Sunday, April 21, 2019

Paint Table Sunday and a Martian



It's Paint Table Easter Sunday and, thankfully, the family have gone down to Hampshire for the usual family Easter Egg Hunt, leaving me in peace. I couldn't go this year as I had some work to do and there wasn't a seat for me in the car, for reasons too complex and tedious to go into. So, apart from the work, which I am having to spend hours on ever day of the holiday weekend because the World Bank have brought a report deadline forward, I have been getting some painting done. The original Paint Table Saturday was first a blog and then a Google+ group originally set up by a lady in Belgium. It really helped me focus on my painting for a while but now, with Google removing Google+, it has disappeared so I don't need to keep to a Paint Table Saturday and Sunday is actually a better day for this so it will be Paint Table Sunday from now on and I hope to post a bit more often.





Having finished a figure this week (see below) it was time to reassess my next unit and I decided to put the Napoleonic British aside for a while as it is a 25 man (and a horse) unit and so I got the 1864 Danes out again as there are only 12 of them, Hopefully, I can move these along a bit over the next ten days and get them finished for the end of April which will bring me back to a unit a month this year.





The one figure I finished this weekend was this Modiphius John Carter Thark. This has taken a long time to do as I wasn't quite sure how to handle it but it turned out OK, helped by the fact that it is a nice big figure.  I need to have another look at the rules but they are very much a Role Playing Game which will need other players and a games master so I may try and adapt some other rules for it. Lord of the Rings might work, I think, Next up will be the Giant White Ape and, if I am brave, Dejah Thoris. Plenty to be getting on with anyway, helped a lot by the lighter evenings.




Now what I should be doing is getting rid of surplus figures but instead I have bought quite a lot lately, including some more Star Wars figures at 25% off and the Lord of the Rings made to order deal. With this you have a week to place an order and they will then cast (in metal) just the number that are ordered. I ordered the whole lot on the basis that I can always sell on any I don't want (or, maybe, already have!).  I can sort of justify this because I have at least painted  a lot of LoTR figures in the last few months.




This weekend I have been on Facebook four years.  If you had asked me I would probably have said two years but time flies by when you are plummeting towards death and everything in life happened 40% longer ago than you think. Although you wouldn't guess it from the number of pictures of food and Martinis I post, I did it solely for wargames purposes, as I found that manufacturers were posting news of new releases on Facebook long before they appeared on websites.  I have around 250 'friends' and some I have even met in real life (if there is such a thing).  I do cull those who bang on about politics and try only to link up with those who post wargames material too. I also have ditched people who post too often. There was nice lady who did fantasy maps but she was posting about ten times a day and it clogged up my feed so, however interesting, it was stopping me seeing the hobby posts I wanted to see.  She was like the dreaded Tango01 from The Miniature Page!  Other things annoy me on Facebook but then that is no different from everything else in this so called life. The worst, however; even worse than people who bang on about politics, even worse than people who post brilliant painting and then fish for compliments, even worse than people who post pictures of Minions, even worse than people who post cute homilies (all Americans), even worse than people who write in that big colour background sign style (how do they do that?), even worse than people who say 'hey guys' or call themselves 'a noob', the absolute worse and the thing that sends my blood boiling are people who post gifs of faces reacting to things.  It's far, far worse than emojis, which are, at least small. Presumably there must be websites of these horrors somewhere. I was going to find one to illustrate the point but when I searched for gifs in my windows explorer all I got were a few pictures of naked ladies running along the beach (thanks Sophie) which would not be appropriate, however delightful.




Anyway, speaking of naked ladies, today's wallpaper is this superbly tactile painting by Earl Moran, which I found in my pin-up section of my PC when looking for a suitable Easter picture for my Facebook page yesterday. Moran (1893-1884) discovered a young lady named Norma Jean Dougherty and she modelled for him for four years from 1949. They remained friends even after she became Marilyn Monroe. Already an established pin-up artist, he had been doing calendars for Brown & Bigelow since 1932 and a 1940 Life feature on him made him a huge star. In those days, in a calendar of 12 pictures, the publishers would allow the artist to include onc nude a year and Moran's were more sensual than any others.  Later in his life he concentrated solely on nudes and this one comes from that period, dating from around 1970.  Nearly all of his work was in pastels, amazingly.




