In Her Majesty's Name - not as much progress as I would have hoped
Usually on my return from Salute I immediately base a figure or two and try to get something painted straight away. This is exactly what I intended to do today, given that I possess nearly five dozen new figures for In Her Majesty's Name. I based a dozen yesterday and undercoated three today intending to finish at least one (probably Sherlock Holmes). Alas, I found myself in a position this morning with not one paintbrush with a decent point on it. The one drawback of enamel paints is that they mean your brush life is measured in weeks. My recent productivity has had its inevitable effect, so no painting today!
What could I do, instead? I made a nice cup of Lifeboat Tea (my favourite) in my splendid new Salute Jason and the Argonauts red figure-style mug and looked down at my new Renedra barn, sat in the pile next to my chair (I had carefully scattered all my new purchases in different corners of my study to avoid the inevitable Stasi-style raid, but cookerhood woman was safely at work). Light bulb! I could have an Airfix sort of day instead! Now I haven't made any of these new plastic building models, mainly because none of them have suited any of the periods I do and also because, on the whole, I prefer resin (the attempt at thatch on the Perry medieval house is tragic). But needing some scenery for In Her Majesty's Name I thought the barn could be used on my gradually coalescing Manor House scenario. It would also work for the ACW as well. I put it together pretty quickly (although the fit of the parts isn't perfect) and decided to base it for some added strength as the design of the piece meant that there was not much in the way of areas in contact where you could apply glue. I wanted to leave the roof unattached so it could be removed but I don't think it would have been strong enough on its own. I've now textured the base, black undercoated it and got the main colour down. It now needs some detailing and the base painting. I hope to finish it tomorrow (or, more likely, considering the number of meetings I have tomorrow, the next day). It's a shock to be working on scenery though!
One is cookerhood cleaner, one is the opposite
I don't use black undercoat that often but as it was a comparatively warm day I took advantage of the warmth to undercoat my new Warlord Caesarian Romans as well, which I decided would also benefit from black undercoat, given the amount of metal on them. As a result I nearly had a disaster! I left the can of paint on the worktop in the kitchen. When my wife came home from work she decided to clean her new cooker hood which has a stainless steel flue. The electrician had left dirty fingerprints on it so she had ordered some special cleaner in an aerosol. Looking at the flue in the bright light this afternoon she decided to give it a squirt. Fortunately, I was in the kitchen at the time as she reached for my black undercoat instead! She was about half a second from spraying black paint all over her £1,000 cooker hood! It would have all been my fault I'm sure!
In order to keep me focussed on a project I like to indulge in a bit of background fluff to engender the requisite engagement. Usually this is just a bit of reading and appropriate music while I paint. So I've been listening to the Hans Zimmer Sherlock Holmes soundtracks, the Patrick Gowers TV soundtrack and even David Arnold's Sherlock soundtracks. Sometimes something more visual is needed and so the other night I watched the Sherlock Holmes (2009) film again as it is quite Steampunky in places. Having been kicked off the TV while Guy played Xbox yet again (he was recently chosen for the UK Call of Duty team and offered an all expenses trip to Las Vegas for the World Championships - that's how much he plays. Fortunately he was too young!) I decided to finish an episode of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes which I had started but not finished some time ago. Quite a lot of these are shot in and around country houses rather than the foggy London I imagined would feature more often (which is why I need to locate my unpainted model mansion which I originally bought for using in ECW games). This episode, The Man with the Twisted Lip, did have some good dark alley Victorian London scenes however which gave me some thoughts about a London scenic board (eventually).
Eleanor David in The Man with the Twisted Lip
However the scene which really took my fancy was when Holmes (the North Star IHMN figure really looks like Jeremy Brett) and Watson turn up at the lady in distress's house in the country. Played by Eleanor David, one of a number of splendid actresses to appear in this series over the years, she offers Holmes and Watson a cold supper after their long journey from London.
They never eat it but this sumptuous looking collation of pie, cheese, ham on the bone and cold pork chops quite distracted me from the action. I proceeded to shop for a version of this to have tonight with a nice bottle of claret while I watch the next episode... Inspiration comes in many forms!