Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Trolka Thug - part two

The converted model was undercoated with both black and dark brown spray paints and the flesh areas built up from Snakebite Leather with Snakebite/Skull White highlights. The nose was given a very ruddy glow!

I choose a bottle green uniform with white facings.

The crumpled top hat was painted dark grey.


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Marshmallow Catapult - Evolution

For the last three days Sue's brother has been up visiting with his Grandchildren. I set up a Marshmallow Catapult Challenge that quickly developed into a major arms race. Here are just some of the models we built.....

Details of how to build your own can be found on the Internet - here is one link.

This final model was so powerful that we were squelching mini marshmallow on the Artex ceiling!

Sue banned us from using it.

I hope you enjoyed it Joe, Summer and Raffi.


Friday, 19 August 2016

Flintloque Trolka Thug

Taking a break from producing magazine articles and working on various model making commissions, I thought I would start work on this Flintloque Trolka model that was originally sculpted by Rob Alderman.

I believe it is a Trolka thug but am unable to find it in the Alternative Armies catalogue - any help would be appreciated.

As is the norm for my personal Flintloque figures, the basic sculpt has been modified with a larger top hat, turnbacks and various small detail.

I have mounted the large lump of lead on to a 2p coin and built up the groundwork with Milliput before adding additional texture with sand over uPVA glue.

I am still not certain what colour uniform I will choose, but promise to keep the Blog updated with developments.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The Tower House

The images featured here show the initial steps in the construction of a scratch-built model house. I have shown them to illustrate how I approach building a model, but also to show how the model takes on a life of it's own and can grow or develop organically, sometimes over a very long period.

In the first image you see a very simple planning sketch. The illustration was based on but not slavishly copied from a Gary Chalk illustration I found on the Internet. It was to be a 'proof of concept' sketch but became the basis of this model.

Image Two - The cardboard core constructed from waste corrugated cardboard and glued together with my hot glue gun.

Image Three - I found the first model a little to small and have bulked-out the dimensions with more corrugated cardboard cladding as well as adding the window openings. The newspaper strips have been added over uPVA glue to reinforce the structure.

Image Four - The lower walls were covered in DAS modelling clay.

Image Five - The model sat for some time on the shelf, as I was both working on other projects and I was not sure how I was going to proceeded with the stonework - here was a model that I was not sure I wanted to continue with.

The stone blocks have been engraved with the tip of a scalpel and then enlarged with a large needle. The stone texture was added with a wire brush. The model went back on to the 'To-Do' shelf.....

Image Six - The recent warm weather meant that I was back to sitting outside the shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden rather than inside and I thought it was about time I decided to do something with this model.

In a major turn-around I have added Blue Foam discs to the side and rear and built a ruined stone tower, this meant major surgery on the card core and a complete re-think on the style and use of the model house. The timber cladding is cut from strips of scrap wood (the wood from a fruit and veg packing case picked up for free at a local farmers market) and the 'daub' areas again modelled from DAS over a layer of uPVA glue.

Image Seven - The stonework has been 'painted' with watered-down DAS (DAS, uPVA glue and water) to add some stone texture to the Blue Foam.

And the model (one that was started over six months ago) has now moved back to the main workbench to become something special, special but completely different to the original design sketch.

There is still a lot to do on this model, but I would hope that regular readers and followers will find this series of images of interest.

I am currently working on a long-term commission producing a whole range of Fantasy buildings and terrain pieces which will be part of a Kickstarter campaign. Hopefully I will be able to give further details very soon.

Maybe this Tower House will be part of this Kickstarter campaign!


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Birch Tree Seed Pods

It's that time of year again.....

Birch tree seed pods are now in season, so get out there and start collecting these miniature leaf shaped seeds. For full details see this earlier post.

In addition, earlier this month, I picked up this Fiskars Leaves cutter. Used for decorating hand made cards, this cutter offers you three alternative leaf shaped cut-outs. I bought mine up from a charity shop in Bromsgrove, Worcs.

Image Two - The Leaves cutter.

Image Three - The Maple Leaf shaped cut outs and a UK 20p coin shown for scale.

Image Four - The Oak Leaf shaped cut outs.

Image Five - The Birch Leaf shaped cut outs.


Saturday, 13 August 2016


I have been a member of Pinterest for almost a year and now find myself using it almost as much as Google Image Search. For those not familiar with this group, Pinterest is a site where regular contributors host image boards or 'pin boards' of associated subject matter - for example Anglo Saxon Warriors or Early Roman Soldiers or Gaming Environs.

I first became aware of this great reference source when Pinterest sites came up while doing Google image searches. There was initially quite a bit of frustration as these sites are sometimes locked to non-members and so I joined. The programme is a little hit-and-miss but overall the subject matter that you search - for example Mausoleum (for when I was researching the model Mausoleum featured in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy) will identified and suggest similar Pinterest sites.

Now, one year on, I have found that my browsing history has settled and I find less random subject matter appearing.

In the past week I have found myself relying more and more on this site to search subject matter for current or future modelling projects. I would suggest that it is well worth bearing with and sampling.

I have so far resisted the urge to publish my own Pinterest board or page, however my Daughter and Daughter-in-Law both have themed boards, which they regularly update.

Try searching Pinterest and Milliput to see what I mean.....


Friday, 12 August 2016

Milliput and Green Stuff

Over the past couple of months, I have found that I am now using a Milliput and Green Stuff mix, rather than one or the other. This was not a conscious decision, but rather a natural development as I am finding the subsequent mix much easier to sculpt with.

In my earlier post I detailed how to work with Green Stuff.

The Milliput Green Stuff mix I use is about 2/3 Milliput to 1/3 Green Stuff, although I have read that other modellers have gone for a 1/2 - 1/2 mix. The Milliput/Green Stuff mix is less 'sticky', sets to a smooth finish and is extremely hard. I have tried carving the set putty and this works, but I have not yet tried to sand it.

I am well aware that mixing these and other putties is nothing new, I have seen comments in the modelling press that date from 1996, stating that mixing these epoxies and experimenting with the mix is worth trying.

I have also been trying out some different lubrication products to smooth out the putty after reading another article that stated skin lotion was better than Vaseline - unfortunately the modeller did not supply a brand name.

I still like to use 100% Green Stuff when modelling smaller items like straps, buckles and buttons - remember to add these over a small spot of superglue.