TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 106)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is actually a couple of figures.  As mentioned at the outset, the Footsore  Baron’s War range of 28mm figures comprises of more than just knights and here we have my first Crossbowman and Spearman.  Individually these little chaps are nowhere as exciting at the knights to paint or look at but hopefully once they are all done they will swell the numbers and make the eventual army look all the more impressive.  Well that’s the plan!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Here, There and Everywhere?

Just a couple of weeks ago I had occasion to welcome a few more countries to have visited my blog.  New countries don’t come along very often these days but it seems they arrive like buses when they do.  Time now to say a big welcome to the Lebanon and St Vincent and Grenadine which takes my total now to 85.

There seems to be some dispute over how many countries there are in the world according to a Google search I made but the general consensus is 196.  Whatever the accuracy of the total figure the fact remains TIM has yet to reach out to over half the world.  Looks like I’m going to have to travel to some of the missing places and logon to my own site if I’m to make greater progress.  Not sure just how much I fancy the Middle East and swathes of Africa though.

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Give Me Five

“Cool” is something we probably all get but is, well for me at least, hard to explain.  I don’t think you can simply choose to be cool you simply are or you aren’t.  Although I am a legend in my own pants the reality is I would have loved to have been cooler than I am.  If I could choose who I would want to be as cool as within the world of acting then any on this list of my top 5 classic actors would do.  Next week I might take a look at the music world.  In no particular order:

  1. Clint Eastwood
  2. Steve McQueen
  3. Paul Newman
  4. Sean Connery
  5. James Dean

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“The Galway Girl” by Fiddler’s Green.  This popped up in my YouTube presumably because I’d been listening to the Ed Sheeran track called Galway Girl recently.  The songs are not the same however and this is not the original version of this song either, that was performed by a chap by the name of Steve Earle and is a classic in its own right.  Anyway I had a listen and found myself hooked.  If I couldn’t be English then I’d choose to be Irish I reckon.  As much as the girl in the video is stunning with her red hair it would have made more sense to have gone with someone who matched the lyrics.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Prime Suspect” starring Helen Mirren.  Borrowed the box set from my mum and dad and just watched series one.  Hard to believe it’s 30 years old now.  Amusing watching how the world has changed with things like smoking in the office for example.  Classic TV though and looking forward to working my way through the rest.

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Remember …

Always love a women for her personality, they have like 10, so you can choose.

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TIM

Diorama Lite – “Billy Joe, Zombie Hunter” (Part 2 – Final)

Following on from last week I got the remaining base work done.  Essentially this amounted to ground painting and dry brushing, a little bit of vegetation and a made up sign reading “GAS”.  The real effort went into painting “Billy Joe”, a very nice sculpt from Reaper.

The figure lent itself to some freehand so I figured I’d do as much as I could.  The check shirt took a little while but seemed appropriate as did the “BJ” on his hat.  A heart tattoo on his left arm seemed touching and and the jug needed a label which was hard to actually photograph.  I also added a symbol to his bib which was meant to look like a planet with rings around it but it is so bloody small! 

All in all I am happy to end on this one for Diorama Lite.  I am confident more will return later in the year, I have the figures and plenty of ideas just not the time.  That will all change come the Autumn.  The weather will change and along with the shorter daylight days I will be forced back indoors with time on my hands.  Until then, or unless there is a change in circumstances, I shall be continuing with my Baron’s War project and posting on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s.  I suspect occasionally figures from a different genre may appear as the need in me grows to paint something different for a change.  I also need to give some thought to how I will eventually display my Baron’s War figures 🤔.

Images of “Billy Joe” below.

TIM

 

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Sir Phelip de Welles

This week we have another 28mm foot knight for my slowly growing Baron’s War army – Sir Phelip de Welles. 

I have mixed feelings about this one.

On the positive side I’m pleased with the yellow.  A great colour but so often dreadful to paint with.  Better undercoating seems to hold the key and I am much happier with the results I’m getting these days.  Might just be my eye but there seems to be a bit more depth to the end result.  Whatever the Science I am pleased with how it came out.

On the positive/negative side I have mixed feelings about the heraldry result on the shield, my first attempt at painting a Lion Rampant.  As a first attempt I’m pleased but the head isn’t quite right so that’s left me a little disappointed.  I think what concerns me more was not being able to see how to put it right.  But for the head I’m pleased but it is clearly something I need to practice a lot more.  I would also add that I found using flow aid medium essential. 

One of the challenges with the heraldry was how to break the design down into manageable chunks given the very limited amount of space available on a 28mm shield.  In this instance it was all about getting a basic skeleton shape for the lion and then bit by bit fleshing it out.  Once I got the skeleton form right it became much easier.  I thought YouTube would have plenty of useful tutorials but I found it sadly lacking. I did manage to find something very basic which proved interesting and served my purpose but I had hoped for more.  Perhaps I just didn’t put the right search criteria in.

Images of Sir Phelip below.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 105)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is of a Baron’s War Footsore Sergeant, the first of four which comprise of pack No:1.  More than a peasant less than a knight would be my description, certainly from a painting perspective.  As he isn’t a knight as such I thought I would make up the heraldry using the rules I shared a short while ago.  The shield design is a “Pile” with a star denoting this Sergeant as the “third son”.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

Not sure what prompted this, probably the fact that my daughter has now finished school which had me reflecting on my own school days many, many years ago.  It occurred to me that there were lots of things I did at school which I have never done or used since.  Here is my list of five.  Feel free to add, could make for quite a list!

  1. Used a ruler to draw a margin on every page I write on
  2. Ended the day by putting my chair on the desk for the cleaner
  3. Ever climbed Gym Ropes
  4. Played (or tried to) the Recorder 
  5. Used Pi 

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

Now it’s not very often I invent something, in fact I will go as far as to say I have never done so.  However, confronted with a problem I needed a solution.

The problem I was having related to my mounted knights.  When it comes to mounted figures I generally drill a whole in the bum of the figure, glue a piece of paper clip into the whole and then press the other end of the paper clip into the end of a cork which I then hold to paint.

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Now this method has its pros and cons.  On the positive side I am forced to drink more wine in order to have a fresh supply of corks.  On the negative side the corks often have a slightly curved bottom to them and they easily topple over which is far from ideal.  This matter required some thought. 🤔

What followed was hundreds of man hours spent on numerous blue print designs based on mathematical and geometric theorem together with test model, after test model.  The end result, a superb example of modern engineering and ingenuity if I says myself, has now been patented and will be going into mass production in a matter or weeks. 

I use a specific clamp from my collection to hold horses and using the latest technology added  a drawing pin to the base.   Before and after images below display this perfect piece of engineering.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“I Love To Boogie” by T-Rex.  As a kid I did love T-Rex and Mark Bolan. Sad he died so young, killed in a car crash in Barnes not so far from where I used to live and I would pass by the site on my way to watch Chelsea play every other week back in the day.

Unsure what track to go with I settled on this dance mash up because it has a brief glimpse of dancing knight’s from Monty Python’s Spamalot!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Pact”, a six part BBC series set in South Wales.  Notwithstanding that I predicted the ending, all be it within the last half an hour or so, this proved to be very watchable.

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Remember …

Everyone is beautiful, but sometimes it just requires the right amount of alcohol to see it.

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TIM

Diorama Lite – “Billy Joe, Zombie Hunter” (Part 1)

The way things are going at the moment it very much looks like this will be the penultimate Diorama Lite post.  I will aim to get this one finished during the week ahead but then I will be taking a break from Monday posts.  With all the will in the world I can no longer juggle three posts a week, quite simply other things are now competing for my time and I also want to concentrate on my Baron’s War project. 

Will this last?  No.  Release from lockdown together with summer in the UK means it is time to get out more.  There are outside jobs to do, family and friends to catch up with and places to go.  Come the Autum and Winter months I feel certain Dio-Bolical Monday will be back and between now and then I reckon there will be the occasional news update to follow on from last Mondays post too.  I suspect Diorama Lite will also make the occasional guest appearance as well.       

Back to “Billy Joe”.

The figure, a great little sculpt from Reaper, will make an appearance next week.  This week, between other things, has been about getting some basic base work done.  I’ll need to dedicate much more time to this next week if I am to get it finished. The tyre stack, oil drum and petrol can all came from Crooked Dice.  They do some great accessories and are well worth a look at.  Their range has become quite extensive and the prices are, in my opinion, reasonable too.

What you see below in the sequence of photo’s is the start of the painting process followed by the weathering and dry brushing.  It never ceases to amaze me, not just in respect of my own work but with others too, how these things transition from basic metal, plastic or resin into something which looks more life like.

As far as the painting goes there isn’t a great deal to report other than I used the hairspray technique on the oil drum.  In case none of you know what that is I will explain it here.

After priming the drum was painted black.  This wasn’t essential but I just wanted an extra layer of colour to be on the safe side when paint gets removed.  With the black dried the key “rust” colour was applied, in this instance Vallejo Color Red Leather.  Left to completely dry the drum was then sprayed with hairspray and allowed to dry once again.  Next a top colour was applied. Obviously you can chose whatever colour you want by I went light for maximum contrast.  Allowed to dry the next step is to take an old brush dipped in water and slowly start to brush where you want the rust to show, typically this is edges and rims.  As if by magic the top colour is slowly removed showing the rust colour beneath.  The reason for the black layer was just in case I missed anywhere with the hairspray and took some of the Red Leather off too.

Once I was happy with the result I added some Humbrol rust weathering powder here and there.

That’s it for this week.  Some more basing to be done next week along with “Joe”.

TIM

 

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Will Scarlet & Little John

The 28mm Baron’s War range by Footsore Miniatures doesn’t just comprise of knights in armour although you can be forgiven for thinking it does as so far that is all I have posted.  The range, in addition to Archers and Spearman etc also features Outlaws based on the legend and stories of Robin Hood.  I think the Baron’s War game features, or will feature, scenarios where the outlaws come together with the Sheriff of Nottingham (a future figure in the latest kickstarter) in some way or another but I’m not a gamer so I don’t have a clue.  I am only really interested in the figures at this stage but one day maybe I’ll take a look at the game.

As to the figures themselves I thought I needed a little break from knights and thought that perhaps you did too.  The Two figures come as a pair so I painted them alongside one another and that’s about as close as I plan to come to batch painting.  I rather like the Little John figure (right) but in truth I wasn’t that much taken with the Will Scarlet one (left).  There is something about the pose and sculpted face that doesn’t quite work for me but I’ll leave it there.  I’m certainly no sculptor myself and never feel comfortable being critical of anyone whose skill base is way above my level.

On the painting front I went for muted colours on Little John but a bit brighter on Will Scarlet.  With a name like that I have always thought of the character as being a bit more flamboyant.  In truth I suspect “scarlet” was a a reference to being ginger!

Images below.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 104)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another “Two Handed Weapon Knight” from the Footsore Baron’s War range.  The little chap has been painted in the colours and heraldry of Roger Bigod who was one of the Magna Carta Barons in the year 1215.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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WordPress Notifications

In case it isn’t just me I thought I would share the following experience.

