The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 15)

Welcome to this week’s Musings!

Future Musings and the Revised Plan!

It seems last weeks idea of moving Mid Week Musings temporarily to once every two weeks for what I thought were good reasons was simply wrong.  Based on the feedback I received it was clear that I had overlooked some “creative” solutions and that I was simply being a “Whinging Pomme”.  Now that I am out of rehab for the temporarily insane I have been able to objectively review the situation and can now announce my revised plan.  This revised plan is of course a mix of the original plan and the initial revised plan but with a few revisions to make a new revised plan.  Hopefully thats cleared things up!

So, for as long as I can think of things to say the Mid Week Musings will continue.  In addition I plan to introduce a new article, the “Fortnightly Figure”, more on that in just a moment.  My Saturday post was never changing so it’s business as usual for that one.

Why the “Fortnightly Figure”?  Well a great many years ago I started out as a figure painter.  These days I’ve been much more into vignettes and dioramas and of course my blog too.  The initial aim of my blog was to simply keep a record of my work and post progress reports on the latest diroama I am working on.  That’s not something I’m aiming to change but just lately I’ve started to enjoy painting just figures once again.  This has been further fuelled by the June challenge.  The thing is there is not much to say about these figures.  There is no real progress images or associated text, they are just painted and very simply based and that’s it.  It doesn’t feel right not giving them some air time just because they will never feature in a vignette, diorama or as a single figure with a bit more oomph.  So, as they don’t really relate to what I have been doing on my blog I thought I’d go with the new post idea of the “Fortnightly Figure”.

Hopefully I can produce a new figure every couple of weeks or so in addition to everything else that is going on but if that fails then I can bring out and dust off something from years ago and give it a moment in the spotlight.  As my first figures will be for the June challenge I will begin this new post in July, probably on  Monday to spread things out a bit.

In the meanwhile I will post the first of what I think will be a three part article starting next Monday to fill the gap entitled “This Is Me! – TIM’s Modelling Memoirs. 

“We would advise all our readers to read Tim’s Modelling Memoirs!”  – The Editor of Insomnia Weekly 

Bet you can’t wait … yawn!

My Top 10 Modelling Tools

As some of you are already aware I am a lists person.  I thought I would put a slightly different spin on the subject by listing the top 10 modelling tools I would not want to be without.  Obviously it’s a personal list but I thought it might be fun to share it and perhaps learn what other modellers might list as their “couldn’t live without” items too.

The list is in no particular order and I have excluded paint brushes as these are a given.

  1. Green Stuff Leaf and Tile cutters – great little additions for added base realism and diorama building;
  2. Green Stuff Rolling Pins  – these are very neat and great for ground work, walls and buildings;
  3. Hand drill/clamp – a must have especially for mounted figure painting;
  4. Hand vice – holding things in my fingers tightly has literally become a pain, this tool seriously keeps me able to paint;
  5. Little Files – another essential for figure clean up amongst other things;
  6. Swiss Army Card (not knife) Saw – the teeth on this saw are very, very fine which makes life easier for removing figures from their bases without taking off their feet!;
  7. Steel Ruler with finger guard – the recess for protecting my fingers when cutting makes this brilliant;
  8. Samsung Tablet – not really a modelling tool as such but being able to research at the touch of a button is fantastic;
  9. Fine tweezers – an essential;
  10. Model knife – a no brainer.


From top to bottom – hand vice, Swiss card and saw, Green Stuff punches and hand drill/vice

Why so many Modellers in Australia?

I was looking at the list of followers that I have.  It’s not an exhaustive list, 50 in total if you include my email followers in the stats number that wordpress throws out.  Personally I’m more than pleased with that not least of all because it’s 49 more than I expected and also because I don’t participate in any other social media sites.  I knew my brother would be up for keeping an eye on what I do but other wise you can mark me down as Billy No Mates.

The thing that got me though was the high percentage of modellers/gamers based in Australia.  I sort of new the modelling scene was big in the UK (we need to do something when it’s constantly raining) and the USA but Australia surprised me.  Steriotypical it might be but my image was one of young and old constantly down at the beach and living an outdoor existence that the rest of us can only envy.  Clearly there is more to it and I’m curious to know what it is.

Was there a big drive on wargaming and model making at some point?  Is there a large number of manufactures based in Australia unknown to me because the figures are purchased through UK outlets?  Is the weather far more seasonal than I am aware of in my ignorance and thus indoor pursuits are needed just as much as they are in the UK/USA?  Or, and this is my wild card, is it that 99% of the world’s most dangerous creatures live in Australia making it far to f**cking dangerous to venture outside?

Answers on a post card to … TIM.


Until next time.






