures. The rules, although simple, are easily tweaked to suit one's taste, work well and are a fantastic way to have a quick wargame in the evening. They hearken back to a much simpler time in wargaming, and I heartily recommend them.

As of today I have completed the following:

Nabburg

Nabburger Grenadiers -1st Battalion (3 companies)

2 cannons (12 pounders)

Leutonia

8th Regiment (LaRue) -2nd Battalion (2 companies)

On the table:

Nabburg

3rd  Jager Battalion (2 companies)
5th   Jager Battalion (2 companies)
Artillery crew

Leutonia

1 company for the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment
Command Stand 8th Regiment
1 Battery (6 pounders)
Artillery crew
I also have 1 squadron of Hussars to paint, but I am not sure if they are going to be Leutonian or Nabburger.

I have been using the HaT 1/72 Prussians for the bulk of my forces, and they have been a pleasure to paint. My only "beef" with them is that the mould lines on some of them are brutal and I haven't found a way to adequately clean them up. In the past this would have killed my momentum and enthusiasm for the project, but I have recently been far less concerned with such things and the results speak for themselves. I will post pictures as soon as the bases are dry.  Hopefully by next weekend I can post some battle reports!

Friday, 22 June 2018

1st Regiment.


Finally, I have gotten around to posting some finished units. These are painted in the colours of the Blagovian 1st Infantry Regiment (1-ви пехотен полк), 1st Battalion which, coincidentally, happen to be the same as the Royal Hungarian IR. 52 "Bethlen."
Not my best work, but I am happy with the results. They are certainly fine enough for the table top! The only thing that I will do before pressing them into service will be to add some flock to the base, and a flag for the Command Stand. Not too thrilled with how the eyes turned out on the grenadiers. I was going to paint the eyes for all of the miniatures, but having had second thoughts after seeing the grenadiers I think that I will stay with just a suggestion of eyes. Besides, I really don't think that they are that noticeable at 3+ feet.
I am currently working on finishing the 2nd Battalion, and the commander of the regiment – the ruthless Colonel Peperkov. I am not sure whether to paint his uniform in the same colours as the regiment, or to give him a more individual look. Perhaps a nice lavender coloured coat might soothe his choler? 


1st Battalion, with attached Grenadier Company.


The Command Stand, with the cranky Major Miskov and his ever-ready stick.  
 
Grenadiers           

Monday, 11 June 2018

Something from the past...


This weekend while I was looking through some of my old university texts, I found a wonderful treasure –an old  NATO map of Nabburg and its surrounding area. Carefully folded, and tucked into the front cover of  A History of Russia, by Nicholas V. Riasanovsky it lay forgotten for eighteen years. What is so wonderful about this you may ask? Well, on its own nothing, but in the context of Imaginations many things.  

In the winter of 1999  I was an optimistic graduate student, a few years out of the military and in full academic mode, busily working on my thesis, and living a semi-reclusive life. What little free time I had in between research and TA'ing (is this a word?) was spent with either my then girlfriend, or the group of miscreants that I socialised with at the Graduate Student's Pub. At the pub, in addition to downing pints and smoking too many cigarettes, there was Nabburg. Although a real town in Bavaria, Nabburg became a Duchy for myself and two of my university friends. Carefully unfolding the map, we spent hours, over pints, detailing the lives of its many inhabitants, and telling each other stories that were made up on the spot. What was at first an "intellectual exercise" quickly degenerated into a cross between Baron Munchausen (yes he has a house in Nabburg) and Monty Python, with a lot of Blackadder thrown in as well. There was the Cabbage War of 1739 when Nabburg's neighbour, the Kingdom of Leutonia, led by King Schmenge himself, invaded the Duchy because of the tax imposed on all Nabburger Cabbages marked for export. As everyone knows, there is nothing that a Leutonian loves more than cabbage rolls and coffee, and he will do anything to get them! There was also the Battle of Rattenberg when a group of marauding Saxons somehow found themselves in Nabburg and proceeded to burn the  first village they entered, only to be driven away by a hoard of rats emerging from an abandoned mineshaft nearby that had drawn in the smoke from the burning buildings. The more absurd the better, and many a celebrity, or professor, or student found their way into our stories. Even the great Antonio Salieri (of course as portrayed by F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus) once thrilled Nabburg society with an impromptu concert when he got lost on the road to Vienna.   