It took me more than a week to realise that very few emails were arriving in my BT email account advising me of Likes and Comments.  In itself it wasn’t a big deal, I just needed to check out the comments directly on the blog instead.  It bugged me though so I got in touch with a WordPress Happiness Engineer.  It would appear that BT seem to have a very high level of what they consider to be Spam, not that the emails are going into my Spam folder, they aren’t even reaching me in the first place.  Why has this just started to happen? Buggered if I know.

My Happiness Engineer suggested I change my email address to Gmail as they have a higher Spam threshold and allow greater control to be employed by the end user.  Having made the change it looks as though the email notifications from you guys are now coming through. On the downside, we all knew there had to be one, my Site Icon disappeared and was no longer being shown despite all the various boxes being correctly ticked in my settings.  More emails to a another Happiness Engineer has now hopefully resolved that. 🤞

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

This week the cavalry arrived, literally.

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In addition to around 100 various foot figures still to do I have now given myself a further 16 mounted figures to paint.  Cleaning has been done but not the priming.  I also need to give plenty of thoughts to how I intend to paint them in terms of heraldry.  Fortunately I am in no rush so will continue to paint the foot figures that I have plans for.

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Give Me Five

We’ve all had those moments when we would like to take revenge for an injustice we have been dealt.  Alas the thought of criminal proceedings holds us back and we are left trusting in divine intervention striking down the bastards who upset us.  On a personal level I had hoped Covid-19 might have proven to be one of Big G’s “mysterious moves” but indications so far aren’t encouraging as my nemesis Mad Martin remains a live .  No such problems, however, stand in the way of our silver screen heroes who do our bidding for us.  The fact that this film genre was the toughest yet rather tells you just how many films are out there and how much the genre is a box office hit!  In no particular order my top five revenge movies (it could have been a top 30!) are:

  1. Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
  2. Gladiator (2000)
  3. Death Wish (1974)
  4. Straw Dogs (1971)
  5. Inglorious Basterds (2008)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“The Beverley Hills Cop” Sound Track album.  Not sure what prompted this bit of nostalgia but I did enjoy the music and subsequently the film.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Beverley Hills Cop” starring Eddie Murphy.  A blast from the past but just as enjoyable.

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Remember …

Being kissed while you’re sleeping is one of the purest forms of love unless you are in prison.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 20 – “News Update No: 1”

After I completed my Wizard’s Tower diorama I announced that it was time for a break.  I think I also mentioned that I have a major storage headache to resolve before I can even consider undertaking anything new.  Well things have changed and I thought I would post an update on recent events which have led to this.

The first event of significance was the annual Table Top World Competition.  In all honesty I did not know they ran one, I only discovered this when l browsed their website yet again to drool over their exquisite buildings only to be hit by their home page advert.  After a little inner debate with myself I decided to take the plunge and enter the Wizard Tower.  Fortunately I never took the trouble to look at past competition entries before I did.  Had I done so I would never have entered.  Some of the dioramas which people have submitted to this annual competition are simply stunning but with a top prize of 500 euros to be won and spent in their shop it is hardly surprising the standard is so high.  Feeling somewhat embarrassed that I had now entered and not exactly put myself out to take better photos I decided to forget all about it.

Having done such a good job of forgetting about the competition it then came as quite a surprise to receive the following email from Ivan at Table Top World (the company is based in Croatia if you weren’t aware).

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Hello David,

we have chosen your work as one of the few that we decided to grant a  30% voucher this year, since you where very close to entering the top 3!

Keep up the great work!

Here is your 30% coupon for our webshop.

Kind regards,
Ivan
Tabletop World

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Now the cynic in me immediately concluded that probably everyone who entered most likely got a similar email but then I decided to accept things on face value if for no other reason than it made me feel better.  More importantly, given how expensive their buildings are (and even more expensive now due to import duty having to be added now the UK has left the EU), there was no way I wasn’t going to use the voucher!  

Highly motivated to build a very large diorama (very large for me that is) I was determined to solve my storage problem, something which had been bugging me for some time.  I’ve known for  a while that our double garage held the key but it is well fitted out already and extremely tidy too so a quick win was never on the cards.  Then I had a light bulb moment!

My car and the family estate are both kept in the garage but She Who Must Be Obeyed keeps her car parked on the drive.  She does this because she drives our daughter to school on a daily basis (had it not been for lockdown my daughter would have passed her driving test and driven herself) and it is easier than opening the garage (yes you’re right, she is a lazy women!).  The thing is her little car is much shorter than the family one.  Short enough to enable me to buy and install a meter wide six foot high office style filing cupboard giving at least 5 meters of shelf space!

My daughter finishes school shortly and then has a four month break before hopefully heading off to university.   The thing is she wont need driving to school any more and therefore SWMBO can “keep her precious car” (that’s the selling line) in the garage instead of the estate! 

Brimming with confidence that I can sell this to SWMBO I have now placed an order for four Table Top World buildings and a few accessories that they do as well.  I suspect it will be several weeks before they arrive and I need to wait for my daughter to finish school before I can buy and install the filing cupboard, therefore nothing to do for now but wait.

I’ll issue further news updates in the weeks ahead but all being well a new diorama and an accompanying Dio-Bolical Monday series will start later in the year.  A series which will run far longer than anything previously so consider yourself warned. 🙂

TIM

PS – Although she doesn’t read my blog, which is just as well, Happy Birthday to my lovely daughter who is 18 today!

 

 

The Unknown French Knight

As well as trying to get one of my Footsore knights done for my Wednesday post I also started work on another one with the aim of playing around a bit with heraldry which is a bit more challenging.  I decided to go with the black and white shown on the right of the second row in the image below.

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Now the best I can gather is the geezer in question is a French knight but with all the will in the world I cannot decipher the name hence the title of today’s post.  If anyone has an idea please let me know and I’ll amend the title.  Even if you don’t know but come up with a creative or amusing name I might go with that instead!

As things turned out it wasn’t that tricky to paint after all which was good for moral but leaves me feeling I need to do something more the next time around.

In the meanwhile here are the images of the mysterious French night.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 103)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature (or should that be this weeks knight?) is one of four from the “The Knights with Two Handed Weapons – Pack 1”.  Applying the heraldry rules I decided to make up my own on this occasion and went with two white Chevrons on a red background.  It is possible, might even be probable given the colour choice, that the simple design does actually align to a real knight.  I will undertake a search at some point but if it does then it is purely coincidental on my part.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

Last week I found this image on Pinterest.

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As best I can tell at the moment these Baron’s represent 25 of the key figures in the Baron’s War.  Therefore if I am to be true to the history then these shield designs and colours are the ones I should be going for.  The problem as I see it however is that yellow and red completely dominate.

It maybe there is a reason for this colour dominance, perhaps there are family connections which tie some of the Baron’s together?  Perhaps it’s just coincidence or simply a restricted colour pallette given the available paints and dyes of the day?  Whatever the reality I will be deviating from it.  I will do some for sure, I have in fact already by chance done the blue and yellow of Richard de Percy, but I will look outside of these for more interesting options where I can.  I will still aim for true heraldry but if the geezer fought in a different campaign then I will employ poetic licence if I think the end result will look cool.

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Give Me Five

Now when it comes to films I do like a good saga.  A film of three hours of more is is just my cup of tea.  Watching a film like that on a cold winters night with the fire blazing and single malt in my hand makes for some perfect escapism.  One of the other things I like about some of these films is that the scenery can often steal the show.  So this week I have gone for my top five films where the cinema photography has for me made a film truly epic.  In no particular order:

  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. Legends of the Fall
  3. Dances Woth Wolves (extended 4 hour version)
  4. The Last of the Mohicans
  5. Doctor Zhivago

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Downtown” by Petula Clark.  This song was released in 1964 when I was seven years of age (was it really that long ago?) the same year that Zulu came out at the cinema.  When my brother and I were taken to see Zulu (I had to sit on the upturned folding seat so I could see the screen) it was, as I recall, a dark and dismall winters night when we all set off “Downtown”.  Although this song is not directly linked to the film I have always put the two together.  Everytime I listen to it this track conjures up the most evocative images of that time in my life and will simply always remain one of my favourite tracks of all time, not so much for the song itself but the memories.  Now where did I put my Zulu DVD ….

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Glory” starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman.  An excellent American Civil War film and one which I hadn’t watched in a long time.

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Remember …

When someone says get a grip, as tempting as it is, they don’t always mean around their neck.

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TIM

Diorama Lite – “Fulumbar, Dwarf Captain” (Part 2 – Final)

As anticipated I was able to complete the base work and figure of “Fulumbar” quite comfortably this week.  I do like Reaper figures as many of you will know and this little 28mm chap, a dwarf captain no less, was fun to do and had a nice bit of detail to pick out.

The base needed more paint work along with a few bits of plant to help bring it to life and the water effects such as they are were extremely straight forward.  I used the method I employed on my Wizard Tower project but on a much smaller scale.

Little else for me to add this week other than images of the finished model.

TIM

Sire Nicholas de Poyns

Here we have the second of my two 28mm neglected mounted Baron’s War knights from Footsore.  This one has been painted in the heraldry of Sire Nicholas de Poyns.  I found his details on a Pinterest image I found on the Parliamentary Roll but I have yet to search out more details on the knight himself.

I’ve never considered myself a quick painter, in fact I would say I am pretty slow.  I could never paint for YouTube, I’d be there all day, but I am enjoying painting mounted knights.  They are taking an age but I’m pleased with the first two I have done.  The real challenge I find with these is the horses and making sure things like the stripes are of even thickness and that they line up.  The end result doesn’t tell the full story of just how much touching up I go through to get an acceptable result (I can still see some bits I’ve missed!).  One day I might get things right at the first time of asking but that will take a lot more practice yet.

More mounted knights are on their way from Footsore, about a dozen or so I think, but it will be a few weeks before I have another one to offer you.  In the meanwhile images of Sir Nick below.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 102)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is one of the four which comprises the Footsore “Foot Knights with Two Handed Weapons No: 1” pack and he has been painted in the heraldic colours of “John de Berners”.  More on the project below.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

This week I spent some time reading and digesting the Wargames Illustrated article I made reference to in last weeks post.  Not surprisingly it turns out there are various rules which need to be applied where heraldry is concerned.  These rules are useful both in terms of making up your own scheme and deciphering real examples.  Now let me say at the outset I am no expert on this subject but I am aware that many of you perhaps are.  Apologies therefore if I am trying to teach anyone how to suck eggs and if I have any of this wrong then I am more than happy to be corrected.

The first rule I took note of was on colours.  It seems the colour palette is restricted to five main colours namely Blue, Red, Green, Purple and Black.  I assume there is scope within each colour to vary the shade but what is significant is you have to put a colour with Gold (can be yellow) or Silver (can be white).  Accordingly any of the five colours can be used alongside either Yellow or White but you cannot have Red and Green together or for that matter Yellow and White.  The good news here is that by good fortune the few knights I have done so far conform to this rule.  Is the rule flexible?  In truth I have no idea but I’m happy to stick with it.

