Sunday, May 31, 2020

Paint Table Sunday: Jaguar Tribe and back to Romans!




I finished another seven figures yesterday (that's twenty-nine in May!) in the shape of the Lucid Eye Jaguar Tribe for Savage Core. I stupidly decided to paint central American style art jaguars on their shields and really wish I hadn't. The good thing about the Savage Core rules, though, is that this is all you need for a force (plus the two jaguars).





I have already got the Atlanteans under way but, even though I have a few more Savage Core forces to paint,  I will not start another one of those for a bit.  Instead I will progress my 1864 Danes as they are rather more straightforward figures. I did a bit on them today and I might even get them finished next weekend, especially as my Nigerian work seems to have finished for a bit so I can do some in the early mornings if it stays sunny.


Current projects


I was reading a piece in Variety about the twentieth anniversary of the film Gladiator (2000, naturally) which is this year. While interesting, in a behind the scenes way (I met Ridley Scott a number of times and disliked him immensely), it contained two extraordinary statements. Firstly, the otherwise estimable actor, Djimon Hounsou was quoted as saying that there were no slaves in Roman times (obviously slaves were only owned by American plantation owners who were sold them by the dastardly British). Secondly, Richard Harris said that Romans didn't wash, hence Connie Nielsen's herb fan in the film. I know he was Irish not British but had he never heard of the city of Bath? Perhaps he thought it was named after the biscuit. This just adds to my utter bemusement as to why people (they are probably the ones who refer to themselves as 'folk') would take any notice of anything an actor might say and treat it as if it were worthwhile, correct or important. Most actors are an ill-educated bunch who fall into acting because they are too stupid to get a proper job and messed around at school doing impressions and being the 'class clown'. I really hope, in a post viral world, that people realise what a worthless bunch most of them are.


Very happy to be assimilated


That brings me to Star Trek: Picard which I realised I can watch on Amazon Prime. I am quite enjoying it, even though I found the Picard character rather annoying in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  In fact, most of The Next Generation cast were annoying, other than Michael Dorn's Worf.   I hadn't realised Star Trek had jumped into the random swear words pool as I've not seen Star Trek: Discovery. But Stewart is an Ac-Tor who also thinks that people should take notice of what he says because he cam memorise a few lines and employ a portentous voice.   In fact, I was surprised how frail Stewart's voice was in Picard (I hadn't realised that he will be eighty in July). I was surprised to see a Star Trek TV show with state of the art modern digita1 effects. I was also surprised to see how good Jeri Ryan looked at 52 (Borg implants, eh? - she claims not).  She was, of course, the only reason to watch Star Trek Voyager and, indeed, her appearance in that show pushed the ratings up 60%.  There have been some complaints about some nasty violence but, of course, the actors in the bedroom scene (in Star Trek? I thought they all went to bed and had a cup of replicated cocoa) keep there underwear on so God doesn't get upset (or, rather, her peculiar self-appointed representatives on earth don't get upset). 


McGregor: characterful


It is much better than two of the other Sy Fy shows I am watching, Pandora (shot in Bulgaria, so you can imagine the budget and, indeed, all the sets look like, well, modern Bulgaria - I even recognised some of the buildings) and Vagrant Queen (shot, more interestingly, in South Africa on an even smaller budget).  The latter is saved for the Legatus, in a Jeri Ryan sort of way, by South African actress Alex McGregor who has an interesting nose (I do like a lady with a characterful nose - see also Claudia Black from Farscape).  It does generate a slight urge to think about some dusty SF backwater type gaming. I wondered what Rogue Stars might be like but saw some reviews of it which put me right off.