Dramatis Personae

First and foremost there was Prince Heinrich von Hacker-Pschorr, of the Nabburg Hacker-Pschorrs, a distant and minor cousin of  the Habsburgs, a relation ten times removed to the Stuart kings, a knight of the Order of the Dragon, A Knight of the Holy Ram, a master of der alte Orden der Steinmetze, and the hereditary ruler of the Royal Duchy of Nabburg. There was also Konrad Krank, Grand Marshall of the Ducal Armies, boon companion of Heinrich, lecher and drunkard who once challenged Maurice de Saxe to a duel, only pass out stone-cold drunk a minute before the event was to take place. Maurice, being the gentleman that he was, felt that honour was satisfied when Konrad fell face first into a pile of mud and pig dung. Nor can we forget Stephan Schimpf, the so-called "Mad Monk of Mainz," Prince Heinrich's spiritual and scientific advisor, from whose chambers in the ducal palace strange sounds, and even stranger odours emerge with alarming frequency. He claims to have discovered how to transmute lead into gold, but has been ordered by the Almighty not to reveal the secret. There are whispers that he has a copy of the dreaded Krankenhammer, a book of vile darkness and demonology even more dangerous than the Necronomicon! There was also Haji Chan-Chan, the Prince's Blackamoor valet, interpreter, fixer and general dogsbody. Haji, who spent many years as an "honest sailor" in the Caribbean and the Americas is a named share holder of the Ostend Company, but for some reason cannot show his face in a British or Spanish port, and has vowed never to "go to sea again effendi."  Brother William, a Premonstratensian Monk (also known as Norbertines), who along with the venerable Brother Ubertino have been given Ducal Charters to investigate any crimes, and prosecute any criminals within the borders of Nabburg.

These characters, and many more, were created, or borrowed from literature, during that winter, and brought to life for a few short months. Although the creators of Nabburg may have lost touch over the years, the characters and the Duchy remains.

Having crossed the bridge into land of Imagination I think I will see about developing Nabburg with an eye towards war gaming. Back in "Ye Olden Dayz" (as my friend is want to say) all battles were simply resolved at the pub table with a d6 –I roll high I win, you roll high you win, we tie, then let's negotiate, or more often a coin toss. I think I will use a somewhat more sophisticated system. Furthermore, although Blagovia did not exist back then I will have to have them as an ally of Nabburg, and possibly a neighbour. Duke Borislav simply has to know Prince Heinrich! Certainly Leutonia, Nabburg's rival and sometime enemy, will play a prominent role in any future battles, as may the Turks of Totun-Bey.

Lets see what mischief Prince Heinrich has gotten himself into after all these years, shall we?

Saturday, 9 June 2018

All's Quiet in Blagovia



A very busy and long week in the Real World has left precious little time for the Imagi-Nation. This weekend should see me finish the Grenadiers and the basing. 

In the meanwhile, here is another article from the June 8th edition of the Nova Iskra.

31 May 1736   Thursday in the evening a disorder of a very particular nature happened in Belo-street: ’Tis said that several young gentlemen of distinction having met at a house there, call’d themselves the Calf’s-Head Club; and about seven o’clock a bonfire being lit up before the door, just when it was in the height, they brought a calf’s-head to the window dress’d in a napkin-cap, and after some Huzza’s, and Hurra's, threw it into the fire: The mob were entertained with strong-beer, and for some time halloo’d as well as the best; but taking a disgust at some healths which were proposed, grew so outrageous, that they broke all the windows, forc’d themselves into the house, and would probably have pull’d it down, had not the Guards been sent for to prevent further mischief. The damage done within and without the house, is computed at some hundred lira. The Guards were posted all night in the street, for the security of the neighbourhood. These same gentlemen are said to be officers of the 1st Regiment, and did use their rank to have their way. Col. Peperkov was said to have found great mirth in their actions and has pass'd it off as youthful enthusiasm.  Count Esengorod was also similarly amus'd at the antics. Who will pay for the damages is not yet known. Lord Maslov  was overheard to say that the Duchy will pay for the damages "when Hell doth freeze." One wonders if  his response would be the same should it be his property that was damag'd?

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Some news from Blagovia


The following article was in the June 1st edition of  Nova Iskra, Blagovia's only newspaper, whose editor is a constant thorn in his Grace's side. I thought I would present it  for your amusement.

