The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 21)

Welcome to this week’s Musings!

The Weather – for better or worse?

Now before I get accused of  being a “whinging pom” and those in Australia start performing their rendition of Monty Pythons Four Yorkshire Men sketch by trying to out do me with their weather related tails let me point out that I am not complaining about the weather.  Personally I am enjoying it and my comments which follow are simply observational.  The simple fact is that this almost unprecedented period of glorious weather brings change with it and I thought I would highlight those which I have noticed.  For the most part, as with many things in life, there are pros and there are cons.

My fears of a few weeks ago that I would be spending much time cutting the grass have proven unfounded, the lawn hasn’t been cut now for three weeks.  With no rain it simply isn’t growing.  This time-saving has however been off set by cooking on the BBQ instead together with the constant need to water the pot plants and keep the weeds down.  Why do the weeds continue to grow when everything else appears to be at a stand still?  You don’t need to answer that.

Another positive has been being able drive with the top down on my car for the last two months, most enjoyable.  The down side is I’m ginger and the constant need to apply sunblock gives me the appearance of someone about to swim the English Channel rather someone driving into town.

Modelling too of course is not without impact.  It hasn’t been ideal having to adjust to painting early in the morning and late in the evening but then again my base work drying quicker has been an added bonus.  Overall the impact on modelling has been minimal but the same cannot be said for our garden wild life.

Fredie the fox who we saw throughout the winter has yet to be spotted this hot summer but more worryingly neither has Philip the Pheasant.  Shotguns have been heard ringing out so I fear the worst for both.  The heat is drying out the garden pond resulting in Drake and Jemima who are but occasional visitors seeking pastures new and although it’s normally a pleasure to see Kevin the Kingfisher the little bastard has taken to eating our goldfish as the poor little sods have less water to hide in.

Still on a final positive note I’m burning more calories walking the dog which is enabling me to consume more ice cream without feeling guilty.  Every cloud …

Fredie the Fox, Philip the Pleasant, Drake and Jemima and Kevin the bastard with one of my goldfish!

Thank Goodness For The Weird People

Have you ever wondered how you make bread?  No neither have I, well not until the other day but bear with me.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert but (thank you Google) apparently you mix flour, salt and yeast in a bowl then make a well in the centre, add oil and water to make a smooth dough and then bake in the oven.  OK, so that’s it simplified but the thing is we except that as perfectly normal.  Why wouldn’t you make it that way?  My point however is this.

If it wasn’t for a complete nutter, a weirdo who was capable of looking at things in ways others don’t and who wasn’t afraid to experiment with a mixture of unrelated objects we wouldn’t be eating bread.  What normal person would have looked at wheat or corn, thought to grind it down, add numerous other unrelated ingredients and then heat it all up?  You need to have people who can look at things in a different way and who are prepared to play around and experiment with things.  Who looked at iron ore and said I wonder if that melts, goes hard again and can be used to make weapons that I can kill people with?  The fact is we owe a great deal to people who in the eyes of many are odd or weird and so it is with modelling.

The modelling community, like many others I suspect, thrives off of people who can look at materials developed initially for another purpose (e.g. Milliput I believe was originally used by plumbers to plug leaking pipes) but useful in our hobby.  Then there are the various things made specifically for the hobby but like bread consist of unrelated items (e.g. brushes – sable/wood/metal).  Then we come to my current favourite.

At the Plymouth Model Show I got talking to Colin, the owner of a company called Charlie Foxtrot Models (worth checking out by the way, he does some great stuff) who it turns out only lives a few miles from me.  Colin and I got chatting about the MDF buildings he makes.  The ones he had on display didn’t appear to be made of MDF on close inspection mainly because they had been given a render to make them more authentic.  I asked him what he rendered his models with expecting to be told something like sieved grit or similar.  No, turns out he uses Chinchilla Dust bought from the pet shop!

So, curiosity has got the better of me which leads me to ask the following question.  What is the weirdest thing you have used, or heard used by others, for modelling? 

