TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 91)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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I decided a review of my bits box and all of my modelling stuff was long overdue.  Time I felt to clear out the stuff that I would never ever finish or even start in the first place.  In theory this was a good idea but in practice it turned out to be a little depressing.  I had no idea I had accumulated so much stuff that I had forgotten about.  Only recently I had thought all of my knights had been done but oh! no.  Consequently this week, and by way of a change from Hasslefree and Knuckleduster, I have a Footsore Knight, one of half a dozen foot knights I aim to work on until I get bored.  All rather plain and simple but that I’m afraid is where my level of interest began and ended so not very exciting.

Overall I did manage to clear out some bits and I certainly tidied things up a lot that’s for sure but on the downside, largely out of guilt, my to do pile grew even bigger.  I was confronted with the inevitable choice of getting them all done or bothering only to do some.  It was time to man up or be a mouse.  Squeak.  Yep, I put most of them back and decided to face them all another day.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I’m not one to shy away from a controversial subject, truth be told I like a grown up debate on pretty much anything but lockdown is preventing me form going to the pub with my mate John and putting the world to rights.  As a consequence this part of my blog is taking on the temporary role of filling this void until lockdown is eased.  This week I thought I would consider the subject of bullying, specifically when is the line truly crossed?

When I was a lad at school bullying was clearly defined, if you were physically picked on or had things like your dinner money stolen you were being bullied.  Pretty much everything else came under the banner of “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”.  In short, man up was essentially the message of the day.  Tough love and not great but that was the situation back then and as someone with ginger hair (its auburn son, not ginger) I had more than my fair share of verbal “banter” and one or two fights along the way.  Even my teachers would single me out at times! 

In fairness everyone back then got picked on for something, typically the characteristic that made them standout – glasses/four eyes, the fat kid, the tall lanky one, the ginger, the nerd, the spotty kid, etc.  Like it or lump these were their distinguishing features and kids as we know can be cruel.  Tabloid Cartoonists work in exactly the same way by highlighting key characteristics and then emphasising them and yet ironically that’s considered acceptable.  But is it funny or cruel?  Even the tough kids weren’t exempt.  Generally they were considered thick but you just didn’t tell them to their face!

So, back in my youth was any of that acceptable?  Certainly not by today’s standards but that was the way it was and why for some people of my generation it is hard to determine what is and what isn’t bullying in the modern world.   Being beaten up is still way out of line and we have rightly moved on in recognising other forms of bullying behaviour, well in theory at least.  Verbal bullying is unpleasant of course it is (I certainly never enjoyed it) as is online bullying and other forms but does it all need to be reported or just simply ignored?  Social media has a lot to answer for but why not switch it off? 

I’m not condoning any of this type of behaviour but I do wonder in a general sense if we are pampering a little too much to some people’s sensitivities?  Some kids and adults too these days strike me as overly fragile.  As I hold out little hope of bullying ever being stamped out completely  I do fear for those of a weaker disposition and wonder if the subject wasn’t better deat with when I was a kid. 

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Give Me Five

Last week I chose my top 5 dinner guests no longer with us, this week if I have chosen my top 5 people currently alive who I would like to chat with over dinner and glass or two of wine.  To provide a mix I went for a politician, comedian, sports person, actor/actress and a TV personality.  I did also cheat in that I would have two evenings, the other would be just me with Jenna Coleman.  It’s my blog so my rules and if I want to cheat I will!  As to the five, in no particular order they are:

  1. Boris Johnson
  2. Lee Mack
  3. Alex Morgan
  4. Tom Cruise
  5. Amanda Holden

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Word Up!” By Korn.  I do like this track but the dogs in the video are a little freaky.  Can’t help but think there is a modelling conversion to be had here chaps!   

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Line of Duty”.  With the new series due out soon I thought I would binge the first five series.  Whilst each series has its own story line there is a thread that runs throughout.  Am currently on series four which featured Thandie Newton.  A seriously great drama in my opinion.

