Incredible as it seems another Christmas is over and I hope each and every one of you had an enjoyable time. More on the subject in a future Musings post perhaps but for now it’s time to focus on the New Year. Before that though my last post for 2018!
I hadn’t intended to post this Saturday, mainly because the Christmas festivities left little time to prepare anything but then I discovered that I had drafted a post which I never published. Not entirely sure how that came about as I’m generally well organised but clearly not on this occasion. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the model remains neglected. I lost my way with this one sometime ago for what I am sure we’re good reasons at the time but blowed if I can think what they were now. Let’s put it down to age.
The down side of this post though is I now have to finish the diorama and with so many other things on the go I’m not really sure I want to. That said it will make for a good start to the year if I can install some discipline and finish off various projects before I get carried away with all the new things I have planned.
So, without further ado let’s move on.
The aim of this little diorama is to depict the beginning of the Viking age and the attack on Lindisfarne and its Priory in the year 793.
The figures were purchased from V and V Miniatures, either a Russian or a Polish company if I remember correctly, and one I hadn’t used before. The quality of the resin figures is very good but the simple truth is I really do not like resin figures that much (I’ll explain why at some point in the future), I’m a white metal guy at heart. Nevertheless I will keep an eye on their interesting range which at present is not huge but hopefully will grow.
The base when I get round to it will be a simple affair but for now all I have to show are images of the four painted figures. A little more work needs to be done but otherwise they are almost complete.
Progress photos below.
This 28mm figure is the second of four that I purchased a little while ago from Gripping Beasts, the first being the “Legendary Viking Warlord – Ragnar Lothbrok, King of Sweden & Norway” which featured in a post a few weeks ago.
I’ve got a few things on the go in respect of vignettes and dioramas at present, including the May Challenge. Nothing too grand but they do require drying and “next step inspiration time” and while I’m waiting for the next light bulb moment I thought I would fill the gap with some quick win figure painting rather than sit idle. As consequence you now get to look at a Carolingian Warlord.
I like the quality of these figures from Gripping Beast as well as the historical era and it’s an interesting diversion from things I have done of late. I still have a couple more figures from this period to do and will doubtless post details of these in due course. I shall also take a closer look are what else this era has to offer.
Not my intended post this week but three things happened to change the situation. Firstly, a model arrived which like Just Needs Varnish recently made reference to “I just had to do”. Secondly, the photographic light box I ordered from Amazon arrived. Thirdly, having realised earlier in the week via my Mid Week Musings that my blog was a year old on the 22nd March I wanted to post a finished model which gave me a buzz and not simply report on some work in progress.
I’ll deal with the model first.
I mentioned in a recent post that sometimes I find a figure I like but struggle at how best to base it and sometimes I have an idea for a vignette or diorama but am unable to find suitable figures. More often than not a solution under either scenario presents itself but occasionally along comes a figure that instantly floats my boat, that I know just how I want to base it and therefore “must have it!”. This was the case with “Legendary Viking Warlord – Ragnar Lothbrok, King of Sweden & Norway”.
I found the figure when I was doing some browsing on Pintrest. That site and Google images often throw up ideas and I managed to track the figure back to being from Gripping Beasts their SAGA range. I immediately ordered it along with three other figures which will most likely feature as future posts once complete.
Now the truth be known I have no idea if good old Ragnar is a real or mythical character and to be honest it doesn’t make much difference to me either way (that said I’ll probably Google him after I’ve finished this post just out of curiosity). The fact is I simply like the figure for reasons I cannot quiet put my finger on. The non action pose lends itself to being a lone figure and also to a still photographic image in my opinion and that’s what drew me to it. I’m not sure if that makes any sense but it’s the best explanation I can offer for now and it isn’t much of one I know.
Photo’s of the model appear at the end of this narrative and by the time you get there I suspect you’ll wonder what the fuss is about but from my point of view this was one of those rare (all to rare as it happens!) occasions when everything came together nicely. The figure itself is advertised as 28mm which I guess it is but it rather depends on your point of view. Personally I tend to think 28mm should be measured from head (top of) to toe but some manufactures measure 28mm from eye level to toe which produces an overall head to toe height nearer to 32mm which is the case with this figure.
The figure as I mentioned is from Gripping Beast and I’m sure I have mentioned in the past that their products are excellent. The SAGA range was largely unknown to me although I’m sure it’s familiar to the war gamers among you. For me it represents a small departure from my typical eras of interest and a welcome change to WW1 as much as I have and am enjoying that project. The base work was relatively straight forward. The rocks were once again taken from the garden and the tree was another wire, sea-foam and filler construction.
On this occasion I stuck the sea-foam to the wire armature before applying the filler which produced a better result but was harder to paint, particularly as I don’t use an airbrush. Hard to believe I don’t use an airbrush at in this day and age but the way I see it when they drop the bomb and the power goes I’ll still be able to paint using a brush under the warm glow of nuclear radiated light. Which kind of leads me onto the photographic light box.
Not a lot to say but first impressions are that it will certainly improve my photos. Much to learn but I am pleased with the early results. The photos taken below of the completed model were all taken using it so you can judge for yourself.
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!
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.
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!