Monday, 23 April 2012


Yep - as well as the Hobby List decision made in the previous post I have made a further one.....

That was to NOT buy a consol of any kind but, instead, to buy bicycles for my wife and myself.  There are a lot of cycle trails around my home town of Leicester and as we attend the gym 3 times (or more) a week it seemed a good idea to take our fitness into a Real World environment where we can have further Fun!
So we now have a Hybrid bike each and spent a few hours yesterday bouncing around canal towpaths and getting saddle sores :)
We passed and met a lot of other cyclists on the way and we were amazed at the camaraderie and friendly politeness of them.  Not to forget to mention various types of delightful canines being taken for walks by their owners.
It was another world - no sense of rush.  Just people enjoying themselves, their bikes, families and their pets ... much better than an Xbox, PS3 or a handheld.....

Monday, 16 April 2012


My Xbox 360 died during the last week!
My dillema is what to do about it.  I have a few options - get a new Xbox, a PS3 or a PS Vita.  There are pros and cons for each and I *think* I have ruled out getting a Vita due to the lack of decent games coming out for it - seems they didnt learn from the lesson of the PSP!
I like the "free blue ray" drive of the PS3 but I already have a few games for the Xbox.  Then again I like the look of the "Uncharted" games for the PS3 .....

Oh well - I think I will be strong and not get either for a while until I have caught up with my PC gaming.  I have quite a few games part finished for the PC and I do like downloading mods for them as that extends the life of them and, usually, improves them.

Instead I will feed my "need to spend on something" urge by buying a Proxxon Mini Router (a power tool not an internet accessory).  I am also toying with building and furnishing a Dolls House.  I would make the furniture etc myself of course and the Mini Router would work wonders (and save time) with doing that.
If I do go the dolls house way then something else will have to be shelved for the moment.  That would probably be the  "Old Western Town" which I would reduce to a couple of dioramas instead.

I could do with another lifetime again .... anyone have a time machine?

So - indecision at the moment.  I could, of course, get an Xbox, PS3, Vita and a Mini Router ....
I have a great and understanding wife so spending on it all wouldnt cause any problems in that area.  However it would cause problems with time management for all the things I have on.

Hmm lets make a list:-

Old West Town, Cowboy Miniatures etc
Haunted House
Warhammer Kits and Figures
Diorama with a French Guillotine (and probably several dungeon dioramas with instruments of torture)
Dolls House
Dolls House Furnishings
PC Game
Consol Games
Work around the house (including removing fitted carpets and installing laminated wooden flooring throughout)
I also dabble in things like Counted Cross Stitch, Pyrography, Wood Turning.  The latter 2 can be incorporated into the dioramas and Dolls House/Haunted House of course.

There are a few more things but the above are the main ones.

Yep - looking at that I really do need to cut down on things. Its my usual "jack of all trades and master of none syndrome!
OK ..... I will shelve the Old West Town for now and the consol game playing.  That will allow me more time to devote to things in my "Man Cave" (which is spread over 2 bedrooms).  I really must finish the Haunted House and the 2 Warhammer kits first.  Once they are done I can then decide between the Western Town and the Dolls House.
Yep - thats it!! :-

PC Gaming only for the time being
Warhammer Kits
Haunted House
Laminated Flooring in my Real House.

Well that looks a lot better and should suit better time wise.  I dont like working in my Den while the wife is home so I mostly go there whilst she is at her part time job  (She is quite a bit younger than me and likes her job).

Good thats it then - decision made!!   ..... for now .... I hope .....

.... we shall see

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Images follow of the boxes of the products I purchased.

They have both been out a while but I like them and they look good to paint.

I have started on the Chapel and have erected it to the point of being ready for a primer and painting.  The image following shows the erected Chapel and the bits lying around will be put on once everything is painted - it will be easier that way.
There are more pieces supplied as alternatives but they are in my "stash" ready to be cannibalised/modified/used in other projects I may do.  Always nice to have alternatives.

These will be slow builds because I have other irons in the fire such as my Haunted House.  I am also working on a little diorama built around a guillotine.  That diorama and the guillotine will be scratch built.
I have already got the background started and the image below shows that.  The diorama will be built into a box and will show the guillotine in early morning light.  The light will be provided by a small dollshouse bulb to make the diorama look as spooky as possible.

