Monday 25 September 2023

Welcome to Wrexham S2, E2

Sue and I really enjoyed the first series of Welcome to Wrexham, but the latest episode, Season 2, Episode 2 - The Quiet Zone that was released this weekend was one of the best pieces of TV we have seen all year and well deserving of a very special award for a factual drama. Here is the trailer.

The episode features superfan Millie Tipping and Paul Mullin who talk about their personal experiences with Autism. It really was a very moving portrait of this condition - well done to everyone concerned.


Understanding Autism link

You can follow Millie on Facebook here

Thursday 21 September 2023

The New 1/35th scale Narrow Gauge Layout - part two

Following on from my earlier post showing some of my initial sketches, I thought it was time I gave some more details of the planning process and the work so far.

Image - 1 (above) 

Shows another layout plan/sketch this time on a rectangular base rather than the 'banjo' design featured in the earlier post.

Image - 2

I have used a piece of wallpaper to draw out the design full size. At the same time, I played about with the Inglenook design using the eight 1/35th scale, scratch built wagons. I plan on using the 5-3-3 Inglenook (see this link) so made sure I had enough room for the engine and wagons to fit the three sidings.

Image - 3 

I will be using two IKEA LACK tables that I have stored in the garage. Each table is 55 cms x 55 cms giving me a shelf layout 55 cms x 110 cms which should be plenty big enough and easily transportable.

Image - 4

The two LACK tabletops have been glued together and I have inserted wooded strips into holes on the joined side to give additional strength - I can confirm that the join is true, strong and does not add that much weight to the baseboard.

I'm not planning a quick build, I just don't have the time for that but I will update the Blog as and when there are developments. 

Finally I should comment on the colours! I already have a white LACK and a secondhand blue LACK table in the garage and once they are decorated you won't see any of the blue or the white for that matter.


Monday 18 September 2023

Flintloque - One figure at a time part nine

My Flintloque Todaroni conversion painted, varnished and based.

It's taken a while but the toad character is now ready for the gaming table. I've enjoyed the sculpting and painting process so much that I have actually contemplated picking up some more Todaroni figures from Alternative Armies but I already have a ton of unpainted Flintloque minis in my to-do collection so maybe not!

Thanks to everyone for the likes and comments both here and over on the Orcs in the Webbe Facebook page and good luck to ALL the entries in the competion.


Friday 15 September 2023

D&D Hachette Part Works - WHSmiths

I have just picked up the latest Hachette Part Works - D&D Adventurer from WHSmiths. My first impressions are that the dice and tin are good value for just £1.99 but there was very little else in issue 1 that I thought was worth the trouble of subscribing. I'll look out for issue 2 and 3 but am not sure I will be purchasing it.

For more information, see this link.


Thursday 14 September 2023

Planning my new 1/35th scale Narrow Gauge Layout

Over the last month, I have been busy starting my latest 1/35th scale narrow gauge project - a small Inglenook layout for me to run my 1/35th scale fireless engine and scratch built wagons. The initial plans called for a 5-3-3 Inglenook starting from the left hand edge and then crossing a small dyke before the first turnout which should finish in front of a factory unit or main building and be able to hold 5 wagons. The second turnout will feature two smaller storage tracks each capable of holding 3 wagons, hence the 5-3-3 shunting puzzle - for more information on the Inglenook design and operation, see this link.

The following designs show the planning process and the 'Banjo' layout which was ultimately rejected in favour of a simpler rectangular design but I have chosen to show some of the many sketches that were doodled prior to deciding on my final layout.

Throughout the whole planning I wanted curved and not plain straight track lengths as I feel they look so much better. One other consideration is to make it as light and easily transportable as possible.

This perspective sketch shows the design in its near finished and finalised phase.

I'm not expecting this to be a quick project - The Yellow Pelican took over two years from start to finish, but I am looking forward to having a serious shunting puzzle layout and being able to transport it between the garage and the dining room table with ease.

Stay tuned for further updates.


Monday 11 September 2023

Maxwell's Stone Barn - Sculpting the DAS thatch

A recent comment over on The Lead Adventure see here made me realise that I needed to better explain how I sculpt or model thatch from DAS modelling clay.

Image 1

Shows the model before any DAS has been added. The MDF kit has had the roof trimmed and sanded flush and I would recommend a layer of diluted PVA glue - just to make sure that the DAS sticks in place.

