“Foster” – Taking the Mickey!

“Foster” is a 28mm Hasslefree figure which I feel certain is based on someone but not sure who.  My guess would be Kurt Russell but if I’m right then I am at a loss as to what film.  If anyone knows please tell me so I can then go “derrrrr!”  In any event it is a figure I like and in keeping with wanting to develop my freehand work felt this figure provided some opportunity.

T-Shirts and vests provide scope I think for all kinds of logos and images which is possibly the biggest reason why I like this figure.  The big question was what to do and how to do it?  Out of the blue I had a flash back moment and remembered my brother and I used to draw Mickey Mouse by drawing around old pennies for his head and half pennies for his ears.  Obviously that wasn’t going to work here but I was struck by the idea and determined to paint Mickey on his vest.  After checking on a few Google images I set about giving it a go.  A couple of progress photos are included below.

Once Mickey was done it was all about finishing the paint work.  In effort to try something different I settled upon another variant of camouflage trousers and was pretty pleased with how these turned out.  A few bricks and a splash of plant colour for the base and job done.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 90)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is from Hasslefree and goes by the name of “Earl”.  This is a figure I have done before and not that long ago either but for some reason I had bought him again.  Not entirely sure why but now that I have painted him again I suspect whatever idea I had for him will now come back to me and I will end up buying him yet again!  That’s the ageing process for you!

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I love my hobby like we all do but there is one thing which gets up my nose (there are probably others too) and that’s finding a miniature I like but only being able to purchase it as part of a set of figures.  I wouldn’t mind so much if the rest of the figure in the set were as equally good but all to often they are not and they end up in the unwanted lead pile.  It’s much the same when buying a pack of socks from Marks and Spencer, there’s always a couple of pairs that you know you will never wear.

I’m no marketing guy and I expect from a sales point of view packaging the figures in this way works well for the company.  To be fair they may even think their sets of figures are all excellent and compliment one another.  Personally I prefer being able to choose the figures I want even if I had to meet a minimum price or figure volume to complete the purchase but alas that option doesn’t exist.  Until it does if I like a figure that much I will just have to pay over the odds.

Such is life.

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Give Me Five

Lockdown continues to deny me and countless others simple indulgences such as having some friends round for dinner and spending the evening putting the world to rights.  Reminding myself of this got me thinking who who would be my top five people, now no longer with us (we might do living people next week), that I would most like to have at a dinner party and have a jolly good chat with.  I thought a nice mix of politics, music, film, comedy and sport would make for a very interesting evening.  In no particular order I came up with the following guests.

  1. Winston Churchill
  2. John Lennon
  3. Elizabeth Taylor
  4. Robin Williams
  5. Brian Clough

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Take it Easy” by the Eagles.  It will be 46 years this June that I saw the Eagles live at Wembley Stadium along with a 100,000 other people, the Beach Boys and Elton John who topped the bill on his Captain Fantastic tour.  That was 1975 and this track which was released in 1972 is as great now as it was then.  Well I think so.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Gangs of London” starring Joe Cole who can also be seen in Peaky Blinders.  This was a series recommended to me by IRO who described it as romantic comedy 😉.  I jest of course.  It is a pretty gritty and violent but extremely watchable.  Well IRO and  I think so.  Certain things didn’t turn out as I expected but a predictable drama would be less fun.  Now I just have to wait for the second series.

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Remember …

Nine times out of ten when your wife asks “Do you remember what today is?” she’s just trying to scare you.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 14 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 5

Another week and once again I managed to achieve my aims.  In truth I feel I could and perhaps should have done more.  My enthusiasm for the project is as high as as it has been from the start but I just don’t seem to be able to shrug off the level of sluggishness that I have developed.  I feel sure this has so much to do with lockdown and repetition to my daily life.  If it wasn’t for sticking with the blog and trying to hit my self imposed publication days I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you what day of the week it was.

So, how did I manage to get on?

The first image of the immediate three below is where the base was last week.  Once the PVA had dried out a few more stones were added to the front area I then I started to apply filler.  On this occasion I went for using DAS clay.  It dries quicker, not that I was in any rush, and for what I had in mind was easier to work with and shape.

In the third photo you can see that I have started to shape the waves.  A big thank you to those of you who were kind enough to share some tips and YouTube links.   I have now worked out what I plan to do and will go into more detail in a future post.  The shapes made so far are really only the foundations.  The important thing is they are reasonably spaced out and all travelling in the same direction.  I went for waves coming in from an angle as I thought it would look better on the eye.  Time will tell but of course but by then it will be to late!  You will also notice that in addition to the rocks some sand has also been added. Continue reading “Dio-Bolical Monday No: 14 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 5″

“Finn” – Zombie Killer

This 28mm Hasslefree figure goes by the name of Finn and is one I have done before.  The previous paint job was plain as was the base work.  Nothing wrong with that but I just felt after I had done it I could have made it a little more interesting.  Nothing over the top just a bit more personalised.