It seems you can also add “Furs” to the design of a shield too and the first image below gives some examples along with the colours referred to earlier.

Tincture (heraldry) - Wikipedia

One of the next things I discovered was “Field Ordinaries”.  It would appear that shield designs generally use these layouts.  I have seen exceptions so I’m guessing the rule can be ignored to some extent, most likely determined by who you are (think King John and the three lions) but this is something for me to try to learn more about.  However, for my purposes Field Ordinaries coupled with colour choice will provide a huge number of heraldic options.

ORDINARIES | Coat of arms, History and heraldry, Heraldry design

In the unlikely event that I should ever run out of heraldic shield options given the possible combinations from the above “rules” I can always fall back on the “English System” below.  With medieval families being large in number then shield designs can be used again but with the modification of adding a symbol relevant to the first through to ninth son.  Although I was unaware of it at the time, the red line on the figure I painted above of John de Berners defines him as the “First Son”.

Image from http://www.americanheraldry.org/pages/uploads/Primer/5a.gif. |  Family crest symbols, Coat of arms meaning, Heraldry

All in all I have an almost limitless number of painting options.  I suspect further research may even throw up more but for now I have plenty to be getting on with.

For those of you who are into your Space Marines and the such like a thought struck me while I was writing this.  Heraldry has been around for a thousand years so what’s to say it wont be around for thousands more?  If you are stuck with ideas of symbols to use and how to define your hierarchy it occurs to me you could do worse that revert to some of the above.  In anticipation of abuse please be advised I am now ducking out of this one!

As a footnote please note the images used above were taken from Google and not from the magazine article as I am no expert on copyright law.

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Lies, Lies and Statistics

I don’t tend to put much store by my blog statistics, mainly because mine aren’t that great!  I never created this blog with the aim of conquering the world and I continue to not be disappointed.  What has surprised me though, and periodically continues to do so, is just where my blog has been viewed.  As things currently stand it has now been accessed in 83 countries with Algeria, Ecuador, Brunei and Guatemala having been just recently added to the list.

Now I am very aware that some of these countries have only ever given me the one hit and I feel certain that hit was purely by accident (the inevitable search of a testosterone filled teenager googling “models”) but I do get a kick out of knowing a post of mine has popped up somewhere new in the world even if it did come as a disappoint to someone feeling horny.

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Give Me Five

The end of the UK Lockdown continues to gather pace.  If things continue to go as well as they have then the country will return to near normal by the middle of June.  Inevitably there will be signs of the aftermath but we’re talking mask wearing rather than bombed buildings.  Despite the horrors the pandemic has brought to a great many, and still is to vast swathes of the world, there are somethings I will miss.  ln no particular order my five are:

  1. The Quiet roads
  2. The additional time spent modelling and painting
  3. The time at home with my kids due to work and school closures
  4. Re-connecting with people I haven’t spoken to in years
  5. Having all my football teams fixtures televised live

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Pinball Wizard” by The Who.  A classic track instantly recognisable from the intro by those of us of a certain age.

—000—

This week TIM has been watching …

“Mississippi Burning” staring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe.  A classic and very powerful film in which the performances of Hackman and Dafoe are simply outstanding.  A film I have watched many times and that never fails to be move me.  Based on a true story.

Mississippi Burning: Amazon.co.uk: DVD & Blu-ray

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Remember …

Alcohol is never the answer but it is a good way of forgetting the question.

—000—

TIM

Diorama Lite – “Fulumbar, Dwarf Captain” (Part 1)

Unless I have any others tucked away unbeknown to me then “Fulumbar” is my last dwarf.  It will be some considerable time I think before I do another.  I therefore thought I would go about trying to give him a nice little setting.  I had in mind a rural setting with a little bit of water and a stone wall.  Nothing to fancy but just enough to set the scene on a 40mm square base.

The first step was to get a little bit of height into the base which I did using a few stone chippings and a small lump of DAS air drying clay.  Once the clay had harden a little I started to cut into it to create the space for where the water would eventually go.

The next step was to build a little section of wall taking care not to take a small chunk out of my thumb!  I used some plaster board to make stone bricks and then simply stuck them together with some PVA and set aside to dry.  I then set about filling a few gaps, adding a little texture and planting a small twig.

Once dry it was time to get some initial colour onto things.

Base colouring mostly done it was time to turn my attention to toning things down some what and trying to get a more realistic finish.  Muted colours were dry brushed on along with a little green here and there.

Time now to work on the figure itself. 

The little chap is close to being finished and there is some more work to be done on the base.  Neither should take very long so feeling pretty certain it will be done by next week.  All being well I should also have time to spend getting another figure or two done for my Medieval Army.

TIM

 

Sire Will’m de Bovile

It pays every now and then to remind yourself what you have previously bought and forgotten about.  Going back a good few months I was reminded that I had a spell of painting some Footsore Baron’s War Knights for the specific purpose of clearing my backlog and putting the finished figures up on Ebay for sale.  My overall objective was partly achieved in that I completed all the foot figures I had but wasn’t in the mood to paint the couple of mounted knights that I also had.  Instead I put them back in the cupboard and duly forgot all about them … again.  All this was before I decided to paint a medieval army.

As chance would have it and while searching for something else I stumbled across the two mounted knights once again.  As they were already primed it seemed like a good idea to take on the challenge of painting one to see how it came out before taking the plunge and buying more mounted knights. 

The only real decision I had to make was what colour scheme to go with.  I rather liked the idea of doing black and yellow again as it had worked out well on my recent foot knight but needed to identify another character who sported such livery.  Enter stage left “Sire Will’m de Bovile”.  I have no idea who he is but at some point I will google the chap to learn more.

As far as the painting goes there is really only two things to mention.  Firstly, I dispensed with the idea of masking tape.  Whilst I’m sure it is ideal with an airbrush I cannot get on with it when using a brush, even when stippling.  The folds in the Caparison (is that the right term?) would have made the use of masking tape pretty difficult too.  Secondly, this kind of freehand painting whilst enjoyable and rewarding is, for me at least, very, very time consuming.  That’s not a complaint by the way just an awakening on my part to just how long each mounted knight is going to take me.

My only other comment relates to the banner.  Part of me thinks it is to big (not that I am about to change it) but from what I can see from the bit or research I have undertaken they do appear to come in all shapes and sizes to the point where they dwarf a knight completely.  As to the making of it I elected to once again to use Japanese writing paper.  It has a nice cloth like texture to it.

So, without further ado images of my armies first 28mm mounted knight.

TIM

 

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 101)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is the next installment of my Medieval Army.  As with all these figures they are from the Footsore Miniatures Baron’s War Range, in this specific case the first of four figures which comprise the “Foot Knights with Two Handed Weapons, Pack 2”.  The freehand heraldry is that of “William Bisshopsdonne”.  As and when I get all four of a particular pack completed I will post a little group shot.  At the moment though I am choosing to work in a somewhat random way so right now I have no idea when the first group shot will be.  I suspect a but like buses one or two will come along at once!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

Over the last week I was able to pick up some useful information in relation to knights and their shield designs.  A link I found – Glover’s Roll – was particularly useful in providing designs as well as names.  Some look very much easier to paint than others so time will tell just how adventurous I get.  I also found a wealth of images on Pinterest too all of which has led me to another decision. 

Although the figures I am painting are all from the Footsore Barons War range I’m not hung up about every heraldic knight I paint having to be a participant of that precise period and/or campaign(s).  Whilst my OCD will, for example, insist that my bases conform to a level of uniformity I’m relaxed about the accuracy of participants.  What does matter though is that the heraldry is accurate and that the figures are painted well enough to give a colourful display and wow factor when they are displayed.  At the end of the day I see models as a representation and, a bit like Hollywood directors, there is room for poetic license.

Another thing I picked up on last week was an article published in Wargames Illustrated entitled “A Wargamer’s Guide to Heraldry”.  I’m not a subscriber to this magazine but getting hold of the March 2021 issue seemed like a good idea.  I haven’t had a proper chance to read it yet but at first glance it appears to contain some very useful information for a novice of the period such as me.  More on that next week.

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Salute 2021

April is normally the month when the South London Warlords hold Salute.  Understandably it was never going to be held so early in the year with the various Covid restrictions in place.  The good news was the organisers were aware of that and so they pushed the date back to later in the year.  The bad news for me is they chose the same weekend in November as the IPMS Small Scale World show in Telford! 

I’m sure I am not the only one who enjoys attending both events but alas this year I have to choose.  At least it wasn’t a difficult decision.  Telford is the bigger event and held over two days but more to the point my hotel booking from last year was rolled over to this one so Telford it will be, assuming the event does go ahead!

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Give Me Five

With lockdown restrictions in the UK starting to relax I thought this week I would list my top five things I am looking forward to (fingers crossed) in due course.  In no particular order:

  1. Attending a model show (Telford if nothing else)
  2. Going to the cinema, hopefully to see the latest Bond movie at last!
  3. Getting away for the weekend
  4. Meeting up with family 
  5. Going out for a meal and eating it inside!

—000—

This week TIM has been listening to …

“We Will Rock You” by Queen.  It’s been a while since I listened to a bit of Queen so it was high time that I did.  So many tracks to chose from but I just love Brian May’s guitar solo at the end of this one.

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This week TIM has been watching …

Line of Duty, Series Six.  The last episode was shown a little over a week ago but now that all the episodes are now on BBC iPlayer it was time to sit down and binge watch the whole of series six again.  As UK TV dramas go this one captured the nation more than just about anything and had everybody trying to work out the likely outcome.  I wont spoil anything but if for some reason this series and the previous five have passed you buy then lucky you as you now get to watch the lot.

Line of Duty (series 6) - Wikipedia

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Remember …

Five out of six people agree that Russian Roulette is completely safe.

—000—

TIM

Diorama Lite – “Frazetta Death Dealer” (Part 2 – Final)

After last weeks rather dull post I am rather hoping this one will prove a little more interesting.  If not then I apologise for misleading you last week.

I suspect some of you are familiar with the Frazetta Death Dealer painting.  Here is an image of it.

Death Dealer (painting) - Wikipedia

A pretty cool painting by any standards in my opinion.  Thanks to a news letter email I received from North Star Miniatures I picked up on their promotion of this Lucid Eye figure.  At £18.00 it was far from cheap but I fell in love with it and decided I wanted to have it, and besides She Who Must Be Obeyed fell for the line that it only cost a fiver!

I’d like to think the base and my figure painting did an amazing sculpt justice but painting black and pretty much only black is always a challenge.  Still it is done now and you can make up your own minds.

Images below.

TIM

The “Wood Elf King”

Initially I had planned for this to be a two part post under the banner of “Diorama Lite” but for that to have happened I really needed to have taken some work in progress photos!  As it happens I did manage to take a couple but nowhere near enough to justify a second installment so I soldiered on and decided to complete the figure and post it finished instead.

