The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 14)

Welcome to this week’s Musings!

Decisions, Decisions

Things are happening to me which I cannot explain.  The best I can offer is that it’s an age thing and to be fair it could be.

Throughout my life to date I’ve been a decision maker.  In fact I’ll go as far as to say that some of the biggest decisions in my life have been the easiest to make.  I didn’t hesitate to marry my wife (even though I probably ought to have done with the benefit of hindsight), to move house on numerous occasions, to change jobs (albeit within the same company), to leave work after 32 years or to have children and relocate to the south-west of the country.  Smaller decisions were just that, easily made without a moment’s hesitation.

So why do I now find myself pontificating over whether or not I should buy a certain modelling item, be it a figure, brush, pot of paint or whatever?  Only the other day it took me an age to decide which of two figures to buy only to decide not to by either before changing my mind and buying both!

All very odd.

Hiding Bases

It might only be applicable to me but when I’m considering how to base my figure, vignette or diorama one of my greatest challenges is how best to incorporate or disguise the base that the figure is actually on.  For example, figures on a textured base don’t look good just stuck on top of, say, a wooden floor.  The figure is also elevated too which is fine for gaming as the piece is intended to move but looks dreadful in a diorama. One alternative is to counter sink the base in oder to put the figure on the right level but you are, in the case of a wooden floor still, left with the wrong texture and appearance.

Occasionally some figures don’t have a base at all which can be a bonus.  The slot style base can sometimes be easier to work with too.  One alternative of course is to cut the figure off of the base for which there are pros and cons.  On the pro side it provides much greater flexibility for basing the figure which is the whole point of removing the figure from its base in the first place.  On the cons side it’s easy to remove the feet if you are not careful and the figure can  potentially lose its strength and balance making it harder to stick it down onto its new base.

The scale of the problem much depends on the ground work you are aiming to use.  If the base is largely earth, mud, grass or whatever then the problem is generally minor.  Wooden floors, cobblestones, brick paving, flagstones require more thought and typically require some disguising and blending.  Disguise can be fine for a single figure, even two perhaps but can start to look false if several figures are involved so a combination of techniques can be required.

Not the hardest modelling problem to overcome to be fair but one which does require more consideration than some might think, for me at least at any rate!

If you have any tips on this subject I’d love to hear them.

The Case of the Mysterious Yellow Orb

Something very strange is happening in our part of Devon and it is having a dramatic effect on my modelling time.  The sun is shining!  More than that it has been shining on and off for a few weeks now.  We are in danger of having an English summer if this weather keeps up (was it Mark Twain who said the best winter he ever had was a summer in England?).  If it does then I’m not sure if I should be pleased about it or not as it is playing havoc with my modelling schedule.

One issue I have is that the grass is growing.  This in itself is not a major problem but I have a large garden and it takes several hours to do and is currently in need of doing twice a week.  On top of that I have plants that need watering which is another time-consuming chore and one I don’t particularly enjoy.  If that wasn’t enough I’m now required to cook the evening meal.  She who must be obeyed thinks we ought to take advantage of the weather so I’m required to grill burgers, sausages and any dead creature that comes out of the freezer or from the butcher on the f***ing BBQ.

Just when I didn’t think things could get worse she who must be obeyed has started to join me on my walks with Buddy.  No sign of her when it’s pissing down but now that the sun is shining I’m saddled with her company and am unable to walk and “muse” without her twittering in my ear all the time!

All of this has led to some serious thoughts on the modelling front.  Excluding the half a dozen or so that I’m working on, new dioramas are temporarily off my schedule and Mid Week Musings will continue but probably on a fortnightly basis for the time being.  Instead I’m going to simply finish the dioramas I’ve started and paint some individual figures, details of which I will post on a fortnightly basis (The Mid Week Fortnightly Figure) alternating with Mid Week Musings.  I need to do some figures for the June challenge anyway so this fits nicely but if I fail at that too then I’ll go and get out an old figure which hasn’t seen the light of day for a long time instead.