The white block is simply to hold the piece up for the camera.  

Dont be afraid to comment :)


Well we visited Games Workshop World and have to report it isnt as big as it looks on the website.

Most space is taken up by the Gaming Hall - which doesnt really interest me as I burnt out on that type of wargaming years ago.  I am simply building and painting for personal satisfaction.

However the displays in glass cabinets are excellent.  The work is of the highest quality and can be inspirational or off putting depending on the kind of person you are.  Me - I found inspiration especially with some of the cased and boxed dioramas.

The shop there is rather small.  It includes a couple of gaming tables and shelves of "stuff" round the sides.  However the shelves are poorly lit (especially the bottom couple of rows) and it is dificult to see when searching for a particular product.  In the end we gave up and got the shop assistant to fetch them for us.
  They guarantee to supply any Game Workshop product you require.  If they havent got it on the (poorly liit) shelves then they will get it straight from the onsite warehouse within 3 hours.  Good service.  Did I mention the poorly lit shelves?

The "pub" there is large and they do meals which are of a reasonable price given that they cater for a "captive" customer.  It was hot, well prepared and served with a smile - great to see :)  The souvenir shop is in the Pub and, predictably, the prices are a tad high.  Example a pocket watch (which I had my eye on before going) had a nice engraving of the pub emblem on the front and looked good under the lights.  However I could have got the same watch without engraving for about £10.  The price of the engraved watch? - £30!!  Now I aint tight but for £30 I can get a much better quality wind up watch, with age, tastefully engraved at Melton Mowbray antiques market.

It was a nice visit though - dont get me wrong - and we came away with some good stuff.  My daughter shows hers on her Blog here:-


I will show my purchases in another post.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Monday 2nd April will be going to Nottingham on a "Hobby Day Out" with my daughter.

We will be visiting The Foundry miniature shop, Hobbycraft and Game Workshop Headquarters.

The Games Workshop on Lenton Lane will be particularly interesting as it is much more than just a normal GW shop.  Some information is here:-

Museum and Workshop

We will probably buy several large pieces from GW and look forward to the visit.

Will post pics of any pieces I buy of course :)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Following are images of the finished Garden of Morr.

Once my daughter receives it she may decide to add her own little touches along with her figures - we will wait and see :)

You will notice that the vegetation inside the Garden is almost all dead- just a scattering of moss and the odd weed.  That, of course, is the influence of the Undead that occupy the site.....

This is the first major piece of Games Workshop plastic stuff that I have ever made.  I must admit it was fun and I learnt quite a lot from doing it.  I will probably do a Tower or something from GW later.  In the meantime I am going to resume working on the Haunted House building, which is much larger, and start on the Old West Town.

I was going to feature the Town on its own website but have come to the conclusion that a Blog lends itself more to this kind of "serial builds" than a website would.  So the Old West Town will have its own Blog.

I will, of course, link to that Blog from here once I have something to show.

Any critique would be most welcome ... please ...

A Daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend...


OK - I am still alive and well.  Just dragging my feet a little.

The Garden is finished and I will put up an image later before it goes to my daughter so she can pose her figures with it.

At the moment I am working on producing an olde American west town with appropriate figures (circa 1860s).  That is taking a while as I am experimenting with different methods of building construction.  The scale will be 1/50 to match the average figures available.  I have almost decided on the method to use.

However I am not too happy with using a Blogg for the project as bloggs are a little restrictive.  I am therefore brushing up on my HTML.  If I can remember/relearn enough then I will probably make a website for the Cowboy project.  My interest is more with Cowboy figures than with Fantasy ones so a website makes sense to me.  I will, however, still dabble with Fantasy builds and will be buying some of their good stuff in a couple of weeks time when my daughter and I take a trip to Nottinghams Foundry and Games Workshop.

Hmm - there are some very good Old West buildings on this Blog :- 

If I can manage something of that quality then I will be a happy man!

A Daughter may outgrow your lap but never your heart .....

