Advent Army Generals

The Army of Advent are now formally under the command of senior officers! I’ve been a somewhat distracted from hobbies and painting in recent weeks by the irritating and insistent demands of the ‘real world’. This latest group of soldiers are in truth still only 99% finished but, as it’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared anything even near to complete, I’m showing what I’ve got anyway!

Introducing… General Rudolf St. Nicholas and two of his senior staff:

Figures are by the wonderful Hagen Miniatures, They’re not being used quite for their originally intended purpose as Prussian generals of the 7 Years War but they nonetheless find a very welcome home in my Army of Advent. Rather than place them in ‘deep and crisp and even’ snow drifts, as I’ve done with the rest of the army, I’ve situated these senior officers in a landscape dusted with a fresh seasonal snow flurry.


The first figure is of the Commander-in-Chief himself. I’ve used Hagen’s figure of Frederick the Great, ‘Der Alte Fritz’, raising his hat aloft to his adoring troops. General Rudolf St. Nicholas is riding his magnificent grey stallion, Pandepascua. The figure came with a choice of three alternate upper torsos and I chose this hat-raising one, it being the most visually distinctive.

His Chief of Staff, Major-General Minns-Pye rides Striezel. For the Army of Advent’s General Staff, I’ve placed them in the dark red uniform similar to that worn by the 1st Noel Regiment. A yellow sash and gold trim on the tricorns are indicative of their rank.

Finally, we have Maj-Gen. Stockingfiller bestride his easy-going Trakehner stallion, Bredele.

I was going to include Lt-Col. Figgypudding on his Lusitano stallion, ‘Panforte’. I realised belatedly that I had still to attend to a number of things before he’s ready (saddle cloth, riding gauntlet gloves, spurs, etc. etc.), so maybe I’ll present them both later.

Stable Personalities: Horses of Advent

Horses. They can get a little overlooked in modelling, and I know some people positively hate having to paint them, which I get. I like to give my horses their due, however. In fact, I seem to have developed the convention of naming the noble steeds of Advent army officers after Christmas puddings and seasonal cakes from around the globe. In my officer’s stables, for example, I already have a dun stallion named “Panettone” and a tough little Arabian called “Pandoro”. So, continuing on in that tradition, I introduce to you the Commander-in-Chief’s extremely fine – and rather pampered – grey stallion, Pandepascua!

General St. Nicholas on Pandepascua. The General, along with the rest of his staff, are still a work in progress.

Chief of Staff, Major-General Minns-Pye prefers his elegant and black stallion while on campaign to anything quite as fancy, and as physically delicate, as some of the other thoroughbreds he sees ridden by certain other headquarters staff. Introducing his trusty Hanoverian warmblood – “Striezel” (‘show’ name – Allerheiligenstriezel!).

Maj-General Minns-Pye on Striezel

Next, I have Bredele, Maj-Gen. Stockingfiller’s chestnut-bay Trakehner. A good-natured equine with a tendency to lazyness, much like (it has been said) old Stockingfiller himself!

Maj-Gen Stockingfiller on Bredela

And finally, completing this show of officer’s horses, we have a stallion every bit as spirited and forward-going as his own master (St.Nicholas’ zealous military secretary, Lt.Colonel Figgypunding). “Panforte” is the name of this feisty dark-bay Lusitano.

And finally, Lt-Col. Figgypunding on Panforte.

The scale of these figures is perfect for my Army of Advent and they seem to go nicely with other 1:72 sized plastic figures I’ve used so far, as can be seen by the photo below.

Above: Maj-Gen. Minns-Pye on Striezel is closely followed by Colonel Giftrapp of the Yule Grenadiers on Pandoro – ahead by a length going into the final furlong…

I’ve been working on painting from the hoof up with these Hagen figures, so next in my list after the saddleblankets and pistol holders are done will be the riders themselves. As you can see, I’ve made a start with the coats but there’s plenty more to do before they’re fit to command the Army of Advent.

General St. Nicholas and Staff

As mentioned in the last post, after a call for some suggestions of figures which could represent the staff officers of my Army of Advent, John at Just Needs Varnish came up with a corker of a suggestion that I should check out Hagen Miniatures of Germany. A quick look at their extensive range of 7YW Prussian staff convinced me that I’d plump for them.

They’ve come through the post super quick from Deutschland and they’re glued ready for paint. First up, I have the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Advent:

1. General Sir Rudolf St. Nicholas

The figure is actually ‘der alte Fritz’ himself, King Frederick the Great of Prussia. Pleasingly, the figure comes with three alternative top halves including choices of a raised sword, a lowered sword and a raised hat. I wanted General St. Nicholas to be as distinctive as possible so have gone with the dramatic raised hat pose. The other two redundant poses are below:


2. Major-General Minns-Pye (Chief of Staff)

The most senior member of General St. Nicholas’ staff is Adjutant-General, Chief of Staff and effective Second-in-Command, Major-General Minns-Pye.