Would you like mayonnaise with your fish and chips


The third  Sy Fy channel series I am watching is Siren which is a quite good fantasy (not Fantasy)  series about feral mermaids set in a fishing town in modern Washington State and filmed, inevitably, in and around Vancouver. One of the main locations is Horseshoe Bay and I stopped there for lunch once, with my particular friend Sophie, on the way up to Whistler and an insurance brokers' conference which, I am afraid, we largely ignored when we got there in favour of invigorating outdoor activities.  The mermaids, when not walking around naked (no, nothing is shown as that would be too rude for Americans) when in human form eat a lot of raw fish and those scenes, for a fishaphobic like me, are really offensive.  Although the lead actress is quite cute (despite being Belgian) the male actors are almost unbelievably ugly.  I know they are supposed to be in  a fishing village but some of the beards make me feel ill.  You really need that blurring effect to be deployed that puritan TV shows use if anyone is naked.  The following programme contains offensive beards. Ugh. At least Siren has survived for three series, I suspect Pandora and Vagrant Queen will not be so lucky.


Perhaps being a bit ambitious here, although Eric the Shed would have them painted in an afternoon.


Anyway, this is all an extraordinarily roundabout way of saying that my next figure painting project, now the Jaguar Tribe are done, is going to be...Romans. Not Early Imperial Romans, even though I have a bag (my daughter tells me that the boxes are much more eco-friendly and I should boycott firms who put figures in plastic packaging) of Victrix EIR which do look lovely. No, thinking about Gladiator got me seeking out the unit of Aventine Praetorians I started years ago for the Macromannic Wars (as depicted at the beginning of Gladiator). I found them quickly enough but then I couldn't remember where I had put their shields and pila but eventually located those too. Disappointingly, I thought I had painted a bit more of them than I had and they are not going to be quick to do but am happy to get going on them again after an (ahem) seven year break.




Completely, contrary to my intention I bought into The Drowned Earth Ulaya Chronicles Kickstarter during one of their live chats this week.  Two things changed my mind: firstly, the dinosaur I painted last week came out quite well and secondly, we won another contract for the Nigerians (no, fortunately it is not the Oil Minister's daughter)and we get paid by the UK).  Actually, another reason is that creator James Baldwin says some interesting things about creating games and figures and sends every backer a personal thank you note. It won't be out for a year, though so no pressure on the painting!




Today's music is Oscar nominated American composer Marco Beltrami's score for 1864. I also own his score for Gods of Egypt (2015) which I have played when painting some of my Dark Fable Egyptians.




Today's wallpaper is another illustration by an artist who worked for La Vie Parisienne in the nineteen twenties and, appropriately, features Ondine, the sea nymph who falls in love with  a mortal (yes, The Little Mermaid is based on the same story), The French in the twenties were not worried about their mermaids being naked. This is the work of French artist Léo Fontan (1884-1965), He also designed posters for the Folies Bergère and worked on the interiors of some French ocean liners in the thirties. Some of his book illustrations were very graphic, in more ways than one.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Paint Table Sunday: Roger, Roger and more on dinosaurs!



I have had a couple of good weekend's painting, Last Sunday I had a bit of a frustrating day as I wanted to finish my Lucid Eye Jaguar Tribe figures as I had painted and varnished them, however I couldn't find my superglue to attach their shields. I opened a new one about two weeks ago so know it is in my room somewhere but where exactly I couldn't fathom. Rather than wasting any more time on looking for it I decided to have a go at painting my Star Wars droids instead.




I undercoated five of them them last Saturday, so took a deep breath and painted them using a method I saw on You Tube using Citadel's contrast paint; the first time I had really used it. Given that one coat of this was enough, followed by a few silver bits and painting the blasters black, they are unique for me in that they are almost entirely painted in acrylics, The other unique thing was that they took less time to paint than they took to assemble!  I did the last four this weekend. Anyway, here they are. I didn't like the very thick plastic bases they came on so, in another first, I mounted them on transparent bases so I can use them for number of different scenarios. Now I want the core boxed game for the Clone Wars but fortunately it is out of stock everywhere!




