“Ulfred” – 28mm Hasslefree Miniature

I mentioned in last Saturday’s post that I am attracted to figures which I consider have a nice pose.  Of course this is a personal thing but this is another figure which ticks the box as far as I am concerned.  I like the casual stance of Ulfred.  It’s simple but effective and he has a “don’t mess with me” feel about him, he exudes calmness and complete control.

I went mostly for muted colours as theses seemed appropriate.  The wolf head on his tunic was embossed so no claims to freehand on this one.  Base wise I went for a simple bit of landscape comprising of a a couple of slate chippings, a bit of a twig to form a small broken tree and some Milliput and plaster board dust to complete the groundwork.  Bits of grass tufts were added to the 25mm base to provide some much needed colour.

Images below.

TIM 

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 98)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is again from Hasslefree and goes by the name of Dakota.  Originally I bought her to go with a zombie theme I had running around in my head but then I lost my way.  Just to many ideas right now which in some ways is a nice problem but on the downside I find myself losing focus.  I’ll put it down  to age.  In the end I settled for a quick and simple base job with an old rusty barrel hopefully conveying a bit of an industrial and post apocalyptic feel.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Time To Build An Army?

After much deliberation I have decided to do something I have never done before, I’m going to paint an army.  I’ve never been against the idea but I couldn’t settle on an historical period.  I had other concerns too.  Would I get bored?  What would I do with the army once complete?  How would I store it?  How would I display it?  In truth I don’t have the answers to all those questions but have decided to build one none the less and I’ll figure things out as I go along.

So what has changed my mind?  You may well ask.  The answer is several things.  Nostalgia, Table Top World, freehand painting and Ebay.

Nostalgia — some of you may recall from past posts that I have mentioned Britain’s Swoppet Cowboys and how they played a part in getting me into modelling and dioramas when I was a kid.  Well Britain’s also did Swoppet Knights but these were much more expensive (they sell for a small fortune on Ebay as collectors pieces these days) so I never had any.   As much as I loved the cowboys I would have loved a castle full of battling knights.  An army of cowboys isn’t really a thing but an army of knights is.

Table Top World – If you haven’t seen it they do an amazing Castle.  It costs a fortune, it’s huge and being modular can be made as big as you like.  How cool would that be?  In truth I will probably never find out because I have nowhere to put it but I am going with the Field of Dreams approach, “If you build it they will come”.  I’ll build the army first and see where I go from there.

Freehand – Heraldry provides a great opportunity for some freehand and I would like to see what I can do on that front from time to time.  There is also a great deal of freedom when it comes to the use of colours too.  I’m not sure I could ever paint a modern army, I think I would find it far to dull and repetitive.

Ebay – I see this as my escape clause.  If all else fails and I never finish the project or have no idea what to do with it when it’s done I can sell it.  In short what is there to lose?

Obviously you will have gathered my army will be one of Knights but it will also feature Archers, Levy’s, Crossbowmen, Spearmen and whatever else exists now and in future releases in the Footsore Barons War range.  Those of you who liked the knights I had previously done have a lot to answer for.  If you get bored with this project before I do you only have yourselves to blame!

So, does this signal the end of painting Knuckleduster Cowboys, Reaper, Hasslefree and other figures?  Not at all.  My army is just another project to dip into but one I am looking forward to doing.

I do however have one question for you and would welcome your wargaming thoughts.  How many figures would I need to paint and base before I could claim it’s an army?  In my head I have settled on a nice round figure of 100 but do I need more or less?

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Give Me Five

In keeping with the tone established above I thought I would select my top 5 films within the broadly speaking medieval genre.   Not quite so tough this week but for me all now essential viewing and research.  As usual in no particular order:

  1. Excalibur
  2. Kingdom of Heaven
  3. Braveheart
  4. King Arthur
  5. The Name of the Rose

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“She’s Got The Look” by Roxette.  There’s a lot to like about this track and video but I was particularly drawn in by the lyrics. 😉

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Keeping Faith”.  A thriller series set in Wales (that’s Wales the country just to be clear!).  Having binge watched series one and two I am now on to the final series.  Not the best of some of the great TV shows currently available but well worth a watch in my opinion.