15 May 1736   A female Gypsie trick’d a servant maid at Starigrad of three lira twelve dinari, by making her believe that she wou’d have a legacy of ten times that sum before Christmas; and that on the Wednesday following, under the small-beer tap in the cellar, there wou’d rise up a brick, under which by digging she wou’d find an iron box full of jewels, and gold. This the silly girl kept as a secret, till the Gypsie had time to make her escape. The sudden influx of these miscreants in Blagovia has led to an heretofore unseen level of crime and dishonesty. His Grace has, for reasonings unknown, allowed them to thrive and flourish. When His Grace's Minister of  Law was questioned as to why such criminality was encouraged by His Grace he did strike P. Pishov, the questioner engaged by the Nova Iskra, with a book and with such violence that blood did flow freely from his nose for some time. Lord Balaglava, the above mentioned Minister, also did land such a kick upon Mr Pishov's posterior that he is quite unable to sit with any comfort or ease. We have, of necessity, gone to the court house to issue a declaration of harm against the above Minister, and would sue him for fifty lira in damages and for the needless vexation he did cause. His Grace has not, as of the publication of this week's journal, issued any statement reagarding the actions of his minister. We wonder if His Grace did not secretly, or dare we say, encourage,  Lord Balaglava's actions? A date has not been set for the trial, although Mr Pishov is scheduled to appear in front of a magistrate in order to present his case.





Friday, 1 June 2018

The Troops are here!


Huzzah! Some pictures of the troops. I tried using my tablet this time, and I am a lot happier with the results. In the past I have been using a cell phone, and the pics were not the best. These ones still a have a ways to go, but are a vast improvement over last attempt.
What we have here is the 1st Regiment Blagovinski (1-й полк – Благовински). Although they surprisingly look like the Austrian IR. 52 Bethlen his Grace can assure you all that the resemblance is purely coincidental.
Of the two battalions that comprise the regiment, three companies, and two command stands are done. I have decided to go with a 37-figure regiment –four stands of six, two battalion command stands of six (ensign, drummer, etc.) and a mounted officer. All that is left to do is base the units, finish one last stand of six, the mounted officer, and print the flags. Not a lot of work really. Please let me know what you think.

 1st Regiment Blagovinski (1-й полк – Благовински).



























Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Summer in May

Well it has been another scorcher, with no sign of letting up until the weekend, maybe. 37 Celsius with the humidity!!! The spring grass has started to turn brown, and it feels like July or August. The paint bench has been idle these past few weeks as work has become extremely hectic. Lots of big projects suddenly materialised and manning them has proven to be a challenge of sorts. The days have been extremely long, and today was the first day off that I have had in about three weeks, and it was spent running errands, doing chores around the house, and answering questions from the office and from customers. Also, to make matters worst, looks like I will be out of province soon for a week or two on business. As my friend is wan to say- "It's either feast or famine." We are certainly feasting these days! Not surprisingly, no painting was done today either.
On a more positive note, I have completed 3 battalions of infantry, two command bases, and a band of dismounted hussars, which I intend to use as skirmishers. Now I just need a day or two to get them based and photographed. I have decided to go with linoleum tiles cut into 45mm squares for my infantry, 50mm squares for my cavalry, and between 60 and 90mm squares for my artillery (light, medium, heavy, respectively). Individual miniatures and vignettes will be based upon randomly selected bases, i.e. whatever looks good.

This is how I felt today after mowing the grass.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Some Evening Musings...


A warm night in the Imperial Duchy of Blagovia, with a soft, gentle breeze blowing from the west. Looks like summer has finally put in an appearance and I for one am not thrilled. It was 32 Celsius today, with a humidex that pushed the temperature into the high 30’s –and this is still May! His Grace is making a concerted effort to finish the bottle of Sangiovese, which he opened for dinner, and is currently listening to Bach's: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, as performed by the Freiburger Barockorchester. Highly recommended.
_____

While recently going through some old boxes I found the following minis. They were given to me by my friend some years ago, who in turn received them from family in Germany many years ago. I like the look of them, and they have been well played with over the years. Prussian I think? I wonder if I should conscript them into the Blagovian Army, or perhaps some Battenberger Grenadiers for the shelf ???


