“Alain” – A 28mm Iconic Cavalier by Reaper (Final)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This week I managed to finish “Alain”, the 28mm Iconic Cavalier by Reaper which I had started painting the face on last week.  This represents my first figure for 2021 and therefore my entry into Ann’s challenge.

The figure provided an opportunity for a little free hand work on the shield, front and back, in the form of a couple of crosses.  As the figure had quite a lot going on and a fair bit of detail I decided to keep the base work simple.

Images below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 84)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks figure sees a return to Knuckleduster and a cowboy I very, very slowly painted between Christmas and the New Year.  I was very sluggish over the festive period and barley painted at all but bit by bit this one some how came together.  Nothing to do with the figure just down to me in a mood where between eating and drinking I simply could not be asked to pick up a brush, well not for long at any rate.

The figure goes by the name of “Big Bob” and is one of the six figures in the Bad Guys Faction pack.  Wherever I can I am trying to introduce some freehand painting on my miniatures.  Cowboys offer little opportunity to my equally limited imagination so striped trousers nearly always stand a chance of being done and so it was on this occasion too.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Fembruary challenge

Until IRO mentioned it recently I had forgotten about the Fembruary challenge run by Alex over at the leadbaloony.   I have participated the last couple of years and plan to do so again but having forgotten to put such a key event in my diary I am reminded of the need to purchase a figure.  Unfortunately I am at that age that if I don’t write it down I forget things.  The bigger problem is that I am also of the age that if I do remember to write things down I invariably forget what it was I intend to make a note of and, even more relevantly, where I put the note!

The ageing process is such fun.

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The Makings of a Plan?

Having made a slow start to the year I decided I ought to at least have the outline of a plan.  Nothing to rigid (what would be the point?), just enough to have some focus.  Dio-Bolical Monday takes care or itself at the moment and following that up with the Wizard Tower will keep me amused for a good many weeks.  I also have five more Knuckleduster cowboys to do from the “Bad Guys” faction for Christmas, although one of the figures is badly cast so I might not end up doing that one.

The other thing grabbing my attention right now is the apocalypse.  I really fancy doing more on that genre and I recently placed an order for a shed load of zombies.  More on that once the order arrives and I have had a chance to review what I have bought.  I also need to review the format or the blog.  No rush on that, not least of all because I have no alternative ideas just now but I need to consider my commitment to it in terms of three posts a week and how to breath more life into it for my benefit as much as anything.  Any ideas on that score would be greatly appreciated.

As plans go it’s a start but it’s pretty vague and very fluid.

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Give Me Five

I can cook but I don’t.   She Who Must Be Obeyed does the cooking in our house and the arrangement suits me just fine but for one minor thing.  Without fail she asks every few days what I would like for dinner in the days ahead so she can do the food shopping.  In itself that is not the problem.  The problem is she moans at cooking the same stuff week in week out.  To be fair the menu is not that repetitive but her moaning is.  So, this week I thought you could help me out.  Listed below are 5 of my favourite dinners.  Your job is to identify some of yours so that I can appear to be creative when she asks me later.  If that works then we might move on to puddings!

  1. Steak and chips (with mushrooms, peas and onion rings)
  2. Spaghetti Bolognese (with loads of Parmesan cheese and garlic bread)
  3. Homemade Pizza with loads of Chorizo
  4. Chicken Kiev
  5. Sunday Roast (Lamb, Beef or Pork)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Common People” by Pulp.  I do love this song and its increase in tempo part way through.  Jarvis Cocker’s lyrics are pretty cool too.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Rhythm Section” starring Blake Lively and Jude Law.  One of those films where the trailer was better than the film.  Watchable but no classic.  I’ve also just realised there is no vowel in the word Rhythm.

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Remember …

If you’re sitting in public and a stranger takes the seat next to you, just stare straight ahead and say ” Did you bring the money? “

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 8 – “Fools Gold” – Part 7

This week I fixed the cabin in place and set about getting the groundwork done around it and the tree.

