The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 42)

Welcome to this weeks Musings!


Charlie Foxtrot

As some of you will have seen, just before Christmas I completed a WW2 diorama which I called “Operation Overlord” (link below).

The buildings I used in this model were all from a company called Charlie Foxtrot Models albeit with some customization on my part.  The buildings themselves are of a high quality and I would recommend them to anyone.  Having completed the model I thought I would email a couple of photos to Colin at Charlie Foxtrot and let him know how pleased I was with his kits.  Let’s face it we all like good feedback and I thought Colin would be no different so with it being the season of goodwill to all men I thought I would pass on my thanks to him.

I didn’t anticipate a reply but to my surprise he came back and said he was impressed with what I had done.  More than that he asked if he could put the images up on his Facebook page in the lead up to Christmas.  I was happy to agree that he could but if I’m being honest thought he was being polite and that would be the end of the matter.

Good to his word Colin did put up the photos, along with a few kind words, just before Christmas as he said he would.  It made me feel like an author getting his first book published.  I was chuffed!


Carry On Carrying On?

Over Christmas one of the TV channels, I can’t remember which one, aired a few of old Carry On films.  I’m not sure how well known these films are outside of a certain age group or outside of the UK either for that matter.  The humor is mostly built around the English language and the use of the “double entendre”.  Although dated the humor is nonetheless what I was brought up on and to this day I love the adaptability of the English language and the ability it has for word play.

Another outlet for this type of humor, again turning the clock back to when I was a kid, were saucy seaside postcards produced by Bamforth.  These were, and still are to my mind, very funny.  They also played a significant part in my sex education and must have caused my dad much embarrassment when he was asked to explain what some of them meant!

Needless to say there is now a down side to this humor in today’s world.  Only yesterday I read an article on the BBC website about sexual harassment in the work place, it included a quiz to help determine your understanding of what is and what isn’t acceptable in this day and age.  I didn’t do very well!  I’ll go one step further, if I was still working in an office environment I would probably be hung, drawn and quartered.  Goodness only knows how kids flirt these days!  With internet dating I guess they don’t.

These days not only do we have to be more careful about what we say but we also have to be aware of where we are saying it.  For example, “Have you ever had a PC go down on you?” is an innocent enough question in an IT environment but said inside a police station it could be misconstrued.  Personally I’d find it funny but others might take offense.  Similarly, “Wow, that’s a lovely figure can I hold it?” is not an unreasonable request said to someone at the Plymouth Modelling Club but could well upset someone in an office environment.

It gets trickier though when the words are potentially innocent and said in the correct environment, for example “Those are lovely looking melons” is fine when you are in the supermarket fruit and veg aisle but heaven help you if you happen to be standing next to a large breasted female at the time you say it!  Here’s another example …

Image result for seaside postcards

Now I appreciate in the examples I have given the female of the species is at the butt of the joke and as such there are those delicate soles who would be most offended.  There is however an alternative, join in!  If, as she is inclined to do, She Who Must Be Obeyed happened to say while I was doing some DIY – “That’s a hell of a big tool you’ve got in your hand!” I’d be quite pleased.

It’s often inferred that this type of humor was one way traffic.  Some people tend to forget that men were “victims” of this humor too.

Image result for seaside postcards

Image result for seaside postcards

Having worked part time in a Pharmacy I’ve dispensed numerous prescriptions to men who suffer from Erectile Dysfunction.  I’ve never met one who didn’t see the funny side of the situation or had a Viagra joke to tell.  In fact it’s taking Viagra with a glass of water which gives us British guys our stiff upper lip!


This week TIM has been listening to …

Heroes by David Bowie.

Now the problem with an icon, any icon is they are iconic.  To become an icon you need to have done a lot of great influential stuff which by definition means it is hard to select a single track (or film) from a comprehensive list of outstanding music.  So it is with Bowie.  I chose this one because even if you don’t like Bowie you can’t argue with the title.  Well you can but I wont be listening.

Probably an artist who is not every bodies cup of team but that’s music for you, it’s personal, no rights or wrongs just different opinions.

Expect to see me list more of his tracks in the future.


This week TIM has been watching … 

JFK’s Secret Killer: The Evidence

Now I’m sure I’m not alone in liking a good old mystery and one of the more fascinating and most popular is the Kennedy assassination.  Theories abound as to what actually happened and many of the things which simply did not add up were featured in the film JFK starring Kevin Costner.

