Saturday, 30 November 2013

Books and Stuff

A regular round-up of my book news.

What I've read this month...

Cressida Cowell, How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel
Paul Vallely, Pope Francis: Untying the Knots

What I've bought this month....

John Carnell (ed), SF-2: New Writings in SF-2 - 50p
Arthur C Clarke, The Deep Range - 50p
H L Gold (ed), The Fourth Galaxy Reader - 50p

Journal of the Life Saving Awards Society, No 78
Alan Gallop, The Martians are Coming!  The true story of Orson Welles' 1938 Panic Broadcast - £3.99
Arthur Ponsonby, Henry Ponsonby: Queen Victoria's Private Secretary - £1.50
Graham Sleight, The Doctor's Monsters: Meanings of the Monstrous in Doctor Who - £3.99
Tom Steel, The Life and Death of St Kilda - 50p

Friday, 29 November 2013

An End to Dinovember

Well I promised a big reveal on the mystery object from yesterday's post.  Here it is.

It got the 'dinovember' label because I see it as a form of transportation to a Lost World which may or may not be At The Centre of the Earth.

I'm a little surprised that no-one spotted it after Michael identified it as a cone.  It just goes to show that no-one read this post...


OK, I've done some playing about...

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Wednesday Welcomes

A warm Wednesday welcome to two new followers:-

Welcome Bruno and Dan!

In other news, I've now based as many figures as I can be bothered to do in advance of the painting challenge and I've also put some non-coms at the front of the queue for the first bonus round.  (I've still got to prime them...)

It's still Dinovember and I'm going to have to find some time for it in the next few days.  Perhaps
there'll be some news for my Saturday WIP round-up.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Saturday WIP #2

First, a welcome to peter.bonami of Peter's Cave, who has just signed up as a follower.

I'm really going to have to stop using Dastardly Belgians as villains...

Secondly, it's time for the weekly workbench picture (inspired by Sofie's Paint Blog).

Most of the hobby time this week has gone into having a look through my lead pile as, after signing up for the painting challenge I had the dreadful feeling that I hadn't got enough figures and would have to get some in.  I also had to consider how I could tell The Wife that I wouldn't start painting her nephew's Christmas pressie until 15 Dec!

I needed have worried as I'd forgotten that I bought a job lot as 'expendables' for honing my painting skills on (which is how I'm intending to use the challenge).  I might have to buy more khaki and German grey paint though!

The whole point was to work out what points target to set myself.  After a couple of day's vacillation I decided against going bat-shit crazy and have plumped for...

500 points

Before the challenge I've got to finish off my Sihks, the big game hunters and my Cairo SID unit.  They're all there in the picture, in the same state as I left them last week.

Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy the Dr Who Anniversary!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Another Welcome and a Giveaway

A welcome to new follower sebastofig of Back to the Minis.

One Man and His Brushes is marking 100,000+ hits and 150 followers with some fine books as prizes - go and check it out.

Sorry for the lack of posts recently - I try to do something about it over the weekend.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wednesday Welcome

A big Wednesday Welcome to new follower Monty Luhmann of the Twin Cities Gamer - a very talented painter with a minimalist approach to lead mountains.

Hello Monty!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Well, I've signed up for the Painting Challenge.

As a newbie, I'm not quite sure what I've let myself in for, but it seems quite a fun way of setting goals for oneself and getting constructive feedback from people who know what they're talking about.  I'm not going to aim to set any records or win prizes, but hopefully by the end of the challenge my painting will have improved.

This Week's Interesting Obits

Mavis Batey (d. 11 Nov 2013)
Bletchley Park Code-Breaker
Daily Telegraph obit 14 Nov 2013

Albert Taylor (d. 1 Sep 2013)
Daily Telegraph obit 14 Nov 2013

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Saturday WIP

I had thought to post some photos of the painting table/workdesk as a Saturday regular, as suggested by Sofie's Painting Blog but I've been rather disheartened by this week's progress.  Despite my declaration to spend November on things Dinosaur, I thought to finish my Cairo SID members.  So far, these are far from successful (white suits anyone?), so I haven't done anything since Tues.

I had done some work on one of the big-game hunters though, so I suppose that's a nod in the direction of Dinovember.  Another is that I've taken advantage of Fat Dragon Games' 30% off sale (ends on Monday) to get a cardstock Mole (suitable for getting to Lost Worlds at the Centre of the Earth) for $4.19.  They also have a nice aerial steam carriage for the same price.  If you do go to rpgnow to check these out, make sure you also have a look at the free stuff!  I got some more of the Dave Graffam free building kits.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Fruit of the Kickstarter #2

Some of you might remember in that back in July I pledged on Studio Miniature's kickstarter for a Sikh Wars range.  It was over 400% funded and, as I pledged at one of the simpler levels mine was one of the earliest to be dispatched: it arrived earlier this week.

They're three rather nice Sikh officers -

The rest of the range is equally nice, but it's not my period.  I though these officers might fit in a Pulp setting as Mad Maharajahs!

In writing this post, I find they can now be ordered from their website for less than my pledge.  Obviously I hadn't got the point that kickstarter bargains only happen at the higher pledge levels or if you want to buy the add-ons...

One of the free figures at those levels was a Flashman.  I don't know if they'll eventually sell him for Mr Awdry to buy, but here he is -

The other Kickstarter I have outstanding was Oathsworn Miniatures Heroes.  They are proving to be models of good communication, sending us messages at every stage of the process.  Anyone interested in the process of designing and producing miniatures should  have a look at their updates for a masterclass.

I went a bit larger on this one.  Hopefully I'll have an update in February!

Dr Who News

The BBC has released a 6-minute short, a prequel to the 50th Anniversary Special.