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That was followed once it was dry by getting the groundwork painted and making sure it blended  in with what I had done already.

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A few more plants and leaves were added for colour and visual effect.  The pumpkin on the bench outside the cottage dictated autumn and so I went with leaves on the ground rather than just a few on my deadish looking tree.  I also started to paint the edge of the base to tidy things up a bit.

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The final touch for this week was adding a barrel, some rubble and planks.  Some more rubble needs to be painted and I have a couple of boxes to add on as well as a steers skull but these will be finishing touches for next week.

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All being well I will get the figure painted up for next week and that will complete the diorama.

TIM

“Alain” – A 28mm Iconic Cavalier by Reaper (WIP Post)

Before, during and after Christmas, as well as after the New Year, I have barely picked up a brush.  My routine such as I had one went out of the window and I simply got lazier and lazier.  I managed to maintain a slight grip on my “Fools Gold” diorama and to some extent the blog but that is as far as it went.  When I finally picked up a brush I realised I had ran out of time to get a figure done for this Saturday’s post.  Accordingly, and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I was confronted with a blog dilemma, do I not post at all or do I try and make a post out of what I have done to date? 

I decided against no post at all.  I could hear the cries of “thank goodness TIM hasn’t posted, we will get a few days respite!” and concluded that annoying you all was more important to me than I realised!

So, what I have I got for you?  Well let me start by saying this is not a tutorial, it is however a brief guide on how I paint faces.  As you will know I am sure, there a great many ways to paint faces and painters far better than I am have tutorials on YouTube that you can follow and replicate.    If this post is of any use then all well an good but other wise it is just a work in progress.  Next week I will hopefully have the figure completed.

As I have mentioned before I prime using White Matt Enamel paint, Humbrol or Revel, diluted a little using white spirit.  The face paints I use are from “Lifecolor” and the set of six I bought comprise of Flesh Base 1 & 2, Flesh Shadow 1 & 2 and Flesh Light 1 & 2.  The first image below shows Flesh Base 2 having been applied.  Please allow for the fact these images appear at 6 times or more bigger than the head of the real figure.

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Next using Black, Vallejo in this case, I block out the eyes and apply a thin line to the mouth.  I don’t concern myself if I have gone outside of the lines as that will be tidied up in due course.

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Next I paint the whites of the eyes.  Any white will do, I don’t get excited about an exact colour, perhaps I should but I don’t.  This white was again a Vallejo colour.

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Pupils come next and again I use black.  I try to take account of where the figure is looking and position the pupil accordingly.

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Time now to tidy up the black around the eyes using the base colour again and then, using the darker of the two shadow colours, outline the areas which need to be darker – around the eyes, hair line, neck, chin and nose.

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The next image is a little blurred but at this point I am using the lighter base colour to start the highlights – forehead, chin and cheeks.

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The next level of highlight is added to the same areas above.  

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Finally some near white to the nose, corner of the eyes and chin plus a little Old Rose Vallejo paint to the bottom lip.  

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Now the images on my Samsung Tablet show the head way larger than in reality (as mentioned above already), accordingly the end result looks far from great but in normal eyesight mode the exaggerated lines provide good definition.  Hopefully the finished model will demonstrate that next week but if not then I will go back and touch a couple of bits up.  That forehead is looking a bit to white as things currently stand.

Meanwhile I need to get my act together as this is not a great start to the New Year.  I have lots to paint and do and shrugging off the festivities and establishing some sort of routine is a must.  There are challenges on the horizon and my arse is not in gear for anything right now.

TIM 

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 83)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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According to WordPress this is my 400th post and to celebrate this momentous occasion this weeks miniature has not been painted by me, it has been done by none other than my hobby son, IRO!  Let me explain.

Towards the back end of 2020, around about October as I recall, IRO had the idea that we should each paint a figure for the other and then exchange them.  Doing a collaboration when you you are 12,000 miles apart is nigh on impossible and so this seemed like a neat idea.  There were no rules to speak of and the options were relatively simple – do your own thing completely, try and do something which the other would like or try and step into the other persons world of modelling.  You get the idea I hope.  To see what I did for IRO you will need to take a look at his blog.