So here are my current projects as of today. At he front re the Savage Core Jaguar Tribe and I have to just finish  then varnish their shields and add static grass.  Next I have got out the 1864 Danes again as they are well on their way and not too fiddly. A new lady pirate (see below) has found her way in there too. Behind are the next group of Savage Core figures but they still have a long way to go.




I have been humming and hahing about The Drowned Earth solo Kickstarter but it is quite expensive and we have just had to buy a new cooker. The Lockdown is seeing people work on more solo adaptions of rules, which is a good thing for me as solo play is really all I am going to be able to do, going forward. Also, I won't get frustrated with myself because I don't understand the rules and won't ruin everyone else's game by being slow and useless!  My doctor says that my dyspraxia does contribute to my inability to play games, interestingly. Maybe Savage Core is enough.  Perhaps I will just buy their Baryonyx model, as it is the local dinosaur!  




The Drowned Earth Kickstarter is going tremendously well (they don't need my money) and they are now planning to include a big herbivore. They were having a poll to choose between a ceratopsian (not a real one; an imagined one) and an ankylosaur and the ceratopsian has won, Why no love for ankylosaurs? There are plenty of toy triceratops' and styracosaurus' on the market but I have never seen an ankylosaurus.  When I was little it was a very popular dinosaur.




Ankylosaurus seems to have fallen out of fashion, sadly. I am not up to date on the surprisingly fast moving world of fossil classification to know if it has gone the way of brontosaurus and been removed from prehistory. Or maybe it is too hard to mould? I had one of these model kits when I was little. I took the cover illustration rather literally and painted it a lovely glossy chocolate brown with a nice silver top.




Of course I have also bought into the Jurassic World Kickstarter, so that will be enough dinosaurs for a while.  I had this small Copplestone Castings nanotyrannosaurus on my desk and on Saturday I painted it start to finish. Good dino practice! It's about 9 cm from nose to tail so would also work as a bigger beast for my 18mm fantasy figures. Maybe the Antediluvian retrosaurus next!




I have had another Kickstarter arrive in the form of some figures for Pirates of the Dread sea. I didn't bother with the rules but just went for the human and skeleton pirate figures as I still harbour (so to speak) a desire to do some Pirates of the Caribbean the Online Game type, skirmishes.  As usual I will saw off most of the slot so I can mount the figures on washers like my other pirates.  They are big figures compared with my Foundry ones but match very well with the Black Scorpion ones I have.  The Contrast Paint I used on the droids should work well on the skeleton pirates.




Where I used to work. The Old Bat asked architect Richard Rogers where she could get a model of it for our wedding cake so he got his studio to build one: one of only four architetcts' models of the Lloyd's Building in the world.


I am now officially a pensioner, as I got my first monthly payment from Lloyd's of London this week. It certainly helps towards the household bills, which I need with three non-contributing parasites living here (well, alright, the Bag for Life contributes a bit). The Old Bat has been off work for so long that she no longer gets sick pay and isn't entitled to statutory sick pay. Never mind, we won another contract on the back of the one we are working on at the moment, which is something.  Guy, at least, has got his contract for his first job in September, which is better than some of his other friends who have had their offers withdrawn due to the Chinese wrecking the economy.




I am working my way through the trashily enjoyable Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World on Amazon Prime and I really must get some Lost World tribe of the week games worked out.  All the sets look like theey are made of MDF anyway,  Although Jennifer O'Dell's, jungle girl Veronica is the obvious sex symbol, I find myself strangely drawn to the Rachel Blakely character (perhaps because she is a better actress). She certainly contributed to my colour choices for the Lucid Eye female explorer I painted a few years ago.


Jennifer O'Dell and Rachel Blakely, Splendid!


