TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 36)

A return to my WW1 project this week.  An end piece was essential to complete my timeline and I chose a soldier returning home and walking down the front garden path to be met by his excited daughter and his wife.

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28mm WW1 Vignette – “Daddy’s Home!

Today’s second post.

No excuses, I’d simply fallen behind on my WW1 timeline project and needed to get back on track, thus establishing the aim of completing an outstanding item for this week and the next.

Although June is still some time away I can’t believe just how quickly January and February have passed by.  As a consequence I did a review of just where I was with this project and my audit indicated that several vignettes and dioramas were complete, some were being worked upon but some had not yet been started.  It also struck me that I hadn’t given any further thought to a model which would act as the “end” piece in the sequence.

Obviously the war ending is the stand out incident but was it really the end?  In my imagination I envisaged marching troops through London in front of crowds of cheering people but bringing that to life was difficult to get my head around, not least of all because I struggled to find anywhere near the type or number of figures I would have required.  I also thought of something very sobering such as a graveyard scene – Gone But Not Forgotten – but whilst I did do one (see an earlier post) I decided that although relevant if was not how I wanted to end the sequence.

In the end I decided on the idea of daddy coming home from the war and being greeted by his wife and child.  For many this was the real end of the war, seeing a loved one returning home.  More up beat and more personal.  So here you have the returning soldier coming down the garden path.  Would he have had his rifle?  Possibly.  Would he have had a fixed bayonet?  Almost certainly not!  I did think to remove it but on closer inspection I thought I would almost certainly cock it up so felt it was better left alone!  It’s the story that’s relevant not the accuracy.  That’s my excuse any way!

So now I have a beginning and an end to my timeline and but need of a few more for inbetween. No time for slacking as the clock continues to tick.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 35)

One of the nice things about looking back at my past models is reminding myself of the things I learnt along the way, either in terms of scenery building or figure painting.  At the time this model taught me a lot and the techniques I employed were refined a little in future builds.  I am also reminded of the mistakes I made and how Imanaged to cover them up!

For those of you who might be interested a  link to Part 1 of this diorama can be found here.

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The Last Of The Mohicans – 28mm Diorama – Part 2

A succesful week, helped considerably by the stay in doors weather, which has seen the completion of this model and also of one of my outstanding WW1 vignettes, the subject of a separate post to follow this one.

Not a great deal to say on this one.  The fir trees were completed with a couple of applications of static grass, the water effects were applied but need to dry a little further and the figures were painted and fixed in position.

The figures are in my opinion nicely designed but they aren’t the greatest of castings and they lack the crispness of other models that I have painted.  As a consequence they aren’t the best but perhaps I’m just getting my excuses in early!

The last photo was taken with the Magua model placed behind this diorama (my brothers idea, credit where it’s due).  The idea was to see how dramatic, if at all, the backdrop would look.  I think  a combination of both bits of landscaping could make for an interesting diorama, I just need to get my head around what figures to use.  There is no rush however as right now I’ve got more than enough lined up!

Photo’s below.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 34)

This weeks post makes for a welcome change from WW1 which for a while had dominated my modelling.  I hadn’t finished with my WW1 timeline but I needed a break from the genre.  There is only so much khaki I can paint before getting bored with a bland colour palette.

I had forgotten all about this particular model.  I did enjoy it but it is an awkward size to dsiplay and thus is condemed to live its days out in a storage box in the garage.

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The Last Of The Mohicans – 28mm Magua Figure

My third and final post for this weekend and the background to the first post on “How to Make Fir Trees”.

One of my favourite films is The Last Of The Mohicans staring Daniel Day-Lewis and Wes Studi.  I love the story, the cinematography and the sound track.  A winning combination all round.  Truth is from a very young age I have always had a soft spot for the Indians.  There is a reason for this and it is a true story.  Allow me to enlighten you.