The first of the two progress pictures I took shows the “tree” attached to the base and partly painted.  Not exactly an inspired basing decision as I figured a Wood Elf needed to be positioned in the woods.

The next work in progress image is of the elf himself, a 28mm Reaper figure.  I decided the back of his cloak warranted some work on it rather than just leaving it plain.

Thereafter the figure was just a paint job and the base itself was added to slightly.  Some scatter was applied along with some tufts and I used some tea leaves on the tree to simulate ivy.  Hopefully the overall image conveys a wood elf in the woods!

Images of the completed model below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 100)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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I’ve just realised this is my 100th Miniatures & Musings post.  Some how it has just crept up on me, if I had been more with it I would have tried to present a better figure to mark the occasion.  As it is this week, and I think I will be saying this for some considerable time to come, we have the next figure in my army.

This Baron’s War figure is one of the four figures which appears in the “Foot Knights Pack 2”.  As much as possible I want to paint the shields with authentic heraldry, something which I have done here.  The chap in question is one Henry de Percy.

More on the project below.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

The feedback I received when I announced my army project gave me much food for thought and over the last week or so I have made some decisions.  Of course these will inevitably change!

First up my intention is to just let this army evolve naturally.  As some have said, let it grow organically.  I shall work my way through the 90 or more figures that I have flitting from pack to pack as takes my fancy and if more figures are released purchase those as I please.

Secondly, I want my knights and figures to be authentic for the period.  For the knights this particularly applies to the shields where the heraldry needs to align to a true knight.  I don’t know how easy that will be but I will do more research and see where we go from there.

Thirdly I have consider how big I want this army to be.  From a gaming perspective you have given me some great numbers and should I ever sell this lot then such information will be valuable but I am not a gamer … yet!  I say not yet only because one day I will be to old to paint so may be that’s when I’ll look at taking up that side of the hobby.  My aim for a 100 figures is ambitious I know which is why my new target of 200 or more is even more crazy.  I want the end result to blow my mind and any one else’s if that’s possible.  For all the bravado I’ll probably call it a day after 25 or so but for now it is a very serious intention.  This after all is a long term project.  Well not that long, I’m getting to old for it to take that long and besides I have other stuff to do as well!

Fourthly I have settled on how the bases will be which is just as well as I have done two figures now.  There might be some slight variation but generally what you see above is pretty much what you will see most of the time.  My OCD will not allow me to deviate otherwise before I know it I will have two armies on the go!

I still need to think about the idea of a story line, an idea which I like but is somewhat alien to me.  I also need to think how I am going to present these figures on mass in a display.  A mat isn’t good enough and with the figures being individually based it wont be a diorama.  The idea of tiles is something I think I shall start looking at and they will be easier to store.

All in all plenty to do and plenty more to think about as this evolves and takes over.  The good news is I haven’t got bored yet!

—000—

Give Me Five

This week I thought I would consider my top 5 sports films.  I thought this would be easy but I have left some truly excellent films out.  In no particular order:

  1. Rocky (Boxing)
  2. The Natural (Baseball)
  3. The Damned United (Football/Soccer)
  4. Chariots of Fire (Athletics)
  5. Rudy (American College Football)

—000—

This week TIM has been listening to …

“Brown Sugar” by the Rolling Stones.  Call me naive by all means but when I sing along to a song (I can already hear SWMBO saying “please don’t!”) and even when I get the lyrics right, I barely take much notice of them.  It’s all about the music, the beat, the tempo – the lyrics are just there almost in the background.  I never analyse them and of course when I was a lad we didn’t have YouTube so we sung the wrong words for years!.  This was very much the case for me with this track, one of my favorite tracks as well I might add.  I don’t listen to the radio a great deal, only when I am in the car and due to lockdown it has been a while since I’ve been any distance of note so, given the lyrics of this song, I wonder if it is even played anymore.  The track was never banned that’s for sure.

—000—

This week TIM has been watching …

“The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair”.  I read the book a good while back and loved it.  Very well written and very different too.  Twist and turns along the way made it hard to put down.  Then I discovered the book had been made into a mini series so it became a must watch bit of TV.  On balance it was a good series and kept true to the book as best I could recall but as you do when you read a book you form a mental image of the main characters and the actors cast, as good as they were, just didn’t align to my image.  Still enjoyable though.

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Remember …

If you sneeze and fart at the same time your body takes a screen shot.

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TIM

Diorama Lite – “Frazetta Death Dealer” (Part 1)

I very nearly didn’t post this article but then I realised I had nothing else to put up so then decided what the hell.  Part of the problem is flitting between various projects, not least of all my Knights Army one.

So, how do I make a dull post even slightly interesting?  Well my only shot of doing that is by telling you that the figure which will go on this base when painted is very, very cool indeed and it wouldn’t surprise me if one or two of you were keen to buy one of your own in due course. 

OK, exciting bit over, onto the dull bit.  No matter how good the figure is it needs a base.  The problem with this base is it needs to be very basic and very dark and dead looking and as a consequence the end result will be dead and dull looking!

First up we have a couple of images of small pieces of plaster board being stuck to a 40mm x 40mm base.  The pieces were then trimmed back and carved a bit hear and there to make things look a little more rock like.

In the back ground of this next image you can see that I have added some slate chippings from my garden and mounted the MDF base onto a 40mm x 40mm oak cube.  In front you can see various pieces of twig.  In actual fact they are bits of root from an unknown plant but they have a great texture and so I thought I would try using them to make a very basic bit of dead tree.  The only problem I had was none of the various bits and pieces were any good in their own right.

To get round this I decided to combine different twig pieces by drilling and pinning a couple together.  If I can find the right plant roots in future I think I might prefer this approach to making trees rather than using wire.  Thinking about it further a combination of the two approaches might be the ideal.  I’ll file that idea away for the future.

A little while later and things began to take shape.

 

 

Another piece to add and it will be done and then I can add some Milliput to fill the gaps and mount it in the base ready for priming an d painting.

For some dead looking flora I thought I’d try painting some tufts black.  The image below shows I have started.

Unfortunately due to incompetence, the excitement of painting the figure which will go on this base and the distraction (a welcome one, I’m not complaining) of wanting to paint my Baron’s War figures I made little more by way of progress and failed to take any more photographs!  I am beginning to realise I will need more discipline when it comes future posts of this kind.  Either that or I will have to put all my efforts into one project at a time.  We will see what gives in the course of the next few weeks .

TIM

 

 

 

 

Borin Ironbrow – 28mm Reaper Dwarf Fighter

For the first time in quite a while I came close to missing a blog post.  Having been fully absorbed by my army project I became completely side tracked and suddenly Saturday was almost upon me and I had nothing to offer.  Fortunately I remembered that I had an almost completely painted dwarf which I had set aside and the day (well post in this case) was saved.  Ho-ray for dwarfs!

The figure in question, Borin Ironbrow by Reaper, was originally bought for my recent Diorama Lite post but in the end I decided to go with a different figure.  Although I liked the figure I didn’t think he was the right fit for my little diorama.  Now he has been lovingly given a little base of his own.

The figure is from the Reaper Dungeon Dweller range and is a very crisp and clean casting. Compared to some Reaper figures the level of detail is relatively plain but it was none the less a nice little one to do.

The biggest challenge was getting him completed in time for this post, a problem I think I will continue to experience with other figures which aren’t part of my army project. In an ideal world I would like to produce something each week for Diorama Lite on Monday, a mid-week figure for my medieval Knight army and a figure from another genre for my Saturday post. It is clear that balancing this through the spring and summer is going to be a challenge.  What this week has taught me though is that modelling and painting time is becoming stretched, mainly due to the time of the year and my release back into the wild following Covid lockdown.  Add into the mix my desire to do more and more on my army project and it is becoming clear that three posts a week is going to prove a significant challenge, at least until the return of the winter months.  For now I will continue as I am doing, if only to clear some of the lead pile, but I suspect blog changes are a foot.

Images of Borin below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 99)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is the first in what is sure to become a very, very recurring feature of my Wednesday posts and maybe some Saturday ones too, a figure painted and based which goes towards my medieval army project.  All the figures are from the Footsore Barons War range and this is one of the four figures which comprises the pack titled “Foot Knights 1”.

The paint job was pretty straight forward and as I have no plans to use decals and have never had success with masking tape all my work on shields will be freehand.  The aim will be to try and get more adventurous but I will be driven by heraldry as I learn a bit more about it.  As much as possible I want my knights to be authentic.  As far as basing goes, whilst there may be some slight variation this will be the standard.

More on the project below but in terms of completed minis we’re up and running.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

As headings go it’s not a great play on “The Knights of the Round Table” but it was the best I could come up with.  So, an update on the project.

Firstly a big thank you to those of you who very kindly provided encouragement for this project along with words of advice and valuable details on figures and numbers for an army.  I have taken it all on board but for now I thought I would focus just on painting, specifically for now foot figures.  I have every intention of doing mounted Knights but that will come later.  Whether I do the whole Baron’s War range of mounted figures remains to be seen.  I’ll see how the range grows because it appears to be expanding quite fast, by which I mean quicker than I can paint.  For now though and with Footsore offering a 20% discount when you spend over a hundred pounds I thought I would take advantage of the offer while it it lasted.  After almost no deliberation whatsoever I piled straight in and pretty much bought the lot.

As things currently stand I have purchased packs of Levy’s, Crossbowmen, Spearmen, Bannermen and Musicians, Bowmen, numerous Knights and various Character figures giving around 90 figures to paint.  Whether they all make it in to my army remains to be seen.  Although I will make the effort to clean and prime all the figures in one hit the painting will not be in batches.  I don’t enjoy production line painting, regardless of time efficiency, so I fully expect to adopt a random approach.

Here’s a quick look at some of the figures on parade.

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Give Me Five

Not sure what inspired me this week, nothing I can recall watching or listening to for sure, but I decided to try listing my top five movie villains.  Not an easy choice but after some deliberation I settled, in no particular order, on the following:

  1. Darth Vader (Star Wars Franchise)
  2. The Joker (Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight)
  3. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs)
  4. Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes, Schindlers List)
  5. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, Harry Potter Franchise)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix.  In response to my Give Me Five music intros in TIM’s Miniatures & Musings No: 97 my brother kindly emailed a couple of links to some classic tracks of which this was one.  Well worth a listen to on a high volume and after a few beers.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Red Joan” starring Judi Dench.  A good film “based” on a true story with an interesting justification for being a spy and giving away official secrets.

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Remember …

If you are having a bad day things could always be worse.  You could be a Siamese twin attached to a gay brother whose on a date and you’re the only one with an arse.

