Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Dido, Queen of Carthage at The Swan

Last night Sue and I went with Holly to The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon to see Dido, Queen of Carthage by Christopher Marlow.

This was the first time I had seen this play, in fact I knew nothing about it until I started reading the synopsis prior to visiting the performance. For details of this ground-breaking performance see this link.

Once again a breathtaking performance and a play that really made you think about power, migration and being homeless. In the question and answer forum after the play had finished it was pointed out how Africa at this time was a true Matriarchal society, with female heroines and leaders (Dido), while the Roman Empire (that followed) was Masculine. We also had an insight into the life and works of Marlow, an Elizabethan character that raises more questions than answers.

The best word I can use to describe the performance was intense! Another great night out, but I have to admit to liking and being more moved by the earlier Much ado about Nothing at the Globe, London that Sue and I saw earlier this month.


Monday, 16 October 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part four

I have started to wire the layout and added a RELCO unit which I had spare from an earlier project. The RELCO is fitted with a cut-off switch which will be accessible from the rear of the layout.

In addition, I have added a strip of wood and some more 3mm thick plastic card to the top of the back scene as I felt it was a little too short.

So far most of the construction and parts have come from discounted kitchen doors, spare equipment (from an earlier layout) and my spares box. The cost so far has been minimal.

Construction has been a little slower than I would have liked, but at least it is moving forward.


Friday, 13 October 2017

IPMS Scale Model World, Telford - just one month to go

There is less than a month to go to the IPMS Scale Model World - the world's greatest scale model show. For full details of this huge model show, see this link.

The show takes place at the International Centre, Telford on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of November.

My plan is to be there on Sunday 12th November (as I find that the Sunday is a little bit quieter and I can get Sundays off work easier than Saturday).

I have visited this show on a regular basis, missing only one or two in the last twelve years. I find that the quality of the exhibits to be top notch and if you can get in to see the competition area then expect to be 'blown away' by the skills on show. In addition this is the ideal opportunity to get that elusive model, rare paint or new fangled modelling tool because I can guarantee it will be there somewhere!

Hopefully, I'll see you there.


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

1:27.7 Resin Casts for 18 inch gauge Industrial Narrow Gauge Railway

I have now picked up the first batch or resin casts from Rob Alderman of Hysterical Games. The miniatures are sculpted to the scale of 1:27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot and are intended for an industrial narrow gauge railway running on 18 inch gauge track (16.5mm 0-16,5 Peco Crazy Track). They could also be used for 3 foot gauge running on 32mm track.

Image Two - Tom, Dick and Harry

Image Three - Charlie, Finley and Fred

Image Four - The Clutter Items, a medium wooden barrel, an oil drum, a large wooden barrel, a crockery bottle (as used by ICI) and a demijohn.

Each pack is now available to buy at £10.00 per pack (free postage to the UK. Overseas postage to be confirmed). Please contact me at to order or for more information.

Thank you.


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part three

The canal walls have been clad with some resin slabs that I had spare from building masters for Grand Manner. The slabs were cut into sections and glued in place with two-part epoxy. The kerb stone topping or edging stones were constructed from 5mm thick laminate flooring underlay which although soft and easily damaged, can be strengthened by painting with a uPVA, filler mix.

The edges were detailed with more Milliput, then I painted all the stonework with a uPVA glue, filler and fine sand mix to give it greater texture.

On a visit to the canal basin in Droitwich town centre, I took these images of the canal walls and thought that the waste water or overflow gate and wooden strakes were worth modelling on my diorama/layout.

The overflow gate was constructed from plastic card and the wooden buffers were modelled from strips of balsawood detailed with plastic card and plastic rod bolts.

For more details and images of my Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure please use the Narrow Gauge label to the right.


Monday, 9 October 2017

Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe Theatre in London

On Sunday 8th of October, Holly met up with Sue and I to see a performance of Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe Theatre in London. This was the first time that Sue and I had visited the Globe Theatre and were we in for a treat.

I am not ashamed to say that on entering the theatre there was a 'lump in my throat', this really is a very special building and experience, then the performance! One of the most spectacular Shakespeare plays I have ever seen (and trust me I've seen many) with parts that were 'laugh out loud' funny and others that were 'tear to the eye' moving. On the way back to catch the train home I was amazed to realise that we had been in the theatre for over three hours, the time just flew by. The setting of the play was in Revolutionary Mexico with a Santa Fe boxcar as the backdrop and actors dressed in typical Mexican dress complete with crossed bandoleers and huge Mexican sombreros. Although at first this was a little off-putting withing minutes the core of the play took over and I felt this unusual setting actually added to the experience. The performance was a signed performance for the deaf or hard of hearing and the BSL translator did a great job in both translating and at times adding to the performance - at the end of the play Sue, Holly and I were able to speak to her and congratulate her on the BSL translation.

A big fat 10 out of 10 from me.

Here is the official link for more information;
The Globe 2017


Saturday, 7 October 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part two

I have extended the length of both the base and the back scene board to 920mm or 3 feet by adding half a black kitchen door to each. 

The canal part (to the front) has been raised by adding layers of corrugated cardboard and the track base area extended with more corrugated cardboard. Any joins have been covered with brown wrapping paper or spare card.

The sides and front have been clad with 5mm thick plastic card and any joins filled and smoothed out with Milliput epoxy putty.

The shelf layout is now 920mm long by 320mm deep.

For more details of this project please use the Narrow Gauge label to the right.


Friday, 6 October 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - additional image two

Another short update showing the 1:27.7 scale Feldbahn narrow gauge engine, driver and scratch-built skip on Peco 'crazy track'. Details of each can be found by following the Narrow Gauge label to the right.