As I have started to get more and more into freehand I wanted to do something on this little chap but couldn’t think of anything appropriate.  Then my daughter walked in with an old hoodie on and that inspired me to add “Leaver 20” reflecting what the kids wear when they leave school.

For the base I wanted to go with a zombie feel while at the same time keeping to the 25mm square footprint.  Not sure what inspired the hands and head coming out of the ground but once I had the idea it became a must.

Pictures below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 89)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is a Hasslefree figure called “Tony” and is based on the character played by Nick Frost in the film Shaun of the Dead.  Having done the three “Shaun” character figures which Hasslefree have on offer it made sense to do this one.  I must take a closer look at the other figures to see if any of the others have been sculpted as I nearly missed this one.  It will also provide me with an excuse to watch the film again, not that I really need one!

The figure itself is pretty plain but when I looked at some on line images I noticed that “Tony” wore a T-Shirt with the wording “I Got Wood” written on it.  It wasn’t possible to replicate this in full due to the left arm being across the figures midriff.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

When I was a kid we had very few TV channels to choose from, three to be precise.  The BBC never had adverts but ITV, our only independent station at the time, did.  A program on ITV would be shown and every 20 minutes or so there would be a break in the broadcast for adverts.  Back then the break would be captioned with “End of Part 1” followed afterwards by “Part 2” etc when the program returned.  More importantly the program, whatever it was, simply picked up where it left off.  Somewhere between that point and now things have changed a great deal of course.

These days going straight to the adverts and doing away with the announcement of a break, and the return thereafter, doesn’t bother me.  I can live with the fact that the Ad breaks are longer and more frequent too.  What does irritate me though, thanks no doubt to the increase in my TV viewing due to Covid lockdowns, is what happens when the program returns after the adverts.  For some reason it has become necessary to remind me of what happened in the previous 15 minutes of the program before they went to the advert break.  This doesn’t happen once it happens after every break in the bloody program.  More than that it seems to happen in almost every program I watch these days!

Just what is going on here?

Between the start of the program and the resumption of it after the break did a million new viewers suddenly join in?

Is there a need to pad out the 24 hour TV schedule by such repetition?

Or is it that the average UK television viewers memory retention is only slightly higher than that of a fucking goldfish?

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Give Me Five

I have no idea what inspired this weeks choice (probably my daughters choice of family TV viewing) but I decided to think about my top five animated films.  After some deliberation I came up with the following five.  In no particular order they are:

  1. Toy Story
  2. The Jungle Book
  3. The Lion King
  4. The Simpsons Movie
  5. Shrek

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin.  Fancied a bit of Led Zep this week and settled on a classic for this weeks post.  For those of us in the UK it will always be associated with Top of The Pops.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Le Mans 66” starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale.  I didn’t know the true story of Le Mans 66 so this film came as a complete surprise and I loved every minute of it.  Will leave it a week or so before watching it again!

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Remember …

Taking a dog to the beach called Shark is a bad idea.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 13 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 4

Progress this week was slower than anticipated.  Looking back I can’t really account for why that was.  I didn’t lack for enthusiasm but a few bits and pieces domestically and a few model bits arriving in the post provided a degree of distraction.  Still, I’m not working to any sort of deadline so I don’t intend to beat myself up about it.  Looking back at the previous post my aim for this week was to start on the base section and the base itself.  As I managed both I guess my objective for the week was achieved.

The first image shows the base as it was last week with the stone work largely done but with the rocks still to be painted.  In the second photo the rocks have been painted, a little weathering has been done on the tower stone work and I have cut some rough pieces of plaster board to elevate the tower further.  You can also see the wooden base the tower will be fixed to as well.

I’m still going for an overall dark look but at the same time needed some contrast between the dark grey stone colour of the tower and the rocks so I settled on various shades of brown.

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The reason for elevating the tower further is because I want to have it set on a wider rock base with the sea lapping up against the rocks.  Well that’s the theory at least although I’m still not entirely sure how I am going to do the sea but I am more than happy with pressing on with the rock outcrop.  As usual I looked to the slate and granite chippings I have on my front garden path as the go to material to use.  I needed a few and although I can’t explain my selection process I some how instinctively know what shape and texture I’m looking for.  Washed and dried I then set bout trying to put them into position whilst ensuring they blend in with the rocks on the model itself.  Far easier said than done and far more time consuming than you might think.