Monday, 21 May 2018

Victoria Day

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer in the Great White North, celebrated with a long weekend and fireworks, and the opening of cottages. Barbeques, fishing, weekends at the cottage, and the dog days of summer are upon us. I remember getting especially antsy this time of year when I was a youngster. The days in class seemed to get especially slower and drag as we started to approach the summer holidays. I just couldn't wait for school to finish so that I could hop on my bike for day long rides, or long, long games of street hockey, soccer, and baseball, not having to come in until the streetlights came on, or if my parents were inclined to sit on the porch and enjoy the evening, when they went in.
As a child, in preparation for the summer break, on the Victoria Day long weekend I would bring the bike up from the basement, where it was stored in the winter, take out the hose and a bucket with soap and water, wash it from stem to stern, adjust the brakes, pump up the tires, tighten the seat, and my final act was to grab a can of oil from my dad and thoroughly oil the chain. Wonderful memories and days! To those north of the 49th parallel I hope you have a wonderful and safe May two-four weekend.


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Progress

The 1st Blagovian Infantry Regiment is complete, and awaiting basing and flags. The Hussar Regiment is almost done as well. Time to order some reinforcements!
I think I will add a Grenadier Company to the 1st Regiment, and get some artillery (12 pounders and crews). I will also grab some mounted officers. This should be enough Blagovians for now, and should see me through into the summer. I think come the Fall I will start to build up some Leutonian and Tutun-Bey Forces.
I have also decided to develop another Imagination which I will keep far more whimsical. To be honest, my Blagovian, Leutonian, and Tutun-Bey armies have been kept somewhat "historically accurate," in that their uniforms will be (are) based on real ones. The original plan that I had was to be able to fight historical battles as well as fantastical ones. The new Imagination will be located somewhere in the German states, where exactly has yet to be determined, and will be much larger than my current Imaginations. Of course, this nation will be allied with Blagovia and Leutonia, so you may see a battalion or two fighting alongside the above mentioned nations against the hated Turk.
Instead of creating a new blog I will create a subsection of this one where I can post the ongoing situation and battle reports. I'm not sure whether to stick with 25mm, or go with 28mm, or even 1/72 (20mm). Once I settle on a scale I will plan out the units I intend to raise. One thing is for certain however, after having received "permission" to recruit within its borders from Phil Olley, there will be a regiment of Battenberg infantry. Let's see where I go with this one.


Monday, 23 April 2018

Still Here.

Although the blog has been idle of late, I have not. The forces of Blagovia have been gradually building, and I now have 1 battalion of infantry painted, a regiment of hussars base coated and ready for final painting, and two cannons done. Not bad given the glacial speed at which I paint and the numerous distraction of the "real world." I will endeavour to post some pics of my finished miniatures soon. Even though no one seems to looking at this blog, let alone reading or following it I will continue to keep on with it.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The Imperial Duchy of Blagovia

The following is a map that was commissioned by His Grace, Duke Borislav V. It is the most up to date version of the Duchy. I really like the way this turned out and the map offers a wonderful selection of terrain on which to fight some battles!


Friday, 9 March 2018

Still Here

Well, well. It has been some time since I last posted, but this is not due to a lack of interest in this blog, but due to an especially hectic work schedule the last month. Unfortunately, my painting output has come to a complete stop. I have almost completed a battalion, and have found a level of detail which has the double bonus of being aesthetically pleasing, and quick to paint. The hardest part for me has always been determining when a figure was good enough for a "Table Top Standard." It's easy to forget that, when painting details on a miniature, the vast majority will simply not be visible from 3 feet away. I have always been of the camp that super details everything, which is great for display purposes, but results in an extremely low output -something not desirable when assembling an army. I will try and post some pictures of the units that I have finished thus far in the next few days. 



Friday, 2 February 2018

Production Begins.


I’ve cleaned up and primed the miniatures and now on to painting. Surprisingly, this only took a couple of hours as the castings are crisp with no flash to speak of, and a few very light mould lines. I really am quite pleased with the level of detail that these figures have. They should be fun to paint, and given the relatively simple scheme, quick. I’m not sure whether to go with red trousers or blue. Although, there is the Bethlen Regiment which, according to Kronoskaf, had light brown trousers and dolman.


1st Blagovian Regiment (nee Bethlen Regt)



Not the best of pictures, but here they are ready for the bench.



Thursday, 1 February 2018

The troops are here.


Huzzah! The RSM95 miniatures I ordered have arrived, a pleasant surprise after a long day at work, and a miserable, cold and snowy one outside. The miniatures are wonderful, and should paint up very well. I will definitely be ordering more form DPC, an excellent and thoroughly professional retailer. My package was shipped immediately after payment was processed, and arrived quickly. Thank you Rich! 

