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

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!


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

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

Images below.



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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

This week work began on the stream.

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

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


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


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

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


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


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


TIM’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.


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.



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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


Dio-Bolical Monday No: 5 – “Fools Gold” – Part 4

This week was all about painting the Table Top World cottage for my “Fools Gold” diorama.  I had primed it a couple of weeks ago so I just need to start painting it.  Things went well and I even made progress beyond getting it done.  So much so that I started to draft a subsequent post for early January which I scheduled knowing it would need amending.  In itself not a problem but WordPress defaulted to January 2020 and not 2021.  Aplogies to those of you who may have gained a sneak preview.

Meanwhile back to this weeks update.

I decided to start with the inside of the building and the inside of the roof and then move on to the outside.  It is at this point that I must highlight another major problem (it has been one of those weeks, again!).  With Work In Progress posts there is a need to take regular photo’s to show the progress being made.  So engrossed did I become in painting this building and pressing on that I completely forgot to do so!  What you have below is a number of images which show the cottage fully painted.  Starting with the inside of the building and the inside of the roof.


Looking at the images which I have just inserted the building looks darker than it is but putting that to one side here are a few things to note in respect of the paint work.

As I have mentioned in a few previous posts these buildings are highly detailed, as you can see from the pumpkin, wall hanging corn, the axe, the rope the water trough, etc, etc.  The inside is much the same in respect of the cracking plaster walls.  I painted the walls using acrylics but went for Burnt Umber oil paint diluted with white spirit as a wash to both darken the base colour but more importantly to settle into the cracks to highlight them.  In my opinion nothing does this better than diluted oil paint.  A similar approach was taken with all the wood which features in the roof, on the floor and in the various supporting timbers.

You may have also noticed that the windows are yellow, with a wash applied over them and the render between the stones/bricks is light in colour and not dark.  Both these ideas were taken from a YouTube video presented by “Real Terrain Hobbies and Goobertown Hobbies”.  If you want to salivate over some cool Table Top World models and a diorama on an epic scale then check this video out.

I must also thank Dave Kay over at Scent of a Gamer who through his blog brought both these guys to my attention, cheers mate.

With the mine mostly done and the building now painted next week my attention will continue with more base work as I now have the main base from my mate Paul.  From here on in it is about bringing it all together on the main base and that is when the whole things becomes make or break.


Vodellis Winterhand – Reaper

As I have mentioned in previous posts I do like figures which for me have a bit of character and to my mind at least this 28mm Reaper figure, which goes by the name of Vodellis Winterhand, has just that.  If there was an opportunity to do some freehand I couldn’t see it so in many respects it was a straight forward paint job.  None the less I was pleased with how he turned out.

In truth given the lack of empty space on my painting desk at the moment I am surprised he got painted at all.  Generally my work space is neat and tidy and free of clutter  (She Who Must Be Obeyed would argue to the contrary) but I had forgotten how much space and stuff I need out when working on dioramas, not to mention the, mess that goes with it.

Adversity was overcome in the end and images of the little chap appear below.



TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 80)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!


This week we have another double whammy, two more Dixon ACW confederates.  I don’t typically batch paint but right now it is proving the only way to get a few figures done while trying to strike a balance with the other projects I have on the go.  In truth I cannot say I am enjoying it.  I wouldn’t say I am cutting corners but I do like to work on a figure which I think has character and take a little more time to enjoy the process.  Come the New Year I will assess the situation and decide what to do and how to go about it.



Well It Made Me Laugh




A week or so ago I stumbled across an article that said the best scale cars for 28mm figures is 1:43.  The idea of doing a model featuring a car in some way or another appeals to me so I took a look on Ebay to see what I could pick up that was cheap and suitable for a future experiment.  I decided I would go for the classic VW Beatle for no reason whatsoever. 

I searched and found two options both die cast and starting at the princely sum of £0.99 plus postage.  When I looked at the descriptions I noticed one of the two was a limited edition (one of about 400 I think it said).  The other one had front doors which opened.  Given that I will probably trash the car it didn’t sit well destroying the limited edition one and besides I thought the opening doors might prove more useful.  I placed my bid and two days later won the auction and completed the purchase.   

