TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 57)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This week we have a Hasslefree figure which goes by the name of “Earl”.  Along with some other figures he was bought to be part of a diorama idea that I had.  Unfortunatley as sometimes happens I lost interest in the diroama but not the individual figures themselves.  If the diorama idea ever gets back on track then I will have to buy the figures again.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Interesting Site?

It was at Salute 2019 that I first came across the figures which feature on the Discworld site.  I had heard of the author, the late Terry Pratchett, but had never read any of his stuff and was therefore unfamiliar with the charachters of his books, I still am.  Nevertheless the figures caught my eye, specifically the three witches.  The figures don’t come cheap but they do look very interesting.  Looking at the site again I think a purchase will be on the cards at some point!

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams.  As the UK hits the summer, time for a classic track.

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This week TIM has been watching…

“Lawrence Of Arabia” starring Peter O’Toole and directed by David Lean.  Having just splashed out and bought a new TV and sound system I felt the need to check it out by watching a classic movie.  They don’t come much better than this one.

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Remember…

If you swerve to miss a tree only to realize it was your air-freshner then you were probably to drunk to drive!

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 25)

This model, like others before it and still to come, had its photos taken before I acquired my light box.  Whilst I don’t claim to be an expert photographer with the light box the end results are, albeit in my opinion, superior.  All of which has made me realise that come the winter months I must make a project of going through my posts and upgrading some of the photo’s.

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28mm WW1 Diorama – “Gone But Not Forgotten”

When I decided to do some WW1 figures and dioramas for next years centenary one thing I was keen to do was produce a few models that were relevant but (hopefully) different.  When ever I see models for this era they are almost always trench scenes with or without tanks.  Don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact it’s highly relevant but too my mind there are many other images to be portrayed and I guess that’s where I come in.  That said, and before for I dig a hole for myself, I will (and have) do some models which will conform with convention (but no tanks, I don’t do tanks!).

So first up is my 28mm diorama which I have chosen to call “Gone but not Forgotten”.  Appropriate as today is Rememberance Day.  In modelling there is a side to war which can some times be forgotten – death!  I don’t know how many dead soldiers were brought home but as far as I can establish most, for a variety of reasons (body identification being but one), were buried where they fell.  Having said that a great many soldiers who enlisted early were repatriated having been seriously wounded and unable to fight on.  Sadly a return home did not guarantee survival and many soldiers died of their injuries before and after the 1918 armistice.  It’s this scenario on which the diorama is based.

The figures are all stock figures and were purchased from a couple of suppliers, Footsore Miniatures and North Star Military Figures, all excellent castings.  I’m not sure how accurate the clothing for the civilian figures actually is for the era but on balance I’m not sure it really matters, not to me at any rate.  The scene is a simple one.  In addition to the grave we have the gravedigger in the background, the vicar/priest, the dead soldiers mother/wife and his soldier brother.

Ground work was straight forward but looked a little flat so I built another tree to provide some height and a little more interest.  The finishing touch was a small wreath made of twisted wire with Noch leaves added.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

TIM

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“Smedley Cloverdash” Time Traveller

Whilst I continue to search in vain for my lost diorama mojo I remain very happy simply painting figures.  I’m even making a small dent in my to do lead pile which at least feels like a step in the right direction.

Having put knights to one side just for the moment I decided to divert my attention to this Reaper Steampunk figure which goes by the name or “Smedley Cloverdash” and whose profession is listed as “Time Traveller”.  A modified key and a watch spring were added to the base to provide a little interest and suport the Steampunk feel.

Images below.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 56)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This week’s figure is from Footsore Miniatures and goes by the name of “Odin The Allfather”.  I chose him as my free figure when I spent over £35.00 on a bundle of knights.  The online images for the figure show Odin in a snow setting and as I liked that very much I decided to do the same.  Unfortunately the two black crows sitting on his shoulders don’t stand out against the black background but the alternative of a white background would probably not have shown the snow!

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Colour Wheel App

In a recent exchange of comments between myself and Wudugast an interesting point was raised, specifically choosing colour schemes for your next gang or army.  Clearly this is not a problem when dealing with historical pieces but when your interest lies in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction and you have already built numerous armies then coming up with something new can be a challenge.

Now I am sure you are all aware of colour wheels and how to use them.  I have a basic knowledge but certainly don’t claim to be an expert my any means.  However, in an effort to learn more about colours and what best goes with what I found an App titled “Color Harmonizer”.  Not only does it give you the appropriate complementary and split complimentary colours but it also gives you the best colour tones for upto four (Square), five and six colour tones too.

Is the App any good?  I have no idea just yet as I am currently engulfed in historical pieces just now but I will have a proper look futher down the line.  In the meanwhile though I thought I would share this discovery in the hope that it might be of some use.  If anyone does elect to download the App I would be interested to know what you think.

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WordPress Editor 

The new WordPress editor hasn’t hit me yet.  My home screen says I can start using it but as yet I haven’t.  From what I gather I will be forced to use it in due course.  Not sure when that will be but I guess it wont be long.  It is probably an age thing, I don’t take kindly to change these days compared to the younger me.

I think what makes it worse is I don’t like change for the sake of change, I rather like the old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and as far as I am concerned the current editor works just fine.  I just know that once the switch is made it is going to result in a lot of swearing and I really could do without the aggrevation.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Something Else” by Sid Vicious.  A punk take on the Eddie Cochran classic.  Not sure about Sid’s pants but each to their own!

 

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This week TIM has been watching…

“Law Abiding Citizen” starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx.  An OK movie and quite cleverly done but that’s about as much as I can say for it.

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Remember…

We don’t get smarter as we get older, we just run out of stupid things to do!

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 24)

The larger scale of 54mm used to be my thing before stepping down to 28mm.  I do the occasional piece every now and then but the figure really has to float my boat (or in this case fly my plane!).  Such a figure was this one.  The composition, which I can take no credit for, is simply excellent in my opinion.  This remains one of my favourite models in this scale but I really must upgrade the photo’s.

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Battle of Britain RAF Pilot No: 1

Work continues on figures and small dioramas for next year’s Plymouth show and will continue to do so for sometime. The Old West remains my genre of choice but I really am enjoying WW1 and, all be it to a lesser extent, the RAF.  The Great War is proving to be a great outlet for my imagination and ideas for small scale dioramas have been fuelled by finding excellent figures in 28mm scale.

The RAF on the other hand has proven to be more difficult. There are less figures out tbere, or so it would seem, and ideas for dioramas which don’t involve planes has had me stumped. I don’t mind the idea of doing a plane but 28mm is not a true scale so such things rarely, if at all, exist in the right dimensions. Scratch Building is an option but I’m not inspired to do so and going up in scale would result in a huge plane.

Confronted by my RAF dilemma I decided the only way forward was to return to my modelling roots and simply go for finding and painting a figure or two and leave the dioramas for WW1.

A trawl of some of my preferred suppliers threw up a couple of options but even a general search didn’t exactly leave me spoilt for choice. Still, I managed to find a couple of suitable figures which will allow me to meet my obligation to the club so I guess all is well.

First of the work bench is a 54mm vignette produced by Andrea Miniatures which goes by the title “Afternoon Tea”. Andrea produce some fantastic figures and I’ve done a good few over the years and thoroughly enjoyed doing them. This one was no exception.

TIM

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Barons’ War – 28mm Footsore Miniatures (Knights No: 2)

Following on from my first “Barons War” post last week I have now completed a further four Footsore Miniatures.  Nothing much to say on these that wasn’t covered in the previous post.  I kept the idea of two colour tunics and quadrants along with freehand shield designs.

I still have a few other figures to do and have placed an order for some more with the aim of hopefully doing a couple of mini dioramas.

Images and a couple of group shots, icluding one of all nine figures, below.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Evolution Of Display & Storage

Wudugast over at Convert or Die recently posted a thought provoking article entitled  A Right Pile Of Potential.  Several bloggers, myself included, exchanged comments.  In his response Wudugast  asked me –

“Regarding dioramas, how do you manage to store them? Just my painted models take up a hell of a lot of room and as I’m getting more into building terrain and larger models that’s just exacerbating. Sooner or later I might have to call a halt anyway, that or sit out in the street and reach in through the window to paint models in a flat that’s floor to ceiling with miniatures. Unless you’ve turned part of your house into a museum of dioramas (which I’d visit right away, but I suspect SWMBO might not have let you…) you must have some kind of clever storage solution to call upon – words of wisdom always welcome! 🙂

Now if someone asks me a question I always like to answer it as best I can and this was no exception.  However, as I typed away I soon realised this was not going to be a quick win.  In next to no time my brain immersed itself into a level of detail way beyond the original question (as it is inclined to do) and before I knew it I had created an article rather than a short reply.

