I haven't done any painting this week as I am in transition from one contract to another and so I have had to do things like save all my documents and emails for transfer to my new work laptop. I picked it up yesterday and it is Windows 8! Argh! So, not feeling like painting, I decided to start basing my lovely new Artizan Afghans. I mount all my figures on individual bases; for some reason I just can't bring myself to mount them as elements even though it would often be more practical to do so. As a result I won't use rules that require "stands". I have no real reason for this other than I like my soldiers as individuals. I'm sure it goes back to Airfix days, or something.
For armies that adhere to formations I make 20mm card squares using art mounting board. For figures that are more likely to be deployed as individuals in skirmishes I use 20mm metal washers. For the last six and a half years or so I have bought these at Hurst (or Errrst, as the locals pronounce it) the ironmonger in Cowes; stocking up every time I go down there. Last time I went, however, they didn't have them. I checked at their main branch in Newport and they said that they had changed their supplier and would not be stocking them any more. Argh! You'd think you would be able to go into B&Q or Homebase and just pick these up but they are remarkably difficult to find.
The ones above are the very last ones I have and I was getting stressed about where the next ones would come from. I did manage to find some on Amazon the other day but they were the last pack available. I really need to get a couple of hundred from somewhere.
I have a similar concern about the PVA glue I use to stick sand to the bases. I also bought the PVA in Cowes, years ago, in an art shop which has now gone. I liked it because it was quite thin, unlike most other PVA I have had, and you could spread it easily with a brush. So now I need to find some thin PVA as well.
Guy with an Iguanodon foot cast on Compton beach
The sand I use for my 28mm figures comes from Compton Bay, also on the Isle of Wight. The beach at Compton is a very good place for fossils and there is an Iguanodon footprint which you can see at low tide. Also there are a number of Iguanodon footprint casts just lying along the bottom of the cliff. So my sand may contain fragments of dinosaur! I need to paint some dinosaurs!
The music I am playing for this post is, naturally, Benjamin Bartlett's excellent soundtrack to the BBC Walking with Dinosaurs (not the ghastly anthropomorphised American film that was recently released). I bought the CD in the Dinosaur Isle museum on, you've guessed it, the Isle of Wight. "Imagine you can travel back in time" intones Kenneth Branagh (I sat at the next table to him once when having lunch in the Beverly Wilshire hotel) as portentous music plays (fortunately there are just a few spoken lines in the first track only). If I could go back in time I'd make sure I picked up more glue and washers from Cowes!