Some years ago I saw this documentary on TV.  I stumbled upon it again recently on YouTube and thought I would share it.  For me this represents the most likely scenario of what actually did happen.  It provides a very realistic answer, backed up with evidence, which addresses the numerous anomalies of the Warren commission and also explains why there would have been a cover up.

Mystery solved as far as I am concerned but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from watching this fascinating investigation.


Until next time.



WW2 British Gunner – 1/32nd Scale Soverign 2000 Figure

Going back a good few years a company called Hornet made some great figures.  They also made lots of character replacement heads to personalize figures too.  Then all of a sudden Hornet stopped making figures and a new company emerged called “Wolf” with only heads now being manufactured under the Hornet brand.  A few years after that Wolf disappeared to be replaced by a company called Sovereign 2000.  Still with me?  Good.

So why mention all of this?  Well the figures produced by Hornet and then subsequently by Wolf were all white metal so when I purchased this Sovereign 2000 figure I anticipated the same.  What I got was a resin figure.  Even though the website I purchased the figure from (Historex Agents) didn’t specify resin or white metal the fault rests with me, I should and could have clarified.  As the saying goes, if you “Assume” then you make an “Ass” out of “U” and “Me”.

Now I’ve no desire to open up the whole debate of Resin/Plastic versus White Metal as it’s been discussed on numerous occasions.  I’ll just say “I hate fucking resin figures” and leave it at that.  OK, OK I’ll offer a basic explanation.

Firstly, let me say right up front the problem is me.  The detail of resin figures is excellent.  If you are into conversions like IRO for example then I would imagine adapting and modifying a resin figure using a hobby knife is much better, placing the emphasis on creativity rather than engineering.  The figures are also much lighter and just as straight forward to paint but having said all of that I still don’t like them that much.  I’m sure they have other virtues as well.

So what’s not to like?

Oddly one of the things I don’t like is the amount of fine detail.  A weird thing to say I grant you but, as was the case with this model, the finer parts such as the gun are so easily broken.  The detail is great but if it breaks there is little chance of a decent repair leaving the figure essentially useless.  I concede that white metal figures break too but in my experience they typically bend first and can be straightened out.  My other issue, which is pretty much the same issue in fact, is that they come on sprues or with lumps of residue resin all of which needs to be cut away.  A delicate operation which I struggle with.  It’s me as I say but I don’t much care for resin given the choice.  Having said all that I received 5 resin figures for Christmas so for all my moaning I’m going to have to get used to it.  Who knows, by the time I’ve completed them I may have been converted.

Let’s move on to the figure itself.

I needed a WW2 Normandy Landings type figure or two for the Plymouth Model Club display later this year and simply took a shine to this one.  I liked the thumbs up pose.  He was painted using a combination of acrylics and oils.  The base was a simple affair but, surprisingly now that I come to think about it, the first time I’ve used plaster board to make anything, in this instance the wall.  I’m sure many of you have used it but if not then I would seriously recommend it.  It’s not even something you have to buy, I picked out a few decent pieces from a builders skip!  Easily carved but solid enough as well.  It’s nicely textured once backing paper is removed and as it absorbs a varied colour shift can be achieved with next to no effort.

Not much else to say other than a few images below, all of which make the model look darker than it actually is.











The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 41)

Welcome to this weeks Musings and the first of this year!


2019 – The Initial Plan

The clue is in the title, this is the initial plan, which is to say it hasn’t got a hope in hell of coming to fruition.  So why bother?  Well old working habits die hard (now there’s a title for a film, wonder if anyone has thought of that?) and I like the idea of objective setting and having some focus.  That said I’m not in the slightest bit bothered if I deliver against it or not.  This is my hobby after all and the aim is to enjoy it and if, as I suspect I will do, I choose to go off in a different direction at some point then that’s just what I will do.  I can be so rebellious when I want to be!

So, what do I currently have in store for 2019?

First up, but in no particular order are Knuckleduster Miniatures.  Possibly the finest range of Old Wild West figures on the market.  My modelling roots lie in this genre and I’m really quiet excited at the prospect of a major return to simply doing some figure painting.  With well over a 100 figure in the range (and being added to) it is my intention to do them all so expect to be bored silly during the course of the year (and probably beyond!).