His Grace, Duke Borislav V, was most pleased as well! I’ll spend the next few days cleaning them up and priming all 36 before I decide what scheme to go with, and what size base to use. More on this next post.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Small update

The paint recovery is going well, only one that I haven't been able to get back so far although I have a feeling that the Windex might do the trick. My RSM95 Hungarians haven't arrived yet, not that I expected them this early. Hopefully next week.
Unfortunately my painting ground to a halt due to a cold that hit me full force yesterday. I'd been feeling kind of run down all week, and I reported for sick parade today. More when I feel  a bit better.

How I feel today!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

More paint and other news

A mini update for now.

I was able to resurrect two more pots of GW paint today, the Fiery Orange and  the Blood Red. This is really good news, as I am not happy with the reds that I have, and was was wondering what I would use for my Blagovian troops' trousers. Now to see if I can get the Bolt Gun Metal, Terracotta and Goblin Green up and going. I have to try and see whether I can bring back any of the Ral Partha's as well. They were some  of the best acrylics that I have ever used, vibrant and nicely opaque and they  really popped when applied over a light base. Their metallics, on the other hand, were not so good.

My RSM95 Hungarians are on route to Blagovia. They were shipped yesterday, so hopefully I'll get them by this weekend, or early next week.

Old paints and miniatures






Probably like many others out there I have, over the years, managed to accumulate quite a bit of hobby paints. I have tried most major brands, and have paints from Ral Partha, (bought in the 80's and still usable) Tamiya, Testors, (some of the enamels are from the 70's and still perfect), Humbrol, Vallejo (my go to), and a bunch of others. I made the switch from enamels to acrylics more than 30 years ago, and for the most part I prefer them. The one thing, however, that has bugged me is the tendency for these paints to "dry out." The GW paints, of which I have a good selection of as well, seem especially susceptible to this. Recently while looking for something else I came across a bunch of GW paints in which the water had evaporated, but the pigment and binder were still tacky. I did some experiments and was pleased to have brought back two of them: Ice Blue, and Dwarf Flesh. This is great news as there are several other colours that I really want to use, as they will look wonderful on my Blagovian troops. I hope that I can recover a bunch more in the next few days.

How was I able to do this? Well, it really was surprisingly simple. I took two different approaches. For the Blue I used some Windex with Ammonia, and for the Flesh colour I used Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner and some distilled water. In both cases, I also added a small stainless steel ball that had been removed from a bearing to aid in the agitation of the paint, after the clumped paint had been broken up and stirred with a small pocket screw driver. I found with the Windex that the paint really foamed up but came back much quicker. It is however a bit too thin, my fault as I added a little too much, too quickly. The Airbrush cleaner and water took a heck of a lot longer, but the paint is thicker and more reminiscent of what it looked like when new. This pot is a lot older that the blue  and it has been sitting around for years, so the extra work probably shouldn't be too surprising. The science behind all this quite straight forward, but essentially what you are doing with the ammonia and ether (a component of the cleaner) is reactivating the acrylic polymers. The water is what is thinning the viscosity of the paint and giving it its flow.    

Going forward I think that will probably just go with the Airbrush cleaner  and water in the future, as I feel that the ammonia might be a little bit more potent than I like, and I really didn't care for the excessive foaming.

--------------------------------------------------------------

I recently ordered some Hungarian SYW Infantry from RSM95 with which I plan to form the core of my Blagovian forces. I especially like the Hungarian uniform as it has a real Balkan cut to it, and when the painted battalion is put on the table it really seams to stand out. I still haven't decided to go with a stock/authentic uniform, or fabricate a new one. Once I have the figures in hand I'll have a better idea. I hope that they will scale well with my Eureka Saxon Hussars...
I haven't decided what I will be using for my Leutonian units. I may go with some RSM95 Prussians, which will will give me the flexibility to do some historical battles if I so choose. The Forces of  Tôtûn-Bey will, of course, be the RSM95 Ottomans

These all will have to wait until I finish my Blagovian troops as I don't want to have a large pile of unpainted lead sitting around waiting for the paint bench. This has been a failing of mine in the past, and has inevitably lead to frustration and abandonment due to the uncompleted masses of figures. This year I will only buy another unit when I finish one, including bases and flags.