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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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 95)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is surprise, surprise another Hasslefree figure and one I have done before at least once.  Taking advantage of a Hasslefree offer of 20% off over Christmas I put in a large order and included a number of figures I had done before.  Not an issue because I love painting them.  I have still to decide if this one will stay in my collection or find its way onto Ebay.  If I do end up selling it I will probably spend the money buying him again!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

Maybe it is only something which happens in the UK?  It has been about for a a good few years now so it’s not new either, but it does now seem to be a constant.  What am I talking about?  Resignations.

It might just be me but have you noticed that when someone does something wrong, either actually wrong of perceived as wrong in the eyes of the politically correct brigade, that there is an instant outcry from the public or the media for the individual to resign?

Now of course there are some things which warrant individuals to fall on their sword and if they fail to do so then they should rightly be pushed.  But there are many instances it seems to me where at worse all the individual needs to is apologise, learn from the incident and move on.  That or simply stick to their guns based on our (declining) freedom of speech society.

Yet another example for me of a world which continues to go from crazy to fucking mental!

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Diorama Lite

The word “Lite” in respect of beer is used to typically describe a pale lager that is reduced in alcohol and calories compared to regular beers – Miller Lite, Coors Lite, etc.  It’s a diluted form of the real thing and so is Diorama Lite. 

I’ve been conscious for a while that my Wizard Tower diorama is drawing to a close leaving me with the quandary of what to do next.  Ideally it would be another large diorama but space is a big problem I have to address before I can give serious consideration to doing another.  In due course I will resolve this issue but until I do get my head around it I’m looking at the idea of Diroama Lite, a series of posts of micro dioramas on bases of 40mm x 40mm or maybe smaller.

The idea is to really try to make something of the base as well as the figure(s) all within the confines of a limited space.  Will it work?  Possibly.  Will they all be a success?  Almost certainly not.  For better or worse what you can expect is probably a two part post comprising of the base build, figure paint job and the end result.

Well that’s the plan!

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Give Me Five

This week and with the UK lockdown nearing an end my mind wandered off in the direction of Road Movies, films where essentially the director takes you on a journey from one place to another.  I settled on the following five.

  1. Easy Rider (1969)
  2. Thelma and Louise (1991)
  3. Into the Wild (2007)
  4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  5. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Galway Girl” by Ed Sheeran – I don’t always live in the musical past!  I do rather like Ed probably because he offers hope to us gingers.  I also like Saoirse Ronan who I fell in love with in the film Brooklyn and who features in this video and then there is an old girlfriend and work colleague of mine called Maureen who was born and bred in Galway and who now lives back there.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Black Books” and “Breeders”.  Two for the price of one this week thanks to Wudugast and Kuribo who a couple of weeks ago each recommended a sitcom to me.  I hadn’t heard of either (sitcom that is!) but managed to track both down and have so far watched the first couple of episodes of each.  Must say I enjoyed both very much and as a parent Breeders really struck a cord.  The good news is I still have plenty of episodes still to watch! 🤗

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Remember …

The world isn’t full of arseholes but they are strategically placed so that you run into one every day.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 19 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 10

I have mentioned previously that I had to resolve a couple of problems.  Neither were major but they were unplanned. 

The first relates to the second turret which you can see in the image below.  The turret itself fixes to four wooden resin posts but unfortunately one of them was broken on arrival.  It was easy enough to fix but I had been contemplating removing the turret anyway because the wizard figure which I had planned to position there would not have been easily seen.  I took this as a sign and set about removing all four wooden posts and after a few minor adjustments you would never know they were meant to be there. 

All was fine until I then had the presence of mind to try the wizard figure out in position only to discover that it didn’t work!  The problem being that the height of the wall and the angle the wizard would be positioned at didn’t look right for what I had planned.  So now I had no turret and the need to determine where the wizard was going to go.

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Knowing that the wizard would be positioned elsewhere I decided there needed to be some visual interest given no wizard and no turret.  Initially I had know idea what to do but later had the idea of a banner so I set about making one.   Using some Japanese writing paper and a couple of pieces of steel rod I got started.  The issue of design was also a problem.  I wanted something that felt medieval but also wizard like.  I settled on the idea of the star sign symbols, Leo, Libra, etc.  These only covered part of the banner so I then added a star at the bottom and then added a flag too.  Some photos below. 

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The wizard has now been positioned down below on the rocks.  It will make more sense when you see the finished diorama but for now this is the only image you are getting! 

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The plan this week was also to get the ballistrade added and painted.  I also wanted to get some more weathering done.  Mission accomplished.  

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Now where do I go from here?

Time to work on the final figure.  Probably a couple of weeks work and then a final post of the completed diorama.