Reaper will also feature this year in what I plan to do.  I’d like to do another dragon at some point but first up will be a boxed diorama.  I’ve only ever done one and I found it bloody difficult.  Expect some serious f’ing and blinding as I “enjoy” myself on this one!

Hasselfree Miniatures have also grabbed my attention and several figures have already been purchased.  Also sitting in my “to do” pile are quite a lot of WW2 figures, some 28mm and some 54mm.  Most of these are intended for the Plymouth Model Show in June where the theme is D-Day as it is the 75th anniversary of this landmark event.  I’m not sure how many I will get done but there is a time critical element to it so at some point I will have to get my finger out.

In the second half of the year I would really like to start work on my next mega project, mega by my standards that is.  It has long been a desire of mine to do a Western town diorama and if possible I’d like to get it under way this year.  Research is the biggest need right now and I’ve yet to fully decided between several ideas on how best to do it.

As if I didn’t have enough to do IRO suggested I do something around Rorke’s Drift.  To be fare it’s a great idea of an amazing historical event and a great film to provide further inspiration if more were needed.  This is one which needs a lot more thought so if I do go down this route it wont be for a while.  I might just go down the vignette route rather than a full blown diorama.  If that wasn’t enough he had some other ideas too!

Another dabble into the horror genre appeals but I need to get my head around this one as well.  Plenty of options but I’d like to do a film crew again for sure.

A look at my neglected pile left me feeling more than a little guilty but I hope to reduce it a little by riding off the back of some Azazel monthly challenges.  No rush though as the pile is far from inspiring me right now.

Away from actual modelling I’m hoping to attend a few model shows during the course of the year and entering a competition or two as well.  Standards are high but the idea of bench marking my work appeals to me and win or lose I find it motivational too.  In all honesty the best modellers don’t enter.  It’s a bit like asking the Beatles to do the Eurovision Song Contest, but I’m happy trying to become one of the best of the rest even if I have to embarrass myself along the way.

I’m also aiming to continue my weekly Musings, certainly for the foreseeable future at any rate.  I’m currently contemplating a new mini series of perhaps 3 or 4 posts in which I will reveal the cunning plan I implemented allowing me to spend as many hours a day as I want modelling with the full support of She Who Must Be Obeyed!  

Last but not least I think I have found a solution to my growing storage problem.  Alas plans A and B have had to be shelved for now owing to the reluctance of both my kids to move out but plan C has great merit.  Unfortunately SWMBO is also reluctant to move out so plan D, a garage revamp, is looking the most likely right now.

So there you have it, the initial plan.  Time will tell just what and how much gets done but whatever the outcome is hopefully the journey will be fun.


This week TIM has been listening to …

Another couple of tracks by ELO.  I couldn’t decide between “Rock’n Roll is King” and “Don’t Bring Me Down” so I went with both.  Great video’s accompany each although “Rock’n Roll is King” steals it for me.  Some brilliant movie clips in this one including “The Breakfast Club”, “Pulp Fiction”, The Wolf of Wall Street”, “Back to the Future”, “Love Actually” and “Footloose” (the remake).  I must sit down and watch all of them once again!

This week TIM has been watching …

Mission Impossible:  Fallout.

I do love a true story!

Image result for mission: impossible – fallout


Until next time.


Lindisfarne – A 28mm Diorama – Part 2 (The January Challange)

Not my favorite model by any means but I’m pleased with it on two counts.  Firstly, I found the wherewithal to finish it.  It had been neglected for a while, unjustly to some extent but my commitment to it waned and other more interesting things took its place.  Secondly, and not for the first time, an Azazel monthly challenge spurred me on.  It’s not a great piece or a great entry for the January challenge but it’s likely to be the nearest to anything involving scenery that I’m likely to produce this month.

The aim for the base was to try to achieve a little bit of a sand dune type image, nothing to accurate but sufficient to achieve the appearance of an attack on a small island just off of the north-east of the English mainland.  Styrofoam (to provide the elevation), garden slate chippings, sand and some static grass tufts and there you have it.  Simple and OK but nothing to write home about and now I can focus on the multitude of things which are craving my attention.

Not very often that I paint resin figures but these came out OK.  I did find them a little fragile compared to using white metal figures and a little heavy-handedness on my part left me with one or two minor repairs to be made.  Something to put down to experience I guess as I would be happy to purchase from this company again albeit that their range is not huge.

Images of the completed diorama below.