I didn’t know what to expect from IRO (who would?) but with impeccable timing a parcel arrived from Australia a couple of days before Christmas.  With a combination of excitement and trepidation I duly opened it.  I confess to being surprised but certainly not disappointed.

IRO knowing I have more than a keen interest in the Old West decided to go for a figure in a genre I love.  He also went for a 54mm figure of an iconic character, namely Lee Van Cleef from the movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  The figure represented a major departure for IRO it seemed to me.  Firstly a step up in scale is not easy, the period is also something he is not typically associated with and, in order to be true to the film character, painting something in a single colour is, as I know myself, far from easy.

The composition of the figure is excellent, the rustic wooden base is very in keeping and the dry brushing has been done very well too and provides the necessary lift which is needed to break up the dominant black.   All in all I think IRO did a fantastic job but the biggest thing I take from this figure is that he stepped outside of his comfort zone to do something which he thought I would like.  I can report that I am delighted to say I am now the proud owner of a original IRO painted figure 🤗.

Hopefully this exchange of figures is something we will do again.   Not a competition but a very nice way of seeing up close someone else’s style and a neat way of some how making the world a smaller place and bringing the blogger community a little closer to hand.

I must point out this is not an exclusive exchange between IRO and myself.  If anyone else is interested in doing something similar just let me, or IRO, know.  If you want an original TIM or IRO figure in exchange for an original of your own just let either of us know and we will work something out.

Images of IRO’s figure, the original of which now resides in one of my display cases, are below.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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New year plans

I was planning to do a separate post on my plans for 2021 only to decide it wasn’t worth the bother.  Don’t get me wrong I have plenty of ideas and things I want to do but the reality is I have very little control over making them happen as proved last year!

The New Year will be eventful I am sure.  The family world of TIM has a lot going on this year but will any of it go to plan?  Being realistic I doubt it, the early signs are not great.  Take modelling for example, unless the date is put back, it is hard to see Salute taking place in April but maybe there is a chance that Telford might in November.

One way or another the family and I will muddle through in the best way we can much as we and everyone else did last year and whatever does take place, be it modelling or otherwise, will doubtless be revealed through this blog.  We will therefore play things by ear.

I did however set myself one key objective which if achieved will allow everything else to slot into place.  To live.

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Group Shot

Last week saw the completion of a small batch of American Civil War confederates but as rightly pointed out by Wudugast I omitted to include a group shot.

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Give Me Five

A very controversial one to kick off the New Year and one if you are interested in that will get you putting your thinking caps on.  I very much doubt we will get much agreement on this one.  In fact I even argued with myself knowing that I have cast aside so many fantastic music scores from so many great films.  I have barely scratched the surface with this topic and if the truth be told I’m not entirely sure how I came to these five.

  1. American Graffiti
  2. Pulp Fiction
  3. The Last of the Mohicans
  4. Pretty in Pink
  5. Top Gun

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“California Man” by the Move.  Roy Wood and Jeff Lynn at their rocking best.  I just love that saxophone.  This track came out in 1971 when I was 14 and still at school.  I will always associate it with a school field trip to the English Lake District when some local lads made some unwelcome advances to some of the girls from our West London school.  To the annoyance of our teachers we boys had a word or two with the locals and thereafter we became the girls shinning knights.  The day culminated in a party atmosphere in the youth hostel where we were staying which had a jukebox in a cellar room and this track was played over and over again.  Happy days.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Amazing Spider-Man” – starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.  Was in the mood for a dip into the world of Marvel comics and Spider-Man is one of the best.

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Remember …

You know when you are getting old when one big fart can put your back out.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 7 – “Fools Gold” – Part 6

This week work began on the stream.

I have done water effects before several times but have always used products from Woodland Scenics.  This time I decided to try something different.  Thinking ahead to when I do the Wizard’s Tower I know the Woodland Scenics materials won’t work for what I am thinking of doing so after scrolling through YouTube I settled on using the materials demonstrated by Luke at Geek Gaming.

