Dio-Bolical Monday No: 2 – “Fools Gold” – Part 1

This last week I have begun work on my “Fools Gold” diorama.  As the Table Top World cottage building is the smaller and much cheaper of the two (the other being the Wizard’s Tower) it made sense to use this model as the experimental one.  As with much of my diorama work my starting point was the base.  Not the base I would build but the base I would build the diorama on.

Now unless I plan to box the completed diorama up and store it away I prefer to have it on display in such a way that it doesn’t get covered in dust.  My wall storage units are not deep enough for displaying larger dioramas so I lean towards individual display cases which I buy from my mate Paul at Just Bases.  I generally buy the larger perspex cases he sells which measure 35cm wide by 20cm deep and 13cm high.  This then governs the size of the diorama I am about to do.  Armed with a ruler and my large cutting mat I worked out that this size base would be just about right for what I had in mind and duly placed my order with Paul.

Now under normal circumstances I would meet up with Paul and collect my base from him within a week or so but as we all know these times aren’t normal.  Meeting up wasn’t the problem but getting perspex was.  With all the screens going up everywhere to deal with Covid-19 perspex is an in demand material meaning it has become a little harder to get and more expensive to buy.  Oh goodie!  Paul assured me all was not lost and in a few weeks he would be stocked up, things would just take a little longer is all and so for now I am waiting on the base.

The good news is that because the design for this diorama incorporates a small stream section the base needs to be built up.  The MDF base that comes with the perspex case cannot be dug into so if I want to achieve depth I have to build upwards.  Does this make sense?  Well it does to me and if it is confusing you then all will become clear in due course as the diorama develops.

While I am waiting to collect the base from Paul I figured there were three things I could work on 1) the mine opening, 2) the Reaper figure and 3) painting the Table Top World cottage.  I decided I would start working on the mine entrance.

Plaster board has very much become my material of choice these days for a great many things.  Having raided a skip for some thrown out board a long time ago I went to the garage to review my stash.  Some suitable bits  were found and using an old tile saw I set about cutting some basic shapes to get me started.

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Exciting pictures huh?  I cut out a few of these and then did a Google search for some reference material.  I settled on the image below for a rough idea of what I wanted to achieve.

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I liked the idea of the mining track and wagon, the hole in the side of the hill and the wooden lintel to add some contrast to just the earth and stone.  I hadn’t consider the mining wagon and track before but thought it would be a great improvement so I thought I would try and see what I could find to buy.  As luck would have it Zealot Miniatures came up trumps so I ordered a couple of bits from them which hopefully will arrive shortly.  Fortunately their website had measurements for the track so I was able to press on with more of the mine construction.

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Now whilst things might look like a mess at the moment you should know that I am delighted with how this is shaping up so far.  Essentially this is nothing more than the skeleton to which the flesh will be added.  The plaster board is building up the side nicely, the wooden supports and lintel are in and slate chippings have been added to show exposed rock from the digging and blasting which created the whole in the first place.  The thing is I can’t do much more on the mine now until I get the Zealot delivery because I need to fix the track in place and be able to get to it for painting before I can put a proper top on the mine entrance.

While the mine work done so far was set a side to dry I thought I would take a look at the Cottage.

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It really is a lovely and highly detailed two part model.  On the positive side of things I can’t screw it up with glue (I don’t get on well with glue, whatever I do it goes every bloody where).  On the slightly negative side it is going to be a challenge to paint the inside.  Brush angles to paint the fireplace and windows is going to be tight.

The kits say they don’t need to be washed but I did so anyway and after they air dried I began to prime the two parts.  For as long as I can remember I have always primed using Humbrol White Matt Enamel diluted with White Spirit.  Unorthodox?  Most probably but it works for me.  Time now for the cottage to dry too so for now that is it for this week.

Hopefully next week I will press on with the mine if the Zealot bits come, if not I’ll start painting the cottage.

TIM

Ilnerik Sivanshin

The last couple of weeks have been pretty shitty in modelling terms.  Nothing has gone wrong on the painting and building side.  The problem has been that nothing really got done!  I am retired and in lockdown due to Covid-19 and some how still could not find the time to get any hobby activity in.  Why was this?  Well that is bloody good question to which the answer is Parish Council business. 

In a mad moment a few years ago I agreed to get involved with parish affairs.  I fell for the line “its a breeze”.  It’s not.  The last two weeks have been insightful to say the least but my term in office will come to an end by year end (well that’s the plan).  Not because elections are due but because I intend to tell them to fuck off.  If Covid-19 has taught me anything it is that life is to short to spend time discussing meaningless shit, especially if it takes needless time away from my hobby.

The good news is that I did manage to get this little chap finished.  Over the last two week I have picked him up and put him down more times than I have been to the toilet this year.  Now there’s a thought to leave you with!

The figure itself is from the 28mm Reaper Pathfinder range and goes by the name of “Ilnerik Sivanshin”.  Now I do like Reaper figures as many of you know by now and this one piece casting had sufficient detail to be interesting.  If I have one disappointment it is with the base.  I was pretty happy with the paint job but in my haste to get something finished cut corners on the base.  I think the completed figure was deserving of something much better.  I’ll see how I feel about that in a few days time.  There is always the option to try and sell this one on Ebay and simply do another.

Images below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 77)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is a 28mm figure from Reaper, a young lady who goes by the name of Kristianna and who lists her occupation as a Crusader Warlord.  I suspect she had no problem getting through passport control, assuming any of us can remember that term these days!  When you buy this figure it comes with a little lad too.  As far as I can see he is not named so I don’t know if he is a son or some sort of aide but it’s all irrelevant because I haven’t painted him yet, not even sure I will but I wont rule it out completely (I have).

Kristianna, Crusaders Warlord

As always with a single figure I am finding it harder and harder to say much about them these days.  The paint job was straight forward enough and I didn’t have it in me to do any freehand.  Perhaps I need to start making up some character blurb to go with it?  Not sure I have the imagination that others do for that sort of stuff but one to ponder perhaps.  Which is typically my way of saying I wont do it.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Covid-19 – Lockdown 2 The Sequel

Back in the days of the first lockdown it was as, far as I was concerned, a fun time.  The sun was shining, the roads were quiet and most people were scared shitless so we had no holiday makers to speak of in the South West.  All in all life was pretty good but for the threat of impending doom. 

Now the UK is part way through the second lockdown and so far I can’t say I am enjoying it much.  Don’t get me wrong I am playing my part once again and following all the rules but the weather is crap, the days are short and I spend most of the time trying to get my waterproof clothes dry in readiness for the next dog walk.  Oddly I am getting less modelling done too which quite frankly is bazaar.  

Sequels are all to often a disappointment and this one is no different.  On the positive side there is much talk of a vaccine.  I wont be top of the list to receive it when ever that is but my age shouldn’t put me at the bottom either.  In any event the time frame is some ways off so it looks very much like the sequel will in fact become a mini series.  Here’s hoping none of us find ourselves in the boxed set. 

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Give Me Five

This week I thought I would go for films with a war theme set earlier than WW2.  Go back as far as you like.  In no particular order I ended up with the list below.  Again I suspect age comes into this. 

  1. Zulu (1964)
  2. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  3. All quiet on the Western Front (1930)
  4. Paths of Glory (1957)
  5. Ran (1985)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“I Love It” by Icona Pop.  Even at my age I can bounce to this one.  Any record with the lyrics “I don’t Care”, “You’re from the 70’s but I’m a nineties bitch” and “I threw your shit in a bag and pushed it down the stairs” works for me. 

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This week TIM has been watching …

“TheGood Liar” starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen.  I do like Helen Mirren in particular so this was a must watch film for me.  Very enjoyable.  A twist was expected from the very start which gives nothing away but the story line shoots off in an unexpected way.  I’ll say no more. 

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Remember …

Two can keep a secret if one is floating down the river.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 1

Welcome to the first post under the catchy little title of “Dio-Bolical Monday“.  Last week saw the last Memory Monday post for a while but it will return at some point in the future for sure but for now it is time for a change.  Let’s get started.

I thought I would kick this series off with a bit of an explanation on what you can, in theory, expect to see in the next few weeks ahead.  If you haven’t figured it out already then the “Dio” in the title is short for “Diorama”.  Every now and then I get inspired to do something on a slightly larger scale and now is one of those times.  I used to do a fair few dioramas in the past but space constraints and storage have made them a rarity of late.

Now the thing with dioramas, well mine for sure, is they aren’t done in five minutes.  With all the will in the world I cannot post a new diorama model every week so Work In Progress posts, with thanks to those of you who kindly responded to my question in Miniatures & Musings No:68, will be the order of the day up to and including eventual completion.

Now one of the things to remember with dioramas (well mine again) is that they can go wrong!  You can have all the plans in the world (although I never work to a plan, it’s all just in my head) and still something will fail to work out.  Under the worst case scenario this means starting over but more often than not it amounts to a modification of some sort.  Sometimes this is an improvement on the original idea which is clealry a good thing but alas sometimes it isn’t and the end result whilst OK is not what I envisaged.  The thing is I have no idea how the build of these dioramas will pan out so the journey I am on is not just mine but yours too.  Together we will see how things work out for better or worse.

So, what do I have in mind for you?

Well I have two dioramas planned for now and because of things like drying times I will probably flick between the one I am working on and individual figures while I am waiting around.  The one thing both dioramas have in common is they feature buildings produced by “Table Top World”. I have mentioned these models in previous posts and they are visually stunning.  The level of detail is incrediable and I am excited at the prospect of painting them and then setting them into a scene.  The only downside is they are made of resin and I hate resin more than I hate plastic.  I am an old school guy but realistic to know that metal for these buildings is a non starter.  I am therefore going to put myself through an emotional spin dryer in attempting to paint these buggers.

The first building is a little rustic cottage.

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The working title for this diorama is “Fools Gold”.   The title might stick it might not, it all depends on how things turn out.  The plan is for the building to feature an old prospectors cabin along side a gold mine entrance and I may even chuck in a tree and a little stream.  I have identified a nice little Reaper figure which I hope will bring it all together and tell the story.

The second building, and by far the more adventurous of the two, is the Wizards Tower.