The News at TIM -Mid Week Musings (No: 40)

Welcome to this weeks Musings and to 2019.  Happy New Year to you all.


2018 – That Was The Year That Was

This being the first week of the New Year it seemed appropriate to review the modelling year just gone.  So, where to start?

Well the first question I guess is just when should a year end review take place, just before the end of the year (as some of you have done and excellent write ups they were too by the way) or at the dawn of the new one?  Well, after much soul searching I reached the conclusion that it doesn’t much matter at all and I suspect none of you could give a toss anyway.  Besides I expect you are all still nursing hangovers even though this is 2019 day 2.

So, where to start?

Looking back I surprised myself with just how many models I actually produced.  Whilst a long way short of the numbers that Azazel and others produce I managed to create 35 or so vignettes and dioramas along with a good many stand alone figures which I couldn’t be arsed to count.  No wonder I’m struggling to find a home for all of them!

Overall I’m pleased with most of what I done but there were disappointments.  Not everything works out the way you hope.  An idea which seems exciting at the time can unfortunately look shit when finished.  One such example was a little diorama that I put together called “Lights, Camera, Action!”.


It wasn’t so much that the end result was that bad, more a case of it not turning out the way I had imagined it.  Definitely a concept I’d like to revisit at some point.

On a more positive note the WW1 timeline figures which I started in 2017 and completed in early 2018 were, at the time, quite a departure for me and one that I came to enjoy.  They also helped to establish myself at the Plymouth Model Club which was also significant on a personal level.  I also dabbled throughout the year with Reaper fantasy figures, another area which a year or so ago I would never have thought about doing.  So glad that I did, really enjoyed doing those and in particular the freedom of colour choice.

Do I have some personal model favorites?  Well yes I do.

“Fantasy Island” caused a bit of a stir at the time and represented my 100th blog post.  It provided something of a challenge to do and was a little different as well.  I entered a couple of competitions with it getting two third places which I was happy about, particularly as I had never entered any competitions before.


Another favorite was “The Dragon Slayer”.  Another fantasy based model which again provided something different and I loved doing this one from start to finish.  I even surprised myself with how well this one turned out (probably shouldn’t say that, a bit like laughing at your own jokes).  Seems this one went down well with the viewing public too, with 85 views, 58 comments and 25 likes it’s been my most successful post to date.  Looks like another dragon is on the cards.

My aim is to enter this one into a couple of competitions in 2019 and although I don’t expect to win anything I will be interested to see how it gets on and what other people think.


Last of all, and possibly my personal favorite was Rooster Cogburn.  A return to my Old Wild West roots and 54mm scale.  It had been a while since I did a 54mm figure and the difference between painting at this scale and 28mm is significant, well to me it is.  Painting horses using oil paints is a joy and this one came up pretty good.  How good we will have to see.  Another possible competition entrant but the standard in the single figure class is amazing but hey, if you don’t buy a lottery ticket you can’t win can you?


Last year also saw me trying out some new techniques.  Making trees and buildings mainly come to mind and if the tutorials I also put together have been helpful then that is simply an added bonus.

My blog itself has grown a bit too.  I have a few more followers than I did this time last year and whilst I will never reach numerical dizzy heights I do love the banter with those of you who participate.  Not just banter but some great feedback and ideas too, valuable stuff.  It’s tempting to list you all but I will end up leaving someone out which will piss us both off and then I’ll get abuse and lose a follower and the world as I know it will cave in and I just don’t need the aggro at the start of the year and neither do you.  I have enough of that from She Who Must Be Obeyed and from my 15 year old daughter She Who Thinks She Should Be Obeyed Too (if you have ever seen the film “Uncle Buck” you’ll have some idea of where my daughter’s attitude is right now).

I will however just make reference here though to Azazel’s monthly challenges as they are inspirational and motivational to us all and I hope to participate in as many as possible throughout 2019 although January is looking extremely dodgy already.

Publication of my modelling memoirs – This Is Me! – caused me some angst.  Should I or shouldn’t I? In the end I decided what the hell and adopted the Fleet Street maxim of publish and be damned.  On reflection I’m not entirely sure it was a great idea but fuck it, it’s too late now!