My Grandfather on my mother’s side had three older sisters and back in the time of the Great War 1914 – 1918 the family lived in Windsor.  During the war the Canadians sent over an expeditionary force who were billeted in Windsor Great Park.  Many of these men were lumber jacks and native indians who were brought over to chop down trees to supply some of the timber used in making trenches.  Two of my Grandfathers sisters met and later married two Canadian service men and went to live in Canada when the war ended.  In the case of my Great Aunt Rose she married a man by the name Pete Commanda, a native north American Indian.  They spent their lives living on the indian reservation in a log  cabin on the shores of Lake Temagami, Ontario.  A story which has fascinated me from an early age.  For interest a couple of pictures below.

Commanda Pete

So, whilst trawling the Warlord Games web site some while ago I discovered a set of six figures based on the movie.  I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy them.  I decided they would make two models.  One, this one, would feature Magua on his own.  The other five figures would feature as the basis for a separate diorama.

One of my favourite sequences in the film is at the end when all the main characters are high up on the mountains.  Somehow I wanted to create a mountain scene, albeit with a degree of poetic licence. I wanted height, I wanted rock faces, I wanted fir trees and to aid the impression of altitude I wanted snow (the poetic licence bit as none featured in the film!).  I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve this and even if I could I wasn’t sure how good a single 28mm figure would appear dominated by a 30 cm high base.  As a consequence the idea sat on my to do list.  Then I got some inspiration on how to make fir trees.  I still wasn’t sure how the overall model would look but then decided to hell with it, let’s give it ago!

The first step was to sift through my outdoor log pile for a suitable log.  This was followed by some saw work to cut away sections which would house the trees and the rocks.  The photo’s below show some of the stages in that sequence.  I then cast some rocks using Woodland Scenics molds.  While various things were drying and doing their stuff I painted the Magua figure.  The Trees were made following the “How To Make Fir Trees” article that I recently published.

Everything painted and dried it was then all about assembly, more painting and then applying the snow.  My overall impression is that it came out looking OK.  I think I achieved the depth of scale I wanted and if nothing else then it’s a little different.

Now to deal with the other five figures!

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 33)

As part of my WW1 timeline I wanted to have a centre piece model and made up my mind that it would need to include a scratch built building of some sort.  I settled on the idea of a farm house and the finished result and final post appears below.  If you want to see or remind yourself how the building and diorama was constructed then please take a look at parts 1 through to 6 which you will be able to find scrolling through the WW1 menu above.

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28mm Building Project No: 7 – WW1 Farmhouse Diorama

Off the Work bench!

This week was all about assembling the various bits and pieces to complete the diorama.  All in all it went together pretty well after some careful thought as to what should be placed into position first.  It wouldn’t have been the first time I’ve boxed myself into a corner but on this occasion I managed to avoid any such dilemmas.

Not a great deal to add in terms of narrative as I think I covered most aspects of the build in previous “On The Work Bench” posts.  Will be interesting to see what, if any, feedback I receive when it receives its first public outing.  If nothing else my mum likes it and thats good enough for me!

The aim of the diorama, as mentioned in the first post of this sequence, was to depict a small group of British soldiers making their way through the French/Belgium farming countryside.  Hopefully I managed to convey that.

Now on to the next project(s).  Still have a few WW1 items to do to complete the series but think I need a change of period in the coming weeks too so still deciding what next is on the agenda.

Pictures of the completed diorama below.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 32)

When most people think of WW1 they will almost inevitably at some point think of The Somme.  Understandably the magnitude of lost lives is not easily forgotten.  As I continued with my WW1 timeline it became very clear to me that certain events could not be ignored.  This was one such event.

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WW1 – “The Somme” – 28mm Scale

Those of you kind enough to follow my blog will know that I have been trying to put together a WW1 Timeline for an exhibition to be held in June to mark the centenary of the ending of the Great War.  The event itself will be held in Plymouth on Armed Forces Day.

When I first set about my contribution I drew up a list of key events with the aim of trying to produce a figure, vignette or diorama to mark each incident.  Not surprisingly the battle of the Somme appeared on my list.  For inspiration on how to depict this event I did a quick Google search for ideas.  The only thing which came to mind was “death”.

