Dio-Bolical Monday No: 26 – “Death & Taxes: The Earls Visit – Part 4”

I ended last weeks post (Part 3) by targeting myself to get tier 2 of The Mill done.  No small order as it turned out given that it was the week before Christmas and included Christmas Day and Boxing Day in it.  As it turned out I had more free time on my hands than I could possibly have anticipated and I managed it with a minimum of fuss.  Knowing the colour schemes helped greatly.  I just needed to sit down, mix paints, put something on to watch or listen to and start painting.  Oh, and make sure the 2nd tier when put on top of the first blended well from a colour perspective.

As promised I don’t intend to bore you by repeating everything about the colours, technique or paints used as that was all covered in a previous post and there was nothing different on this level so we can just jump to the images.  The photo’s also include some of the second level on top of the base level.

You can see from the photo’s that the colour scheme is pretty dark.  This is deliberate for two reasons.  Firstly, the era is the Dark Ages and therefore it feels appropriate to reflect that.  Secondly, my hope is that when the figures are painted, especially the mounted knights, they will look all the more vibrant.  Of course only time will tell if any of this works but at least it’s a plan.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 132)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is, I think, my final Bannerman.  Another simple paint job and an equally simple banner but another Baron’s War figure destined for my army bites the dust.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Birthday Girl

It’s She Who Must Be Obeyed’s birthday today so I thought I’d give her a shout out in my blog.  Anyway that’s enough of that, no point spoiling her.

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Give Me Five

This week I decided to take a look at Jack Nicholson.  A great actor who has been in a lot of excellent movies over his lifetime in cinema.  As ever some good films left out but I came down to the following short list.  In no particular order:

  1. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  2. Batman (1989)
  3. A Few Good Men (1992)
  4. The Shinning (1980)
  5. Chinatown (1974)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Santa Claus Is Coming (In A Boogie Woogie Cho Cho Train)” by the Tractors, a rarely if ever played track so I thought I’d plug it.  The track is a revamped version of the original Tractors track “Baby Likes To Rock It” which I’ve also linked below simply because I like it!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Home Alone” starring Macaulay Culkin.  With Christmas upon us it was time to watch a festive movie and I settled on this one.  My kids have grown up but I haven’t!

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Remember …

No matter how old you are, an empty Christmas wrapping paper tube is still a fun thing to bonk someone over the head with!

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As Christmas Day is this coming Saturday I will not be posting so I will end by wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 25 – “Death & Taxes: The Earls Visit – Part 3”

The main objective for this week was to get the external paint work done on the base section of the Mill.  Looking ahead there will be some refinements to what I have done as once the section is fixed into position it will need to be blended with the surrounding base work, more on that though further down the line.

As with the inside of this section I needed to make a note of how I painted the outside to stand a better chance of consistency when I paint the other three layers which make the completed building.

The base colours were all straight forward,  The wood work was Artiste “Brown Umber” and the brick and stone work was Artiste “Black” mixed with Artiste “Sand” to obtain a grey colour.  Once the base colours were laid down and dry they were given a Lamp Black oil wash.  The result is shown in the first two images below.

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After setting aside to dry it was time to start dry brushing.  The initial phase was to simply take the initial grey mix and brush over the top.  The initial mix then had some more “sand” colour added to lighten it and then this was dry brushed again.  Another couple of lighter mixes were added after that.  In the image below you can see that I also started brushing on some of the Vallejo pigment that I had used on the inside flooring.

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As well as the Vallejo pigment I also used some Humbrol Earth and Rust pigment to add colour variety.  On the lower sections where the Mill would attract the damp I added green and yellow inks to hopefully give the impression of lichen and moss.  These are areas witch will also be looked at again once the section has been properly based.  For now though the current end result can be seen in the images below.

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The windows were painted using Vallejo Model Color Iraqi Sand which was then given a wash of Citadel Reikland Fleshshade.  The lattice work was then painted using Vallejo Gun Metal and Silver.

With the internal and external painting methods determined and noted down they will be used again as applicable throughout the rest of this building.  The good news is I won’t need to repeat these methods in future posts where I have used them, I can just post photo’s.