—000—

TIM

Diorama Lite – Reaper “Cheiton, Dwarf Hero” (Part 2 – Final)

This week was an easy week in the sense that I really only needed to paint the figure.  He’s a nice little 28mm Reaper mini with quite a lot of detail and he had a pretty good pose for a chap standing outside his doorway before he goes off to hit some poor unfortunate over the head.  Dwarfs I am given to understand can be a bit like that.

I had already left a suitable whole in the base for positioning the figure so other than some minor adjustments and a few touch ups there was very little else to do.  Overall I am pleased with the outcome but I hope over time my imagination will inspire greater things but you have to start somewhere.  For me identifying nice figures holds the key and I have a few already lined up so we will see where we end up.  For now though the journey has begun.

Images below.

TIM

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“Ulfred” – 28mm Hasslefree Miniature

I mentioned in last Saturday’s post that I am attracted to figures which I consider have a nice pose.  Of course this is a personal thing but this is another figure which ticks the box as far as I am concerned.  I like the casual stance of Ulfred.  It’s simple but effective and he has a “don’t mess with me” feel about him, he exudes calmness and complete control.

I went mostly for muted colours as theses seemed appropriate.  The wolf head on his tunic was embossed so no claims to freehand on this one.  Base wise I went for a simple bit of landscape comprising of a a couple of slate chippings, a bit of a twig to form a small broken tree and some Milliput and plaster board dust to complete the groundwork.  Bits of grass tufts were added to the 25mm base to provide some much needed colour.

Images below.

TIM 

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 98)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is again from Hasslefree and goes by the name of Dakota.  Originally I bought her to go with a zombie theme I had running around in my head but then I lost my way.  Just to many ideas right now which in some ways is a nice problem but on the downside I find myself losing focus.  I’ll put it down  to age.  In the end I settled for a quick and simple base job with an old rusty barrel hopefully conveying a bit of an industrial and post apocalyptic feel.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Time To Build An Army?

After much deliberation I have decided to do something I have never done before, I’m going to paint an army.  I’ve never been against the idea but I couldn’t settle on an historical period.  I had other concerns too.  Would I get bored?  What would I do with the army once complete?  How would I store it?  How would I display it?  In truth I don’t have the answers to all those questions but have decided to build one none the less and I’ll figure things out as I go along.

So what has changed my mind?  You may well ask.  The answer is several things.  Nostalgia, Table Top World, freehand painting and Ebay.

Nostalgia — some of you may recall from past posts that I have mentioned Britain’s Swoppet Cowboys and how they played a part in getting me into modelling and dioramas when I was a kid.  Well Britain’s also did Swoppet Knights but these were much more expensive (they sell for a small fortune on Ebay as collectors pieces these days) so I never had any.   As much as I loved the cowboys I would have loved a castle full of battling knights.  An army of cowboys isn’t really a thing but an army of knights is.

Table Top World – If you haven’t seen it they do an amazing Castle.  It costs a fortune, it’s huge and being modular can be made as big as you like.  How cool would that be?  In truth I will probably never find out because I have nowhere to put it but I am going with the Field of Dreams approach, “If you build it they will come”.  I’ll build the army first and see where I go from there.

Freehand – Heraldry provides a great opportunity for some freehand and I would like to see what I can do on that front from time to time.  There is also a great deal of freedom when it comes to the use of colours too.  I’m not sure I could ever paint a modern army, I think I would find it far to dull and repetitive.

Ebay – I see this as my escape clause.  If all else fails and I never finish the project or have no idea what to do with it when it’s done I can sell it.  In short what is there to lose?

Obviously you will have gathered my army will be one of Knights but it will also feature Archers, Levy’s, Crossbowmen, Spearmen and whatever else exists now and in future releases in the Footsore Barons War range.  Those of you who liked the knights I had previously done have a lot to answer for.  If you get bored with this project before I do you only have yourselves to blame!

So, does this signal the end of painting Knuckleduster Cowboys, Reaper, Hasslefree and other figures?  Not at all.  My army is just another project to dip into but one I am looking forward to doing.

I do however have one question for you and would welcome your wargaming thoughts.  How many figures would I need to paint and base before I could claim it’s an army?  In my head I have settled on a nice round figure of 100 but do I need more or less?

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Give Me Five

In keeping with the tone established above I thought I would select my top 5 films within the broadly speaking medieval genre.   Not quite so tough this week but for me all now essential viewing and research.  As usual in no particular order:

  1. Excalibur
  2. Kingdom of Heaven
  3. Braveheart
  4. King Arthur
  5. The Name of the Rose

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“She’s Got The Look” by Roxette.  There’s a lot to like about this track and video but I was particularly drawn in by the lyrics. 😉

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Keeping Faith”.  A thriller series set in Wales (that’s Wales the country just to be clear!).  Having binge watched series one and two I am now on to the final series.  Not the best of some of the great TV shows currently available but well worth a watch in my opinion.

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Remember …

Even if you are useless you can be used as a bad example.

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TIM

Diorama Lite No:1 – Reaper “Cheiton, Dwarf Hero” (Part 1)

Welcome to the first Diorama Lite post.  The concept of this series is to feature based figures which offer a little bit more than a typical wargaming style base, a micro diorama if you will.  Whilst the work involved isn’t in the same league as a larger diorama churning these little models out on a daily or weekly basis simply isn’t going to happen.  I anticipate each one taking a couple of weeks to do on average.  Slower in the spring and summer perhaps and maybe quicker in the winter when more time is spent indoors may become a factor in the fullness of time.  Without further a do let’s get under way.

The featured figure for this model is as the title indicates a Dwarf.  All being well you will get to see him next week in part 2.  The concept for the base is a simple affair.  Our hero dwarf is simply standing outside his front door.  Now that’s got you excited hasn’t it?

First up there was a need to make a door.  Wooden coffee stirrers, a bit of polystyrene, lead foil and pin heads for the hinges and wire for the door handle were all used.

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Slate chippings from the garden were used to create steps leading to the door.  The model is being built on a 40mm x 40mm MDF base which will then be mounted on a 40mm oak cube plinth.

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A piece of plant root was used to make a small tree.

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I made a couple of giant toadstools using Milliput mounted on top of pin heads.

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Thereafter it was pretty much all about adding some filler to the polystyrene and once it was dry painting and weathering everything followed by a little bit of assembly.  A mixture of paint colours and paints were used – acrylics and oils.  Finally some plant life was added.

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Some touching up here and there will be needed once the figure has been positioned but for now the scene is pretty much set.

TIM

“Fall of Bel” – Ziggurat Miniatures

This figure came from North Star Miniatures and features under the Lucid Eye heading and is produced by Ziggurat.  The title for the figure is given as “LI-BEL – Fall of Bell”, make of that what you want.  The figure itself is 28mm and in my opinion is  a stunning sculpt and one which is most unusual.

Why unusual TIM I hear you cry.

Well, as you asked, it is a sculpt posed in a way which to my mind is far more 54mm scale or bigger and not a typical 28mm one.  By this what I mean is the sculpt is a miniature figure painters dream not a wargamers style of figure.  As I primarily consider myself a figure painter the pose of a miniature is what often attracts me the most and in 28mm figures the poses are far more often than not sculpted in an action stance.  Nothing wrong with that at all but any figure which isn’t is bound to catch my eye when it crosses my path.  Such was the situation here.  Unfortunately for me the Ziggurat figure range is pretty small and only a few of them have an appeal to me.  I do, however, have my eye on a couple of others including a variant of this figure which I will also purchase in due course.

I’m not entirely sure if this female figure is intended to be a Greek Hoplite but I have based my painting around the idea that she is.  Not a great deal to say about the paint job itself other than that the horse on the shield was embossed rather than freehand but the edging on the shield was freehand and took a while to do.  Every time I looked at it the pattern wasn’t as evenly spaced as I wanted so I was touching up constantly.  I’m sure it is still out in places but I eventually called it a day because I knew I would never ever be 100% satisfied with it.  That’s not to say I am not pleased with it because I am.

I went for a straight forward little bit of base work with just a splash of colour in the red flowers.  I think there is scope to set this figure on a really nice bit of base work so I may well do something with the variant when I purchase it.  I wont rule out doing this figure again at some point either.  The quality of it is superb (as are so many others I might add) and it is hard to believe that it is only 28mm so to prove it is I have included a perspective image too.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 97)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is one I have posted before but there are a couple of reasons for posting it again.  Firstly I simply ran out of time to get a figure done this week.  All my energy was been spent elsewhere leaving me with less time than I would have liked on modelling and painting with what time I did have spent finalising the Wizard’s Tower.  There was therefore nothing for it but to go back through my backlog and pull out images of a past figure, something I might have to do more often now that spring and summer has hit the UK and the outdoor jobs are mounting up.  The question of course then became what figure?

Much to my surprise my first Miniatures and Musings post was published back on the 22nd May 2019 and featured a Crooked Dice 28mm figure of James Bond.  By coincidence Mark Morin invited me to observe an international online wargame involving him and some of his global buddies a couple of weeks ago which was based upon the exploits of James Bond in the film The Spy Who Loved Me.  The game was called Nobody Does It Better with the name taken I presume from the films title song.  It therefore seemed highly appropriate to go with this figure as a thank you to Mark for the invite.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I did say last week that my Wednesday Whinge posted then would most likely be my last and that was indeed my intention.  Time to get away from politics and back to something a little more in keeping with the overall theme and environment of this blog now that lockdown restrictions have been eased somewhat and I can vent my spleen to my mate John over a beer.  However, in trying to write this post on my laptop (I usually use my Samsung Tablet) I noticed that WordPress appear to be up to their old tricks of fucking about.  On a sample of one it seems they have changed how you can add and insert photos.  Now it might just be me, I’m not the most PC literate guy and unlike Pat am unable to tap into a Technical Advisor.  I will have to take a closer look at some point and if I am wrong publish an apology to WordPress.

As of now future whinges, if any, will come under the hobby spotlight.  Unless I change my mind of course.

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Give Me Five

This week I thought I would go with song intros.  Here are my top five.  Some are slow burners but each one blows me away every time. I have even gone to the trouble of including the YouTube link so you can have a listen if you are not familiar with any.  I would suggest playing loud!  Of course there are hundreds of potential tracks out there so I may have to go with this theme again at some point.  In the meanwhile I will, as always, be interested to hear what suggestions any of you make.  In no particular order:

  1. Song 2 by Blur 
  2. Money for Nothing by Dire Straits
  3. Layla by Derek and the Dominoes 
  4. Roll Over Beethoven by ELO
  5. Gimme All Your Lovin’ by ZZ Top

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones.  This nearly made it into my Give Me Five above but as it didn’t I thought I would include it hear instead.  You can’t beat a bit of Mick and the boys and at the time of writing I’m led to believe Keith Richard is still alive.  The man is simply indestructible!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Traces” an excellent six part BBC series.  I do like being able to binge watch a series without having to wait week after week for the next episode.  Knew nothing about this one but took a punt on it and got straight into it.  Apparently a second series is due later this year.

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Remember …

Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down after being told to calm down.