The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings continues to surprise me.  Firstly because it’s still going and secondly because they get more views that my model posts.  Has to be a message there don’t you think?  The aim of my Musings is to try to put a smile on peoples faces and create the occasional debate and if that only works every now and then that makes it worth while to my mind.  The world needs more fun and if I can add to that by generating the odd smile here and there then so be it!  Perhaps this year we might even be able to crank it up a bit.  Remember I’m Ginger, you can have fun at my expense too!

Last of all but by no means least comes the Plymouth Model Club.  I continue to enjoy it.  It’s been great fun and meeting interesting people at various events has been an added bonus.  The competitions have also been enjoyable and I managed to pick up 3 silvers and 3 bronzes from the two I entered.  Maybe next year I might be able to go one step further but it wont be the end of the world if I don’t.  More than anything they are a source of inspiration and motivation just like the monthly challenges and if it helps me to improve then so much the better.

Next week I’ll try and put together a plan for the year ahead.  Of course it wont be worth the paper it’s written on but you’ve got to start somewhere.

If you have any thoughts on ideas for 2019 don’t be shy, feel free to comment.


This week TIM has been listening to …

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and “I Hate Myself for Loving You”.

I thought I would dedicate this to all of you!

Fancied a bit of Rock and this young lady made for a pretty hot rock chick at the time this track came out.  Sadly I don’t think she looks a patch on what she used to and it’s not all down to age.  Shame.

This week TIM has been watching …

Red Sparrow.

Image result for red sparrow

Knowing that the Christmas TV would be crap yet again I decided to keep this DVD on hold for something to fall back on.  After the parents went home, the wife nodded off and the daughter went back to hibernate in her room I decided to sit down and enjoy a couple of hours of watching Jennifer Lawrence.

I can’t say I knew a great deal about the film but the synopsis appealed to me so I decided to take a punt on it.  Turned out to be a real bonus.  Not only was it an excellent story with an unexpected twist at the end but Jennifer, a future Mrs TIM if only the planets would align (never let it be said I’m not an optimist) can be seen getting her kit off!


Until next time.  Happy New Year.


Lindisfarne – A 28mm Diorama – Part 1

Incredible as it seems another Christmas is over and I hope each and every one of you had an enjoyable time.  More on the subject in a future Musings post perhaps but for now it’s time to focus on the New Year.  Before that though my last post for 2018!
I hadn’t intended to post this Saturday, mainly because the Christmas festivities left little time to prepare anything but then I discovered that I had drafted a post which I never published.  Not entirely sure how that came about as I’m generally well organised but clearly not on this occasion.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the model remains neglected.  I lost my way with this one sometime ago for what I am sure we’re good reasons at the time but blowed if I can think what they were now.  Let’s put it down to age.
The down side of this post though is I now have to finish the diorama and with so many other things on the go I’m not really sure I want to.  That said it will make for a good start to the year if I can install some discipline and finish off various projects before I get carried away with all the new things I have planned.
So, without further ado let’s move on.
The aim of this little diorama is to depict the beginning of the Viking age and the attack on Lindisfarne and its Priory in the year 793.
The figures were purchased from V and V Miniatures, either a Russian or a Polish company if I remember correctly,  and one I hadn’t used before.  The quality of the resin figures is very good but the simple truth is I really do not like resin figures that much (I’ll explain why at some point in the future), I’m a white metal guy at heart.  Nevertheless I will keep an eye on their interesting range which at present is not huge but hopefully will grow.
The base when I get round to it will be a simple affair but for now all I have to show are images of the four painted figures.  A little more work needs to be done but otherwise they are almost complete.
Progress photos below.
DSC_0803 (1)DSC_0827DSC_0801 (2)DSC_0829DSC_0804 (1)DSC_0802 (1)DSC_0828

How to Make a 28mm Palm Tree

How to Make a Palm Tree.

The follow up to last week’s post – “X” Marks The Spot”.


To make the palm tree I used the following items, you can of course use similar products:-

  • 3 lengths of Florist wire, approximately 35cm in length
  • Goose feathers, approximately 3 to 5cm in length and roughly 35 to 40 in number
  • Milliput
  • Superglue
  • General purpose filler
  • A very small length of course string
  • Paints (various)

For the build I used the following tools:-

  • Small hand vice
  • Wire cutters
  • A cocktail stick
  • Paint brushes


Step 1

Take two pieces of the 35cm Florist Wire, fold each in half and cut to make four equal lengths.


Step 2

Take the four equal lengths of Florist Wire and place all four ends into the hand vice so that they are all tightly clamped together.