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Remember …

Even if you are useless you can be used as a bad example.

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TIM

Diorama Lite No:1 – Reaper “Cheiton, Dwarf Hero” (Part 1)

Welcome to the first Diorama Lite post.  The concept of this series is to feature based figures which offer a little bit more than a typical wargaming style base, a micro diorama if you will.  Whilst the work involved isn’t in the same league as a larger diorama churning these little models out on a daily or weekly basis simply isn’t going to happen.  I anticipate each one taking a couple of weeks to do on average.  Slower in the spring and summer perhaps and maybe quicker in the winter when more time is spent indoors may become a factor in the fullness of time.  Without further a do let’s get under way.

The featured figure for this model is as the title indicates a Dwarf.  All being well you will get to see him next week in part 2.  The concept for the base is a simple affair.  Our hero dwarf is simply standing outside his front door.  Now that’s got you excited hasn’t it?

First up there was a need to make a door.  Wooden coffee stirrers, a bit of polystyrene, lead foil and pin heads for the hinges and wire for the door handle were all used.

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Slate chippings from the garden were used to create steps leading to the door.  The model is being built on a 40mm x 40mm MDF base which will then be mounted on a 40mm oak cube plinth.

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A piece of plant root was used to make a small tree.

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I made a couple of giant toadstools using Milliput mounted on top of pin heads.

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Thereafter it was pretty much all about adding some filler to the polystyrene and once it was dry painting and weathering everything followed by a little bit of assembly.  A mixture of paint colours and paints were used – acrylics and oils.  Finally some plant life was added.

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Some touching up here and there will be needed once the figure has been positioned but for now the scene is pretty much set.

TIM

“Fall of Bel” – Ziggurat Miniatures

This figure came from North Star Miniatures and features under the Lucid Eye heading and is produced by Ziggurat.  The title for the figure is given as “LI-BEL – Fall of Bell”, make of that what you want.  The figure itself is 28mm and in my opinion is  a stunning sculpt and one which is most unusual.

Why unusual TIM I hear you cry.

Well, as you asked, it is a sculpt posed in a way which to my mind is far more 54mm scale or bigger and not a typical 28mm one.  By this what I mean is the sculpt is a miniature figure painters dream not a wargamers style of figure.  As I primarily consider myself a figure painter the pose of a miniature is what often attracts me the most and in 28mm figures the poses are far more often than not sculpted in an action stance.  Nothing wrong with that at all but any figure which isn’t is bound to catch my eye when it crosses my path.  Such was the situation here.  Unfortunately for me the Ziggurat figure range is pretty small and only a few of them have an appeal to me.  I do, however, have my eye on a couple of others including a variant of this figure which I will also purchase in due course.

I’m not entirely sure if this female figure is intended to be a Greek Hoplite but I have based my painting around the idea that she is.  Not a great deal to say about the paint job itself other than that the horse on the shield was embossed rather than freehand but the edging on the shield was freehand and took a while to do.  Every time I looked at it the pattern wasn’t as evenly spaced as I wanted so I was touching up constantly.  I’m sure it is still out in places but I eventually called it a day because I knew I would never ever be 100% satisfied with it.  That’s not to say I am not pleased with it because I am.

I went for a straight forward little bit of base work with just a splash of colour in the red flowers.  I think there is scope to set this figure on a really nice bit of base work so I may well do something with the variant when I purchase it.  I wont rule out doing this figure again at some point either.  The quality of it is superb (as are so many others I might add) and it is hard to believe that it is only 28mm so to prove it is I have included a perspective image too.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 97)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is one I have posted before but there are a couple of reasons for posting it again.  Firstly I simply ran out of time to get a figure done this week.  All my energy was been spent elsewhere leaving me with less time than I would have liked on modelling and painting with what time I did have spent finalising the Wizard’s Tower.  There was therefore nothing for it but to go back through my backlog and pull out images of a past figure, something I might have to do more often now that spring and summer has hit the UK and the outdoor jobs are mounting up.  The question of course then became what figure?

