Sunday, 27 April 2014

This Week's Obits of Interest

Sqn Ldr Brian Joplin (d. 20 Mar 2014)
Awarded QGM during the Falklands War

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Paint Table Saturday

Saturday's here again, so here's today's snap of the worktable.  As always Sofie, who's idea this, has links was to other paint-tables.

This week started with me working on buildings - the ubiquitous 'Middle Eastern type'.  I put these carcasses together last autumn, but they got put aside when I started to think about the Analogue Painting Challenge.

The scale's less than perfect.  We'll call it "forced perspective", shall we?

Construction was simplicity itself, using some thin craft foam from The Works.  It was a little too thin and warped in the process and storage: I think I might need some internal buttressing for future attempts.  It did stiffen up in the next stage though.  That was the application of  a texturing agent in the form of a Polyfiller/PVA/Water mix.  I wasn't sure how much to apply, so used one carcass as a test-piece - with different amounts on different sides.

I didn't know what to apply to the roof.

I got as far as giving the first coat of paint.

I may have overdone the filler, and may sand it down before dry-brushing.  But at this stage, I got distracted when I bought a rocketship.

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Welcome, A Give-Away and Buildings

New Follower Welcome

First, the most pleasant bit of blogging - a new follower welcome.  Hello to Eric the Shed of the Shed Wars blog.  Many of you will be familiar with his Robin of Shedwood projects; he's recently been turning his skills to VBCW.

My shed isn't as palatial as I imagine Eric's to be

Promoting the Giveaway

As I mentioned yesterday, Legatus' Wargames Armies is celebrating a quarter of a million hits.  Legatus has announced that he will be hold a prize draw, with Salute figures up for grabs.  Details here.

Victorian Buildings

Solo Wargaming in the UK recently suggested that we share a picture of impressive Victorian buildings from our hometowns.  This strikes me as very useful, as I know many like to game that period but aren't lucky enough to be able to wander out of the door and see English architecture (I know I was fascinated when someone posted a series of American shopfronts from the 1920s and '30s).  For this reason, I'll try to include some vernacular buildings as well as the impressive ones.

As I originally come from the home of the Dark Satanic Mill, I am tempted to show Manchester's lovely Italianate warehouses and neo-gothic Town Hall, but I'll refrain.  Perhaps next week I'll share some of the wonders of The North.  For now, I'll stick with Solo's suggestion of impressive buildings near here.

First up is the (old) Norfolk & Norwich Hospital.  It was originally built in 1771 and then expanded by the Victorians in "streaky bacon" brickwork.  It was badly damaged in Second World War.

Georgian building, then...
...and now
Victorian building
The entrance portico (1935)
After the building closed as a hospital, it was converted to luxury flats

Given the British weather, many towns had indoor as well as outdoor markets.  In the high Victorian era, many developers built shopping arcades in larger towns containing 'superior' shops.  This is Norwich's example, the Royal Arcade, built in 1898-99.


Langleys - purveyor of models and gaming supplies

The Late Victorians were fond of mosaics and decorative tiles 

For those who want to try some advanced modelling work, Dampf's Modelling Page yesterday linked to a page containing tutorials like this one on Creating Surfaces.  It includes methods for making details like these, which I snapped this afternoon

Rotate 90 degrees

Thursday, 24 April 2014

New Follower Welcome

A warm welcome to legatus hedlius - he of many blogs, but the one to mention is Legatus' Wargames Armies, which has just celebrated 250,000 hits!  Congratulations!

Ave Legatus!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

To the Stars! (For 99p)

After all that talk yesterday of lunar exploration, I couldn't resist buying this when I saw it in a charity shop.

Out of the box, it was smaller than expected...

But Petty Officer Ngan sees the potential...

And there are bits left over for the gash bin.
Now all I have to do is decide on a paint scheme.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Save the Moon!

Apart from the odd obit, it's been a while since I posted anything on the subject of space exploration despite some interesting recent developments.

Google Lunar X Prize logo
This morning there was programme on BBC Radio 4 - 'Save the Moon!'  Despite the title, it was quite a good look at the question of exploitation of lunar resources, prompted by the current Chinese Chang'e Program, moves by the ESA and the Google Lunar X Prize.  You can hear the programme here for next seven days.

X prizes are an interesting way to do things - I may blog about them in the future.

The main question in the programme was that of ownership and mineral rights.  Interestingly, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (full text here) prohibits any territorial claims by governments, but it seems that individuals and corporations are encouraged to undertake exploration by allowing them exploitation rights (the comparison made in the programme was between the situation in the deep oceans, where there are no sovereign rights, but fishing is allowed).  This treaty defines the Moon and all outer space as the "province of all mankind" and restricts the use of the Moon to peaceful purposes, explicitly banning military installations and weapons of mass destruction.  Although only Russia, the US and the UK negotiated this treaty others have since signed or ratified it  (currently around 130 nations)

NASA's idea of working on the Moon (isn't it clean!)

