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.


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.




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.


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.






TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 53)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!


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.



Well It Made Me Laugh …



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.


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.


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!


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.


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.




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



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.


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.



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.



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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 52)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!


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 …



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 … !!!


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.


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.


This week TIM has been watching…

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




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



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!



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.


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.




“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.













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.


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


– 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 –


– 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’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 51)

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


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 …



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.




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