Sunday, April 29, 2007

"New" Reviews

I've neen updating my "Rants and Raves" blog today.

You may be familiar with a couple of them if you've been reading "Battle Games".

I finished another building for Strudelburg on Friday night, and bought a couple more on Saturday. I ought to be able to put a big tick in the "completed" box for this element of the Strudelburg project soon.

Purchased a couple more cans of spray-paint to finish the buildings - they just don't paint themselves, you know! Also bought a couple of fine brushes; all my others were worn out from slapping paint onto the Leib Grenadier Garde and were useless for doing any black-lining. A most distressing situation which had stopped me painting for most of the week!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Leib Grenadier Garde - fluff

Those of you who've been reading this blog for a long while will know that one upon a time, I started to build the Saxon Leib Grenadier Garde.

I've been home sick the past couple of days and being bored, was rummaging about in the moderately-large piles of RSM miniatures I have had stockpiled here. Well, what should I unearth but a pile of RSM Prussian Grenadiers. Enough to do the LGG at a strength of about 60 figures. Nothing loath I began.

I spent all day Friday cleaning, priming and basing the figures. Odd moments I've had spare today have gone toward painting the yellow bits on a few of the figures.

I just had to have a parade. So here we have the battalion of the Saxon Leib Grenadier Garde marching past in column of companies.
UPDATE: Progress pic added. I've painted all the yellow parts on the figures and am well on the way to painting their red coats. Next I think will come the black-lining followed by some tidy-ups.
UPDATE 2: It's a public holiday here in Australia (ANZAC Day) and I have managed to wangle things so I am home alone and can spend the whole day painting.
Here's hoping I get the coats painted and lots of black-lining done.
I'll add a progress picture tonight.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Here's a picture of the Kurfurstin Regiment as she stands at the moment - Stokes; this one's for you!

No more pictures of this regiment until it's a lot more complete. This week I'll be working on a conversion to a trooper to turn him into a drummer for this regiment.

The other troopers are undercoated and ready to go as are the other eight dismounted troopers. I've some horses in more sedate poses standing by to represent the ... er... discarded mounts.


Here is a picture of Strudelberg as she stands today. Another couple of buildings ought

to round things out a bit.

Dismounted Dragoons

Well, this weekend I didn't get around to a solo game, but I did manage some painting and photography.

First up we have fromt and rear views of the RSM didmounted dragoon. The one on the left is the Austrian (or in my case the Bavarian!) figure - that on the right is a Prussian who I'll be painting as a Bavarian anyway as he is what I have handy!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Alzheim History

I'm amazed at the moment by the number of mythical countries that have sprung up on line in recent times. It is beginning to seem to me that you need an atlas more than a search engine to navigate their variegated terrains.

Alzheim is one such mythical country.

It's funny though that the Duchy never was conciously conceived as being a blog with a country name and a map and carefully worked out uniforms. I really admire the people who have the disciplined forethought to plan their countries, create gorgeous maps and design beautiful uniforms. It's not something that my scatterbrained thinking has ever really lent itself to, more sadly for me, I sometimes think!

Before this blog there came a name.

Once upon a time I was a member of the SocDaisy Yahoo Group and for some reason names of mythical countries came up as a topic. I (cleverly I thought) stuck up my hand and mentioned Alzheim. Why not? It sounded appropriately German, contained a clever pun that brought to mind a land forgotten by History. Genius!

It was lovingly launched into the mysterious places of the Interweb and promptly vanished without a trace.

Hey ho, I forgot about it, sort of. I still liked the name.

There things pretty wel were left until a friend introduced me. He's a follower of the Lubavitcher rebbe. He's got a blog (AussieEcho) about all things Lubavitch which he showed me.

This got me thinking that this would be a great way of getting my hobby-based materials together in the one place and to try and find a way of imposing some order upon the chaotic mess that I'd created for my self over the years. This came together at about the same time as I had started participating in the OldSchoolWargaming Yahoo Group. The OSW people have had a great deal to do in terms of feedback early on that really made me want to keep regularly at the blog.

At this point the Duchy was still a collection of tidings from my note-book or workbench. I'd not really decided on any detailed characteristics for it - for example, the name of the place is German, but most of it's early doings were those of French-looking troops with French-sounding commanders! I'm sure there are still many contradictions there.

The Duchy took on a more German tone with the introduction of the noble Elector Augustus, his ignoble, Blackadderish manservant Bauer and the dear, doughty, brave and stupid General von Browne who in my mind bears some resemblance to the Graf von Grunt.