59 thoughts on “The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 15)

  1. From your list I only have 7, 9 and 10. I’m glad the musings are staying to weekly!

    I was born in the UK but moved to Australia when I was 7. I live in the state of Victoria where the slogan in regards to the weather is “four seasons in one day” today I built a fence in the sunshine and had sweat dripping off my forehead and now I’m in my armchair wearing track pants and a hoody listening to intense rain. It’s bucketing down. I love it. My parents and one of my sisters live in tropical Queensland where it’s hot and humid most of the time and then pisses down with so much rain they often have floods. My other sister lives in Western Australia where it’s quite dry and sunny and lovely most of the year but as it’s a bit deserty it also gets very chilly at night. I have a pal who moved to Tassie (Tasmania) and says it’s like England. In Australia we have rainforests, snowy mountains, deserts, beautiful beaches, bustling cities and a thriving hobby scene. Can’t wait for you to pop over and have a look see.

    Funny story (sort of) –

    My mum and dad read my blog and got their wires crossed when they read some of your comments. They thought you had a son called Luke who may have passed away and had taken to calling me son because of it haha. I explained and we had a good chuckle.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Well that goes along way to explaining why you need an indoor hobby. I’m just glad you chose modelling otherwise we wouldn’t be engaging in these conversations and I’d seriously miss that because I have grown to love blogging and the people I share it with. Part 2 of my memoirs might explain a “little” about complications in my life but putting that aside Australia will be visited by me in a few years time. I did go once before but life was much simpler then. My only concern is what clothes to pack given the diverse weather! Love the funny story. People this end are equally confused when I tell them I have a son in Australia!☺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One day soon, hopefully, I will be heading to Nottingham to see Valhalla or Warhammer World. I hope to meet several Englanders too such as Alex, Mark and Mr Wudugast and you’re on the list too. I think from memory you’re in Devon which is only 3 1/2 hours from Nottingham. Easy 👍🏼 I drive that in a day here.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. An old friend of mine who lived in LA said it only took him 6 hours to drive 400 miles to San Fransisco, the equivalent distance here took him twice that! If/When you get over here we can meet up for sure. If you come here you can stay over or I’ll travel to Nottingham. Might be an idea to all get together.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Hand drill, tweezers, several modeling knives and my iPad all make the list we share. I also use a “hand vice” of sorts – Since I’m an old fart, I have a plethora of pill bottles. Add some tacky tape and there you go. I use them to prime my models, to hold them while painting and to generally keep the WIP out of harms way while making a mess of my work space!
    Glad to be one of your followers!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. An interesting Mid week muse… my list is somewhere near yours. I don’t have the Greenstuff rollers but I do have their tentacle Maker. I do fancy the leaf cutter too. I keep on considering one of those vice things but always just hang onto the base, or as I use mdf bases with a hole for a magnet I have a home built magnetiser thingy that works the same way. Biggest problem I have with them is that I paint units at a time, so lots of picking up and putting down of models.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The rollers are great and work on many levels. The vice proved to be a life saver as it changed the way I gripped figures for painting. The way I had been holding them was giving me neck ache and pain in my arm and fingers. No such problems now though! If you ever find yourself with those symptoms then you might want to try one. You can pick them up on eBay and they are cheap for what they are.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You can throw whatever posts in whatever format, and you know I’ll read them! 🙂

    I’ve wondered about the ‘Many Modellers of Australia’ too. Glad that is cleared up a bit. Though I still think your hilarious theory of ‘hiding from dangerous fecking creatures’ must hold some wait. Then again, I’ve met some Australians, and they were quite tough.

    I think I would need a link/pics for 1,3,6. I do know what a hand drill is, but curious about the clamp part. Speaking of which, I saw someone using some ‘closed position’ tweezers while browsing, and must really get some of those.

    Tools I can’t live without? I think I’ve detailed most of them through my Tool Tips posts. I do plan on revisiting that as a potential ‘recap of 2018’ towards the end of the year with any changes. Right now, I can’t imagine living without my W&NS7 size 0 brush. Probably because I’m using it all the time, but it has definitely been worth the price I paid. Also helps that I’m pretty regimented about brush cleaning, so it will likely last a good long time.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks TIM, though I now really feel for that guy in the bottom of the pic. Ouch!

        Yea, I don’t have punches. Those could be handy. I do have the drill/vice, though yours looks more robust than mine. Swiss card and saw could come in handy. For miniature holders, I’m still pretty partial to rubber or cork stoppers with blue tac. Recently I’ve stopped tacking directly to the mini, and instead glue a small wire to the bottom of their feet, then surround it with blue tac. That lets me paint the feet without the blue tac getting in the way or possibly peeling the paint off later. Not sure if this image will help illustrate, but it’s the closest I have on my phone right now:

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My other useful tool is to quit painting when I am tired! I can see where I slopped over some parts in the above image. Which means more cleanup later. Meh.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yea, when I have the chance to paint, I tend to push for longer stretches. I really should listen to the little voice in my head when it says things like “You’re tired, maybe you should stop?”.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. That’s a nice way of doing it. I used to just use bottle tops and still do but now with the clamp/vice. I found, due to age I expect, that I was getting to much cramp in my fingers from holding just the bottle top which then affected my arm and neck. Became a real problem. The clamp changed my holding position and the pain then went so I believe in this little gadget. I wouldn’t worry about the Swiss card, I just happened to be given one but the fine saw is the most useful piece.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Yea, whatever works to make you comfortable is key. My fingers are fine, but my posture is really poor when painting minis and I need to keep that in mind or I’ll likely start having problems down the road. I tend to hunch over and paint in my lap. I tried the ‘elbows planted on table’ thing the other day and that was much better for my back. But then I end right back up to being hunched over. Old habits are hard to break.