Thursday, 14 November 2013

"Walking With Dinosaurs" Figures

Given the interest in my earlier post, it's probably worth doing this == STOP-PRESS == announcement.

In addition to the 'Walking With Dinosaurs' packs I mentioned, Argos are doing a boxed-set of the six major characters from the film for £11.99 - or £15.00 for two.

We might see them elsewhere too, as there seems to be a lot of marketing for the film (which opens in the Christmas holidays).

Dinovember: Trip to Wilko's

As part of my Dinovember drive I popped into Wilkinsons yesterday to see if they still had their £1.00 dinosaurs.  They did - and what's more they're currently on offer at three for the price of two!

So I stocked up...

Sorry about the photo; the flash has bled out some of the colours, but you get the idea.

If you like going Big Dinosaur, they have larger versions at £2.00 (also on offer).

Earlier in the week I was toying with the idea of ordering some of these beauties from Eureka Miniatures, but despite thinking that they are very cool, I'll have to hold off for a while.

Eureka's Stukasaurus
A tip picked up on LAF (where a few people like the sound of Dinovember!) is that you can get BBC Walking With Dinosaur figures in those pig-in-a-poke foil packs for £1.99.  These are apparently on sale in Tescos or you can get them direct from the BBC.  You can also buy a specific pack of three of the cute ones for £4.99.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Blog-Con Birthday Greeting

A big Happy Birthday for James Brewerton and congratulations for making Blog-Con a success!

Happy Birthday too to Gary Amos!

Friday, 8 November 2013


Well!  At last a 'Month' that I can get along with!

Now we've done with Orctober and Zomtober, the great Mr Awdry has declared it DINOvember.

First he did a transformation

of these... these

And now he's presented us with these darlings...

Now my mind is a buzzing.  What can I do?

Well, thanks to the generous of heart, I already have one set of Dino-Hunters.
  • I need to finish painting my other set.
  • I need to finish my half-done pterosaur 
  • I can assess my existing dino-herd
  • I need some suitable Lost World terrain
  • I can go shopping!!!
  • And read, of course!
And if that isn't enough to keep me occupied for the next three weeks, I can dig out my other Lost World fauna and include that.

"Everything's more fun with dinosaurs"

Thursday, 7 November 2013

From the Painting Table...

This week hasn't been a good one for painting.

On Sunday it was sunny enough for me to put the washing out and go to the Shed of Delights to prime some figures.  Then, after walking the dog I was a little tired and went upstairs for a nap.  When I woke up it was dark and raining on both the washing and figures.  Since then I've been suffering from a horrible cold.  I tried to put brush to lead on Tuesday, but made a horrible mess.

Today I seem to have got over the worse of it, and I feel much better.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I can therefore present Lubbock and Agrippa.

If I carry on posting like this, my photography will improve along with my painting!

I suspect that I'm not alone in enjoying painting a figure more when I have an idea of its character.

To my mind, Lubbock hasn't always been a Gentleman's Gentleman.  No doubt he was someone's batman, but I'm almost sure that he was at some stage a Jelly Man.  To be honest, he probably owes something to Magersfontein Lugg in Margery Allingham's Campion stories, though sadly not as played by the late lamented Brian Glover (giving miniatures such a haircut is beyond my rudimentary conversion skills!).  Oddly enough, another of the figures I primed looks a lot like that other great Yorkshireman, Pete Postlethwaite: when I paint him up I'll be able to tell you my Postlethwaite anecdote.

Agrippa on the other hand is like a big teddy bear - he'll rip your face off and steal your marmalade sandwiches.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Welcome Wednesday and Blog-Con

I'm sorry it's been a little quite here lately, but I've had a stinker of a cold.

But I need to do a Wednesday Welcome for 'Sam Wise' (AKA Pascal).  'Sam' has a couple of interesting blogs - Sam's Minis World and The Lost New World.  It's not too late to go to the first of these and enter a draw to win some Mithral Figures.

Secondly, I'd like to do a big shout out to anyone attending Blog-Con.  Have fun chaps!  I'm impressed how this has sprung up from a Good Idea to a fully-happening event, with some impressive-looking games and demos planned.  I would really like to have been able to make it.  I'm relying on some good blog coverage and photos.

In the meantime, James has been pondering the future during the wee small hours...

Monday, 4 November 2013

Books and Stuff

A regular round-up of my book news.  I'm changing it to a monthly rather then weekly feature, as it must be getting rather repetative.

What I've read this month...

I carried on with Paul Vallely, Pope Francis: Untying the Knots and started Cressida Cowell, How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel.

I finally finished A Pound of Paper.  It's an interesting read.  It's a sort of memoir by an Australian who's saved from suburban drudgery working as a railway clerk by his love of writing science fiction and collecting SF magazines.  After ten years on the railways, he chucks it in and moves to London where he becomes involved with the bizarre (and frankly shady) world of book collecting.  He becomes a broadcaster, spends a year teaching in an American college, and ends up in Hollywood.  At the end of the book, he's moved to Paris with a new (fourth) wife and is settling into the bibliophile scene there.

I had to check that the author of all this, John Baxter, was a real person.  Apparently he is a respected critic and writer: author of books on film studies, erotica and at least another three volumes of memoirs.  Not a person I'd like to spend much time with, but an engaging raconteur nevertheless.

What I've bought this month...

Kenneth Floyd, Floyd on France - £1.00
Kenneth Floyd, Floyd on Fish - £1.00
Bruce Fogle, The Dog's Mind - 50p
M Haag, Templars: History and Myth - £1.00
A Satterley & G Scott, Battlefield Bravery: The Courage of Ordinary Men, 1914-1918 - £15.01

Giles Foden, Ladysmith - 50p
E M Remarque, All Quite on the Western Front - 60p

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