Sunday, 10 February 2008

Buildings & Babies

Well, only one of each so far :-) and neither quite done yet.

Life has been very busy these past four weeks, with the building work on The Cottage (Grand Duke Siegfried's private hideaway, wherein he goes by the monicker 'Paul') approaching the finish line, and Grand Duchess Judith approaching the due date (Feb 11th, tomorrow!) for our firstborn.

The dust and disruption got so bad that a couple of weeks ago we moved out to a holiday let on a neighbour's farm just across the valley. Since then we have been busy trying (and failing) to clean while the builders are still working, and busy hosting the in-laws. All-in-all, they do say that moving home, building your own home, having a baby, and living with your in-laws are the most stressful things in life. So to do all four at once seemed like a good idea. Luckily we broke up for half-term on Friday, so although I still have plenty of marking and lesson plans to write, at least I don't have any teaching contact hours. (I calculated that my 'A' level essays take 45 minutes each to mark. With 40 of those to do, I am beginning to wonder if I will make any headway before baby arrives and I am supposed to take paternity leave...)

So, no work as yet on the shed / studio for my gaming, model making and figure painting. The dust is so bad in The Cottage that I can hardly sit in there for more than a few hours, let alone attempt anything that needs a clean surface! (My coffee, once poured, acquires a thick film of dust within a few minutes).

I have not been idle however. A sale in a local model shop prompted me to splash out on a number of promising 1/72 scale plastic miniatures. Here's the list:

Italeri 1/72 Scale
Prussian Light Cavalry
Austrian Infantry
French Hussars
French Line Infantry
French Imperial General Staff
Cossack Cavalry
Austrian & Russian Allied General Staff
British & Prussian Allied General Staff

Revell 1/72 Scale
2x Prussian Cuirassiers
2x French Hussars
Austrian Artillery
French Horse Guards Artillery

Now, I know that these are mostly Napoleonic miniatures, but of course a bit of customising and delicate painting will naturally reveal them to instead be bona fide Seven Years War Kitschberger and Angstlustian military units. Some of those fellows were way ahead of their time in terms of uniforms and colours you know.

I am also busy gathering materials and paints for scenery, terrain and buildings. My ally in the Art Department has persuaded me on the merits of tissue-mache (must find out how to produce accents and umlauts for this blog) for my terrain squares. And Stokes Schwartz over at the Grand Duchy of Stollen has made my life a lot easier by posting up his process for making SYW buildings, which has inspired me to have a go. As for scenery, well, while writing up my histories of Himmelbad, Angstlust, Kitschberg, Busenwald etc., I have included a few historical sites such as an old Roman ruin and some Medieval castle remains, and so these will be making an appearance on the battlefields of Urope too.

I also picked up some Plasticard to see what it is like for buildings, roofing etc. If it's no good I'll try some balsa wood buildings Stokes Schwartz style.

So my gaming goals are basically to survive baby's arrival and stay smiling, before setting up a clean, dust-free space to do some figure painting and building construction. I'm aiming for two battalions for each side at first, and they'll be small ones. I can't quite imagine how my life is going to change post-baby, so all these plans may fall by the wayside yet, but at least I set a goal!


tradgardmastare said...

Good to read of you and your family. I have three daughters and can remember the awaiting of them!
I garden organically and try to grow what I can for the family.
I hope you find space to paint and wish you all the very best for the arrival of your child
p.s let us know when he/she arrives!
p.p.s the plastic figures seem an excellent way forward.

Fitz-Badger said...

Good luck on the baby, house, minis, buildings, and all!

MurdocK said...

The new baby will take less efforts from you, mother on the other hand is where your energy should be rightly directed. Especially time for her to 'break' from baby (the fun stuff like diapers and bathing).

Actually if your new space is dust free - something to aim for with someone so young - you should have a few hours each day once mum and the young one have gone to nap and/or bed.

Take a month after the birth to sort out the new 'schedule' - it should last a few months before the little one gets mobile!

I have three (boys) and as I write this my youngest is wriggling on my lap as I try to type and get him to sleep.


Bluebear Jeff said...

Before trying other building materials, you might want to take a look at this webpage on building construction:

Good luck with the baby!

-- Jeff