Having been working my way through Martian themed music, today's music is the expanded soundtrack to Total Recall (1990) by Jerry Goldsmith which has some striking 'alien' sounding cues and is one of his best scores, with an excellent blend of orchestral and electronic music.




The Old Bat was out at  a friend's 60th birthday party last night, so I watched Diamonds are Forever (1971) hence we have Jill St John on Legatus 'Wargames Ladies here.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Paint Table Sunday: Back to Napoleonics and on to US Infantry



Even though I didn't think it was a classic Salute this year it has got me energised about my painting again. Having finished the Byzantine archers just before I left for Excel last Saturday it was time to get going on another unit. So far this year I have completed three units. Not quite one a month, partly because I was in Botswana for ten days, so I should really have picked some figures for April which I could get on quickly with. 




So last week I decided to get started on assembling some of the new Perry Miniatures WW2 American infantry. These have a pretty simple colour scheme so I thought maybe I could get some done, start to finish, in a couple of weeks.  Oh dear.  Now I often read about wargamers who refuse to do plastic figures because they don't like assembling them and I have some bad memories of some Victrix Napoleonic French from years ago. I have always found the Perry figures easy to do, however. Not these!  To cement six pairs of arms to the bodies took me 38 minutes. Argh,  I thought. as yet another arm fell off as I tried to position it. The real problem is the arm poses that require two arms holding a rifle. The left hand is attached to the rifle so there are three gluing points: the two shoulders and the wrist of the left hand. As soon as you get one arm in place and try to attach the other you end up pushing the first arm out of place When you try and get the wrists in the right place for the hand on the rifle, one or other of the shoulders (or both) go out of place. All the time you are trying to manoeuvre the parts into place the glue is drying. The whole process is really, really stressful and not part of what should be a relaxing hobby! Some of them still aren't quite right and the shoulder joints will require some filling. Also, the Perries themselves say that not all arms will fit on every body but there is no information in the instructions to show which ones go with which, Very much the least enjoyable half an hour with model soldiers I have had for many years. I was going to build and paint a section of 12 men but don't think I can bear to build the next six for a while!




Before I could even build them I had another crisis as I was about to build the first figures but found that I couldn't get any glue out of all three of my tubes of Revell cement. It seems to be like Games Workshop liquid Greenstuff; you open it to use it once but the next time you want to use it it has all set. Fortunately, the people of the Painting, modelling and gaming Facebook group came to the rescue. After well meaning suggestions such as use a lighter to heat the metal tube, use a gas cooker lighter and use a guitar string (?) someone said any flame would do, given I didn't have any of the three things suggested. I actually didn't have any matches, either, so had to go to Tesco but using a candle flame soon had them unblocked, miraculously. I would have just gone out and bought another tube of glue but couldn't as it was ten o'clock at night. I am just hopelessly impractical!


 One figure missing, which I found after I took the picture, thank goodness


Instead, inspired by the three-ups of the Perry French Napoleonic infantry I saw at Salute I got my British 87th Foot out to work on. I put these to one side as I had a nasty attack of strap phobia but yesterday confined myself to shading the flesh and the trousers. This is a big unit, for me, of 24 foot and a mounted officer so they will take some time to finish. Now, too, of course, I realise that I have the stress of the arms to do, as I am painting them without arms so I can access the front of the uniform. Looking at the arms on the sprue I can't work out which arms will give which pose so that is more stress to worry about. Good job the doctor has just doubled the dose of my blood pressure pills.



2016  - 22



2017 - 17



2018 - 13



2019 -  12

I have enjoyed reading everyone else's Salute posts and looking at the pictures of all the games I missed. When I went round I thought that there was less, WW2, Napoleonic and ACW games than usual but it my be I just missed them.  Other people have said that the Blogger meet up was smaller this year (it was an hour earlier than usual) so I have decided to apply some science by digging out pictures from the last four years. Now, of course, people come and go ,so this is a only a point in time sample. The trend is down, however.  I don't post on my blog as often as I used to, so perhaps if there was a wargames Facebook meet up there might be more people but who knows?


My forces overrun the kraal and send the British scarpering


One thing I posted on my Facebook page but haven't mentioned here was another enjoyable Zulu ward game at Eric the Shed's.  This was a recreation of the Battle of Khambula held just a few days shy of the 140th anniversary.  We had five players: two for the British and three for the Zulus. I took control of the Zulu right wing and was immediately in trouble because I couldn't remember anything about the Black Powder rules; in particular how to activate my forces, so spent the first two moves immobile, waiting to see what everyone else did. In the end the game was something of a draw but miraculously I didn't lose a unit, unlike everyone else.