Step 3

Using the 3rd piece of Florist wire start to wind it as tightly as you can around the four clamped pieces staring about 2cm up from the bottom.  Ideally you want to keep the wire wound round closely following each turn but if there are small gaps it really doesn’t matter.  Continue until you have run out of wire and then remove from the vice.  You now have the main basis of the tree trunk.


Step 4

Take the Milliput and make two largish balls and four small balls.  Use one of the larger balls for the bottom of the tree trunk and one for the top.  Push the four short lengths of wire which exist at the end of each end of the tree trunk through the Milliput as this will ensure it is all nicely fixed together.  Taper the top ball a little to blend with the trunk and make a smooth joint, same for the bottom ball but flatten it a little as well to help create a base for later.

If the four lengths of wire are too long then use the wire clippers to shorten.  You may wish to keep them long at the bottom anyway as this will help when it comes to fixing to a base.  Personally I didn’t bother as I knew I would be adding base work around the tree which would be sufficient to hold it in place.


Step 5

Before the Milliput dries use the point of the cocktail stick to make numerous holes in the top ball to allow for the feather palms to be inserted later.  If you find you haven’t made enough (which is what happened to me!) you can easily drill more into the Milliput later.

Step 6

Once the Milliput has dried mix some General purpose filler together with some water and PVA glue and coat the tree trunk.  Try to avoid it being to thick, you want to be able to keep the shape created by the wire you wrapped around.  Set aside to dry.

NOTE – If you want to shape the trunk, give it a slight bend for example, do this before applying the filler!


Step 7

While the filler on the tree trunk is drying it’s time to sort and paint the feathers.  You can of course do this at anytime.

I bought my feathers on Ebay, a pack of 50 which proved sufficient to make a single tree with some over.  I graded the feathers into three piles of similar length, small, medium, large.  The smallest would create the lower palms leaves, followed by the medium length ones with the longest feathers stuck on last as you work bottom up.

After a bit of experimenting I painted the leaves using Citadel Biel-Tan Green Shade.  I found the wash worked well.  I brushed the paint on starting at the center of the feather stroking outwards and painted both sides.  You should find that the paint will bind bits of the feather together to create natural fronds.  You could try airbrushing but as I don’t have one I cannot comment.  My only concern might be that an airbrush won’t create the fronds but if anyone gives it a go I would be interested to know how it went.


Step 8

When the tree trunk is dry take the four small Milliput balls and glue them around the top ball, these are coconuts!

Once the “coconuts” have dried it’s time to paint the entire trunk.  I used thinned oil paints starting with Burnt Umber as the base and then dry brushed highlights of Yellow Ocre and White.  You can of course use any paints you like.


Step 9

As a final touch to the coconuts I chopped up some very small pieces of string and stuck them on to create the effect of the husk.


Step 10

With everything painted and dry it’s now time to glue in the feather palms.  Start with the smallest feathers at the bottom and work round first and then work up.  I chose to stick the feathers in using superglue as it dries quickly, otherwise you will be there all day long!


Step 11

Your tree should now be complete.  Congratulations!


The final step is to base it which is of course down to the individual.  I chose to keep mine simple, the figures in my vignette were what I wanted people to look at.  A Milliput foundation held the completed tree in place.  This was topped with sand and then painted.  A sprinkling of chopped string was also added to the bottom of the tree.



Well that’s it folks.  Any questions please let me know.  I may well have left something out.  If you do give it a go please let me know how you get on.  This was my first tree but it won’t be my last.

In the meanwhile Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.





The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 39)

Welcome to this weeks Musings!



This time next week Christmas Day will be over and Boxing Day will have begun.  As a consequence this is my last Musings of 2018.  It is therefore appropriate to wish each and every one of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I hope you all enjoy the festivities whatever you have planned and I look forward to reading and following your blogs into 2019.


She Who Must Be Obeyed

I feel I must give SWMBO an honorary mention as it is her birthday on 22nd December.  It’s not just any old birthday, it’s her 60th.  What do you give the women who has everything, including me?  Yes that’s right, nothing.

To be fare a December birthday that close to Christmas is a nightmare.  Unrealistic to go away, pointless going out for a meal when everywhere is rowdy and all that is being served is turkey and hopeless getting people together when everyone is off to their respective families.  In short a disaster and one best deferred until the New Year.