TIM

“Taylor” – Post Apocalyptic Survivor

This weeks Hasslefree miniature goes by the name of “Taylor”  As with numerous Hasslefree figures this is not the first time I have painted this one.  First time around she appeared in a little diorama called “Apocalypse: What The F**k Was That!”

On this occasion I decided to give Taylor her own stand alone spot and this is the end result.  Nothing overly exciting but I saw an opportunity for some different freehand and settled on some psychedelic pants!  In a post apocalyptic graffiti strewn world I figure she’d be well camouflaged and blend in nicely.  Painting each colour in random patterns was easy enough but outlining each one in black to make it stand out was a more lengthy process.

As with most things I am doing these days the figure was based on an MDF square base before being stuck to an oak cube for a display plinth.   In this case everything is 25mm square.

Images below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 94)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another knight double act and sees the end of my Footsore backlog of foot knights.  I have a couple of mounted ones in the pile to do but these are going to be neglected for a little while longer until I can muster up the right level of enthusiasm for them.  In all fairness I do love knights and bizarrely am now contemplating buying some more!  Footsore under their Barons War range have recently issued some new figures and I am tempted to buy and paint more.  Ideally I’d like to create a couple of small dioramas and if I can come up with the right ideas and right figures for them then I will take the plunge.  Not entirely sure why I lost the love for these ones but I suspect it has more to do with the number of ideas I have floating around right now.  Anyway, images below.  Next week something different but quite what I haven’t a clue right now.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

Now at the risk of upsetting someone this week (never my intention I can assure you) I thought I would touch on the subject of Gender Neutral. Truth be told I’m not sure I really understand it but it appears to have become a thing of late, a trend, a fad.  It’s fashionable.  Well so it seems to me.  Highlighted recently in the world of awards where it seems there has been a move from the two categories of Best Actor (Male) and Best Actress (Female) to the single category Best Actor (Gender Neutral).  I’m OK with that although I really don’t see the need for the two sexes to compete.  It strikes me that only one person can now have success instead of two.  Perhaps it’s to save the money on an award?  The thing is who are the minority driving this agenda, why are the masses taking note and where does this trend end?  Does the Worlds Strongest Man and Worlds Strongest Women become the Worlds Strongest Human and if it does how long then before someone moans because men keeping winning?  That’s not a sexist statement by the way just the reality that men are physically stronger than women and until man evolves further it will remain that way.

For me life is a simple affair.  If you have a willy you are male, if you don’t you are female.  If nature got it wrong and you want to swap genitalia then fine.  Only the individual knows best and it must be pretty tough being trapped in the wrong body.  For me the French have it right with their saying “Vive la difference”.  If someone wants to consider themselves Gender Neutral then fine, as long as they aren’t going out killing people then so be it.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get the hang of it so doubtless jail beckons for me in my dotage for the heinous crime of failing to be politically correct.  However, when Mr Potato Head has been rebranded Potato Head to avoid a backlash and comply with political correctness the world has truly gone bloody mad.

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Give Me Five

This week I decided to evaluate my top five obscure inventions.  Those little unsung things which we take for granted but play a significant part in our lives and which we couldn’t do without.  I’m not talking cars, planes, computers or anything like that, just the little things.  You’ll get the idea.  In no particular order:

  1. The Battery
  2. The Calendar
  3. The Clock/Watch
  4. The Mirror
  5. The Tape Measure

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash.   A classic track and probably one of the best groups of their era and genre.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Crash”.  This film came out in 2004 and even won three Oscars including best picture.  Quite how it managed that I will never know.  I can only assume everything else which came out that year was crap.  Some decent acting from a decent cast but I just didn’t get it.  Probably me.

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Remember …

Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding the other person is a complete idiot.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 18 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 9

This week my time was entirely spent on painting the second figure for this diorama, images of which appear below. 

The figure in question is from the Reaper Pathfinder range and goes by the name “Valeros, Iconic Male Human Fighter” and the composition of the figure is perfect for what I have in mind to do with him.  There is very little to say on the paint job itself but some of you following the progress of this diorama my well be asking at this point “so what is going on here then?”.  You’re not asking?  Well that’s OK then because in any event I have no intention of telling you exactly what is going on for at least another couple of weeks.

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Now where do I go from here?  Well next week I have four aims.  Firstly to explain two minor problems I encountered and how I have hopefully resolved them.  Do some more weathering and ground work and add the wooded posts and rope ballistrade which goes up alongside the steps.  This last step involves glue and I hate glue so I am not looking forward to that bit very much.  If I get all that done I will move on to the final piece of this diorama jigsaw.  That should take a couple of weeks I reckon balancing it alongside the fact that it is now spring in the UK and I have loads of jobs to do outside in the garden.  If that goes well then I will be ready for the final post which essentially will be images of the end result.

TIM