Eric's table was simple but effective and the battlefield layout was instantly recognisable from the central fortified British position on the hill. Eric's account and some excellent pictures is here.  What I really need to do is read up on the rules before I play a game so I have at least a vague idea of what is likely to be going on. Unfortunately, I play so rarely (this was my first game for a year) that I always forget the rules completely.




Another issue is that,all of my wargames rules are trapped behind a giant pile in my study consisting of cardboard boxes (mainly used to send Charlotte things to Edinburgh which she has forgotten), seven file boxes of unpainted figures and almost the entire output of Penthouse magazine from the nineteen eighties.  All need to be relocated so I can actually read my rules before a game!




I went off to MG day at Brooklands with Guy today, as his grandfather wants to buy him an MG (the Old Bat is resisting of course but then she resists anything which isn't her idea).  There were hundreds of MG's of every sort there but I really liked this one!



Back home for lunch and the light was quite good. I meant to get on with the Peninsular British but caught the end of John Carter (2012) on TV last night so did a couple of hours on this Modiphius Thark. There is still a lot to do on him but he is probably more than half finished now.. It's so nice to paint such a large figure. Maybe I should get some Victrix 54mm Napoleonics!




Last week I went to the Bonnard exhibition with my particular friend K, who used to model for me at Oxford, Not in the bath, though, as you would need hot water to keep the lady comfortable but the steam wouldn't be good for the paper.  Also, I remember the BBC drama on the Pre-Raphaelites where poor Lizzie Siddell had to spend days in the bath while Millais painted her for his Ophelia, As a result of being in the cold water she got very ill and her father, fifty medical bills later, demanded that Millais pay up for her treatment, which he did, fortunately. Interestingly, the landscape part of Millais'  picture was painted from the Hogsmill River in Ewell, not that far from where I live.  No such worries for Bonnard, who largely painted in the South of France, so his naked ladies (usually his wife and the occasional mistress) would not have been too cold, hopefully. This one, Nu dans le bain, was quite a late one, painted in 1936.  I first learned about Bonnard from an art book in our school library and I had several postcards of his paintings on my wall at college. 




Today's music is the soundtrack from John Carter (2012) by Michael Giacchino, which I had to buy, at great expense, off eBay not long ago as it is no loner available. I've played it a couple of times now and it's definitely growing on me, with some strong themes although some of it is quite remiscent of Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings and David Arnold's Stargate scores but that is a good thing!


Anna Gaël, the latest addition to Legatus' Wargmes Ladies


Finally, some of you (quite a few by the number of hits!) have noticed a few posts on Legatus Wargames Ladies this last week from Italy's Playmen magazine. It was designed as an Italian copy of Playboy from a time (1967) when Playboy was banned in Italy, Unlike Hugh Hefner at Playboy, Bob Guccione at Penthouse, Larry Flynt at Hustler and Paul Raymond at Men Only and Club, Playmen was very much the brainchild of a woman, Adelino Tattilo, who ran the magazine for over thirty years; choosing the centrefolds, cover pictures and championed its left wing, reforming written content. The effect that Playmen had on the social attitudes, fashions and culture of Italy cannot be underestimated. Tattilo was very interested in the cinema and there were regular pictorials from the sets of films being shot and virtually every young Continental actress happily stripped off for its pages, thankfully. We will be featuring some of these on Legatus Wargames Ladies over the next few months, as we have shamefully neglected it!

Saturday, April 06, 2019

A very short visit to Salute




So (I have to start my post with 'so' beacuse John Treadhead hates it), it was something of a lightning visit to Salute this year and I was there for just under two hours, although my feet feel like I have been there all day. I arrived at about 11.20 and there was no queue, unlike tat he craft show opposite. I nearly had a nasty moment when the Old Bat discovered that this was on, as she was seriously contemplating coming along. It is important to keep different parts of your life separate I think; particularly mine at present. 




Anyway, thankfully Batless, the show did seem as busy and the light as bad when I got inside. I haven't even looked at the free figure (actually I think there were two this year) because it is some post apocalypse thing. This, along with zombies (are they subsets of each other?) are just two genres I am not interested in but there were plenty of such games on display today, it seemed.  Not so much World War 2 and very little Napoleonic or ACW too, I think.




