Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Milestones and such

Wow, its been nearly four weeks since I last posted and I've just noticed another blogging milestone slip by.  I hit the 10,000 hits mark at the end of April - the culmination at the time of pretty much six months worth and over sixty posts.  Its now mid-August and about two weeks ago I reached the 20,000 hits mark.  I've been so slack that I've not even noticed until its closer to 21,000 on the flag-o-meter.  That second 10,000 rolled around in no time and has caught me napping.

Ridiculous really as I have been totally snowed with work and uni and my youngest son's footy on weekends etc etc, so while I've managed some painting, I've posted nothing...  nada... zilch.  Oh the shame, the shame (to paraphrase another 'Doc Smith') - particularly when I see the beautiful hussars finished by Dean and Giles' latest grognards.

Still, I have managed to paint something - I had intended to finish the dragoons and then get stuck into the hussars but I was waylaid. Honest!

After I got a short break from work, I found it hard to extractus digitus until I got a present from a mate; a set of Redoubt Confederates.  Now this wasn't just any old set, but one that was close to my heart, as I had wanted to create this unit for years, in fact almost ever since I lived in Northern Virginia (a lifetime ago), just a few miles away from the ACW Heritage New Market battlefield site.  It was here that the cadets of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) won immortal fame with their courageous charge that captured a Federal battery.  I have stood at the fence they launched that charge from and marveled at the courage of those boys (average age of 15) covering several hundred yards of open ground, right into the teeth of those guns.  Its a feat to match Picket's charge - but even better, the VMI boys won - as depicted below in Don Troiani's magnificent painting of the event.

So I've had to put together the Redoubt VMI set of 24 figures and two guns.  The guns are two of the four 12 pdr Napoleons - the 'Apostles' - that accompanied the VMI cadets.  The figures include 16 at the run with shouldered arms (they had old smoothbore muskets) led by their instructors, another eight figures are serving the guns.  They come with a multitude of heads; with and without kepis and bandaged or bare-headed, to add more variety.  The casting is a bit crude and one of the poses - the only kneeling figure - didn't seem to have enough bits and was a bit awkward to build.  Nonetheless they've turned out nicely after a bit of fiddling about.  Of course the famous 'Stonewall' Jackson was head of the school when war broke out and he was given a command but he continued to wear his dark blue school uniform.  In fact as a reference for my figures I've used some photos of actual VMI cadets recreating those worn by the boys who became part of the famous Stonewall Brigade.  I reckon these boys (below) look great, don't you?

 
 
The guns (named 'Matthew, Mark, Luke and John') were also a nice strong brick red in colour and fully preserved, are on display in front of VMI today. 


I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of the figures just yet but will finish and base them soon and post the results as soon as I do.  Watch this space as I move with my customary glacial speed!

Seriously though, thanks to all of you who follow my blog and take the time to post such nice comments about my soldiers, painted and drawn.  Its much appreciated and as much inspiration to me as the obvious talents of my fellow bloggers from around the world!

Edit Note: One thing I forgot to add - if you scroll down,  just below the Visitors Flag Counter is a translator - for those of you visiting this blog from non-English speaking countries, just click on the flag/language button and this blog will be translated into that language!  Its a pretty neat gadget - and actually works.

Cheers,
           Doc