The two actresses posed for this particularly effective picture back in the show's heyday (if, indeed, it ever had one).  Which reminds me, my second collection of Facebook Lockdown Lovelies is on my Legatus' Wargames Armies blog here. I am running a long way behind because these posts take ages to do!  Rather than posting pictures of actresses from the past, as I have been doing, many are doing things like putting up pictures of their ten most influential albums, I realise how poor my comprehension is of pop (and especially rock) music when I see these. In most of the ones I have seen so far I don't even know the artists let alone having heard of the albums. Maybe one day I'll put mine on here. Not that I can ever choose ten of anything in these type of things and they would vary from month to month, of course.




First random annoyance of the week is...people who describe other people as 'folk'.  Folk? Really? I just find it a very odd and old fashioned term. It just engenders a vision of people dancing around maypoles in some yokel part of Britain wearing big hats and chewing straw.  No doubt the whole folk music and Morris dancers thing interpolates itself into it. The term seems more popular in America and, perhaps, up North (I do not study Northern culture if it can be avoided). It's like using 'personages'.  It's also like the way American call drinks 'beverages'.  I have no rational explanation as to why these annoy me but they do!

Second annoyance of this week are people who write LOL after a supposedly amusing comment they have made on Facebook. Almost without exception the comment is not amusing but people feel that they have to be funny even if, like me, they have no sense of humour. LOL, appalling netspeak though it is, should be used as a reaction to someone else's comment, not your own. It's like those tragic celebrities who clap themselves on TV shows or people who laugh at their own supposed witticisms, like Eurosport's annoying cycling commentator Carlton Kirby. Oh, he does think he is amusing. but he is just annoying. Grrr!




Anyway. today's album is His Dark Materials by Scottish composer Lorne Balfe, one of the Hans Zimmer school. I really enjoyed the TV series although I have no knowledge of the books and haven't seen the film The Golden Compass (2007), which covers the same story, even though my old college appeared in it.  Interestingly the music was written before the TV series and is more in the way of a stylistic dry run for the actual soundtrack which I then had to acquire too. Atmospheric stuff but more suitable for painting steampunk figures to, I think.


Dakota Blue Richards: Little girls get bigger every day


In the feature film, the young heroine, Lyra  was played by Dakota Blue Richards, who I only remember from the Oxford-set detective series, Endeavour. She is the type of actress who reprehensible Fleet Street photographers always seem to want to pose in profile. 




Today's wallpaper is an illustration by Maurice Milliere (1871-1946), Born in Le Havre, he received most of his artistic education in Paris, where he became a top illustrator for magazines like La Vie Parisienne and  Le Sourire. He, essentially, developed the genre of what would become pin-up art, with his saucy, under-dressed, young. modern ladies about town and was a great influence on pin-up master Albert Vargas.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Paint Table Sunday: Warriors of Rohan




I'm carrying on with my three projects at a time approach, so my current work is some Savage Core Jaguar Tribe and Atlanteans and some Star Wars Battle Droids.  The Jaguar tribe are coming along and I did a bit on them today but they have fiddly shields to do so they will not be done this week, I think.




Yesterday I finished twelve warriors of Rohan from the Fields of Pelennor boxed set. I had to find the shields which were in the box and was depressed at how many figures there are still to paint, considering I did army of the dead and orcs a year and a half ago!  I had more varnish problems with these. Some time ago I switched to Vallelo polyurethane matt varnish as the Humbrol was drying and leaving white patches. However this time the Vallejo didn't not dry matt on some paints I had used a Citadel shade on. Frustrated I stirred some Humbrol for twelve minutes and put it over the shiny bits. Seemed to be OK but was still leaving the odd white patches which I had to paint over.  I wish there was a matt varnish that actually worked reliably!




I need to start thinking about what should come in next.  Ideally, I want something that is not just started but well on the way so I can get them done reasonably quickly, as I find figures with a lot of work still to do on them rather depressing. I keep some of my most recent (i.e. the last seven years or so) figures in little plastic tubs behind my chair on one of my bookshelves.  I need to look at what is in here and see what I could push along. At present I am thinking of my 1864 Danes as there are only a few (nine?) of them and they have a quite simple uniform.  At least none of these need preparing as they are all based and undercoated at least.  However Charlotte wants me to do some riders of Rohan. I did start six some years ago but they are in a box somewhere and I don't know which box. 