Much to my surprise my first Miniatures and Musings post was published back on the 22nd May 2019 and featured a Crooked Dice 28mm figure of James Bond.  By coincidence Mark Morin invited me to observe an international online wargame involving him and some of his global buddies a couple of weeks ago which was based upon the exploits of James Bond in the film The Spy Who Loved Me.  The game was called Nobody Does It Better with the name taken I presume from the films title song.  It therefore seemed highly appropriate to go with this figure as a thank you to Mark for the invite.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I did say last week that my Wednesday Whinge posted then would most likely be my last and that was indeed my intention.  Time to get away from politics and back to something a little more in keeping with the overall theme and environment of this blog now that lockdown restrictions have been eased somewhat and I can vent my spleen to my mate John over a beer.  However, in trying to write this post on my laptop (I usually use my Samsung Tablet) I noticed that WordPress appear to be up to their old tricks of fucking about.  On a sample of one it seems they have changed how you can add and insert photos.  Now it might just be me, I’m not the most PC literate guy and unlike Pat am unable to tap into a Technical Advisor.  I will have to take a closer look at some point and if I am wrong publish an apology to WordPress.

As of now future whinges, if any, will come under the hobby spotlight.  Unless I change my mind of course.

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Give Me Five

This week I thought I would go with song intros.  Here are my top five.  Some are slow burners but each one blows me away every time. I have even gone to the trouble of including the YouTube link so you can have a listen if you are not familiar with any.  I would suggest playing loud!  Of course there are hundreds of potential tracks out there so I may have to go with this theme again at some point.  In the meanwhile I will, as always, be interested to hear what suggestions any of you make.  In no particular order:

  1. Song 2 by Blur 
  2. Money for Nothing by Dire Straits
  3. Layla by Derek and the Dominoes 
  4. Roll Over Beethoven by ELO
  5. Gimme All Your Lovin’ by ZZ Top

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones.  This nearly made it into my Give Me Five above but as it didn’t I thought I would include it hear instead.  You can’t beat a bit of Mick and the boys and at the time of writing I’m led to believe Keith Richard is still alive.  The man is simply indestructible!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Traces” an excellent six part BBC series.  I do like being able to binge watch a series without having to wait week after week for the next episode.  Knew nothing about this one but took a punt on it and got straight into it.  Apparently a second series is due later this year.

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Remember …

Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down after being told to calm down.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 19 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 12 – Final

This week brings an end to the Wizard Tower diorama and the timing could not be more perfect.  Not only does today signal the end of this diorama but it is also the end of the end of lockdown and my 39th wedding anniversary.  It is also the end of Dio-Bolical Monday for the foreseeable future.  This diorama, and Fools Gold which preceded it, have both been great fun but as well as the need for a break I need to create space before I can even contemplate doing another.  Until that time does arrive I intend to replace Dio-Bolical Monday with Diorama Lite.  The first post should be next week but we will have to see.  Meanwhile back to this one.

As at last week I was left with a few things to do.  The dragon needed to be finished and was.  It was duly tidied up and whilst I can say I hated every minute I spent painting it the end result was OK.  It was then just a matter of positioning it and the second figure.  I decided to pin the dragon in such away that it can be removed if necessary.  I have also kept the tower in its sections rather than gluing it all together.  The fit is so good you cannot see the joins and it will also make transporting it that much easier too.  Picking up on several comments I also tried to inject some movement into the banner but having already stuck the banner down and put it in situ the scope to do anything was very restricted and I wasn’t about to start again.  But hey, that’s why I am The Imperfect Modeller!  So, a final few touch ups here and there and that was job done.

On to some photo’s.  The first four images show the positioning of the second figure before the dragon was added and then with the dragon in situ.  The photo’s thereafter after show the complete diorama along with various close up images.  As it was a nice day I decided to take the tower a part and go outside to take the Photo’s  Not the ideal backdrop to be fair but then again I don’t have an ocean in my back garden and I don’t have a light box the size of a marque either.  The final image is a photo of the diorama in its display case.  All in all not an easy thing to photograph, well for me at least, but hopefully you can get a feel for the finished piece.