For this diorama I kept things simple.  I didn’t want a dramatic look so to some extent the effect is a little lost.  The important thing is the material works and I can tell already that this will be the stuff I use on the Wizard’s Tower base.  The white you see in the image below is Woodland Scenics water effects added on top to add a few ripples and to see if the products could be combined and work.  They do.

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Once the water effects dried it was time for a little white dry brush to bring out the ripples.  Once that was done I painted up the logs and fixed them in position.  Later they would get a dry brush too.

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Time now to think ground work and tree.  It always amazes me how much difference even a small amount of grass and a shrubs make.  Introducing some Green to all the shades of brown works nicely for me.

The wire aperture for the tree was put in place and bedded into some Milliput and then left to harden.

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Next step was to get the wire aperture covered in a PVA and filler mix.  This was then left to dry before painting.  Oils were used for painting the tree and further dry brushing will be applied in due course.  I’m not looking to add more in the way of branches to the tree.  A dead-ish looking appearance is what I am after and besides I want it to complement the mine and the cabin and not dominate the scene.

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That’s it for this week.  Too much else going on right now but for the next post I hope to have the Cabin in situ, ground work and debris added and some miscellaneous bits and bobs such as barrels, planks, boxes and rubble added.

TIM

TIM’s Review of 2020

As I welcome in the New Year of 2021 and the optimism of a vaccination and a return to some normality I thought it appropriate to reflect on the year that will forever be known to me (and others?) as “Fucking 2020”.  In summary, the best thing about the year 2020 by far is it is fucking over and I didn’t die.

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And so it’s goodbye to 2020! 

What else didn’t I do in 2020?  Well I didn’t go to any modelling shows, including Salute in April and Telford in November, both of which were inked in my diary as major events I was looking forward to enormously.   I didn’t go to France and I didn’t go to Norway on holiday.  My two trips to London were cancelled so I didn’t get to take my daughter to the Tutankhamen exhibition at the Satchi museum or to see a West End show and countless other things we had arranged.  In fact everything I had planned didn’t happen.

I did get to spend most of my time at home.  I did get to experience home delivery grocery shopping, queuing up, social distancing and pretending to be Batman while wearing a mask.  I did manage to spend lots of time claiming financial refunds for things I was looking forward to doing but which had to be cancelled and I did get a lot of jobs done around the house until I ran out of materials.

Unfortunately the pandemic is set to role into 2021 but with talk of vaccines in the pipe line there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel.  The New Year is a separate topic though so back to 2020 and the year that was or should that be wasn’t?

On the positive side of things there was never a better time to be a figure painter and modeller (once things settled down and the supply chains were properly working again).  Stuck in doors with nowhere to go the hobby took on whole new meaning, not just for me but for a great many others who got back into it for something to do.  I enjoyed the quiet roads and the greater freedom that provided for walking the dog and having the kids at home from work and school made for some great family time, particularly during the summer when we enjoyed some fantastic weather.

My biggest disappointed was learning that I shared this world with a far higher percentage of morons than I ever realised but the one big thing I will take from 2020 is “perspective”.  Life is far to short to worry about the trivial shit and in the blink of an eye you are old before you know it.  If you don’t relate to that yet then it is because you are to young but trust me when I say you will come to learn it is a truism in due course.  The point is I now have a different outlook on life and once things settle down again, as I am sure they inevitably will, then as long as I survive then the time for even greater life changes will have arrived.

Reflecting specifically on the hobby what do I consider my personal highlights to have been?  Well there haven’t been many to be honest but let’s start with a few of the things I did which provided the most pleasure.