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This building is huge and stands almost two feet tall.  It also cost a small fortune so I am going to feel the pressure of not screwing this one up!  The working title for this one is “The Wizard’s Tower”, catchy huh!  I don’t know if this title is going to stick.  Not only do I not like it that much but I have a horrible feeling in my water that my original idea for this diorama will not stay the course which will change everything anyway.  Time will tell and things will become clearer on why I think this as the build gets under way.

Well that’s the introduction done.

From here on in it is going to be a long haul but the journey begins next Monday!  I hope you enjoy the ride.

TIM

Zonkers – Killer Klown

This week we have a 28mm Reaper figure from their Chronoscope range and before anyone points out the spelling mistake in the title the website has the figure down as Zonkers, Killer Klown with a ‘K’.

Not that long ago I painted another Reaper clown, Bonzo which I really enjoyed doing.  As Reaper do two I more than fancied doing the other one.

Now as with most of us I suspect we are often our own worst critics.  As a consequence I very rarely if ever express my delight at a figure I have done.  That’s not to say I am not pleased in my own mind and I know when I have pushed my own boundaries.  I say all that because today I am going to say that I am really quite chuffed with this little chap.  Why?  Well the simple answer is that this figure is without doubt the one I have done the most freehand painting on and all in all I think it turned out OK.

Firstly the shirt had freehand pink spots added to the blue base colour.  To look at it’s no big deal but the effort of getting them roughly all the same size and reasonably positioned to look random took far more time than I anticipated.  Not that time was a constraint, I just never envisaged it being the challenge it turned out to be.

Next up on the freehand was his trousers.  I’ve done striped trousers before as in two alternative colours but this time I had a go at three stripes.  The wider yellow and green but with a fine red stripe to separate the two main colours.

Lastly I elected to do some freehand lettering.  A ‘Z’ for his Zonkers badge was stright forward enough but the word ‘FIRE’ and ‘BOMB’ were a lot more demanding.

The only other thing to mention is the figure comes with a choice of heads.  The alternative option being essentially a head covered with a sack.  Can’t say that did a great deal for me.  I preferred being able to freehand some make up to his mouth and eyes.

Images below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 76)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is from Hasslefree and goes by the name of “Mystic Warrior Libby”.  A rather neat little four piece figure which like all Hasslefree figures fits together with a minimum of fuss.  I chose to go with a basic paint job and base and that’s about all there is to say!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Domain

Well this week I finally took the plunge and took advantage of my free upgrade, albeit for the first year only, and changed my site address to theimperfectmodeller.co.uk.  Despite my apprehension following my trials and tribulations with the new wordpress editor everything so far seems all well and good.  Hopefully it will continue to stay that way.  If there is one thing I hate more than glue it’s technology when it goes wrong.  Oh and I don’t like broccoli much either.

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Give Me Five

This week I thought I would list my top five British stand up comedians.  There have been some great individuals over the years so selection was way tougher than I anticipated.  I could have made this a list of twenty and still left loads out.  I suspect some of the names on here, perhaps all of them, will be lost on overseas readers.  Opinion will be divided I’m sure but over the years these people have given me some great laughs, some still do.  So, for better or worse my top five in no particular order are:

  1. Ricky Gervais
  2. Rhod Gilbert
  3. Rowan Atkinson
  4. Billy Connelly
  5. Dave Allen

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Paradise” by Coldplay.  I’m not a fan by any means but I do like this track.  Looking at the stats so do 1,355,754,493 other people too.  Then again it might just be one person with an obsession.
 

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Invisible Man”.  This was the 2020 release, not the 1933 original.  Other than the title I’m not sure the two films have a lot in common.  As to the film itself it was OK and worth a watch in my opinion.  It made She Who Must Be Obeyed jump a couple of times and that alone made the whole thing worthwhile!

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Remember …

Whatever you’re doing today, do it with the confidence of a 4 year old in a Batman T-Shirt.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 44)

I have finally arrived at the last Memory Monday post, well for now at least at any rate.  This post seemed an ideal place to bring things to a halt, if only because when the time comes to resurrect Memory Monday my memory will be good enough to remember that this is where I need to pick up from!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the timing of this post to sync with Armistice Day but that doesn’t mean we can’t still remember them.

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28mm WW1 Timeline

Those of you kind enough to follow my blog will be aware of my WW1 Timeline project. After a good few months of work and several periods where I hit the wall in terms of inspiration the project is now complete.  I say complete, to be fair this historical period has been one which I have really enjoyed and as such I cannot see myself not adding to it in the future.  For now though, and in particular for the Armed Forces Day event to celebrate 100 years of the ending of the Great War which inspired this work, the job is done.

I thought I would share with you the sequence of these 28mm figures, vignettes and dioramas as they accord with the timeline.  Full details and better photos on each model can be found under the menu header “WW1” if your interest extends beyond this post.  For now I’ve just been lazy with regard to the photos I’ve pulled together. I didn’t have my Light Box when I started the project but when I get a moment I’ll retake all the photos and update this post.

Looking ahead I’m very much open to suggestions for expanding this project with further figures/vignettes/dioramas and any ideas you might have will be gratefully received.

TIM

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Model 1 – “Read All About It” – Britain declares war on Germany – 4th August 1914

Believe it or not this little guy was key to my project.  I wanted to kick the thing off with the announcement of war but couldn’t work out how to do it until I found this little chap.

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Model 2 – “It’ll Be Over By Christmas” – Enlisting 1914

Enlistment was a major event and took place all over the country with lengthy queues of young men signing up.  Little did they know what was in store for them.

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Model 3 – “Passchendale” – July 1917

One of the major conflicts.  Nothing like a slow walk towards machine guns!

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Model 4 – “James Newton Langley” – Middlesex Regiment, June 1915 to November 1918

This is my Great Grandfather.  He went through the war unscathed.  When I found this figure which had an uncanny resemblance to his photograph I just had to do it and include it in the project.

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Model 5 – “Scottish Highlander” – 1914 – 1918

This started life as a spare figure. I didn’t want to do a big thing on the Scots but neither did I want to leave them out.  I then had the idea of turning the figure into a bust.

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Model 6 – “Field Marshall Douglas Haig” – Commander British Expeditionary Force, Western Front 1915 – 1918

Love him or hate him a key figure who divided opinion. Impossible to leave out.

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Model 7 – “Ypes” – April 1915

This was the first model I completed before it grew into a project.  Painted entirely with oils.  There were several battles at Ypes, all bloody conflicts.

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Model 8 – “The Somme” – July 1916

Possibly the most famous incident of the war with an incredible loss of life on day one.  Hard to associate it with anything other than death.

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Model 9 – “Vickers Gun Crew” – Amiens August 1918

The machine gun of its day and a must for inclusion.

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Model 10 – “British Command” – 1914 – 1918

Lions led by Lambs.  Not all the officers were incompetent!

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Model 11 – “British Casualties” – The Somme, July to November 1916

A sad reality of war.  Not everyone survives or gets killed. Some get to live with devastating injuries for the rest of their lives.

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Model 12 – “British Signallers” – 1914 – 1918

Communication in all walks of life are key but not very Hollywood!  Underrated heroes.

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Model 13 – “British 18 Pounder Gun Crew” – 1914 – 1918

The volume of shells fired during the war was incredible.  No wonder the landscape was so devastated.  An artillery piece was another must.

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Model 14 – “British Troops French/Belgium Border” – 1915

I felt I needed a centre piece and fancied another building project.  I settled for a scene depicting troops making their way through a French/Belgium farm

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Model 15 – “Gone But Not Forgotten” – British Cemetary 1917

Not everyone died on the battle field, some died from their injuries after they returned home.

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Model 16 – “Daddy’s Home” – November 1918

The last piece (for now).  I needed an ending and decided a soldier returning to his family would no nicely.

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TIM’s Angels

A fun little diorama/vignette to put together but a real pain in the arse to photograph.  My photographic skills are not good enough for such compact models and trying to get everything into focus in a single shot is simply beyond my skill level.  Accordingly the images are what they are but at least one of the three figures should be in focus in each image.

The figures themselves are all from the Statuesque Miniatures SCi-Fi range and are sold individually or at a slightly lower price for the set of three.  All the figures came in two to three parts but the quality of fit was excellent.  In fact I must say the figures were fantastic all round in terms of quality. 

I elected to go for a paint scheme along the lines of the website images because I thought the green looked rather cool.  Thereafter it was just a case of basing them.  As the figures came with broken masonry style bases I stayed with the urban type theme and just expanded the ground work accordingly.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 75)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature goes by the name of “Commander Slaughter” and is from Hasslefree Miniatures.  Not sure if the figure is based on anyone in particular but he is a lovely single piece sculpt in my opinion.  A simple base and a straight forward paint job.  Nothing much else I can say really.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

This week we are back to films.  In fact the more I think about it the more I think this will become more about films and TV than anything else!  This week we have a very, very tough one, WW2 films.  So many great films left out.  In no particular order my top five are:

  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • The Great Escape
  • The Bridge Over The River Kwai
  • Schindler’s List

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IRO’s Podcast

I regularly listen to IRO’s Podcast and enjoy it very much (I know what you’re thinking – “so you’re the one?”) and as we all know he has a face for radio and an unbridled enthusiasm for our beloved hobby in all its forms.  His finest work was undoubtedly Episode 9 and I would encourage you to check that out but this little article is about Episode 38.

At the end of Episode 38 IRO refers to an email he received from a guy called John W.  Apparently John W had listened to Episodes 1 & 2 and thereafter felt compelled to email IRO to say that having done so he would rather watch paint dry.  I thought it was great that IRO was big enough to read the email out and in typical style laugh it off. 

Now IRO is six feet two, follically challenged, covered in tattoo’s with muscles in his spit and quite capable of looking after himself.  However, he considers me to be his Hobby Dad which therefore makes him my Hobby Son which in turn leaves me compelled to comment.  So I will.

Unless someone had to do it for him I assume that John W was capable of switching off the podcast in the same way he switched it on i.e. without the need to email IRO.  Then again perhaps someone had a gun to his head forcing him to do so, an option we should not be too quick to rule out.  There is also the do-gooder scenario which is to say maybe John W was simply being humorous.  Possible but far from rib tickling John W if I may say so.