—000—

TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 19 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 12 – Final

This week brings an end to the Wizard Tower diorama and the timing could not be more perfect.  Not only does today signal the end of this diorama but it is also the end of the end of lockdown and my 39th wedding anniversary.  It is also the end of Dio-Bolical Monday for the foreseeable future.  This diorama, and Fools Gold which preceded it, have both been great fun but as well as the need for a break I need to create space before I can even contemplate doing another.  Until that time does arrive I intend to replace Dio-Bolical Monday with Diorama Lite.  The first post should be next week but we will have to see.  Meanwhile back to this one.

As at last week I was left with a few things to do.  The dragon needed to be finished and was.  It was duly tidied up and whilst I can say I hated every minute I spent painting it the end result was OK.  It was then just a matter of positioning it and the second figure.  I decided to pin the dragon in such away that it can be removed if necessary.  I have also kept the tower in its sections rather than gluing it all together.  The fit is so good you cannot see the joins and it will also make transporting it that much easier too.  Picking up on several comments I also tried to inject some movement into the banner but having already stuck the banner down and put it in situ the scope to do anything was very restricted and I wasn’t about to start again.  But hey, that’s why I am The Imperfect Modeller!  So, a final few touch ups here and there and that was job done.

On to some photo’s.  The first four images show the positioning of the second figure before the dragon was added and then with the dragon in situ.  The photo’s thereafter after show the complete diorama along with various close up images.  As it was a nice day I decided to take the tower a part and go outside to take the Photo’s  Not the ideal backdrop to be fair but then again I don’t have an ocean in my back garden and I don’t have a light box the size of a marque either.  The final image is a photo of the diorama in its display case.  All in all not an easy thing to photograph, well for me at least, but hopefully you can get a feel for the finished piece.

Well folks I hope you like the end result.  Personally I have had a blast doing it.  The tower itself is an awesome piece of kit and I would recommend Table Top World buildings to anyone, they’re worth every penny.  Obviously it’s the favorite bit of the whole thing but I’d also like to give a shout out to the sea effects.  Not my idea as pointed out in earlier posts but it is simple and so cool.  Something I’d really like to do again at some point but until then that’s it.

TIM

 

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“Gruff” – Post Apocalypse Survivor

It will not surprise you to know that “Gruff” is a 28mm Hasslefree figure.  Before too long I will have exhausted my supply of them and I will have to place another order. Some new releases should be out soon as well and that will provide the ideal time I think.  In the meanwhile I have plenty of other things to do but more on that in future posts.

The image on the back of “Gruff” is embossed so freehand opportunities for my imagination were limited.  I did however add a stripe and numbers to his shorts and a couple of letters (hardly detectable in the photo’s below) to the can he is holding.   Other than that it was a simple figure with no difficult areas to access so painting him was pretty quick and easy.  I kept the base simple, mainly out of laziness really.  Although I like the figure I wasn’t inspired beyond just painting it, partly I think because my imagination and ideas are now taking me all over the place right now.  Quite where that will lead though remains to be seen.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 96)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature goes by the name of Major Hoare and he is a 28mm Hasslefree figure.  He is based on the character “Dutch” played by Arnie in the Predator movie.  Those of you who follow this blog may recall seeing a similar version which I painted for IRO at the tail end of last year.  IRO had this great idea of trading figures and by way of return I received a cracking Cowboy miniature painted by the Orc himself.  As an avid collector of Hasslefree figures (really you hadn’t noticed?) it was inevitable that I need to add this classic to my collection.

The figure itself was pretty straight forward helped no end by the fact that I had performed a dummy run on the one for IRO.  If anything though I think the one I sent to him actually turned out better.  As with my previous effort I decided to stay as true as possible to the clothes as worn in the film.  Not spot on by any means but hopefully a good representation at the very least.  A bit of vegetation for the jungle vibe and voila!  I’ll now leave IRO to compare the two versions!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

This weeks whinge will most likely be the last.  On April 12th (which also happens to be my wedding anniversary) the pubs open up again.  I need to check the rules of engagement but I am hopeful that my mate John and I will be able to meet for a mid week beer once again and start to put the world to rights.  I have every confidence that you will feel the seismic waves heading your way.  With so many things to moan about the Wednesday Whinge may well make a guest appearance from time to time.  Be that as it may this week I thought I’d take on the minor subject of Global Warming!

Let me start by saying I think Global Warming is for real.  I will also add that all the shit us humans have pumped into the atmosphere, and still are, is doing no good at all.  Neither are we helping ourselves with our destruction of nature in all its forms.  Doing stuff to remedy all this, and as soon as possible, is highly commendable morally if nothing else.  But here’s the thing for me, isn’t the planet just warming up naturally?

Now putting away my high levels of ignorance on this subject let’s just look at some simple logic.  Over thousands if not millions of years the planet has had previous ice ages.  After the first the earth warmed up a bit and then we had another.  Then it got a bit nippy again and then it warmed up again.  It’s done this a few times.  Why therefore does the earth stop evolving just because man is on the planet?  In short it doesn’t so are we therefore not simply living through the next warm period albeit one being accelerated by us humans?   I’m inclined to think so.

In the meanwhile I will continue to do my bit for the environment, reduce my carbon foot print and stay living several metres above sea level while I see out my days and keep my fingers crossed for my kids.

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Give Me Five

The recent return of “Line of Duty” (series 6) got me thinking about my top five UK TV police/detective dramas.  Over the years there have been some great ones but these proved the most unmissable for me both now and in there day.  In no particular order:

  1. Line of Duty
  2. Prime Suspect
  3. Unforgotten
  4. Luther
  5. The Professionals

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Diamond Dogs” by David Bowie and the title track from another great album of his.  The more I think about it the more I think there is a little diorama to be had inspired by this song title. 🤔

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This week TIM has been watching …

Divergent” starring Shailene Woodley who I had never heard of but thought was quite hot and Theo James who I recognised but couldn’t initially place what I had seen him in and then remembered it was the first Inbetweeners movie.  Apparently this is the first part of a trilogy.  Having enjoyed this one I will pick up on the next two in due course.

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Remember …

If you are attending a career interview remember a gang bang isn’t proof that you can work as part of a team.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 19 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 11

This time last week I thought there would be two more posts before this diorama was complete but it is looking now like this will be the penultimate post.

Before I started on this diorama I knew I wanted to have a bit more drama going on rather than just the tower, some waves and a wizard prancing about.  The question of course was what?  In keeping with a mystical theme I decided to have the tower under attack from a dragon if I could find the right figure.  After a fair bit of research I settled on the Narthrax dragon produced by Reaper.  There was only one problem though, the dragon was only available in the Reaper Bones range.

From what I have been able to gather Reaper Bones has very mixed reviews.  Now I am no fan of plastic but at the same time I needed to be able to bend this figure about a bit in order to position it how I wanted.  I decided I had little choice but to take a punt on it.  All I can say is I fully understand the mixed reviews.  The figure was well boxed and looked superb but the touch of it was something else.  Right from the start I knew this was something I didn’t want to paint and I can say with 100% confidence I will never do another bones figure again.  I know some of you like them and have produced great results so I am happy for this to go down as my aversion to plastic and bones models in particular.

First up I needed to assemble the thing and remove the plastic pins which slotted into the base which came with the model as I wouldn’t be using that.  Then I had to play around with some hot water to bend various body parts to get the position I required.  This took several attempts because the plastic had a life its own and wanted to spring back into its original shape.  Perseverance paid off in the end and I finally felt confident that it would remain in shape and I could start painting.

Already in the wrong frame of mind my mood wasn’t helped any when after priming the figure I learnt that you didn’t need to prime this bones figure!  Nevertheless I continued to soldier on and for the first time ever I used contrast paints.  I didn’t know quite what to expect but I found them to be pretty good and for something like this they were ideal.  I’m not sure I will use them that often but I certainly have nothing against them and can see why people would use them if they are looking for very effective and quick results.

Now the store images for the Nathrax dragon show it painted in blue.  I discussed with my inner self what colour I should go with and decided blue was probably the way to go.  Against the tower it would offer a nice contrast and with the sea and waves it somehow felt like the right habitat for a dragon of this colour.  Regrettably I didn’t take that many photo’s of the painting process.  I think I feared that if I put it down I wouldn’t want to pick it up again!  Despite everything I pretty much managed to get there with it and a few images are below.

The dragon isn’t fully finished and the uncompromising and magnified images show that it is scruffy in places.  It clearly needs some tidying up, quite a bit actually, and more dry brushing but I don’t think any of that will make for a lot of work or for an interesting post so next week we will skip straight to the finished diorama.  Well that’s the plan anyway.

TIM

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“Mei-Lin Mayfair” – 28mm CP Models

I thought I would surprise you, and myself for that matter, by doing a figure that wasn’t from Hasslefree.  This little lady is from CP Models and goes by the name of “Mei-Lin Mayfair”.  To be honest she could easily pass for a Hasslefree figure – metal, spot on 28mm scale and female.  Having failed with Ann’s March challenge I’m straight in there for April!

With no rules to follow in terms of colour scheme I thought I would go for yellow, partly inspired by others who for one reason or another have gone with this colour recently.  Personally I think it is the worst colour to paint with which is annoying because it is one I really like.  Unfortunately yellow paint is just too translucent for one or two coats to be sufficient I find.

Doubtless there are many ways of painting with yellow but, on the occasions when I do, I use just about every yellow I have in my paint collection.  Starting with the darkest I work through each colour in layers until I get to the lightest and that seems to work for me.  As for the base I kept it simple as I liked the figure and didn’t want to distract from it.  I used Scrim Tape to create a mesh pattern (just about visible in the last image), some broken plaster board for a little rubble and a old watch part to add a bit of metal.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 95)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is surprise, surprise another Hasslefree figure and one I have done before at least once.  Taking advantage of a Hasslefree offer of 20% off over Christmas I put in a large order and included a number of figures I had done before.  Not an issue because I love painting them.  I have still to decide if this one will stay in my collection or find its way onto Ebay.  If I do end up selling it I will probably spend the money buying him again!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

Maybe it is only something which happens in the UK?  It has been about for a a good few years now so it’s not new either, but it does now seem to be a constant.  What am I talking about?  Resignations.

It might just be me but have you noticed that when someone does something wrong, either actually wrong of perceived as wrong in the eyes of the politically correct brigade, that there is an instant outcry from the public or the media for the individual to resign?

Now of course there are some things which warrant individuals to fall on their sword and if they fail to do so then they should rightly be pushed.  But there are many instances it seems to me where at worse all the individual needs to is apologise, learn from the incident and move on.  That or simply stick to their guns based on our (declining) freedom of speech society.

Yet another example for me of a world which continues to go from crazy to fucking mental!

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Diorama Lite

The word “Lite” in respect of beer is used to typically describe a pale lager that is reduced in alcohol and calories compared to regular beers – Miller Lite, Coors Lite, etc.  It’s a diluted form of the real thing and so is Diorama Lite. 