3. Major-General Stockingfiller (Quartermaster-General)

The figure below will represent the QMG, Major-General Stockingfiller. The horses are quite distinctive; rather skinny with long faces. I like them, perfect for the project, being full of character. They remind me of the cartoon character Lucky Luke’s horse, Jolly Jumper


4. Lieutenant-Colonel Figgypudding (Military Secretary)

Finally, we have the General’s dependable right-hand man – the energetic Military Secretary, Lt.-Col. Figgypudding.

All in all, a nice little group for the General Staff of my Army of Advent!

Revealing the New Uniform of the Yule Grenadiers

Here they are, the new-look Yule Grenadiers!

The new figures are from HaT’s 7YW Austrian Infantry Marching set. The set also comes with musketeer figures which I ultimately intend to make use of for the 1st Noel Regiment of Foot and also for a sister battalion, the 2nd Noel!

Left: Revell and Right: HaT Yule Grenadiers

There a still a few things to attend to with this regiment. Their commanding officer, the recently returned Colonel Giftrapp and his horse Pandoro, needs a little work and a snowy base creating. The ensign has a pole but is notably flagless at the moment. Firstly, my daughter is supposed to be designing a second colour at some point, the first colour featuring a Christmas pudding was created five years ago. The intention is for the first colour to be a kind of King’s Colour with this second colour as the Regimental Colour. Further complicating production matters is that my printer is kaput!

So, keeping faith with tradition, the uniform is largely the same as the older Revell versions. However, the gold grenadier cap which they wore is now a brown fur cap instead.

I’ve enjoyed getting my creative juices going again with my fanciful Army of Advent. Recently, I put out the question as to where I could find some senior officers for the army and received some terrific great suggestions in return. Many thanks for that guys, I’ve decided to go with German manufacturer Hagen Miniatures and have just received some fabulous senior staff through the post lickety split. More on those soon!

The Mysterious Re-emergence of Colonel Giftrapp

I’ve been busy quietly painting my Yule Grenadiers, one regiment from my (admittedly eccentric) Christmas-themed army. The grenadiers are virtually completed but in the course of some painting duties, I was delighted to discover the regiment’s long-lost CO, good old Colonel Giftrapp!

Colonel Giftrapp and his Arabian bay stallion, Pandoro.

He was last seen back in 2015 in a state of being incomplete. I fixed him with a little Blu-Tac for a photo atop his chestnut charger, Pandoro (who was also only partially painted). I took a snap as the Yule Grenadiers marched through the streets of the town of Advent during the Christmas holidays.

I confess I have a history of losing important soldiers only to rediscover them some years later. This was the case with the lost Sharpshooter. Thankfully, I seem to rediscover them again, eventually…

Happily, both rider and horseman have now – quite separately – appeared. Pandoro the horse emerged first tucked away in a tin of random, unfinished figures. Of Colonel Giftrapp, however, there was no sign.

This week however, in the process of tidying, I opened the cupboard door to my painting bureau and there he was lying at the bottom, plain as day. He must have somehow dropped down from wherever he’d been secreted. A little paint was missing here and there, suggesting they’d had a few adventures along the way. They both just need a little work here and there (stirrups, sash, etc.) to get them fully parade-ready.

This is all excellent timing, of course, as his regiment has only this week taken receipt of it’s new uniforms. As obliquely indicated in my last post, the old Revell figures are being updated using new HaT Austrian Grenadier figures. I’ll be sharing the subtle new-look to the regiment in the next post soon.

News from the Kingdom of Advent

The principal newspaper of the Kingdom of Advent, “The Christmas Chronicle (incorporating the Natal News)”, recently published a report on intriguing developments taking place within the Army of Advent. The article states:

“Our fashion correspondent reports on tidings to the effect that one infantry battalion within our Adventine Army are soon to be in receipt of new uniforms, all courtesy of their very generous, not to say well-financed, regimental colonels. The battalion in question are rumoured to be the Yule Grenadiers.

The adoption of a new style grenadier cap is expected to be the most notable feature of the change to the grenadiers uniform.

As to when we might expect to see men of these battalions walk out in their splendid new military attire, the Chronicle can only speculate, however sources suggest it may be soon. Plans for the design of the uniform have apparently already been approved by the C-in-C following samples run up by the contracted military tailors. If the idle tittle-tattle of the local fishwives at the docks is to be believed, they could be with the Commissariat Department within weeks...

A preview of the new designs drawn up at the well-known military tailors “Badfitting, Misshapen and Itch”.

Here the report concludes.

The Army of Advent

Having been mired in a lack of enthusiasm for any new painting assignment, I started rifling through the piles of soldiers in storage in the hope that something, somewhere might eventually inspire me to pick up a brush. I eventually pulled out a box of HaT’s Austrian Infantry from the 7 Years War. These are figures intended for the Christmas Corps, which I’m increasingly labelling the Army of Advent.