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Remember …

Money cannot buy happiness but it sure can make misery easier to live with.

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TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 90)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is from Hasslefree and goes by the name of “Earl”.  This is a figure I have done before and not that long ago either but for some reason I had bought him again.  Not entirely sure why but now that I have painted him again I suspect whatever idea I had for him will now come back to me and I will end up buying him yet again!  That’s the ageing process for you!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I love my hobby like we all do but there is one thing which gets up my nose (there are probably others too) and that’s finding a miniature I like but only being able to purchase it as part of a set of figures.  I wouldn’t mind so much if the rest of the figure in the set were as equally good but all to often they are not and they end up in the unwanted lead pile.  It’s much the same when buying a pack of socks from Marks and Spencer, there’s always a couple of pairs that you know you will never wear.

I’m no marketing guy and I expect from a sales point of view packaging the figures in this way works well for the company.  To be fair they may even think their sets of figures are all excellent and compliment one another.  Personally I prefer being able to choose the figures I want even if I had to meet a minimum price or figure volume to complete the purchase but alas that option doesn’t exist.  Until it does if I like a figure that much I will just have to pay over the odds.

Such is life.

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Give Me Five

Lockdown continues to deny me and countless others simple indulgences such as having some friends round for dinner and spending the evening putting the world to rights.  Reminding myself of this got me thinking who who would be my top five people, now no longer with us (we might do living people next week), that I would most like to have at a dinner party and have a jolly good chat with.  I thought a nice mix of politics, music, film, comedy and sport would make for a very interesting evening.  In no particular order I came up with the following guests.

  1. Winston Churchill
  2. John Lennon
  3. Elizabeth Taylor
  4. Robin Williams
  5. Brian Clough

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Take it Easy” by the Eagles.  It will be 46 years this June that I saw the Eagles live at Wembley Stadium along with a 100,000 other people, the Beach Boys and Elton John who topped the bill on his Captain Fantastic tour.  That was 1975 and this track which was released in 1972 is as great now as it was then.  Well I think so.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Gangs of London” starring Joe Cole who can also be seen in Peaky Blinders.  This was a series recommended to me by IRO who described it as romantic comedy 😉.  I jest of course.  It is a pretty gritty and violent but extremely watchable.  Well IRO and  I think so.  Certain things didn’t turn out as I expected but a predictable drama would be less fun.  Now I just have to wait for the second series.

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Remember …

Nine times out of ten when your wife asks “Do you remember what today is?” she’s just trying to scare you.

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TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 89)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is a Hasslefree figure called “Tony” and is based on the character played by Nick Frost in the film Shaun of the Dead.  Having done the three “Shaun” character figures which Hasslefree have on offer it made sense to do this one.  I must take a closer look at the other figures to see if any of the others have been sculpted as I nearly missed this one.  It will also provide me with an excuse to watch the film again, not that I really need one!

The figure itself is pretty plain but when I looked at some on line images I noticed that “Tony” wore a T-Shirt with the wording “I Got Wood” written on it.  It wasn’t possible to replicate this in full due to the left arm being across the figures midriff.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

When I was a kid we had very few TV channels to choose from, three to be precise.  The BBC never had adverts but ITV, our only independent station at the time, did.  A program on ITV would be shown and every 20 minutes or so there would be a break in the broadcast for adverts.  Back then the break would be captioned with “End of Part 1” followed afterwards by “Part 2” etc when the program returned.  More importantly the program, whatever it was, simply picked up where it left off.  Somewhere between that point and now things have changed a great deal of course.

These days going straight to the adverts and doing away with the announcement of a break, and the return thereafter, doesn’t bother me.  I can live with the fact that the Ad breaks are longer and more frequent too.  What does irritate me though, thanks no doubt to the increase in my TV viewing due to Covid lockdowns, is what happens when the program returns after the adverts.  For some reason it has become necessary to remind me of what happened in the previous 15 minutes of the program before they went to the advert break.  This doesn’t happen once it happens after every break in the bloody program.  More than that it seems to happen in almost every program I watch these days!