All being well it will be with me next week and then I can see how it stacks up against a 28mm figure.


Imperial Rebel Ork Podcast

On Saturday just gone I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by none other than IRO himself.  If you are not familiar with luke’s Podcast I would thoroughly recommend that you listen.  Personaly I never miss an episode although I may give episode 45 a wide berth as I cannot stand to listen to the sound of my own voice.  I’m told She Must Be Obeyed can’t stand to listen to my voice either which goes aalong way to explaining why she ignores me! 

I love IRO’s easy style, no doubt influenced by his years in Australia, and I really enjoyed our Podcast chat after which we talked for a good while afterwards.  Hopefully, although not for the Podcast because there are so many far more interesting people for him to interview, we will get to have another chat at some point.  Who knows, maybe one day the bastard will buy his old hobby dad a beer or two! 



Give Me Five

This week I thought I would go with the best ever film sequels (doesn’t have to be the second film but must be part of the same franchise).  As a general rule sequels are usually poor and leave a lot to be desired but sometimes they work.  Here are my top five that managed to be the equal of the first or better.  In no particular order:

  1. Terminator 2 – Judgement Day
  2. The Godfather Part 2
  3. Aliens 
  4. The Dark Knight 
  5. The Good The Bad and The Ugly (third film of the dollar trilogy)


This week TIM has been listening to …

“The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You”  by Bryan Adams.  Try as I might I have never been able to stop She Who Must Be Obeyed singing this to me.  Believe that and you will believe anything! 


This week TIM has been watching …

“Red 2”  starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins.  I assume there is also  a “Red 1” but if there is I have never seen it.  If I had then I may well have not bothered with “Red 2”.  As films go it was OK.  Deliberately over the top and to be fair it had a very good cast.  The trouble is I think I have grown tired of these types of films of late and much prefer a more realistic yarn.



Remember …

The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.



Dio-Bolical Monday No: 4 – “Fools Gold” – Part 3

Last weeks post ended with the image below and I said that I would explain this week why the track over hung at the front and why the carved plaster board, bottom left, hadn’t been painted.

The depth of the base this diorama will eventually be fixed to is 20cm whereas the depth of the mine entrance just up to the over hanging track is a few centimeters shorter.  When I get to start fixing things in place on the base which comes with the perspex case the front will need to be built up and brought forward at which point the track will no longer over hang.

The unpainted plaster board on the bottom left will I hope become one side of a small stream.  Until I start fixing things into place this is something I cannot deal with properly yet and only when I can will I start to think about painting.


On to this weeks progress.

As I am not working to any kind of schedule I can’t really claim to be behind but nevertheless I had hoped to have had more done.  In fairness I achieved what I hoped to do this time last week but because I got it done quicker than anticipated I hoped to kick on a bit more.  Alas life took over and it didn’t happen.  What I did manage was to get the mine completely painted along with the track and the mine cart.  I say completely painted but in due course it will need to be blended with with the rest of the diorama and have more dry brushing done.

The mine cart comes empty so I filled it with some cat litter which once dried was painted too.  I also got a barrel done and a few scatter wooden planks although these are not stuck down yet in case I decide to place them elsewhere.  A couple of plants were added to provide a modest amount of colour t break things up a little.  I expect I will add more debris and scatter later on but until more of the overall assembly has been completed it is hard to see at this stage what is needed.  More is less springs to mind at this point.

A few images below.


Finished for now but certainly not complete.  More work on this bit to be done but it is well on its way.

I did receive a couple of suggestions about having the mine lit up inside.  A great idea but looking closely at the stage I was at I couldn’t get my head around how to do it given what I had built so far.  In reality the mine isn’t that deep and the track turns to the right to give the illusion of depth.  What I did take from the idea though was the thought of doing a diorama at some point which was inside a mine or a cave.  I liked the idea of a dark place lit up but need to give more thought to the theme and figures.  In any event one for the future as I have other things lined up.

Next week my aim is to start painting the cottage.