Dio-Bolical Monday No: 33 – “Death & Taxes: The Earls Visit – Part 11”

I’m not sure it was a plan as such but I ended last weeks post by saying I would start work on the Blacksmiths building.  That had very much been my intention but good intentions don’t always translate into good actions and that was very much the case here.  As seems to be the case these days life got in the way.  A series of major distractions, none of them of my making, meant I couldn’t get a clear run at some painting.

I’m sure we all have our different approaches to painting and mine is that when I start on something as sizeable as a building I like to have a good few hours at a time so I can really get absorbed into what I am doing and trying to achieve.  It became clear early in the week that this wasn’t going to happen.  Whatever chance I got for doing things was going to be very stop and start at best.  Realising this I decided to spend my time on one of the very boring but essential aspects of the hobby – preparation.

I hate doing the preparation of figures.  If they are multi-part I hate gluing and there is no pleasure to be had from removing mold lines and priming.  The more I think about it now the more I realise that this is has a large bearing in why conversions have never floated my boat.  Personally I think conversions are great.  The idea of creating a unique figure appeals to me greatly but they require cutting and gluing and that’s for me where it all goes wrong.  So, with a disruptive week very much on the cards I identified the current “hate” jobs I could work on a bit at a time given the constraints I was working under.

First up I decided to take a look at some of the figures I had already purchased, specifically the 12 mounted figures I bought from Mirliton in Italy.  The first thing I noticed was that I had a base problem.  The horses were all molded onto reasonably thick metal bases which when stuck to an MDF bases would make them stand taller than I wanted.  My plan, one I’ve used before, was to stick the horse to an MDF base so that I can better grip it for painting and then set the base into the ground work of whatever it is I’m doing.  The problem here was the ground work would have to be set much higher than I wanted given the work I’d already done and that didn’t sit well with me.  It just wouldn’t have looked right.

The solution I came up with was to cut out the shape of the metal base from the MDF and then set the horse into it.  To stop the horse from then passing through the MDF I then stuck some card underneath the MDF.  This then reduced the height to the level of the MDF which was just what I wanted.  Not a difficult job but and one I could pick up and do whenever I had a few moments to call my own.


Horses done I then set about priming them and then took a look at the mounted figures themselves.  Now originally I had hoped to use mounted Footsore Baron’s War figures in this diorama but most of those they produce are in fighting mode and that wasn’t what I was looking for.  This left me with the need to search the Web which in turn led me to Mirliton.  Not a company I had used before but they had what I wanted so I took an expensive punt on them and made the purchase.  The figures themselves are fine.  They needed a little clean up but nothing much which for me is always a good sign.  The downside was they comprised of numerous parts.  The Footsore figures are almost entirely single castings although some figures such as the knights come with a separate shield.  The same cannot be said for the Mirliton figures.  Each figure comes with a seperate body, legs, head, sword, shield, strap, neck collar and in some cases helmet and lance.  Not a big deal I know but laid out in front of me they just yelled GLUE and I hate gluing!

Being the brave little soldier that I am I diligently set about the task in front of me and bit by bit the figures got assembled and primed.  I also had the presence of mind to number each horse and rider so they could be accurately paired once they had been painted.


All in all this boring task got completed and in due course I can look forward to actually painting them, the fun part as far as I am concerned, further down the line.  This job done I did manage to get two other things done.  The first of which was priming and painting some of the accessories which will either get dotted around the diorama or will be attached to some of the buildings.


My final task of the week was unplanned and came care of a comment from Dave Stone who commented “Which way is the river flowing ? Am I right in thinking it goes from the side with the wheel to the dock, if so is the boat the wrong way round?”.

An excellent observation to which I replied “That’s a very good point Dave and constructive ones are very welcome. To be completely honest I had not taken that into account so now you’ve got me thinking. Logically the boat couldn’t be rowed over the rapids and rough water. It could be rowed up stream but would have to be turned around to be rowed back down stream as and when. Further logic would suggest that the boat would be tied up parallel to the jetty but it’s to late for that now. If I was tieing the boat up I’d tie it to the front of the jetty as I have done and also to the back to keep it steady and from drifting off. However the boat looks like it’s a drift already and hasn’t been securely tied at the rear (because I never thought to do so!) so I think the best option is to attach another rope to the rear of the boat and the jetty and claim it’s got lose!”.

In response Dave came back with “That was the best solution that I came up with as well, and at least it’s an easy fix adding a rope, rather than trying to move the boat, as repouring resin can leave marks, and show where it’s been changed”.

Great minds think alike as they say so I set about the task or remedying my oversight.  For completeness here is a before and after image of the boat in the river as it now looks.


Not an exciting post this week but progress is progress and like it or not the boring stuff has to get done as well.  Hopefully this coming week will settle down and I can make a start on the Blacksmiths building.


28 thoughts on “Dio-Bolical Monday No: 33 – “Death & Taxes: The Earls Visit – Part 11”

  1. That was a lot of prep work TIM, and if it’s a job you hate, then good to get it out of the way.
    Great fix on the row boat, looks a lot more natural now, and as said above, gives a sense of movement to the piece.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Assembling miniatures is one of those things that I sometimes really enjoy and sometimes it’s just a pain in the arse. I’ve been working on a few pre-assembled/single cast models lately and it’s definitely a nice change to just slap some paint on without all that faffing. Anyway, well done getting that chore out of the way, very clever fix with the bases and I like what you’ve done with the boat as well. 

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Clean up sucks but converting is soooooo much fun! Making slight changes or a completely new mini is the bees bloody knees for me but I can see why others wouldn’t enjoy it. It’s the ultimate in creativity for me. Same with music. I enjoy covering songs but try to make them a little different but coming up with my own song is much more fun. Very thorough prep work mate. I love the movement on the boat. Fantastic.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It is true that assembling stuff and cleaning mold lines is not the most fun part of our hobby and in a big project like this, its good to give yourself some time to handle that. Its even better that you fixed your river flow/boat problem. I think people will never know you almost had an issue there now 🙂 I hope you’re able to get a bit more hobby time soon as well! Your loyal readers demand it! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Excellent progress. The boat looks great. You can’t tell it wasn’t meant to be that way. A boat that small would generally be tethered from a single point unless it was meant to stay for some time (and not even always then), so the single tie-off point and drift is proper.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I do like the way the boat rehab went. As for the prep work, I too find it a bit dreary but at the same time I find the challenge of building a “project foundation” for future success to be fun in a way. It fuels me to get that part out of the way so I can get to the fun part which is painting. Quick questions – I’m assuming the horse MDF solution requires you to cut out each MDF base by hand? and what thickness of MDF? Great solution Dave in any case.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Not very exciting you say!! Of course it was, there is nothing like a good recovery from a stumble to get the blood flowing eh! A lot more exciting than dancing girls and strippers!! Well, at my age anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

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