TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 107)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is once again a double bill.  As I have mentioned previously, the Baron’s War range of figures is not just about knights but also other members of the rank and file too.  In this instance we are talking archers.  Not a great deal to say about them.  Both nicely cast figures and, given the historical period, not overly complicated in terms of clothing and attire to paint.

One of the things I have enjoyed about buying so many figures up front is being able to vary what I paint.  So far I haven’t found myself bored or stuck in a rut and for now at least long may that contnue.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

Sticking with the theme of “cool” from last week I took a look at male musicians who, for me, fall within that genre, needless to say I could have included plenty more.  I have no music talents of my own, unless in days gone buy putting an album on the record player counts (confused young people please message me and I’ll expalin), but these are people I would have liked to have been in their heyday and my youth given half a chance.  So my top five cool dudes in no particular order are:

  1. Elvis
  2. John Lennon
  3. Bryan Ferry
  4. Keith Richards
  5. Marc Bolan

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Sweet Caroline” by Northern Irish footbaall fans.

Now I don’t mention it very often, mainly because this is first and foremost a modelling blog but I am a huge football fan.  With the European Champioships on this, along with numerous other video’s, popped up in my feed so I gave it a listen.  It did two things for me.  Firstly, it reminded me just how much fans are such a huge part of a game and the atmosphere it creates and secondly, just what a buzz it is being part of a large gathering that unites as one.  Not everyone’s cup of tea I know but it is so raw and gives me goose bumps

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Mare of Easttown” starring Kate Winslet.  A seven part series which I binge watched over a couple of evenings.  Very watchable with a couple of twists and turns along the way together with some good actng and believable characters.

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Remember …

The annoying thing about house work is just when you’ve finally made the bed and washed the dishes six months goes past and you find yourself having to start all over again!

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 21 – “News Update No: 2”

Several weeks ago in “News Update No: 1” I mentioned that I had placed an order for some more Table Top World buildings for a diorama that I aim to start building later in the year.  The plan for the diorama is far from detailed at the moment and, as I previously mentioned, I also have a significant storage issue to address first.  The purpose of this brief post is just to say the Table Top World buildings have now arrived all the way from Croatia and I thought I’d share with you what I bought.  Before that though two other things worthy of mention.

Firstly, the packing of these models was fantastic.  Inside the big box, pictured below, was three smaller cardboard boxes each containing a share of the kits which were in turn all wrapped in newspaper with even more packing around them.  No chance whatsoever that these would be damaged in transit unless the box was literally crushed.  I mention this only in case any of you ever decide to buy any of these kits.  If you do then you can, based on my experience, buy with confidence.

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Secondly, having paid for the order online I was expecting to pay additional costs due to Brexit.  I had anticipated paying the best part of £80.00 or more in respect of VAT, Customs Duty and Courier costs.  My experience in the UK is you get notified you have a parcel and if you want it you can only have it when you stump up the costs.  I was therefore taken by surprise when the parcel just turned up.  Nothing more to pay!  Yipee!  Did I just get lucky or was I wrong to expect additional costs in the first place?  In truth I neither know nor care!

So, what models did I buy?

Well I bought a Cottage, a Blacksmith’s Forge, a Watermill and a Stable.

The following images are all care of the Table Top World website.

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Watermill

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The quality of these kits is simply amazing and I am looking forward to painting them later on in the year as I really want this to be a project that will see me through the winter months.  I’m also going to need plenty of time to work out just what I plan to do.  As things currently stand I have a few ideas but they will evolve, or not as the case me be, when I start playing around with them.  I also need to decide if I will use all four building in the one diroma or only two or three.  Thinking about it all and doing more research will be fun but before I can get to carried away I now need to concentrate on my storage problem.  More on that in a future post.

TIM

Sir John De Belloows

To be honest, looking at the name for number seven below I really can’t make it out.  Is it John De Belloows?  Well whether it is or not that’s what my latest knight in my Footsore Baron’s War army is called.