First up is “Viharis Tenspire” a wizard that I painted for Ann’s Challenge back in March followed by a diorama I called “OMG!” which was intended for shows and Telford in particular but alas wasn’t meant to be.  In May I put together the ever topical “Covid-19: Lockdown Breakout” and during July I got into doing some knights, something I hadn’t done in a long time, concluding with a little vignette called “Knights Hospitaller“.  An odd choice I suspect in the eyes of many but my personal favourite was Zonkers: Killer Klown which I posted in November purely for the time it took me and the amount of freehand work I put into it.  There were plenty of other figures of course and aside from a few I wasn’t happy with I would have to say that in the main I enjoyed what I painted.  It could be argued that 2020 wasn’t a bad year in that respect.

Moving on from the painting side of things the Blog continued to be fun and not long ago I went down the route of acquiring my own domain.  As ever some of the banter was excellent and it remains the most important part of blogging for me and others too from what I have read and seen.  It was great to expand that group with some new followers and am delighted to be in contact with Roger, Dave Stone, Deturnation and Kuribo in addition to all the long standing reprobates from around the world.

Statistically this has been my best year since starting the blog although I do wonder how much that has been influenced by the Covid-19 imposed lockdown.  I don’t put to much store by them but I wont pretend seeing the views go up and gaining a few more followers isn’t rewarding.  My personal statistical favorite is when my blog gets viewed by someone in a country where I haven’t had a view before.  Currently my blog has been seen in 74 countries and of all the statistics available this one blows me away.

Finally I cannot conclude this post without making reference to my Hobby son, IRO.  My podcast interview with him whilst doubtless dull and boring to those who listened was a highlight of the year and one which can only be improved upon by a physical meet and copious amounts of alcohol.  Here’s to that day.

Happy New Year everyone and I will leave you with a few images of the models referenced above.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 82)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings! and my last post for 2020.

Before moving on may I wish each each and everyone of you and your families a Happy New Year.  I will do a review of 2020 in due course but I don’t think I will be sticking my neck out to far by saying thank goodness 2020 is over.  The New Year provides optimism for us all and with much talk of vaccinations here’s to hoping we can all return to our individual normal’s as soon as possible.

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This weeks miniature is another double whammy and my last two 28mm American Civil War Confederates by Dixon’s, if not for ever than for this year at least.  Nothing I can say about these two which I haven’t said already about the others and that wasn’t a great deal either!  I can however confirm if you hadn’t worked it out already that the flag is not freehand.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Christmas

Well I hope that despite everything you all managed to have an enjoyable Christmas.  My own Christmas was more than a little strange.  For the first time in I don’t know how many years I didn’t get to the pub on Christmas day as it was closed this year.  As a consequence I was sober while eating Christmas Dinner and in the afternoon found myself still awake where normally I would have nodded off!  All in all a very surreal experience but as (hopefully) a one off it was actually OK.

Santa brought me a few things, a book I have been looking forward to getting and reading and of course several modelling bits and pieces.  Little in the way of figures this year (I really do need to work through my stash) but some much needed brushes, inks and paints which I am looking forward to using.  The main things on my list sadly did not materialise but then again it has been that kind of a year.

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Give Me Five

Christmas having passed for another year made me reflect on what I received but more significantly what I did not.  I end the year with the top five things on my Christmas list that nobody could be arsed to put themselves out to get me!  Maybe next year will prove more successful.  In priority order for a change, just so family and friends are left in no doubt what I want for 2021, I give you:

  1. A hot date with Jenna Coleman
  2. A hot date with Jennifer Lawrence
  3. An E Type Jaguar Convertible (for my hot dates)
  4. Three World Cruise tickets (for me, Jenna and Jennifer, never travel without a spare!)
  5. Socks

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Rehab” by Amy Winehouse.  For all of us who over indulged at Christmas and will do so again when we say “Fuck Off 2020”.  Drink problem?  I drink, I fall over, no problem!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Last Christmas” starring Emilia Clarke.  A very enjoyable and seasonal family film.

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Remember …

If someone says you look familiar tell them you do porn.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 6 – “Fools Gold” – Part 5

Having finally taken delivery of the base and case from my mate Paul I was now in a position to continue the base work.

A visit to my dwindling plasterboard stash (I need to start knocking someone’s house down or make a visit to the DIY store) provided me with what I needed to build up the left hand side and bring forward the front of the mine so that the base was suitably covered.

