Saturday, April 08, 2017

Paint Table Saturday: Back at it

So, having had a varnish disaster with some of my figures I did manage to get some repair work done the other week.  I repainted the British jackets, trousers and black parts.  So I just have the rifles  and the stripes on the trousers to repaint now.  While doing this repair work I got on with the NCO, so hope to move them along today as it is bright and sunny (that means the paint dries on my palette really quickly, though).

This shows my 2nd Afghan War figures under way at present.  Still no sign of the missing mountain gun from North Star, though. Somewhere I have the Renedra mud brick house so maybe I should dig that out so at least I have a backdrop to photograph the figures against.

Baby O.  Intelligent.

Last Saturday I couldn't paint as I went up to Oxford with my sister to see my cousin and his baby.  My cousins emigrated with my aunt to Australia when I was at College in 1980 so I only see them sporadically.  He is a journalist and lately has been the European correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald, living in North London. I haven't been to see them there, as I try not to go north of Oxford Street in London in case I catch a nasty case of Guardian,or corduroy.  His wife has got a job as a lecturer in one of the Oxford colleges so they are renting a house in Oxford.  Much more civilised.  A bonus was that his brother (who works for a well known IT organisation in San Francisco (why is it that all Australians try and leave their country as much as possible?) was there too.  It was nice to have an intelligent conversation with the baby over a very good lunch for once, rather than listening to the Old Bat's inane prattling about her pond (we left her at home, as she has no intelligent conversation).  Guy joined us and is now home for Easter so that will push the food shopping bills up considerably.

Baby O (I won't give her real name as she is probably the only person in England with it - it is a real name, just very, very unusual) was a well behaved delight.  I think she is my first cousin once removed,  She also, unlike my incredibly fussy children, eats everything put if front of her.  She scoffed about three slices of bread, quite a lot of cod and a lot of linguine with crab, chilli and lemon.   Guy won't even eat baked beans as they are "too spicy". She really likes lemon and happily sucked on about five wedges of it, to the extent that the waiter brought her a little plate of them.

The restaurant we went to, Gee's, is just a short walk from their house in North Oxford and is, amazingly, in the next road to the one I lived in in my third year. To get there we had to walk down North Parade Avenue which used to be the site of an Italian restaurant called Luna Caprese where I went quite a bit (I was making money by selling drawings in the third year) with my girlfriend from nearby St Hugh's College.  Most of the tables at Gee's are in a bright conservatory and it really is a very nice place for lunch.  I had actually been there once before, about eight years ago, when I was interviewing a girl from the Oxford University basketball team as my summer intern.  She was very fit and got the job with no problem, partly because she ate properly and didn't pick at salad!

Talking of greenery, I was in Chessington Garden Centre looking at possible ponds for the Old Bat (she sat in the car as she took a job there once but only lasted four days so she won't go inside there any more) when Charlotte wanted to go and have a look at the fish and reptile house.  While in there I got some 'tropical' plans to start some scenic bases for the Lost World.  Now even the most basic scenic item is beyond my hobby skills so I expect they will sit there for the next four years.  I just have no idea how to even start attaching these to a base - or how to make a base.

Oddly, my new favourite TV programme is called The Repair Shop, where carefully selected members of the public bring in various broken objects with a heart warming story attached and very clever craftspeople make them as good as new (except the monkey - that wasn't a total success.  "Failure!" chortled the Old Bat in malevolent delight as the poor monkey's broken mouth opening mechanism defeated the repairer).  The Old Bat is quite clumsy and is always breaking stuff which I then have to repair but other than being able to open a bottle of superglue (and that sometimes defeats me) I have no idea what I am doing.  I think that this is the appeal of the show.  These people are really clever. It's like Strictly Come Dancing.  I will never be able to dance a single ballroom step but enjoy watching experts who make it look easy.  I did, actually, have a ballroom dancing lesson with the Old Bat before our wedding, as she expected me to dance on the day (I didn't).  Both she and the dance instructor were incredulous at my lack of ability.  "Anyone can dance!", he had said confidently, at the beginning of the lesson.  He wasn't saying that at the end.  "Anyone can make a scenic base!" Actually, I have no idea where to start.

So, imagine how delighted I was to see a link to a YouTube video, in the Warlord Games newsletter, giving  a link to The Terrain Tutor who has some lovely jungle bases.  Well, I started to watch one of these but I had to stop as I couldn't stand his speaking style.  This is because. yeah? he breaks up just about every sentence, yeah? with the word, yeah?  It is unbelievably annoying. Interestingly, when Darcey Bussell started as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing she had the same annoying vocal tic (or at least the Sloane Ranger equivalent, "yuh?").  However, by the second episode she had stopped this (due to total derision in the press).  The Terrain Tutor also waves his arms around for emphasis like an Orangutan who has been living in an Italian zoo. No more Terrain Tutor for me, unless he sorts this out!

Today's music is the enjoyable contemporary orchestral piece The Seven Wonders Suite, by the Scottish composer Stuart Mitchell,  It's very good painting music and is like the soundtrack to a film

Today's wallpaper distraction is Early Morning by the Irish artist Sir William Orpen, which was painted in 1922.  The story of the girl, Yvonne Aubicque (his mistress), is fascinating and involves a TV show revelation, Grand Prix motor racing, dog breeding, WW2 French resistance, MI6 and an amazing twist. You can read about her on Legatus' Wargames Armies.


  1. First cousin once removed, indeed. I've found babies are often quite flexible in their social interactions until their parents finish the job of warping them. As far as terrain goes, a hot glue gun is a remarkably versatile tool.

  2. Ditto the Terrain Tutor, that gave me a chuckle.

  3. Also, I looked into your Shiraz, but sadly, it seems unavailable in this part of the colonies.

  4. Nice post - how many bases do you want Sir abnd what size - I can cut them out of hardboard (of which I have amassed a load of offcuts) and give them to you the next time you are over.

    You will need a hot glue gun to stick the plants to the base though

    1. Oh dear, two suggestions for a hot glue gun. I have not heard of such a thing but it sounds remarkably like a tool to me! It is very kind to offer to cut me some bases but I will not trouble you for them...