Just what is going on here?

Between the start of the program and the resumption of it after the break did a million new viewers suddenly join in?

Is there a need to pad out the 24 hour TV schedule by such repetition?

Or is it that the average UK television viewers memory retention is only slightly higher than that of a fucking goldfish?

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Give Me Five

I have no idea what inspired this weeks choice (probably my daughters choice of family TV viewing) but I decided to think about my top five animated films.  After some deliberation I came up with the following five.  In no particular order they are:

  1. Toy Story
  2. The Jungle Book
  3. The Lion King
  4. The Simpsons Movie
  5. Shrek

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin.  Fancied a bit of Led Zep this week and settled on a classic for this weeks post.  For those of us in the UK it will always be associated with Top of The Pops.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Le Mans 66” starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale.  I didn’t know the true story of Le Mans 66 so this film came as a complete surprise and I loved every minute of it.  Will leave it a week or so before watching it again!

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Remember …

Taking a dog to the beach called Shark is a bad idea.

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TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 88)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is from Reaper and the female figure goes by the name of Almah, Merchant Princess.   A lady not to be messed with and for inclusion in Alex’s Fembruary Challenge.  I went for a simple paint job but am now regretting that I didn’t take the opportunity to see what freehand work I could have considered doing.  Always next time.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I hadn’t intended to start with the subject of Racism but then two things happened.  Firstly IRO did a podcast on the subject and then I had an issue with eBay.

I’d never thought of Racism in the hobby but I thought IRO was good to bring the subject up and it did get me thinking about it.  I’m not intending to get into a great debate on the subject but before I get onto my whinge a couple of observations.  Firstly, having attended numerous models shows up and down the country I have rarely, if ever, seen many ethnic minorities in attendance.  I might be wrong but culturally within my sphere it appears they have little or no interest in the hobby.  Then again they may all be at home painting away.  Secondly, the military subjects which dominate from what I see tend to be “white” conflicts.  Of course there are plenty of ethnic campaigns too but the point is do they sell?  I remember a manufacture telling me that for every cowboy figure he sells he can sell 30 or more WW2 figures.  The bottom line is it’s about the bottom line.  Now on to my whinge.

My whinge is in two parts.  The first is very simple.  Now maybe it’s just me, and it probably is but it strikes me it is impossible to have a grown up conversation about racism without someone immediately calling you a racist.  Even IRO felt awkward talking about the subject.  Why?  To my mind if you cannot openly talk about the subject then you are more likely to create new racists.  Yes, black lives matter but so does every life.  I could go on and on about the subject but quite frankly I can’t be asked to address the inevitable abuse.

Now to the second part of my whinge.  Remember this little chap that I posted a few weeks ago?

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Well I decided I would put the little chap up for sale on eBay where he sat for a few days and then I received a message from eBay of which this is an extract.

Quote:

We had to remove your listing because it didn’t follow our Offensive material policy. Listings that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or discrimination aren’t allowed.

What activity didn’t follow the policy

We removed your listing as it violates our Offensive Materials policy. eBay has made a decision to no longer permit Confederate flag listings and/or listings that feature the flag. We believe the image of the flag itself has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism. This is not a reflection or judgement on anyone selling the item and we respect that there are a wide variety of opinions on this issue. Please note that even if the language is part of the official name or trademark of the item, it is not permitted to be used in your listing title or description. We do not permit these items. Please do not relist these items again. Failure to comply will result in further restrictions and a possible suspension of your account.

Unquote

Now of course everyone is free to draw their own conclusions.  Personally I fall into the camp which says history is history and we should learn from it and not pretend it didn’t happen.  I’m also of the opinion that anyone who is offend by an inch high figure is a sad fuck and is simply indicative of a sad world where political correctness has gone mad.

