TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 4)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures and Musings!


TIM’s Mid Week Miniature

This weeks mini is Balian D’Ibelin, another limited edition figure by Giants in Miniature.  This one is number 324/500.  The figure is based on the character played by Orlando Bloom in the film Kingdom of Heaven.

The crosses on the tunic and shield are all freehand work.  The tunic was especially difficult, trying to get the crosses roughly the same size and shape proved time consuming but overall I am please with how the figure turned out.  The photo’s on the other hand don’t look as sharp on the laptop as they do on my tablet so might have to revisit them at some point!

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The Torquay Show

When I was at the Torquay show a couple of weeks ago I made 3 purchases.  First up was a 54mm Space Marine.  Not sure if it was a good buy in the end or not but at some point I will get around to doing it.

Next up I bought an Orc bust.  I’ve never painted a bust before (although I have seen plenty of busts I’d like to get my hands on!) and thought maybe, just maybe I would give it a go.

Lastly, I bought some weathering pencils.  Had never heard about these but they seemed like a good idea if they work and as they were pretty inexpensive I bought a couple.  Anyone ever used these?  I’ll let you know what I think of them in due course.



Not sure how many of you are familiar with the app Pinterest but I find it a great source for modelling ideas and must thank She Who Must Be Obeyed for recommending it to me.  The app throws up all kinds of interesting stuff too such as this life quote which I have dedicated to SWMBO.

“Marriage is like a deck of cards.  In the beginning you need two hearts and a diamond.  By the end you need a club and a spade”.

We’ve not quite reached the end game yet and it’s far from clear who is holding what cards but I’m certain SWMBO has a few up her sleeve.


This week TIM has been listening to …

… Lou Reed.  Transformer is a classic album and a big favourite of mine.  I love every track and could have chosen any one.  Take a Walk On The Wild Side perhaps being the most obvious but in the end I went with Satellite of Love.  Sadly Lou is no longer with us and my youth slowly continues to die and roll a way but …

… the music lives on.


This week TIM has been watching …

… Straw Dogs.  The 1971 original, not the the 2011 remake which I have never watched.  Why?  Simple, never fuck with a classic, especially one directed by Sam Peckinpah.

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Sam Peckinpah who was renowned for his slow motion scenes of violence.  The film stars a young Dustin Hoffman and the gorgeous Susan George.  Kleenex sales rocketed off the back of her performance.  Set in “inbred Cornwall” where many similar real life characters can still be found to this day!


Until next time.






District 79 – A 28mm Diorama

A very simple one this week and not a great deal to comment upon.

This is the third and what I had originally thought would be my final figure under my loosely linked Apocolypse mini series.  I have now got another idea festering away so a fourth, possibly even a fifth could be on the cards.

Some of you might think the title is in some way linked to the movie District 9, it isn’t.  I recently finished building a Tamiya motor cycle, a model you will get to see futher down the line perhaps (I say perhaps because the whole thing has been sitting around for months), and I had a few decals over of which the number “79” was one.

The yellow and black hazard lines were done free hand.  I kept them as precise as I could but the plan was for most of the base to be covered over so I didn’t get caried away with masking tape this time around. The figure is from Hasslefree, Winter Dionne.  The industial background contraption was a piece of plastic packaging which came with a new washing machine!  Quite what purpose it served I have no idea but painted up I figured it looked OK.




TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 3)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures and Musings!


TIM’s Mid Week Miniature

This weeks mini is none other than Lord Flashheart himself.  Just couldn’t wait to paint this one so everything else was pushed to one side.  I just had to dooooooo it!

The only comment I would make on the paint job is in respect of his coat.  When you watch the clip (see last weeks post) it is clear his trench coat has a waxed kind of shine to it.  It certainly isn’t matt that’s for sure.  To replicate it I simply applied a medium gloss varnish.



The Torquay Show

To give the show its correct title it is the IPMS Torbay and South Devon show which is located in Torquay.  For those of you who do not know, Torquay is situated along the coast line known as the English Riviera and is famous for its herds of Wildebeest.  For further information on Torquay you may wish to check out this very informative tourist video clip.