On the first day of the battle which took place on the 1st July 1916 the British lost over 60,000 soldiers (killed or seriously injured).  By the end of the campaign in November of the same year that figure had risen to 420,000.  An almighty loss for a land gain of 25 miles!  Incredible.

The model itself features figures by Great War Miniatures.  The mud is real mud!  A little earth together with some potting soil, paint and PVA was mixed together and allowed to dry before dry brushing some highlights.

My little vignette is dedicated to the 420,000 brave souls.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 31)

For me the interesting thing about reading this post again was my take on future models I aimed to get done in 2018.  The only thing I didn’t embark upon, and still haven’t, was something on the Zulu wars.  For the life of me I cannot recall what, if anything, I had in mind to do!

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WW1 British Command – 28mm Scale

So, Christmas is over, the parents have made the short journey home and most importantly the wife imposed modelling ban has been officially lifted!  To be fair it was important to spend some quality time with the old folk as well as the kids. However, there is only so much TV dross I can take so I confess to feigning an after dinner sleep on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  This proved positive though and gave me some time to gather my thoughts together with regard to this years  modelling past, and more relevantly, next years modelling future.

In modelling terms this year saw the start of my blog, a major departure from 54mm scale figures to 28mm and my involvement with the Plymouth Modelling Club.  All have proved to be very enjoyable.  I love the sense of community that my blog provides and the comments I receive are extremely motivational.  Dropping down in scale has enabled me to do so much more and my creative juices have increased considerably.  I still love 54mm scale but producing buildings and dioramas in this size is simply far to space consuming.  Joining the modelling club, not everyone’s cup of tea I know, has also proved a success.  I think more than anything it has given me an opportunity to compare my work with others and although I’m not the most gifted modeller I do feel that I can hold my head up and make a contribution.  On to the future.

First up is the completion of the WW1 project.  I have a few items to finish and a couple to start and then I think it will be time to call it a day.  I’ve no doubt I will return to this period as I love it but I need to use some other paint colours!  Looking ahead I have a few ideas around the Zulu wars which may get off the ground and a WW2 scene is gathering some momentum in my head.  I found some Viking figures recently which I liked the look of and Santa brought me some American Civil War and Old West figures which as some of you may know is my genre of choice.  Aside from figures there are a few diorama ideas that I want to explore and as I may have mentioned previously, I have a growing urge to start another building.  In fact I’m pretty sure this is where I will kick-start the New Year.

At the end of January the Plymouth Model Club hold their annual in-house competition.  There are a couple of categories which I will enter and it will be interesting to see how I fare.  If I do well then you’ll hear more about it!  The club does do monthly competitions and I haven’t done too badly at those but I suspect some members will have geared themselves up for this one event so it’s hard to tell.  In any event it will be a new experience and should be fun.  Thereafter there are a number of shows to attend including Telford in November.  I’ve heard a lot about Telford but never been.  By all accounts it’s a huge and fantastic event and will doubtless be the subject of future blog posts.

Back to actual models and this posts offering.  As I mentioned previously I have a couple of WW1 items to finish.  This was one of them.  There was very little to do so the limited amount of time available following my modelling ban was more than sufficient to get this one off of the work bench.  The model itself is a simple enough affair.  The figures are from Gripping Beasts and Great War miniatures, all white metal and all very nice castings.  The quality of Gripping Beasts in particular is fantastic.  Figure painting was done using a combination of acrylic and oil paint.

My WW1 timeline needed some officers in it and this is what I came up with.  It’s hard for me when dealing with this historic period to put the series “Black Adder Goes Fourth” to the back of my mind.  It’s tempting therefore to say these officers are trying to determine what square foot of land they plan to sacrifice 20,000 men for.  Every which way I’ve turned when researching elements of this project the tragic loss of life and various statistics associated with this war simply beggar belief.

Model photo’s appear below.