There are several designs here that I like, and some may well show up on future miniatures and posts, but the first time I looked at this chart I was attracted to number seven and thought I’d give it a go.

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I wouldn’t describe my depiction as spot on but as a first freehand attempt of this design I’ll settle for it.  I may do it again at some point but with so many design options I rather like the idea of each knight being different.

Time ran out for me this week so I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, specifically a group shot of what I have done to date.  Unfortunately the next few weeks look like I will be up to my eyes and I may even struggle to get much painting done so for now I’ve just added that task to my list!

Is it just me or was life in lockdown so much easier?

Images of Sir John below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 106)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is actually a couple of figures.  As mentioned at the outset, the Footsore  Baron’s War range of 28mm figures comprises of more than just knights and here we have my first Crossbowman and Spearman.  Individually these little chaps are nowhere as exciting at the knights to paint or look at but hopefully once they are all done they will swell the numbers and make the eventual army look all the more impressive.  Well that’s the plan!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Here, There and Everywhere?

Just a couple of weeks ago I had occasion to welcome a few more countries to have visited my blog.  New countries don’t come along very often these days but it seems they arrive like buses when they do.  Time now to say a big welcome to the Lebanon and St Vincent and Grenadine which takes my total now to 85.

There seems to be some dispute over how many countries there are in the world according to a Google search I made but the general consensus is 196.  Whatever the accuracy of the total figure the fact remains TIM has yet to reach out to over half the world.  Looks like I’m going to have to travel to some of the missing places and logon to my own site if I’m to make greater progress.  Not sure just how much I fancy the Middle East and swathes of Africa though.

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Give Me Five

“Cool” is something we probably all get but is, well for me at least, hard to explain.  I don’t think you can simply choose to be cool you simply are or you aren’t.  Although I am a legend in my own pants the reality is I would have loved to have been cooler than I am.  If I could choose who I would want to be as cool as within the world of acting then any on this list of my top 5 classic actors would do.  Next week I might take a look at the music world.  In no particular order:

  1. Clint Eastwood
  2. Steve McQueen
  3. Paul Newman
  4. Sean Connery
  5. James Dean

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“The Galway Girl” by Fiddler’s Green.  This popped up in my YouTube presumably because I’d been listening to the Ed Sheeran track called Galway Girl recently.  The songs are not the same however and this is not the original version of this song either, that was performed by a chap by the name of Steve Earle and is a classic in its own right.  Anyway I had a listen and found myself hooked.  If I couldn’t be English then I’d choose to be Irish I reckon.  As much as the girl in the video is stunning with her red hair it would have made more sense to have gone with someone who matched the lyrics.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Prime Suspect” starring Helen Mirren.  Borrowed the box set from my mum and dad and just watched series one.  Hard to believe it’s 30 years old now.  Amusing watching how the world has changed with things like smoking in the office for example.  Classic TV though and looking forward to working my way through the rest.

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Remember …

Always love a women for her personality, they have like 10, so you can choose.

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TIM

Diorama Lite – “Billy Joe, Zombie Hunter” (Part 2 – Final)

Following on from last week I got the remaining base work done.  Essentially this amounted to ground painting and dry brushing, a little bit of vegetation and a made up sign reading “GAS”.  The real effort went into painting “Billy Joe”, a very nice sculpt from Reaper.

The figure lent itself to some freehand so I figured I’d do as much as I could.  The check shirt took a little while but seemed appropriate as did the “BJ” on his hat.  A heart tattoo on his left arm seemed touching and and the jug needed a label which was hard to actually photograph.  I also added a symbol to his bib which was meant to look like a planet with rings around it but it is so bloody small! 

All in all I am happy to end on this one for Diorama Lite.  I am confident more will return later in the year, I have the figures and plenty of ideas just not the time.  That will all change come the Autumn.  The weather will change and along with the shorter daylight days I will be forced back indoors with time on my hands.  Until then, or unless there is a change in circumstances, I shall be continuing with my Baron’s War project and posting on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s.  I suspect occasionally figures from a different genre may appear as the need in me grows to paint something different for a change.  I also need to give some thought to how I will eventually display my Baron’s War figures 🤔.