The show isn’t the biggest in the South West, that accolade belongs to the Plymouth show which is being held at the end of next month.  Nonetheless the show is a reasonable size with around 25 plus clubs in attendance along with a good number of traders.  This was my first ever visit and it didn’t disappoint.  Having gone to a few shows now I have started to recognise some familiar faces all of which adds to the enjoyment of the occasion.

There were some great models on display and I never cease to be amazed by either the standard on display or by the variety and imagination of the modellers themselves.  Shows can be a great source of ideas and this one was know different.

I didn’t take many photo’s on account of a low battery but I managed to take a couple.


The event also has an annual competition which I decided to enter.  My first entry was in the Single Figure category and I elected to submit my Rooster Cogburn, True Grit figure.  The model came third overall which I was happy with, not least of all because the category is a popular one.


In the Fantasy Category I entered The Dragon Slayer.  This one came a very respectable second.


My third and final entry was in the Diorama Category and I decided to go with my newly finished The Wizard’s Library.


Much to my delight this one came first in its category for which I not only got a certificate but a rather nice personal trophy to go with it.  Thinking that was it for the day and feeling more than a little chuffed with my first ever modelling win I then had another very pleasant surprise.  Unbeknown to me at the time, the event also has a Best In Show category which is determined by electing an overall winner from all the individual winning categories.  I’m not often lost for words but I was on this occasion when I heard my name called out.

All in all a great day.




There is a post script to this story though.

As much as I was pleased on a personal level I was also delighted with the recognition of the scale.  My experience to date is a little limited as I have only been to about a dozen shows but typically 28mm/32mm scale doesn’t get a look in.  Considered understandably to some extent as War Gaming scale it rarely has a chance up against the far more popular scales of 1/32nd or 1/35th which dominate every competition category.  Strike one for the mini figs! Category winners, again in my limited experience, invariably seem to come from the WW2 genre so a Wizard win was also something of shock too.  Strike two for mini figs fantasy genre!

So, why did this one win?   That’s a question I’ve asked myself a few times since the show.  Obviously it would be great to repeat a winning formula but that is easier said than done.  Personally I think its success on the day was simply down to the fact that it was different but hey, who cares?


What Next?

UK Local Elections followed by …

UK European Elections followed by …

The Blacksmiths Arms Survey.


What next?


This Week TIM has been listening to …

… Madness and One Step Beyond.

I do like a bit of Madness from time to time and this track is a personal favorite.  There is a reason.

I love my football (soccer), have done since the age of about 5 when my dad took me to my first match.  Coming from south west London we are a family of Chelsea fans.  I wont bore you with football tales, of which there are many, this is a modelling blog after all and I’m guessing most of you have little or no interest in the game.  The track however is very popular amongst us Chelsea fans and never more so than last week when we won the UEFA cup.

At this point you are free to boo and hiss!


This week TIM has been watching …

… The Shawshank Redemption.

It’s been a while since I watched this one but whenever I do it never fails to impress.  Simply an excellent film.

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Until next time.





The Wizard Library – 28mm Box Diorama (Part 3 – Final)

I actually managed to get this little boxed diorama finished at the end of last week, just in time for the Torquay show (more on that in next weeks Miniatures and Musings post).  The good news is you have been spared another a detailed “work in progress” only post.  The bad news is I forgot to take some photo’s off the assembly before it went inside the box.  The consequence of this is that the photo’s taken looking inside the box have some unwanted glare and reflections.  What you do see though is the view as finally intended.

At the end of “Part 2” I was left with a number of things to do.  The figures had yet to be painted, some outstanding scenery items needed painting as well and the electrics had not been done.  Even more worrying was the need to complete the overall assembly.  Now there is a little known rule associated with diorama building and I’m sure Pat will confirm this.  No matter how much you test pieces for fit and accuracy before final assembly you can bet your house on it that it wont go together the way you intended the moment you fucking add glue!  This little number was no exception but a little tweak here and there and I just about got away with it in the end.

First up we have a few more work in progress shots.

This first photo is of the inlaid roof.  Wooden rafters were attached to a suitably sized square of MDF which was then painted.  The LED lights were then added.  The angle of view into the box coupled with the rafters doesn’t allow for the LED’s to be seen.