As someone who worked for a vast global company for 32 years I have worked with people of all races and from all over the world.  Truth be told I have found people generally fall into three categories.  Those I like, those I don’t and those I have no opinion on at all.  Colour of skin is immaterial, if your nice your nice if you’re a shit you’re a shit.

Simples.

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Give Me Five

Before I get abused for being insensitive and racists I thought I should keep the ethnic theme running by this week listing my top five ethnic actors/actresses.  In no particular order:

  1. Sidney Poitier
  2. Morgan Freeman
  3. Denzel Washington
  4. Rami Malek
  5. Thandie Newton

This week TIM has been listening to …

“When Tomorrow Comes” by the Eurythmics.  I do think Annie Lennox is a great singer and together with Dave Stewart they made some excellent music.  Will doubtless line up some more of their tracks in the future but today decided to go with this one.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Bulletproof” a TV series set in London.  This one passed me by but I have managed to watch the first series and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The good news is there is a second series of six parts, just like the first, and a third comprising of three episodes.  Now looking forward to watching those too.  Oh, and the two black actors, Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke, are very cool and no I’m not just saying that.

Bulletproof (TV Series 2018– ) - IMDb

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Remember …

Don’t assume it is your people skills which are the problem, it is more likely to be your tolerance of idiots which needs working on.

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TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 87)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another Knuckleduster figure and my last one, well for now at least anyway.  This little chap goes by the name of “Valentine” and is based on the character Liberty Valance played by Lee Marvin in the film “Who Shot Liberty Valance” which also starred John Wayne and James Stewart.

The figure is the 4th of the six figures in the “Bad Guys” faction.  I will get around to doing the other two at some point but for now I feel the urge to paint something different.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I’m thinking of making this a new feature.  Bottled up indoors as we go through probably our longest and most dangerous lockdown in the UK I feel the need to vent my spleen on somethings which make my blood boil.  If I don’t get some of them off my chest I will simply explode.

Will you agree with the my rantings?  Possibly, possibly not but please bare the following in mind.  Firstly, my aim is to get things off of my chest, in other words this is therapy for me and not to be confused with rational behaviour.  Secondly, I am always willing to concede to a better argument or explanation as to why I might be wrong in my ranting.  Worst case scenario we can agree to disagree.  In any event we will kick off next week.

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Give Me Five

As we are in Fembruay I thought it only right an proper to consider the best 5 female movie characters having done the chaps a week or so ago.  In no particular order my top 5 are:

  1. Sarah Connor – Linda Hamilton, Terminator franchise
  2. Ellen Ripley – Sigourney Weaver, Alien franchise
  3. Clarice Starling – Jodie Foster, Silence of the Lambs
  4. Hermione Granger – Emma Watson, Harry Potter franchise
  5. Katniss Everdeen – Jennifer Lawrence, Hunger Games franchise

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Mama Weer All Crazee Now” by Slade.  I felt the need for a return to my teens and to clear my head with a good blast of loud music.  Classic BBC Top of the Pops recording with no speakers or anything plugged in!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Serpent” starring Jenna Coleman.  Given my on/off love affair with Jenna Coleman (she’s not phoning me again at the moment!) I was always going to give this eight part mini series ago.  Based on a true story it is a little creepy at times and you do have to concentrate because it jumps backwards and forwards all over the place.  Nevertheless an excellent watch in my opinion

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Remember …

Every time you talk to your wife the conversation will be recorded for training and quality purposes.

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TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 86)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another Knuckleduster one from the faction pack of six that I recently acquired.   The Knuckleduster website has this guy down as being called “Duvene”.  A lot of the Knuckleduster figures are based on film characters and this one appears to be a take on Boss Spearman played by Robert Duvall in the movie Open Range.  A great film by the way if you haven’t seen it and one I am now reminded to watch again.  The only oddity of this figure is that it appears in the Bad Guys faction pack and Boss Spearman was a good guy.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Back To The Future?

