Dio-Bolical Monday No: 2 – “Fools Gold” – Part 1

This last week I have begun work on my “Fools Gold” diorama.  As the Table Top World cottage building is the smaller and much cheaper of the two (the other being the Wizard’s Tower) it made sense to use this model as the experimental one.  As with much of my diorama work my starting point was the base.  Not the base I would build but the base I would build the diorama on.

Now unless I plan to box the completed diorama up and store it away I prefer to have it on display in such a way that it doesn’t get covered in dust.  My wall storage units are not deep enough for displaying larger dioramas so I lean towards individual display cases which I buy from my mate Paul at Just Bases.  I generally buy the larger perspex cases he sells which measure 35cm wide by 20cm deep and 13cm high.  This then governs the size of the diorama I am about to do.  Armed with a ruler and my large cutting mat I worked out that this size base would be just about right for what I had in mind and duly placed my order with Paul.

Now under normal circumstances I would meet up with Paul and collect my base from him within a week or so but as we all know these times aren’t normal.  Meeting up wasn’t the problem but getting perspex was.  With all the screens going up everywhere to deal with Covid-19 perspex is an in demand material meaning it has become a little harder to get and more expensive to buy.  Oh goodie!  Paul assured me all was not lost and in a few weeks he would be stocked up, things would just take a little longer is all and so for now I am waiting on the base.

The good news is that because the design for this diorama incorporates a small stream section the base needs to be built up.  The MDF base that comes with the perspex case cannot be dug into so if I want to achieve depth I have to build upwards.  Does this make sense?  Well it does to me and if it is confusing you then all will become clear in due course as the diorama develops.

While I am waiting to collect the base from Paul I figured there were three things I could work on 1) the mine opening, 2) the Reaper figure and 3) painting the Table Top World cottage.  I decided I would start working on the mine entrance.

Plaster board has very much become my material of choice these days for a great many things.  Having raided a skip for some thrown out board a long time ago I went to the garage to review my stash.  Some suitable bits  were found and using an old tile saw I set about cutting some basic shapes to get me started.


Exciting pictures huh?  I cut out a few of these and then did a Google search for some reference material.  I settled on the image below for a rough idea of what I wanted to achieve.


I liked the idea of the mining track and wagon, the hole in the side of the hill and the wooden lintel to add some contrast to just the earth and stone.  I hadn’t consider the mining wagon and track before but thought it would be a great improvement so I thought I would try and see what I could find to buy.  As luck would have it Zealot Miniatures came up trumps so I ordered a couple of bits from them which hopefully will arrive shortly.  Fortunately their website had measurements for the track so I was able to press on with more of the mine construction.


Now whilst things might look like a mess at the moment you should know that I am delighted with how this is shaping up so far.  Essentially this is nothing more than the skeleton to which the flesh will be added.  The plaster board is building up the side nicely, the wooden supports and lintel are in and slate chippings have been added to show exposed rock from the digging and blasting which created the whole in the first place.  The thing is I can’t do much more on the mine now until I get the Zealot delivery because I need to fix the track in place and be able to get to it for painting before I can put a proper top on the mine entrance.

While the mine work done so far was set a side to dry I thought I would take a look at the Cottage.


It really is a lovely and highly detailed two part model.  On the positive side of things I can’t screw it up with glue (I don’t get on well with glue, whatever I do it goes every bloody where).  On the slightly negative side it is going to be a challenge to paint the inside.  Brush angles to paint the fireplace and windows is going to be tight.

The kits say they don’t need to be washed but I did so anyway and after they air dried I began to prime the two parts.  For as long as I can remember I have always primed using Humbrol White Matt Enamel diluted with White Spirit.  Unorthodox?  Most probably but it works for me.  Time now for the cottage to dry too so for now that is it for this week.

Hopefully next week I will press on with the mine if the Zealot bits come, if not I’ll start painting the cottage.