Next up we have a first view of the wizard and his apprentice.  This was an early photo taken at the time when I was working on composition.  The figures are from Reaper.


Up next we have a couple of images of the two bookcases which are sighted at the rear of the room along with the wizard’s desk and chair.


Wizard and apprentice now painted but the side table still to be finished.


An early test fit of the sides and rear walls.


The finished electrics for the wiring.  A simple battery operated system with an on/off switch.  All concealed by the lid of the box.


The lid of the box actually contains another vision panel.  This needed to be covered up and was done using some thick black card, the type they use for mounts in picture frames, and the diorama title and narrative were added.


Next we have a few pictures of the wizard and his book stand in the lead up to the final push.


So now we come to the finished diorama.

First a basic shot of the box.  For scale the box is a perfect cube measuring 16cm on all sides.


An overhead view of inside the box with the lid up and the ceiling removed.


The remaining photo’s were all taken looking through the front vision panel, the intend view of the completed diorama.  The aim, which I think I have achieved, was to make sure everything could be seen without something else getting in the way.  Without the lights on the box is dark.  The lights, given the background scene, are intended to provide early morning sun rise light.

Hopefully the pictures will allow you to get the idea but as I mentioned at the start, glare and reflection do take the edge of it a bit.


So there you have it, The Wizard’s Library.  In the next post I will let you know how I got on at the Torquay show.


TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 2)

Welcome to this weeks edition of Miniatures and Musings!


TIM’s Mid Week Miniature

This weeks mini is Blanche from Hasslefree Miniatures.

Now I don’t know how many of you believe in reincarnation but for those of you who do it might interest you to know this figure is based on a real women I dated in a past life. According to the therapist who undertook my hypnotherapy I was by all accounts to hot for her to handle.

John at Just Needs Varnish was disappointed by last weeks post, he thought the word “miniatures” in the title was a reference to small bottles of whisky. Never one to disappoint my audience the last photo is just for you John!

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Torquay Model Show

On Saturday I went to the Torquay model show, my first show of the year.  Next week when I have a little more time (hopefully) I will include a proper review.  Meanwhile treat this as a teaser and try not to get to excited!


Lord Flash

Every now and then along comes a figure that in my humble opinion no miniature collection would be compete without. Such a figure is Lord Flash.  The figure is limited to 500 castings and mine is number 192. So cool is this figure that I think I will have to buy another couple before they sell out.

The figure is by Giants in Miniature and was purchased through North Star at a cost of £3.50 plus postage.  I have added a YouTube clip to wet your appetite further.  Now just go and buy one.  You know you want to!



Random Questions

I suspect we have all been put in the position where from out of the blue someone asks a totally random question to which they want an answer. My most recent example of this phenomenon came from my daughter last week. There I was sitting at my desk painting away when she asked “Dad, after so many years of marriage why do you still call mum darling, beautiful or sweet heart?”. I wasn’t entirely sure how to answer that question at first but in the end settled for telling her the truth. “Well, I completely forgot her name five years ago and I’ve been to scared to ask her ever since”.

Not sure she believed me but she went away happy.


This week TIM has been listening to …

… Gold Radio.

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Gold Radio is a digital station which plays music from the 60′, 70′ and 80’s and with very little interruption from either adverts or DJ’s. It allows me to sing a long and wallow in nostalgia. On a good day it helps to switch off from all the shit in the world.


This week TIM has been watching …

… Rocket Man.

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Went to the cinema on Sunday with With She who Thinks She Must Be Obeyed Too to see the Elton John Biopic.  Having been working so hard for her GCSE exams she needed a break and was keen to see it.  We had gone to see Bohemian Rhapsody a while back which she enjoyed so we hoped for more of the same, allowing for the  obvious differences of course.

Our joint verdict as we drove home was that the film was OK but not a patch on Bo Rhap. (get me, Bo Rhap, that’s what comes from hanging out with the kids!)  Elton has had a very colourful life and his music is great so all the ingredients were there for telling a remarkable story.  Unfortunately the director took these quality ingredients and served up a shit pie.  Enjoyable but more like Mama Mia than Bo Rhap. It could have been so much more.

Win some, lose some.


Until next time.


