Friday, 17 December 2010

Pre Christmas Offering

What have I been up to? Well, we've been preparing for the arrival of daughter number two, who is due in early January, and indulging in the usual festive duties, namely lots of xmas shopping and draining of bank accounts! It doesn't take much to see I haven't posted anything remotely miniature related in a while.

But I have secretly (late at night) been rebasing my first historical wargames unit I collected back in the day, namely the Prussian fusilier battalion of IR Nr 66 (1870). These little chaps are almost all complete in their rebased splendour and I will get a photo up in good time.

Also, wanting a bit of a change from the Naps, I have dug out a few old Citadel minis from the depths, and finished a couple of goblins and a skeleton from my 'old' collection from the 80s. These are fun for me to paint as there is no regimented uniform and I can relax and just paint what I want.

For the interested, i'll post some pics of these in the 'Citadel Old School' link soon.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Figometer Update (October 2010)

With the flurry of activity working on the Dutch Belgian Artillery, and counting the artillery piece as one fig, managed to complete 3 figures in October. Production has now tailed off again due to work and home commitments at the moment, but would really like to push on and finish this little project soon. I really am one of the worlds slowest painters (sigh).

Friday, 29 October 2010

Dutch Belgian Artillery WIP (3)

Had some time to work on the gunners a little more. Keeping with the muddiness theme for the overalls.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Dutch Belgian Artillery WIP (2)

Had the day off on Friday, and completed the Dutch 6 pounder. Took some photos of each stage. I only used the Foundry French Gun Olive Green A and B, as I thought the C shade would make the carriage too light for my tastes.

First pic shows the carriage block painted with Foundry French Gun Olive Green A. Then (pic 2), a wash of Green Ink mixed with GW Scorched Brown (Games Workshop) over the base colour. Pic 3 is the completed piece, Olive Green A was then carefully painted on again for the wood grain, followed by Olive Green A+B for a highlight. Metalwork received a drybrush of Charcoal Black B + Black with Scorched Brown, and tops of rivets etc lightly painted with chainmail. Heavily spackled with mud for the 1815 look. The mud was a various mix, including GW Vermin Brown, Scorched Brown, Black and with French Gun Olive Green A added too (for midtone between the olive and brown mud on the wheel spokes).

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Dutch Belgian Artillery WIP

On the table this week are these chaps. hoping to get them completed this week. First use of the Foundry Prussian Blue palette for the tunic on these figures. It is quite a satin finish, a little bit harder to control than the Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue I am using on the Dutch Milita infantry. But I want a bit of variety in the blues in this contingent. One annoyance with the gunner attending the trail is the bit of flash on his left arm that I missed shearing off when attaching the arm, oh well. I'll be using the Foundry French Gun Olive Palette on the 6 pounder gun, though I have taken note of others' comments that it is not a particularly great match for the olive we're looking for. I'll use a few washes to tone it to my liking anyway.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Fokker D.VII

I watched Aces High for the umpteenth time at the weekend, which prompted me to upload the pics of the Fokker D.VII that I took on my visit to the RAF Museum, Hendon. The D.VII is my favourite aircraft of all the German fighters, it's always looked like a biplane should, rugged with good proportions. i'll take note of the lozenge camouflage, as i'll build a model of one of these one day.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Sd Kfz 251 Crewman

I know I haven't offered up any figures to look at for a while. I was holding this chap back, as I wanted to put in him a competition. He's part of the two man German vehicle crew from Bolt Action Miniatures. Seen as though he's still unfinished (binoculars and pistol) and has been sitting on the desk for two or three months, thought i'd post him up here.

Went for as realistic as I could with the reversible smock. I like the face, a sort of grizzled veteran look, seemingly a bit tired of having to put up with no air cover over his armoured column again! Put some extra time in on those boots too. I was pleased with the results.

Figometer Update (September 2010)

One paltry figure painted in September. Have to buck up and crack on at some point, though the weather is changing and the nights are drawing in, will have to switch to evening painting sessions from now on.

I have my solitary Dutch Belgian 6 pounder gun + crew primed and ready to start, just need the motivation.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Grahame White Collection Part 2

Here are some more shots of the Grahame White Collection. The Sopwith Pup on the left hand side, and from top to bottom on the right - Caudron G111, Hariot HD-1 and a Vickers FB5.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Grahame White Collection Part 1

I had the pleasure of visiting the RAF Museum in Hendon, London, at the weekend. Took the wife and daughter along too, though little Isla was more interested in the fixtures and fittings than any of the aircraft on show! I took a few pics and this is the first installment of them. Situated in the original Grahame White Factory building is the collection of World War one aircraft. A real treat this, as they have a Sopwith Pup (my favourite WWI scout), and several other famous types on show.