All in all I am inclined to conclude that John W was simply being sarcastic and couldn’t resist a put down.  Sadly we live in an age where far too many people cannot resist the opportunity to put out negative and poisonous comments.  We now live in the era of the Troll.  The days of saying – “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” appear to have gone.  Which reminds me of another expression – “If you can’t beat them join them” so if you are reading this John W then “Fuck off and stop being a pratt”.

To my sensitive readers apologies for the profanity.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Wake Me Up” by Avicii.  Unusually for me something relatively modern!  A cracking little number that with a good few beers in me would get me jumping.

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This week TIM has been watching …

The film “Yesterday”.  As a general rule I like Richard Curtis films and I certainly like Lily James but personally I found this utter crap.  Sorry for sitting on the fence.

Film Review: Yesterday - "a joyful celebration of The Beatles music without  The Beatles" | Plymouth Arts Cinema | Independent Cinema for Everyone |  Plymouth College of Art.

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Remember …

If a woman tells you that you’re right that’s called sarcasm. 

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 43)

This week sees the penultimate Memory Monday post.  After next weeks post I will move on to Dio-Bolical Monday for a while at least.  After that I’m not sure what happens.  I may work on further dioramas if something takes my fancy after I have completed the two I have planned.  If my creative juices are flowing I might even come up with something new.  If not I may take a break until Memory Monday is ready to make a suitably timed return.   

Looking back at this post I am reminded that this was the start of my love affair with Reaper Miniatures.  Little did I know that I would go on to do so many more.

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28mm Reaper Wood Elf – Arthrand Nightblade, Wood Elf Sergeant – (The April Challenge – Project No: 2)

This was my original idea for the April challenge and fell under Azazel’s example “be inspired by another hobbyists work and create your own version of something you have seen online”.

Many of the figures produced by those who I follow and by those who follow me generally fall into the Si-Fi/Fantasy genre. Nothing wrong with that at all, in fact the figures created and painted are simply superb and appeal to me.  My problem, as someone who likes to do vignettes and dioramas rather than gaming, has been how to create the right setting for any figures I might undertake to do. As a consequence it has been something which has continued to sit on the back burner … until now!

The turning point came following a post by “Caseyrog, Wyrd Stones and Tackle Zones” entitled “Tinkering with Elves” (an arrestable offence surely!).  A great article featuring some excellently painted miniatures.  This inspired me to do a little bit of Google Image and Pinterest searching which resulted in the discovery of this lovely little figure by Reaper Miniatures It’s difficult to explain precisely why I fell in love with this figure but fall in love I did. You may not agree but to me the figures pose is very cool.

I deduced that Wood Elves live and operate in woods (there’s not much that escapes me!) and therefore a woodland setting would be a highly appropriate setting for a vignette or diorama. An idea which had been sitting on the back burner had now become a reality.

I’m not sure what future models I will do within this genre but I have no doubt that I will do others. In fact a couple of figures are on order already!

Photos of the completed model below.

TIM

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Duel

When it comes to ideas for little dioramas or vignettes no companies figures inspire me more than Hasslefree right now.  I can’t put my finger on it but there is something about the composition of their figures which gets my creative juices flowing.  I think it helps that a great many of the figures can be easily placed together, such as in the case here.

The figures go by the names “Iona Starkiller” (the figure in blue) and”Kami Riko” and to my mind at least are a natural fit for a model like this.  Both figures are listed under the Sci Fi menu header which led me to giving the ground work a redish colour, something in my mind said the colour suggested another planet or another world.  The flora was added just to break things up a little.

The paint job was a straight forward affair but the figures needed to be lined up so that there eyes were fixed on each other in concentration. Not a difficult thing to do but explains why one figure is positioned higher than the other and why the ground work needed to be built up a little.

TIM 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 74)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature goes by the name of “Doc Scurlock” and sees a return to the Old West genre and to Knuckleduster miniatures.  As with all the Knuckleduster figures it is very nicely sculpted and arrived with no cleaning up being necessary. 

A straight forward paint job and a simplistic base.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

Five Rules for Men to Follow:

Here are the five rules for men to follow for a happy life that Russel J Larsen had inscribed on his headstone in Logan, Utah.  He died not knowing that he would someday win the “Coolest Headstone” contest …

  1. It’s important to have a woman who helps at home, cooks from time-to-time, cleans up and has a job.
  2. It’s important to have a woman who can make you laugh.
  3. It’s important to have a woman who you can trust and doesn’t lie to you.
  4. It’s important to have a woman who’s good in bed, and likes to be with you.
  5. It’s very, very important that these four women do not know each other or you could end up dead like me.

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Give Me Five

If money were no object these are the five classic cars I would immediately go out and buy.  Prices vary significantly but in reality 1 of the 5 I could buy now in theory. 

Jaguar E-type S1, S1.5 & S2 buyer's guide: what to pay and what to look for  | Classic & Sports Car

E Type Jaguar Convertible

Aston Martin DB5 - Classic Car Review | Honest John

Aston Martin DB5

Used 1960 MINI COOPER S For Sale ($14,995) | San Francisco Sports Cars  Stock #P202031

Mini John Copper Works 1275

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder Convertible

Ferrari 250 GT Spyder GT Convertible

MG “A” roadster – Rent A Classic Car

MG A Roadster

—000—

This week TIM has been listening to …

“Paranoid” by Black Sabbath.  Ozzie Osbourne before the drink, drugs and Bat diet.  A classic head banging blast.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Anna and the Apocalypse”.  Billed in some reviews as High School Musical meets Shaun of the Dead.  Not a film I had been aware of but gave it a try and thoroughly enjoyed it.  

Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) - IMDb

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Remember …

90% of being married is shouting “What” from other rooms.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 42)

Only two more Memory Monday’s two go before moving on.  This model was the last of the WW1 themed items that I did before drawing a line under the project.  Next week will see an interim post followed the week after by the full completed timeline that I put together.

TIM

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28mm WW1 Vignette – 18 Pounder Cannon and Crew

This week saw the end of my WW1 timeline with the completion of this little Vignette/Diorama.  I say the end but as I enjoyed the period I may well add to it at some point in the future if the right idea comes along and I can find the appropriate figures.  For now though this is it for the clubs June show in Plymouth.

Of all the pieces I have put together this one is probably my least favourite.  There are two reasons for this I think.  Firstly, the subject.  I felt I ought to at least feature an artillery piece and this one from Gripping Beasts caught my eye.  The downside is I wanted to do less conventional models and failed to deliver with this one.  I guess it’s a bit like going to see The Rolling Stones. They may have plenty of new songs to sing but if they don’t play some of their hits from 50 years ago then you’re going to be a little passed off!  Thus we have some artillery.

Secondly, the model isn’t a great piece of work.  It’s fine overall and may look OK but in truth I rushed it.  I think I just ran out of steam with the project.  I have enjoyed it and discovered lots of new things along the way.  I have tried to do other things in between but now it really is time to move on to something else and to use a few other colours. The April challenge will now receive my attention!

Images of the completed model appear  below.  In the next week or so I will try to put together a post of the whole project.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering the guy third from the left in the first picture is holding a shell!

TIM

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Dodger

This week sees the last of the seven figures I bought from Twisted Miniatures – “Dodger”.  He comes from the Dickensian range and follows their take on the Charles Dickens classic “Oliver”.  An interesting little Steampunk version of the Artful Dodger himself.

I have enjoyed painting all of these figures.  They are highly detailed and with no uniform painting guide to follow they offer complete free range to paint as you see fit.  I do have my eye on more and in due course I am sure I will buy some.  The batch I bought came directly from Australia but I think now there maybe a UK distributor  which means they could work out a little cheaper.  When I bought these I got a 20% discount thanks to an offer and that was then spent almost to the penny paying customs duty!

Nothing I can really say about the figure itself but as he is sitting on a mono cycle for legs I thought a rough road for the base was the order of the day.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 73)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is from the Footsore Baron’s War range.  I thought this was my last foot Knight that I had left to paint but I have a horrible feeling I have one or two banner men tucked away somewhere still to do.  If I have then they will have to wait that’s for sure.

As for this little chap he was a straight forward except for his shield which was a freehand paint job.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Painting Rules

A recent exchange of comments between Wudugast and my good self found us touching on the subject of self imposed painting rules.  We didn’t get into specifics but it made me consider what rules I apply when I set out to paint figures.  Now I say rules, it could probably be argued that these are simply habits, either way I never deviate from them.  To my surprise I only have three which are cast in stone.    

  • I only ever prime using Humbrol white matt enamel paint thinned with white spirit and applied with a brush;
  • I always paint the face first;
  • I stay true to colours of historical and true life pieces as much as possible.

With the exception of IRO who has only the one rule (follow no rules) feel free to confess your own idiosyncrasies. 

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Give Me Five

Now I am not an avid reader despite the number of headaches that She Who Must Be Obeyed has.  My reasoning is simple, I will have plenty of time to read when I can no longer paint.  Never the less here are my top 5 books.

  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
  • Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
  • The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
  • Jaws by Peter Benchley

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin.  One of the worlds biggest ever bands and a classic track.

—000—

This week TIM has been watching …

“A Good Women is Hard to Find”.  I hadn’t heard of this film and had no idea what it was about or when it started where it was going.  Turned about to be well worth a watch if you don’t mind violence.

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Remember …

If it says “Don’t try this at home” pop round to someone else’s place and give it a go.

—000—

TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 41)

If I have calculated correctly then I have three more Memory Monday posts to put up before I move on to Dio-Bolical Monday.  Hopefully in that time the remaining bits and bobs will turn up so that I can get started on the two projects I have planned.  Right now the absense of bases is causing me the greatest concern as they are literally the foundations of each build.  Fingers crossed they arrive soon.

In the meanwhile this post is of the iconic Willy’s Jeep and is very rare in my collection as it is a plastic kit and not a metal one! 

TIM 

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WW Rubicon 28mm Willys Jeep – (The April Challenge – Project No: 1)

An early entry for the April challenge under the banner of “build or assemble something”. This was not my planned entry, details of which will follow later in the month, this one was an accident.  Let me explain.