Tomb Stoned – A 28mm Old West Diorama (Part 1)


Last November I went on my first ever visit to the Telford show.  In a brief write up afterwards I mentioned that one of the many things I came home with was a very large display case which set me back the bargain price of £50.00.


My plan was and still is to put together an Old Western Town diorama featuring half a dozen buildings and a good number of figures.  For sometime now I have been trying to decide just what to do and although I still have no detailed plan I am clear on a few things.  With that in mind I decided I would make a start and, like all the dioramas I have ever done, I will figure a lot of it out as I go along.

So, a couple of things to note before getting into some detail.  Firstly, the title for this diorama is a working one.  I have no idea right now what to actually call it.  Maybe this title will stick, we will see.  Secondly, this diorama is going to be a marathon.  If it doesn’t extend into a 100 posts I will be amazed so this is going to be a long ride for all of us!  However fear not.  There is no way I will be dedicated to this without deviating from time to time to do something else.  All things being well there will be lots of other posts to break things up a bit.

Now let’s get started.

Building No: 1 – Blacksmiths & Livery Stable

Of one thing I was certain, this diorama was and is is going to feature a blacksmiths/livery stable.  The question I had to answer was do I completely scratch build something like I did way back when I did this building …


… or do I buy an MDF kit and pimp it?

Before answering that question I decided to take a look at what buildings were out there.  After checking out the manufactures I knew and others I found from more searching, I once again settled on Sarissa Precision (I suspect I will use Blotz for all the other buildings I do).  Sarissa had a Dutch Barn which I didn’t like and a Livery Stable which looked nice but was just too big for the case.  In the end it was the Blacksmiths building which caught my eye.  At a cost £20.00 it was a no brainer so I made the decision to “pimp”, made the purchase and a few days later this is what I got.


Now followers of this blog might remember that I have a love hate relationship with MDF.  I love the precision fit but I hate the flat finish even when it has been neatly etched.  It’s personal but there you are.  In fairness I struggle to get the depth on flat surfaces that others can achieve with their painting so adding texture overcomes the problem for me.  It does require a lot of effort though.  Still that is what I do.

A study of the bits revealed that assembly would be relatively straight forward and also highlighted what I needed to do.  The etched brick work has to go as does the etched boarding as well.  The flat interior will have to be addressed and the roof needs to be tiled.  Signage is something I need to get my head around and I will need to make a decision before too long as to what figures and accessories to acquire before I get to carried away.  They need to be incorporated into the assembly before hand and not afterwards.

What figures to buy is still an issue I need to resolve.  I have two preferred suppliers for the old west.  Kuckleduster are far superior to Dixon miniatures but Dixon’s produce wagons and a stage coach whereas  Knucleduster don’t, well not so far.  The obvious thing would be to use a combination of both suppliers but Knuckleduster figures are heroic scale and Dixon’s are more like 25mm.  I appreciate people come in different shapes and sizes but this difference in scale just doesn’t work for me.  As things currently stand I am erring on Knuckleduster and hoping the figures and accessories will continue to expand over the life time of this project.  Time will tell.

In any event I have made a start.


The fire/furnace and chimney has been put together and as you can see I have begun to clad the assembled piece with individual bricks.  The bricks are a red mix from Juweela and are 1:48 scale.  They match perfectly with the etched MDF so just a case of sticking down whole and half bricks in line with the etched pattern and finishing of with some filler to any gaps afterwards.  I reckon 500 bricks should do it!  That’s me sorted for the next week.

Might even listen to IRO’s podcast while I’m at it!





TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 1)

After a certain amount of deliberation I have decided to rebrand The News at TIMMid Week Musings.  It’s no big deal and to some extent very little has changed but as I mentioned in last weeks Musings, I felt the need for some minor changes and as such it felt like a good idea to reflect that in the title of the post.

So, welcome to the first of TIM’s Miniatures & Musings!