To close this post it’s appropriate to acknowledge the New Year.  I believe in the power of positive thought (although I’m not the greatest exponent of it) but I suspect like many others my New Year Resolutions rarely last more than a few weeks.  I have therefore, to quote Baldric from Black Adder, a “cunning plan”.  For 2018 I have come up with three resolutions which hopefully will prove successful.  In no particular order they are:-

  1. Having never smoked I’m going to pull out all the stops to make sure I don’t start in 2018
  2. I will resist all temptation to drink alcohol at breakfast
  3. I will aim to increase my weight and go up a waist size but will not be upset if I fail!

Happy New Year.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 30)

Interesting looking back on this model from Christmas 2017.  It wasn’t that long ago and I can remember liking the composition (and still do) but those faces leave a lot to be desired.

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Battle of Britain Pilots 1/32nd Scale

I hadn’t intended to create a post today but then again I hadn’t anticipated a modelling ban from her who must be obeyed over the Christmas period either.  So, while the wife has popped out to do some last-minute food shopping I thought I’d sign in and get started.  As she left the house I was charged with doing some cleaning before my parents arrived for Christmas but I figure they wont notice if it hasn’t been done given that mum is 86 and dad is 91.  I can always claim to have done it and blame the dog if she spots anything out-of-place.  Then again she’ll moan at the dog but not at my dad so I may blame him instead.  He’s deaf too which will provide for additional insurance.  Don’t you just love family time at Christmas?

Back to modelling.

The WW1 project will continue into the New Year and hopefully Santa will bring a few much-needed bits and bobs to enable the final models to be completed.  I’m suffering building with drawl symptoms so the need for a larger diorama featuring some sort of construction will I think begin in January.  The good news is I’ve done all I’m going to do for the RAF exhibit needed for June 2018.  For those who do not know next year marks the 100th anniversary of the RAF.  I like planes but I don’t model them so my contribution to the clubs homage is a couple of figures, the first of which I posted details on a short while ago.  The photo’s below are of my second contribution.

The figures represent two WW2 Battle of Britain fighter pilots, we’ll say Spitfire pilots, I like Spitfires they’re iconic.  The figures are 1/32nd scale so it was nice to do something slightly larger for a change.  Very basic base work as I didn’t want to distract from the figures, which is also another way of saying I couldn’t be arsed on this occasion.  The enamel pin was a cheap purchase off of Ebay for which the proceeds went to charity which was nice.  I like these military pins and I’ve used a few now and they’re a great way of setting off the base in my opinion.

Not much more I can say about this model other than it was painted using a combination of acrylics and oils.  The figures are also plastic which is most unusual for me as almost everything I do is white metal.  I hope you like the photo’s.

All that remains is for me to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and to the followers that I have thank you for doing so.  Those of you who are in Australia will experience Christmas and New Year ahead of the rest of us (time travel but not as we know it) so enjoy.  Be careful surfing on the backs of those Great Whites (you guys are so tough!) and throw another prawn on the barbie for me.  I’m off to watch Crocodile Dundee and a DVD of the Bodyline Ashes tour.

Gotta go, she who must be obeyed has just pulled into the drive!

Until the New Year …

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 29)

One of the things I learnt from this little piece is that sometimes all you need is a couple of quality and well composed figures to tell a moving story.

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Casualties of War

This week’s offering is a simple 28mm vignette of a couple of wounded WW1 British soldiers being attended by a clergyman officer.  I figured that within my growing sequence of scenes for WW1 something along these lines was a must have. Photos appear below.

The figures  – the one on the stretcher and the clergyman officer offering a cigarette – are both from Gripping Beasts while the standing smoking figure is from Great War Miniatures.  All white metal and excellent castings.

The Great War preceded the British National Health Service by some 30 years so back in those days a cup of tea and a woodbine was generally regarded as a “cure all”.  Whether you’d lost a limb, been the victim of a mustard gas attack or just suffering from undiagnosed post traumatic stress there was nothing like a fag, a cup of tea and a pretty nurse to ease the pain while reflecting on how lucky you were!

