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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What inspires you to paint?


For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of historical minniature gaming is the painting. There are times when one needs to just get units done because you need them for the next game, then there are times when everything just "clicks" for you and something great is created (well, at least to one's self!) Freddy, here is one of those times I just got lucky! While not a gaming piece, it does serve to inspire me at times when I just can't seem to get motivated. What do you do to get "inspired" to paint?

I really dislike having to wait for a batch of new figures to paint. When I order them, I am really pumped to get to it! My mind's eye image is active and I can just "see" what I want them to look like. Two weeks later, when they finally arrive, I have lost that image in my mind and have to struggle to find what had inspired me so much. Seeing other people's work on the internet can be inspiring; especially when the figures are displayed in really great settings. My problem is that I miss living close to a retail store that actuially stocks figures! My old store, Attactix in Aurora, Co. USA was just such a store. We carried whole lines of figures in many scales and periods. I really miss seeing the excitement of a new customer who finds exactly what he had been searching for, in the "flesh" and can take it home with him painting by 8pm! Closest I can come to that here is finding a box of Hat or Zevzda and spending hours just amazed at the detail. I can remember what the old plastics of the 60's and 70's looked like and still be as excited as I was back then.

I blame my parents. I am a hoarder! I tend to keep everything! By buddy here, Scott, really gets on my case because I don't keep it all sorted. "If I sort the stuiff out, I will never find anything I am looking for!" But, alas, he is right- I need to put like periods and scales together. This will knokck off severl hours of just "looking" for that one pack of 1 by 3/4 inch bases I KNOW I have....somewhere, or those two packs of Pendraken I bought years ago just for this time to finally get them fielded. By the time I DO find what I am looking for, I feel I have accomplished something! (but lost the motivation to accomplish what I started out to do....paint the little fellows!)

I hate to admit it, but it took me a whole year to paint up just one box of Perry French Napoleonic infantry, despite they stood and stared at me daily for over 300 days, on my painting table. They are so nice that I guess I hoarded them so I could do my best to do them justice. (No, it never entered my mind that I could always get was these pimed fellows that wanted to get done, first! Why buy more when you haven't painted the one's you already have? (OMG, that sounded just like my wife!)  So 2 more boxes of Perrys and 3 of Vixtrix Austrians (hey, those frenchies will have to be opposed by someone), I finally found my way back into the smaller scales (with tricornes) where I can produce more units for the effort, and start playing games again, At least I will have figures to paint when I get the itch to do larger scale Naspoleonics...whenever that time comes. (And it will come!)

So I type this in anticipation of the arrival of more figures....again. This time, a bit more motivated to paint as I have surroundeed myself with uniform and order of battle information to keep me in the game. If they don't come tomorrow, I will try to shoot some pictures and post here. 

Thanks for reading my ramblings! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The German Army Museum in Berlin (Includes Ottoman Armor and Weapons)

Just a few items that may be of interest. This time, I am including 18 and 19th Century items of interest.

A fine example of Ottoman Armor

 Finely jeweled weapons of the Grand Vizar

Shields and plate armor- Look at the amount of jewels that ornate the weapons!

Pistol and holder- again Ottoman

Cav standard from TYW that perhaps existed in 1704? It was on display for Bleinheim and Eugene. Same with the next flag.

WSS Austrian Cuirass w/helmet

And something you don't see many references for....

A side saddle for a Lady of  Considerable Standing

(Note the attached small sword)

A WSS period Imperialist Drum (sorry for the bad pic, but the color was unusual for me.)

Now we move to to the capitulation of Ulm, 101 years later.......

A captured standard from Ulm
When Napoleon left the Waterloo Battlefield in 1815, he must have been under some sense of urgency. The following articles were found in his Berline Coach when it was taken by the Prussians.

Napoleon must have either left without his spurs or this was a second pair!

Hope you have enjoyed these. I have a LOT more of interest, but it's late here.

Some Austrian SYW Kurassierregiment Standards

Once again, these are on display at the Heer (Army) Museum in Vienna (Wein). The flags then the regimants found below.

The Austrians seem to have taken quite a few from some famous Prussian regiments!

I am not sure but I believe this may be a captured French standard. For sure, the one behind it is. Because they were in the same case leads me to think it is French. I wasn't smart enough to shoot the accompanying narration.....
I will repost this one someday as it shows a battery on the march and how they prolonged guns.

If they ever reprint this book, I would like to be the first in line to buy one!......

....and this one, especially!

It has color examples of all the regiments in the army at the time (circa SYW.) from a period artist. One would think that the museum would be offering prints like those shown behind the open page book above. Sadly, they don't in the gift shop/resturant.

Why I do Horse and Musket in 6 and 10mm scales

What battles looked like of the time

A closer shot of the right from the picture above

The original picture hangs in the Heer Army Museum in Vienna. I cannot recommend this museum too highly! It is simply awesome and the staff knowledgeable and helpful. Of particular note, I would like to point out the number of and placement of the unit's leadership when deployed for combat. No rules that "I" know of even tries to account for how well they did their job in keeping the unit's cohesion as a unit., during a turn. My defininition of "Unit Cohesion" is not just formation cohesion, but rather, how effective "the unit's leadership maintains control of the efforts of the men". It is pretty obious that the melee in the center of the bottom close-up there is no formation cohesion, but a close look at the Bavarians breaking seems to show that their unit's leadership retains sufficient control to extricate their command from a very bad situation! (Note that some remain engaging the enemy to allow the rest of the unit to escape.)

I made a lot of pictures at that museum! Below, I have a few of the captured Prussian standards on display with the descriptions of their previous owners, below the flags.
On display are a LOT more trophies. Not just from the SYW, but from all periods that the Austrian Empire participated in. But for staying with the SYW, what follows next are some captured Prussian fusilier and a couple of grenadier mitres on display. I include them for fellow painters who would like to get the "details" right.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog entry. Please let me know if you would like to see more such shots as I have been visiting museums across Europe in search of such original articles.

Welcome to My Blog (with the looooong name!)

A 6mm European Farmstead made of paper

This is where I hope to further hisotrical miniature gaming by discussing new ideas, destroying mechanics that have been forced upon us over decades and encourage fresh, new thinking on how we approach the hobby. This blog will also act as a way to share photos of what I am doing with anyone who cares. I hope you visit often and post your thoughts if you see something worth commenting on. Thanks for visiting!