This week I also received the orders I had placed with Other World Miniatures and Mirliton in Italy.  Both look good and I couldn’t believe just how quickly the Italian order came, less than 48 hours!  Incredible.  As to the figures themselves I’ll be introducing those to you bit by bit as they get painted.

Next step unsurprisingly is to work on the next tier starting with the inside once again.

TIM

Santa Claus Is Comin’ To town

A figure and a post which I thought would be different but help with the festive mood.

First I though I’d start you off with Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” and so you can sing along I have posted the lyrics below.

-You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s making a list,
He’s checking it twice,
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you’re sleeping
And he knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
You better watch out!
You better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why
‘Cause Santa Claus is coming to town
Oh let’s go!
He sees you when you’re sleeping
And he knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
You better watch out!
You better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
You better watch out!
You better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming
I mean the big fat man with the long white beard
Is coming to town

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Secondly, the figure.  This is one from Reaper which I bought last year, never got painted and almost forgot about it this year too.  As luck would have it I stumbled across the little chap while searching for something else and then of course had to stop everything to get him done in time.

Merry Christmas!  Ho Ho Ho!

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 131)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is a very unexciting one but it clears another Footsore Baron’s War figure from the diminishing pile.  With my mind preoccupied by other projects it really is just about getting the lesser figures such as this archer done and out of the way.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

I thought as we are in the festive season I would list my five Christmas films this week.  I’ve probably done this one before but I can’t be arsed to look back through my blog posts to check!  Plenty of great flms left out but I settled on these.  In no particular order:

  1. Home Alone (1990)
  2. Love Actually (2003)
  3. Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
  4. The Holiday (2006)
  5. Die Hard (1988)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Fairytale Of New York” by The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl.  With Christmas rapidly approaching I thought I’d go with a festive song for this week and next.  Clealry this isn’t the most festive of tracks but it is popular at this time of the year and it is a big favourite of mine.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Paul” starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  Needed something lighter to watch and all of Simon Pegg’s films deliver on that front, none more so than this one.  Great fun.

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Remember …

Next time you go on a roller coaster take some spare bolts with you and tell the person in front of you, “These came out of your seat”.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 24 – “Death & Taxes: The Earls Visit – Part 2”

In “Part 1” I ended by saying that this week I would start some painting and making some lists.  Both were minor goals but more importantly both were achieved which means the project is very much now underway.  First thing on the painting table is the Mill building, shown again in the image below on the left.

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As mentioned last week, I intend to build this diorama from left to right.  I believe this way I am less likely to box myself in.  This means starting on the Mill first because it includes a separate river section which needs to be done so I can move across the base.

There are many parts to the Mill and these I will get to do further down the line but for now my concentration is on the four separate levels (shown below although I can’t see how to rotate the image!) which sit on top of one another to create the completed building.

This last week I began on the base section, see below.

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The first job of course was to prime everything which took an age.  I’m not one for an airbrush or rattle cans so this was all done using a brush in order to get into all the nooks and crannies.  For primer I always use Humbrol white matt enamel thinned with white spirit.  It may or may not be unorthodox but it has served me well for 50 years or so.

As well as being highly detailed on the outside these buildings are equally detailed on the inside.  Although I haven’t fully thought that far ahead yet my current thinking is to keep each of the buildings so that each tier or roof section can be removed to see the inside.  I might even think about fitting the insides out too with figures and furniture but for now that’s along way from my thinking.

Deciding (for now) that I wanted to look inside the buildings meant I needed to give proper consideration to how I was going to paint the area, especially as there are other internal levels which I will look to paint the same way.  As the walls are essentially cracked plaster in appearance I settled on the idea of a light acrylic paint over which I would apply oil washes and dry brushing.  The same would apply for the flooring and any wooden features such as doors and window frames.  Diluted oil pain really helps bring the detail out and is a much cheaper method than using washes from Citadel for example.

With the buildings being the size they are I had no intention of using my Vallejo paints on them for the bulk areas.  Instead I chose to use acrylic Artiste paints, a range of 80 or so colours, which come in 59ml bottles and can be bought in the UK for about £1.60 each.  I purchased mine from Ebay and although I’d never use them to paint figures with they are perfect for base coating the buildings.

