This week saw more progress than I was expecting. That’s not to say what I did was exciting but progress is progress right? The long Bank Holiday helped, not because I didn’t have to work (I’m retired after all) but because two of the days it rained and that got me out of doing anything in the garden.
So what did I get up to? Well firstly I managed to get another figure done. Nothing much to say about her but I think she will fit right in with the diorama and the village and peasant vibe I’m trying to create. Some images below. Not great photos but hopefully you get the idea.
With time to spare I decided to take a break from figure painting and make a start on the third and final building, the Barn.
There are several parts to the Barn but essentially it breaks down to three main sections – the lower base level, the upper level and a lean to which fits at the back of the lower base level. I decided to paint the lean to mainly because it’s the smaller section and I had a chance of getting it finished. The end result can be seen in the images below. I will resist listing painting details as these have all been covered before in the two previous builds. That said, if there was a challenge here at all it was remembering just how I did paint the other two buildings! I think I got there in the end and that should make life easier for the main Barn lower base section.
That’s all for this week. Plans for next week are variable. It’s all well and good that it rained for two days this weekend which allowed me to get more modelling done but if the weather turns out better this week then I’ll be back out in the garden and painting will take a back seat. Maybe you’ll see another figure, a mounted knight or more of the Barn. I bet you can’t wait but please try to contain your excitement. None of us are getting younger and the heart can only take so much excitement and anticipation!
This week I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. The main reason being She Who Must Be Obeyed and I managed to get Covid and it hit us quite hard. Like a lot of people it started with a slight cough which neither of us thought anything of but then it hit us for six. Our bodies ached and everything seemed to require a significant effort. So much so we both spent a couple of days in bed doing the barest minimum. Just how much the vaccinations helped I guess we will never know but I don’t think either of us would have liked to have been worse with it. Even now, and after we had both tested negative, there is a lingering element to how we feel. Fortunately I caught it first and was feeling much better by the time SWMBO hit the canvas so between us we managed to function and get every day stuff like walking the dog done.
As a consequence it wasn’t until late in the week that a finally managed to pick up a brush and when I did I decided to go for a quick and easy figure, one that if I cocked it up could be abandoned or at least positioned in the background of the diorama. The figure I chose was the Beggar you can see below. He turned out OK given the circumstances and I don’t feel the need to strip him down and start over.
All being well I’ll get another figure done next week. Having been layed up for several days I’m behind on numerous jobs and need to give them some attention. I’ve also got golf matches (yes, I now play golf!) which need to be reorganised and played so tackling another mounted figure isn’t on the cards I don’t think.
One final thing for this weeks post. For the first time I used an Artis Opus brush and to be honest I was rather disappointed with it as the point curled over very quickly despite the fact that I use brush soap after every painting session. I have a few of their brushes so it might just be a rogue one, I’ll have a better idea further down the line and if I have a change of opinion I’ll let you know. For now though I very much prefer my Winsor and Newton series 7 as these brushes have never given me any trouble.
This week I managed to get another figure off of the workbench, this time a nice little peasant figure from Other World Miniatures. I’m not entirely sure where this chap will go on the diorama yet, probably somewhere adjacent to the Barn, but he has a well sculpted face so ideally I will look to have him facing forward if I can make that look right.
The original figure came with a pitch fork but I swapped that for a scythe which was included in the accessories pack which I purchased with the Barn building from Table Top World. Hardly a conversion but I do think he looks better for the change.
No idea what I plan to do next week, I’ll see how the mood grabs me and how the time goes. I have plenty of other figures to paint, including some animals as well but I’m keen to get started on the final building. Perhaps I’ll push myself to get another couple of figures painted and use the idea of starting the Barn as a reward for getting them done.
Some images of the peasant below.
My third mounted knight in as many weeks. Although I still have another nine to do, as well as plenty of base work to be completed on all of them, I’m feeling a little more happy with the progress I’m making. Yes, things are going slower than I’d like but if I can maintain this pace then I should get the diorama completed on time.