Of course this is my interpretation not hers.  I’ll let you know how well my sales pitch is received in the New Year.  In the meanwhile I’m still trying to get my head around the idea of sleeping with someone who when I was a kid would have been the age of my granny.


Model Feminism

Let me say up front I’m not anti women nor am I a racist or homophobic.  If I don’t like someone or take exception to what they say it’s because I don’t like them or what they have to say.  One of my best mates is gay and I know and like many people from different ethinic backgrounds.  I’ve also had several women bosses over the years one of whom was probably the best boss I’ve ever had and I didn’t have to sleep with her to get on which on reflection was a shame.  The problem is some of people within these groups need to seriously lighten up.  As far as I am concerned I’m with Ricky Gervais in that there is nothing, and I mean nothing that cannot be laughed at and taken the piss out of.  There is only one rule and that is that you have to be able to give it out as well as take it.  As a ginger I’ve been taking it for years!

So where is this leading to?

Well I recently got embroiled in a conversation, quite how I’m not entirely sure.

At a recent gathering I found myself chatting to a women I had never met before and of all things found myself talking about modelling.  To be more specific the Plymouth Modelling Club.  I didn’t pick up straight away that she was some sort of feminist, partly because I was looking at her ample chest rather than registering what she actually had to say.  It was when she said “don’t you think you ought to do more about it?” that I realized that she had asked me a question.

Trying to remember quickly what I had been nodding my head in response to I recalled her asking how many women there were at the club.  Unsurprisingly there are none (you can’t count one of the young lads mum because she has to bring him and stay at the meetings because he can’t drive).

Although I pointed out that women were more than welcome to join (my witty “the pretty the better” remark wasn’t received terribly well) it was probably perceived as a male only club, a remark which was equivalent to lighting the blue touch paper and standing well clear, or so it seemed.

At this point she seemed to go off on one which was shortly followed by my having had enough.  Big chest she may have had but I couldn’t listen to her ranting on any longer.  Bringing the subject to a close I told her that when the WI allows male members and changes its name from the Women’s Institute and when the local swimming pool brings to an end female only swim sessions when there is no male equivalent, then she should feel free to come back and preach to me.

Just to be clear, the Plymouth Model club is open to women although I’m not sure how successful the advert “Plymouth Modelling Club seeks Females for club nights and Exhibitions” will prove to be.


This week TIM has been listening to …


Well that’s not entirely true, what I thought I would do as it’s Christmas week was to nominate my favorite Christmas song.  To my surprise this was tougher than I thought it would be.  It was easy to dismiss everything by Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney simply because their contributions are, to put it mildly, shit.

I Believe In Christmas by Emerson, Lake and Palmer was a candidate, so to was Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon and Fairy Tale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.  If I went down the romantic route then East 17 with Stay Another Day would have won through.

As it turns out I like more Christmas songs than I realized but a decision for the number one spot had to be made and so in the end I went for …

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizard.

A fun song which is what it should all be about at the end of the day.  Besides Roy Wood shouting “OK you lot, take it” has to be a classic line.

This week TIM has been watching …


Yes, you’ve guessed it, that’s not entirely true either.  I thought I would nominate my favorite festive film.  Not quite so hard for me this time round although to be fare there are some decent nominations.   After some deliberation I decided to go for …

Love Actually.

The film has a great cast and some great moments.  I could have gone for any number of brilliant clips but chose to go with “Colin’s Trip To America”.  Having been state side myself I can vouch for how true this scenario plays out.  I guess we English just have what it takes.  Meanwhile I’m off to Wisconsin for Christmas.


Until the New Year.


“X” Marks The Spot – 28mm Reaper Miniatures (The December Challenge)

As several of you are aware I’m a fan of Reaper Miniatures.  A little while ago I finished the last of a fantasy batch that I bought and promised myself that I would buy more Reaper figures in the future.  Good to my word I bought a few a couple of weeks or so ago and began working on this little vignette during the closing stages of completing my recent WW2 diorama “Operation Overlord”.

I’ve been wanting to do something involving Pirates for some time but what with one thing and another never got around to doing anything about it.  These two figures, along with another one, caught my eye as I was combing my way through the Reaper catalogue and so I finally bit the bullet and made the purchase.

The figures were a joy to paint, so much lovely colour after the drabness of WW2 uniforms.  Nothing really to say in respect of the figure painting.  The palm tree on the other hand is a complete scratch build.