Images of “Billy Joe” below.

TIM

 

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Sir Phelip de Welles

This week we have another 28mm foot knight for my slowly growing Baron’s War army – Sir Phelip de Welles. 

I have mixed feelings about this one.

On the positive side I’m pleased with the yellow.  A great colour but so often dreadful to paint with.  Better undercoating seems to hold the key and I am much happier with the results I’m getting these days.  Might just be my eye but there seems to be a bit more depth to the end result.  Whatever the Science I am pleased with how it came out.

On the positive/negative side I have mixed feelings about the heraldry result on the shield, my first attempt at painting a Lion Rampant.  As a first attempt I’m pleased but the head isn’t quite right so that’s left me a little disappointed.  I think what concerns me more was not being able to see how to put it right.  But for the head I’m pleased but it is clearly something I need to practice a lot more.  I would also add that I found using flow aid medium essential. 

One of the challenges with the heraldry was how to break the design down into manageable chunks given the very limited amount of space available on a 28mm shield.  In this instance it was all about getting a basic skeleton shape for the lion and then bit by bit fleshing it out.  Once I got the skeleton form right it became much easier.  I thought YouTube would have plenty of useful tutorials but I found it sadly lacking. I did manage to find something very basic which proved interesting and served my purpose but I had hoped for more.  Perhaps I just didn’t put the right search criteria in.

Images of Sir Phelip below.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 105)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is of a Baron’s War Footsore Sergeant, the first of four which comprise of pack No:1.  More than a peasant less than a knight would be my description, certainly from a painting perspective.  As he isn’t a knight as such I thought I would make up the heraldry using the rules I shared a short while ago.  The shield design is a “Pile” with a star denoting this Sergeant as the “third son”.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

Not sure what prompted this, probably the fact that my daughter has now finished school which had me reflecting on my own school days many, many years ago.  It occurred to me that there were lots of things I did at school which I have never done or used since.  Here is my list of five.  Feel free to add, could make for quite a list!

  1. Used a ruler to draw a margin on every page I write on
  2. Ended the day by putting my chair on the desk for the cleaner
  3. Ever climbed Gym Ropes
  4. Played (or tried to) the Recorder 
  5. Used Pi 

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

Now it’s not very often I invent something, in fact I will go as far as to say I have never done so.  However, confronted with a problem I needed a solution.

The problem I was having related to my mounted knights.  When it comes to mounted figures I generally drill a whole in the bum of the figure, glue a piece of paper clip into the whole and then press the other end of the paper clip into the end of a cork which I then hold to paint.

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Now this method has its pros and cons.  On the positive side I am forced to drink more wine in order to have a fresh supply of corks.  On the negative side the corks often have a slightly curved bottom to them and they easily topple over which is far from ideal.  This matter required some thought. 🤔

What followed was hundreds of man hours spent on numerous blue print designs based on mathematical and geometric theorem together with test model, after test model.  The end result, a superb example of modern engineering and ingenuity if I says myself, has now been patented and will be going into mass production in a matter or weeks. 

I use a specific clamp from my collection to hold horses and using the latest technology added  a drawing pin to the base.   Before and after images below display this perfect piece of engineering.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“I Love To Boogie” by T-Rex.  As a kid I did love T-Rex and Mark Bolan. Sad he died so young, killed in a car crash in Barnes not so far from where I used to live and I would pass by the site on my way to watch Chelsea play every other week back in the day.

Unsure what track to go with I settled on this dance mash up because it has a brief glimpse of dancing knight’s from Monty Python’s Spamalot!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Pact”, a six part BBC series set in South Wales.  Notwithstanding that I predicted the ending, all be it within the last half an hour or so, this proved to be very watchable.

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Remember …

Everyone is beautiful, but sometimes it just requires the right amount of alcohol to see it.