I’ve been conscious for a while that my Wizard Tower diorama is drawing to a close leaving me with the quandary of what to do next.  Ideally it would be another large diorama but space is a big problem I have to address before I can give serious consideration to doing another.  In due course I will resolve this issue but until I do get my head around it I’m looking at the idea of Diroama Lite, a series of posts of micro dioramas on bases of 40mm x 40mm or maybe smaller.

The idea is to really try to make something of the base as well as the figure(s) all within the confines of a limited space.  Will it work?  Possibly.  Will they all be a success?  Almost certainly not.  For better or worse what you can expect is probably a two part post comprising of the base build, figure paint job and the end result.

Well that’s the plan!

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Give Me Five

This week and with the UK lockdown nearing an end my mind wandered off in the direction of Road Movies, films where essentially the director takes you on a journey from one place to another.  I settled on the following five.

  1. Easy Rider (1969)
  2. Thelma and Louise (1991)
  3. Into the Wild (2007)
  4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  5. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Galway Girl” by Ed Sheeran – I don’t always live in the musical past!  I do rather like Ed probably because he offers hope to us gingers.  I also like Saoirse Ronan who I fell in love with in the film Brooklyn and who features in this video and then there is an old girlfriend and work colleague of mine called Maureen who was born and bred in Galway and who now lives back there.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Black Books” and “Breeders”.  Two for the price of one this week thanks to Wudugast and Kuribo who a couple of weeks ago each recommended a sitcom to me.  I hadn’t heard of either (sitcom that is!) but managed to track both down and have so far watched the first couple of episodes of each.  Must say I enjoyed both very much and as a parent Breeders really struck a cord.  The good news is I still have plenty of episodes still to watch! 🤗

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Remember …

The world isn’t full of arseholes but they are strategically placed so that you run into one every day.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 19 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 10

I have mentioned previously that I had to resolve a couple of problems.  Neither were major but they were unplanned. 

The first relates to the second turret which you can see in the image below.  The turret itself fixes to four wooden resin posts but unfortunately one of them was broken on arrival.  It was easy enough to fix but I had been contemplating removing the turret anyway because the wizard figure which I had planned to position there would not have been easily seen.  I took this as a sign and set about removing all four wooden posts and after a few minor adjustments you would never know they were meant to be there. 

All was fine until I then had the presence of mind to try the wizard figure out in position only to discover that it didn’t work!  The problem being that the height of the wall and the angle the wizard would be positioned at didn’t look right for what I had planned.  So now I had no turret and the need to determine where the wizard was going to go.

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Knowing that the wizard would be positioned elsewhere I decided there needed to be some visual interest given no wizard and no turret.  Initially I had know idea what to do but later had the idea of a banner so I set about making one.   Using some Japanese writing paper and a couple of pieces of steel rod I got started.  The issue of design was also a problem.  I wanted something that felt medieval but also wizard like.  I settled on the idea of the star sign symbols, Leo, Libra, etc.  These only covered part of the banner so I then added a star at the bottom and then added a flag too.  Some photos below. 

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The wizard has now been positioned down below on the rocks.  It will make more sense when you see the finished diorama but for now this is the only image you are getting! 

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The plan this week was also to get the ballistrade added and painted.  I also wanted to get some more weathering done.  Mission accomplished.  

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Now where do I go from here?

Time to work on the final figure.  Probably a couple of weeks work and then a final post of the completed diorama.

TIM

“Taylor” – Post Apocalyptic Survivor

This weeks Hasslefree miniature goes by the name of “Taylor”  As with numerous Hasslefree figures this is not the first time I have painted this one.  First time around she appeared in a little diorama called “Apocalypse: What The F**k Was That!”

On this occasion I decided to give Taylor her own stand alone spot and this is the end result.  Nothing overly exciting but I saw an opportunity for some different freehand and settled on some psychedelic pants!  In a post apocalyptic graffiti strewn world I figure she’d be well camouflaged and blend in nicely.  Painting each colour in random patterns was easy enough but outlining each one in black to make it stand out was a more lengthy process.

As with most things I am doing these days the figure was based on an MDF square base before being stuck to an oak cube for a display plinth.   In this case everything is 25mm square.

Images below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 94)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another knight double act and sees the end of my Footsore backlog of foot knights.  I have a couple of mounted ones in the pile to do but these are going to be neglected for a little while longer until I can muster up the right level of enthusiasm for them.  In all fairness I do love knights and bizarrely am now contemplating buying some more!  Footsore under their Barons War range have recently issued some new figures and I am tempted to buy and paint more.  Ideally I’d like to create a couple of small dioramas and if I can come up with the right ideas and right figures for them then I will take the plunge.  Not entirely sure why I lost the love for these ones but I suspect it has more to do with the number of ideas I have floating around right now.  Anyway, images below.  Next week something different but quite what I haven’t a clue right now.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

Now at the risk of upsetting someone this week (never my intention I can assure you) I thought I would touch on the subject of Gender Neutral. Truth be told I’m not sure I really understand it but it appears to have become a thing of late, a trend, a fad.  It’s fashionable.  Well so it seems to me.  Highlighted recently in the world of awards where it seems there has been a move from the two categories of Best Actor (Male) and Best Actress (Female) to the single category Best Actor (Gender Neutral).  I’m OK with that although I really don’t see the need for the two sexes to compete.  It strikes me that only one person can now have success instead of two.  Perhaps it’s to save the money on an award?  The thing is who are the minority driving this agenda, why are the masses taking note and where does this trend end?  Does the Worlds Strongest Man and Worlds Strongest Women become the Worlds Strongest Human and if it does how long then before someone moans because men keeping winning?  That’s not a sexist statement by the way just the reality that men are physically stronger than women and until man evolves further it will remain that way.

For me life is a simple affair.  If you have a willy you are male, if you don’t you are female.  If nature got it wrong and you want to swap genitalia then fine.  Only the individual knows best and it must be pretty tough being trapped in the wrong body.  For me the French have it right with their saying “Vive la difference”.  If someone wants to consider themselves Gender Neutral then fine, as long as they aren’t going out killing people then so be it.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get the hang of it so doubtless jail beckons for me in my dotage for the heinous crime of failing to be politically correct.  However, when Mr Potato Head has been rebranded Potato Head to avoid a backlash and comply with political correctness the world has truly gone bloody mad.

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Give Me Five

This week I decided to evaluate my top five obscure inventions.  Those little unsung things which we take for granted but play a significant part in our lives and which we couldn’t do without.  I’m not talking cars, planes, computers or anything like that, just the little things.  You’ll get the idea.  In no particular order:

  1. The Battery
  2. The Calendar
  3. The Clock/Watch
  4. The Mirror
  5. The Tape Measure

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash.   A classic track and probably one of the best groups of their era and genre.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Crash”.  This film came out in 2004 and even won three Oscars including best picture.  Quite how it managed that I will never know.  I can only assume everything else which came out that year was crap.  Some decent acting from a decent cast but I just didn’t get it.  Probably me.

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Remember …

Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding the other person is a complete idiot.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 18 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 9

This week my time was entirely spent on painting the second figure for this diorama, images of which appear below. 

The figure in question is from the Reaper Pathfinder range and goes by the name “Valeros, Iconic Male Human Fighter” and the composition of the figure is perfect for what I have in mind to do with him.  There is very little to say on the paint job itself but some of you following the progress of this diorama my well be asking at this point “so what is going on here then?”.  You’re not asking?  Well that’s OK then because in any event I have no intention of telling you exactly what is going on for at least another couple of weeks.

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Now where do I go from here?  Well next week I have four aims.  Firstly to explain two minor problems I encountered and how I have hopefully resolved them.  Do some more weathering and ground work and add the wooded posts and rope ballistrade which goes up alongside the steps.  This last step involves glue and I hate glue so I am not looking forward to that bit very much.  If I get all that done I will move on to the final piece of this diorama jigsaw.  That should take a couple of weeks I reckon balancing it alongside the fact that it is now spring in the UK and I have loads of jobs to do outside in the garden.  If that goes well then I will be ready for the final post which essentially will be images of the end result.

TIM

“Karl Drax” – Zombie Bounty Hunter

I have no idea if there will be Bounty Hunters in the Apocalypse but this Hasslefree figure gives off the vibe of being one I think.  Evolution being what it is I can imagine Zombies becoming organised with leaders popping up here and there.  This being the case human survivors would surely put a price on the heads of such zombies, but what would that price be?  Money would have little value, food maybe?  Karl just strikes me as someone who would do it just for the pleasure!

Karl Drax is another excellent 28mm Hasslefree sculpt and if it is based on anyone then I really haven’t a clue who it is.  If anyone has any ideas then please let me know.

As to the figure itself I liked the irony of giving him a freehand Peace T-Shirt.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 93)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is actually two figures.  In an effort to get my small back log of knights done and to keep you all from being bored by the same old paint scheme I thought I’d post two figures this week and if all goes well the same next week.  These Footsore figures are not for my own collection but for selling on Ebay (unless for some reason they see them as racist and they have to be taken down!), hence the rather simplistic paint scheme.  The standard bearer which featured last week has already been sold so a final group shot is now out of the question.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

One thing I noticed following retirement is that some people who have retired act like they haven’t.  I didn’t pick up on this phenomenon at the start of my retirement 14 years ago but even if I had I would probably have let it go.  Since then of course there have been lots of changes, chief amongst them being that I have become far less tolerant and an even grumpier old git.  I find these days that I simply cannot let things go.  I see it as one of the few perks of the aging process.

For better or worse our Village Hall Committee has recently acquired two new members.  One is an old boy, a retired army major, the other a former company director.  Both share the same common trait in that neither of them has grasped that their days of issuing orders and having them carried out without question have passed.  I have, as has become my way of late, managed to fall out with them both.

Unfortunately our Secretary was unable to attend the recent Zoom meeting which led to the former company director taking it upon himself to instruct me for some reason to do the minutes.  I politely declined pointing out he was quite capable of doing them himself without the need to delegate.  This didn’t seem to go down well with the retired major who for reasons best known to himself saw fit to admonish me which got right up my nose.  With much satisfaction I informed him that he was no longer in the army, I was not under his command and if I wanted to tell him to Foxtrot Oscar it wouldn’t result in a Court Marshall.  All in all a great meeting.  Two birds with one stone.

The sooner this obnoxious pair begin to understand that retirement is a level playing field so much the better.

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Give Me Five

Having done UK sitcoms last week this time it is the US.  Just as difficult as last time to come down to five but nonetheless here they are.  In no particular order:

  1. MASH
  2. Friends
  3. The Munsters
  4. Roseanne
  5. Home Improvement

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel.  I hadn’t intended to listen to this but it popped up on YouTube.  I like the track anyway but this version caught my attention with the historical edit.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Bay” series One and Two.  Only discovered this series when a mate mentioned it in passing during a Zoom call.  Binge watched them over a few nights and enjoyed them both.  It always helps when the characters in a drama are believable.