Looking at the images, which aren’t that great I must say, I think this one will need a fair bit of weathering before I’m completely happy with it. That can come later but for now I’ll settle for how it is and move on.
Although I still have another building to do it is the figures which I am more concerned with getting done. Many of the figures, the mounted knights in particular, need to be positioned and based before the third building can be put in situ. Having said that I expect I’ll branch out and start painting the Barn shortly. The idea of swapping from figures to building and back again will help me maintain my interest I think but for now I will aim to get a few more figures under my belt. You can therefore expect to see another figure next week but probably a peasant rather than a Knight.
This week sees my second mounted knight done, well except for some weathering and the base which as explained last week will get done later on.
Once again the heraldry is based on nobody in particular, I’m far more interested in the aesthetic of the diorama than historical accuracy to be honest and I’m therefore keen to add colour variety where and when I can.
As with the previous knight, and as will be the case for the other ten figures when they follow, this is a miniature from Mirliton, an Italian based company.
Little else for me to say other than that some images appear below.
Next week, and while I’m in the mood, I shall crack on with another mounted figure.
After a short break I returned this week to working on my diorama.
A quick assessment of what needed to be done revealed the obvious, I needed to paint some figures. There are a fair few to do, not least of all the dozen mounted knights so I thought I ought to make a start on them.
Of the twelve mounted figures their respective horses can be split between eight plain ones and four with Caparisons, which I believe is the name given to the fancy dress cloth thingies that were worn on the mounts of knights back in the day. The four would clearly take longer to do but hopefully they would also prove to be the more enjoyable to paint. I therefore decided to start with one of those.
Below are images of the first mounted knight, a figure from Italian company Mirliton. He’s not based on anyone in particular, I just chose a colour scheme and heraldry that I liked. I shall probably do the same with all the others. The photo’s aren’t great, partly because I was to lazy to set up my light box.
As you can see the actual base hasn’t been done yet, that’s intentional. Until all the mounted figures have been done, and possibly the other figures too, I won’t be able to determine their positioning on the main board. Once that has been done I will work on the ground work with the aim of ensuring it is consistent from figure to figure so it all blends in. I will also look then at the need for any weathering. Well that’s the plan anyway.
The figures themselves are OK but I prefer the Baron’s War range available from Footsore. Unfortunately they do very few mounted figures which aren’t in combat poses which aren’t suitable for this diorama. Nevertheless I quite enjoyed doing a knight again which is just as well as I have more to do. My plan for next week, unless I get derailed is to get another one done.
What, no Dio-Bolical Monday post this week? Why?
Well when I was working on my Baron’s War army last year there were times when the project became a labour of love. Some of the sage advice I received at that time was to do something different occasionally, a palette cleanser if you like. Now whilst I’m very happy still working on my Death and Taxes diorama I thought it might be appropriate to take a brief sojourn even though I’m not sure I can afford the time out given the pace I have been going at.
As it has been a while since I did a Knuckleduster figure, and I still have a few in my pile to do, I thought I would tackle this little chap. A simple enough figure to paint and one which wouldn’t bog me down for any length of time. It made for a welcome change.
Not a conventional cowboy pose by any means but I rather liked the look of “The Hobo” and although I didn’t go to town on him I did try to give him a basic dusty bedraggled appearance.
Short break over it’s time to get back to the diorama.
For the first time in quite a while I set myself an objective and achieved it!
This last week I painted the other two Gripping Beasts peasants and managed to get three of them based and in situ. The fourth figure although painted will be situated in or on the Barn. Well that’s the plan anyway.
The first of the two figures below is the one which will join the other two as you will see shortly, the other is the one for the Barn later. I also painted the figure for the Barn in slightly brighter colours, the aim being to ensure he stood out a bit and provided some colour contrast to what will be a lot of brown colour befitting a wooden structure. Neither figure is brilliant but for what will be seen of them when the diorama is complete they will work just fine.
Once again all the photos aren’t great. I was to lazy to get my camera out and so once again used my iPhone.
With the three figures now painted it was time to get them onto the main base. Some preparation was needed first using some Milliput which once dried was given a basic paint job just in case any of it could be seen after it was given its textured top coat.