Ilnerik Sivanshin

The last couple of weeks have been pretty shitty in modelling terms.  Nothing has gone wrong on the painting and building side.  The problem has been that nothing really got done!  I am retired and in lockdown due to Covid-19 and some how still could not find the time to get any hobby activity in.  Why was this?  Well that is bloody good question to which the answer is Parish Council business. 

In a mad moment a few years ago I agreed to get involved with parish affairs.  I fell for the line “its a breeze”.  It’s not.  The last two weeks have been insightful to say the least but my term in office will come to an end by year end (well that’s the plan).  Not because elections are due but because I intend to tell them to fuck off.  If Covid-19 has taught me anything it is that life is to short to spend time discussing meaningless shit, especially if it takes needless time away from my hobby.

The good news is that I did manage to get this little chap finished.  Over the last two week I have picked him up and put him down more times than I have been to the toilet this year.  Now there’s a thought to leave you with!

The figure itself is from the 28mm Reaper Pathfinder range and goes by the name of “Ilnerik Sivanshin”.  Now I do like Reaper figures as many of you know by now and this one piece casting had sufficient detail to be interesting.  If I have one disappointment it is with the base.  I was pretty happy with the paint job but in my haste to get something finished cut corners on the base.  I think the completed figure was deserving of something much better.  I’ll see how I feel about that in a few days time.  There is always the option to try and sell this one on Ebay and simply do another.

Images below.



TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 77)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!


This weeks miniature is a 28mm figure from Reaper, a young lady who goes by the name of Kristianna and who lists her occupation as a Crusader Warlord.  I suspect she had no problem getting through passport control, assuming any of us can remember that term these days!  When you buy this figure it comes with a little lad too.  As far as I can see he is not named so I don’t know if he is a son or some sort of aide but it’s all irrelevant because I haven’t painted him yet, not even sure I will but I wont rule it out completely (I have).

Kristianna, Crusaders Warlord

As always with a single figure I am finding it harder and harder to say much about them these days.  The paint job was straight forward enough and I didn’t have it in me to do any freehand.  Perhaps I need to start making up some character blurb to go with it?  Not sure I have the imagination that others do for that sort of stuff but one to ponder perhaps.  Which is typically my way of saying I wont do it.



Well It Made Me Laugh



Covid-19 – Lockdown 2 The Sequel

Back in the days of the first lockdown it was as, far as I was concerned, a fun time.  The sun was shining, the roads were quiet and most people were scared shitless so we had no holiday makers to speak of in the South West.  All in all life was pretty good but for the threat of impending doom. 

Now the UK is part way through the second lockdown and so far I can’t say I am enjoying it much.  Don’t get me wrong I am playing my part once again and following all the rules but the weather is crap, the days are short and I spend most of the time trying to get my waterproof clothes dry in readiness for the next dog walk.  Oddly I am getting less modelling done too which quite frankly is bazaar.  

Sequels are all to often a disappointment and this one is no different.  On the positive side there is much talk of a vaccine.  I wont be top of the list to receive it when ever that is but my age shouldn’t put me at the bottom either.  In any event the time frame is some ways off so it looks very much like the sequel will in fact become a mini series.  Here’s hoping none of us find ourselves in the boxed set. 


Give Me Five

This week I thought I would go for films with a war theme set earlier than WW2.  Go back as far as you like.  In no particular order I ended up with the list below.  Again I suspect age comes into this. 

  1. Zulu (1964)
  2. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  3. All quiet on the Western Front (1930)
  4. Paths of Glory (1957)
  5. Ran (1985)


This week TIM has been listening to …

“I Love It” by Icona Pop.  Even at my age I can bounce to this one.  Any record with the lyrics “I don’t Care”, “You’re from the 70’s but I’m a nineties bitch” and “I threw your shit in a bag and pushed it down the stairs” works for me. 


This week TIM has been watching …

“TheGood Liar” starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen.  I do like Helen Mirren in particular so this was a must watch film for me.  Very enjoyable.  A twist was expected from the very start which gives nothing away but the story line shoots off in an unexpected way.  I’ll say no more. 



Remember …

Two can keep a secret if one is floating down the river.