We all will, if we haven’t already done so, reach a point in our modelling lives where space becomes a problem.  This is my story of the various stages I went through and how I got to where I am today.

In The Beginning

When I first started modelling I painted single 54mm figures and put them on simple bases.  When the figure was complete it found its way on to a display shelf in a spare bedroom (these were the days before the kids arrived).  I wasn’t a prolific painter by any means back then, mainly because I was working, and the shelf was long so display and storage wasn’t a problem.  There was one issue though – dust.  The figures got covered in the stuff.

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A very early TIM covered in dust.  I  must speak with the lady of the house!

Domes

To over come the dust problem I manged to find via Military Modelling Magazine (the internet hadn’t been invented at this point!) a chap who ran a small business making bases with acrylic domes.  The company was called Wire Mill Turning but no longer appears to be in business.  I’d like to think the guy has retired rather than passed away.  These domes became my standard form of basing and display and remained so for many, many years.  As time went by so I gathered more models but an additional shelf or two kept things manageable.

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No dust on the figure but plenty on the dome!  Where is that woman?

Retirement

In modelling terms retirement brought with it pros and cons.  More time to do more modelling saw more models getting completed.  I decided I needed to do two things.  Firstly, I decided to drop down in scale because 28mm figures take up less space than 54mm.  Secondly, doing dioramas would take longer to do than single figures so I wouldn’t produce as much stuff.  Dust would still be a problem so I needed to find somewhere I could buy acrylic type bases and boxes.  Fortunately Paul at Just Bases came up trumps with the dust covers and so I headed off into the sunset.  All was going well until I realised that my theories that 28mm figures take up less room and that dioramas would slow me down were complete bollocks.  Even at 28mm scale dioramas take up a lot of space and in the time it took me to paint a 54mm figure I can paint at least 10 in 28mm scale!

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You might recognise the two dioramas on the left and the right.  Dust free under Paul’s dust covers.

Wall Mounted Display Cases

I decided I needed to move away from larger dioramas.  Smaller bases but with as much detail as possible was now the way forward.  Acrylic domes and cases would have to go, I needed a wall mounted display case, ideally two, preferably three.  I knew negotiating with She Who Must Be Obeyed would prove to be a challenge but I didn’t think it would be worse than Brexit (that’s a word we haven’t heard for a while isn’t it).  In the end we settled on a compromise and I was told I could have one!

The wall mounted display case.  Nice but far to small and I only have one!

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A case I bought for doing a large western diorama has become a temporary display case

The Garage

I decided only the best models would go in the display case.  The only problem was that I like them all.  They are all a part of me.  It would be easier to decide which child to keep and what one to let go.  In next to no time (we are talking minutes not hours or days) I was out of space.  Nothing for it but to seriously go into garage storage mode.  Fortunately I already had a racking system in the garage, I just needed to create a lot of space on the shelves and buy some storage boxes.  This turned out to be a bigger project than anticipated but I got there in the end.  I am, however, now facing a problem which I recognised well over a year ago.  I am almost out of garage space!

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The two racks left and centre are full of model boxes.  I’m told I cannot have the one on the right but I am working on it!

A Year Or So Ago

With storage space becoming an ever increasing problem I faced the inevitable question – “Is it time to give up modelling?”.  It took a split second to conclude that the answer to this question was no.  All well and good of course but the storage problem didn’t simply vanish as a consequence.  As part of a new strategy I decided on four things.

  1. I would start to paint figures and base them on 25mm bases.  This would allow me to display them at home and at shows using the storage solution per the photo below.   When I reach the point where I have too many to display (which I have now done!) I can store them away in foam trays (again see photo below) and transport them using the case that came with them (this storage and transport system is made by KR Multicase and I picked mine up at Salute 2019).  The case holds 120 figures and by comparison takes up very little space.  The foam inserts come in all shapes and sizes and you can even go down the bespoke route;
  2. I would start to sell figures on Ebay.  Why have a hang up about keeping every figure?  Practicing and keeping the best for myself is how I saw it.  Making money was not the aim although breaking even seemed sensible.  What matters most would be knowing someone was willing to part with their hard earnt cash for something I had done.  Is there a bigger compliment?;
  3. I would challenge myself with one exception (see 4 below) to try to restrict my dioramas to bases of 4cm x 4cm;
  4. If I did produce anything larger than 4cm x 4cm it would be because I wanted to create a competition piece either for my club, local shows or the Telford Nationals.

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I have four of these acrylic cases for my mini’s but all are now full up

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Foam case system by KR Multicase.  For storage and transport.

The Current Position

As things currently stand I am pretty much sticking to my 4 point plan above.  It is why you aren’t seeing any new buildings or much larger dioramas, something had to give (at least until one of the kids moves out!).  I can create more space if I need to.  We have a very large garden and I could tackle the shed if I wanted to but for now I am happy doing what I am doing.

TIM

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 55)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is Knuckleduster’s take on Billy The Kid.  With other genres likely to dominate my desk for a short while I thought I ought to finish this one off as I had only a little bit left on him to do.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Interesting Site?

In last weeks Miniatures and Musings I mentioned that I would start a series where I would post links to sites I had discovered.  In most instances I have rarely bought anything from these sites although ironically the two I am kicking off with I have!

First up is Zealot Miniatures.  I discovered this fantasy/SiFi site when I started my Wizard Library  project.  I need some appropriate furniture such as bookcases and up popped this site.  Unfortunately for me they were resin products but I had to compromise as I could find nothing better and these were exactly what I wanted.  The company was efficient, the goods were well packaged and there was nothing wrong with any of the items I received.

Next we have Stoessis Heroes.  Needing some WW2 figures for my model clubs annual display I came across this site based in Germany.  The quality of the figures are excellent and the composition of them struck me as being different and more interesting.  For these reasons I turned to this site when I constructed my large WW2 D-Day diorama Operation Overlord: The Road To Carentan.  This site also provided a very efficent service.

Of course it depends what you are into but in my opinon both sites are worth taking a look at.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel.  Cleverly done video with relevant pictures.  Seems to me Billy needs to add a few more verses to bring this up to date.  Oh and for the record I didn’t light the fire either!

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This week TIM has been watching…

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich – a four part documentary on Netflix.  I can’t say I particulalry followed this story as it unravelled at the time but a friend recommended it so I gave it ago.  An interesting account for sure and one for the conspiracy archives.  Given the people he knew, presidents and royals, suicide seems unlikely to me but then again I do like a conspiracy.

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Remember…

Marriage is simply the process you go through to find out the what kind of woman you would have preferred.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 23)

This week my favourite worst model.  Read on …

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28mm WW1 Mounted Figure – James Newton Langley 1876 to 1935

So who is James Newton Langley?

James was born in Brixton, London in 1876, enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment on the 7th June 1915 and died in 1935. He went through the war until he was demobbed in 1918. With his regiment he saw action at Ypres and the Somme as well as numerous other encounters.  James was my Great Grandfather and below is one of a few pictures which were handed down to me.

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When I was searching for WW1 figures I came across a 28mm mounted soldier by North Star Military Figures which got me quite excited. The figure itself was of an officer (James was a humble Private) but with a couple of minor alterations I felt I could produce something a little closer to the photo above.

The first change was to remove the upper part of the figures boots and turn them into gaiters.  Next up was to add white braiding to the horse harness and to the figures left shoulder.  Minor alterations which made a considerable difference but about as much as I could realistically achieve given the casting of the figure and my own ability.

The next thing I did was to take the photo and flip it so that the horse and rider were facing the other way.

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Finally all that remained was to paint the figure and add it to a plain base. As a model this falls a long way short of being my best work. As a meaningful figure it sits top of the pile.

TIM

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Barons’ War – 28mm Footsore Miniatures (Knights No: 1)

As those that regularly follow this blog will know in “Memory Monday No: 18” and “Memory Monday No: 19” I recently re-posted details of two 28mm 1st Corps mounted knights I had done a few years ago.  Seeing these posts again made me want to revisit the genre so I did a little online searching and decided to buy some figures from Footsore Miniatures.  The figures I settled on were from the Barons’ War range.

I have bought Footsore Miniatures figures before and found them to be excellent so it came as no surprise to find that these were too.  After zero clean up I soon had them primed and ready for painting.  Unusually for me I did no background work on these figures in terms of colour schemes, I just picked up a brush and started to get on with it.  Two things were very clear though.  Only the tunic and the shield, both of which were plain and with no embossing, offered an oportunity for any variation.  I therefore decided to paint the tunics using two colours instead of one and to do them in quadrants.  As for the shields I figured I would hand paint designs as I went along.