With that stage out of the way it was time to get each figure in position one at a time and complete the groundwork around each one done as I went. Working in such a tight space is never easy so after laying down a bed of watered down PVA for the texture to stick to I found the best way to get the stuff where I wanted it, and to cover the bases the figures were on, was to use a drinking straw to blow it around. Any stuff that got on the figures could be easily brushed off afterwards. Progress and completed images below.
Something else which I manged to get done was a couple of ducks. I have three others to do but here are the first two painted as Mallards.
Finally for this week I thought I’d provide you with an overview image of what the base is looking like at the moment.
Not sure what I have in mind to do this coming week. I thing I’ll I’ll do a few more animals if I can as they are small and fiddly and contrast that by starting work on the Barn maybe.
Not getting much done is now becoming the new norm, however, this week I managed to get two figures painted. These weren’t figures I had originally earmarked to buy and paint for this diorama but I discovered them several months ago, thought they would fit in perfectly with what I had in mind and so I recently purchased them. If I hadn’t bought them now then it would have been to late as the diorama would have moved on and I wouldn’t have been able place them where I wanted them to go.
The figures are a four piece peasant set and came from Gripping Beasts. They were nicely sculpted and although they came with tools of their own I elected to use items which came with the Tabletop World accessories pack instead.
Not the best of photos I’m afraid as I used my iPhone to take them. Now I know most people like their iPhones but alas I buck convention. I hate mine with a vengeance and think it’s the biggest piece of shit going. I’ll go further, I hate all Apple products too. Needless to say my kids think I’m mad but I much prefer Samsung and just as soon as the contract I’m on ends I’ll be going back to them.
The figures need a little dry brushing but I’ll do that when yey are in situ and I don’t need to man handle them any more.
The aim for the coming week is to paint the other two figures and if possible get them placed on the diorama. Ordinarily that would be a formality but not these days. I’ve also got to start painting some of the birds and animals I bought. Like these figures, some of them need to be completed and placed on the diorama before I box myself in. Looking further ahead at what needs doing I still have the Barn to be painted, 12 mounted knights and half a dozen or so other foot figures. Not entirely sure if they will all fit in yet as space is starting to get tight but time will tell.
This was another slow week but progress is progress right?
At some point I’m going to have to sit down and see just where my time goes. They say you slow down as you grow older but from a modelling and blogging perspective if I go much slower I’ll stop!
Having said that it looks like that decision might be taken out of my hands before to long anyway if WordPress have there way. I’m no IT guy and don’t profess to understand all the ins and outs of the latest storage/viewing issues which has been doing the rounds but it certainly doesn’t sound like good news ro me. I don’t get anything like 10,000 views a month, a thousand if I’m lucky, but my storage is at 95% and that would be a problem. I don’t know how simple it would be but deleting the images from old posts would be one way forward perhaps. Ironically, if the blog was to stop I’d find more time for my modelling!
I suspect I am not alone in that my ratio of followers to those who I actually exchange comments with is very low. As I already have a TIM email account I’m wondering if the way forward is through email news letters? Food for thought maybe but time to get back on track.
So what did happen this week on the diorama?
Well first up I took delivery of the order I placed for the chickens, rabbits, etc. that I placed last week. Further more they have all been prepped and primed and waiting to be painted. I thought I’d spare you a progress image. Quite what I will do with them remains to be seen but in theory they will add a little more interest and detail.
What I did manage to get started and completed was another figure. On this occasion the figure is a Merchant and was again purchased from Otherworld Miniatures. As a Merchant I had him down as the Mill owner. Here he is below.
Having painted him the question then was where to place him? With the overall image I have in mind for this diorama I settled on him being on the bridge. From here I figured he could survey all that is (or will be eventually) going on. So next we have a couple of photo’s of him in situ.
As I said at the beginning of this post, progress is progress. I’ve given up planning what I’ll do next because nothing I’ve tried to do just lately has gone according to plan. Barely do I start before I get derailed. What I get done next will be as much as a surprise to me as it will be to you.