Here are several pictures of the Se5a scout from the collection. The second pic along the top shows the Hucks Starter attached to the Se5a's engine, ready to start her up. Middle bottom pic is of the front of the Sopwith triplane. Isla has to be restrained in the bottom right pic - from nicking some parts in a side cupboard...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


We spent a week in Cornwall, a visit to my brother and family then into a fishermans cottage perched on rocks on the beach in the lovely sleepy village of Gorran Haven near St Austell. here's a pic of the cottage taken from the beach below. We all enjoyed it, nice for Nana and Grandad to spent some quality time with Isla too. All in all it was a well earned break.

It was the first holiday for a while where I haven't searched out some military museum or other. I did see an old cannon when we passed through Looe, but no piccies of arms and armour this time. 

Now i'm back at work and have a toothache to boot. Back to reality with a jolt. Got some plans to finish several mini's soon, and need to buy a couple of new Series 7 brushes.

Figometer Update (August 2010)

Delayed posting for the figometer. Got back from our holiday down in Cornwall last Saturday, so figures have been off the menu and pasties and fish have been on it!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

My Franco-Prussian War German Forces

This graphic represents my Germanic army collection of figures for the Franco-Prussian War. It's a mish mash of units from across two of the three historical armies that took the field back in 1870.

I've realised that this is quite anal, but I can now reference the lot without too much hassle and know who's where and what's what. Units in blue-grey are not represented by miniatures, but they are there to show the real full strength of each formation.

A regiment of Kuirassier figures is missing from the graphic, as I couldnt fit it on! I also Feel the solitary pain of the lonely Wurttemburg battalion, I might just add another unit in there one day...

U in orde Johan?

This chap is almost finished, just the british made water bottle to complete + musket lock and he's done. I like this pose, he's reaching down to turn over a casualty. There is only the light company of 4 figures to paint for the Dutch militia battalion now. I am off on holiday over the next week in Cornwall, so there won't be anything in the offing.

I'm really itching to base up these guys (4 to a base) but I have told myself I can't base them until all 24 figures are completed. there are a lot of corks with minis precariously mounted on them upon the painting table!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

August Bank Holiday (3)

Having a break, having a Kit Kat - having a break i've had a gut shot. WIP Hungarian casualty.

I was so tempted to add some clotting blood. But then I looked at his face again and it seemed quite serene (well not gasping with pain), so I conclude he has a minor scratch that needs attention, and he is a little chuffed he hasn't got to join the battalion on another jaunt into Essling.

August Bank Holiday (2)

The Franco-Prussian War pile of metal has also popped back into my consciousness too, and it's the Bavarians that are demanding to be painted.

Here's a Bavarian infantryman from the 7th Regiment, 2nd Bavarian Corps (1870). I'll be painting up a whole battalion of these marching chaps, to complement my other Bavarian Regiment (15th). Again, old Perry Bros Fooundry sculpts these. Love the poses, but some of the casting is a little soft and difficult to paint, it is an old range though.

August Bank Holiday

I've finished 3 figures over the Bank Holiday weekend. Not bad while i've been looking after little Isla at the same time. She usually has a 1-2 hour nap mid mornings, which is excellent 'painting time'. I've been painting a bit more at night as well, and while the lighting isn't great - even with my daylight lamp and extra lamps - I can't be fussy these days with my time.

This is the second officer for my militia battalion. This battalion is so close to being completed now. In this pic I'm experimenting with backgrounds other than the usual clinical white. I'm thinking of using the background of fields for group shots of battalions, I think it's bringing the colours out quite well.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


Just when I was happy with my Perry Twins designed Foundry metal Prussians, the twins go and do this: Here

It's a good job i'm sitting down. Plastic Napoleonic Prussians, it makes me feel warm inside. I know the figs won't fit in with the Foundry sculpts as the Perry's style has moved on a lot since the early 90s, but i'll be buying a set of these guys for sure, and you get some volunteer jagers in the box too. Metals are apparently in the pipeline to flesh the range out as well.

Perry Miniatures just get better and better. Nice one Alan + Michael.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Hurricane MK I, 303 Squadron, Sept 1940

Something i've been working on in Illustrator. Its the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain this year, and Hurricanes and Spitfires have been flitting around in my head.