Meanwhile try to remember that the Weirdos help make the world go around so never knock a weirdo.

Be careful though, some are completely off their trolley!


Until next time.






34 thoughts on “The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 21)

  1. Love the wildlife pictures.
    We live in a housing complex, and is pretty critter free. Maybe one day we will retire and be country folk.

    Weird stuff? It’s pretty late my time, so my brain isn’t coming up with much right now. I remember my art teacher demonstrating how he gets the point back on his brush, after washing it. Simply sticking it in his mouth. He went on to explain how the mucus helps the bristles reform… at which point I was getting grossed out. Yea, I’ve reshaping my brushes the same way for years,
    but imagine most people would think it’s gross and weird.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re right, it is late where you are! Well it might be gross but I reckon getting the point of your brush back by sticking it in your mouth is pretty standard, much the same as using the nail on your thumb as a paint palette. As it’s late I’m going to let you get some sleep and wake up refreshed so you can give it another go, haha!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m often much later, but with hot weather and being woken up by The Toddler at 2am, who then thought it was time to kick Dad in the back for an hour, I was a bit more tired than usual.

        Yea, it was during the early teen years, where a number of things were considered gross. I can’t say there is too much that disgusts me nowadays. You get exposed to so much as you get older, especially once you have kids or animals or animal kids of your own.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. You might be odd, you might be special either way your wife loves you for it – lucky guy! As for modelling, never to late to get started and there are loads of us out there willing to offer support and advice, give it a go. You never know where it my lead you.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Man, I have never seen a Kingfisher for reals – at least, not in the UK… You’re lucky mate! Well, more lucky than your fish at any rate :-/

    Weirdest modelling material that I have heard of – I heard about a guy who glued dead flies to some kind of plague tank thing, and I have seen real animal skulls and bones used in various pieces, but I haven’t driven the bus to crazy-town with any of my work – just twigs & stuff from the garden really!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Good post, awesome picture of the kingfisher, not so awesome for the goldfish.
    Living where we do we have Mr Otter who lives in the stream outside our house, not to mention orca, humpbacks, minke whales etc who live in the sea nearby. Anyway enough animal anecdotes. I suppose like many gamers I have done my wierd bit by using tea leaves, coffee grounds and the odd raid to the dried herb shelf. I bought some terrarium sand to rebase my 10mm Sudan minis. I have also used a mouse skull years ago as a long extinct beastie.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I envy where you are. It’s been a good few years since I visited the highlands, another visit is long overdue. As for modelling, some of the feedback is giving me (the community?) some disturbing ideas. I’m definately going to look at road kill in a different light from now on. Watch this space!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Recently I was chatting with my best mate about that cat or possum poo that you can drink as coffee and also bacon. Here’s how the convo went.

    Me – “so when we go to Bali for our 40ths next year I reckon we do white water rafting, four wheel motorbikes, parasailing and let’s try that cat shit they make into coffee!”

    Him – “Blerr no way. Why would anyone want any to drink cat shit?”

    Me – “you don’t literally drink it from the cats anus. It’s been processed etc.”

    Him – “Nah… I’ll do the white water rafting while you drink the cat shit.”

    Me – “you know once upon a time two blokes were chatting and one said to the other, you see that pig over there? I’m gonna cut it’s arse off, cook it and eat it. Now if he hadn’t of done that we wouldn’t have bacon.”

    Him – “Shut up. I’m not eating cat shit ever!”

    I like Kevin the Bastard. He’s brave and clever and has clearly out witted you haha. You know you can get a net to go across the pond and save your goldfish right?

    When I first read about your top down on your car I thought you mean you had your top down haha. Do you drive a Saab?

    I think the weirdest thing I’ve done for the hobby is melt one guys face on the gas top oven. If you type on “slaugh and mumbles” on the search thingy you’ll see the results.

    One “weird” thing I do that isn’t original though is use BiCarb Soda and glue to fill gaps in my models. Works a treat and you can cut or sand it when it’s dry. I learnt that trick from “Luke’s Apps” on YouTube.