Image 2

The initial sculpting is quite rough and ready, this is done my applying medium sized (about the size of a large grape or small plum) DAS and then spreading it out with your finger or with a flat sided sculpting tool to the depth of about 6mm - 8mm and then adding some texture - in this case I use a scalpel blade over some stippling with a stiff brush.

NB. how I have not tried to sculpt the whole roof - the edges in one go. This can be competed or tidied up later.

Image 3

I have 'cooked' the DAS in an electric oven at low heat for about 15 minutes. Do not try to increase the temperature as it can cause cracking in the DAS, loss of texture in the blue foam and warping of the plastic card base. Guess how I know?

The edges of the thatch are then added by sculpting sausages of DAS over PVA along the edges and then texturing with the stiff brush and the scalpel.

Do not worry if the effect is not perfect as thatch was usually a little 'wonky'. You can always carve or sand the DAS once fully set to refine the shape.

Image 4 and 5

The Terracotta DAS upper section was added in one go. Terracotta was used because I had run out of the DAS white.

I like to add upturned ends, something that is seen on actual thatched roofs (and it looks so much better). The additional texturing/detail on the upper thatch was done with a stiff brush, a scalpel used in a scoring action and then other detail was prodded into the DAS with a trimmed cocktail stick.

Image 6

After sealing the fully dry DAS with a layer of dilute PVA glue the model was spray painted with black, grey and finally white spray paints in a zenithal highlight

Image - 7

The painted yellow gold thatch which was built up over a Snakebite Leather base, drybrushed with mid brown and then again with yellow. This can take some time as yellow is notoriously difficult to get right. Prior to taking this photo, the thatch was 'washed' with a mid tone wash.

This is my technique for sculpting thatch and I believe it to be the best for adding the bulk that is needed for a realistic thatched building.

I hope that this clears up any questions that you may have about sculpting thatch on wargame buildings.


Sunday 10 September 2023

Maxwell's Stone Barn - Improving a simple MDF kit - Miniature Wargames issue 486

Issue 486 (October 2023) of Miniature Wargames features this highly modified MDF kit re-built by me from blue foam and DAS Modelling clay. For more information you can see this link or pick up the magazine from WHSmiths.

The two images below show the model prior to painting and then the bare MDF kit which was bought from Warbases. For more information of the basic kit, see this link.


Friday 8 September 2023

Broadway Museum, Cotswolds

Sue and I have been planning an away-day in Broadway, Costwolds for some time and earlier today we drove out to this jewel of the Cotswolds for a quiet walk along the main street and a browse of the shops.

I saw this book - Recreating the Past by Victor Ambrose and Mick Aston in the secondhand book lobby of The Broadway Museum. I thought it was a real bargain for just £1.00, but when paying for the book we were informed that because it was the tenth anniversary of the museum, entry and cookies were free of charge.

It's been many years since we visited this museum, I think the last time was when the children were young. It was a great museum to browse and we both enjoyed the exhibitions - particularly the Tudor room display and the GWR exhibition.

For more information, see this link.

This is not the only Victor Ambrose book that I own - last year Holly bought me a similar book also full of illustrations.


Flintloque - One figure at a time part eight

The Todaroni character is nearing completion, just a couple of tiny touches and he will be finished.

I have really enjoyed converting and painting this figure and look forward to painting more of my Flintloque lead mountain.

I also look forward to seeing the other competition entries.


Wednesday 6 September 2023

Shrewsbury Steam Rally - part two

One of the highlights of the Shrewsury Steam Rally was the Sentinel Historical Society tent which had a display of models, books and photographs on display.

I was particularly impressed by the wide range of literature and spotted this SKODA - SENTINEL pamphlet. Given my on-line name I thought Dampflastwagon was great fun to find.....

Earlier in the day a series of three new photo albums had been donated and here are some of the images from the first album. I believe that these are the first time these images have been seen on-line.

The second and third album showed images of the WW2 period and were mainly stills of the different production lines and factories.

Another Dampfwagen SKODA - SENTINEL 

And finally this beautiful model of the LMS 7192 Sentinel. The owner was very pleased to pass on information and show work-in-progress shots of this huge battery operated model.


Monday 4 September 2023

Shrewsbury Steam Rally

Last weekend, Sue and I visited the Shrewsbury Steam Rally and here are just some of the photos I took. It was a great day out with loads to both see and do. I would recommend it.

I'm sure I will be adding more images soon.