Dio-Bolical Monday No: 1

Welcome to the first post under the catchy little title of “Dio-Bolical Monday“.  Last week saw the last Memory Monday post for a while but it will return at some point in the future for sure but for now it is time for a change.  Let’s get started.

I thought I would kick this series off with a bit of an explanation on what you can, in theory, expect to see in the next few weeks ahead.  If you haven’t figured it out already then the “Dio” in the title is short for “Diorama”.  Every now and then I get inspired to do something on a slightly larger scale and now is one of those times.  I used to do a fair few dioramas in the past but space constraints and storage have made them a rarity of late.

Now the thing with dioramas, well mine for sure, is they aren’t done in five minutes.  With all the will in the world I cannot post a new diorama model every week so Work In Progress posts, with thanks to those of you who kindly responded to my question in Miniatures & Musings No:68, will be the order of the day up to and including eventual completion.

Now one of the things to remember with dioramas (well mine again) is that they can go wrong!  You can have all the plans in the world (although I never work to a plan, it’s all just in my head) and still something will fail to work out.  Under the worst case scenario this means starting over but more often than not it amounts to a modification of some sort.  Sometimes this is an improvement on the original idea which is clealry a good thing but alas sometimes it isn’t and the end result whilst OK is not what I envisaged.  The thing is I have no idea how the build of these dioramas will pan out so the journey I am on is not just mine but yours too.  Together we will see how things work out for better or worse.

So, what do I have in mind for you?

Well I have two dioramas planned for now and because of things like drying times I will probably flick between the one I am working on and individual figures while I am waiting around.  The one thing both dioramas have in common is they feature buildings produced by “Table Top World”. I have mentioned these models in previous posts and they are visually stunning.  The level of detail is incrediable and I am excited at the prospect of painting them and then setting them into a scene.  The only downside is they are made of resin and I hate resin more than I hate plastic.  I am an old school guy but realistic to know that metal for these buildings is a non starter.  I am therefore going to put myself through an emotional spin dryer in attempting to paint these buggers.

The first building is a little rustic cottage.


The working title for this diorama is “Fools Gold”.   The title might stick it might not, it all depends on how things turn out.  The plan is for the building to feature an old prospectors cabin along side a gold mine entrance and I may even chuck in a tree and a little stream.  I have identified a nice little Reaper figure which I hope will bring it all together and tell the story.

The second building, and by far the more adventurous of the two, is the Wizards Tower.


This building is huge and stands almost two feet tall.  It also cost a small fortune so I am going to feel the pressure of not screwing this one up!  The working title for this one is “The Wizard’s Tower”, catchy huh!  I don’t know if this title is going to stick.  Not only do I not like it that much but I have a horrible feeling in my water that my original idea for this diorama will not stay the course which will change everything anyway.  Time will tell and things will become clearer on why I think this as the build gets under way.

Well that’s the introduction done.

From here on in it is going to be a long haul but the journey begins next Monday!  I hope you enjoy the ride.


Zonkers – Killer Klown

This week we have a 28mm Reaper figure from their Chronoscope range and before anyone points out the spelling mistake in the title the website has the figure down as Zonkers, Killer Klown with a ‘K’.

Not that long ago I painted another Reaper clown, Bonzo which I really enjoyed doing.  As Reaper do two I more than fancied doing the other one.

Now as with most of us I suspect we are often our own worst critics.  As a consequence I very rarely if ever express my delight at a figure I have done.  That’s not to say I am not pleased in my own mind and I know when I have pushed my own boundaries.  I say all that because today I am going to say that I am really quite chuffed with this little chap.  Why?  Well the simple answer is that this figure is without doubt the one I have done the most freehand painting on and all in all I think it turned out OK.

Firstly the shirt had freehand pink spots added to the blue base colour.  To look at it’s no big deal but the effort of getting them roughly all the same size and reasonably positioned to look random took far more time than I anticipated.  Not that time was a constraint, I just never envisaged it being the challenge it turned out to be.