What you have here are the first five figures I have done.  A few more will follow maybe next week.  Some single shots along with a group shot appear below.  My favourite thing was doing the Templar and Hospitaller scheme and free hand painting the crosses on the tunic.  For now I will do all the figures I have in a random fashion but I think I will revisit them again and maybe do a little diorama of just Templar or Hospitaller knights.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 54)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature goes by the name “Turanil” and according to Reaper he is an Elf Paladin.  It is a two piece model, the shield being separate.  A lovely lot of detail to pick out made this one a pleasure to paint.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Hobby Cost

I belong to what I suspect is a rare breed of people.  Each month I reconcile my bank and credit card statements.  I have been doing so ever since I started work.  I didn’t earn a lot of money back then and the idea of running up debt, spending what I didn’t have, was a concern to me.  These days some people do not seem to care about such things but each to their own.

So why mention this?  Well only because I couldn’t believe how much I had spent on modelling bits and bobs in the last month.  Self isolation has been the biggest driver of course but the money is there to pay for it so all in all it’s no big deal.  I say it’s no big deal but She Who Must Be Obeyed would doubtless make it one if she knew.  Which of course is another reason why I reconcile the statements.  If I didn’t she would!

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Interesting Sites?

You may recall I recently posted a review on Dixon’s Miniatures, one of my favourite online stores.  Now I am pretty sure I am not alone in having preferred suppliers but once upon a time they all began life as sites I simply found from surfing the net.  Typically any site I think might be of interest, either now or at some point in the future, I bookmark as and when I find them.  The reality is I have rarely, if ever, bought anything from most of these sites.  That’s not to say they are no good, it’s more likely that I have forgotten them or what I found that interested me no longer does.

The thing is these sites don’t justify a review in their own right, not by me at least, but they may hold an interest for others and therefore could be worthy of sharing.  Some of them you may already be familiar with, others you may not.  In any event as I trawl through my bookmarks I have decided to share some of them with you through my weekly musings.  I may start next week.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Angels” – A live version (after a brief intro) performed in front of an amazing Wembley crowd at a Taylor Swift concert at which Robbie made a surprise (I expect Taylor knew he was going to be there) guest appearance.

 

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This week TIM has been watching…

Ricky Gervais in “Extras” – Series 1 and 2.

It seems to me that you either love or hate Ricky Gervais, rather like Marmite (Vegemite).  Personally I love him.  For me he is the best in his business by a country mile.  Whether we are talking sitcom’s, stand-up or award ceremonies this guy is the dogs bollocks as far as I am concerned.  He says it the way it is and no subject is out of bounds.  I do get why peolple don’t like him and why he divides opinion, She Who Must Be Obeyed for example can’t stand him (but what does she know?).

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Remember…

If your wife asks you to whisper dirty things in her ear it’s best not to use words like kitchen or bathroom!

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 22)

I didn’t realise it at the time but completing this second WW1 model set me on the path of doing several more.  I hadn’t anticipated getting so absorbed in the period but I was very glad in the end that I did.  I’m no expert on the Great War by any means but I listened to a lot of documentaries (I watched Black Adder Goes Forth too!) at the time and found the whole thing incredible.

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28mm WW1 Diorama (No: 2)

This week saw my second mini WW1 Diorama completed and off the work bench.  The good news is I now have two items for next years Plymouth show, the bad news (or I guess good news too as I enjoy my modelling) is that I’ve got about another 10 exhibits to do!

Not a great deal to say about this model.  The figures were all purchased from Empress Miniatures (Mutton Chop WW1 range) and are some of the best figures in 28mm scale that I have seen.  I’d recommend these figures to anyone else out there who is interested in WW1 they really are excellent.  No adjustments were made to the figures, just the simple case of painting, composing and a bit of base work.  The enamel badge, actually a remembrance lapel badge, was bought on Ebay for a couple of pounds to complete the base.

I did paint these figures slightly different from my other WW1 diorama.  In both instances I put down base coats in Vallejo acrylics but on the first diorama I added a top coat in oils.  On this model I applied a second coat of acrylic followed by an oil paint wash, the oil paint diluted using White Spirit.  I’ve tried using water based washes but personally I’m not a big fan.  It might be the way I use them but the water based washes run off too much for my liking whereas an oil paint wash is absorbed into the acrylic and in my opinion gives a better looking finish.  Each to their own I guess.  In any event I’ll leave those that look at this post to judge for themselves.

Pictures of the final diorama appear below.

TIM

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Bonzo The Killer Klown

Yes I know you spell clown with a “C” but this is the title that Reaper have given to this 28mm miniature.

Of all the types of humour out there slap stick is my least favourite (that and over elaborate pranks which are so sophisticated that anyone would fall for them) and thus I have never really found anything about clowns particularly funny.  In fact the complete opposite is true.  As a kid I found them scarry.  Clearly I was not alone in seeing a sinister side to them as numerous movies have chosen to play on this and portray clowns as creepy fuckers, one of the most recent being Stephen King’s “IT”.

Despite my dislike of clowns they are very colourful and offer a very nice painting challenge.  It was with this in mind that I decided to buy and paint Bonzo.  I think Reaper do another clown too and at some point I may well do that.  If I can find others then who knows, there might be an opportunity for a creepy diorama to follow.  I might not find clowns funny but this one was fun to do.

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Drum role.

Ring Master: “Ladies and gentlemen, the Circus of Horrors proudly presents Bonzo The Killer Klown”.

Queue music.

Curtains part.

Bonzo enters the ring.

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TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 53)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another Reaper figure which goes by the name of “Thorgram” and apparently he is a Dwarf Warlord.  Ordinarily this would not be a figure I would chose to buy and paint and I wouldn’t have done this one but for the fact I got it for free.  If you spend over £40.00 on the Reaper UK site you get to chose a free figure from the small selection they have every month.  I wasn’t overly inspired by what they had on offer but decided to get this one to have a better idea of the sort of thing some of you guys get up to.  As it turned out I rather enjoyed painting the little chap.  I don’t know if there any colour rules for Dwarf Warlords or not but I settled on the scheme below.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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The Mysterious Case Of The Partly Lost Mojo

Over the years I have lost my mojo on many occasions.  I’m not overly worried, it will come back, it always does.  It’s just a matter of time.  The thing is I have only lost part of it which does make the matter a little more unusual.

Right now I am happy painting figures and doing some very basic base work but for the moment I have lost all interest in dioramas of any size or description and I’m not entirely sure why.  I’m not short of ideas, I even have the figures to get started on one or two but I just cannot seem to be arsed.

The best conclusion I can reach is that I am missing my model club, competitions and shows.  For me all three provide a level of interaction and motivation which is important but has been lost to Coronavirus and the need for social distancing.  As much as I am happy to sit at my desk in isolation and paint I do like a bit of modelling banter with fellow enthusiasts from which invariably comes ideas and inspiration too.

I’m confident the situation will resolve itself with or without a change in the Covid-19 circumstances but until it does you will probably see figures rather than vignettes and dioramas for the next few weeks or so.

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Coronavirus – Self Isolation Week 12

Day 78 – As I enter the twelfth week of isolation and reflect on the last eleven I am amazed that I continue to remain so positive, particulalry as this isn’t an attribute normally associated with me.  I’m not entirely sure why this is but I suspect a part of it has to do with the fact that the whole thing still does not seem real.  The death numbers tell a different story though and according to current numbers only Spain has a worst death rate per one million of population than we do in the UK.

Day 79 –  As lockdown rules continue to be relaxed in the UK so it appears via my TV screen that some new form or reality has begun.  Social interaction is back, albeit with social distancing, and before too long people will have put Covid-19 behind them.  In a matter of weeks, perhaps even days it will have been forgotten by many.  On a personal level the time is nearing to take personal stock of the situation and to assess how I want to try to live the remainder of my life.  I see that as a good thing not a depressing one.

Day 80 – As each day goes by the more convinced I am that I could and would given half the chance be happy to live even more remotely than I do.  A log cabin in the middle of nowhere would suit me down to the ground.  Unfortunatley She Who Must Be Obeyed is far from keen on the idea and unlikley to come with me on such a venture.  This could prove decisive in our 40 year relationship so in need of a contingency plan I have drafted the following advert for my local newspaper the Tavistock Times.

“Wanted, Jenna Coleman look a like (or the real one) to share wild nights in remote log cabin with ageing hunk.  Must like modelling and know how to skin a beaver.  No time wasters”

It needs a little refinement but otherwise I think I am there.  My bigger concern is will Jenna get to see it?

Day 81 – Woke this morning having dreamt I was in a log cabin watching Jenna skin her beaver.

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Day 82 – Given the time of day I walk the dog I rarely see anyone at all but unfortunatley today I had the misfortune to encounter local pain in the arse Mad Martin as he came running towards me from the opposite direction.  As he ran passed he shouted out “Hi Dave” and I wittily replied with “Fuck off you wanker”.  For a brief moment it felt good to abuse the moron but then I realised he hadn’t heard me as he had his head phones in.  Bugger.  Better luck next time.