Still no maps, though, although for a while though I did toy with the idea of using a map I found online of Alfred the Great's Wessex. I still toy with the idea. I really should do something about that one day.

As it stands though, I'd still characterise the Duchy of Alzheim as a hold-all for my projects in process, random thoughts and occasional pretty pictures. I think it will yet continue to ramble on and hopefully take new und unlooked for turns and sprout unexpected excrecences.

Most of all, I'd like it to be a place where we can meet and talk about our own varied projects and experiences.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Forum #1

Please post your comments on any topic you please.

I'll be checking them as frequently as out time-zones allow to enable something like a free-flowing conversation.

Change to Duchy of Alzheim Style and Content

I’ve been thinking a little about my style of blogging in the past few days.

I think it could be characterized as a lot of little posts on progress on this or that project with pictures of my latest half-dozen painted toy soldiers.

I’m thinking I might revise this approach in coming weeks and concentrate on more meaty (but obviously less frequent) posts on what’s going on, rules ideas, battle reports and so forth.

I’m also thinking of running a “Friday Forum” with an open topic where we may post to our heart’s content using the Comments feature . I’ll them convert the comments into a post and respond as necessary.

I hope that these changes will make the Duchy a more interesting place to visit.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A box of tin from America has arrived! Hurrah!

Oh for joy! at last my RSM order has battled its’ way through shoals of Easter mail to land on my doorstep.

So excited was I at this advent that I plucked out, cleaned and primed the dozen galloping horses that will be the mounts for the Kurfurstin Dragoon regiment. Keeping in mind that I have now painted four of this regiment, scrounged up an officer and trumpeter, as well as this additional dozen I am on my way to having about a squadron and a half of troopers – a very satisfactory stare of affairs I think. I like the fact that this sort of regiment size (say 36-38 figures) will give my horse regiments some sort of battlefield parity with my Infantry. Thus they won’t be withering away too quickly under the impact of a battalion volley.

I ought to have the horses painted to completion by tonight, I hope and then be ready to make a start on the troopers.

I am contemplating doing a skirmish line of a squadrons’ worth of dismounted Dragoons. I was going to use some of the RSM dismounted dragoons, but they are not quite to my taste and I am wondering whether to use some Austrian infantry and Grenadiers in the advancing pose and do some small amount of modification to their leg-ware to indicate boots rather than gaiters. I will be putting a few horses on two bases to represent the horses they dismounted troops leave behind – I’ll probably have to sculpt saddlery onto them.

Equal cause for excitement was the discovery of some sample Ottoman Turks who I thought might make good “early Croats”. I think that, after examining them closely, that they will make fine wild men from the fringes. I’m thinking here especially of plate ‘A’ in the Osprey on Austria’s Frontier Troops (1740-1796) and some early images of some few Serbian troops of the earliest part of the era.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Dragoon Regiment Kurfurstin

Also called Kaiserin fom October 1744 until October 1745 and Piosasque thereafter, I've based this dragoon regiment on the 1740 version of the uniform mentioned in Stephen Manleys excellent uniform guide to the War of the Austrian Succession. Significantly though, he neglects to tell us what colour the small-clothes were. I opted for buff as the "best guess".

This regiment was organised into three squadrons each of four troops. One troop (represented here) was designated as Grenadiers. In my organisation, I am using three figures to represent a troop and thus a dozen for a squadron. When they are fighting dismounted (an option I'm going to allow myself), two figures from each squadron must remain behind as horse-holders.

I'm piecing the regiment together from odds and ends while I await my last RSM order. The horse closest the camera is from Eureka.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Painting for pleasure.

Here's a few things I've been pottering with while
I've been awaiting my latest RSM order.
I've decided to renovate my French regiments, taking them up to a three-company, 15-figures-per company structure with a couple of ensigns and a mounted Colonel to round them out. it's proving pretty painless; as you can see I've just about finished the Berry Regiment. Next on the list is Royal Languedoc with the first three round-outs painted up.
Second is a cheap plastic building from what I think is a Chinese company called "Lee" which I've decided to build into part of Strudelberg. It's actually the second Strudelberg building - the first is a little church with a conical top on the steeple that features earlier in this blog when I was building my Vauban Fortress.
Finally is the converted Austrian/Bavarian Grenadier Officer I've been threatening to do for ages. I'm not entirely sure about how he's cradling hus musket, but we'll see how he looks when he's painted.
Until my next order arrives, I'll probably be painting more Frenchmen and refining my gris-blanc skills. I do have a few other odds and sods saved up for painting just to spoil myself with - mostly aavalry singletons. More later as I get on.