Monday, October 22, 2007

Kettledrummers & Knick Knacks

Piepp 45mm Prussian Cuirassiers

I feel another painting surge coming on and look forward to seeing what I can turn out from the Potsdam Production Line. With another Big Battalion game lined up for the Rock Con convention on November 3, 2007, I have no doubt that some interesting additions will be made to Der Alte Fritz's SYW Prussian army over the next two weeks. Let's just say that the little setback at Preisserstadt has given me plenty of motivation to paint.

Last night I did some conversion work on a Suren 30mm cuirassier trumpeter and turned him into a kettledrummer, sort of like the one pictured above. The casting's right hand is raised over its head as if getting ready to strike the kettledrum. So I cut off a section of brass rod for the drumstick, placed a tiny wad of green putty on the tip, and glued it onto the hands of the musician. For the kettledrums, I used the drums that come with the Foundry Prussian kettledrummer and merely drilled a hole into the each side of the neck on the horse. The Foundry figure is too large and cartoonish looking to use with the slender Surens, but the kettle drum is nearly perfect. The figure is still drying so I don't have any pictures yet. Tonight, I will prime the kettledrummer and then start the painting process later in the week. With only two weeks to go before Rock Con, I ought to be able to add one more musician to my cavalry contingent.

The 45mm Piepp casting pictures above, come from Germany, via the Berlin Zinnfiguren store and I used a picture of one of these fellows as a stand-in for my own creation. I am curious to see how it will paint up.

Speaking of Berlin Zinnfiguren, some of my artillery back orders arrived over the weekend. I can now add a 12 pounder and a 7 pound howitzer to my artillery park. And as I walked into my house this evening, I saw a large box from Berlin Zinnfiguren on the front hall table, perhaps an indication that the rest of the artillery park has arrived. Oh boy!

UPDATE: Yes, the rest of my Prussian artillery arrived today, so now I have three 12-pounders, a 10-pound howitzer, a 7-pound howitzer, and a 6-pounder. The Euro 30 price includes both the limber and the gun and both pieces come pre-assembled. I counted 11 different components in the 12-pounder, so when you stop to consider the amount of time that goes into the assembly of these models, the price seems more reasonable.

My plan is to upgrade all of my regimental guns from 3-pounders to 6-pounders and 7-pound howitzers. I have no choice in this matter, because the French insist that their 4-pounders are really 6-pounders and thus I am outgunned. Now I understand that there was a difference in the French pound and the English pound weight, but in an imaginary world with fictional countries, a pound is a pound is a pound. Period.


  1. Get those paint brushes dancing, sir. I suspect that those Gallians will be planning to bring even more troops to the table as well.

    While I want pictures right NOW, perhaps it would be best to hold off until it is too late for those Gallic types to counter . . . after all, this is a military secret (for now).

    -- Jeff

  2. Jeff: I'm itching to post some pictures of my current painting project, and as you suggest, I will reveal all when it is too late for those perfidious Gallians to react.

    Let us just say that Der Erbprinz has recognized some minor deficiencies in his army and he's conducting some reorganization of his forces to fix the problems.

  3. Very nice conversion. Including kettledrummers is certainly an option when you have large units

  4. Dear FAWill: I just want to make it clear that the pictures are not the figures that I am working on. They are 45mm Piepp Minituren from Germany that I posted as an indicative picture of what I am doing.

    I love kettledrums and I think that everyone ought to make them for their Horse & Musket ranges.

  5. 'Alte Jim' (if I may dare),
    I share your fondness for kettledrums and even more, actually, kettledrummers uniforms and minis -even if, in historical countries at least, they were not as flamboyant by Lace Wars times as in the Napoleonic era (an opportunity for providing units with a "double command"?).

    Anyway we already know your painting is great!

    Not totally off-topic, being also a matter of conversion, modelling and painting, what about your '18th C. war balloons' project?


  6. The kettledrummer was completed last night, I will try to get some pictures posted over the weekend. I have a lot of pictures backed up that need to make it to this blog.

    The air ships project is on hold for awhile. The Exchequor needs to conserve funds for other more important projects.

  7. Looking forward to seeing the Kettledrummer.

    Loose Cannon. :-)

  8. Frank: you ask, and you receive. I've just posted some pictures of the kettledrums for the Friday October 26th entry. Don't run out of cannister, I hear that there's a war going on. :)

  9. Great stuff Jim, thanks for posting.

    The war by the way is only going on in one persons mind, I have moved on while he was announcing DEFCON1 etc etc :-)

    Anyway, this is not the place for that nonsense. Keep up the great painting mate, it's always a pleasure to view it.