Brave men all of them. Arguably ignorant of what they signed up for but brave none the less. I do however wonder what they would have made of the world we now live in and if they felt their efforts were worth dying for?  Think I may need to set up another blog for the purpose of having a daily rant!

Wishing you all very Merry Christmas and  Happy New Year.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 28)

In this post I mentioned that the Attestation papers which appear on the table were real ones and that they had been scaled down and printed.  What I failed to say was that they were my Great Grandfather’s Attestation papers.  I am also reminded that I need to take some photo’s of this model again with a stately home background.  My winter projects are beginning to mount up!

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“It Will All Be Over By Christmas” – WW1 28mm Diorama (Part 2)

A little narrative on the completed diorama, images of which appear below.

Following the declaration of war with Germany a patriotic call to arms led to mass recruitment the length and breadth of the country.  Recruitment centres were set up just about anywhere with lengthy queues forming outside town and village halls as well as on the open streets. My diorama is set in the grounds of a modest stately home with men queuing along the pathway outside the main gates.

A few observations regarding the construction of the diorama. The recruitment posters are all real posters which were downloaded images appropriately resized. The table was made from match sticks and the red, white and blue bunting from paper. The railings were constructed using wire mesh and simply cutting away pieces here and there. The paper forms on the table are real Attestation papers printed and downsized.  The tree was another wire tree constructed along the same lines as others I have done and which I have covered in past posts.  The shrubs and bushes were constructed using seafoam and leaves from Noch.  The grass edging was constructed using twisted wire to replicate Victorian rope tiled edging often used in grand buildings of the day.

The figures are all commercial 28mm figures from various suppliers and are without any modifications.

Although I’m not creating my WW1 models in the sequence of the timeline I am hoping to create this particular model will be number two in the sequence and is the natural follow on from my “War Declared” vignette which I recently posted.

Images of the completed diorama are below.

TIM

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TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 27)

This model turned out to be a personal favourite when it came to the WW1 timeline that I ended up putting togther.  One of those rare occassions when every thing seemed to come together with out too much of a hitch.  The completed model will feature next week.

TIM

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“It Will All Be Over By Christmas” – WW1 28mm Diorama (Part 1)

“It will all be over by Christmas” – well at least that’s what many of those brave men thought when they enlisted following Britain declaring war on Germany.  The truth was far different of course.

In my last post I mentioned my aim of trying to put together a modelling timeline of significant WW1 moments with the intention of creating a few depicting less obvious images of the time.  Life in the trenches is the image most people think of when reflecting upon the Great War and rightly so but there are others too which I (and perhaps it is ony me!) think are relevant.

The idea behind this latest model is the enlistment and recruitment of the civilian men into the armed forces of the day.  Only when I looked into this a bit more did it get me thinking about how significant I felt this was.  There was the obvious bravado of young (and old) men thinking it truly would be over by Christmas and that all they had to do was give the “bosh” a bash on the nose.  What I hadn’t appreciated until I googled images of recruitment posters was the level of propaganda. No punches were pulled in implying you were a coward if you didn’t sign up!

All in all it certainly made me wonder just what would happen in this day and age.  Would the people of today sign up quite so readily to be lambs to the slaughter?  Hopefully we will never know.  Nevertheless this is definitely a topic for a deep and meaningful conversation to have after consuming large quantities of alcohol!  I digress, back to the modelling.

So, having decided on the subject for the model I set about trying to find appropriate figures.  Civilian figures as I think I may have mentioned before present a challenge, too few out there on the market.  That said I came up trumps having found some great figures by Footsore miniatures.  Military figures proved easier to find and so before too long I was getting started.

Painting the figures is well underway and a rough outline of the diorama is floating around in my head (I never work to plans or drawings – perhaps I should?).  All things being well the diorama will be finished next week but in the meanwhile a few figure images to be going on with along with sneak preview of the base work.

TIM

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