So what has actually changed?  Well for this post and probably every subsequent one not a great deal other than I now plan to include a completed miniature in every post.  The thing is a short while ago I made significant change to my modelling, a return to single figure painting albeit in 28mm scale instead of 54mm.  I’m still doing my vignettes and dioramas and these will be the feature of my Saturday posts but with no real outlet for the single figures I am doing, and not much to say about them either, I thought I would give them some feature space of their own.  So, without further ado let’s move on to …

TIM’S Mid Week Miniature

As this is the first post I thought I would kick us off with a double bill, two figure by Crooked Dice.  They actually come as a pair under the title “Best of Enemies”.  Clearly modeled on the characters James Bond and  Ernst Blofeld.  Wonderfully sculptured figures in my opinion and a joy to paint.  The only minor thing of note was using black gloss paint to highlight the seem on Bond’s DJ trousers (barely visible in the photos annoyingly!)  I can’t remember the last time I used a gloss paint that wasn’t metallic.

For the final photo I dug out my copy of Casino Royal from my complete set of Bond books (The centenary additions with fantastic artwork on all the covers) and my old Corgi diecast Aston Martin DB5, clearly not to scale!

I guess you either love Bond or you don’t.  I guess I’m drawn to him because of the similarities between us!



Time zones

Despite having spent most of my working life employed by an international bank and being aware of when the world woke up and when I could expect to make that all important phone call, I find the concept of time zones hard to get my head around.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the science of the earths rotation and day and night but I struggle to comprehend that while I’m getting up in the UK to begin a new day some of you in Australia are about to go to bed while my American friends are all tucked up nice and warm and still fast a sleep.

The idea that I can be eating my porridge and knocking back my first caffeine fix of the day while corresponding with IRO, Pat or Azazel who have been to work, had their tea, watched TV, converted and painted a figure or two and who are now sitting in their PJ’s having cleaned their teeth in readiness to go to bed is a little weird.  Meanwhile the likes of  Mark in America are tucked up in bed oblivious to it all.


Thought for the week?

Have you ever wondered why …

… the time of day with the slowest traffic is called the rush hour?


This week TIM has been watching …

… Kick Ass the movie.

The foreground features the superhero Kick-Ass in his green and yellow costume. Against a black background the words KICK-ASS are written in yellow block capitals.

Having mentioned in a recent post that I had never seen the film I manged to get hold of a brand new copy on DVD and sat and watched it with my daughter.  I wasn’t disappointed and loved the Banana Splits scene.  I suspect the sequel wont be as good but we will watch it on Netflix anyway.


This week TIM has been listening to …

… Oasis and Morning Glory.

I like a lot of Oasis tracks but this one, mainly because I like the intro, is a particular favourite.  Just such a shame that the Gallagher brothers come across as such a couple of twats.


Until next time.






Sisters of Anarchy – A 28mm Diorama

This is the second of three in my mini series under the very lose genre title, Apocalypse.  In my own mind I kind of thought I needed to group them together and this is the best I could come up with.  What’s in a name anyway?

So what do we have here?

Well what we have are two Hasslefree figures, both with a bit of attitude.  The observant of you who follow this blog will recognise the larger figure on the right.  This is the same figure I used in my recently named “Get out of my fucking room!” diorama.  As previously mentioned I just love this figure which just happens to come in three variations.  This is the second and the third option is for the figure to have a wand in the right hand and a spell book in the other.  For now at least I cannot see myself doing that one.

Inspired by the Sex Pistols I decided to go down an anarchy themed route and set the figures against a graffiti daubed wooden fence.  As a minor tribute I added the album cover and the words “Never Mind The Bollocks …”  The graffiti was free hand and is OK while the little piece of wire fence to the right was made from the plastic mesh that garlic cloves come in from the supermarket.

Not a great deal more to say so on to the photo’s which begin with a few work in progress shots.












The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 52)

Welcome to this weeks Musings!


It’s Just a Number

As you can see from the title this is Mid Week Musing number 52.  The number suggests that this post represents the completion of one years worth of dross published by me under this heading.  In reality the first Mid Week Musing post went live on the 28th February last year.  There have been, as some of you will know, a few Mid Week Musings Specials and it is these posts which have thrown the numeric sequence out of line with the calendar year.

I thought I would mention this as I would hate for you all to go to a great expense by showering me with birthday gifts when the money could be spent more wisely on figures and accessories for your own collection.  That said, if you insist on some form of financial gift then I would respectfully suggest a modest donation to “TIM Aid”, a charity I set up to help old people get their leg over more regularly by funding trips to Amsterdam’s red light district.