The first image below shows another angle of the base sitting on the roughly cut plaster board pieces which have been stuck together and fixed to the main base using PVA.  The second and third photos show the plaster board having been carved out and shaped with the granite and slate chippings being positioned and held in place, again using PVA.  The last picture was a brief inspection one of how the base of the model and the base being built will line up.

img_0942img_0946img_0945img_0944 There are more stones and chippings to be added but for now these need to dry otherwise everything will slip and slide all over the place.  From a personal point of view I am happy with how this is coming along.  To others, a bit like my Fools Gold diorama, this stage looks like a complete mess but trust me it’s going to look OK in the end! 🤞

Where do we go from here?

Finish adding the stones and chippings and then I need to add filler of some sort to the base while I think about how I am going to do the waves.  That’s going to need a lot of thought and there will be some drying time needed as well but if I can get my head around the waves I will be pleased.  It might also be a good time to make a start on one of the figures too.

TIM

“Mo Joe” – 28mm Zombie Hunter

This figure is one I have had my eye on for a while but each time I went to order it along with some other Hasslefree figures it was out of stock.  Fortunately I finally managed to get my hands on him.  The figure actually goes by the name of “Joe” but I have chosen to call him “Mo Joe” on account of his Mohican haircut.

I decided to make Joe a Zombie Hunter and in order to convey the message decided to add a body to the base work.  I didn’t have room for a whole figure on the 25mm base so simply chopped him in half (a conversion!) and made some guts using cotton wool dipped in PVA which was then teased out a bit with tweezers.  A bit of blood around the head and on the bat and away you go.  Unfortunately the contrast in ground colours doesn’t seem to have come across quite so well in the photo’s as it does in the flesh so to speak.

As a patriotic Brit I elected to give Joe a Union Jack vest and was pleased with how the freehand came out.  Chuffed with that I set about trying to paint the upper part of a skull on the back of his jacket.  As a first attempt at a skull I was fairly pleased with that too but if I decide to do another at some point I’d like to think I might be able to do a little better.  To begin with I had no idea how to start painting it but after a little research managed to piece something together.  Certainly a lesson learnt for next time.  Finally I couldn’t resist the idea of a few colours for his barnet (that’s rhyming slang for hair for those of you outside the UK).

As I finish writing this I am looking at the photo’s on my very old laptop and the images don’t look that great.  Hopefully it is nothing more than the computer itself as the photo’s on my Samsung tablet looks absolutely fine, well to my blurry eyes at least.

Pictures of “Mo Joe” below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 88)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is from Reaper and the female figure goes by the name of Almah, Merchant Princess.   A lady not to be messed with and for inclusion in Alex’s Fembruary Challenge.  I went for a simple paint job but am now regretting that I didn’t take the opportunity to see what freehand work I could have considered doing.  Always next time.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I hadn’t intended to start with the subject of Racism but then two things happened.  Firstly IRO did a podcast on the subject and then I had an issue with eBay.

I’d never thought of Racism in the hobby but I thought IRO was good to bring the subject up and it did get me thinking about it.  I’m not intending to get into a great debate on the subject but before I get onto my whinge a couple of observations.  Firstly, having attended numerous models shows up and down the country I have rarely, if ever, seen many ethnic minorities in attendance.  I might be wrong but culturally within my sphere it appears they have little or no interest in the hobby.  Then again they may all be at home painting away.  Secondly, the military subjects which dominate from what I see tend to be “white” conflicts.  Of course there are plenty of ethnic campaigns too but the point is do they sell?  I remember a manufacture telling me that for every cowboy figure he sells he can sell 30 or more WW2 figures.  The bottom line is it’s about the bottom line.  Now on to my whinge.

My whinge is in two parts.  The first is very simple.  Now maybe it’s just me, and it probably is but it strikes me it is impossible to have a grown up conversation about racism without someone immediately calling you a racist.  Even IRO felt awkward talking about the subject.  Why?  To my mind if you cannot openly talk about the subject then you are more likely to create new racists.  Yes, black lives matter but so does every life.  I could go on and on about the subject but quite frankly I can’t be asked to address the inevitable abuse.

Now to the second part of my whinge.  Remember this little chap that I posted a few weeks ago?

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Well I decided I would put the little chap up for sale on eBay where he sat for a few days and then I received a message from eBay of which this is an extract.

Quote:

We had to remove your listing because it didn’t follow our Offensive material policy. Listings that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or discrimination aren’t allowed.

What activity didn’t follow the policy

We removed your listing as it violates our Offensive Materials policy. eBay has made a decision to no longer permit Confederate flag listings and/or listings that feature the flag. We believe the image of the flag itself has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism. This is not a reflection or judgement on anyone selling the item and we respect that there are a wide variety of opinions on this issue. Please note that even if the language is part of the official name or trademark of the item, it is not permitted to be used in your listing title or description. We do not permit these items. Please do not relist these items again. Failure to comply will result in further restrictions and a possible suspension of your account.