I had never made a palm tree before so this was a new learning curve and what you see in the photo’s is my first ever attempt at making one.  On a personal level it turned out OK but needless to say I learnt a few things along the way.  Rather than go into full details on its construction in this post I’ve decided to do a separate “How to Make a Palm Tree” article (I bet you can’t wait to get started making your own!) which I will aim to publish next next week, not least of all because the lead up to Christmas will almost certainly leave me bereft of painting time!  Besides, if I share it then between us perhaps we can refine the technique further.

I thought I would also enter this one into Azazel’s December challenge under the categories of Vignette and Scenery Pieces.

Slightly blurry photo’s below.  I need to work on depth of field for close ups thats for sure!



The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 38)

Welcome to this weeks Musings!



The Christmas decorations are up and I’m looking forward to Christmas, I always do.


Obviously Christmas has evolved over the years, partly because the world moves on both positively and negatively and partly due to the aging process.  These days days I find myself overwhelmed by the feeling of deja vu and the desire for Christmases past.

On the negative side, and contrary to TV advertising, I will once again not experience a Dickensian white Christmas, the mild weather will negate the need to sit around our open fire and the TV schedule will once again break all records for program repeats.

On the positive side She Who Must Be Obeyed will serve up another wonderful Christmas meal (well we will tell her she did!), Rob the landlord at the local village pub will provide the first round of drinks free on Christmas day and the wine rack has been topped up sufficiently to see us through the festive period and well beyond the New Year too!

Our family gathering will be small, there aren’t many of us, one less in fact as for the first time my son will spend Christmas at his girlfriends home.  Mum and Dad (87 and 92 respectively) were due to go and stay at my brothers which would have been nice but alas the old fella can’t cope with the upheaval involved and so instead they will once again remain locally with us.  I’m sure it will be fun.  If not I have a nice single malt to fall back on!

I’m also excited at the prospect of opening my presents for one good reason, I bought them and yes, they are all models.

Can I tell you what they are?  No, it will spoil the surprise.


A Recent Purchase

Since I embarked on painting 28mm figures only rarely have I purchased the type of figures which have been cast specifically for a slot style base.  I haven’t avoided buying them, it’s just simply been the case that the figures I have bought have all pretty much come on their own base.

Painting the pre-based figures by mounting them on bottle tops and then using a hand clamp has served me well but the same system hasn’t worked quite so well for these other figures.  I can’t say it’s been a major problem but when I found this style of clamp (see image below – old clamp on the left, new one on the right) on sale at Telford (yes I’m sure they have been around for years and years) it became a must have item, particularly as I’ve just gotten into a series of figures all of which come on slot style bases.

Needless to say I am delighted with my acquisition and thought I’d share it with you.




This week TIM has been listening to …

Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers.

This compilation sprung up randomly during another model painting evening with YouTube on in the background.  I love all the tracks and followed it up with a few more compilations afterwards.  However, the key to this particular link is the start and end featuring the sound track to “Hawai Five O”.  Not so much for the TV series but for the track itself.

When I was in my late teens my mates and I spent most Friday and Saturday nights in Richmond, Surrey where we went to “Cheeky Pete’s” and “Brollies”, two disco’s (Clubs to those of a younger age!) which were linked.  We had fantastic nights, good nights, bad nights and some nights truly best forgotten.  At the end of the evening the club DJ of “Brollies” played out with “Hawai Five O”.  Why I have no idea but every time I hear it played it brings back some (mostly) great memories.

Ah nostalgia, it ain’t what it used to be!  The days when “Models” meant something very different.

This week TIM has been watching …


I love this film for a variety of reasons.  The gunfight, some might call it a murder, is of course an iconic moment in the history of the Wild West and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are legends of the period too.  I also like the movie portrayal of Holliday by Val Kilmer who has some classic lines in the film.  The same can be said for Russell as well.  In addition, many years ago on a trip to the States I drove 500 miles to actually visit the place and absolutely loved it.  But none of these are the reasons for watching the film.

The primary reason for digging it out was research.  I recently discovered a UK distributor for Knuckleduster miniatures, a company specializing in Old West figures.  Although I have a few projects planned now that my most recent diorama “Operation Overlord” is behind me, the time is also right for me to return to some figure painting and in particular a return to the western genre.  I’m sure this will please my brother!

More on these figures and the painted results in future posts.


Until Next time.