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Remember …

If you are taking Viagra and drinking prune juice you may not know whether you are coming or going.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 17 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 8

The plan for this last week was to get the waves done and that is what I managed to do.

There are plenty of techniques out there, several of which some of you were kind enough to bring to my attention.  In the end I went for a combination.  The sea painting that I done last week was almost entirely based on this video.  This video then goes on to use the wave technique and materials suggested by Luke over at Luke’ APS.

Here is the link to the Luke’s APS video.

Last week I ended the sea painting at the point of the first image below. The rest of the images show the build up of the waves.

I haven’t gone into to much detail on the technique as it is is explained much better in the video but will add a few comments of my own.  Firstly, the waves were done over a few days.  Although the Clear Fix and Isoproponal Alcohol 99.9% mix does dry pretty quickly I decided to leave it for an extended period between each layering stage.  I saw no need to rush things and having come this far had no desire to cock things up due to impatience. Secondly, I added no ink or colouring to the mix until the very final layer was applied.  Here I added some white ink and added the mixture sparingly over the top of the waves until I felt it looked OK.

Personally I’m pleased with how it turned out and a little bit of wadding from She Who Must Be Obeyed’s sewing stuff provided a little sea mist.  I’ll let you judge for yourselves how it looks.  What I would also add is it is a very clean process which for someone who works in the mess I do at times was a little bonus.

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There you have it, the waves are finally done and overall the base it looking pretty good.  A little more work to be done in terms of weathering but almost there for sure.

Next week I will start on the second figure and think about how to resolve a little problem I have created for myself.

TIM

“Lewis” – Zombie Hunter

“Lewis” is another Hasslefree figure which will come as no surprise to any of you given how much I love this range.  In my vision of an apocalyptic world I see Lewis as a Zombie beheader, I rather think the sizeable axe steered me in that direction!  Accordingly the base needed a Zombie head on it so there was nothing for it but another TIM conversion.  In this instance I took a sharp blade and cut the head from the body of a figure I had.  Feel free to follow me for more tips and in depth tutorials on figure conversion! 😂😂   

The figure itself conjured up an image for me of an apocolyptic IRO, albeit that the figure is a bit more butch.  So with that in mind I gave him a couple of arm tattoos and as a tribute to the fact that IRO is a gardener added some flowers to the base.

For the benefit of scale, and based on a comment Faust recently made, I have include an additional photo, something which I might do a little more often!

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 92)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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Another of my leftover and forgotten Footsore Baron’s War figures.  I still have another four foot figures to do and a couple of mounted figures as well.  Each one done I’ll consider a bonus but I have a sneaky feeling I’m going to get bored with these long before I finish them and if I don’t you guys certainly will.  I might have to look at what else is in my pile which, with a push, I might be inspired to do.  Failing that I might have to resort to buying something new. It’s a tried and tested method that has always worked in the past and I can’t see it letting me down! 😉

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

Let me say up front that I am not anti Human rights but like other policies, Health and Safety springs to mind, there are grey areas.  In this instance my issue is a simple one, when does one persons human rights become detrimental the human rights of another?  The latest example of this is the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Within the UK there are a number of people, not exclusively ethnic or religious groups although they do make up a large proportion from what I understand, who are refusing to have the vaccine.  Personally I couldn’t care less if these individuals do not have the vaccine.  If they want to risk their own lives they are more than welcome to.  It is their human right to refuse the jab and if they die of Covid then they might be sadly missed by others but they won’t be missed by me.  But what about the human rights of others?  Are people not entitled to walk around feeling safe?  Should NHS front line workers continue to be at risk just because some people won’t have the vaccine?

Ignorance and fake news has played a significant part in raising concerns over the safety of the vaccine and its side effects but hopefully most people will eventually see the light.  Personally I just think the vaccine should be made compulsory but of course plenty of people will jump on the band wagon and say you can’t.  That’s fine, just don’t expect the NHS to bale you out.   

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Give Me Five

This week I decided to choose my top 5 sitcoms.  It took all of a few seconds to realise this was going to be impossible unless I split it between the UK and the US so this week I have gone with the UK and next week we can do the US.  I still found it very, very difficult as so many shows have made me laugh out loud over the years.  In no particular order I settled on the following:

  1. The Office
  2. Extras
  3. Only Fools and Horses
  4. Fawlty Towers
  5. The Inbetweeners

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“The Jean Genie” by David Bowie.  Classic track from one of my absolute favourite performers.  Sadly no longer with us but his music lives on.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Ivanhoe” starring Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor.  The original film adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel.  Thought I would sit down and watch a classic.  In truth the acting is dire and the quality of the filming and effects are little better.  The story is still a classic though and the young Elizabeth Taylor remains for me the most beautiful women of her generation.

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Remember …

If at first you don’t succeed it’s only attempted murder.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 16 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 7

This week was simply about painting the sea and adding much needed colour to the base rocks.  The first picture in the sequence below is where I finished last week.

The green on the rocks will be dry brushed further and toned down a little bit but the sea painting in the final image sequence is as good as there.  Just how much of the sea colour will be seen once the waves have been added remains to be seen but the colour cannot be added afterwards so there is no choice but to play safe.  

I wasn’t about to use up loads of my Vallejo paints given the reasonably large expanse so I bought some new acrylic paints off of Ebay.   The paints were “Artiste” acrylic paints which came in 59ml bottles and at about £2.00 a bottle represented very good value for money.  More importantly they turned out to be good paints and I wont hesitate to buy more as and when I feel the need to.

I bought half a dozen colours and starting with black and dark blue I worked my way up to lighter shades of blue and finally on to green.  Blending the colours took time and might end up proving an unnecessary step but as previously stated I’ll only know that later.   

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Next week I aim to tackle the waves.  I’ve done a couple of dry runs and am feeling good about what needs to be done and how to do them and it all seems pretty straight forward.  I also have a couple of figures which need to be painted and a decision to be made in respect of the tower but that can all wait for now.  The waves comes first.

TIM

 

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 91)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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I decided a review of my bits box and all of my modelling stuff was long overdue.  Time I felt to clear out the stuff that I would never ever finish or even start in the first place.  In theory this was a good idea but in practice it turned out to be a little depressing.  I had no idea I had accumulated so much stuff that I had forgotten about.  Only recently I had thought all of my knights had been done but oh! no.  Consequently this week, and by way of a change from Hasslefree and Knuckleduster, I have a Footsore Knight, one of half a dozen foot knights I aim to work on until I get bored.  All rather plain and simple but that I’m afraid is where my level of interest began and ended so not very exciting.

Overall I did manage to clear out some bits and I certainly tidied things up a lot that’s for sure but on the downside, largely out of guilt, my to do pile grew even bigger.  I was confronted with the inevitable choice of getting them all done or bothering only to do some.  It was time to man up or be a mouse.  Squeak.  Yep, I put most of them back and decided to face them all another day.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I’m not one to shy away from a controversial subject, truth be told I like a grown up debate on pretty much anything but lockdown is preventing me form going to the pub with my mate John and putting the world to rights.  As a consequence this part of my blog is taking on the temporary role of filling this void until lockdown is eased.  This week I thought I would consider the subject of bullying, specifically when is the line truly crossed?

When I was a lad at school bullying was clearly defined, if you were physically picked on or had things like your dinner money stolen you were being bullied.  Pretty much everything else came under the banner of “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”.  In short, man up was essentially the message of the day.  Tough love and not great but that was the situation back then and as someone with ginger hair (its auburn son, not ginger) I had more than my fair share of verbal “banter” and one or two fights along the way.  Even my teachers would single me out at times! 

In fairness everyone back then got picked on for something, typically the characteristic that made them standout – glasses/four eyes, the fat kid, the tall lanky one, the ginger, the nerd, the spotty kid, etc.  Like it or lump these were their distinguishing features and kids as we know can be cruel.  Tabloid Cartoonists work in exactly the same way by highlighting key characteristics and then emphasising them and yet ironically that’s considered acceptable.  But is it funny or cruel?  Even the tough kids weren’t exempt.  Generally they were considered thick but you just didn’t tell them to their face!

So, back in my youth was any of that acceptable?  Certainly not by today’s standards but that was the way it was and why for some people of my generation it is hard to determine what is and what isn’t bullying in the modern world.   Being beaten up is still way out of line and we have rightly moved on in recognising other forms of bullying behaviour, well in theory at least.  Verbal bullying is unpleasant of course it is (I certainly never enjoyed it) as is online bullying and other forms but does it all need to be reported or just simply ignored?  Social media has a lot to answer for but why not switch it off? 

I’m not condoning any of this type of behaviour but I do wonder in a general sense if we are pampering a little too much to some people’s sensitivities?  Some kids and adults too these days strike me as overly fragile.  As I hold out little hope of bullying ever being stamped out completely  I do fear for those of a weaker disposition and wonder if the subject wasn’t better deat with when I was a kid. 

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Give Me Five

Last week I chose my top 5 dinner guests no longer with us, this week if I have chosen my top 5 people currently alive who I would like to chat with over dinner and glass or two of wine.  To provide a mix I went for a politician, comedian, sports person, actor/actress and a TV personality.  I did also cheat in that I would have two evenings, the other would be just me with Jenna Coleman.  It’s my blog so my rules and if I want to cheat I will!  As to the five, in no particular order they are:

  1. Boris Johnson
  2. Lee Mack
  3. Alex Morgan
  4. Tom Cruise
  5. Amanda Holden

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Word Up!” By Korn.  I do like this track but the dogs in the video are a little freaky.  Can’t help but think there is a modelling conversion to be had here chaps!   

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Line of Duty”.  With the new series due out soon I thought I would binge the first five series.  Whilst each series has its own story line there is a thread that runs throughout.  Am currently on series four which featured Thandie Newton.  A seriously great drama in my opinion.

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Remember …

Money cannot buy happiness but it sure can make misery easier to live with.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 15 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 6

The first picture below shows where I got to with the base as of last week.  The Tower base had been fixed to the diorama base and additional rocks and sand had been added to extend the rocky outcrop.   DAS clay had also been applied with the outline of the waves having been formed.  Left to completely dry the next step was to set about painting all the rocks and sand to blend with those on the tower.  In theory this was straight forward but in practice it took a little longer than anticipated.  Even though all the new rocks had been primed with diluted matt white enamel, my usual priming method, the different materials and levels of absorbency meant additional coats were required here and there.

Photos two, three and four show the end result albeit that more dry brushing and weathering will be done at some point.

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With all that grey and brown going on I was in desperate need of adding some colour to my palette and decided to return to painting the wizard figure that I had started last week.  In truth I have no idea where on earth he is going to be positioned but I’ll worry about that much later.  I’m sure I’ll figure something out.  My level of detailed planning simply doesn’t go that far!

As to the little chap himself some photos below.  Where I could I tried to pimp him up a bit with some hoops on his hat and flames on his back.

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The little chap will now be set aside, it will be a while before he is needed again.

My aim for the coming week is to start painting the sea.

TIM