In anticipation …


Time Gentlemen Please!

Historically a pub landlord would make this pronouncement at closing time and follow it up by ushering out his the last remaining customers.  I say historically, for all I know outside of my village it might still happen but the publican at the Blacksmiths Arms does not adhere to such rules, which is how my mate John and I came to still be in there drinking at half past midnight on Monday.

So why were we there and on a Monday of all days of the week?  Well the answer is a simple one, Monday evening was the first meeting of the newly elected Wankville Parish Council and following three hours of complete boredom it became apparent that alcohol in vast quantities was required.

I know I have only  myself to blame for my personal involvement but the challenge which lays before me must be met head on as daunting as the prospect is.  To provide some perspective about five minutes were spent discussing a highly contentious planning application and forty five minutes on whether or not the council should spend £50.00 paying to have the grass cut at the church cemetery.

On the positive side of things I will undoubtedly spend more time modelling.  It has always been my release to frustration.  As things stand at the moment I will either improve my skills as a painter and modeller or I will become a alcoholic serial killer.  Betting in my household has currently been suspended.


Mid Week Miniature

When I started Mid Week Musings over a year ago my aim was to maintain a modelling focus no matter how tenuous the link might be.  Whilst listing what I have been watching and listening to roughly ticks the box (as they operate in parallel while I am modelling and painting), the fact is some of my more recent posts are of me on my political soap box.  I am not happy about this but the simple truth is I am finding it harder to keep things model related simply because I am running out of ideas and incidents.

To this end I have decided that next week I am going to introduce Mid Week Miniature.

Is this the end of Mid Week Musings?  No, sorry!

The Mid Week Miniature will either be a feature within Mid Week Musings when I have something of a Musings nature to add or it might just be a short post in its own right.  My regular Saturday post will continue to mainly centre around the diorama based work that I like to do.

I suspect I will still include the odd soap box piece too.  Let’s face it, I’m getting older and grumpier and I’ve got to let it out somewhere.  The kids aren’t interested, SWMBO simply ignores me and I have it on good authority that kicking the dog isn’t legal (it’s a joke, it’s a joke – no dogs were hurt in typing this sentence OK!)


This week TIM has been watching …

… A Few Good Men, starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore.

Not a new film by any means but I do like Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson and when it comes to Court Room dramas they don’t come a lot better than this one.

Image result for a few good men


This week TIM has been listening to …

… Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel.

One of my all time favourite records.  Back in the day I saw them play at the Winning Post in Twickenham just a few miles from where I used to live in Feltham.  Listening to it evokes so many memories of a time gone by.


Until next time.


The Wizard Library – 28mm Box Diorama (Part 2)

At long last I managed to get some more work done on this boxed diorama.

While I worked out where I was with the project and what needed to be done next I decided to stain the wooden box.  Nothing exciting in this at all but it needed to be done and allowed me to think about other things at the same time.  Real multi-tasking.  Try not to be blown away by the two photo’s below!


My next step was get the back wall painted.  Again nothing special, just grey paint, shading and dry brushing on top of the chinchilla dust render.  The wooden coffee stirrers were stained too.


The same colour scheme was used for the right hand wall.  The pillar was a simple piece of split wooden dowel with a rubber washer plinth at the bottom. The door was a bought item and the shield above the door was a computer print out.  The shield crest is that of Arthur Pendragon which is apt as will become known when the diorama is finished.


Focus then passed to the left hand wall.  The fireplace was another bought item as were the candlesticks and various bits and bobs which sit on the mantle piece.

I decided the wall looked bare and need some interest and some colour.  To remedy this I chose to make a few “Oil Paintings”.  The pictures themselves were printed on the computer but all the images are of figures which I have painted, mostly  by Reaper.


Next it was time to concentrate on some of the many bits and pieces which will be placed in and around the room.


So that’s pretty much where I am for now.

I have a couple of bookcases to finish painting along with a couple of figures.  The lighting needs to be sorted and I still need to keep an eye on how it will all be assembled in the box.

Plenty of fiddly stuff still to do so not sure yet if the next post will be another work in progress or the completed diorama.  I will also be taking time out to finish another little project I have been working on which may end up being my next post.