The redoubtable Mike Siggins commented on Facebook this week that he hadn't worn a watch for thirty years but was now thinking of getting one. I find this very peculiar. I have worn a watch every day since I started senior school at eleven. I really cannot understand people who say that they have the time on their mobile phones. So, when they want to see the time they have to get their phone out of their pocket and look at it (and maybe even unlock it first), as opposed to just a quick flick of the wrist and there it is. Also what if the sun is out? Then you can't see anything on a mobile phone screen. Do people then have to find a tree to stand under? Also I cannot see the numbers on my phone as they are so small, so then I would have to get my glasses out too. Hence why my everyday watch is this one, as it is so clear. I went to a meeting once at a big architects firm and they were all wearing this watch (based on the clocks at Swiss railway stations) as it is a design classic! One more thing, of course, I don't usually carry my mobile phone on me as I don't want it microwaving my brain every hour of the day. Mostly I forget to charge it up too. 




This weeks annoyance is people drinking beer out of bottles. Again, just why? I have been watching several US TV series lately and I'm sorry but I think men drinking from silly little beer bottles looks childish or even, he said, not worrying about being politically incorrect, effeminate. They look like they have baby's beakers as they sip, sip, sip ineffectually. The worst example, oddly, is the otherwise estimable Perdita Weeks in Magnum. When she does it, obviously to look like one of the boys, she looks very uncomfortable doing so.  She purses her lips and tries to sip, sip sip, a tiny amount of beer. Glasses is what you need for beer. Big glasses so you can get a proper mouthful not a baby beaker serving. Cognac is for sipping. Beer is for quaffing! And as for that idiotic idea of sticking citrus fruit into the neck of the bottle to restrict the flow even more and make the beer taste like washing up liquid. Really. That is why you live in a Third World country, Mexicans! I absolutely refuse to drink beer out of bottle!




Today's music is the soundtrack to  Prehistoric Park by Daniel Pemberton, who went to the same school as I did. It goes very well as background music when painting Lost World type tribesmen. Speaking of which, I have discovered I can get Amazon Prime on my TV. This has been available for years for me but I didn't know how to do it but Charlotte set it up so she could watch Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon for her birthday. The Old Bat watched it too but as she walked out of Star Wars and has never seen another science fiction film in her life all the in jokes were totally lost on her. I have always wanted to watch the Man in the High Castle but instead I am watching Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. Excellent! Dodgy CGI dinosaurs, the same location as I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of Here, lots of Australians with equally dodgy English accents and tribe of the week (no more than twenty of them) in a forty foot across set.. And, of course, Jennifer O'Dell in her little leather outfit and Rachel Blakely looking lovely too. I wonder what Conan Doyle would have thought of it? I wonder what he would have thought of his estate taking the money and running, as well? 




Oh, alright here is a picture of O'Dell as Veronica (a name which holds a lot of resonance for the Legatus). She designed this outfit herself so was not exploited by the costume department as you might think. As the credits say, ' befriended by an untamed beauty'. Apart from her hair, that is, which is always tamed to within an inch of her prehistoric curling tongs.




Today's wallpaper is this lovely breakfast time study by William Breakspeare (1856-1914) from Birmingham.   Not a very well known painter but he exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition eight times and studied in Paris for a time.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Paint Table Sunday: Locate and cement




No doubt quite a lot of you remember the days when Airfix kits had written instructions, before the days when pandering to Johnny Foreigner saw the end of the phrase 'locate and cement' in favour of pictorial instructions, as these ignorant foreigners didn't understand English (although, in reality, they almost certainly did). Apparently, Airfix are doing very well during the lockdown with sales beating even the pre-Christmas period and they were even mentioned in the Times a week or so ago. While I would love to have a go at an Airfix kit (or finish that 1/48th Spitfire I have actually done quite a bit of) sadly the pressures of my current work for the government means I do not have all the spare time others do. I have to say the Airfix PR team are playing a blinder in pushing their product as a boredom reliever through social media (shudders, even as I type the words)  and I am pleased they are doing well, as they have been through several rocky periods in the past and they are a real part of my childhood.