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TIM

Diorama Lite – “Billy Joe, Zombie Hunter” (Part 1)

The way things are going at the moment it very much looks like this will be the penultimate Diorama Lite post.  I will aim to get this one finished during the week ahead but then I will be taking a break from Monday posts.  With all the will in the world I can no longer juggle three posts a week, quite simply other things are now competing for my time and I also want to concentrate on my Baron’s War project. 

Will this last?  No.  Release from lockdown together with summer in the UK means it is time to get out more.  There are outside jobs to do, family and friends to catch up with and places to go.  Come the Autum and Winter months I feel certain Dio-Bolical Monday will be back and between now and then I reckon there will be the occasional news update to follow on from last Mondays post too.  I suspect Diorama Lite will also make the occasional guest appearance as well.       

Back to “Billy Joe”.

The figure, a great little sculpt from Reaper, will make an appearance next week.  This week, between other things, has been about getting some basic base work done.  I’ll need to dedicate much more time to this next week if I am to get it finished. The tyre stack, oil drum and petrol can all came from Crooked Dice.  They do some great accessories and are well worth a look at.  Their range has become quite extensive and the prices are, in my opinion, reasonable too.

What you see below in the sequence of photo’s is the start of the painting process followed by the weathering and dry brushing.  It never ceases to amaze me, not just in respect of my own work but with others too, how these things transition from basic metal, plastic or resin into something which looks more life like.

As far as the painting goes there isn’t a great deal to report other than I used the hairspray technique on the oil drum.  In case none of you know what that is I will explain it here.

After priming the drum was painted black.  This wasn’t essential but I just wanted an extra layer of colour to be on the safe side when paint gets removed.  With the black dried the key “rust” colour was applied, in this instance Vallejo Color Red Leather.  Left to completely dry the drum was then sprayed with hairspray and allowed to dry once again.  Next a top colour was applied. Obviously you can chose whatever colour you want by I went light for maximum contrast.  Allowed to dry the next step is to take an old brush dipped in water and slowly start to brush where you want the rust to show, typically this is edges and rims.  As if by magic the top colour is slowly removed showing the rust colour beneath.  The reason for the black layer was just in case I missed anywhere with the hairspray and took some of the Red Leather off too.

Once I was happy with the result I added some Humbrol rust weathering powder here and there.

That’s it for this week.  Some more basing to be done next week along with “Joe”.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 104)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another “Two Handed Weapon Knight” from the Footsore Baron’s War range.  The little chap has been painted in the colours and heraldry of Roger Bigod who was one of the Magna Carta Barons in the year 1215.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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WordPress Notifications

In case it isn’t just me I thought I would share the following experience.

It took me more than a week to realise that very few emails were arriving in my BT email account advising me of Likes and Comments.  In itself it wasn’t a big deal, I just needed to check out the comments directly on the blog instead.  It bugged me though so I got in touch with a WordPress Happiness Engineer.  It would appear that BT seem to have a very high level of what they consider to be Spam, not that the emails are going into my Spam folder, they aren’t even reaching me in the first place.  Why has this just started to happen? Buggered if I know.

My Happiness Engineer suggested I change my email address to Gmail as they have a higher Spam threshold and allow greater control to be employed by the end user.  Having made the change it looks as though the email notifications from you guys are now coming through. On the downside, we all knew there had to be one, my Site Icon disappeared and was no longer being shown despite all the various boxes being correctly ticked in my settings.  More emails to a another Happiness Engineer has now hopefully resolved that. 🤞

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

This week the cavalry arrived, literally.

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In addition to around 100 various foot figures still to do I have now given myself a further 16 mounted figures to paint.  Cleaning has been done but not the priming.  I also need to give plenty of thoughts to how I intend to paint them in terms of heraldry.  Fortunately I am in no rush so will continue to paint the foot figures that I have plans for.