This is of course is all well and good but as they say “If you want to make God laugh, tell him you have a plan!”  By tomorrow it will doubtless start raining and continue unabated for several months in which case normal service will be resumed.


Until next time.



35 thoughts on “The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 14)

  1. Some people pin their miniatures, especially if there is no base. You can also purchase flat bases that only have a 1 or 2mm rise. These might be easier to hide in grass or mud etc. if I lived a little closer I’d be more than happy to care of be lawns. Twice a week sounds excessive though mate, unless of course you live on a lawn bowls field? Once a week should be plenty, you know you can adjust the height of the mower right? 😉 As far as less time why don’t you submit your musings in the evening. I go to bed late most nights, up early too, so nighttime is MY time generally. I’ll miss your weekly instalments man. I’m even thinking of stealing the idea hehe. I was thinking “IR-O’clock news”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Decisions:
    Ever since that time when I was in my twenties when I ummed and awwed for ages about something I wanted to buy in town. I think it might have been a Garbage T-Shirt, but I may have simply been wearing my Garbage T-Shirt at the time… anyway, I decided not to buy it. Then later I realised that I should have bought it, and when I went back days later, it was gone. My girlfriend (now wife) told me than “if you think you might regret not buying something next time, then just get it.”

    Words to live by, even though our home is now overflowingly filled with my junk.

    Super Easy, Barely an Inconvenience!
    Chop and pin. Some guys might end up with elevator soles, but that’s a minor issue.

    Your wife is on twitter a lot while she’s walking with you? Or is a twitter account the solution? Remember to stop at the chippy for some Shellfish while you’re out.

    How hot is it when you’re out BBQing? Is this where I gently tease the Brits for thinking 20 degrees is sunbathing weather? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A wife with that amount of wisdom is worth her weight in gold, hang on to her mate!

      For some reason I’ve always resisted chop and pin, lazyness probably but your right, IRO said the same so time to get the hand drill out again.

      There’s something you need to know about where I live. We get no mobile reception, our internet connection is to say the least hit and miss and our nearest shop is 5 miles away, oh for a chippy! Twitter is an expression of talking in the UK for old people like myself, to everyone else below the age of 60 it’s social media. Twenty degrees would be an inferno! Most UK BBQs in the UK are conducted under a tarpaulin to keep the rain off and mainly consist of cooking burgers. Prawns are nice but the little bastards fall down between the grill and we don’t invest in skewers because we don’t do that many BBQs! Same when it snows, 1mm and we grind to a halt because we don’t have the equipment to deal with it. Still, we get to save a fortune on sun cream and get days off work when we can’t get the car off the drive!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. She’s pretty good, I have to say. Chop and pin is a pain in the arse – I do understand that and I don’t enjoy doing it either (especially for metal) but needs must, as they say…
        I understood what you meant – it was a (too subtle) joke suggestion to get her onto twitter so she could “tweet” there while you walked together instead of “tweeting” in your ear. It’s annoyingly cold here right now. 4 degrees overnight and 14 degrees now. We don’t get the snow here in Melbourne, though I wish they’d give the rest of us days off when it’s 35+ or even 40+. Those workdays suck mightily!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Apologies that your tweet comment was lost on me. I suspect it applies both ways but I’m never to sure how expressions we have in the UK translate overseas and when you add in the age thing too along with ignorance it can be even more confusing! I do envy you your Australian weather and associated lifestyle but not the extremes, that can’t be fun. I would have loved to have lived in Australia but too many domestic and family health issues wrote that idea off. Just have to settle for another holiday there in the future.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Top tip on the lawn mower height😉! If I still lived in London I would agree with you but there’s a reason why Devon is perfect for dairy farming as I’ve found out since moving down here. If you were closer I would get you to do it but I suspect it would be cheaper to pay you in cash rather than beer! Don’t worry about the Musings, it’s only a temporary thing and I’ll keep them going all the time I can think of something to say. I suspect before very long I’ll be back to weekly and posting a Fortnightly Figure Post too. When you get to my age you might need an early night as well! I’ve always been a lark not an owl but I’ll have to check out what birds nod off in the afternoon! Love the idea of IR-O’Clock, go for it. The irony of my mid week musings is they were a throw away idea but I get more views and comments on these posts than on my model ones. Says a lot about my models!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Man, this was a funny read 🙂
    So here’s my thruppence on guaranteed resolution* to all these issues:
    1: Buy all the things – just in case… because reasons.
    2: Cut’n’pin for dioramas, no question
    3: Get some sheep – life’s too short for lawns!
    4: Get an automated irrigation doodah for the plants – life’s still too short for plants!
    5: Tactically undercook on the bbq, make SWMBO poorly, smash bbq in a guilty rage
    6: Commence walkies, feign early injury, let SWMBO walk on, go back home & hobby
    7: Enjoy all your reclaimed hobby time as your sheep cut your grass, technology waters your plants, your bbq rusts to hell, and your wife walks the dog.