Friday, 24 February 2012


I have been getting hits from people using google and searching for "warhammer scale".  As I mentioned the problem with scale in an earlier post and that is coming up in searches I thought I would elaborate a little on the actual scale I am using for all miniatures that are sold as anything from 28mm to 30mm.
If you have a look here:-
Size differences
You will see that there are differences across most companies making miniatures although they are (mostly) advertising as 28mm.  That is because some are using 28mm as the height to the eyes, some to the top of their heads and others to the top of their hats.  Not very useful for scratch builders eh?

For things like rubble, tiles, bricks then the 1:48 scale can be used.  If you are using railway terrain then their "0" scale will suffice.  However the actual scale against 28mm is around 1:64.... which is 3/16th of an inch to a foot.  That is approx 4.8mm to a foot.

Now I am not using less than a millimetre in any measurement so I use 5 or 6 millimetres to a foot depending on which miniatures I am building for.  Some variance in buildings is no big deal - it happens in RL too.  Just make sure the miniature fits through the doorway in a realistic way and then use the doorway as the scale setter for the rest of the building.

Hope that helps a little.;  I know that there are some in depth discussions out there but thought I would just cut to the chase and give the solution I use.

Let me know if it helps - if it doesn't then go join the in depth discussions ..... while you are arguing I will be building .....

To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


Ok - so I have neglected this Garden of Morr project for a week or so.  Thats because I dont need to have it ready until the 18th March.  That is the date of "Miniatura" - (  My daughter is picking me up and we are both going to that event.  I aim to give her the completed Garden then and she can introduce her Undead to it.

I know that Miniatura is really a dolls house event but there will be a good few exhibitors selling materials etc that we can make use of - besides its a good day out with my "little girl" :)

Instead of working on the Garden I have been experimenting with an old idea of mine.  Years ago I started to build an Olde America West town (around 1850 - wild west era).  Eventually I dumped it as figures were hard to come by in the UK then and an empty town I didnt want!  Nowadays the figures are easy to obtain and are great with good accuracy and high detail.  Also the building material needed is also cheaper and more easily sourced.

I have purchased cowboy figures from Black Scorpion and Wargamesfoundry so that I can get the scale of the buildings correct.  The figures from Black Scorpion are resin and the ones from the Foundry metal.  Both are reasonably priced but the Black Scorpion order took twice as long as the Foundry one.  They blamed being "incredibly busy" for the long delay.  Well I will help them out by not ordering from them again!

The Old West construction will be featured on another Blog but this week I will be finishing the Garden project.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


As I said - just a little interlude and very quick and simple to make.  I reckon it turned out OK though.  It certainly gave me some fun anyway :)

I managed to creep a little closer and took a nearer image - shhh - dont waken him....

The ground is just a fine sandpaper with a coarser sand and small grit dropped onto it.

The bricks are individually cut from Cork Sheet and stuck to foam board in a "not too precise" manner.  A little tedious but, I think, better than scribing bricks into foam.

Anyway - relief over, now back to the main model......

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Quite a while ago I bought quite a few figurines from a car boot sale.  I stripped all the paint off and repainted them.  Then put them away and forgot about them.

Today I was musing in my chair (I muse a lot) and for some reason an image came into my mind of a Bear sunbathing (!) at the seaside.

Then I remembered that one of the little figurines was a bear lying on a beach .... I quickly drew a sketch of the scene I had conjured up then went to my den to see if I could bring it to life.

The following image is the bear bones (groan at the pun if you like) of the vignette with the promenade wall and the steps leading up from the beach.  The bear is nice and cosy and comfortable lying on the sand - or will be when it is finished :)

This is just a fairly quick and, to me, amusing little piece that will give me some relief from the seriousness of the Garden of Morr.

More images as it takes shape....


The extra perimeter walls are now completed..

These were made by using the impress moulds with DAS air drying clay.  They have back and front sections each of 2mm width.  In between I have sandwiched 3mm Foamboard.  The spikes are painted a dirty silver made from cocktail sticks deliberatly clipped at varying sizes.  These are inserted into holes drilled into the wooden wall top.

The above is just a sample of the ones I have made.  They will all need highlighting and finishing with vegetation etc once the baseboard is done and ready to accept them.

Just the Tombs to paint now and then I can start to assemble the whole board.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Just checking in!