Day 83 – My wife’s hayfever is dreadfull.  Morning and night she sneezes constantly.  To make matters worse the sneezes are capable of registering on the Richter Scale and no amount of medication makes a difference.  If in the future there is ever the chance that the UK is invaded by an opposing military force and we have to hide and be quiet I hope to God it happens in the winter.

Day 84 – The last post.  No, not the end of the blog but the end of my Covid-19 diary.  At the outset the UK Government said those in the most vulnerable group would have to self isolate for 12 weeks.  My aim therefore was to keep this “diary”, if I can really call it that, going for the duration.  It is clear that my family’s isolation will continue for some while yet but many of you, most I hope, will be emerging from the gloom and darkness and will want to move on.  You don’t need me to remind you of this period. I may continue with a summary update, especially if my continued confinement prevents me from having anything else to say, but otherwise the diary is dead for now …. unless there is a second phase!

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This week TIM has been listening to …

Rod Stewart.  Now I do like a bit of Rodney, he is one of my favourites.  A while back I am sure I featured “Maggie May” in a Musings so this time there was a need to go with a different track.  The problem was I found two and couldn’t decide what to feature so this week you lucky (or not so lucky if you don’t like Rodders) have a double bill.

Now I love live music and therefore like live recordings.   For me they sort the real muscians and singers from the studio enhanced ones.  Both these tracks are live performances.  The first is an acoustic version of “Mandolin Wind” with Ronnie Wood and the instrumentals on this track are awesome as far as I am concered.  The second is a performance of “Hot Legs” by Joss Stone featuring Rod.

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This week TIM has been watching…

“The Stranger” and eight episode series on Netflix.  My daughter, She Who Must Be Obeyed 2, suggested this one to me.  It seems we share some things in common despite her teenage attempts to disown me by claiming she was adopted.  Turned out to be quite watchable.

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Remember…

Drinking can cause memory lose … or even worse, memory loss.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 21)

It was July 2017 when I produced my first World War 1 diorama and it was Memory Monday No:13 a few weeks ago when I reposted it.

It took me until October 2017 to begin work on this my second diorama.  This post was the first of two for this model.  At the time I did not realise this genre would grow into the project it became.  Be warned though, there is a lot more from this period to follow!

The project came about as my modelling club in Plymouth wanted to put on a display to commemorate the end of the Great War for its 2018 show.  Somewhere I got it into my head that it would be good to do a time line series.

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On The Work Bench

Well at long last the various models I had ordered have all arrived and I have been able to commence work on the first of what will be a few 28mm WW1 dioramas.  If all goes to plan then I should have half a dozen or so models complete over the coming weeks.  However, we all know that nothing goes to plan so in reality it will probably take longer and involve obligatory swearing and cursing.

I decided to start with some of the figures I bought from Empress Models, their Muttonchop WW1 range.  The detail in these 28mm figures is simply outstanding.  Painting the figures is underway with some finished and others almost there.  Base work has also started and all things being well then by the end of next week I will be able to post images of the end result.

TIM

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To The Earths Core – A 28mm Diorama

Every now and then I happen across a figure which is a little bit different and inspires a basing idea for me to get my teeth into.  Such was the case here with this figure by Crooked Dice.  To be fare the figure isn’t that special but it took my fancy and the base is a simple affair too.

The figure conjured up a Jules Verne image in my head which in turn made me think of “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth” which led to a base a long the lines volcanic lava and hot coals.  I decided not to get to carried away and kept it simple using just a few granite chippings from the garden.  Milliput was used to secure the chippings and create the base which once dried was painted with yellow, orange and red blobs and allowed to dry.  Citadel textured paint was then applied reasonably thickly on top and allowed to dry and crack revealing the colour below.

Images of the end result below.

TIM

 

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 52)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is from Reaper and goes by the rather odd title of “Mad Scientist (Female).    She needs a name so I have decided to call her “Marie” after a girl I had a crush on at school back in the 70’s, not that she looks anything like her other than the red hair (I love red heads) and the blue eye shadow, very much a thing for UK girls back in the day.

A nice little figure (Marie had one too!) which I based using some bricks and a few old watch parts to add a little emphasis to the steampunk image.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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A Hard Days Knight

Yesterday evening I took the plunge and ordered some knights from Footsore Miniatures along with a couple of other figures too.  It has been quite a while since I embraced this genre and decided for better or worse that it was time to do so once again.

I’m hardly short of figures to paint but I was motivated by the encouragement I recieved following a couple of recent Memory Monday posts which featured two mounted knights I had done sometime ago. Another consideration was that, aside from the one outstanding order I’m still waiting on, I have no deliveries pending. Receiving something in the post offers much excitement during my confinement and therefore there was a need to addess the matter.  I have a feeling I may have to address this need again next week too.  Probably the week after as well.  And the week after that.  And the week after that, and the week after that … !!!

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Coronavirus – Self Isolation Week 11

Day 71 – Today I found myself thinking about 2015 and wondering how many people predicted lying on a sofa for weeks on end when asked “And where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”

Day 72 – The finger pointing has begun and questions are being asked about why certain things were done and why others were not.   The world is full of people who are happy to criticise but unwilling to actually get off their arse and do anything, it’s the easiest job in the world.  Have the various governments got it all right?  Certainly not.  Could they have done better?  Probably.  Have any of them had experience of this sort of thing before?  No.  Hindsight is twenty twenty vision.  Rather ironic given the year is 2020.

Day 73 – My dating days have long passed but I do worry for today’s teens.  With everyone wearing face masks the odds of getting an ugly bird/bloke have significantly increased.  Still I guess it has levelled the playing field somewhat.  As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder which is just as well as that’s about all you now get to see.

Day 74 –  Haven’t entirely figured out why yet but for some reason I seem to be able to get ready for bed much quicker these days.

Day 75 –  The more time I spend thinking about it the more I think we have missed a trick when it comes to making the world a better place.  I have long known the world has its fare share of idiots and morons, those who swim in the shallow end of the gene pool, I just never knew there were quite so many.  The pandemic has allowed these people to float to the top like a form of vile green algae.  We should have skimmed them off the surface and disposed of them while we had the chance.

Day 76 – At about this time last year I was in Amsterdam with She Who Must Be Obeyed and She Who Thinks She Must Be Obeyed 2 visiting the Anne Frank museum.  A very moving experience.  If you didn’t know Anne, before she was found, spent over two years in isolation hiding from the Nazi’s to save her life and the lives of her family.  I haven’t read her diary but I am guessing there isn’t an entry at about the eleven week point where she says “fuck this, I’m off to the beach”.

Day 77 – At the start of the UK lockdown the most vulnerable were told to self isolate for 12 weeks.  Next week will be the twelfth for my family and I.  Whilst a lot has changed it would seem our fate for now has not.  Some lockdown measures have been relaxed by the UK Government but we await the latest safe guarding advice of the Cystic Fibrosis doctors and nurses.  We anticipate no change but better safe than sorry.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.  One of my all time favourite records, not so much for the song itself but for the memories it conjures up.  An absolute classic in my book.

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This week TIM has been watching…

Innocent, a four part ITV series.  Well worth a watch in my opjnion.

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Remember…

Your wife wont start an argument with you if you’re cleaning!

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 20)

I have only ever done two boxed dioramas.  My second was “The Wizard’s Library” which some of you will be familiar with.

My first was an old western saloon.  As with most things you learn from experience and I gained a great deal from this build.  If I can find some more boxes then another diorama will be a must.  Both were so much fun.  Just not very easy to photohraph though!

TIM

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28mm Old West Saloon – Boxed Diorama

This week has been a planning week with little being done in the way of actual modelling.  The simple reason for this is that I’m waiting on a number of things to arrive in the post.  When they do arrive my time will be dedicated to WW1 and RAF figures.

In the meanwhile I’ve started to look at how to go about constructing my Old West Town diorama.  I wont be starting it for a while but there is a lot to think about and a lot of figures to identify and purchase.  It’s also intended as a project which will last a long time.  One of the things I would like to do is install lighting to some of the buildings and with this in mind I revisited a boxed diorama that I put together a while ago.

The idea of a boxed diorama appealed to me when I saw one at a show I went to.  Keeping with my Old West theme I knew I wanted to do a western saloon scene but the first stumbling block was finding a suitable box.  Eventually I managed to find one on Ebay (see below).  An inexpensive purchase with windows at the top and front of the box.

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Having acquired  a suitable box it soon occurred to me that I had a few obstacles to overcome.  Firstly, I didn’t need a window in the top of the box.  Secondly, although finding figures proved straight forward (Dixon Miniatures once again came up trumps) many of them came on bases which needed to be removed without damaging the figures feet otherwise they wouldn’t look right standing on a wooden floor.  Thirdly, I needed to get my head around how to make the lighting work and finally an issue I had originally completely overlooked, composition.  It’s not that I don’t normally give composition a lot of consideration because I do, it’s just that I soon realised with a box diorama you only have one view.  The figures therefore needed to be placed in such a way that they can all been seen.  Essentially it’s like looking at a stage theatre.