Next up on the freehand was his trousers.  I’ve done striped trousers before as in two alternative colours but this time I had a go at three stripes.  The wider yellow and green but with a fine red stripe to separate the two main colours.

Lastly I elected to do some freehand lettering.  A ‘Z’ for his Zonkers badge was stright forward enough but the word ‘FIRE’ and ‘BOMB’ were a lot more demanding.

The only other thing to mention is the figure comes with a choice of heads.  The alternative option being essentially a head covered with a sack.  Can’t say that did a great deal for me.  I preferred being able to freehand some make up to his mouth and eyes.

Images below.




TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 76)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!


This weeks miniature is from Hasslefree and goes by the name of “Mystic Warrior Libby”.  A rather neat little four piece figure which like all Hasslefree figures fits together with a minimum of fuss.  I chose to go with a basic paint job and base and that’s about all there is to say!



Well It Made Me Laugh




Well this week I finally took the plunge and took advantage of my free upgrade, albeit for the first year only, and changed my site address to theimperfectmodeller.co.uk.  Despite my apprehension following my trials and tribulations with the new wordpress editor everything so far seems all well and good.  Hopefully it will continue to stay that way.  If there is one thing I hate more than glue it’s technology when it goes wrong.  Oh and I don’t like broccoli much either.


Give Me Five

This week I thought I would list my top five British stand up comedians.  There have been some great individuals over the years so selection was way tougher than I anticipated.  I could have made this a list of twenty and still left loads out.  I suspect some of the names on here, perhaps all of them, will be lost on overseas readers.  Opinion will be divided I’m sure but over the years these people have given me some great laughs, some still do.  So, for better or worse my top five in no particular order are:

  1. Ricky Gervais
  2. Rhod Gilbert
  3. Rowan Atkinson
  4. Billy Connelly
  5. Dave Allen


This week TIM has been listening to …

“Paradise” by Coldplay.  I’m not a fan by any means but I do like this track.  Looking at the stats so do 1,355,754,493 other people too.  Then again it might just be one person with an obsession.


This week TIM has been watching …

“The Invisible Man”.  This was the 2020 release, not the 1933 original.  Other than the title I’m not sure the two films have a lot in common.  As to the film itself it was OK and worth a watch in my opinion.  It made She Who Must Be Obeyed jump a couple of times and that alone made the whole thing worthwhile!



Remember …

Whatever you’re doing today, do it with the confidence of a 4 year old in a Batman T-Shirt.



TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 44)

I have finally arrived at the last Memory Monday post, well for now at least at any rate.  This post seemed an ideal place to bring things to a halt, if only because when the time comes to resurrect Memory Monday my memory will be good enough to remember that this is where I need to pick up from!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the timing of this post to sync with Armistice Day but that doesn’t mean we can’t still remember them.


28mm WW1 Timeline

Those of you kind enough to follow my blog will be aware of my WW1 Timeline project. After a good few months of work and several periods where I hit the wall in terms of inspiration the project is now complete.  I say complete, to be fair this historical period has been one which I have really enjoyed and as such I cannot see myself not adding to it in the future.  For now though, and in particular for the Armed Forces Day event to celebrate 100 years of the ending of the Great War which inspired this work, the job is done.

I thought I would share with you the sequence of these 28mm figures, vignettes and dioramas as they accord with the timeline.  Full details and better photos on each model can be found under the menu header “WW1” if your interest extends beyond this post.  For now I’ve just been lazy with regard to the photos I’ve pulled together. I didn’t have my Light Box when I started the project but when I get a moment I’ll retake all the photos and update this post.

Looking ahead I’m very much open to suggestions for expanding this project with further figures/vignettes/dioramas and any ideas you might have will be gratefully received.



Model 1 – “Read All About It” – Britain declares war on Germany – 4th August 1914

Believe it or not this little guy was key to my project.  I wanted to kick the thing off with the announcement of war but couldn’t work out how to do it until I found this little chap.