Right inside the main entrance was Big Red Bat's splendid Romans versus Celts game and I had a look at the new plastic Celts on the Victrix stand but was good and didn't buy any. Unlike Eric the Shed, who bought a year's worth of Romans and Celts for this year's project.  I am looking forward to seeing these but I will be interested to see how he gets on speed painting Celts! Stripes! Plaid! Check!  Chariots!  Argh!




The next game I liked the look of was of the Wiliamite Wars in Ireland from a period I am just starting to get interested in.  This recreation of the Battle of Aughrim (1691) had a very nice look to it.



Next up was a striking recreation of Moonbase from Gerry Anderson's UFO, although I didn't see any ladies with purple wigs, sadly.  I have no idea about the actual game but then I am more interested in the look of the thing. Not far away was a game of Warlord's new Cruel Seas but it is one of those games where the table is covered in counters and worse (printed cards by the look of it, under each model) which completely detracts from the effort you might have put into painting ships.




Another of my 'one day if I ever retire' periods is the Thirty Years War and there was a good looking game of the battle of Lutzen, I always like a game which had windmills in it!, This had a very natural coloured base and some properly in-scale trees, as most wargames table trees seem to be about twenty feet high.




These, however, were pretty much the only games I appreciated. I didn't think there was a showstopper this year and I think stunning scenery was less in evidence too.  The far end of the hall seemed emptier this year with a whole bank of former trade stands not there with just the stalls around the far wall in the concrete wasteland.




I certainly bought the least ever at Salute, with no metal figures at all and just the box of the plastic US WW2 infantry from the Perries. I also bought an M10 tank destroyer from Rubicon one of my favourite WW2 AFVs.  The other impulse buy was these four hills as I looked at them and immediately thought 'Barsoom'!




I had intended to get some more Iron Duke Indian Mutiny figures from Empress but it was one of those stands that you just couldn't get near tom so I didn't bother.  I don't do waiting or queuing!




The three up preview plastics on the Perry miniatures stand were for Napoleonic French Infantry 1807-1814.  These I will get when I get back to my Peninsula War British.

I turned up at the Bloggers meet but there were less people this year, I think, but did chat to Alastair and Eric the Shed for some time and Big Lee, Tamsin, Postie and Ray briefly. Also it was nice to see Miles again, across from America at his first Salute, and hopefully we can meet up on his next trip in May (if I am not in St Petersburg, which I might be).. He had bought US WW2 infantry as well!

So I didn't think it was a classic Salute this year and two hours was about right for me. I didn't actually buy enough to make the postage saving worthwhile, unlike some years. It has got me enthused again about painting, though, and having finished my Byzantine archers this morning (I had told myself I wasn't allowed to buy anything if they weren't painted) I have to decide on the next unit to work on.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Salute Eve





Well, it's Salute Eve and I am looking forward to going up to London for it but I mustn't forget my ticket which is still on the printer shelf! I actually have no plans to buy anything this year because for all of the many projects I am working on I have plenty of stuff to paint. What I may keep my eyes open for is the odd scenic item, particularly for the North West frontier, as I am assembling a lot of buildings for that from various different manufacturers.




I am very tempted by one new plastic box, however. I saw the three ups at Salute last year and my exact quote about them was, having eventually found the Perry stand: 'There were two sets of three-ups for new sets: Agincourt mounted knights and US WW 2 infantry, neither of which I am interested in, fortunately'.  So why do I keep looking at the adverts for the US infantry in this month's wargames magazines?  I am not really sure. When I was at school we played a lot of WW2 games with Airfix figures and tanks but these were all post D-Day Europe or North Africa. Although I have been tempted by North Africa for many years (it was where my father was  in WW2) it really doesn't lend itself to wargaming except, perhaps, with micro-tanks or a very big Eric the Shed sized board. The War in the East has never interested me either and was often similarly sweeping in scale.  I still have some interest in early war skirmishing, perhaps, but the part of the conflict in Europe I have been most interested in is Italy. It was a mid-period part of the war with lots of towns, villages and countryside to fight through.


James Coburn follows Giovanna Ralli. Well you would, wouldn't you?