    Now go make me some bread. With your top down.

    Now that’s weird!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. When you explain it like that who would eat bacon, or pretty much anything else for that matter? Like your mate I love bacon but I’m gonna pass on the cat shit too! As for the pond and the fish, the king fisher isn’t normally a problem as there’s plenty of water and plant life, it’s just that this summer has turned things upside down somewhat. My car, the emphasis on “my” because I don’t allow SWMBO to drive it is a Mazda MX5. It’s a limted edition and my pride and joy. Like the BiCarb Soda tip. Off to check that out and your melted face figure. Lunch beckons too so might wash it down with a glass of cow piss! 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Nice ride but too small for my long legs. A pal of mine used to have one. I’m 6ft 2”.
        Cow piss is delicious as long as it’s cold. Oh and weeds tend to grow quicker if they’re in garden beds because the soil is healthier and generally looked after more than grass. 😉 It’s what I do man

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I’m 5ft 11″ and my wife says 3 inches can make a big difference, not entirely sure she was referring to driving the car though! Logical explanation regarding the weeds. When SWMBO comes in from digging them out I’ll tell her. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Yeah I remember hearing about the “dead fly guy” that Alex mentioned above, definitely taking things too far I reckon. I once knew someone who made some terrain out of chicken bones. They put a lot of effort into sealing it all so it was properly preserved and hygienic, and the effect looked amazing, but I could never quite get past the idea that it used to be food. Not sure what the weirdest thing for me would be, nothing terribly out-there though. I’ve used twigs and so on for terrain in the past and once sanded down some barnacles for a Nurgle model. Thought the effect worked really well but I’m not sure the model ever got finished or saw the light of day.

    Loving the animal pictures as well, I really miss living somewhere with a garden although as I’m out roughly 22 hours in every day right now anyway I suppose it would be slightly redundant.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sanding down barnacles is an intreaguing idea. Beaches generally have some pretty cool stuff on them. There seems to be a theme around real bones too. Oddly I can see how some people could put these to use in some way although the idea does seem a little macabre.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Love the wildlife stuff. Around here we have Great Blue Herons(huge birds) to stalk the fish, as well as raccoons,lynx, black bear, the occasional moose, deer, etc. When we see a fox or skunk, they are often rabid as they are nocturnal. The bear are getting more problematic due to their growing population, and because between bird feeders and trash, human habitation is a buffet for them. Still, love the rural nature of my area, and I also love to drive with an open top with my pride and joy too.
    As for weird stuff and creativity, I have to say my making a sci-fi tank from a Callaway golf ball is my weirdest hobby thing

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The big difference between our wildlife and that in the US and Australia is almost none of it is designed to eat us! As for cars, one day I’ve got to do an open top ride across the states. Love the callaway tank, genious!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Aussie wildlife – the spiders, the snakes, the scorpions, the stingrays… it doesn’t eat us. Just kills us. Well, except for the crocs, and the sharks, the drop bears…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. Now I live near the town centre I rarely see wildlife unless I go to my Parent’s/ Sister’s as they live on the edge of the Pennine Moors.

    Can’t think of anything wierd that I’ve used in modelling. Juist the usual bits of junk from the kitchen really.



    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m glad the weather is fine ,just hope it holds out for our visit in eight weeks, we were lucky back in ’14 with a late summer then, we will need it when we hit the top of Scotland ! .
    Weird things you say, well when I was doing the last Dio that called for snow I was using Woodlands snow which was fine for the ground work but I needed something finer for dusting the figures .one of my hobby shop owners suggested bicarb, and then told me of some one he new using icing sugar, it worked out fine and looked great! then the the ants smelt it out and started to consume it .I bet you didn’t know ants had noses eh!.
    I wish someone in Auss would find away to use possums in their models instead of those moths !.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ironically it’s chucking it down at the moment in the south west where I am. We need it and it’s on and off for the next couple of days but not due to last from what they are saying. Fingers crossed for your trip! Like the icing sugar anecdote. Looking forward to your possum diorama!

      Liked by 1 person

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