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Give Me Five

We’ve all had those moments when we would like to take revenge for an injustice we have been dealt.  Alas the thought of criminal proceedings holds us back and we are left trusting in divine intervention striking down the bastards who upset us.  On a personal level I had hoped Covid-19 might have proven to be one of Big G’s “mysterious moves” but indications so far aren’t encouraging as my nemesis Mad Martin remains a live .  No such problems, however, stand in the way of our silver screen heroes who do our bidding for us.  The fact that this film genre was the toughest yet rather tells you just how many films are out there and how much the genre is a box office hit!  In no particular order my top five revenge movies (it could have been a top 30!) are:

  1. Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
  2. Gladiator (2000)
  3. Death Wish (1974)
  4. Straw Dogs (1971)
  5. Inglorious Basterds (2008)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“The Beverley Hills Cop” Sound Track album.  Not sure what prompted this bit of nostalgia but I did enjoy the music and subsequently the film.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Beverley Hills Cop” starring Eddie Murphy.  A blast from the past but just as enjoyable.

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Remember …

Being kissed while you’re sleeping is one of the purest forms of love unless you are in prison.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 20 – “News Update No: 1”

After I completed my Wizard’s Tower diorama I announced that it was time for a break.  I think I also mentioned that I have a major storage headache to resolve before I can even consider undertaking anything new.  Well things have changed and I thought I would post an update on recent events which have led to this.

The first event of significance was the annual Table Top World Competition.  In all honesty I did not know they ran one, I only discovered this when l browsed their website yet again to drool over their exquisite buildings only to be hit by their home page advert.  After a little inner debate with myself I decided to take the plunge and enter the Wizard Tower.  Fortunately I never took the trouble to look at past competition entries before I did.  Had I done so I would never have entered.  Some of the dioramas which people have submitted to this annual competition are simply stunning but with a top prize of 500 euros to be won and spent in their shop it is hardly surprising the standard is so high.  Feeling somewhat embarrassed that I had now entered and not exactly put myself out to take better photos I decided to forget all about it.

Having done such a good job of forgetting about the competition it then came as quite a surprise to receive the following email from Ivan at Table Top World (the company is based in Croatia if you weren’t aware).

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Hello David,

we have chosen your work as one of the few that we decided to grant a  30% voucher this year, since you where very close to entering the top 3!

Keep up the great work!

Here is your 30% coupon for our webshop.

Kind regards,
Ivan
Tabletop World

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Now the cynic in me immediately concluded that probably everyone who entered most likely got a similar email but then I decided to accept things on face value if for no other reason than it made me feel better.  More importantly, given how expensive their buildings are (and even more expensive now due to import duty having to be added now the UK has left the EU), there was no way I wasn’t going to use the voucher!  

Highly motivated to build a very large diorama (very large for me that is) I was determined to solve my storage problem, something which had been bugging me for some time.  I’ve known for  a while that our double garage held the key but it is well fitted out already and extremely tidy too so a quick win was never on the cards.  Then I had a light bulb moment!

My car and the family estate are both kept in the garage but She Who Must Be Obeyed keeps her car parked on the drive.  She does this because she drives our daughter to school on a daily basis (had it not been for lockdown my daughter would have passed her driving test and driven herself) and it is easier than opening the garage (yes you’re right, she is a lazy women!).  The thing is her little car is much shorter than the family one.  Short enough to enable me to buy and install a meter wide six foot high office style filing cupboard giving at least 5 meters of shelf space!

My daughter finishes school shortly and then has a four month break before hopefully heading off to university.   The thing is she wont need driving to school any more and therefore SWMBO can “keep her precious car” (that’s the selling line) in the garage instead of the estate! 

Brimming with confidence that I can sell this to SWMBO I have now placed an order for four Table Top World buildings and a few accessories that they do as well.  I suspect it will be several weeks before they arrive and I need to wait for my daughter to finish school before I can buy and install the filing cupboard, therefore nothing to do for now but wait.

I’ll issue further news updates in the weeks ahead but all being well a new diorama and an accompanying Dio-Bolical Monday series will start later in the year.  A series which will run far longer than anything previously so consider yourself warned. 🙂

TIM

PS – Although she doesn’t read my blog, which is just as well, Happy Birthday to my lovely daughter who is 18 today!