That's not to say I have eschewed the heady smell of polystyrene cement altogether, as I am working on two sets of plastic figures at present. Admittedly, there is not much gluing to be done on the Games Workshop Warriors of Rohan, other than sticking on a few shields. I had a good day on them yesterday; now that I am happily (mostly) embracing my blotchy painting style. I did make one mistake on them, though.  One of the many problems with my eyesight is a loss of colour sensitivity, so I have, for example, difficulty in distinguishing some blues from greens. I did one of those online colour blindness tests recently and only scored two out of twenty, although, apparently, colour blindness is much more common in men. Oddly, the problem is worse in bright sunlight. This has become an issue when painting the Rohan figures, Stupidly I painted all the slightly different greens on the base colours first and then decided to shade them some time later. Usually, I paint the base colour and then shade it straight away. As a result I could not tell which paint I had used on parts of them and ended up shading them with the wrong greens. I am not going back to re-do them but will remember this when I start the Rohan warriors on horses later in the year. As the Old Bat's very Scottish grandmother used to say: 'No-one running for their life will notice'.  




A very different plastic prospect are the Star Wars Legion battle droids that are Project 4 for 2020 and will shortly become Project 3 as the Rohan warriors are nearly done (or maybe I should just keep adding numbers rather than just having three numbered projects). Incidentally, I had a conference call with someone this week and she insisted on pronouncing it 'proe (rhymes with Edgar Allan) -ject' not 'prodge-ect'. It drove me mad. Short 'o'! Short 'o'!  Being Irish is no excuse! Goodness me these droids are a fiddle, though. As you can see from the above they come in lots of teeny-tiny pieces with teeny tiny instruction which you have to locate, cut off, sand and then cement.  I thought I had made four, sometime last year but, disappointingly, I discovered I had only put together two of them, I put together another two yesterday and it took over an hour. Far too stressful to be relaxing. I thought Victrix Napoleonics were bad but they are as simple as Duplo compared with these.


They're all called Roger...


Having got these under way (they do look good when constructed) I idly considered getting them some opponents. Clone Troopers, perhaps. This is when I discovered that the Star Wars Legion stuff is almost impossible to obtain. Is this just a UK problem? Is it because they are made in China? What is the point of launching a big game from an enormously well known franchise if you can't get any of the product? Poor management and distribution. I was ready to spend some of my new pension money on it but can't!  Maybe I'll buy a Rohan house instead. Except you can't.




I have been looking, inevitably, at a load of other wargames stuff which I shouldn't be thinking about and two are from the Plastic Soldier Company, a firm I have never bought anything from (yes, there are some). Firstly, I watched a You Tube video (embarrassingly, as I always feel if I do this my IQ will drop twenty points, I'll start calling it 'follidge', slurping tea noisily, having a disgusting beard and all the other things that put me right off YouTube hobby videos) on PSC's Mortem et Glorium rules. Please can we have no more Latin names for wargames rules? It just reminds me of Latin at school and cursed Caecilius, his ugly family and nasty dog.  This video effectively put me right off the rules as they were one of those sets where vast proportions of units can be knocked out in one turn. I had decided to look at them because of their new 15mm plastic figure, which I saw previewed in Wargames Illustrated. These are made of some sort of bendy plastic (or resin); perhaps like the John Carter figures. The figures are quite  nice (not very nice) although they suffer from cricket bat sword syndrome. The video was quite well done but I couldn't follow the rules for the life of me and don't wear a hat indoors! Such are the things that loses the Legatus as a customer. I think I'll stick to metals for this scale (not that I have really painted any 15mm metals yet).  Possibly this will be Proect Five or Six this year.