    *Caution – any advice given may not actually resolve any problems… it is more likely to create them**

    ** Except point 2, which is pretty sound.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Such sage advice Alex, I can’t find fault with any of it! That’s the beauty of blogging just when you can’t see the wood for the trees along comes someone with some constructive comment which gives you the chance to get your life back on track. I owe you one! Think I’m going to have to re-think my plan though. Looks like the idea of a fortnightly figure may have to be in addition to mid week musings and not in lieu of☺

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Actually, #3 is a pretty damned good idea. We used to have a goat, and they will definitely keep your lawn trim, plus eat anything else they can get ahold of. Also great fun for the dog. Goats will puppy dog you too, just follow you around. They are like a dog, that eats your grass. But a little smellier.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m assuming you’ve pre-set the post time and date and that since your wife has now read this, you have gone into hiding! I’m hoping that’s not the case, since your musings save me the trouble of having to think about these things, and Buddy still needs his walks!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Invest in a dremel for the cutting and pinning… chop off the integral base with a cutting wheel, grind down the remainder, then drill pin holes. Fix the figure to a cork or whatever with the pins for painting. Be careful when drilling though as you will either snap the drill bit or worse if you go too hard too fast. As for the rest….I would like to downsize myself to have less gardening but I would say unless you have a golf course you should not need to mow twice per week. I would quite like to be able to go walking with my wife… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Funny, I was working on bases last night and thinking my way of doing it is a pain (like everything I do). I don’t know if it’s my German blood, but if there is a hard way to do something and an easy way….ugh. Anyways, I ended up attaching the mini to a longer metal wire and then placing that into blue tac. That way the blu tac stays out of the way of painting, and when I’m done, I can snip the metal wire shorter and use that to pin the mini to the base. Might become a new practice for me. So, one more vote for the pinning! And keep those Mid Week Musings coming, I love the laughs! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep pinning is coming across loud and clear so I’m on board with the idea. Just need to screw a few figures up while I practice and then I’ll be away! Don’t worry about the Musings, as long as I can find something to say I’ll keep them going. My fear was that people might find them boring but it appears the model posts are doing that instead, ho hum!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I thought alcohol tolerance was a given with gingers! I seemed to have a pretty high tolerance when I was younger, as I’m getting older, not so much anymore. Sad, because my drink of pref is still a gin martini with an olive, but I can’t drink too many.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Haha, so there is an upside to being ginger! I was never a heavy drinker by any means but like you I could drink more when I was younger. Many a late night and then work the next day but not now. I enjoy a nice pint or two which I take my time over and taste rather than just chucking it down. I’m more than a little partial to a nice glass or two of red wine and in the winter I enjoy a single malt whisky. When we went on a cruise to Russia last year I discovered a taste for cocktails, mainly because we had a drinks package and could drink what we liked. Seemed silly not to take advantage! Just read this back, sounds like I’m an alcoholic!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Haha, ‘No, I don’t drink much….but let me tell you how much I like to drink!’. It sounds a bit like me, occasional drinker. I’ve gone through a ‘beer every night phase’ and then won’t drink anything for months. It kind of comes and goes. It’s more about the taste of a good pint or gin or a cocktail. Never really gotten into whiskey or wine. I’ve had all kinds, and some was good, but I’ve never said “Man, I really want a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey right now!!”.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for the basing tip, always more to learn which is one of many reasons why I love the hobby. The lawn problem has more to do with the rain. Once it starts it doesn’t know when to stop. If I don’t keep it up to date it can go weeks before it gets cut properly again so keeping on top of it helps. That said modeling first seems to be the message! As for the wife, we’ve been together almost 40 years, she knows me inside out and let’s me think I’m in charge. If I could fool her I could fool anyone. Truth be known I’d miss her greatly but if I didn’t moan she’d think I was up to no good!