Model 2 – “It’ll Be Over By Christmas” – Enlisting 1914

Enlistment was a major event and took place all over the country with lengthy queues of young men signing up.  Little did they know what was in store for them.


Model 3 – “Passchendale” – July 1917

One of the major conflicts.  Nothing like a slow walk towards machine guns!


Model 4 – “James Newton Langley” – Middlesex Regiment, June 1915 to November 1918

This is my Great Grandfather.  He went through the war unscathed.  When I found this figure which had an uncanny resemblance to his photograph I just had to do it and include it in the project.


Model 5 – “Scottish Highlander” – 1914 – 1918

This started life as a spare figure. I didn’t want to do a big thing on the Scots but neither did I want to leave them out.  I then had the idea of turning the figure into a bust.


Model 6 – “Field Marshall Douglas Haig” – Commander British Expeditionary Force, Western Front 1915 – 1918

Love him or hate him a key figure who divided opinion. Impossible to leave out.


Model 7 – “Ypes” – April 1915

This was the first model I completed before it grew into a project.  Painted entirely with oils.  There were several battles at Ypes, all bloody conflicts.


Model 8 – “The Somme” – July 1916

Possibly the most famous incident of the war with an incredible loss of life on day one.  Hard to associate it with anything other than death.


Model 9 – “Vickers Gun Crew” – Amiens August 1918

The machine gun of its day and a must for inclusion.


Model 10 – “British Command” – 1914 – 1918

Lions led by Lambs.  Not all the officers were incompetent!


Model 11 – “British Casualties” – The Somme, July to November 1916

A sad reality of war.  Not everyone survives or gets killed. Some get to live with devastating injuries for the rest of their lives.


Model 12 – “British Signallers” – 1914 – 1918

Communication in all walks of life are key but not very Hollywood!  Underrated heroes.


Model 13 – “British 18 Pounder Gun Crew” – 1914 – 1918

The volume of shells fired during the war was incredible.  No wonder the landscape was so devastated.  An artillery piece was another must.


Model 14 – “British Troops French/Belgium Border” – 1915

I felt I needed a centre piece and fancied another building project.  I settled for a scene depicting troops making their way through a French/Belgium farm


Model 15 – “Gone But Not Forgotten” – British Cemetary 1917

Not everyone died on the battle field, some died from their injuries after they returned home.


Model 16 – “Daddy’s Home” – November 1918

The last piece (for now).  I needed an ending and decided a soldier returning to his family would no nicely.



TIM’s Angels

A fun little diorama/vignette to put together but a real pain in the arse to photograph.  My photographic skills are not good enough for such compact models and trying to get everything into focus in a single shot is simply beyond my skill level.  Accordingly the images are what they are but at least one of the three figures should be in focus in each image.

The figures themselves are all from the Statuesque Miniatures SCi-Fi range and are sold individually or at a slightly lower price for the set of three.  All the figures came in two to three parts but the quality of fit was excellent.  In fact I must say the figures were fantastic all round in terms of quality. 

I elected to go for a paint scheme along the lines of the website images because I thought the green looked rather cool.  Thereafter it was just a case of basing them.  As the figures came with broken masonry style bases I stayed with the urban type theme and just expanded the ground work accordingly.



TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 75)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!


This weeks miniature goes by the name of “Commander Slaughter” and is from Hasslefree Miniatures.  Not sure if the figure is based on anyone in particular but he is a lovely single piece sculpt in my opinion.  A simple base and a straight forward paint job.  Nothing much else I can say really.



Well It Made Me Laugh



Give Me Five

This week we are back to films.  In fact the more I think about it the more I think this will become more about films and TV than anything else!  This week we have a very, very tough one, WW2 films.  So many great films left out.  In no particular order my top five are:

  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • The Great Escape
  • The Bridge Over The River Kwai
  • Schindler’s List


IRO’s Podcast

I regularly listen to IRO’s Podcast and enjoy it very much (I know what you’re thinking – “so you’re the one?”) and as we all know he has a face for radio and an unbridled enthusiasm for our beloved hobby in all its forms.  His finest work was undoubtedly Episode 9 and I would encourage you to check that out but this little article is about Episode 38.