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With the plasterboard in situ it was time to carve the plaster board and begin to shape the stream.  I figured the miner would need to ford the stream each day and wouldn’t want to get wet so I found a few wooden twigs to create a basic rustic bridge.

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Next up was getting a load on base debris stuck down.  I mainly used the plaster bits which were removed from the carving process along with a little fine sand and dirt and small gravel swept up from the road outside our house.  Oh, and a few stones from the front garden!  A pencil outline was drawn around the house to make sure I didn’t stray into that area.

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After being stuck down with watered down PVA and allowed to fully dry for 24 hours it was time to get some painting done.

I don’t own an airbrush and have no plans to get one, it is well beyond my patience level to learn how to use one.  I’ve always stuck with brushes and oil paints thinned with white spirit to paint ground work and I wasn’t about to change method now.

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Time to let things dry once again.  Next week the aim is to get the water effects done on the, stream, put the log bridge in place, lay down a little grass and a few plants and begin work on a tree.

TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 81)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This is my last post before Christmas so let me start by wishing everyone who reads this a very Merry Christmas.  This year has been difficult for us all and I will reflect more on that at year end, in the meanwhile I hope you and yours have a truly great time or at least as good as the circumstances allow.  I should also add that there will be no Saturday post from me this week as it is Boxing Day and I plan to sit down, eat, drink and watch back to back films!

As far as this weeks miniatures go all I have to offer is two more Dixon Confederates.  The good news is there are now only two more in my little pile to do.  As far as these two go they were just a run of the mill paint job and as Forrest Gump would say “That’s all I have to say about that”.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Christmas Past. Present and Future

I appreciate this will sound like Bah Humbug but Christmas Present for me leaves a great deal to be desired.  I love the food and drink and am happy to see family and friends and play a few games and watch the telly.  I really want to enjoy the occasion and to some extent I will but in truth Christmas Present isn’t that great.

My family is all grown up and this year Covid-19 has pretty much put a block on virtually all the things we would typically do in the lead up to the festive period.  Accordingly I am left with the fondest of memories of Christmas Past from when I was a kid to when my own kids were young.  Christmas is for kids after all and right now little children do not feature in my family.  Hopefully, and all in good time, Christmas Future will address this.

In the meanwhile my only option is to act like a big kid myself.  If Father Christmas does not bring me what I want I will throw a tantrum!

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Thunderbolt Mountain

A shout out to Mark A Morin to say a big thank you for two packs of Thunderbolt Mountain figures which he kindly sent me recently.  Not a manufacturer I had ever heard of but Mark provided the historic details and some amazing information on the sculptor (as only Mark can).  Having been bequeathed them himself but knowing he would never get round to doing them he kindly wondered if I might be interested and duly posted them to me all the way from the good old US of A.

The sculpts are quite different from what I normally do and the scale is a little smaller but I certainly aim to have a crack at one of the sets in the fullness of time.  Thanks again Mark, very kind of you.

If you want to see why Mark hasn’t got the time to do them himself then check out his blog by following the link above to see what he has been up to on his Aztec project.

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Give Me Five

I couldn’t ignore the time of year so this week I have gone for my 5 best Christmas films.  Not a huge list to choose from but I actually had to leave out a couple of films that I really like.  Decisions must however be made and as such here are my top five in no particular order.

  1. Love Actually
  2. Die Hard
  3. Home Alone
  4. It’s A Wonderful Life
  5. Last Christmas

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Happy Christmas War Is Over” by John Lennon.  Being Christmas I thought it appropriate to have a festive song this week and as December 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of his death outside the Dakota building in New York  I couldn’t think of a more appropriate song.  R.I.P. John Lennon.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Motherless Brooklyn” starring Edward Norton who also directed the film.  Not the greatest plot but not a bad film despite that.  Worth a watch in my opinion if only for some fantastic acting by Norton himself.

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Remember …

If your wife says you are a skeptic don’t believe a word she says.

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TIM