TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 72)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This week saw a return to my “to do” pile.  I didn’t have a great deal of love for this figure.  It is one from Reaper rather than Knuckleduster which might surprise one or two of you.  Not entirely sure why I had such a lack of interest, I think he was just a victim of wanting him done to move on.  I’m not normally given to such moods when painting, perhaps it’s indicative of the current times.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

I thought I would start something new from this week, my top 5 things under whatever category happens to take my fancy.  Could be film categories, music, places visited, food I like, books – you name it.  To start with I thought I would kick off with something not to random but probably controversial – my top 5 Science Fiction films. 

Feel free to agree or disagree or even add your own list.  The films are not ranked in any order and of course I have left a great number of fantastic films out.  These just happen to be 5 films I can watch again and again and which blew me away at the time of there release.  So, in no particular order:

  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • Alien (1979)
  • The Terminator (1984)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

What no Star Wars?  Not even Star Trek?  Nope.  The longer the list the easier it is to simply pick everything and remove the debate process so that’s why I went for 5 rather than a top 10 or 20. 

Even if we all disagree we should at least come up with a great list!   

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Footloose”.  I enjoyed both the original film and the remake and loved the title song.   This version is an extended one and is a mash up of dancing sequences from movies.  I do think the people who put these things together with such perfect timing are very, very clever. 

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Broken City” starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crown.  I seem to be on bit of a role in terms of watching crap at the moment.  I like both actors and thought I would be on a winner with this one but sadly not.  Maybe it’s just me.

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Remember …

If at frist you don’t succeed try doing it the way your wife told you.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 40)

A return to the WW1 timeline project this week.  This was a two part project but both posts appear below.

TIM

28mm WW1 Diorama – Communications Team – Part 1

The weather in England, as pointed out by Just Needs Varnish in his most recent post, remains unsettled.  I beleive the technical term given out on the SouthWest Weather report referred to it as “f’ing awful” but I may have miss heard.  However, for every ying there is a yang and the good news is that the full on winter modelling season has been extended into spring.  Hooray!  As a consequence work has begun and is well underway on this the penultimate model in my WW1 Timeline sequence.

One of the things I wanted to avoid with the various WW1 stuff I have done to date were stereotypical trench scenes and tank dioramas and so far I think I have achieved this.  Not that I have anything against trenches or tanks but there were many other stories to be told I wanted to try to tell those.  Nevertheless trenches are hard to avoid completely and so this diorama does have a trench feel but I hopefully not a dominating one.

The emphasis on this little diorama is communications, a key component in any war but one which rarely gets highlighted.  How many WW2 action films have there been as a ratio to the film “The Imitation Game” for example?  To be fair communication as a subject probably doesn’t make for the best box office figures but you get my drift as to the importance of the subject I’m sure.

I’m not sure if the scene when complete will represent an accurate portrayal but it puts the subject out there and gave me an opportunity to paint a pigeon, surprisingly something I’ve never done before (I have however been “shat” upon by many a pigeon in Trafalgar Square!).

Progress so far consists of figures in various states of painting and ground work almost complete.  Construction of the base enabled me to recycle what I can only describe as various bits of “rubbish” which would otherwise have ended up in a land fill site somewhere so I’m feeling good knowing that modelling can be good for the environment too.

Progress pictures below.

TIM

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28mm WW1 Diorama – Communications Team – Part 2

Part 1 of this little diorama received a greater reaction than I anticipated with a couple of excellent comments relating to this rarely covered subject.  This, along with some pretty dreadful weather over the Easter holidays, inspired me to push on and complete the model.

The figures themselves painted up quite nicely and were all from favoured suppliers such as Gripping Beast and North Star. They are as they came with no modifications.  The ground work was completed by adding ground cover and a few more coffee stirrers for the trench effect.

Overall an enjoyable little diorama to put together and one which fits with my self-imposed brief of trying to cover lesser recognised aspects of the Great War for my timeline.  Just one model to go now, time for my own big push!

Pictures below.

Hopefully they provide sufficient detail to view the completed model but the number of figures made it hard for the camera to find a focal point close up and my own photographic skills were insufficient to compensate.

TIM

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Knight Hospitaller

I have done this little chap a couple of times already, in both cases for little dioramas.  The figure is from the Barons War range of Footsore Miniatures and is, in my opinion, a very nice sculpt, so much so that I felt he warranted a base of his own.

Not a great deal to say about the base or the painting on this one other than I elected to go for a Knight Hospitaller look and painted a freehand cross on his tabard.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 71)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks mini is another Hasslefree miniature.  This one goes by the name “Shamanic Boudi”. 

I apologise for the photo’s.  I am far from pleased with them.  Done in to much of a rush in order to get this post out.  That said I could have taken my time and they probably wouldn’t have been much better!  For some reason I just couldn’t seem to get everything in focus as I would like. 