Well folks I hope you like the end result.  Personally I have had a blast doing it.  The tower itself is an awesome piece of kit and I would recommend Table Top World buildings to anyone, they’re worth every penny.  Obviously it’s the favorite bit of the whole thing but I’d also like to give a shout out to the sea effects.  Not my idea as pointed out in earlier posts but it is simple and so cool.  Something I’d really like to do again at some point but until then that’s it.

TIM

 

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“Gruff” – Post Apocalypse Survivor

It will not surprise you to know that “Gruff” is a 28mm Hasslefree figure.  Before too long I will have exhausted my supply of them and I will have to place another order. Some new releases should be out soon as well and that will provide the ideal time I think.  In the meanwhile I have plenty of other things to do but more on that in future posts.

The image on the back of “Gruff” is embossed so freehand opportunities for my imagination were limited.  I did however add a stripe and numbers to his shorts and a couple of letters (hardly detectable in the photo’s below) to the can he is holding.   Other than that it was a simple figure with no difficult areas to access so painting him was pretty quick and easy.  I kept the base simple, mainly out of laziness really.  Although I like the figure I wasn’t inspired beyond just painting it, partly I think because my imagination and ideas are now taking me all over the place right now.  Quite where that will lead though remains to be seen.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 96)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature goes by the name of Major Hoare and he is a 28mm Hasslefree figure.  He is based on the character “Dutch” played by Arnie in the Predator movie.  Those of you who follow this blog may recall seeing a similar version which I painted for IRO at the tail end of last year.  IRO had this great idea of trading figures and by way of return I received a cracking Cowboy miniature painted by the Orc himself.  As an avid collector of Hasslefree figures (really you hadn’t noticed?) it was inevitable that I need to add this classic to my collection.

The figure itself was pretty straight forward helped no end by the fact that I had performed a dummy run on the one for IRO.  If anything though I think the one I sent to him actually turned out better.  As with my previous effort I decided to stay as true as possible to the clothes as worn in the film.  Not spot on by any means but hopefully a good representation at the very least.  A bit of vegetation for the jungle vibe and voila!  I’ll now leave IRO to compare the two versions!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

This weeks whinge will most likely be the last.  On April 12th (which also happens to be my wedding anniversary) the pubs open up again.  I need to check the rules of engagement but I am hopeful that my mate John and I will be able to meet for a mid week beer once again and start to put the world to rights.  I have every confidence that you will feel the seismic waves heading your way.  With so many things to moan about the Wednesday Whinge may well make a guest appearance from time to time.  Be that as it may this week I thought I’d take on the minor subject of Global Warming!

Let me start by saying I think Global Warming is for real.  I will also add that all the shit us humans have pumped into the atmosphere, and still are, is doing no good at all.  Neither are we helping ourselves with our destruction of nature in all its forms.  Doing stuff to remedy all this, and as soon as possible, is highly commendable morally if nothing else.  But here’s the thing for me, isn’t the planet just warming up naturally?

Now putting away my high levels of ignorance on this subject let’s just look at some simple logic.  Over thousands if not millions of years the planet has had previous ice ages.  After the first the earth warmed up a bit and then we had another.  Then it got a bit nippy again and then it warmed up again.  It’s done this a few times.  Why therefore does the earth stop evolving just because man is on the planet?  In short it doesn’t so are we therefore not simply living through the next warm period albeit one being accelerated by us humans?   I’m inclined to think so.

In the meanwhile I will continue to do my bit for the environment, reduce my carbon foot print and stay living several metres above sea level while I see out my days and keep my fingers crossed for my kids.

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Give Me Five

The recent return of “Line of Duty” (series 6) got me thinking about my top five UK TV police/detective dramas.  Over the years there have been some great ones but these proved the most unmissable for me both now and in there day.  In no particular order:

  1. Line of Duty
  2. Prime Suspect
  3. Unforgotten
  4. Luther
  5. The Professionals

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Diamond Dogs” by David Bowie and the title track from another great album of his.  The more I think about it the more I think there is a little diorama to be had inspired by this song title. 🤔

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This week TIM has been watching …

Divergent” starring Shailene Woodley who I had never heard of but thought was quite hot and Theo James who I recognised but couldn’t initially place what I had seen him in and then remembered it was the first Inbetweeners movie.  Apparently this is the first part of a trilogy.  Having enjoyed this one I will pick up on the next two in due course.