A very fine saw enabled me to remove the figures quite easily in the end and the lid of the box proved more than sufficient to conceal the lighting and associated battery and wires.  Composition was a matter or trial and error and the window on the box lid was filled with a stiff piece of card of an appropriate thickness to which was added a poem.  Yes, a poem.  In a moment of inspiration I came up with a few choice words which essentially tell the story of the people in the saloon.  If you cannot read it from the images below then it reads as follows:

When The Sun Goes Down

When the sun goes down and the day is over

Enter the town folk, sheriff and drover

A pianist playing and a barman pouring

A lady singing and saloon girls whoring

Whiskey and poker late into the night

A winner, a loser, a probable fight

Another day in another town

More of the same when the sun goes down

No prizes for finding all the characters in the box!

What follows are a few pictures of the making of the box diorama with the lights on and off.  Apologies for the quality of some of the photo’s but try as I might I seem unable to eliminate some of the reflective light .  Overall it presented quite a challenge but it should stand me in good stead as I look ahead to my Old West Town diorama.

TIM

 

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“Amon” – 28mm Reaper Viking Warrior

Reaper always seem to be able to produce some great looking figures with a high degree of detail and such is the case with this figure called “Amon”.  I don’t know if IPMS Norway will have a trophy to present at Telford later this year or whether the show will even be on but I thought I’d like to go for it again if they do so hence this purchase and paint job.  With so much upper flesh on show I decided to give him a few basic tattoo’s.  No doubt IRO will approve!

The wall was a part of the sculpture so I only felt a need to add a litte ground work and vegitation to the base.

A couple a WIP images to kick off with followed by the completed figure.

TIM

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Dixon Miniatures – A Review By TIM

In my Miniatures and Musings No: 47 I made reference to doing a mini series of short  “Site Reviews”.  This is the first.  I thought it appropriate to start with Dixon’s as it was this site that really introduced me to the world of 28mm figures.

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Dixon Miniatures is a very small company run by Trevor Dixon which began life in 1976.  I first discovered the site –

https://www.dixon-minis.com/

– back in 2017 when I decided to drop down in scale from 54mm to 28mm.  Still very much hooked on the Old West genre various google searches pointed me in their direction.  At the time I could not find anyone to rival their range of figures and to some extent this still holds true.  Whilst the  Knuckleduster Gunfighters Ball range –

https://knuckleduster.com/shop/index.php?route=product/category&path=1_70

– make excellent figures, albeit a little larger at 32mm, they have yet to match Dixon’s for accessories such as wagons and stagecoaches.

At this point I should point out that Dixon’s offer so much more than the Old West.  Their range is extensive with well over 20 different categories including Napoleonics, English Civil War, Pirates and Gangsters to name but a few.  Although I have only purchased Old West figures to date I do have my eye on several other figures.  The Gangster range has caught my eye, specifically a very nice bootlegger truck (I’m thinking Lawless starring Tom Hardy) and an SAS Willy’s Jeep desert conversion.  Both are on my buy list.

Like a great many miniature figure companies you can usually find pros and cons.  In the case of Dixon’s I like the fact that their figures are all metal including their range of wagons, trucks and cars.  I’m not a lover of resin and plastic (just a personal old school preference and not an opening for a heated debate) so this suits me just fine.  Figure composition is excellent too in my opinion as evidenced by the American Civil War range which is huge.  I also like the fact that the figures can be purchased individually, are relatively inexpensive and horse and riders can be mixed and matched.  I really have a dislike for companies which group figures together where one or two are great and the rest are rubbish (these figures make up the majority of my unwanted lead pile).  It is also possible to download a PDF of the larger ranges on offer.  When it comes to selecting which figures to buy this I find really useful and wish other sellers would do the same.

On the downside some figures I have bought seem a little out of proportion with heads being bigger than they ought to be.  It certainly isn’t a show stopper and doesn’t apply to every figure by any means.  It is only a guess but having been going since 1976 and with the Old West most likely to be one of the older ranges I do wonder if this might have a bearing with the sculptor naturally improving as time goes by?

If you are looking for 25mm/28mm figures (they do a very limited range of 15mm, 20mm and 54mm figures too) in the categories Dixon’s have to offer then this site is well worth taking a look at.  The figures arrive well packaged and postage costs are reasonable.  At the time of writing they are still operational during the coronavirus lockdown.

I have done several models featuring Dixon’s figures, below are links to two of them.

TIM

 

https://theimperfectmodeller.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/28mm-building-project-no-6-wells-fargo-way-station/

https://theimperfectmodeller.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/off-the-work-bench-american-civil-war-28mm-diorama/

 

 

 

 

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 51)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!   According to WordPress this is my 300th post!

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This figure by Hasslefree Miniatures is titled “Wierd West Boudi”.  I thought I would try a different background for the photo shoot.  The first couple were taken using a white background while the others were done using my usual black one.  Have yet to decide which I prefer so will use both backgrounds again on another figure or two and see how they turn out.

I have also found a supplier who sells 25mm oak cubes, ideal plinths for elevating figures and making them stand out a bit more.  I really like these so going forward I think I will use these for the figures I think are more deserving of a better base and where, in my opinion, I’ve done a decent paint job too.

Pinning a figure direct to the oak is very difficult given how hard the wood is and I didn’t want to use anything like Milliput so I then bought some 25mm square MDF bases to put the figure on before adding it to the cube which explains the dark brown band which runs round the top of the base.  I added wooden coffee stirrers to the MDF base to create floor boards and Boudi was then pinned in place.  All very simple but I didn’t want to detract from the figure.

Although I am pleased with the figure looking at the images I might need to tone down the nose and chin highlights.  I thought they looked fine to the naked eye but I will take another look.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Back In Business

Having removed the figures I had up for sale on Ebay I have now put them back up again!  My biggest concern was how to post items that I might manage to sell given my personal family lockdown circumstances.  Pre Covid-19 I never needed to look for alternatives as I simply had items weighed at the post office and off they jolly well went.  Well it turns out I can pay online, download a label and simply pop the little chaps into the post box without so much as seeing anyone or touching anything!

What will they think of next?

I can also report that the sytem works as a very nice chap based in Germany kindly bought one of my Hasslefree figures.

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Coronavirus – Self Isolation Week 10

Day 64 – For obvious reasons apps such as Zoom have become increasingly popular and with it a new form of vanity has grown.  I saw today that people have been working on their background images.  Not wanting the world to see that they live in a shit hole some people have been going to great lengths to portray a better image of themselves to impress others.  I can’t be having with it.  I’m content to simply sit outside in the back garden and people can make of it what they want.

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Day 65 – Much to my surprise my kids continue to handle the lockdown situation well.  The reality of our lives is a simple one.  For She Who Must Be Obeyed and I 80% of our life style remains unchanged.  Of the other 20% I would at a guess say the changes forced upon us have produced positive results.  Cancelled holidays and not being able to go to the pub have been the biggest disappointment, neither of which is a really big deal.  For the kids though the figures are reversed with 80% of their world having been turned upside down.  By now I would have thought we would have killed one another but currently the wounds are superficial.

Day 66 –  Notwithstanding that some lockdown restrictions have been eased little appears to have changed in our world.  My best efforts to try to obtain materials for jobs I have the time to do but not the stuff continue to fail.  Well that’s what I have been telling SWMBO.  Fortunately model suppliers remain largely unaffected.  Such is life.

Day 67 – The press continue to pour out nonsense.  Why is the UK behind France when it comes to getting back on track some have asked?  Well as I understand it Covid-19 is highly contagious which leads me to think more densely populated places will find it harder to come out of lockdown.  Having spent all of 30 seconds on Google I can tell you that the UK and France as at 2019 both have a population of 67m people.  France however is 2.3 times bigger.  Now I’m no expert but maybe, just fucking maybe that has something to do with it!

Day 68 – Came across this today.  As far as I can determine it isn’t fake news.  If it is correct then it tells me two things.  Another one will follow.  Something has to be done about China.  Not sure which one worries me more.

1957-1958: H2N2 – originated in China.
1968-1969: H3N2 – China.
1997-2004: H5N1 – China.
2003: Sars –  China.
2006: Bird Flu –  China.
2013: Porcine Pestivirus – China.
2020: Covid-19 – China.
2009: Swine Flu – some say  it originated in America. But most agree it was probably China.

Day 69 – My growing concern is that more and more emphasis is being placed on using common sense as a means to combat coronavirus.  When I look at the people in my area and consider they are the result of the winning sperm I don’t hold out much hope.

