Archive for July, 2009

Basil Brush

July 26, 2009

DSCF1676Furiously working away today on basing figures from Firezone which arrived on Saturday I noticed just how much our tools become a part of us. Above is the tool which started this epiphany, a humble Humbrol paintbrush purchased in the early eighties when they were still making good sable brushes under that brand name.

The paints flaked away, very likely into my bloodstream, from so much use and the fibre of the thing has actually curved to fit my hand perfectly. It’s a joy to use, but like most of my paintbrushes it’s getting near the end of it’s days. I’ve got more than fair usage from them all though, given they were typically bought around thirty years ago. The key to this longevity is the quality, I’ve always gone for the most expensive paintbrushes I can find, plain sable at the very least even if the prices seemed eye-watering at the time.

Lately I’ve started replacing them with Winsor & Newton Series 7, although slyly as if I had taken a mistress. Only ever painting with them for short bursts of time and never in front of the older brushes. Now if you’ve not heard of these it’s only fair to point out they’re not cheap, being as they’re made from Kolinsky Sable, although the name is a bit of a pedant’s dream being as a Kolinksy is a form of weasel and not a sable at all.

The series 7 was first made following a royal command from Queen Victoria in 1866, and at around £7 for a 000 size you can’t help thinking they might be made by royal hands. Although even if you only get a decade of use from one it’ll only have cost you around two-tenths of a penny per day. Look after them and you’ll easily get three decades of jolly painting from them, and then the economic benefits of quality really kick in.

Be quick though. If you’re hopelessly middle-aged like me these are very likely the last brushes you’ll ever need to buy, but if you wait much longer you’ll find your last words might well be “Kolinsky! Kolinsky! I never got to wear them out…”.

Lamp Post

July 26, 2009


It was only a matter of time before I devolved towards lifestyle journalism like a rampaging Rommel as sponsored by IKEA, and here is that moment. Mrs Me, aka the Domestic Goddess, brought back a lamp today for my modelling, sadly it’s a little too dim to function as that. Although it is useful as a secondary lamp plus I’ve started using it for taking photos of miniatures too, and for that it works very well especially as you can move it around freely without limitation by cable.

The Sunnan is unique though, it’s solar powered with a battery backup should you need it, plus it’s also got a longlife LED bulb which, they claim, will never need replacing. At £17 it’s a bit steep, well compared to a full regiment of 6mm, but for each one we the public buy those IKEA folk give one to UNICEF. Hopefully UNICEF give those to someone who really needs them rather than stockpiling them until they need to dish out gifts at Christmas.

More Glasto with tanks

July 23, 2009

DSCF1602Due in part to the large numbers visiting to see the War & Peace show pictures, but more to the lonely cry of eager reenactors unable to attend this year I’ve trawled through my remaining pictures to bring you the best of the rest. John Sweeney remains an arse.

Imagine Glastonbury but with tanks

July 22, 2009

DSCF1645The title is  the only way I can describe the annual War & Peace Show at the Hop Farm, Beltinge in Kent without bending your ear, or when writing your eyes, for about half an hour and with me becoming slowly more enthusiastic until you’d either think I was mad, or the insanity would spread and you be grinning and mumbling “Hmmmm, kettenkrad, ahhhhh universal carrier, ohhhhh sherman…“.

Let it be enough for me to say this is a premier event for all those with an interest in history, especially that of the second world war. Aside from several hundred traders, there’s a few hundred reenactors who do a stunning job of keeping history alive, not only will they happy discuss the finer points of their kit and tactics with adults, they’re also incredibly friendly to children, who leave not only impressed but also informed in a style which can only lead to further interest. In addition there’s over a thousand vehicles parked up for the enthusiast to enjoy.

To avoid our collective insanity bringing the internet to a grinding halt, I’ve put a selection of photographs up for you to look at as you choose fit. Known as a gallery these images are in no special order, nor do they have anything to say bar what they show. John Sweeney is still an arse though.

Angels on Parade

July 20, 2009

angelbarracksforumMike Angel, as he is known to me, is a 6mm version of Richard Branson. No he’s not incredibly short, with a beard and cheesy grin. More he’s an entrepreneur for all things 6mm, rather than things stamped with a corporate logo. Firstly he’s a painter – a very busy one and I’m still angling for a slot in his schedule so I might review his work, secondly he’s a scenic meister not only making scenics for otherwise busy gamers but also sharing the techniques for them quite freely. Finally he’s recently become a dad, so congratulations to him and his.

It’s this latter freedom in sharing ideas which creates a good sense of community for the 6mm clan, but not happy with that he’s also decided to strive to develop his forum, bolted on the side of his business site, into a uniquely 6mm forum. Now if some where to suggest this it would be some covert attempt at marketing his products, but that’s where Mike Angel is different, he means it.Of course he won’t complain if you do choose to buy something, but that’s a happy co-incidence, why else would he share so many top notch scenic secrets? His idea for wargame friendly trees is one of the best ideas I’ve ever seen, and it’s all there step-by-step for anyone to use.

It’s about time too, 6mm has it’s yahoo groups which are good but too old fashioned in form and function, and sure there’s forums like the GHQ one, but there’s a polite bar to mentioning anything non-GHQ there. Other forum do exist on sites like CinC or Baccus but they’re typically very slow. So here’s our chance for our own free and dedicated forum lets make use of it. See you there!


July 19, 2009

DSCF1458Some of the latest bunch to be based- all GHQ and paras starting with these Germans as painted by Phil Walling of Firezone Studio. My photos don’t do them as much justice as his do, revealing my need for a much better macro lense.

DSCF1463Here’s a nice pairing, a British PIAT team hiding behind a couple of small bushes.

DSCF1467British para’s, including a HMG team.

DSCF1478One of my faves out this bunch, a German para command group, including a Kettenkrad.

DSCF1480They’re tucked behind a fallen tree, which brings me to the only tip in this post. When you’re adding twigs it works a lot better if you file or sand the bottom of it before gluing into place. If you don’t there’s a good chance of it falling off over the years.

DSCF1473A trio of German trucks, two set for towing guns, the third more for transport.

DSCF1476Side view of the above, showing how the irregular spacing adds a hint more realism.