Been a little busy the last few days.  Needed a little more elbow room in my den as it was a little too chaotic and cramped for the projects I intend to do.

Moved my light tent setup to another room as the footprint for it is quite large for something that is only used for a few minutes at a time.  So I now have my woodlathe, associated tools and wood etc, plus the light tent setup, in a small box room and everything else in my daughters old room.  (Mind you - I would vacate it in a heartbeat if she had to return home for any reason).

Moving the photo setup gave me a good 6 feet (multiply that by 12 for inches if you don't use "feet") by 3 feet space.  That has given me another workspace on the right of my original workdesk that I will use for "clean" work (plans, marking out, pyrography etc) and the original desk will be used for painting, airbrushing gluing etc - all accessible by swinging my high back leather pedestal chair around - luxury!

My small wood working machines are on my left hand side and easily accessible with another, smaller, swivel chair.

I have also ordered, and received, some more impress moulds in 1/48 scale.  This is more like the Games Workshop 28mm models and also some 30mm models I will be doing later ... but that will be another Blog.

I bought the impress moulds from the following link.  This is the second order from Malcolm and the delivery and service is spot on ... recommended:-

So - now we are up-to-date and my next task is to build the extra walls for the perimeter fence using the impress moulds.

Sunday, 22 January 2012


I have finished painting the boundary fences and walls for the time being.  Just like the Statue and Mausoleums there will be more to do after the design of the base etc is finalised.  For instance - observant viewers will have noted that the "footings" of the walls and fences have just been left grey and unadorned for the moment.  The finish of those will depend on the base.

I have only posted images of 2 fence/wall pieces as they are very alike.  Later pics will, of course, show more :)

I have not made the scratch wall pieces needed for the expansion of the footprint yet.  I want to get the GW bits painted first before I move on to the rougher brushes for the base etc.

Oh yes - and before the Undead move in weeds will be planted to make them feel at home (Thanks Jim

The next job will be the Tombs.  They could be placed under the Mausoleums and form their bases but I felt it would be a waste.  I am therefore treating them as stand alone tombs.

I haven't given much thought to the exact design yet.  I will probably follow my nose and instincts when all the pieces are ready.  However, I will most likely use the Bronze Statue as the centre and have the rest radiating out from it - we shall see.

So - onward and upward.

Go to bed with a smile ........ and wake up happy in the morning.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Have finished painting another piece of the kit - the gate.

This is particularly gruesome being adorned with both real and stone skulls and dead and dying roses.

Enter here all who fear no evil - because there is plenty inside!

Gate - Front View

Rear View

Hope to get another couple of pieces done tomorrow.  It is Gym day tomorrow (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) but I reckon I can fit something in.

Nice to see a couple of Followers - feel free to comment and critique as I am learning as I go.

Monday, 16 January 2012


Have done the 3 Mausoleums and have tried for the darkish, part neglected and weather worn look - see what you think:-

3 Mausoleums

The Stench of the Old, Death and Decay

Whilst these are finished for the moment there are still jobs to do on them once I have built a base for the Diorama.

Some of the things are moss (I need to know which way the buildings face first of course), windblown leaves etc.

It should be noted that the actual shade of the spikes etc are not as bright as the images show - the lights I use for my light tent cause that.  It isnt such a big problem that the solution cannot wait a while though.

I am enjoying building and painting this set.  There are quite a few ways to approach it which makes it interesting for me.

The next job is the fence/gates pieces.  Then the 3 Tombs which will NOT be covered by the Mausoleums.  Then I will need to add scratch stone walling to the fences and design and build the Diorama baseboard.  Lots to do yet :)

A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's - That's because she changes it more often.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


Didnt do much today.  It was weekly shop day and by the time we got back I wasnt really up for painting detail.  Therefore I just did the base coats and drybrushing to get the overall Dirty look on all the objects.  Pics tomorrow.

I dont really do much in my Den at weekends as dont like leaving wifey sitting on her own too long.  Weekdays are better for me as she works part time and I have the house to myself (well it beats doing the housework!)

Imagine how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges....