For quite a while now I have wanted to attempt a plastic kit.  I reckon it must have been the best part of 45 years ago when I last did one.  Why?  Because I loved the look of some them all those years ago, as indeed I do to-day, but I simply don’t enjoy making them.  My willingness to have another go was fuelled by my desire to try to encourage my model club who are well into such kits to base them, even simply as is the case with this one.  The passage of time also helped, it couldn’t have been that bad all those years ago could it?  Alas it was and readers of earlier posts will be aware that this little project was in danger of going tits up and being abandoned altogether.  Then the April challenge got me refocused on getting it done.  I figured if I was going to do it then I might as well kill two birds with one stone.

Pictures of the completed piece appear below and the eagle-eyed amongst you might notice that there are no “in progress images”.  There is a reason for this.

As I have mentioned previously I am not a vehicle kit person chiefly because me and glue simply do not see eye to eye.  I was dreading the build rather than looking forward to the challenge that lay ahead.  Nevertheless I was determined to complete the exercise come hell or high water but had no desire to record this momentous step by taking progress photos of deformed plastic covered in blobs of glue.

So how did it go?  Better than I thought but not great.  Were my worst fears justified?  Not the worst ones but the ones just below the worst ones.

The first issue I had was shortly after I opened the box and started to assemble the kit.  It turns out this Rubicon kit can be assembled into one of four configurations.  Being a man I don’t tend to read instructions so this point initially passed me by.  However, I got lucky.  I wanted to build the US version and without realising it this is the one I had started on when I discovered all the additional parts that I couldn’t work out what to do with.  Score – 1.

After eventually reading the instructions, assembly to be fair was pretty straight forward and the fit of parts were good, not that I have much previous experience on which to judge this.  I even managed to think to paint areas before assembly and to add things like mud to the wheel arches before fixing the wheels themselves in place.  Score + 1.

Unfortunately some things hadn’t changed, I’m still heavy-handed with glue.  As light a touch as I might have with a brush the complete opposite is true with glue.  Alas trying to apply super glue with a modelling brush which would be the ideal solution for me is simply a way of ruining a brush.  So, crucially glue everywhere, Score – 10!

I had hoped the figures would be my saving grace and although they were OK the faces left a lot to be desired.  I’ve been lucky of late in that a lot of the miniatures I have been working on have been superbly sculpted and the expressions on the faces have been simply awesome.  As a consequence I have been able to get away with my painting skills.  Unfortunately the faces of these figures were plain, very flat and featureless and although I felt I made the most of them the end result still left a lot to be desired.  Score + 1.

Final assembly of the kit including the figures went together better than I had hoped but for one error.  I’m not sure if the error is with the kit or with my assembly.  Having googled some images of completed kits done by others I think I can be certain the error is mine but quite where I went wrong I’m not sure.  The error in question is with the rear sitting down soldier and the way he is holding his rifle.  He’s holding it far to low down and although I was aware of this at the time I simply couldn’t get it higher and get the figure sitting in the back of the jeep.  Still that’s why I’m The Imperfect Modeller!  Score – 1.

On to something positive, the base work.  Now there is nothing much to the base, it’s all pretty basic and that was the intention, to keep it simple as a demonstration piece for presentation at the club.  However, if there is one thing I have learnt, albeit with room for improvement, it is how when creating dioramas and vignette bases to cover up errors!  With a considerable effort I pretty much managed to conceal excess glue thanks to some weathering, decals, ground work and opting to lay the windscreen flat to the point where the overall model just about looks OK.  Score 10 – not entirely merited but brings the overall score to 0 which feels just about right.

In summary, did I enjoy the experience?  No.  Will I venture into a kit build again in the future?  Only if the wife is present to tell me to read the bloody instructions or if I can learn how to better apply glue!

Conclusion?  Never say never but if I did embark on another kit then I would only do so if I was drunk!

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 72)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This week saw a return to my “to do” pile.  I didn’t have a great deal of love for this figure.  It is one from Reaper rather than Knuckleduster which might surprise one or two of you.  Not entirely sure why I had such a lack of interest, I think he was just a victim of wanting him done to move on.  I’m not normally given to such moods when painting, perhaps it’s indicative of the current times.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

I thought I would start something new from this week, my top 5 things under whatever category happens to take my fancy.  Could be film categories, music, places visited, food I like, books – you name it.  To start with I thought I would kick off with something not to random but probably controversial – my top 5 Science Fiction films. 

Feel free to agree or disagree or even add your own list.  The films are not ranked in any order and of course I have left a great number of fantastic films out.  These just happen to be 5 films I can watch again and again and which blew me away at the time of there release.  So, in no particular order:

  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • Alien (1979)
  • The Terminator (1984)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

What no Star Wars?  Not even Star Trek?  Nope.  The longer the list the easier it is to simply pick everything and remove the debate process so that’s why I went for 5 rather than a top 10 or 20. 

Even if we all disagree we should at least come up with a great list!   

—000—

This week TIM has been listening to …

“Footloose”.  I enjoyed both the original film and the remake and loved the title song.   This version is an extended one and is a mash up of dancing sequences from movies.  I do think the people who put these things together with such perfect timing are very, very clever. 

—000—

This week TIM has been watching …

“Broken City” starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crown.  I seem to be on bit of a role in terms of watching crap at the moment.  I like both actors and thought I would be on a winner with this one but sadly not.  Maybe it’s just me.

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Remember …

If at frist you don’t succeed try doing it the way your wife told you.

—000—

TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 40)

A return to the WW1 timeline project this week.  This was a two part project but both posts appear below.

TIM

28mm WW1 Diorama – Communications Team – Part 1

The weather in England, as pointed out by Just Needs Varnish in his most recent post, remains unsettled.  I beleive the technical term given out on the SouthWest Weather report referred to it as “f’ing awful” but I may have miss heard.  However, for every ying there is a yang and the good news is that the full on winter modelling season has been extended into spring.  Hooray!  As a consequence work has begun and is well underway on this the penultimate model in my WW1 Timeline sequence.

One of the things I wanted to avoid with the various WW1 stuff I have done to date were stereotypical trench scenes and tank dioramas and so far I think I have achieved this.  Not that I have anything against trenches or tanks but there were many other stories to be told I wanted to try to tell those.  Nevertheless trenches are hard to avoid completely and so this diorama does have a trench feel but I hopefully not a dominating one.

The emphasis on this little diorama is communications, a key component in any war but one which rarely gets highlighted.  How many WW2 action films have there been as a ratio to the film “The Imitation Game” for example?  To be fair communication as a subject probably doesn’t make for the best box office figures but you get my drift as to the importance of the subject I’m sure.

I’m not sure if the scene when complete will represent an accurate portrayal but it puts the subject out there and gave me an opportunity to paint a pigeon, surprisingly something I’ve never done before (I have however been “shat” upon by many a pigeon in Trafalgar Square!).

Progress so far consists of figures in various states of painting and ground work almost complete.  Construction of the base enabled me to recycle what I can only describe as various bits of “rubbish” which would otherwise have ended up in a land fill site somewhere so I’m feeling good knowing that modelling can be good for the environment too.

Progress pictures below.

TIM

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28mm WW1 Diorama – Communications Team – Part 2

Part 1 of this little diorama received a greater reaction than I anticipated with a couple of excellent comments relating to this rarely covered subject.  This, along with some pretty dreadful weather over the Easter holidays, inspired me to push on and complete the model.

The figures themselves painted up quite nicely and were all from favoured suppliers such as Gripping Beast and North Star. They are as they came with no modifications.  The ground work was completed by adding ground cover and a few more coffee stirrers for the trench effect.

Overall an enjoyable little diorama to put together and one which fits with my self-imposed brief of trying to cover lesser recognised aspects of the Great War for my timeline.  Just one model to go now, time for my own big push!

Pictures below.

Hopefully they provide sufficient detail to view the completed model but the number of figures made it hard for the camera to find a focal point close up and my own photographic skills were insufficient to compensate.

TIM

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Knight Hospitaller

I have done this little chap a couple of times already, in both cases for little dioramas.  The figure is from the Barons War range of Footsore Miniatures and is, in my opinion, a very nice sculpt, so much so that I felt he warranted a base of his own.

Not a great deal to say about the base or the painting on this one other than I elected to go for a Knight Hospitaller look and painted a freehand cross on his tabard.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 71)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks mini is another Hasslefree miniature.  This one goes by the name “Shamanic Boudi”. 

I apologise for the photo’s.  I am far from pleased with them.  Done in to much of a rush in order to get this post out.  That said I could have taken my time and they probably wouldn’t have been much better!  For some reason I just couldn’t seem to get everything in focus as I would like. 

I used some Green Stuff World acrylic to create a water effect base and although it looks decent enough looked down upon it looks poor side ways on.  This really hasn’t helped with the photo’s at all and something I will take on board when I re-do them and, as and when, I use the stuff again.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Everything I Touch Turns To Gold!

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  No neither have I.  In fact this last week pretty much everything I touched turned to shit.  

So what went wrong TIM?

Nothing major, just all sorts of small irritating bits, one thing after another, enough to wear you down.  My mum always says bad things come in three’s.  She’s right, the current count stands at 33.

On the positive front my mood got so bad She Who Must Be Obeyed stopped talking to me.  Maybe things are on the up and I’ve turned a corner.

Next week will be better

—000—

Poll Result

Thanks to all of you who kindly took the trouble to answer my recent question about Work In Progress posts.  The majority it seems like to see the builds as they progress although one or two others prefer the wow factor (always assuming there is one!) of seeing the completed diorama first. 

It seems the real challenge is trying to keep each post interesting and, if possible, try to hold something back so that the completed model still comes as a bit of a surprise.  Not entirely sure how I am going to manage that but I will give it a good try.

As I mentioned at the time this is all to do with gearing up to start a couple of slightly larger dioramas, something I haven’t done for a while now.  Slowly I am getting there in terms of getting the bits I need and hopefully it wont be too long now before things get started.  My available time though is also competing with a great many outdoor jobs and a room which She Who Must Be Obeyed (yes she’s still around) keeps on about being decorated.  I wouldn’t mind but I told her quite clearly that when I say I will do something I will do it.  OK so it was more that four months ago when she first mentioned it but compared to how long her headaches last it’s a drop in the ocean.

