Sunday, October 20, 2013

Keeping Up With The Austrians

Sometimes you find yourself in the position where you have no figures primed and ready to paint, and you have a lot of figures that need to be based, terrained and finished off. That is kind of the worst of both worlds as far as I'm concerned because I view figure preparation work (filing, fitting, cleaning and priming) a pain in the neck to do and I am not altogether keen on basing my figures.

Since there was nothing to paint, I decided that it was time to grasp the nettle and get on with the task of  all of this unpleasantness.

First on the list: inking and grassing two 24-figure Minden cuirassier regiments, one Austrian and one Prussian. I actually inked the bases last evening (friday) so that I could dry brush them with flesh paint (over dark brown ground) and apply the static grass on Saturday. It is a painstaking task, but something that needs to be done, nevertheless. So I finished off the von Seydlitz Cuirassiers and the O'Donel Cuirassiers, and inked the Alt-Modena Cuirassier Regiment.

That is two Austrian regiments to one Prussian cavalry regiment, not exactly my cup of tea, but since I have neglected my Minden Austrian army for a couple of years, I figured that it was time to balance out the two armies. Hence more Austrian cavalry and infantry.

Next on the list, clean and prime a 30-figure Hungarian battalion (Joseph Esterhazy) for my Austrian army. When I build infantry units, I paint two battalions in the regiment and add a mounted regimental commander. Since I had already painted the first battalion of the Esterhazy regiment, it was time to finish off the regiment.

Finally, as a reward to myself for being so nice to the Austrians, I picked out a 24-figure regiment of Prussian cuirassiers from my growing pile of Minden metal. They will also undergo the clean and prime treatment so that I have a reserve of things to paint somewhere down the road. One of the advantages of owning your own miniatures company is that you can pick and organize a unit of something to paint. That's kind of nice.

This evening (Saturday) Mrs. Fritz and I went to the theatre to see the stage version of The Killer Angels at the Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. Apparently, the show has been so popular that they have extended its stage run for a few more weeks. I was curious to see how they would stage the story without the benefit of a vast panorama of outdoor space. They went for a Minimalist Approach to things, using only large blocks of wood and some old travel trunks for scenery. It's hard to explain, but it worked fairly well.

Most of the actors played 2 or 3 roles in the production. For example, General Lee and Sergeant Kilrain were played by the same actor, as was Buford/Major Taylor, Tom Chamberlain/Jeb Stuart. Only the Chamberlain actor had one role. The Lee/Kilrain actor was the best of the lot. They used a "troubador" to advance the plot and provide background information about what was going on. Maps were unfurled at various times on stage and the actors would talk about where the troops were moving and why. I thought that it worked too. 

The uniforms were Minimalist too, but then they almost had to be, given that the actors had to make a lot of costume changes. Between scenes, the troubador would sing Civil War songs and accompany himself on his guitar. Another actor played the mandolin.

My only criticism is that the actors playing Longstreet and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain were kind of the weak links in the cast. Both of them needed more of a stage presence and exude some forcefulness. I had trouble hearing Chamberlain at times because he was so soft spoken and contemplative. Longstreet seemed weak and whiny. That said, I did enjoy the production and I am glad that I saw the play.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing the painted Hungarians!