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In the image above I have used “Sand” for the walls, “Sand & Black” mixed for the flooring and “Burnt Umber” on the door as the base coats.

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Once dried I then applied a “Burnt Umber” oil wash to the walls and a “Lamp Black” oil wash to the floor.  The wash is a simple affair in that the oil paint (you don’t need much) was just diluted with White Spirit.  As with most washes best to go light and build up if you aren’t to sure of the finish you are looking for.  Once dried I sparingly applied a “Burnt Sienna” wash to to the walls as well and also a little Daler & Rowney White Ink.  When the floor was dried I brushed it with some Vallejo Desert Dust Pigment for the flagstone grouting.

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The next step, shown partially above, was to do some dry brushing to add variety of colour and bring out the wood grain on the doors.  There is still a little more to do but that’s as far as the painting went for last week.  As well as some final finishing touches I have a window that needs to be done and some of the door furniture (handles and hinges) need to be picked out but that will be done in the coming week when I also plan to start on the external painting for this section.

My other aim for the week just gone was to start researching for, amongst other things, figures.  I found some very suitable ones on Other World Miniatures, a company I have used before, and on Mirliton, an Italian company who I haven’t.  Orders have been placed with both suppliers and when the goods arrive I’ll take you through what I have bought.

Until next week …

TIM

Grizzly Attack (Part 3 – Final)

This week was all about getting the third and final part of this model completed, specifically the cowboy. 

As in the past when I have painted mounted 54mm figures I find them a pain in the arse to paint.  I never seem to be able to hold them in away which works for me and this one was no exception.  Having said that I got there in the end and overall I was pleased with the result.  With the painting finished but for some dry brushing and weathering he was duly mounted on the horse.   The next step was the one I never look forward too, painting and fixing the reins in place.   This proved tiresome but in the end I got there.

The dry brushing and a little weathering was applied before the bear was fixed into position and then my attention moved to the base.  Although I liked the base it didn’t work with the horse and the way it was pinned.  Basically the horses hooves were to high above the ground and building the ground up around them would have looked odd in my opinion.  I don’t have a picture to show you what was wrong so you will have to take my word for it that it didn’t look right!  I pondered how to get around this and in the end settled for putting down some splashing water.  Initially I was pleased with the outcome but now as I look at the images I think I added to much white to the mix.  The only way to resolve that would be to strip it back and I don’t have the appetite for that right now so I’m calling it done.

Overall I’m happy with this one and it was no bad thing getting back into using oils for a while, however, much to my surprise I really didn’t enjoy painting in 54mm scale again.  After doing so many figures in 28mm/32mm I found this too big.  I won’t close the door and say never again but I think you could be looking at the last 54mm figure I ever do … maybe!

Images below.

TIM 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 130)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is a Spearman from the Footsore Baron’s War range and gets me one more step closer to completing the figures I have.  I reckon I still have another dozen or so to do but right now they don’t require me to think to much and as such they are working nicely in parallel with the other things I’m doing.  The good news is I’m maintaing my discipline to reach my end goal, the bad news is it’s becoming a bit tiresome of late.  Another little break may be on the way.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wizard’s Tower

One of the things IPMS do after the judging has been completed at Scale Model World in Telford is to arrange for photo’s to be taken of the winning models and in due course some go on to appear in ther magazine and website.  I was lucky enough to be around when Chris Ayre of Amos Ayre Creative took some photo’s of the Wizard’s Tower so I asked him if he would be kind enough to email me a copy in due course.  He very kindly obliged and the image he sent me is below.  As photo’s go it’s far better than anything I could do so I am very grateful to Chris who kindly allowed me use the image for my blog too.

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Image reproduced with the kind permission of Chris Ayre, copyright Amos Ayre Creative

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Give Me Five

This week I thought I’d take a look at films starring Sean Connery.  He has been in some great movies over a career which has lasted a life time although he oddly never mastered the ability to handle an accent!  As always some great films have been left out but I short listed these five.  In no particular order:

  1. From Russia With Love (1963)
  2. The Untouchables (1987)
  3. The Hunt For Red October (1990)
  4. The Name of the Rose (1986)
  5. Outland (1981)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“No Regrets” by the Walker Brothers.  Something a bit different this week as I’ve been in a tired state of mind and this was pitched at the right mood level.  I’m reminded of the fact that in this musical period you could hear the words that were sung!  Scott Walker has a great voice.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Jaws” starring Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss.  This film came out in 1975 and had it’s first showing at the Odeon Leicester Square on Boxing Day when I bought tickets to take my mum and dad and my brother and his wife to see it.  It remains one of my all time favourite films.  You can say what you like about the shark but the film is a classic of its time and a real adventure.  The book by Peter Benchley was a massive hit too and although the film deviates slightly it’s pretty true to it.