—000— 

This week TIM has been listening to …

“Do The Strand” by Roxy Music.  One of my favourite bands and one I don’t listen enough to these days.  Still, with the onset of winter and the expectation of wet days for the next 6 months there should be plenty of time to put that right!

—000—

This week TIM has been watching …

“Man On A Ledge”.  An OK film and nothing more as far as I am concerned.  Films which don’t take themselves too seriously, for example Bond movies, can stretch the bounds of reality and I am fine with that but this on was a bit to fanciful for me.

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—000—

Remember …

Tequila may not be the answer but it’s worth a shot.

—000—

TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 39)

I calculate Memory Monday has another couple of months to run, a little longer than I thought.  I could shorten it but then again maybe I might run it up to Christmas which would be neat and start over in the New Year.  Much depends on how I get on with replacing it I guess.  In the meanwhile …

—000—

Not my intended post this week but three things happened to change the situation. Firstly, a model arrived which like Just Needs Varnish recently made reference to “I just had to do”. Secondly, the photographic light box I ordered from Amazon arrived. Thirdly, having realised earlier in the week via my Mid Week Musings that my blog was a year old on the 22nd March I wanted to post a finished model which gave me a buzz and not simply report on some work in progress.

I’ll deal with the model first.

I mentioned in a recent post that sometimes I find a figure I like but struggle at how best to base it and sometimes I have an idea for a vignette or diorama but am unable to find suitable figures.  More often than not a solution under either scenario presents itself but occasionally along comes a figure that instantly floats my boat, that I know just how I want to base it and therefore “must have it!”.  This was the case with “Legendary Viking Warlord – Ragnar Lothbrok, King of Sweden & Norway”.

I found the figure when I was doing some browsing on Pintrest. That site and Google images often throw up ideas and I managed to track the figure back to being from Gripping Beasts their SAGA range. I immediately ordered it along with three other figures which will most likely feature as future posts once complete.

Now the truth be known I have no idea if good old Ragnar is a real or mythical character and to be honest it doesn’t make much difference to me either way (that said I’ll probably Google him after I’ve finished this post just out of curiosity).  The fact is I simply like the figure for reasons I cannot quiet put my finger on.  The non action pose lends itself to being a lone figure and also to a still photographic image in my opinion and that’s what drew me to it.  I’m not sure if that makes any sense but it’s the best explanation I can offer for now and it isn’t much of one I know.

Photo’s of the model appear at the end of this narrative and by the time you get there I suspect you’ll wonder what the fuss is about but from my point of view this was one of those rare (all to rare as it happens!) occasions when everything came together nicely.  The figure itself is advertised as 28mm which I guess it is but it rather depends on your point of view.  Personally I tend to think 28mm should be measured from head (top of) to toe but some manufactures measure 28mm from eye level to toe which produces an overall head to toe height nearer to 32mm which is the case with this figure.

The figure as I mentioned is from Gripping Beast and I’m sure I have mentioned in the past that their products are excellent.  The SAGA range was largely unknown to me although I’m sure it’s familiar to the war gamers among you.  For me it represents a small departure from my typical eras of interest and a welcome change to WW1 as much as I have and am enjoying that project.  The base work was relatively straight forward.  The rocks were once again taken from the garden and the tree was another wire, sea-foam and filler construction.

On this occasion I stuck the sea-foam to the wire armature before applying the filler which produced a better result but was harder to paint, particularly as I don’t use an airbrush. Hard to believe I don’t use an airbrush at in this day and age but the way I see it when they drop the bomb and the power goes I’ll still be able to paint using a brush under the warm glow of nuclear radiated light. Which kind of leads me onto the photographic light box.

Not a lot to say but first impressions are that it will certainly improve my photos. Much to learn but I am pleased with the early results. The photos taken below of the completed model were all taken using it so you can judge for yourself.

TIM

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Inspector Abberline

This week we have my penultimate 28mm Twisted Miniatures steampunk figure from Demented Games and this one goes by the name of Inspector Abberline.  As with the other five I have done the figure has a very nice lot of detail to pick out and paint.  Hopefully in the coming weeks I will get the seventh and final figure done.  That said I have just  looked at the site to check I had gotten the name of this figure right and couldn’t help but notice a few that I would like to buy!  For now I will resist the temptation, I simply have so much other stuff to do.  I do love this hobby but my list of things I want to do multiplies faster than Covid-19!

What can I tell you about this figure?  Very little really.  The base was made using bricks I made from a silicone mold I bought a while back but until now had never used.  Although the mold only measures about 2 inches by 3 inches it makes 200 bricks!  The street lamp added a nice touch and was spare from a set of ten I bought some time ago.  If you look closely at the writing on the type writer paper it reads “why are you trying to read this they are just straight black lines”!

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 38)

This is another of my little dioramas which I had largely forgotten about as it now sits in a box stored away.  I haven’t done a great deal of WW2 stuff in my time but although it is not on display it does get an airing every now and then when I go to shows with my club.  WW2 stuff is popular and the club typically has a theme running for this period in history.  Alas this year it gets to stay in its box thanks to Covid-19 so in some ways it is apt this model should be next in sequence for Memory Monday.  Originally this model was posted in three parts but as this is a re-post I have merged all three parts into this single post.

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28mm – WW2 US Winter Troops – Part 1

Tiring somewhat of WW1 I felt the need to undertake something new, not so much in terms of figures so much as terrain.

Until very recently I had only dabbled with snow affects once in the past and that was a long time ago.  The result of which ended in the model below.

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The model itself, an Andrea 54mm figure based on Robert Redford’s portrayal of Jeremiah Johnson if I remember correctly, came out OK at the time but the snow and my early attempt at a tree stump now look far from pleasing and very dated.  It was only when I was dusting it that I thought I wouldn’t mind having another go at some snow based models.

Now before I continue I ought to answer a question that I am sure the previous paragraph has thrown up.  Why was I, a product of the male chauvinistic 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, doing my own dusting when I have a perfectly good wife capable of doing such things?  A good question for sure but Her who Must Be Obeyed has made it perfectly clear that she will not be held responsible for any breakages and thus the job rests with me.  To be fair she has a point.  Allow me to digress a little further.

We have a border collie who can open every door in the house.  I was once the proud owner of a remote-controlled Dalek which spoke.  The dog hated the Dalek and ran from it when it was in use.  Her Who Must Be Obeyed in her infinite wisdom thought it would be a good idea to stand the Dalek in front of our bedroom door to stop the dog from going in.  A cunning plan but one which led to the dog trashing the Dalek and me calling her a moron.  It is against this back drop that she now has nothing to do with my models and collectibles! Hard to blame her really.

Back to modelling.

I had a good browse on the Warlord Games site and found some great looking 28mm US winter troops which I decided to purchase.  I then found some snow and ice products produced by Precision Ice and Snow which I also bought.  Not cheap but the amount of stuff that came in the bundle I purchased will more than see me through the rest of my modelling days I expect.  As for a scene I thought I’d go for a derelict building or part of one to be more precise.  The combination of US troops, snow and a derelict building all adds up to something completely brand new to get my teeth into.

A check on my paints resulted in the need to order some new ones, all Vallejo in this instance, and while I waited for them to arrive in the post I started to get my head around the build itself.  Initially I did think I could cut some corners given that most of the end result would be covered in snow but I then decided that was the wrong approach.  If I was to do it properly I ought to build the thing to look right before adding the snow, in that way what ever might show through would in turn look right too.

The mini project is now under way and the pictures below are of the early stages.  I initially cut out some foam board for the two wall sections which were then glued together.  Milliput was flattened out and then rolled using a Green Stuff World cobblestone textured rolling-pin and then applied to the foam board both on the inside and the outside.  A little tip I discovered.  In order to easily pick up the rolled Milliput first lay down some talcum powder on to your flat surface before hand, it lifts up easily that way.

The gate was made from wooden coffee stirrers as was the door and the roof beams.  The tiles were made once again using my Green Stuff World tile punch.  The fence posts were made from match sticks and drilled to make way for the twisted wire that will be inserted in due course.

Next up will be the complete assembly of all the various bits and pieces, the figure painting and applications of static grass and other ground work but that will have to wait until next time.  In the meanwhile a few very unexciting progress pictures.

TIM

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28mm – WW2 US Winter Troops – Part 2

Desk tidied and lists written I am now feeling organised once again.  It’s now time to get some things completed and invoke a little more discipline starting with the continuation of this little diorama.

Figures have now been painted and “pre-snow” ground work almost completed. Figures arrived timely as always from Warlord Games and I was pleased with how they painted up.  The ground work to date was pretty straight forward but didn’t provide anything significantly new in modelling terms, that will come with adding the snow effect in what will be the third and final part of this little diorama.  All in all its gone together reasonably well so far.

The progress pictures below provide a good idea of how the completed diorama would look if I hadn’t decided to go for a snow scene.  It will be interesting to see just how it looks when a lot of it will get covered over.  Before and after photos should be interesting. Will it look better or worse?  No backing out now though.  I am committed to the end result so will have to wait and see. Besides I can’t have US troops wandering around in winter gear in the spring!

TIM

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28mm – WW2 US Winter Troops – Part 3

The concluding part of this little diorama.  With only the snow to be added I didn’t feel I could justify hanging onto this post until the weekend.

Figures fixed into position, all parts painted and assembled and ground work complete.  All that remained to be done was to apply the snow.

I mentioned in part 1 that I had acquired scenic snow materials from a company called Precision Ice and Snow.  A few words on what came in the bundle I bought, and before anyone asks no, I’m not on commission!