Also coming out soon from PSC is a new range of 10mm tanks and figures for an imagined WW3 game set in 1983 called Battlegroup Northag (ugly name; it sound like a witch from Yorkshire). The tanks look very nice but the figures are squat and horrid.  They are all in the new bendy plastic so I can see a lot of flaking gun barrels like the old Airfix polyurethene tanks. Maybe this is why the complete barrel is not shown on the box as it has gone bendy! Now I have, in the past, flirted with the idea of wargaming this imaginary alternative history, mainly because I enjoyed a book by Harold Coyle called Team Yankee many years ago. This featured a Soviet nuclear strike on Birmingham, which seems like an excellent concept.  In fact, my sister, who knows about such things, once told me that in the event of a conventional war in Europe the Russian;s first tactical nuclear target was actually Staines, where I am from, because Heathrow Airport would have been a major staging point for US aircraft.

Of course Team Yankee is already another, 15mm, game by Flames of War but, again, I am not impressed by the figures nor the Warhammer 40,000 style point blank tank conflict. If the PSC ones had had US opponents instead of British I might have been in trouble. Worryingly Victrix's promised 12mm figures for WW2 look really nice but I am safe on those for a while. Anyway. as I am struggling to paint 28mm figures, 12mm is surely lunacy.  But...




One game which is real science fiction but I have always been interested in is The Drowned Earth. I like the setting and I really like the figures and, like Savage Core, it utilisse small forces. I had a chat with the friendly chaps behind it at Salute about three years ago and, sadly, they said it was not possible to play it solo. However they are launching a solo version next week, pitting your forces against dinosaurs. One of which is Baryonyx, Surrey's very own dinosaur, the first skeleton of which was found only ten miles from where I live. Hmm...




While assembling my droids I listened to the extended version of John Williams music for Star Wars The Phantom Menace.  In retrospect this is, I think, the fourth best of his nine Star Wars Scores (The Empire Strikes Back is the best, of course and the loss of Herbert Spencer as orchestrator was felt in the later scores).  I like it more and more. As the Old Bat is still mostly in bed I then watched the film again in the evening, purely to research the droids, of course.  I don't suppose the Star Wars Legion people will ever release a Gungan army, sadly, as who wouldn't want to squash Jar Jar Binks with a hover tank?




Today's naked lady comes form the brush of French artist Yves Diey (1892-1985). This picture, which dates from the early fifties, was sold at Christies eight years ago for £2,750. Bargain!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Paint Table Saturday: Three projects



It's paint table Sunday and I have realised that it is counter-productive to write blog posts when I could be painting so I am doing this, retrospectively, now that the good light has gone. I get bored painting, very quickly, and given my eye issues I no longer find it relaxing and  can only manage about forty five minutes at a time, now.  To stop myself getting too bored, therefore, I usually have around three active projects on the go at the same time.




I began these warriors of Rohan, for Lord of the Rings, back early last year but have pulled them out again. I have now located their shields and today I finished the base coats of them, So for the next few weeks it will be onto shading.


First completed figures of 2020


This week I finished the Lucid Eye Red Simians and as the factions for this game are only seven figures I dug out another unit I had started. In fact all I had done on these was the flesh base coat. Why do I hate the word 'flesh'? It gives me the shivers and I never use it in spoken English. It's like the American  'panties' or 'tights' or 'offal'. Just nasty, creepy words that make my brain recoil.