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Remember …

If you want to save money at Christmas now is the perfect time to tell the kids Santa didn’t make it through the pandemic.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 23 – “Death & Taxes: The Earls Visit – Part 1”

Now I did warn you in last weeks Musings that some of the posts in this new series would be dull and now I am being true to my word!

In reality this first post is more an introduction aimed at setting the scene as well as getting started.  The thing with dioramas is they can take a long time and require a great deal of thought too.  This build is no exception and I can predict that a number of things will go wrong along the way, they always do.

Let’s begin with the title.  Death and Taxes relates to the Footsore Baron’s War figure range, their third kickstarter to be precise and relates to the period in question.  The Earls visit is essentially the story of the diorama.  The main feature of this diorama are the three Tabletop World buildings but for a story I need to add figures.  I may of course change my mind and the title, a working one, could change at any point during the build but for now I am happy with it.

The three buildings you have seen before, they are a Mill, a Blacksmith’s and a Stable.  There was a fourth building, a cottage, but it didn’t fit on the base and in any event I thought it was out of character with the other three.  The basic premise is that the Earl is passing through the village along with half a dozen or so knights on horseback and the villagers stand to watch them pass by.  Pretty dull really but an opportunity to hopefully paint some colourful looking figures and make the buildings look pretty cool.  There is also an IMPS Scale Model World class for Civilian Dioramas and hopefully this one will fit the bill if I like the end result and get it finished in time (yes it could take that long to do!)

In the picture below you can see the case base on which the diorama is going to be built.  The first thing I needed to do was build it up to take the river section which goes with the Mill.  As luck would have it I had some suitable MDF in the garage and just needed to saw it as applicable and glue it down with some PVA.  In due course I will fill the seem which runs around the joins where the MDF meets the base but that can wait until I start working on the base proper.

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In the second image you can see that I have a rough idea of the order of the three buildings.  The position for the Mill chose itself on account of the bridge, it had to lead somewhere so putting it on the left made sense.  The Blacksmith’s which is positioned in the middle will probably be elevated higher than shown and it is between this building and the Stable that the mounted figures will be seen to ride through.  The green wire which can also be seen in the picture will be used to make a tree at some point.

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The diorama will for the most part be built from left to right, I think this is the best way to ensure I don’t box myself in.  Accordingly work will start on the lowest of the four levels which make up the Mill first, only then can I start to properly fix it to the base and develop that part of the diorama.  The height of this building is significant and is only just short of the height of the perspex top which goes over the base so I will have to consider that with what I do.

Over the next week I will start painting but I also need to do a lot of lists and research.  Somewhere out there are the figures I need which I will have to track down and order but I need a list of what to look for first but there is plenty of time for that.

TIM

Grizzly Attack (Part 2)

This is going to be a short post for one notable reason, I simply didn’t take any work in progress pictures!

Now as you would have anticipated from the title perhaps, this model also features a Grizzly Bear.  The bear weighs a ton and proved difficult to hold at times  One way of overcoming the issues would have been to have fixed the bear in situ for some of the painting.  The problem with that was I had already fixed the horse in place and with the figure still to do I would have made life harder for myself further down the line.  In the end I went for hand holding over a few days.

Once again the painting was oils over acrylic.  Burnt Umber was the main colour  with Yellow Ocher and lighter shades of brown for dry brushing highlights.  In the final image I put the bear up against the horse, a temporary move to judge exactly where it needed to be positioned in due course.  In this image you can also see that the hind legs of the horse stick up and that work on the base needs to be done.  Haven’t fully decided what to do here yet.

Some touching up on the bear will probably be necessary but like the horse it’s almost there.

Time now to move on to the figure.

TIM

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