My recently finished diorama, “Fools Gold”, went as well as it could have done and unusually I can’t recall a single glitch along the way.  This last week though I have been trying a few base things out for some little diorama ideas that I have and for whatever reason I have abandoned every attempt.  Modelling it seems to me can be a bit like golf.  You play a few good holes and just when you think you have cracked it your game falls apart.  Frustration sets in and from there the only way is down.

In truth this is not the first time I have experienced this unwelcome phenonom.   In days gone by I would allow my frustration to get to me, my temper would rage and things would get broken to the point where whatever I was doing truly had to be adandoned.  These days I am more mature.  I stop before I break things!

In conclusion it is time for a time out by which I mean a return to simply painting figures and allowing my mind to forget all about base work for a while.  It isn’t a mojo thing, the enthusiasm is there along with the ideas but the solutions and execution aren’t.  Invariably a Back To The Future stance works, the mind relaxes, the fog clears and the solutions magically appear.  Hopefully it will happen again.

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Give Me Five

A couple of weeks back I posted my top five dinners and asked for meal idea so I could get She Who Must Be Obeyed to up her game and get off my back by continually asking what I would like to eat.  It says a lot about this blog that I probably had more comments on food than figures!  Perhaps I need to change hobbies?

Thanks to you guys I now have a much expanded dinner menu but now need to move on to puddings.  By all means give me you ideas on them but let me say straight up healthy options probably wont make my list.  Puddings even more than dinners are about over indulgence.  My five in no particular order are:

  1. New York Cheesecake
  2. Ice Cream
  3. Chocolate melt in the middle pudding with custard and cream
  4. Pears with toffee sauce and cream
  5. Eton Mess

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“I Predict A Riot” by the Kaiser  chiefs.  A great track with a title which may well come true at some point if the UK lockdown continues with no end in sight.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Three Amigos” starring Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short.  An old film with a great cast and one I had not seen in a long while.  Shows its age but still very amusing in places – “Sew like the wind!”

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Remember …

If you sit on the toilet at 11:59 and the clock strikes midnight it’s the same shit different day.

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TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 85)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is the second one I have done from the Knuckleduster Bad Guys Faction which goes by the rather odd name of “Blue Duck”.  Of the six figures in the faction this one is probably my least favourite.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Hold Tight!

Some habits are hard to break and gripping figures to tightly when I am painting them is something I am finding impossible not to do.  Unfortunately it is now becoming a physical problem in my left hand.  For a while now I have started to find if I paint for too long my hand cramps badly and I can’t continue.

Unable to break the habit, something I have been trying to do for some time now, I have started to set the alarm on my phone to remind me to take a break after a certain amount of time.  So far, so good but the up shot is I have found myself painting less.  In itself that’s not a problem, in fact longer term it will help me with my ever growing storage issue.  The concern I do have is more with the blog.

Whether or not I can produce a figure for Wednesday’s and Saturday’s might become an issue.  I will continue as I am but if I have a bad week, and if things continue then I can see that happening from time to time, I might have to substitute a newly painted Miniature & Musings figure for one done some time ago adopting my Memory Monday concept.

Time will tell.

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Give Me Five

This week I thought I would consider my top 5 male film characters excluding Science Fiction and Fantasy as I will deal with the likes of them another time.  In no particular order I came up with the following:

  1. James Bond  – Various Actors but Daniel Craig is the best for me
  2. Vito Carleone – Marlon Brando, The Godfather
  3. Indiana Jones – Harrison Ford
  4. Hannibal Lecter – Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs
  5. Harry Callahan – Clint Eastwood and the Dirty Harry series

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“One Step Beyond” by Madness.  I do like Madness, they’ve produced some fun music and this particular track is one of my favourites.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” starring Steve Martin and John Candy.  John Hughes directed some great films and this one was one of the best.  Certain scenes still makes me cringe.

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Remember …

Practice your sarcasm because torturing people in your basement is frowned upon.

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TIM

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

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

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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