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  9. Blimey! all this talk about grog has made me thirsty so I’ve had to have a pint and now I’ve forgotten the subject ! , Oh that’s right ,basing figures , I started out on my first diorama cutting a square hole in the foam board and gluing the fig. in and covering the area with plaster and scatter grass to disguise it . This worked ok, until I got to the AMC dio and I had to put all the fig. close together ,there wasn’t enough room so I adapted the drill and pin method I had read about . This worked well although at the start a lot of pain was inflicted as the steel rod broke through a thin plastic leg and carried onto into my flesh and a strange noise emitted from my mouth , much to the amusement of the family !, I got pretty good at it very smartly . The AMC dio has 600 fig. on it so when I had spiked all the little guys I had used eight yards of fine steel rod ,quite staggering I thought .
    My policy is buy everything now as you won’t get it again as if it is really good it will go out of production ! and you will have to join in with all the likewise folk in a bloody bidding war on EBay ,Ahhh!
    Less musing’s ,well my loss but wife’s laundry duties lessened !.
    Alex’s no.5 ,maybe worth a try ,but make sure there is a reasonable time laps between the eating off all the shellfish Azazel recommends and the BBQ ,people always blame the former in Australia ,especially on a Monday .
    I have a great weekend coming up ,we have a model expo in Melbourne which Tech adviser found out about and gave me admissions to for my birthday ,so that will be really interesting !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sure you didn’t need an excuse for a drink! Can’t get my head around pinning 600 little guys, I would never have that amount of patience. I did try pinning a couple of times but decided counter sinking would be easier and more often than not I can get away with it. That said it’s something to revisit and would give me more options at times. I like your policy, it’s a sound one. Think I’ll be getting the credit card out later for sure, just to be on the safe side! Don’t worry too much about getting in touch with your feminine side as I think I’ll be reviewing my musings and probably going back to weekly, just as long as I have something to say. I’ll put out an update in next week’s issue. Will be interested to learn how you get on at the Melbourne expo. I’m guessing that’s quite a journey in from the Out back for you!


    1. Oh ! yeah a whole half hour trip Dave ,might have to share the driving with the old girl ,nahhh! ,I want to get there ,As for the Crocodile Dundee reference, the wife said she didn’t think that Clive James played that part as she feel I look just a tad more like him than Paul Hogan ,She must be confused ,getting on in age .I’m sure Paul was five foot two wasn’t he , films always make one look taller I’m sure . Tech adviser said she won’t be attending as it would be to exciting for her ,she will stay at home bursting with excitement and anticipation for my report , ummh , not sure about that , but old faithful will be with me to share the great joy and excitement that she is sure I will get from the experience ,will keep you posted ! .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that you mention it I think Paul Hogan was quite small, which probably explains why the knife he held looked so big! Can’t help but feel that Tech Adviser is missing out on a real treat but that’s kids for you. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip to the big city in the fullness of time!!