Next up, therefore are the Jaguar Tribe who are based, I believe, on some Aztec period Central American people. I haven't looked up how they should look as the historical name of the people is too complicated for me to remember. It was like yesterday when my father in law asked me what antibiotics the Old Bat was on and I couldn't for the life of me remember or pronounce their names. The Bat had a relapse last week and the doctor sent her to Epsom Hospital. They actually put her in a bed in the Covid-19 ward (interestingly, only four people in it) while they did tests. Oddly, they didn't test for the Chinese Virus as they were sure that she had had it. They put her chest pains down to Gastroesophageal reflux and presecribed some pills, They let her out of the hospital and the next day she felt worse. By Friday she couldn't breathe but, fortunately, the local doctor rang up to check on her. She prescribed some antibiotics and I just managed to get them before the pharmacy closed. Just as well as by eight in the evening she couldn't breath or speak (that's how you know the Old Bat is really ill). However the antibiotics kicked in and this morning she is tired but much better. The doctor had rightly diagnosed pneumonia (which a lot of Chinese Virus patients seem to be getting afterwards). So, anyway I moved the Jaguar tribe along yesterday between running errands for the Bat.




Also, as part of the Jaguar faction, there are a couple of, well, Jaguars. I will paint one as black and try to paint the other in its spotted form, although that may be a bit ambitious.






Finally, my third unit under way is another Lucid Eye Savage Core unit, the Atlanteans, who I based and undercoated on today. They are are, basically, Ancient Greeks. I have painted quite a lot of Greeks so should be able to manage these. I need to decide on a colour scheme for them. As they are not historical I can go wild so I think I am going to use the colour scheme I used for Lucius Verus who, in turn, I based on a costume from Cleopatra (1963).

So, these three projects should keep my busy, although I am flat out at work at the moment writing a very long report so can't paint during the day. Maybe I can get a bit done some mornings but the weather is not going to be so bright next week.




I usually drink Lifeboat Tea but have nearly run out so have not opened the last two boxes I have (because if you finish your last boxes you will get the Chinese Virus and die) so am currently drinking Fortnum & Mason's Queen Anne tea which is loose leaf. Now, I used to be a terrible tea snob at university and we all only drank leaf tea. It's years since I have had it at home but it is a bit of a revelation, not least as regards price per mug. The box I have (which was part of a hamper my parents in law were given at Christmas) is £12.95 a tin. But twenty-five teabags of the same stuff is £5.95.  This makes the loose tea much, much better value. I started the tin three weeks ago and have over a third left. twenty-five tea bags, costing nearly half the price of a tin, would have lasted me about three days.  I think it was my slinky lady friend K, at Oxford, who used to drink this. It is certainly fragrant, elegant, warming and, indeed, familiar. There is a Fortnum & Mason shop in the Royal Exchange in the City, so when I can next go to London I might get some more or try Royal Blend, which is the one I used to have.




So, finally, what are my annoyances this week? One wargaming and one not. A really major annoyance is that on my new computer keyboard the insert key is next to the backspace key, something I don't remember from my old keyboard. So when I hit the backspace key (which I do a lot) I more often than not hit the insert key. This turns my cursor into a blue block which starts gobbling up text until  I notice. It is not good for my blood pressure!  Argh! It's just done it again while writing this paragraph.  The second annoyance is bases on wargames ships. Now, I have ranted on before as to my inability to comprehend why people put bases on AFV models (they aren't going to fall over!) but the new Warlord Games WW2 ship game (which I might have been interested in) come with the most ludicrous bases I have ever seen on a ship model. They are all stuck on something that looks like a French bread pizza base. Talk about an instant no sale. The models for their Cruel Seas weren't like this! Anyway, these naval games seem to require huge amounts of on board (to coin a phrase) clutter and I don't like tokens and cards next to units.




To go with my Savage Core painting, I am listening to American ambient composer Michael Stearns' atmospheric 1995 album, The Lost World.  It really is a perfect accompaniment!




Today's wallpaper is the accurate if unimaginatively named 'bathers' (1920) by the Belgian painter Théo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926). It was painted toward the end of his life, in the South of France, like most of his nude groups.