The various bits can all be bought separately or you can save quite a  bit by buying a bundle which is what I chose to do.  Everything arrived in a nice little draw string bag which contained:

  • 2 x 115g bags of Krycell fine (snow) for use with smaller scale models such as 28mm
  • 1 x 115g bag of Krycell Extra (snow) for use with larger models  – 1/35th upwards
  • 1 x 100ml bottle of adhesive
  • 1 x 50ml bottle of Ice and Snow wash
  • 1 x 50 tub of winter camouflage paint
  • 1 x sieve for applying the snow
  • 1 x instruction manual

All in all enough to do all the models in snow that I am likely to ever do.  The instruction book is great and there are various YouTube tutorials too if that’s of interest so I won’t bother going into greater detail.  Just to say that I followed the instructions and achieved the end result as shown in the pictures below.

Personally I like the stuff.  Looks realistic to me and goes where you put it.  For 28mm it’s really nice and fine and I love the way it has adhered to areas like the top of the fence and to the gate and barn door.  There are lots more ways of using this stuff and I’m looking forward to coming up with some other ideas in due course.

TIM

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Lady In Red

For various reasons I found myself with very little time to do any modelling, in fact I count myself lucky that I even got this one done.  The figure is from Crooked Dice and if it has a name I can’t remember what it is and at this moment in time I am feeling far to lazy to look it up!  What can I say, it’s been one of those weeks.

Not a great deal to say about the figure itself other than I decided to experiment with some much darker shadowing than I normaly would for the seams of her dress.  For me it made the figure more striking and I rather liked the end result.  You good reader may think differently and if you do then please feel free to comment below.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 37)

This post went out in March 2018, I can’t believe that was two and half years ago.  How time flies!  I need to check how far I am away from completing the WW1 Timeline I set out to do back then.  I have a few more posts that weren’t WW1 but I think once I hit the end of WW1 project it will be time to put Memory Monday to bed for a while.  The aim was to give some older posts an airing for people who weren’t following me back then but there is a point when it is close to being repetitive for those who were.  The end is nigh!

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28mm WW1 Vignette – Vickers Gun Crew

Not the best of weeks but I managed to complete this outstanding WW1 Vignette and begin work on a new WW2 project, more of which in a separate post to follow.

Throughout my WW1 project I’ve tried to steer away from the slightly more convention images of war in an effort to tell the story in a different way.  As commendable as this idea was, in my own mind at least, there is a point at which something’s have to appear.  A Vickers Gun Crew being one such example.

Once again I turned to Empress Miniatures.  They really do some great figures and these came under the banner of the Mutton Chop range.  Composition is basic, there’s only so much you can do and in this instance only so much that I wanted to do.  From a timeline perspective it was also a model that I could fit in pretty much anywhere within the sequence.

Another one down, only two more to go.  Beginning  to lag a little now but I will get there! This one is one of my least favourites and I wasn’t going to post it today but for the fact that I would have failed my self imposed deadline. The groundwork leaves a little to be desired, the photos don’t help, so at some point I will go back and revisit it.

TIM

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“Who’s There?” – A 28mm Diorama

Time for a little diorama, a welcome change from doing quite a lot of single figures recently.  As I wait to get the various bits I need to start a couple of larger dioramas I thought I would get back into the dirorama groove with a simple little one.

What we have here are two figures I thought went together well.  The little girl is from Statuesque Miniatures which I first came across when I saw IRO do a great little scene with her quite sometime ago (sorry IRO I was looking to include a link to your post but couldn’t find it) and the other is from Crooked Dice.

The idea of the girl seeking to find something she heard, with what it was behind her, was a simple idea given the composition of both figures.  After that it was just a case of how to base it.  I had a few options but for some reason I settled on this one.  Not entirely sure I pulled it off but I was looking to create a dark cave entrance and the end result was just about OK.  I wanted an earthy effect on the walls which I managed to achieve using … earth!  A handful from the garden mixed with PVA and a little acrylic paint and then dry brushed and away you go.     

Finally, for those of you who like a bit of fluff to go with a figure(s) all I can say is it doesn’t end well for the little girl!

TIM

PS – OK so the little girl gets away safe and sound!

 

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 36)

A return to my WW1 project this week.  An end piece was essential to complete my timeline and I chose a soldier returning home and walking down the front garden path to be met by his excited daughter and his wife.

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28mm WW1 Vignette – “Daddy’s Home!

Today’s second post.

No excuses, I’d simply fallen behind on my WW1 timeline project and needed to get back on track, thus establishing the aim of completing an outstanding item for this week and the next.

Although June is still some time away I can’t believe just how quickly January and February have passed by.  As a consequence I did a review of just where I was with this project and my audit indicated that several vignettes and dioramas were complete, some were being worked upon but some had not yet been started.  It also struck me that I hadn’t given any further thought to a model which would act as the “end” piece in the sequence.

Obviously the war ending is the stand out incident but was it really the end?  In my imagination I envisaged marching troops through London in front of crowds of cheering people but bringing that to life was difficult to get my head around, not least of all because I struggled to find anywhere near the type or number of figures I would have required.  I also thought of something very sobering such as a graveyard scene – Gone But Not Forgotten – but whilst I did do one (see an earlier post) I decided that although relevant if was not how I wanted to end the sequence.

In the end I decided on the idea of daddy coming home from the war and being greeted by his wife and child.  For many this was the real end of the war, seeing a loved one returning home.  More up beat and more personal.  So here you have the returning soldier coming down the garden path.  Would he have had his rifle?  Possibly.  Would he have had a fixed bayonet?  Almost certainly not!  I did think to remove it but on closer inspection I thought I would almost certainly cock it up so felt it was better left alone!  It’s the story that’s relevant not the accuracy.  That’s my excuse any way!

So now I have a beginning and an end to my timeline and but need of a few more for inbetween. No time for slacking as the clock continues to tick.

TIM

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The Magnificent Seven

Knuckleduster continue to expand their range of 28mm Old West figures at a pace I have given up on in terms of trying to collect and paint them all.  As a consequence I made the decision to focus only on the figures which really caught my eye or had some other special meaning.  So when they recently brought out the seven figures from the classic western movie “The Magnificent Seven” I knew this was a purchase I had to make.

The quality of the metal sculpts was typically excellent but there is a problem with figures of “real” people.  Whilst I consider myself to be a reasonable figure painter I am not an artist capable of painting a face to look anything like the actual actor.  Those of you familiar with the film will no doubt be able to work out which figure is which from the pose and the clothing but alas you ain’t going to look at the faces and say “He’s a dead ringer for Yul Bryner/Steve McQueen”.   All I can say is I did my best.

Pictures below along with a final group shot.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 35)

One of the nice things about looking back at my past models is reminding myself of the things I learnt along the way, either in terms of scenery building or figure painting.  At the time this model taught me a lot and the techniques I employed were refined a little in future builds.  I am also reminded of the mistakes I made and how Imanaged to cover them up!

For those of you who might be interested a  link to Part 1 of this diorama can be found here.

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The Last Of The Mohicans – 28mm Diorama – Part 2

A succesful week, helped considerably by the stay in doors weather, which has seen the completion of this model and also of one of my outstanding WW1 vignettes, the subject of a separate post to follow this one.

Not a great deal to say on this one.  The fir trees were completed with a couple of applications of static grass, the water effects were applied but need to dry a little further and the figures were painted and fixed in position.

The figures are in my opinion nicely designed but they aren’t the greatest of castings and they lack the crispness of other models that I have painted.  As a consequence they aren’t the best but perhaps I’m just getting my excuses in early!

The last photo was taken with the Magua model placed behind this diorama (my brothers idea, credit where it’s due).  The idea was to see how dramatic, if at all, the backdrop would look.  I think  a combination of both bits of landscaping could make for an interesting diorama, I just need to get my head around what figures to use.  There is no rush however as right now I’ve got more than enough lined up!

Photo’s below.

TIM

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“Dorothy” – A 28mm Twisted Miniatures Figure

Today we have a Twisted Miniatures figure from Demented Games based in Australia.  The figure goes by the name of “Dorothy” and is very nicely cast and highly detailed.  I bought a few figures from the range, seven to be exact, and have been slowly working my way through them.   Despite being distracted by other figures I have bought I now only have two more to paint.  I will get around to completing both of them, just not sure when!

Dorothy had plenty of detail to pick out which made her nice to paint but once again I can’t say I am very pleased with the base.  I seem to have lost my way a little just lately and this is some thing I need to focus on.  Despite that a deserved shout out to Kerry my neighbour who turned a few more wooden bases for me of which this is one.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 34)

This weeks post makes for a welcome change from WW1 which for a while had dominated my modelling.  I hadn’t finished with my WW1 timeline but I needed a break from the genre.  There is only so much khaki I can paint before getting bored with a bland colour palette.

I had forgotten all about this particular model.  I did enjoy it but it is an awkward size to dsiplay and thus is condemed to live its days out in a storage box in the garage.

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The Last Of The Mohicans – 28mm Magua Figure

My third and final post for this weekend and the background to the first post on “How to Make Fir Trees”.

One of my favourite films is The Last Of The Mohicans staring Daniel Day-Lewis and Wes Studi.  I love the story, the cinematography and the sound track.  A winning combination all round.  Truth is from a very young age I have always had a soft spot for the Indians.  There is a reason for this and it is a true story.  Allow me to enlighten you.

My Grandfather on my mother’s side had three older sisters and back in the time of the Great War 1914 – 1918 the family lived in Windsor.  During the war the Canadians sent over an expeditionary force who were billeted in Windsor Great Park.  Many of these men were lumber jacks and native indians who were brought over to chop down trees to supply some of the timber used in making trenches.  Two of my Grandfathers sisters met and later married two Canadian service men and went to live in Canada when the war ended.  In the case of my Great Aunt Rose she married a man by the name Pete Commanda, a native north American Indian.  They spent their lives living on the indian reservation in a log  cabin on the shores of Lake Temagami, Ontario.  A story which has fascinated me from an early age.  For interest a couple of pictures below.

Commanda Pete

So, whilst trawling the Warlord Games web site some while ago I discovered a set of six figures based on the movie.  I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy them.  I decided they would make two models.  One, this one, would feature Magua on his own.  The other five figures would feature as the basis for a separate diorama.