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Now of course everyone is free to draw their own conclusions.  Personally I fall into the camp which says history is history and we should learn from it and not pretend it didn’t happen.  I’m also of the opinion that anyone who is offend by an inch high figure is a sad fuck and is simply indicative of a sad world where political correctness has gone mad.

As someone who worked for a vast global company for 32 years I have worked with people of all races and from all over the world.  Truth be told I have found people generally fall into three categories.  Those I like, those I don’t and those I have no opinion on at all.  Colour of skin is immaterial, if your nice your nice if you’re a shit you’re a shit.

Simples.

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Give Me Five

Before I get abused for being insensitive and racists I thought I should keep the ethnic theme running by this week listing my top five ethnic actors/actresses.  In no particular order:

  1. Sidney Poitier
  2. Morgan Freeman
  3. Denzel Washington
  4. Rami Malek
  5. Thandie Newton

This week TIM has been listening to …

“When Tomorrow Comes” by the Eurythmics.  I do think Annie Lennox is a great singer and together with Dave Stewart they made some excellent music.  Will doubtless line up some more of their tracks in the future but today decided to go with this one.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Bulletproof” a TV series set in London.  This one passed me by but I have managed to watch the first series and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The good news is there is a second series of six parts, just like the first, and a third comprising of three episodes.  Now looking forward to watching those too.  Oh, and the two black actors, Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke, are very cool and no I’m not just saying that.

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Remember …

Don’t assume it is your people skills which are the problem, it is more likely to be your tolerance of idiots which needs working on.

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TIM

Dio-Bolical Monday No: 12 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 3

The plan for the last week was to get the turret done and begin work on the top section of  the tower.  Every section of this model is a painting marathon but so far I am loving every minute of it.  Yes I know an airbrush would have quickened things up but I’m a brush guy and am happily losing myself in  this project.  Although I consider the progress I am making to be very pleasing I’m conscious of the fact that from a blog posting point of view things might be a little dull.  Hopefully though the images towards the end of this post will provide some idea of scale and why it is a beast of a model.    

The first couple of photos today are of the outside of the turret.  There are five turret windows and each one takes a while to do but I love the way they look.  Not my idea as I have said before but thanks to the YouTube link I have previously posted.  The wooden shingles have all been painted using a combination of various earth coloured oils and most of the weathering has been done too.  The grain and texture engraved in the model is simply brilliant.  As you can see in the second image their is a top piece still to be painted.  I’m leaving that for now so I can pick the top up rather than manhandling the paint work so far done.

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With the turret largely out of the way it was time to move on to the stone section.  As with the rest of the model it is very highly detailed and getting into the various nooks and crannies to paint everything is time consuming and more than a little repetitive but with YouTube on I was happily zoned out.  No real secret to any of the painting here.  Just a couple of base colours, washes to get into the dark recessed areas and highlights and dry brushing on edges and where else I felt it was appropriate for weathering.  As with the all the tower painting so far done there is much more weathering to be done but that will come later.

In the third image below I have inserted the room which I got painted last week.  The fit is perfect and was easily glued into place.  

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With the room in place I added the turret.  Again the fit is perfect although there is only one way the turret can be positioned so I colour marked it for ease as it will not be glued down, that way it will be possible to see inside the room.  The colour marks aren’t visible when the turret is on.

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With the top section put together it was time for a motivational assembly of the main pieces.  It is nice to take time out and see how things are progressing.  So far so good and I am very pleased with things as they currently stand.  That said there is a long way to go.  

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Plenty more to paint on the tower.  The base hasn’t even been started and there are figures and other bits and bobs to be done.  A good many weeks work lay ahead.  Next week I will aim to get the rocks done on the base section.  Then I might start to think about how to go about getting the base done.

TIM

 

“Glory” – The Fembruary Challenge

In response to Alex’s annual Fembruary challenge I managed to pick up a couple of female figures from Hasslefree.  This is the first and goes by the name of “Glory”.  I might get the second one done as it’s early in the month but we’ll have to see.

I was conscious of the challenge brief so focused on females with attitude rather than the skyclad females which I have done in the past and which Hasslefree have on offer.  Miss Glory fits the bill of a no nonsense, mess with me at your peril, kind of women.  This is admirable in conflict situations and I for one would be more than happy to have some one like her watching my back although I suspect it would be me looking at hers as she takes the fight to the enemy.  Whether I would be happy to have a relationship with a women who is more hard nosed and intimidating than me or the the average guy is something  else entirely but it probably wouldn’t be my decision to make!

Images Below.

TIM

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