I used some Green Stuff World acrylic to create a water effect base and although it looks decent enough looked down upon it looks poor side ways on.  This really hasn’t helped with the photo’s at all and something I will take on board when I re-do them and, as and when, I use the stuff again.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Everything I Touch Turns To Gold!

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  No neither have I.  In fact this last week pretty much everything I touched turned to shit.  

So what went wrong TIM?

Nothing major, just all sorts of small irritating bits, one thing after another, enough to wear you down.  My mum always says bad things come in three’s.  She’s right, the current count stands at 33.

On the positive front my mood got so bad She Who Must Be Obeyed stopped talking to me.  Maybe things are on the up and I’ve turned a corner.

Next week will be better

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Poll Result

Thanks to all of you who kindly took the trouble to answer my recent question about Work In Progress posts.  The majority it seems like to see the builds as they progress although one or two others prefer the wow factor (always assuming there is one!) of seeing the completed diorama first. 

It seems the real challenge is trying to keep each post interesting and, if possible, try to hold something back so that the completed model still comes as a bit of a surprise.  Not entirely sure how I am going to manage that but I will give it a good try.

As I mentioned at the time this is all to do with gearing up to start a couple of slightly larger dioramas, something I haven’t done for a while now.  Slowly I am getting there in terms of getting the bits I need and hopefully it wont be too long now before things get started.  My available time though is also competing with a great many outdoor jobs and a room which She Who Must Be Obeyed (yes she’s still around) keeps on about being decorated.  I wouldn’t mind but I told her quite clearly that when I say I will do something I will do it.  OK so it was more that four months ago when she first mentioned it but compared to how long her headaches last it’s a drop in the ocean.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Do The Strand” by Roxy Music.  One of my favourite bands and one I don’t listen enough to these days.  Still, with the onset of winter and the expectation of wet days for the next 6 months there should be plenty of time to put that right!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Man On A Ledge”.  An OK film and nothing more as far as I am concerned.  Films which don’t take themselves too seriously, for example Bond movies, can stretch the bounds of reality and I am fine with that but this on was a bit to fanciful for me.

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Remember …

Tequila may not be the answer but it’s worth a shot.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 39)

I calculate Memory Monday has another couple of months to run, a little longer than I thought.  I could shorten it but then again maybe I might run it up to Christmas which would be neat and start over in the New Year.  Much depends on how I get on with replacing it I guess.  In the meanwhile …

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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.

TIM

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Inspector Abberline

This week we have my penultimate 28mm Twisted Miniatures steampunk figure from Demented Games and this one goes by the name of Inspector Abberline.  As with the other five I have done the figure has a very nice lot of detail to pick out and paint.  Hopefully in the coming weeks I will get the seventh and final figure done.  That said I have just  looked at the site to check I had gotten the name of this figure right and couldn’t help but notice a few that I would like to buy!  For now I will resist the temptation, I simply have so much other stuff to do.  I do love this hobby but my list of things I want to do multiplies faster than Covid-19!

What can I tell you about this figure?  Very little really.  The base was made using bricks I made from a silicone mold I bought a while back but until now had never used.  Although the mold only measures about 2 inches by 3 inches it makes 200 bricks!  The street lamp added a nice touch and was spare from a set of ten I bought some time ago.  If you look closely at the writing on the type writer paper it reads “why are you trying to read this they are just straight black lines”!

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 70)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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“King of the Castle”.

As kids it’s a game we used to play and for whatever reason the composition of this figure reminded me of that and of a time gone by.  The figure is from Hasslefree and goes by the name of “Alyx” and it is one I have painted a couple of times before, albeit in other variants as it comes with three choices of arms.  I just love the attitude of this figure and as sculpts go it has to be one of my favourites.

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Monday Monday 

Originally the song title to a track by the Mamas and the Papas but in this case it is a reference to my Memory Monday posts.  To cut to the chase Memory Monday will come to and end in a few weeks time, not entirely sure exactly when but I will keep you posted.  The last post I have planned will be when I reach the concluding part of my WW1 timeline.  Memory Monday will return but it needs a break.  I’m conscious of the fact that for many of you now it is becoming repetative as it wasn’t long enough ago that they were originally posted.  Not sure how long the break will take but it will be for a few months that is for sure.

What will you replace it with TIM?

Well I am glad you asked me that dear reader.  For a period of time it will be replaced by “Dio-Bolical Monday”.  I have a couple of dioramas planned and as you know these don’t get get done in five minutes so, like it or not, Dio-Bolical Monday is going to be charting my progress on these builds.  Will it be interesting?  Maybe, maybe not but either way you’re stuck with it!