Day 70 – Today I had two things I needed to do.  Twenty minutes would have gotten both tasks done.  I managed neither.  Worse than that they were carried over from the day before.  It may have taken 11 weeks to achieve it but I think I have finally unwound and learnt to chill.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Lola” by the Kinks.  This song came out in 1970.  It’s a classic.  Whilst the theme does nothing for me the track and lyrics are excellent in my opinion and just goes to show that some people were just as sexually “confused” back then as they are now.  The subject matter, popular in todays society it seems, isn’t therefore new, just more fashionable it strikes me.

—000—

This week TIM has been watching…

The BBC series “Clique”.

Having watched “Normal People” a couple of weeks ago BBCi Player suggested among others that I might like to give this a try.  There are two 6 part series.  I enjoyed the first, it was a bit different.  The second series was OK but I might have done better to have left a gap rather than watching one after the other.  Worth a watch though given the current circumstances.

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Remember…

Sometimes understanding what a woman wants is very difficult.  It’s like trying to figure out what colour the letter seven smells like.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 19)

When it comes to this old post I called it right when I said it would be a while before I did another knight – I haven’t done one since.  The western diorama I mention did get started but subsequently died a death.  I think I will do some more knights in the near future but I cannot see the western diorama being resurrected anytime soon.

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A Second 28mm Knight in Shining Armour

I mentioned in my last post that I had a second knight to paint and put together and over the last week I’ve managed to get it completed.  The figure came from 1st Corps and I have to say that the quality of their castings are fantastic.  Their figures are mostly for historical periods which have little or no interest to me but they do have some WW1 figures which I will look at more closely.

Overall I’m pleased with the way this one worked out too but I have a number of model ideas going around in my head so I think it may be a while before I do something with knights again.  If I do then I think I’ll most likely check out the Norman period.  My view on decals hasn’t changed, they feel too much like a cheat, but I enjoyed dabbling all the same.  I was a kid back in the 60’s (anybody else remember seeing Ivanhoe with Robert Taylor?) and I can recall using decals on Airfix planes but until now hadn’t used them since.  Applying them to flat surfaces was easy as best I can recall but these knights proved more of a challenge due to the various folds on the castings.  It was made easier when I discovered Micro Set and Micro Sol decal softeners.

Images of the completed figure appear below.

So what next?

Figures for a second 28mm WW1 diorama have arrived and I expect to start on that shortly.  A 54mm RAF Pilot has also arrived in the post so I’ll get underway on that one too although at a first it looks like I’m going to have a lot of trouble with that one.  It’s not cast in the way I had anticipated so assembling and painting it will be awkward I think.  Both these models are needed for next years Plymouth show which is remembering 100 years of both WW1 and the RAF.  Hopefully they will come together OK.   I’ll need to do a few others as well so plenty or research needed as well.

I’m also pining for the Old West and have decided to build a town scene consisting of about a dozen buildings or so.  I was pleased with my last foray (Wells Fargo Way Station – Building Project No: 6) as it was entirely scratch built and my aim is to self build all of the buildings this time around.  I’m also keen to construct the insides for several of the buildings too and add lighting to some as well.  It all needs a great deal of thinking and planning at this stage and I need to find figures as well and avoid using them more than once unless I can adapt them of course.  Should keep me going through the English winter which started early this year, stopped for one day in May, another day in June and continued every day until now.  Crap weather for outside chores but great for modelling!

TIM

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Purple Dame, Purple Dame

What we have this week is an experiment.  Being honest it didn’t work out as I had anticipated.  There is I think a simple reason for this.   It was a tougher assignment than I thought.

The figure is a “Diabolist”, a Reaper Pathfinder Miniature.  The idea was to paint the figure and any base work using as much as possible a single colour and shades there of.  I got the idea from a model I had seen during a google search.  I thought it looked very cool and very different.  Inspired I gave it a go.  I can’t fault the quality of the figure, I rate Reaper as most of you know.

I decided on purple as the single dominant colour and I think that was my biggest mistake.  I chose a colour I liked and that I felt provided a good gothic style mood but I struggled with subtle variation.  I think this says more about me as an artist and my understanding of things like colour wheels  than of the colour itself but on reflection I think purple feels like an advanced colour to work with.  Had I chosen to go with green as the dominant colour I think I might have achieved a better contrast.

If I do another experiment along these lines (which I wont be any time soon) I will go with green.  In the meanwhile I will leave you to make up your own minds and if you have any constructive criticism fire away as I’d be pleased to hear what you have to say.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 50)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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Hasslefree Miniatures have produced three figures of “Ray” the character played by Simon Pegg in the now classic movie “Shaun of the Dead”.  This version is listed by Hasslefree as “Dynamic Ray”.  I did “Ray” several months ago and he featured in Miniatures & Musings No: 39.

https://theimperfectmodeller.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/tims-miniatures-musings-no-39/

The third version is “Zombie Ray”.  I have him on on order and at some point in the future I will get him done too.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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OCD and Figures and Bases

When it comes to my hobby I think I have OCD.  In fact I’m sure I do.  I actually think as modellers we probably all have OCD in some form or another even if we don’t relise it.  For me it takes two forms, figures and bases.

At the very start I had two aims.  The first was to collect every figure by a certain manufacturer and the other was to have uniformity in how they are based.   Both have been compromised but I still continue to mentally insist on maintaining these aims to a level that sits comfortably.  Let me try to explain both a little further.

I could pick a number of manufactures but it it is easier for me to explain my figure OCD if I use Knuckleduster and their Gunfighters Ball figures as an example.  When I first discovered this site and its figure range my immediate reaction was to buy, paint and collect every figure.  I reckon I have approximately 70 of them now.  All was going well but as things in life do it then went tits up.  Firstly, Knuckleduster started expanding the range, producing more and more figures to the point where I couldn’t keep up.  Secondly, they started producing some figures I didn’t like the look of and then thirdly, as if the other two weren’t enough, they included some figures which would need larger bases!  I had to rethink my approach to Knuckleduster and so I broke things down.

Firstly I decided I would only do figures on foot.  Then I decided I would only do certain figures, then I decided if figures made little sets I would collect these.  So, for example, I wouldn’t just have Wyatt Earp, I would have Virgil, Morgan and Doc Holliday (both versions of him) as well.  Thus far this is all working out well and similar mental rules exist in my mind with other manufactures too.

Basing has presented a similar problem.  When I first started modelling my bases were quite random because I struggled to find a supplier.  Then I found one and got some uniformity going.  All was fine until my supplier went out of business and then things went tits up again.  Then my modelling diversified and different scales and single figures versus vignettes and dioramas meant identical basing had to be ditched.  What could be done?  Well, as with collecting the figures, basing had to be done in sets.  Certain bases for different types of figures and models.

Single figures which I do not want to place in a vignette or diorama and which I think are good but not exceptional get fixed to 25mm MDF round bases (see this weeks Miniature above).   Everything else gets based on solid oak bases (cubes or flat bases) as appropriate which I source from a couple of Ebay suppliers.  The only exception being whatever my next door neighbours produces for me on his wood turning lathe.

Despite my OCD I still currently have a great many figures and models on random bases.  Years ago I would have got rid of these but I have managed to stop myself from doing this even though whenever I look at them they don’t look right and drive me mad.  Those that bug me the most are now all boxed up and stored!

Does this all make any sense?  No of course it doesn’t.  It’s completely fucking mental but in my head and in the world of TIM it all works a treat … for now!

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Coronavirus – Self Isolation Week 9

Day 57 – I know newspapers need to fill column inches but if anything has annoyed me during this crisis so far it is them and the media at large.  Once upon a time reporting was largely confined to what had factually happened locally or in the world at large.  These days more than ever it is all speculation based on little more than gossip and it can be damaging.  I’m all for free speach but I have no desire to listen to people who speak out of their arse.  Here’s an idea.  Instead of trying to guess all week what you think Boris will say in his press briefing at the weekend why not wait until the weekend when he will fucking tell us!  Journalists should take up modelling to gain some patience.

Day 58 – I like “To do Lists” but they have to be manageable.  So far I’m over achieving but then again the list is relatively small.

  1. Get Up
  2. Survive
  3. Go back to bed

Day 59 – Tonight we logged into Zoom and participated in a village quiz run by Andy our vicar.  It was great fun and we will do it again.  It’s  been a while since I have seen quite so many people pissed.

Day 60 – Some would argue that what is happening right now is the direct result of devine interventon.  I think I am of that view.  Today I found this which struck a cord.

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Day 61 – While the world is closed for renovation I’m sure I am not alone in contemplating how things might look after we get through this.  The image I have is a positive one of a greatly changed world.  I just have this feeling that between the politicians, the do gooders and the “you can’t do that brigade” they are going to screw up the grand reopening.