At the end of Episode 38 IRO refers to an email he received from a guy called John W.  Apparently John W had listened to Episodes 1 & 2 and thereafter felt compelled to email IRO to say that having done so he would rather watch paint dry.  I thought it was great that IRO was big enough to read the email out and in typical style laugh it off. 

Now IRO is six feet two, follically challenged, covered in tattoo’s with muscles in his spit and quite capable of looking after himself.  However, he considers me to be his Hobby Dad which therefore makes him my Hobby Son which in turn leaves me compelled to comment.  So I will.

Unless someone had to do it for him I assume that John W was capable of switching off the podcast in the same way he switched it on i.e. without the need to email IRO.  Then again perhaps someone had a gun to his head forcing him to do so, an option we should not be too quick to rule out.  There is also the do-gooder scenario which is to say maybe John W was simply being humorous.  Possible but far from rib tickling John W if I may say so.

All in all I am inclined to conclude that John W was simply being sarcastic and couldn’t resist a put down.  Sadly we live in an age where far too many people cannot resist the opportunity to put out negative and poisonous comments.  We now live in the era of the Troll.  The days of saying – “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” appear to have gone.  Which reminds me of another expression – “If you can’t beat them join them” so if you are reading this John W then “Fuck off and stop being a pratt”.

To my sensitive readers apologies for the profanity.


This week TIM has been listening to …

“Wake Me Up” by Avicii.  Unusually for me something relatively modern!  A cracking little number that with a good few beers in me would get me jumping.


This week TIM has been watching …

The film “Yesterday”.  As a general rule I like Richard Curtis films and I certainly like Lily James but personally I found this utter crap.  Sorry for sitting on the fence.

Film Review: Yesterday - "a joyful celebration of The Beatles music without  The Beatles" | Plymouth Arts Cinema | Independent Cinema for Everyone |  Plymouth College of Art.


Remember …

If a woman tells you that you’re right that’s called sarcasm. 



TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 43)

This week sees the penultimate Memory Monday post.  After next weeks post I will move on to Dio-Bolical Monday for a while at least.  After that I’m not sure what happens.  I may work on further dioramas if something takes my fancy after I have completed the two I have planned.  If my creative juices are flowing I might even come up with something new.  If not I may take a break until Memory Monday is ready to make a suitably timed return.   

Looking back at this post I am reminded that this was the start of my love affair with Reaper Miniatures.  Little did I know that I would go on to do so many more.


28mm Reaper Wood Elf – Arthrand Nightblade, Wood Elf Sergeant – (The April Challenge – Project No: 2)

This was my original idea for the April challenge and fell under Azazel’s example “be inspired by another hobbyists work and create your own version of something you have seen online”.

Many of the figures produced by those who I follow and by those who follow me generally fall into the Si-Fi/Fantasy genre. Nothing wrong with that at all, in fact the figures created and painted are simply superb and appeal to me.  My problem, as someone who likes to do vignettes and dioramas rather than gaming, has been how to create the right setting for any figures I might undertake to do. As a consequence it has been something which has continued to sit on the back burner … until now!

The turning point came following a post by “Caseyrog, Wyrd Stones and Tackle Zones” entitled “Tinkering with Elves” (an arrestable offence surely!).  A great article featuring some excellently painted miniatures.  This inspired me to do a little bit of Google Image and Pinterest searching which resulted in the discovery of this lovely little figure by Reaper Miniatures It’s difficult to explain precisely why I fell in love with this figure but fall in love I did. You may not agree but to me the figures pose is very cool.

I deduced that Wood Elves live and operate in woods (there’s not much that escapes me!) and therefore a woodland setting would be a highly appropriate setting for a vignette or diorama. An idea which had been sitting on the back burner had now become a reality.

I’m not sure what future models I will do within this genre but I have no doubt that I will do others. In fact a couple of figures are on order already!

Photos of the completed model below.