Monday, May 31, 2010

Field Bakery

Prussian field bakery scratch built by Ed Phillips. Minden Pioneers are shown in the foreground. Buildings were made by Herb Gundt of H.G.Walls. The Alter Friz Gasthaus is the name of an actual gasthaus in the town of Hochkirk, Germany,

Someone had asked me about information on 18th Century field bakeries and I promised to post a picture of the generic field oven that Ed Phillips made. I was lucky to be the first one to see Ed as he unwrapped his collection of scratch built buildings and vignettes at this year's SYW Association convention. Little did I realize that these were all for sale (sort of like a bring and buy in the UK). So I snapped up the bakery and several supply wagons that Ed had also scratch built using balsa wood, bass wood, card stock and some Old Glory artillery wheels for the carts.

In the 18th century, the armies would transport wagon load of the black metal bands that you see in the picture above. Then they would build the oven either from local materials or bricks that they had carried along with them for that purpose. My thinking is that they used local materials rather than hauling heavy wagons full of bricks around the countryside. So the open top wagons carried the metal braces, probably covered with canvas to protect the metal from the weather.

A company of Prussian pioneers marching into the camp. RSM general, Stadden dismounted Seydlitz in the camp background, scratch built wagon by Ed Phillips, and Minden pioneers. Tent vignette by HG Walls.

The Minden pioneer figures look like they will be useful for a variety of functions, aside from their intended use as pioneers. You have seen how I have converted them into artillery crew in previous blog postings. I could also see them as part of the bakery crew. The fellow with the shovel could be holding a large spatula full of bread, with a simple conversion of the shovel with some green stuff.

An aeriel view snapped by Baron von Munchausen in his hot air balloon (no, I don't have one. Yet. I hear that Eureka is going to make the Baron's balloon in resin one of these days).

Today was Memorial Day in the United States. That means that I get to stay up late the night before and paint, then sleep in late on Monday. Nice! Lady Emma Cuddlestone-Smythe was having some of her ladies over for tea, so Mrs. Fritz suggested that it was high time for Myself to tear down the wargame table that I had set up in her half (the larger half) of the basement and move all of my gear back into the smaller half, where we had the flood earlier in the year.

This project took several hours and I have to say that it brought a tear to my eye to have to take down the 6ft by 18ft table that was set up in Lady Emma's play room. The picture above shows my table back in its old room, with a smaller 6ft by 12ft table. I set up the 2ft square terrain tiles that I had made a few years ago and placed my Minden Prussian camp on the table. This will be the eventual size of the table that I will use for my Minden Project games at conventions, so it is good to see how many battalions and cavalry regiments I can fit on this table.

Herself did allow me to keep my painting table upstairs in the generally unused Dining Room, albeit with the table area tidied up quite a bit. So I cleaned off the painting table after finishing the basement cleaning project. Since I was on a roll by now, I decided to clean out the garage for good measure. I think that earned me some bonus points with Herself. I was generally pleased with the day's efforts.

Finally, we all gathered around the television this evening to watch the Stanley Cup Finals between the home town Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers. I am really learning a lot about ice hockey as I watch more and more games, and I especially love the song "Chelsea Daggers" (or is that the name of the group) which is played everytime the Hawks score a goal. This is the same music used in the Amstel Light Beer commercials on television. The Hawks won 2-1 in a hard fought game and now lead the series 2-0. We are pleased in Hesse Seewald.

Carlstadter Liccaner Croats - Minden Miniatures - guard an Ian Weekley building.

And finally, I was able to finish the terraining of my two Croat bases this evening and have posted a picture above. They look much better once the stand is inked and the static grass is added. As I said in yesterday's posting, I 'm looking forward to completing the unit. I checked my inventory of Minden Austrians and found that I have enough figures for 2 Croat battalions, 1 grenadier battalion, and 2 musketeer battalions (with 2 more in transit right now).

I also plowed my way through a dozen Black Hussars, doing the Van Dyking of the shabraques this afternoon. This is the tedious part of painting hussars, but it should be clear sailing after this and I should be able to have the first dozen hussars done towards the end of this week. I think that I may have figured out a short cut for the shabraques: paint the "tooth" completely white and then come back and paint in a red diamond rather than painting the red diamond first, like I did, and then trying to edge the red tooth with thin white lines. It is the lining that drives one crazy. This other method would eliminate the lining step. We shall see how it works.


  1. First, I have always admired your buildings . . . and the oven is no different. Splendid viewing indeed.

    Your painting idea should work well. I often undercoat an area that I'll be painting red with white because red does so well over it.

    Finally I suspect that your many uses of the Minden pioneers is probably making a lot of sales of them for Frank.

    -- Jeff

  2. Great stuff Jim er... I mean 'Alte'! The scenery and vignettes are first class. inventive and a joy to behold. I am concerned you put those Croat cut-throats guarding that lovely house. I'd check the family plate and cutlery when the owner returns!


  3. Wonderful stuff. Also the Croats are fantastic as well!

  4. An army can never have too much bread!!!

  5. Inspiring stuff as ever Sir! I love the oven and those menacing croats...


  6. I saw Ed unwrapping the bakery at the Convention, and thought, 'what an odd color for an Indian longhouse', before realizing that it was a bakery! He does such great work on the esoterica of the period!

    Jim, your vignettes are so inspiring and truly bring a table to life. If I can achieve half that level for my English Civil War Armies I will be very happy.
    -Steve Page