Friday, 13 January 2012


Not much done today.  I usually work on my models whilst my wife is away at work.  However today was one of my Gym days and wifey comes with me so, as I dont like leaving her alone whilst I am in my Den, it was a Rest Day.  I did manage to build and paint a base coat on the mausoleums and  gave them a black wash but nothing else.  I did that between 6am and going to the Gym at 8am.

I have decided to treat the tombs that form the base of the mausoleums as separate from them.  That way I can make the diorama quite a bit bigger and I will probably link the present railings with sections of scratch built stone walls so that they will stretch around the enlargement.

There will therefore be the statue and plinth, 3 mausoleums, 3 tombs and the combined railings and scratch walls.


I played a bit more with Anno 2070 and, despite the forums still being down, I now feel as though I am "getting it".  In fact a light bulb suddenly turned on and I can  see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am hoping that the forum, when/if it appears next week, will host a decent Tree of Technology - that would help a lot.


Children brighten a home - they never turn the lights out....

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Hurray!! my new paints arrived today.  I have used Vellajo paints in the past and have a fondness for them. I therefore decided to use them from the start this time.
I ordered a set of 40 from DRUM AND FLAG on Ebay and was very pleased with the service.  I will most certainly buy from there again.

Had to redo my Desk Tidy to fit the paints:-

The pots on the top shelf are fixed with woodscrews.  The next shelf carries small measuring tools, cocktail sticks, cotton buds, a couple of paint washes and a small measuring cup.
The paints sit in their own round depression in the shelf for stability.  There are a few spare spaces but it will be easy to extend the shelving if needed.
Under the bottom shelf are a few fine grade sandpaper blocks.
The block at the front of the Desk Tidy I use for gluing and painting.  It saves getting the self healing cutting mats soiled.

So that was todays work .... tomorrow it is Gym day but I should get a little painting done.  I have primed the pieces already.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Decided to paint the statue itself as a Bronze figure.  Used a black wash for the shadows and then a slightly stickier green wash to represent verdigris.  That doesnt appear via the camera very well but does in the "flesh".  Quite pleased with that.

Mixed a kind of bleached and weathered bone shade and did the skulls.

Then I did the dead and dying roses bushes (or whatever they are) and then gave a few "dirty" washes over all the statue and plinth.
Not too sure about any highlighting - the bronze of the statue shows ok - so will have a think about that for tomorrow.  Any hints are welcome :)

Clicking on an image will enlarge it :)

Statue and Plinth

Statue and Verigris

Bit sad that my new paints didnt arrive but I will tuck into a Curly Wurly and cheer myself up!

Havent used any gravel/grass etc on the base itself yet.  That will be done when ALL the Garden is completed and I add a base for it all.

More tomorrow....

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


Materials needed for the House arrived yesterday.  I am now able to complete the roof parts.
I de-sprued and cleaned up the parts of the "Gardens of Morr".  To my great surprise there was no "flash" at all - a great improvement in the moulds since I last touched Warhammer models.  All that was need was a smoothing of the areas where the mouldings had been attached to the sprue.  That was accomplished with a Mora wood carving knife (razor sharp) and a small wood rasp.

There are 5 distinct parts to the Model and I placed the parts for them into separate boxes to avoid mistooks and errors ..... (translation - I dont want any Senior Moments!).

As the Crypts and Chapel have windows and doors that can be seen through it will be necessary to paint the insides of them - including the detailing on the floors and tombs.

I have decided to paint one part at a time.  I never did like "batch" painting and this way I get some fruits of my labours sooner.

Have started with the Statue and Plinth as that will be the quickest to do and will reward me faster.  I first primed it with a mid grey from my airbrush.  Using the airbrush gives me a thinner coat and helps retain the deeper details.  The reason for mid grey is that, although the model overall will not be bright, there are vines and roseheads on the Plinth.  I will use a dark green and dark red for those and then a dark wash.

The Statue itself will probably be painted an aged bronze.  I will practice on a sprue piece first to see if I can get the effect I want.

I tend to keep some sprue pieces as they can be made into battlefield wreckage, building adornments etc by carving and warming/bending.

So that was it for yesterday.  Today I need to get some Acrylic paints (I gave my old Citadel ones to my daughter).  I will NOT be getting the Citadel ones as the coverage they give is not really good enough for the scratch Buildings etc that I usually do.  I also prefer the Dropper Top bottles such as Vallejo as precise colour mixing is easier to do.  For example: 3 drops of white to 1 drop of red gives a certain shade of pink.  If I want that shade again then I mix it the same.