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Back now from the Expo ,not quite as exciting as I thought it would be ,a lot of repetition ,mainly WWII military tanks and aircraft models ,some really great mini ‘s and some brilliant paint jobs ,in the categories we talked about earlier . The thing that surprised me was the lack off gamers as the can really put on a show in regards to painting figures as the old girl and I found out staying in a suburb on the outskirts of Sydney ,we stopped in a hotel there and needed some bread so set of to find some , lots of police about! but being blissfully ignorant southerners ( or outback folk) we carried on .found the bread and proceeded to return , the old girl spotted something unusual ,activity going on in an old shop set back from the street ,have to check this out I said ,peering in the doorway ! oh they are gamers old girl we have to go in , great folk ,top painters ,games going on everywhere ,long chat and away we went . We got to the family event and the rellly’s asked where we had stayed on the way up to Lake Macquarie ,on telling them the Sydneysiders exclaimed ,You not only stayed there ,but you walked out AT NIGHT ! ,just goes to show you Dave us modeller’s are a protected by our happy nature and common love for the arts . I’m sorry I do digress some what ,( back to the chase little man ) . What I found lacking was the work you do ,different themes ,things that others haven’t done or have but not over and over again until the become a bit boring ,great work and a slight personal slant but still a bit of a yawn .
    There was some stunning wooden sailing ships along with some fine phasic naval dio’s which so impressed the Old girl she took photos for the T.A . There was one magnificent two foot by two foot dio of the battle of Austerlitz about 1/35 scale based on a famous painting ,sooo good brill detail , but my vote went to a mini that quite amused me and was more down you line . At firsts I didn’t get it as it was just a Russian tank sitting there looking really grubby with garish blobs of paint on it ,on closer inspection it was a military memorial in some park in Europe ,covered in graffiti and tiny empty bottles and general rubbish one finds now days , the only one out side the square as they say . Great morning though and it was great to talk to the folk who went to all the trouble to share there hobbies ,look forward to the next one ,maybe ,just maybe I might just contribute .

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great update Pat, thank you for that. Several things. Firstly, based on my limited experience to participating at and attending shows in the UK the two worlds of modeller and war gamer don’t mix. They appear to me to always be indepent events. This is a great shame because as our little blog community demonstrates each has a lot to learn from each other. As a non gamer I truly admire the work that our mutual followers put on their blogs, their painting of miniatures is outstanding. Not sure if this is a snobbery thing but to me it’s simply sad. There is room for both in this hobby of ours. Secondly, as you may have read in my blog I joined a club about a year ago. The guys there do great stuff but it’s mostly planes and tanks and no base work, boring as far as I’m concerned. Every month they have a monthly competition and every month I take along something new and every month so far I have won it! I don’t mean for this to sound like I’m bragging, I’ve never mentioned this before, it’s not my way but my point is why do they like my stuff? OK some of it is painted alright but their work in that respect is great too which is why I think they vote for it because it’s different. Different is what I try to do and from what I can see online that’s what you are about too. On top of that people look at it because it’s not repetitive and boring. For this reason, and I know it’s not my place to tell you what to do, but your idea of contributing is a good one. I’m sure you will enjoy it and if you don’t get admiring glances then I’ll have to come out there and buy you a beer for getting it wrong! Keep up the great work!


    1. I had a look at the flyer after our last chat and found no mention of there being Gamer’s at the show ,I must have imagined it ! ,It’s interesting what you say about the not mixing bit and as you say ,a bit of a shame ,maybe I should look out for a gaming expo and go and see them and see what they are about . Dave ,I would never take you as the bragging type , and at my age you can pretty well pick them ,so I understand what you are saying about you winning down at the club ,and after seeing this expo I can well understand why you do ,your work is so different so it really stands out and that is what makes it so good . That bit about showing is not a easy as it sounds, as one has to be a member of a club to get a look in, and as I’m not the club type of guy I think it will have to wait until I retire and have a little more time to maybe join the local one ,only time will tell .

      Liked by 1 person

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