However, plenty of people feel that there should be some limit on commercial exploitation and that the Moon should be subject to a treaty more like the Antarctic Treaties, which severely limit activities on that continent.  An attempt to do this was made by the UN by the 1979 Moon Agreement (full text here) but it has not been signed by any of the space-faring nations, so is something of a dead letter.  The programme didn't say so (preferring to waste time on an arts co-operative who have declared a Lunar Republic as a 'statement') but it is unlikely that any similar attempt would be successful now given that the technology to mine the moon is much closer than back in the '70s - a useful comparison could have been made with the situation in the Arctic now the North West and North East Passages are open.

For those of you who like a bit of science fiction, the whole question of exploration and exploitation by the private rather than public sector put me in mind of one of my favorite Heinlein stories - The Man Who Sold the Moon.  I'd recommend it to any of you who are unfamiliar with it.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

This Week's Obits of Interest

Peter Drummond-Murray of Mastrick (d.13 Apr 2014)
Slains Pursuivant - private herald to the Earl of Erroll

Paint Table Saturday

For one reason and another, I've not done much hobby stuff this week, but Paint Table Saturday has a focusing effect and I thought I better get something done this afternoon.

What I did was to make a horrible sticky mess with tissues dipped in PVA and paint (I suspect the mixture was too wet) in an attempt to make some tents.  I'll re-visit them tomorrow when they're dried and report back.  This was by way of an experiment with 'throw-away' materials, so I'm not too bothered if it doesn't work out first time.  Model building is not really my forte!

You'll also see the Zulus there - I did a little on them during the week, but nothing that progressed them very far.  The other thing in the picture is the expedition van.  I wish I'd done some 'before' photos so you could see what a horrible lime-green plastic thing it was.  It looks much better now.


For Loki

Yesterday, The Wife Was Cooking

The dogs ate the butter.  And I learned a new poem.

Quick, quick, the dog's been sick!

Hasten, hasten, fetch the basin!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sorry for the Silence

It's been over a week since I last posted, but it's been a funny week for me.

To begin with, we had the pleasure of meeting up with some old university friends (two of whom we hadn't seen since 2002!).  So we did a little of the tourist bit, seeing the sights, and a lot of catching up.  All in all very enjoyable.

But since then I've been under the weather.  It was sunny on Monday, so I made the mistake of going out without my thermals and it affected my old joints - yesterday I had shooting pains down my left arm.  I've also picked up a lurgy somewhere.

Hopefully I'll feel like posting again soon...

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wednesday(ish) Welcome and Stats

A late new follower welcome to Captain Richards Miniature Civil War from the blog of the same name. At the moment the blog is showing a pretty impressive scratch-built medieval city.

I'd like to thank everyone who has promoted the blog in the last week and commented on the 50K milestone.  Doing the giveaway has been fun (and one interesting fact is that prizes from Poundland hit the button!).

I know some people think that competitions like this are cynical attempts to garner new followers and boost stats.  Well, if that is the case, it's worked!  In the 50K post I remarked that March was the first month in which I'd had over 4,000 hits.  As I write, the blog's had 4,162 hits so far this month (ie, in the last ten days)!  Pretty surprising.

Aren't stats fun?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

There Are Winners!

In the end, after adding the bonuses, there were 37 entries in the prize draw.  This allowed me to use the magic formula 4(d10)-3 to determine the winners.  Pleasingly, they will all receive their first choice of prizes.

That's enough preamble.

  1. Ray - Bletchley Park book
  2. Timmy at Wargaming News and Terrain - pulpy cars
  3. Jonathan Frietag - Airfix tin

Now, I'm aware that there will be some grizzling about this, but I promise that the draw was fair and honest.  Let the baiting begin!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Pottering, Welcomes and 50K Last Call

After the time spent last sorting out hobby space in the shed, yesterday and today I finally spent some time in it.  To say that I got back to the brushes would be an exaggeration though - I pottered around with a couple of terrain and plot point ideas I've been meaning to try out.

There are more new followers to welcome:-

Welcome to Thoughts of a Drepressive Diplomatist!  I hope you find something of interest here.

Now a big reminder to everyone - if you want to enter the prize draw you must comment on the draw post within the next 24 hours!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Paint Table Saturday and Welcomes

It's the weekend, so time to give Sofie's blog a plug and join in Paint Table Saturday.

I've been quite busy this week, so haven't managed any painting.  However, the move to the painting table in the Shed and arrangement of the hobby space in there is now finished.  As promised last week, you can now see that there was a table under all that mess!

Oh, and I bought a Playmobile yellow submarine on impulse in a charity shop this morning.  I've no idea what I'll do with it.

I know Paint Table Saturday draws in many once-a-week visitors, so I'll point you to the give-away I'm having to mark reaching the 50K mark earlier this week.  If you want a go, follow the instructions there.

Welcome to the following new followers:-
Hello, one and all!  If any of you want to be entered in the prize draw, you need to comment on the original post.

I can't see any info for Richard or David: if either of you (or the Kaptain) have a blog let me know, and I'll give it a shout-out.

Does anyone else feel inadequate after seeing what clever names fellow bloggers come up with for their sites?

A reminder to everyone stating their interest in the draw to state your prize preferences and that if you do anything to earn bonus entries, you have to say so in your comment.
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