The paint I mix doesnt dry out as I use a Wet Palette.  You can buy them but they are easy enough to make and I have several small containers to use as wet palletes.  I used to put 3 or 4 mixes into one long box but found that they intermingled too easily so now will do one mix per container.  If you fancy making one then there is a tute here:-

Right - Off to build a new desk tidy, then to the shops, then start painting the Statue, then...... ??  Retirement life is a busy one .....


Sunday, 8 January 2012


OK back again after a day off playing games :)

My daughter expressed an interest in the piece of Warhammer Scenery "Gardens of Morr".  I had a look at bits and pieces on the 'net and decided to buy it and have a go.

I like making my own buildings etc but I really like the detail on this product and it lends itself to modification possibilities by adding my own scratch built objects to it for a large Diorama.

I walked up to my local Games Workshop (just 10 minutes away) and was lucky to get the last one in the shop!  Buying it involved a process of refusing paints, glues, brushes etc as I already have a large stock of such items - even after gifting my daughter a few items .... but it has always been "hard sell" at GWs.

Surprised to find that they no longer do rule books etc for games such as "En Garde" that I used to play through the University Zines in the '80s.  Maybe the students today spend more time in the Nightclubs than playing such games (?).  A shame really as it would be much easier now to play such "play by mail" games via todays electronic means.

I digress.....

Walked back home and opened the box.  I was pleasently surprised to find it filled with 4 sprues and no padding!  Also surprised by the level of detail on the mouldings and lack of the many moulding marks I was used to in my old "Games Workshop" days

I am looking forward to painting this Piece and will do so in tandem (hence the title) with the House.  That will help prevent me getting "browned off" with doing just one thing.  I am the same with quite a few things.  For example I always have 3 or 4 books on the go at a time

Just a couple of Images:-

The Box

Just One of the Sprues

Stick to the task - not the glue!

Saturday, 7 January 2012


Took some time off to have a go at the PC game Anno 2070.  I like it as it gets quite deep gradually without being impossible to play.
Unfortunately the official forums are down for the moment and wont be back up until after the 9th January.  They are also German forums apparently but I can understand written German quite well due to having being stationed 3 years in Munster, Westfahlen, in the early '70s.
Having Fun! with Anno 2070 anyway - it eats time.....!

Thursday, 5 January 2012


I have mentioned my daughter a few times here and she is the reason I am working on the building and have this blog.

The above link will take you to her blog where she is busy assembling and painting undead figures that will eventually occupy this house and surrounding area.

She is a beginner at painting figures but have a look at her video and I am sure you will agree that she has talent in that area....

I am looking forward towards how this project will turn out - but we must work slowly and keep the quality as high as we can given our little combined experience.

We both treasure constructive criticism so dont be afraid to comment :)


Just noticed I had Comment set to registered users only - have changed the setting and will see how that goes.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Have now got half of the roof done.
I have decided to go with having the front half of the roof flat to accommodate the Warhammer figures that my daughter is so nicely painting.
The rear half will probably be host to a small building with a tiled roof.
The railings are made from 3mm dowel and I found a better way of mass producing those in a more accurate way.

As I may have mentioned before - the rear of the house backs onto a graveyard, hence the lack of windows and the large cross and wall intended to keep the spirits at bay!
The graveyard will be another opportunity for Warhammer skeletons etc ....

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Here are a couple of images of the part built Haunted House:-

Left Side

Right Side


... and a few of my machines:-


From the right - Proxxon table saw and a small Proxxon router table (Shaper).  The other machine on the left is a Scrollsaw.

Disc and Belt Sander

The machine to the left is a Dremel Workstation and serves as a miniature drill press for 1.5mm and less drill bits.

Drill Press

Cheap but does the job - and that is what matters!

Wood Lathe

I also have various other small machines such as a Pyrography burner from Peter Childs, a Dremel with 2 Flex cables one fitted for drilling and one for carving and a few others.

As I have stated before - Jack of all trades but Master of none!

Keep eating - but for sustenance not just enjoyment.......