Followers of this blog may recall a certain Christmas tradition involving the formation of this Christmas-themed imagi-nation army (because nothing says “Christmas” quite like military conflict…). Glibness aside, although hopelessly out of season (August highs of 31°c+ here yesterday), reviewing these figures for the Army of Advent suddenly re-inspired me. I usually paint such figures nearer the time, but it doesn’t really matter so long as they are ready for mantelpiece duty on the 1st day of Advent. So I’m going with these HaT marching figures in an attempt to get my paint juices going again.

This army currently consists of specially painted troops in their bright and colourful uniforms, created for one purely ceremonial purpose – the duty of standing guard on the mantelpiece during the Christmas season.

The newly-raised Mistletoe Guards on their plinth during last Christmas.

Each year, two regiments from the Army of Advent take a ‘tour of duty’, being displayed on a plinth amongst all the mantelpiece decorations. The Army of Advent currently consists of;

General Staff:

Commander-in-Chief Major-General Noel St. Nicholas and his staff.


Infantry Brigade:

Colonel Hoarfrost (Midwinter Fuzileers) commanding, Major Incense (Mistletoe Guards) ADC.

  1. The 1st Noel Regiment of Foot
  2. The Yule Grenadiers
  3. The Midwinter Fuzileers
  4. The Mistletoe Guards
Colonel Hoarfrost and Major Incense ride out on their respective chargers; Blitzen and Panettone.

Cavalry Brigade:

Colonel Mulled-Wyne (Christingle Dragoons) commanding, Captain Wassail (Carolling Hussars) ADC.

A Carolling Hussar.

Artillery:

Captain Fortune-Fisch commanding.


I’ll be sharing news of some progress very shortly on this project. In the meantime, I’m looking to develop a general staff for the festive force. If anyone knows of 20mm / 1.72 scale figures which may be appropriate for 7YW era commanders aside from HaT’s versions, I’d love to hear your ideas.

My Christmas Cornucopia

I always enjoy seeing some of the gifts and presents that other bloggers get for Christmas, so I’m sharing some of mine too.

First off, this box of Marlburian British Infantry in Advance from Strelets wonderful new foray into the War of the Spanish Succession. I’m delighted that Strelets have begun this series which has been woefully neglected by in 1/72 scale plastics. What’s more, the figures are beautifully sculpted, too.

At my suggestion, I’ve also received from kindly relatives a box of these unusual figures, also by Strelets:

Strelets’ Roman Senate 1 box is about five years old now and as the name suggests had a sister box (number 2) also issued, which features many of the same figures. Two sprues contain senators all standing in their togas and alternatively listening or debating. A final sprue contains senators armed with knives, a statue, and Julius Caesar, all of which are designed to help you recreate the infamous assassination in the senate. A step out of the usual horse and musket era and into ancients; I’ve already been developing my plan for these which I’ll share in due course!

In another step away from 18th-19th century warfare, I’ve received a set of my favoured 1/72 scale plastics by the increasingly impressive Red Box. Last year, I developed my Ottomania project using their well-sculpted Ottoman Turks. As a kind of adjunct, I can now dip a toe into their late middle ages Duchy of Muscovy figures with these “Pishalniki” (arquebusiers).

What’s this? Wargaming?!

Earlier this year, Man of Tin blog, The Grand Duchy of Stollen and others paid tribute and mourned the passing of a deeply respected figure in the wargaming world; Stuart Asquith. Never having wargamed before, I was interested to read about the man and his achievements which included a book I’d had buried in my loft since my childhood; his Military Modelling Guide to Wargaming. His guide to solo wargaming was unwrapped on my birthday and together, who knows, I may investigate putting some of those figures of mine to use…

Of course, I need somewhere to keep all my crap, I mean precious hobby items and these boxes will do the job nicely; one with the grenadier from the sadly closing local discount hobby shop and the other from stationers Paperchase and featuring the Nutcracker which has been curiously popular this Christmas.

And finally, an amusingly appropriate stocking-filler…

I’ve already been busy working on some of my new figures and I’ll share progress shortly.

Until then, I wish a happy, productive and peaceful New Year to all Suburban Militarism visitors and friends!

Bombarding in a Winter Wonderland

And in other snowy news, the expansion of the base for Cracker Battery is finished. To expand the scene, I added some fir trees, a holly bush and a rickety old country fence.

The white modelling clay I’ve used is a slightly different shade to the original stuff but hopefully isn’t too noticeable.

They were not slated for a tour of duty as part of 2019’s decorations but when my wife saw me taking it back upstairs into storage she insisted it went out with the rest. So, Cracker Battery is also on display, their 7 pounder (that’s a seriously heavy snowball) points menacingly at my two other Christmas regiments…