        Liked by 4 people

      6. I actually started using the arms propped method more lately. It actually feels really comfortable and I’m more aware if I’m slouching or not. Pretty nice.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, the comment about 99% of the world’s most dangerous critters living in Australia has just resulted in me spraying a mouthful of tea all over me Kindle Fire! I’ve only just stopped laughing! I’m not sure if you were including IRO in that 99%, but you maybe should, just to be on the safe side!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I *thought* you meant the Greenstuffworld leaf punches. I got a few of those recently, but haven’t used them at all yet. I thought you meant their other tile press – one for ground tiles that seems to be a green stuff press.
    I got a couple of the Citadel painting grips, but honestly I never use them. Call it decades of just holding models by the base and using their weapons as the touch-point and then painting them last!
    The Swiss Army card saw looks interesting. I’ll have to do more research on WTF that is!
    And yeah, I should probably get a steel ruler with a finger guard. Seems sensible as I probably need my fingers for future use!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Greenstuffworld is probably of more use to vignettes and dioramas but their site does have a demo I think on how to use the rolling pins for small sinhle figure bases. The Swiss card is best ignored. I was given one years ago, basically it’s a Swiss army knife created in the size of a credit card. A gimmick really I guess and I doubt it ever caught on but the saw is so fine and cuts through just about anything so is good for removing bases cleanly from figures. The hanle grip proved essential. I was getting pain in my fingers and wrist, then in my arm, shoulder and neck. Got so bad had to stop painting for a while but then discovered this and it made a huge difference. As for rulers, yes fingers are pretty useful!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, a jeweller’s saw is one of the old-school must have tools. I’d go so far as to call it a necessity for converting metal models. The wood knives/lino cutters are something different to me in modelling terms. Do you just use them for cleaning mould lines, or something else?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Agree on the jewelry saw, plus it makes nice cuts, even if the blades are fragile. The wood knives are very useful in shaving metal minis. For example, I used them recently on my Space Ranger recasts. There was a slight defect in my mold, such that the sombreros were not smooth in the middle. As this was a recessed area, it was not amenable to filing, and an Exacto knife would have broken. I was able to shave the areas evenly. I’ve also used it to carve stuff like golf balls (which I used to make my Mark 1 Sphere tanks). With these however, you MUST have a cutting glove, as one slip (and it will happen) and you get a nasty cut. My wife got me a couple of those chef’s gloves, and I’m more than safe.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Well that surprises me as well Dave ,even though there were lots of people at the Expo the other week , it certainly wasn’t what you would call crowded considering how many people live in Melbourne . There were also a few interstaters visiting also ,mainly retirees ,so yeah ,interesting .I like the cement about wild creatures roaming about in Australia ,I have heard this a lot from English people before even my old mate from Watford who has been out here for years still complains about our insects and snakes !.
    This got me talking to the Old girl (a Queensland county girl ) about this and we both agree (Rarey ) that as we were have lived with all these creatures all our lives we never really that anything is as dangerous as some make out ,but have a health respect for some snakes ,crocodiles and the odd spider . My only fear is from sharks ( should not have seen the film Jaws ) but that doesn’t stop me swimming in the sea ,I should be more concerned about getting hypothermia when swimming down here in Victoria .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think most creatures leave you alone unless they feel threatend and what you grow up with is what you base “normal” on. When I went to Australia in 2002 I spent 2 weeks on a project in the middle of nowhere. Normally a heath and safety briefing in the UK extends to showing you the fire exits but not this one. We were told about spiders, ants, snakes and plants that could all present us with problems if we didn’t know what to look out for. Funny on one level, scary on another when you don’t have anything in the UK whatsoever. Loved Jaws, one of my most favourite books and films. Now there is an idea for a diorama if I could get the figures.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. If you mean the Model Expo on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, there’s a bit of an issue with distance – in terms of how bloody far away from everything it is. I mean, I had a mate who was going out there offer if M and I wanted to go with them, but given the travel times to Springvale, from out here in the West, it’d have just driven me unsane.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah ,you’re right mate trying to cross town is certainly a pain at the best of times especially on the Monash, so I think you made the right choice ,I only went as I’m up east link in Wantirna ,only twenty minutes away.


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