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - additional image

Today's post is more of a quick update. I have placed a section of Peco O-16.5 'crazy track' with the finished Feldbahn engine on to the cardboard base to give an idea of the scale/size of the planned layout.

Hopefully. I can get more work done this week.

For more details of this 1:27.7 (or 11mm = 1 foot) model railway project see the Narrow Gauge label to the right.


Monday, 2 October 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part one

The two kitchen cabinet doors have been glued and screwed together. A corrugated cardboard sub base has been glued in place with my hot glue gun. This area will form the main operating part of the layout with the forward area being a section of canal as you can see in the plan below.

I have reinforced the front section of the canal with strips of brown wrapping paper applied over uPVA glue. This forms a strong but light core onto which I will be modelling more detail. The two doors were picked-up for a bargain price as they were being discontinued.

Each door is 700mm tall x 300mm wide. So this Mk I design is 700mm long with a 300mm high backdrop.


Sunday, 1 October 2017

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - my first thoughts about the planned layout

As the Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure progresses, I have started to think about the type of layout I would like to build. In an ideal world, it would be huge, stretching from one end of the double garage to the order with run round loops and rolling countryside plus an industrial setting to one end. This plan although impressive would never get finished, so I am restricting myself to a smaller 'shelf style' layout a layout more akin to a working diorama.

My first doodling (see above) is a simple box and a single track running across a culvert. Simple and effective with loads of diorama potential but boring!

Mk II is a little more impressive with just one turnout and a curved back scene.

Mk III and the factory unit to the right becomes more prominent.

Mk IV Developing the theme even further with a curved front and a turntable.

Mk V I have been given a couple of old kitchen cabinet doors - 700 long and 300 wide. These would be ideal as baseboard and backdrop, so a flat back and just a single track running from left to right.

I know that this would be too simplistic, but it would allow for super detailing of the back scene.

Mk VI By extending the doors to 900 x 300 I could build this layout. A layout with just one turnout and a canal side running along the front.

I have found a third kitchen cabinet door which has already been cut in half and the shelf layout is now 900 long by 300 deep with a similar solid backdrop. Expect some first attempt images soon.


Friday, 29 September 2017

Von Mohnblume Line - part eleven

The Von Mohnblume Line (Flintloque code 56595) Skirmish pack see this link are now finished. After varnishing, I applied some static grass and the odd static grass tuft to the bases.

Image Two - Shows the four man (Pug) command pack. As you can see I have not added a flag to the standard.

Image Three and Four - I have included a Dogman soldier from my painted collection to give and idea of the scale of these miniatures.

I have to admit that they were great fun to paint - they were just what was needed to kick-start my painting Mojo.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Von Mohnblume Line - part ten

The ten little Pug's have been varnished, first with Ronseal Toughcoat Gloss varnish and then with Galleria water based Matt varnish. The metal areas were then re-varnished with gloss varnish.

I think I can safely say that I'm on the homeward track to getting this group finished before the end of September.

The ten little Pug's sounds a bit like a nursery rhyme. Any takers for the next line?


Monday, 25 September 2017

Von Mohnblume Line - part nine

The bases were painted in a custom mix of Barbarian Leather, Charred Brown and Cadmium Yellow as my supplies of Snakebite Leather from GW have now all gone.....

I like to paint my groundwork in a particular way - with darker tones around the feet and lighter (add white) drybrushing for the bulk of the base, I then pick out odd stones in grey highlighted with white.

I painted the black shoes after I had finished the groundwork as I find this so much easier. The black shoes were highlighted with dark grey before the silver buckles were painted.

The ground work was given a light wash of Nuln Oil prior to taking these images.


Von Mohnblume Line - part eight

If I am to get these little 'critters' finished before the end of September, I will have to pull my finger out!

I have painted the guns and equipment and toned-down the pure black of the tricornes by adding dark grey to the highlights. The white uniform has had some pure white highlights added and the drum has been painted in an off white/cream colour.

There should be more updates soon. Very soon.


Saturday, 23 September 2017

Models for Wargamers book - still available

I still have copies of Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models for Wargamers for sale. Should you be interested in purchasing a copy, please follow this link.

In addition, there are still a few copies of Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2 - More Wargame Terrain and you can find details of how to order here.

Thank you


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Von Mohnblume Line - part seven

I've chosen a white uniform with red facings, similar to my earlier Flintloque Dogsoldiers. The white was built-up in layers over Stonewall Grey and highlighted with Skull White for the highlights.

The red areas were basecoated in Red Gore and highlighted with Bloody Red.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Von Mohnblume Line - part six

After the black/brown undercoat or basecoat, I painted the flesh areas with a mixture of either cream and white or dark grey and black. These colours were then highlighted with lighter tones of the base colours and prior to taking these images, I tidied up the main black/brown base.

Pug's have a very distinctive face colouring as can be seen in this image. The snout and ears are usually very dark and this is how I have painted my Flintloque miniatures.

For better images, 'click' on the picture and see the progress so far.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Bromyard and Linton Light Railway

Last week Sue and I had a great day out in Hereford. On the way back to Droitwich I detoured via Bromyard and took these images of the Bromyard and Linton Light Railway.

For more information see this link.

The first three images show a Ministry of Defence 2' 6" gauge Powder Van. Re-gauged to 2 foot.

There were quite a few 2' 'Hudson' skips in a variety of condition. I don't think that being stored out-of-doors and in the open is helping preserve them.

This wagon looks like another Ministry of Defence 2' 6" gauge wagon with end posts. Note, the upside-down repair.

This larger wagon is a standard gauge enclosed wagon supported on four 2 foot gauge skip chassis's!

the final image was taken from across the road from the museum and shows just some of the rusting skips behind the metal fence.