One of my favourite sequences in the film is at the end when all the main characters are high up on the mountains.  Somehow I wanted to create a mountain scene, albeit with a degree of poetic licence. I wanted height, I wanted rock faces, I wanted fir trees and to aid the impression of altitude I wanted snow (the poetic licence bit as none featured in the film!).  I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve this and even if I could I wasn’t sure how good a single 28mm figure would appear dominated by a 30 cm high base.  As a consequence the idea sat on my to do list.  Then I got some inspiration on how to make fir trees.  I still wasn’t sure how the overall model would look but then decided to hell with it, let’s give it ago!

The first step was to sift through my outdoor log pile for a suitable log.  This was followed by some saw work to cut away sections which would house the trees and the rocks.  The photo’s below show some of the stages in that sequence.  I then cast some rocks using Woodland Scenics molds.  While various things were drying and doing their stuff I painted the Magua figure.  The Trees were made following the “How To Make Fir Trees” article that I recently published.

Everything painted and dried it was then all about assembly, more painting and then applying the snow.  My overall impression is that it came out looking OK.  I think I achieved the depth of scale I wanted and if nothing else then it’s a little different.

Now to deal with the other five figures!

TIM

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“The Scribe” – 28mm Other World Miniatures

As far as my miniatures go this week sees a different manufacture/supplier – Other World Miniatures.  If memory serves me correctly, and at my bloody age it’s doing well if it does, then this was the third of three figures I bought more than a year or so ago.  The other two were a Rat Catcher that featured in Miniatures and Musings No: 40 and a Medieval Knight which I used in a mini diorama entitled The Temptress.  For far to long this little chap has been sitting primed in the to do pile.

I do like figures which I consider have some charachter about them and this little chap falls into that category which is why he appealed to me at the time and still does.  All of which adds to the mystery of why it has taken me so long to get around to painting and basing him.  All in all a nice little two part casting where the arms and the book are a seperate piece to the main body.

I am reminded to take another look at the Other World website as I seem to recall they had some other very nice figures too.  But can I can  justify any new purchases?  Of course I can!

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 65)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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A straight forward figure this week, a little Hasslefree chap who goes by the name of “Finn”. Nothing much to say, just another figure from the pile of lead that I have been working my way through.  Originally intended for a diorama which I lost interest in but a nice little figure in its own right.  Images make his jeans look a little to glossy but having taken another look they are quite matt in the flesh so not sure what has happend there.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Perfection or Imperfection?

When I buy a new pair of Levi jeans they are perfect.  They have never been worn and they are stiff and unfaded.  Perfect but I don’t like them.  Only when they have been worn in, become less stiff and more than a little faded do they become perfect as far as I am concerned.

And so it is with figures that I paint.

I could, if I choose to, paint all my figures in nice sharp colours and end up with the modelling equivalent of a new pair of Levi’s but would it look right?  In some cases the answer is yes.  For example a soldier on the parade ground would probably look imaculate but in a combat situation would that still be the case?  For me the answer is no but I accept that some people like the figures unweathered, I just don’t happen to be one of those people.

Personally I like weathering as it adds realism to the figure subject of course to composition and basing.  Perfection in imperfection is how I see it, like a nice worn in pair of jeans.

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The End of the Lead Pile!

My lead pile is no more.

No I haven’t finished all the models that I have and if I am being honest I never will.  Nor before anyone asks I haven’t given them all away either.  Instead I have simply renamed these never to be painted (by me) figures the “Investment Pile”.

The way I see it, left unpainted and kept safe and hidden for a number of years, they will one day be worth a small fortune.  One day future figure painters tired of 3D printed plastic will spend their cash to acquire old metal figures.  Think vinyl records.

Am I being delusional?  Almost certainly but for now at least I no longer have a lead pile.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Morning Glory” by Oasis.  Been a while since I listened to this album and had forgotten how good it was.

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This week TIM has been watching…

“The Fall” series 1, 2 and 3 starring Gillian Anderson.  Missed this series first time around but caught up on it on Netflix.  An excellent programme and well worth a watch.

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Remember…

If a book hits you on the head you may have only your shelf to blame.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 33)

As part of my WW1 timeline I wanted to have a centre piece model and made up my mind that it would need to include a scratch built building of some sort.  I settled on the idea of a farm house and the finished result and final post appears below.  If you want to see or remind yourself how the building and diorama was constructed then please take a look at parts 1 through to 6 which you will be able to find scrolling through the WW1 menu above.

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28mm Building Project No: 7 – WW1 Farmhouse Diorama

Off the Work bench!

This week was all about assembling the various bits and pieces to complete the diorama.  All in all it went together pretty well after some careful thought as to what should be placed into position first.  It wouldn’t have been the first time I’ve boxed myself into a corner but on this occasion I managed to avoid any such dilemmas.

Not a great deal to add in terms of narrative as I think I covered most aspects of the build in previous “On The Work Bench” posts.  Will be interesting to see what, if any, feedback I receive when it receives its first public outing.  If nothing else my mum likes it and thats good enough for me!

The aim of the diorama, as mentioned in the first post of this sequence, was to depict a small group of British soldiers making their way through the French/Belgium farming countryside.  Hopefully I managed to convey that.

Now on to the next project(s).  Still have a few WW1 items to do to complete the series but think I need a change of period in the coming weeks too so still deciding what next is on the agenda.

Pictures of the completed diorama below.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 32)

When most people think of WW1 they will almost inevitably at some point think of The Somme.  Understandably the magnitude of lost lives is not easily forgotten.  As I continued with my WW1 timeline it became very clear to me that certain events could not be ignored.  This was one such event.

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WW1 – “The Somme” – 28mm Scale

Those of you kind enough to follow my blog will know that I have been trying to put together a WW1 Timeline for an exhibition to be held in June to mark the centenary of the ending of the Great War.  The event itself will be held in Plymouth on Armed Forces Day.

When I first set about my contribution I drew up a list of key events with the aim of trying to produce a figure, vignette or diorama to mark each incident.  Not surprisingly the battle of the Somme appeared on my list.  For inspiration on how to depict this event I did a quick Google search for ideas.  The only thing which came to mind was “death”.

On the first day of the battle which took place on the 1st July 1916 the British lost over 60,000 soldiers (killed or seriously injured).  By the end of the campaign in November of the same year that figure had risen to 420,000.  An almighty loss for a land gain of 25 miles!  Incredible.

The model itself features figures by Great War Miniatures.  The mud is real mud!  A little earth together with some potting soil, paint and PVA was mixed together and allowed to dry before dry brushing some highlights.

My little vignette is dedicated to the 420,000 brave souls.

TIM

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“Rudd Starslider” Space Smuggler

This weeks figure is a Reaper model which goes by the name of “Rudd Starslider” a professional Space Smuggler.  A nice little figure and one I have had hanging around for quite a while.  Like a few of us it seems, I am trying to clear some of my ever growing backlog of figures which I bought but since neglected.

Although I have done a couple of little dioramas of late I am still missing the drive and inspiration for something which really takes my fancy.  In some ways it is a good thing.  As I have not lost the desire to paint I have decided to use the time to get some single figures done.  So far so good but in truth I have barely made a dent.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 31)

For me the interesting thing about reading this post again was my take on future models I aimed to get done in 2018.  The only thing I didn’t embark upon, and still haven’t, was something on the Zulu wars.  For the life of me I cannot recall what, if anything, I had in mind to do!

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WW1 British Command – 28mm Scale

So, Christmas is over, the parents have made the short journey home and most importantly the wife imposed modelling ban has been officially lifted!  To be fair it was important to spend some quality time with the old folk as well as the kids. However, there is only so much TV dross I can take so I confess to feigning an after dinner sleep on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  This proved positive though and gave me some time to gather my thoughts together with regard to this years  modelling past, and more relevantly, next years modelling future.

In modelling terms this year saw the start of my blog, a major departure from 54mm scale figures to 28mm and my involvement with the Plymouth Modelling Club.  All have proved to be very enjoyable.  I love the sense of community that my blog provides and the comments I receive are extremely motivational.  Dropping down in scale has enabled me to do so much more and my creative juices have increased considerably.  I still love 54mm scale but producing buildings and dioramas in this size is simply far to space consuming.  Joining the modelling club, not everyone’s cup of tea I know, has also proved a success.  I think more than anything it has given me an opportunity to compare my work with others and although I’m not the most gifted modeller I do feel that I can hold my head up and make a contribution.  On to the future.

First up is the completion of the WW1 project.  I have a few items to finish and a couple to start and then I think it will be time to call it a day.  I’ve no doubt I will return to this period as I love it but I need to use some other paint colours!  Looking ahead I have a few ideas around the Zulu wars which may get off the ground and a WW2 scene is gathering some momentum in my head.  I found some Viking figures recently which I liked the look of and Santa brought me some American Civil War and Old West figures which as some of you may know is my genre of choice.  Aside from figures there are a few diorama ideas that I want to explore and as I may have mentioned previously, I have a growing urge to start another building.  In fact I’m pretty sure this is where I will kick-start the New Year.

At the end of January the Plymouth Model Club hold their annual in-house competition.  There are a couple of categories which I will enter and it will be interesting to see how I fare.  If I do well then you’ll hear more about it!  The club does do monthly competitions and I haven’t done too badly at those but I suspect some members will have geared themselves up for this one event so it’s hard to tell.  In any event it will be a new experience and should be fun.  Thereafter there are a number of shows to attend including Telford in November.  I’ve heard a lot about Telford but never been.  By all accounts it’s a huge and fantastic event and will doubtless be the subject of future blog posts.

Back to actual models and this posts offering.  As I mentioned previously I have a couple of WW1 items to finish.  This was one of them.  There was very little to do so the limited amount of time available following my modelling ban was more than sufficient to get this one off of the work bench.  The model itself is a simple enough affair.  The figures are from Gripping Beasts and Great War miniatures, all white metal and all very nice castings.  The quality of Gripping Beasts in particular is fantastic.  Figure painting was done using a combination of acrylic and oil paint.

My WW1 timeline needed some officers in it and this is what I came up with.  It’s hard for me when dealing with this historic period to put the series “Black Adder Goes Fourth” to the back of my mind.  It’s tempting therefore to say these officers are trying to determine what square foot of land they plan to sacrifice 20,000 men for.  Every which way I’ve turned when researching elements of this project the tragic loss of life and various statistics associated with this war simply beggar belief.