Day 62 – It dawned on me to day that all those times when I said to the wife and kids “I don’t have the time” I was lying.  I just didn’t want to do it.

Day 63 – Another week over.  At the outset the most vulnerable were told 12 weeks of isolation.  To be fare they had no idea what lay ahead and were dealing with the unknown.  Right now it is looking like being a lot longer than envisaged.  Still, chin up and all that.  Week 10 beckons.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Young Girl” by Gary Pucket and the Union Gap.

A YouTube random play list chucked this out at me.   I was 10 I think when this came out and going on a week long school trip to a place called St Mary’s Bay.  We all sang along as the battered old bus took us away.  Happy days.  Not sure about the lyrics in today’s world though!

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This week TIM has been watching…

“Gladiator” starring Russel Crowe.  Thought I’d unleash hell and watch this again.

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Remember…

If you eat cake quick enough your FitBit will think you’re walking.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 18)

I had forgotten all about this figure.  It was the first of two Knights, the second will appear in next weeks post.  Seeing it again makes me think this is a genre I really ought to visit once again even if it is just briefly.

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A 28mm Knight in Shining Armour

I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that having returned from holiday I wanted to diversify a little from modelling Old West figures and dioramas, my genre of choice.  To this end I identified the medieval period as an area in which to have a brief dabble.  I was partly inspired by a fellow blogger Souls In Miniature.  Ironically SIM is based in the good old US of A modelling knights of the realm while I am based in the UK modelling the Old West. Clearly we were both born on the wrong continent.

I digress.

Painting figures of knights has long had an appeal for me but my modelling skills are simply not up to painting coats of arms.  However  I recently discovered some fantastic 28mm figures by 1st Corps which come with decals and transfers so thought I’d give it a go. I bought two mounted knights and below are the images of The first one duly completed.  The second is under construction.

I have mixed feelings regarding the end result. On the one hand I think the model looks ok but on the other hand I can’t help but feel that using decals is a cheat on the painting.  Having said that, hand painting the lance proved a challenge and finally came good.  I will  complete the second model and post details in due course but the jury is out as to whether or not I will do some more.

My experiment on diversifying is not proving too successful. I need to do a few more WW1 figures and a couple of RAF figures for my model club which I am looking forward to doing but I’m missing the Old West. A new building diorama is being planned.  I don’t normally have projects running side by side but I think that will have to change.  In the meanwhile images of The First Knight!

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 49)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is yet another 28mm Hasslefree figure, this one based on the Simon Pegg character from the film Hott Fuzz.  A great film if it passed you by without seeing it.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Coronavirus – Self Isolation Week 8

Day 50 –  It occurred to me that at some point in the future a film will be made about the great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.  As things currentiy stand it will make for a very boring film.  I doubt this will be a difficult problem to overcome as Hollywood has a tradition of rewriting history.  I’m anticipating Zombie Bats and a vacination invented by the US president who with only seconds remaining saves the world.

Day 51 – Having once again spent far to long in bed I finally decided to get up, get dressed and go lay on the sofa.

Day 52 – My only outstanding order remains outstanding.  Fortunately it is not a large order, just a few paints and a new brush from Wayland Games.  The company is a good one and is doing its best to still trade but they seem to be running out of the things I am particularly interested in, specifically certain brushes and paints.  Whilst the web site allows you to pre-order it is far from clear when they expect to get stock in.  If you use this site or are thinking of doing so you might want to bare this in mind.

Day 53 – As my hair continues to grow so I get the feeling I am returning to the 1970’s.  I’m looking forward to once again wearing double denim.

Day 54 – It’s Hay Fever season and both She Who Must Be Obeyed and I suffer from it.  To be fare SWMBO suffers far worse than I do.  In any event we decided to play a new game, we’ve called it “Plague or Pollen?”.

Day 55 – A busy day than I had originally planned.   Decided to rearrange the icons on my Samsung Tablet.  Tomorrow I will look at doing the same to my phone.

Day 56 – On balance I think so far I have handled 8 weeks of isolation remarkably well.  I wondered why that might be and then it dawned on me.  This is what I have been training for.  All those days and nights spent over weeks, months and years doing modelling and painting had a purpose.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Day Dream Believer” by The Monkeys.  A made up group to rival the Beatles as I recall but I did enjoy their manic TV show and several of their songs are true classics for sure.  None more so than this one.

She Who Must Be Obeyed asked me to stop singing this because she found it annoying.  At first I thought she was joking … and then I saw her face …

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This week TIM has been watching…

“Normal People” – A BBC TV series in 12 parts (although there may well be a second series).

Despite the obvious macho image I portray (cough) I do have a sensitive side and whilst this might be considered a bit girlie I found myself loving this from the off and binged all six hours in one go.

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Remember…

During the Covid- 19 pandemic Sweet Caroline has been banned.  There will be no touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 17)

When I originally published these posts I did so in three parts.  I thought this time around I would merge them into one Memory Monday post so you can see the build from start to finish.

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Messing About With Realistic Water … Again!

In my last post I mentioned that I had plans to do a model using a canoe as the basis of the small diorama I had in mind.  Well the figures arrived earlier in the week and work is underway.  A few companies do 28mm scale canoes with figures but I settled on buying one from “Black Powder” care of http://www.warlordgames.com.  They do a few different figure options but I decided to go with the Frontiersmen as per the image below.

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The figures are white metal, the canoe plastic.  I had planned to do some selective amputation to the arms to change the poses slightly but the figures appear to be a bit smaller than 28mm (nearer to 25mm).  As even basic sculpting is not an area of strength I have decided to leave them alone and simply position them in the canoe as best I can.

Base work is under construction using some tried and tested methods and a few pictures of current progress appear below.  Key to my design is the sloping base which I bought cheaply online (I really must start looking at making more of my own bases).  The idea I have in mind is for the canoe and its occupants to be riding the rapids.  Getting my head around how to add realistic water to a slope is the next challenge but I have a few ideas to trial so we will see how that works out.

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Certainly doesn’t look great but am feeling confident that it will all come together!!!

In the meanwhile a few additional photo’s relating to my previous post as requested by IRO!

TIM

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Messing About with Realistic Water … Again! (Part 2)

Progress on my canoe diorama continues albeit slower than I’d like.  As a modeller I have a reasonably high degree of patience but the time it takes for this stuff to dry is testing.  As a consequence I am able to share some more progress images but the final model is still a little way off.  Hopefully by this time next week I’ll be there.

Not much to report on the ground work side of things.  The tree and river bed foundations follow tried and tested methods and have been covered in previous posts so I wont bore people by repeating myself.

Although the pictures below don’t show it the tree is now complete and the canoe and figures have been painted.  The problem is that the diorama is on a slope and taking photos are a little tricky while I’m still waiting for the water to set.

While I’ve been waiting for the Realistic Water to dry so I can work with it more I decided to paint a 28mm Greek hoplite.  Not really my historical period of interest but thought I’d have a go at something different for a change.  The figure is from 1st Corps and a very impressive casting it was too.  They have a good range but deal more with Ancients.  I have yet to decide whether or not to paint a few more of these chaps or not and even if I do not entirely sure how to present them.  No doubt I’ll think of something.  Not entirely happy with the completed figure.

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Watching Realistic Water dry is boring to say the least.  Next time I will have to see what other products are out there.  In the meanwhile a Greek hoplite which has no baring on this diorama whatsoever!!

TIM

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Messing About With Realistic Water … Again! (Part 3 -Completed Model)

Well, after what seemed to take for ever the Realistic Water started to set which then enabled me to manipulate it before it was left to completely go off. Together with Woodland Scenics Water Effects I managed to eventually build up the “running water” into something like a fast flowing white water river.  When completely dry certain areas were dry brushed with Winsor and Newton Titanium White oil colour.

Where appropriate, the front of the canoe and by the paddles, I tried to create the image of cutting through the water.  All in all I’m reasonably pleased with this one but I’ll leave that for others to judge rather than me.  To give it some perspective the model stands 6 inches (15cm) tall and is about 3 1/2 inches (9cm) wide.

There is definitely an art to creating water that looks realistic and this is an area I may look to explore more in the future as I have more to learn for sure. For me though the jury is out with Woodland Scenics. Ideally it would be good to find something less liquid that can be molded but still dries clear (bathroom sealent?). It may well be that Woodland Scenics offer the best products for this sort of thing but I can’t help but think there must be others available and possibly cheaper too.  Something to investigate ahead of any future diorama I do with water.

If anyone knows of other products I would love to hear from you!  In the meanwhile some images of the end result.

TIM

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Well, after what seemed to take for ever the Realistic Water started to set which then enabled me to manipulate it before it was left to completely go off. Together with Woodland Scenics Water Effects I managed to eventually build up the “running water” into something like a fast flowing white water river.  When completely dry certain areas were dry brushed with Winsor and Newton Titanium White oil colour.