When I was small I always remember lots of  American WW2 films set in Italy and usually filmed there in the sixties. The key one I remember was actually a comedy and was Blake Edwards' What did you do in the war, daddy? (1966).  Ironically, this was filmed in California (albeit using a splendid but budget busting set of a Sicilian village) as Edwards didn't want to be away from home at that point due to marital issues. I remember seeing it on TV at school in the early seventies and being impressed by the village itself, Henry Mancini's jovial soundtrack and, in particular, Giovanna Ralli in her first Hollywood film. She did a tasteful pictorial for Playboy Italia ten years later, at the age of 41, and you can see a shot from it on Legatus' Wargames Ladies here.




But I can't buy anything at Salute unless I finish my unit of Byzantines for Lion Rampant as I said I wouldn't purchase anything unless these were done (they should have been finished last month but an unexpected ten days in Botswana put paid to that).  So, it's just the varnish, then the metal work and then the static grass to do. It's going to be close!

The Blogger's meet up is an hour earlier this year, at 12.00, to avoid a clash with the Lead Adventures Forum meet. I intend to get there just after eleven to avoid the queues. Last year I didn't get the free figure but I'm not bothered about this year's so don't mind if I miss it. No doubt I will do a post when I get back tomorrow, moaning about my feet and the poor light.




It took me many decades to track down the soundtrack of What did you do in the war, daddy? but I eventually got it as part of a Henry Mancini boxed set. It's much more a comedy than WW2 soundtrack, although the Swing March theme tune is unbelievably catchy. Apart from bouncy faux Italian music it also has an anachronistic sounding Mancini ballad which is tragically dated.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Paint Table Saturday: Byzantines, Dutch, Indian Mutiny, some Kickstarters and back to school.

k


It's a very long time since I have written a Paint Table Saturday post but I am indeed, doing some painting, thanks to the ongoing Sculpting Painting and Gaming Facebook Group (although the lack of a comma in the title continues to annoy me). In theory, you are supposed to paint for 30 minutes a day but what with the bad light and four proposals to get done for work since January my output has dropped a bit. I am not managing 30 minutes a day but I have now painted for at least 30 minutes a week for 16 weeks in a row.  Some weeks I am close to, or even over, the required 210 minutes.




So far in 2019 I have completed 29 figures which is not a bad start for me, given that my bad eyesight makes it hard for me to paint for very long. Last month I finished a unit of twenty figures depicting the 64th Foot from the Indian Mutiny (Iron Duke Miniatures).  I will get some more of these soon as I have actually painted all of the ones I own, shockingly. As usual with wargaming flags, for some reason, the standards are rather oversize making it difficult, given I gave them the correct length (scale 9' 10") poles.  I wish flag manufacturers would say that there flags are oversized. 'Oh they look better on the table' say idiots on TMP. Not to me they don't. It's like those people in the past who used 54mm figures on the table to depict their generals. Also, the standard bearer figures' hands are in just the wrong position to easily hold the flagpoles. It took me a very frustrating hour to get them attached, Immediately afterwards I had to go to the doctor and he was concerned about my 'alarmingly high 'blood pressure. I had to explain what had caused it.




My current projects include a unit of Fireforge Byzantine archers and three Byzantine command to go with the nine rank and file I finished in January. I have all the base colours down on these now so hope to push on with them this weekend, In addition, I am working on a couple of individual figures for when L get bored with production line painting. One is a pulp Turk/Egyptian and the other is a Harry Potter figure for my daughter, really just to see if I can do it justice and thereby justify buying the game which my daughter would then play with me, at least.




These six figures are a purchase from this week; six North Star 1672 Dutch. I ordered these at lunchtime on Tuesday and they arrived Thursday morning, which is nearly as good as Amazon.   This purchase was inspired by a new book on the Dutch army of the period which came out this week. I bought some of these Copplestone sculpted figures ten years ago when they first came out and even painted a couple but finding information on the Dutch army of the time proved impossible so I gave up on the period. Hopefullym I will now be able to produce something for use with The Pikeman's Lament.  Compared with the plastics I have been painting lately these big chunky metals are going to be easier to deal with I think.  I just need the book to arrive so I can get properly started.




A big box of a Kickstarter I backed some time ago arrived this week: The John Carter role playing game. I couldn't even remember if I had backed this or cancelled it but here it is. Now what on earth do I do with it? Lots of delicate looking resin figures. Oh dear!  Thirty four figures and a 238 page rule book!




I first read the Edgar Rice Burroughs books in the early seventies when I was enticed by the covers of the New English Library paperback issues which largely featured under dressed ladies, much to the delight of my twelve year old self.  They key painting issue with these is going to be devising an appropriate flesh tone for the Red Martians.