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Remember …

If you are attending a career interview remember a gang bang isn’t proof that you can work as part of a team.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 19 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 11

This time last week I thought there would be two more posts before this diorama was complete but it is looking now like this will be the penultimate post.

Before I started on this diorama I knew I wanted to have a bit more drama going on rather than just the tower, some waves and a wizard prancing about.  The question of course was what?  In keeping with a mystical theme I decided to have the tower under attack from a dragon if I could find the right figure.  After a fair bit of research I settled on the Narthrax dragon produced by Reaper.  There was only one problem though, the dragon was only available in the Reaper Bones range.

From what I have been able to gather Reaper Bones has very mixed reviews.  Now I am no fan of plastic but at the same time I needed to be able to bend this figure about a bit in order to position it how I wanted.  I decided I had little choice but to take a punt on it.  All I can say is I fully understand the mixed reviews.  The figure was well boxed and looked superb but the touch of it was something else.  Right from the start I knew this was something I didn’t want to paint and I can say with 100% confidence I will never do another bones figure again.  I know some of you like them and have produced great results so I am happy for this to go down as my aversion to plastic and bones models in particular.

First up I needed to assemble the thing and remove the plastic pins which slotted into the base which came with the model as I wouldn’t be using that.  Then I had to play around with some hot water to bend various body parts to get the position I required.  This took several attempts because the plastic had a life its own and wanted to spring back into its original shape.  Perseverance paid off in the end and I finally felt confident that it would remain in shape and I could start painting.

Already in the wrong frame of mind my mood wasn’t helped any when after priming the figure I learnt that you didn’t need to prime this bones figure!  Nevertheless I continued to soldier on and for the first time ever I used contrast paints.  I didn’t know quite what to expect but I found them to be pretty good and for something like this they were ideal.  I’m not sure I will use them that often but I certainly have nothing against them and can see why people would use them if they are looking for very effective and quick results.

Now the store images for the Nathrax dragon show it painted in blue.  I discussed with my inner self what colour I should go with and decided blue was probably the way to go.  Against the tower it would offer a nice contrast and with the sea and waves it somehow felt like the right habitat for a dragon of this colour.  Regrettably I didn’t take that many photo’s of the painting process.  I think I feared that if I put it down I wouldn’t want to pick it up again!  Despite everything I pretty much managed to get there with it and a few images are below.

The dragon isn’t fully finished and the uncompromising and magnified images show that it is scruffy in places.  It clearly needs some tidying up, quite a bit actually, and more dry brushing but I don’t think any of that will make for a lot of work or for an interesting post so next week we will skip straight to the finished diorama.  Well that’s the plan anyway.

TIM

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“Mei-Lin Mayfair” – 28mm CP Models

I thought I would surprise you, and myself for that matter, by doing a figure that wasn’t from Hasslefree.  This little lady is from CP Models and goes by the name of “Mei-Lin Mayfair”.  To be honest she could easily pass for a Hasslefree figure – metal, spot on 28mm scale and female.  Having failed with Ann’s March challenge I’m straight in there for April!

With no rules to follow in terms of colour scheme I thought I would go for yellow, partly inspired by others who for one reason or another have gone with this colour recently.  Personally I think it is the worst colour to paint with which is annoying because it is one I really like.  Unfortunately yellow paint is just too translucent for one or two coats to be sufficient I find.

Doubtless there are many ways of painting with yellow but, on the occasions when I do, I use just about every yellow I have in my paint collection.  Starting with the darkest I work through each colour in layers until I get to the lightest and that seems to work for me.  As for the base I kept it simple as I liked the figure and didn’t want to distract from it.  I used Scrim Tape to create a mesh pattern (just about visible in the last image), some broken plaster board for a little rubble and a old watch part to add a bit of metal.

TIM

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