Where appropriate, the front of the canoe and by the paddles, I tried to create the image of cutting through the water.  All in all I’m reasonably pleased with this one but I’ll leave that for others to judge rather than me.  To give it some perspective the model stands 6 inches (15cm) tall and is about 3 1/2 inches (9cm) wide.

There is definitely an art to creating water that looks realistic and this is an area I may look to explore more in the future as I have more to learn for sure. For me though the jury is out with Woodland Scenics. Ideally it would be good to find something less liquid that can be molded but still dries clear (bathroom sealent?). It may well be that Woodland Scenics offer the best products for this sort of thing but I can’t help but think there must be others available and possibly cheaper too.  Something to investigate ahead of any future diorama I do with water.

If anyone knows of other products I would love to hear from you!  In the meanwhile some images of the end result.

TIM

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Steampunk Alice (Part 1)

I have begun working on another of my 28mm Twisted Miniatures, this one goes by the name of Alice and is a Steampunk version of Alice In Wonderland.  I cannot claim to be a fan of either the book or film(s) but as with my recent Disney Steampunk model “Chim Chimney” this one gave me some ideas.

Inspired by some of the images on the Twisted site I thought I would try and create a little model featuring some of the things I knew about the character and the story.  I knew a mirror needed to feature along with some playing cards and a chess board so I began to set about the build.

Using some old watch pieces I created the name of Alice for the front of the base.

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Some tiles found in my scenic storage boxes would be used to create the chess board.  Holes were drilled to take certain pieces later on.  The broken tiles will be covered when the model is complete.

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Painting the tiles and sticking them down soon got underway.  Such is the state of my memory that I need to have a yellow postit to hand to highlight that the tiles needed to be layed down in a black and white sequence!  In fairness I had to make sure I got the pre-drilled tiles in the right place.

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A few more little features being worked on but whether I will use them all remains to be seen.

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Alice underway.

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Pending how things go and how distracted I get by something else I have now started will determine if this one gets finished next week.

TIM

 

 

 

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 48)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks 28mm figure is from Hasslefree and goes by the name of “Wolsey” and is based on the Scooby Doo cartoon series.  There are two verions of the figure, this is the Apocolypse version and the figure was one sent to me for free on account of the fact that I had placed an order over and above a certain value apparently.  Not a figure I would have chosen to buy but as it turned out it was one I really enjoyed painting.  I may now have to get the other figures which make up this little set.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Coronavirus – Self Isolation Week 7

Day 43 – If this is the apocalypse then I must say I am rather disappointed in it so far.  The current situation is a long way from taking on hordes of zombies with a cricket bat whilst trying to reach the Winchester Arms.

Day 44 – The coronavirus has resulted in being able to claim all manner of refunds for things being cancelled.  With this year rapidly going nowhere I’m wondering if I can get my money back on the 2020 wall planner I bought?

Day 45 – In the “Game of Life: Covid-19” addition we have reached the 1st May or as I prefer to call it Level 5.

Day 46 – Now left to go natural She Who Must Be Obeyed’s hair would be completely grey.  As things currently stand she has adopted the appearance of a rabid badger.  Obviously  I have said to her that she looks fine, I’m not completely mental.  Does make me wonder though how many blonds there will be once we are let lose into the wild again.

Day 47 – Although I am not a gamer I found myself once again thinking about the apocalypse.  Now that we know it wont be played out by bat weilding humans breaking skulls I am curious how the figure designers for future games will depict Covid-19.  Any thoughts?

Day 48 – I’m not much of a Facebook user, more a Facebook stalker.  One thing I have noticed though is how few people have updated their profile pictures.  I assume the inability to update ones wardrobe, acquire cosmetics and complete a make over has had a baring on this.

Day 49 – I’m not sure further proof was required that women can be fickle creatures but today I spent a little time contemplating the hypothetical question “Who do I think is the more desirable women between Jennifer Lawrence and Jenna Coleman?” posed by She Who Must Be Obeyed.  

Without a moments hesitation I said Jenna Coleman (possibly the most beautiful women in the world as far as I am concerned but I wouldn’t say no to Jennifer either).   I then simply asked her what she thought of Micala who lives up the road and all hell broke lose!

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Simply Irresistible” by Robert Palmer.  I love this guy’s music and although I can’t quite work out why I love his video’s too.

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This week TIM has been watching…

“The Irishman” starring Robert De Niro et al.  Very disappointing and three hours of my life that I wont get back.

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Remember…

If all the psychics you know are either depressed or angry then try and find a happy medium.

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TIM

 

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 16)

Those of you who follow my blog will hopefully have seen my most recent attempt at constructing a waterfall and creating the illusion of flowing water in my dirorama OMG!

https://theimperfectmodeller.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/omg-a-28mm-diorama-part-5-final-diorama/

Few of you perhaps will have seen my first attempt.

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Messing About With Realistic Water

Fully recharged after an excellent holiday and with a potential modelling ideas list as long as my arm I’ve decided that my next project will be a small diorama with flowing water being a main feature. The basic idea came from seeing some people out canoeing while away on holiday. Not entirely sure why I’ve settled on this idea from countless others but identifying the models to buy quickly certainly had a bearing. It will give me the time to source the things I need for other ideas while keeping my hand in.

The models needed are on order and should arrive shortly but in the meanwhile I thought I would share some details on the first water themed diorama that I put together a little while ago and before I started this blog. As with most first attempts a lot was learnt but overall I was reasonably pleased with the end result.

The basic story behind this 28mm diorama is mountain man sees stag across the water and is trying to make his mind whether or not to shoot such a magnificent beast. The stag on the other hand is deciding whether or not to leg it!

Rock moulds from Woodland Scenics were used to elevate the background and produce the height for the waterfall. The waterfall was created using a combination of Woodland Scenics Realistic Water and Water Effects. Woodland Scenics have an excellent tutorial on YouTube on how to do this so I’m won’t provide a poor version of my own here.

The rocks were painted with highly thinned oil paints using a spotting technique whereby you dab on  each colour (in this case Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre) randomly and allow the colours to run into one another before applying a top coat wash of black (Ivory Black). Thinned the paint finds its way into all the nooks and crannies of the well-defined rock face but it’s not until the black is applied that the rock face truly comes to life.

Various bits of foliage were added to the scene along with rocks and tree debris to the plunge area of the waterfall.

For a change all the figures didn’t come from Dixon’s but from War Game’s Foundry, their Abrasoka Mountain Men set. The chap holding the rifle at the front of the diorama a is a great casting and one of my favourite figures.

So less chat and a few images.

TIM

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Covid 19: Lockdown Breakout – (A 28mm Diorama)

Not for the first time it started in China.  A place called Wohun. They called it Covid 19.  It would also become known as the Coronavirus.

The first the western world learnt of it was in eary 2020 but China had been dealing with it since late 2019.  They thought they had it under control, that the virus was contained.  It wasn’t.  Worse than that it was deadly and there was no known cure.

To begin with countries reacted slowly as they failed to comprehend the situation and the speed with which the virus could spread.  It soon became a pandemic and as realisation kicked in so did the safety measures.  To start with populations were requested to self isolate, to keep a mimimum of two metres apart, and the vulnerable were advised to stay at home and go nowhere for twelve weeks.  But as the number of confirmed cases escalated into the millions and the death toll increased daily by the thousands such requests soon became orders and in next to no time countries were in lockdown.  Nobody was allowed to go anywhere while governments worked out how to contain and control the outbreak.

Self isolation became the norm and daily TV bulletins provided statistical updates and medical progress.  People remained surprisingly calm and hopeful but after three months things began to change.  With no medical breakthroughs and food distrubtion in decline questions and conspiracy theories began to circulate.

China pointed the finger at the Wohun animal wet market as the cause of the virus outbreak.  Bat disease crossing over into the human food chain.  But Wohun was also home to the Institute of Virology and suspicions grew that China had after conducting biological weapon tests deliberately let the virus lose on the world.  With a weakened world China would be free to take military advantage.

Alternative theories suggested environmentalists were behind the outbreak and significant improvements in air polution were sighted along with other examples as supporting evidence.  Others bought into the idea that it was a global governmental experiment to see how best to deal with an ever increasing world population.  Decline in travel and the ability to work from home were viewed by many as examples which justified the theory.

Growing unrest was not lost on governments.  Martial law was enforced.  The aim was to calm the public, to reassure them that all was well but it provoked the opposite effect.  It confirmed to a great many people that something of gigantic proportions was going on and there was a need to know just what that was.  While most people remained hostage to the situation others were determined to escape their confinement in search of the truth.

The authorities had other ideas and adopted a policy of continued confinment by whatever means necessary.  Breaking out from lockdown was a life and death situation but for some it was the only way.

It was time to seek the truth.

TIM

 

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