Model photo’s appear below.

To close this post it’s appropriate to acknowledge the New Year.  I believe in the power of positive thought (although I’m not the greatest exponent of it) but I suspect like many others my New Year Resolutions rarely last more than a few weeks.  I have therefore, to quote Baldric from Black Adder, a “cunning plan”.  For 2018 I have come up with three resolutions which hopefully will prove successful.  In no particular order they are:-

  1. Having never smoked I’m going to pull out all the stops to make sure I don’t start in 2018
  2. I will resist all temptation to drink alcohol at breakfast
  3. I will aim to increase my weight and go up a waist size but will not be upset if I fail!

Happy New Year.

TIM

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“Belle” – Steampunk Heroine

These last few weeks, probably longer I suspect, I have been flitting between genres with no real purpose than to try and make a dent in my to do pile.  In fairness I have enjoyed this random approach, simply doing what I want as the mood grabs me has been fun.  I expect it will continue for some time to come until a larger diorama idea enters me head and gets me excited again.

Steampunk took my fancy this week, specifically “Belle” a nice little 28mm Reaper figure with a reasonable amout of detail to pick out.  I wanted to add some freehand but the best my imagination could come up with was stripes on her trousers.  I’m happy with the figure but I feel I let her down with the base.  Cobbles and cogs don’t quite do it.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 30)

Interesting looking back on this model from Christmas 2017.  It wasn’t that long ago and I can remember liking the composition (and still do) but those faces leave a lot to be desired.

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Battle of Britain Pilots 1/32nd Scale

I hadn’t intended to create a post today but then again I hadn’t anticipated a modelling ban from her who must be obeyed over the Christmas period either.  So, while the wife has popped out to do some last-minute food shopping I thought I’d sign in and get started.  As she left the house I was charged with doing some cleaning before my parents arrived for Christmas but I figure they wont notice if it hasn’t been done given that mum is 86 and dad is 91.  I can always claim to have done it and blame the dog if she spots anything out-of-place.  Then again she’ll moan at the dog but not at my dad so I may blame him instead.  He’s deaf too which will provide for additional insurance.  Don’t you just love family time at Christmas?

Back to modelling.

The WW1 project will continue into the New Year and hopefully Santa will bring a few much-needed bits and bobs to enable the final models to be completed.  I’m suffering building with drawl symptoms so the need for a larger diorama featuring some sort of construction will I think begin in January.  The good news is I’ve done all I’m going to do for the RAF exhibit needed for June 2018.  For those who do not know next year marks the 100th anniversary of the RAF.  I like planes but I don’t model them so my contribution to the clubs homage is a couple of figures, the first of which I posted details on a short while ago.  The photo’s below are of my second contribution.

The figures represent two WW2 Battle of Britain fighter pilots, we’ll say Spitfire pilots, I like Spitfires they’re iconic.  The figures are 1/32nd scale so it was nice to do something slightly larger for a change.  Very basic base work as I didn’t want to distract from the figures, which is also another way of saying I couldn’t be arsed on this occasion.  The enamel pin was a cheap purchase off of Ebay for which the proceeds went to charity which was nice.  I like these military pins and I’ve used a few now and they’re a great way of setting off the base in my opinion.

Not much more I can say about this model other than it was painted using a combination of acrylics and oils.  The figures are also plastic which is most unusual for me as almost everything I do is white metal.  I hope you like the photo’s.

All that remains is for me to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and to the followers that I have thank you for doing so.  Those of you who are in Australia will experience Christmas and New Year ahead of the rest of us (time travel but not as we know it) so enjoy.  Be careful surfing on the backs of those Great Whites (you guys are so tough!) and throw another prawn on the barbie for me.  I’m off to watch Crocodile Dundee and a DVD of the Bodyline Ashes tour.

Gotta go, she who must be obeyed has just pulled into the drive!

Until the New Year …

TIM

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Aina, Female Valkyrie – A 28mm Reaper Figure

Aina has been sitting in my to do pile for far longer than she deserved to be so this week I made a concentrated effort to get her done and dusted.  A search through my ever increasing pile of lead revealed that she is not the only figure to have been neglected.  In truth I do not need to buy another figure for at least 5 years based on my speed of painting but you know and I know that is never going to happen.  The buy list is as long as the to do list, perhaps longer.  Who am I kidding, it’s much longer.  I digress.

As you can see from the title, Aina is a Female Valkyrie.  A three part figure of high quality as typically produced by Reaper and a joy to paint.  The pose suggested to me that she should be based with an element of height.  A few slate chippings from the garden and a nice wood turned base from my neighbour Kerry and away you go.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 60)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks figure is from a company called Lead Adventure who are based in Germany and sees a return to Steampunk.  Not a great deal to say.  A nicely cast figure duly painted and put on a basic base.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

A nun walks into the Mother Superior’s office and plunks down into a chair. She lets out a sigh, heavy with frustration.

“What troubles you, Sister?” asked the Mother Superior. “I thought this was the day you spent with your family.”

 

“It was,” sighed the Sister. “And I went to play golf with my brother. We try to play golf as often as we can. You know I was quite a talented golfer before I devoted my life to Christ.”

 

“I seem to recall that,” the Mother Superior agreed. “So I take it your day of recreation was not relaxing?”

 

“Far from it,” snorted the Sister. “In fact, I took the Lord’s name in vain today!”

 

“Goodness, Sister!” gasped the Mother Superior, astonished. “You must tell me all about it!”

 

“Well, we were on the fifth tee — and this hole is a monster, Mother — 540 yard par 5, with a nasty dogleg right and a hidden green … and I hit the drive of my life. The sweetest swing I’ve ever made. And it’s flying straight and true, right along the line I wanted … and it hits a bird in mid-flight!”

 

“Oh my!” commiserated the Mother Superior. “How unfortunate! But surely that didn’t make you blaspheme, Sister!”

 

“No, that wasn’t it,” admitted the Sister. “While I was still trying to fathom what had happened, this squirrel runs out of the woods, grabs my ball and runs off down the fairway!”

 

“Oh, that would have made me blaspheme!” sympathized the Mother Superior.

 

“But I didn’t, Mother!” sobbed the Sister. “And I was so proud of myself! And while I was pondering whether this was a sign from God, this hawk swoops out of the sky and grabs the squirrel and flies off, with my ball still clutched in his paws!”

 

“So that’s when you cursed,” said the Mother Superior with a knowing smile.

 

“Nope, that wasn’t it either,” cried the Sister, anguished, “because as the hawk started to fly out of sight, the squirrel started struggling, and the hawk dropped him right there on the green, and the ball popped out of his paws and rolled to about 18 inches from the cup!”

 

The Mother Superior sat back in her chair, folded her arms across her chest, fixed the Sister with a baleful stare and said …

 

“You missed the fucking putt, didn’t you?”

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Interesting Site?

Grekwood Miniatures is another site I have never ordered from but I came across them when I was searching for some zombies, an idea for a diorama which has yet to materialise.  If it does then I shall look at what they have to offer more closely.  They appear to be a supplier rather than a manufacturer as I notice they also sell some Crooked Dice miniatures as well.

At Telford last year one of the diorama group winners used a water effect called Making Waves.  The result was excellent.  How much it was down to the skill of the modeller and how much it was down to this stuff I have no idea.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Get Down Tonight” by KC and the Sunshine Band.  I didn’t ask to be a teen in the disco era but there was no avoiding it if you wanted to go out to a club in the mid 1970’s and meet with the opposite sex.  Every generation will claim they had the best music and I am no different.  For all the bad press the period gets it did have some of the best music ever.  I loved this track back then and I still do.

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This week TIM has been watching…

“The Equalizer 2” starring Denzel Washington.  Thought I ought to watch this to show Black Lives Matter!   Never saw the first one but suspect it was the better of the two.  This was OK and that’s all I have to say on it.

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Remember …

If you have a fear of lifts take steps to deal with it.

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TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 59)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks figure is from Crooked Dice and goes by the name of “Talia Torino”.  A nice little paint job but I got stuck with how to make the base a little more interesting.   A rather dull basic tarmac was the order of the day but I really wanted to inject a little colour.  A look at a few race track images gave me the idea for a small piece of red and white edging.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Model Shows

It will soon be time for IPMS to decide what, if anything, is going to happen in respect of this years Telford show.  Whilst the event doesn’t take place until November the level of organisation is huge.  If it does go ahead in any shape or form I suspect it will be a very diluted affair.  It is hard to see how international participants and visitors will be able to travel and social distancing for such a large and popular event will be challenging to say the least.

Model shows are one of few things I have missed since the Coronavirus took its deathly grip and I went into self isolation.  In some ways that feels like an odd thing to say because it was only 3 years ago that I really started attending them.  I didn’t appreciate at the time how important these events would become to me.  They are a great source of inspiration, motivation and banter and I miss it.  Insignificant in the bigger scheme of things I know but I do hope this aspect of my life can return sooner rather than later.  Meanwhile thank goodness for the blog.

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Coronavirus Update

After nearly 5 months  of self isolation I ventured down to the town for the first time.  Boy had it changed.  Outside there were cones everywhere to ensure pedestrian safe distancing and people wearing masks or crossing the road to avoid each other.  Inside 2 metre signage covers the floors, perspex screens are everywhere, you cannot browse easily and offering cash to pay is unacceptable.  I get it and I understand it but I don’t like it.

These changes will be with us for some time, they may even become permanent but I don’t think I want to adapt to living with them.  These steps, as necessary as they are, have moved the world on and I don’t like the way the world looks at the moment.  I am sure I will go into town again but it will be for emergencies only and when I cannot get what I want online.  I was quite happy in lockdown and self isolation so I shall return to it until the world returns, if it ever does, to something I want to be a part of.

As someone who loves the Old West period living as a Homesteader and occasionally saddling my horse or hitching the team to the wagon to venture into town once a month or so works for me.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers.  Great track.

 

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This week TIM has been watching…

“Uncle Buck” starring the late John Candy.  Continuing to work my way through my John Hughes collection.

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Remember…

If you don’t pay your exorcist you will get repossessed.

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TIM