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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