The problem is that the more I paint the more figures I want. When I wasn't painting much I didn't buy many figures. I really, really must sell some I am never going to do!




So absolutely no reason to back another Kickstarter this week, of course. But that is exactly what I did with Paul Hicks' American War of Independence figures for Brigade Games (it's funded with 26 days to go). As usual I am influenced by the sculpts not the wargaming potential but this is a period I have literally toyed with for many years, ever since my Airfix days. I bought a lot of the Perry Foundry figures but although Perry Miniatures comprehensive range is very fine the older Foundry sculpts look rather old fashioned (and small) now,   Rebels and Patriots will be the set of rules for those and I will resist the temptation to do a historical battle (always my downfall) in favour of some skirmishing.  The only issue will be, I suspect the massive customs duty and shipping charges for the 20 packs I have committed to.




I was actually supposed to have a game Sunday week at Eric the Shed's. He is doing one of his big weekend games and this one will be Hastings; a battle I have always wanted to game. Sadly, I discovered yesterday that I have to return to Botswana next Saturday so will miss it. This will be my third visit in thirteen weeks. Never mind it will provide some money to buy more soldiers I will never paint! Also lurking about is another Kickstarter I bought into: West Wind's War & Empire Dark Ages figures. Maybe I can do 15mm Hastings instead!




Other than lots and lots of work (although it would be nice if some of our government clients actually paid their bills - not mentioning any names, effendi) not much else has been going on.  The most bizarre day was being invited back to my school to talk to some pupils about working internationally).  One thing I hated when I was young were all the 'Back to School' adverts in shops at the end of the summer. Not something I wanted to be reminded of when i was on holiday.

I really enjoyed the tour of my old school they gave me, although I hadn't really been back properly for forty years. They now have twice the number of pupils we did and the buildings are three times the size.  The first thing I saw when I walked through the main door (we weren't allowed to do  that when I was there) was a group of willowy teenage girls from the school next door (where my daughter and, indeed, the Old Bat, went).  They have a number of joint lessons with the boys from my school now. This would have actually caused a riot in my day. We weren't allowed within 22 yards of the fence between the two schools in order to prevent any fraternisation at all. There was, however, a small area behind the CCF glider hut where you could engage with conversation with the young ladies without being seen from either school building. So I was told.

The school had copies of the School magazine out from when I was art editor and we looked at the pictures I had done for several issues. Mostly of young ladies. I was notorious for being the first person to submit drawings of women to the school magazine.  The food choice at lunch was amazing (whatever happened to beef/lamb burgettes and the spaghetti bolognese that looked like worms in a cow pat) and I was surprised to learn that fifty percent of the staff were now women. We had one lady German teacher and that was it.

Although a lot of the fabric of the school I attended was still there it has been extended and changed so as to be almost unrecognisable. In particular replacing the parquet floor has changed the whole nature of the place. Walls which were external are now internal with additional atria added putting what was outside inside, like parts of Las Vegas. Occasionally there would be an unchanged part, like the school hall and it would take me right back. I told them that my Uncle went to the school and they found his entry details from 1932. They emailed this to me, I sent it to his sister and she sent it to his children and as a result I have reconnected with my cousins who I haven't seen since 1975. 

"What one piece of key advice do you have for the boys?" I was asked. "Don't have anything to do with the girls from the school next door!" I replied.  It wasn't just the Old Bat. There had been other stressful interactions with these girls. As my friend Dibbles told me at the time: "you are better off with the girls from Surbiton High, they are prettier, sluttier and less stressful." I wore my old school tie and they wanted it for their museum display case. I felt like a museum piece myself after I left.




In memory of Andre Previn, one of my favourite conductors, I am listening to his recording of Prokofiev's atmospheric Cinderella. It's not as well known, or as melodic, as Romeo and Juliet and takes a bit of time to get into but the more  I listen to it the more I like it. 


William Etty Female nude in a landscape circa 1825


Today's wallpaper is by the English painter William Etty (1787-1849).. He was the first major painter of the nude in England but scandalised parts of the artistic establishment by continuing to paint from life well after his student days and scandalised parts of the rest of society by including ladies' pubic hair in some of his paintings. Out of fashion for a hundred and fifty years after his death, he has recently come back into favour again, particularly after a large retrospective of his work in his home town of York in 2011