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC.  Needed to blow away a few cobwebs and something loud was the order of the day.  Never quite got the cloth cap or school boy look but the track is a classic.

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This week TIM has been watching…

“Fury” starring Brad Pitt.

If I ever do get around to doing a tank, and I’m not saying I will, it will either be the “Oddball” tank from Kelly’s Heroes or this one from Fury.  A tough decison and one which will probably never be made because it’s that tough!  And before anyone makes the suggestion, no I am not doing them both.

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Remember…

Surround yourself with people who have issues because people who have issues always have alcohol.

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TIM

TIM’s Memory Monday (No: 38)

This is another of my little dioramas which I had largely forgotten about as it now sits in a box stored away.  I haven’t done a great deal of WW2 stuff in my time but although it is not on display it does get an airing every now and then when I go to shows with my club.  WW2 stuff is popular and the club typically has a theme running for this period in history.  Alas this year it gets to stay in its box thanks to Covid-19 so in some ways it is apt this model should be next in sequence for Memory Monday.  Originally this model was posted in three parts but as this is a re-post I have merged all three parts into this single post.

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28mm – WW2 US Winter Troops – Part 1

Tiring somewhat of WW1 I felt the need to undertake something new, not so much in terms of figures so much as terrain.

Until very recently I had only dabbled with snow affects once in the past and that was a long time ago.  The result of which ended in the model below.

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The model itself, an Andrea 54mm figure based on Robert Redford’s portrayal of Jeremiah Johnson if I remember correctly, came out OK at the time but the snow and my early attempt at a tree stump now look far from pleasing and very dated.  It was only when I was dusting it that I thought I wouldn’t mind having another go at some snow based models.

Now before I continue I ought to answer a question that I am sure the previous paragraph has thrown up.  Why was I, a product of the male chauvinistic 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, doing my own dusting when I have a perfectly good wife capable of doing such things?  A good question for sure but Her who Must Be Obeyed has made it perfectly clear that she will not be held responsible for any breakages and thus the job rests with me.  To be fair she has a point.  Allow me to digress a little further.

We have a border collie who can open every door in the house.  I was once the proud owner of a remote-controlled Dalek which spoke.  The dog hated the Dalek and ran from it when it was in use.  Her Who Must Be Obeyed in her infinite wisdom thought it would be a good idea to stand the Dalek in front of our bedroom door to stop the dog from going in.  A cunning plan but one which led to the dog trashing the Dalek and me calling her a moron.  It is against this back drop that she now has nothing to do with my models and collectibles! Hard to blame her really.

Back to modelling.

I had a good browse on the Warlord Games site and found some great looking 28mm US winter troops which I decided to purchase.  I then found some snow and ice products produced by Precision Ice and Snow which I also bought.  Not cheap but the amount of stuff that came in the bundle I purchased will more than see me through the rest of my modelling days I expect.  As for a scene I thought I’d go for a derelict building or part of one to be more precise.  The combination of US troops, snow and a derelict building all adds up to something completely brand new to get my teeth into.

A check on my paints resulted in the need to order some new ones, all Vallejo in this instance, and while I waited for them to arrive in the post I started to get my head around the build itself.  Initially I did think I could cut some corners given that most of the end result would be covered in snow but I then decided that was the wrong approach.  If I was to do it properly I ought to build the thing to look right before adding the snow, in that way what ever might show through would in turn look right too.

The mini project is now under way and the pictures below are of the early stages.  I initially cut out some foam board for the two wall sections which were then glued together.  Milliput was flattened out and then rolled using a Green Stuff World cobblestone textured rolling-pin and then applied to the foam board both on the inside and the outside.  A little tip I discovered.  In order to easily pick up the rolled Milliput first lay down some talcum powder on to your flat surface before hand, it lifts up easily that way.

The gate was made from wooden coffee stirrers as was the door and the roof beams.  The tiles were made once again using my Green Stuff World tile punch.  The fence posts were made from match sticks and drilled to make way for the twisted wire that will be inserted in due course.

Next up will be the complete assembly of all the various bits and pieces, the figure painting and applications of static grass and other ground work but that will have to wait until next time.  In the meanwhile a few very unexciting progress pictures.

TIM

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28mm – WW2 US Winter Troops – Part 2

Desk tidied and lists written I am now feeling organised once again.  It’s now time to get some things completed and invoke a little more discipline starting with the continuation of this little diorama.

Figures have now been painted and “pre-snow” ground work almost completed. Figures arrived timely as always from Warlord Games and I was pleased with how they painted up.  The ground work to date was pretty straight forward but didn’t provide anything significantly new in modelling terms, that will come with adding the snow effect in what will be the third and final part of this little diorama.  All in all its gone together reasonably well so far.

The progress pictures below provide a good idea of how the completed diorama would look if I hadn’t decided to go for a snow scene.  It will be interesting to see just how it looks when a lot of it will get covered over.  Before and after photos should be interesting. Will it look better or worse?  No backing out now though.  I am committed to the end result so will have to wait and see. Besides I can’t have US troops wandering around in winter gear in the spring!

TIM

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28mm – WW2 US Winter Troops – Part 3

The concluding part of this little diorama.  With only the snow to be added I didn’t feel I could justify hanging onto this post until the weekend.

Figures fixed into position, all parts painted and assembled and ground work complete.  All that remained to be done was to apply the snow.

I mentioned in part 1 that I had acquired scenic snow materials from a company called Precision Ice and Snow.  A few words on what came in the bundle I bought, and before anyone asks no, I’m not on commission!

The various bits can all be bought separately or you can save quite a  bit by buying a bundle which is what I chose to do.  Everything arrived in a nice little draw string bag which contained:

  • 2 x 115g bags of Krycell fine (snow) for use with smaller scale models such as 28mm
  • 1 x 115g bag of Krycell Extra (snow) for use with larger models  – 1/35th upwards
  • 1 x 100ml bottle of adhesive
  • 1 x 50ml bottle of Ice and Snow wash
  • 1 x 50 tub of winter camouflage paint
  • 1 x sieve for applying the snow
  • 1 x instruction manual

All in all enough to do all the models in snow that I am likely to ever do.  The instruction book is great and there are various YouTube tutorials too if that’s of interest so I won’t bother going into greater detail.  Just to say that I followed the instructions and achieved the end result as shown in the pictures below.

Personally I like the stuff.  Looks realistic to me and goes where you put it.  For 28mm it’s really nice and fine and I love the way it has adhered to areas like the top of the fence and to the gate and barn door.  There are lots more ways of using this stuff and I’m looking forward to coming up with some other ideas in due course.

TIM

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Lady In Red

For various reasons I found myself with very little time to do any modelling, in fact I count myself lucky that I even got this one done.  The figure is from Crooked Dice and if it has a name I can’t remember what it is and at this moment in time I am feeling far to lazy to look it up!  What can I say, it’s been one of those weeks.

Not a great deal to say about the figure itself other than I decided to experiment with some much darker shadowing than I normaly would for the seams of her dress.  For me it made the figure more striking and I rather liked the end result.  You good reader may think differently and if you do then please feel free to comment below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 69)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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Another week and another Hasslesfree miniature, this one goes by the name “Justice Sedante”.  Definately not a lady to be messed with that’s for sure.  I’m told she has a soft centre but unfortunately you have to negotiate her exterior to get there!

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Well It Made Me Laugh …

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Dorothy’s Cobbles & Clydes Acrylic Base

In the comments of two recent posts I was asked by Deturnation how I did the cobbles on Dorothy and how I did the acrylic base on Clyde by Pat.  Both were very simple so I thought I would share the very brief details here.  Oh, and by the way, do check out their excellent blogs if you haven’t already.

I typically do cobbles one of two ways.  One method is to simply use a cobble textured roller from Green Stuff World over Milliput or a clay such as Das.  There are plenty of textured rollers available and well worth checking out.  The other method is to use plaster board.  Not sure what it is called else where in the world but basically it is the stuff used by builders for internal walls.  It is easily carved and this is what I used for the basing of Dorothy.

The acrylic base for Clyde was equally simple.  Once again Green Stuff World came up trumps.  They have square and round moulds for using with UVResin and a UVTorch.  I simply bought some 25mm square bases, added some watch parts for a steampunk looking base, poured in some of the UVResin into the mould and then hardened it off using the UVTorch.  It takes about a minute for the resin to harden and then it can be removed.

Of course the moulds and the resin can be used in a variety of ways.  so for that matter can the cobble roller.  I have used it to make walls as well as floors and the plaster board can be used to pretty much make all sorts of scenery.  All down to imagaination and crafting skills.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Hey Jude” by the Beatles.  You may not have heard of this group but I reckon they are going to be big.

The track was sung live on the David Frost show back in 1968.  I don’t know what the TV audience was but the YouTube video has had over 250 million hits.  Not bad for a song which is over 50 years old.  I remember watching it on a black and white TV at the time (we got colour in 1970) with my brother and my mum and dad.  Some things you never forget and this was one of those moments.  Probably one of the greatest songs ever.  Of course you are entitled to your opinion but if you disagree then you you are wrong!

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This week TIM has been watching

“Wild Target” starring Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt.  A quirky little film with a good cast.  Not a classic by any means but a few good laughs and worth a watch in my opnion.

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Remember…

If you can’t think of a word say “I forget the English word for it” that way people will think you are bilingual instead of an idiot.

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TIM