Reflecting the international composition of Fighter Command, this particular machine was the mount of Flying Officer Z K Henneberg, a member of the famed 303 (Polish) Squadron.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Bill Millin

William Millin (14th July 1922 - 17th August 2010)
I was saddened to hear of the death of William 'Bill' Millin today. Known as Piper Bill, he was the personal piper to Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, commander of 1 Special Service Brigade on D-Day. Millin is remembered as one of the few pipers to play during a World War II battle.
Use of the bagpipes was restricted to rear areas by the time of the Second World War, but Lovat ignored these orders and Millin, then aged 21, played 'Hielan' Laddie' and 'The Road to the Isles' in the midst of his comrades on Sword Beach on the 6th June 1944.
He died aged 88 in Devon, Cornwall.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Figometer Update (July 2010)

Two more Dutch militia finished in July, this battalion is inching closer to completion. Most of my time at the painting desk this past week has been spent re-basing and touching up a battalion of 1870 Prussians, which I hope to have completed this week. Originally painted a long time ago, they we're singly based on lead, which being relatively soft, tended to change shape and weigh a lot. They are been retrofitted to brand spanking new near weightless plasticard.

As a complete aside and a shameless plug. I've started up another blog, but it is dedicated to art and design, mainly the fluff I come up with when i'm not painting the little men. Feel free to go and have a look around, there will be a few military things in there i'm sure. Goto: Diniums-Nib

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

More Militia

Finished these two guys in June, though this is a WIP shot. This is becoming one of the slowest painted battalions in history I reckon. 14 finished models in it at the moment, and been chipping away at them for a long long time (from the Dutch Belgian Napoleonic thread in my blog side bar, you'll gather the militia were started in 2007!).

I have been generously given some green stuff recently and have been toying with the idea of trying some sculpting. Bought some dentistry tools and wax shapers at a very good price so I am armed and ready to go. I've created a 28mm armature after sketching out a 'figure' i am going to try and create. I'll have some WIP shots of it soon. I have the fear it will look terrible but i'm going to give it a try.

I pushed around some green stuff the other day to get a bit familiar with it and it is, as they say very much like chewing gum. This will be fun.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Figometer Update (June 2010)

June was a fairly decent month of painting for me, maybe getting some 6 or 7 hours worth of painting time, in between the World Cup (which has been a bore really, with some shockingly poor games) and little Isla competing for my time. The end result of this free time was 3 finished miniatures - a couple of Dutch Belgian Naps and a German from my SdKfz 251. Put a lot of effort into that German figure, which was from Bolt Action, and may offer him up on the SD painting comp maybe. Am almost ready to base the Dutch Belgians now, they'll be mounted 4 to each plasticard base.

I just can't get motivated to do a varnishing session right now, its an important part of the process but I often find it mundane.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Late war German

A pic of the other figure I painted in May. This late war German has been primed on the desk for around a year and he's part of a set of 4 from Bolt Action Miniatures. Dug out the Vallejo Field Grey and completed him fairly quickly. He's a little thin compared to the usual 28mm figure but at this scale, maybe he's proportionally correct. Went for the basic rubble brick dust base, should've put in a couple of bricks, i'll do this with the next German I complete.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Figometer Update (May 2010)

Finished 2 miniatures in May, so I have started the painting year on a more positive note than of late. Hoping to get more than 12 figures completed this year!

Attention at the moment has swung to the WWII Germans that I have skulking around my lead pile. I'm concentrating on the 251 Stummel crew and a couple of infantrymen. I can't see how I can fit both the crew figures into my Bolt Action Stummel without cramming, so I might just stick the loader in and have the gun commander standing on a base looking wistful.

Friday, 28 May 2010


Just a quick heads up about the new issue of Wargames Illustrated. Managed to get a copy, and this is the first issue to have a Napoleonic theme since the magazine's revamp and I have to say it's worth the £4 price tag.

You get a free copy of the out of print Osprey Men at Arms title 'Napoleon's Guard Infantry 1', and if that isn't motivation enough, the Napoleonic articles are interesting and have a kind of theme running through them about wilhelm von Dornberg and his exploits throughout the wars, from humble origins with the Hessians upto an allied cavalry command at Quatre Bras and Waterloo. There's also a look at the Kingdom of Westphalia.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

French Sailor 1870

Finished this French seaman for my Franco-Prussian War collection. As the War entered the republican phase, and as most of the imperial army had been destroyed or trapped in Metz, the French Navy provided troops to fight in the field and to man the large artillery pieces, particularly during the siege of Paris. These sailors were of good quality compared to the various Garde Mobile and other second line troops made available. This is one of the Perry Twins' earlier sculpts, I doubt they would have sculpted the chassepot rifle this big if they we're producing this figure now. He's a bit satin at the moment, he will get a lick of matt varnish sometime soon. I've noticed I haven't painted the pommel on his sword bayonet, oops.

Numeral Nemesis

I did very well out of it, my Birthday last Thursday. A new miniatures storage case from Kaiser Rushforth, that Bolt Action German Schwimmwagen i've been hankering after for ages, some new tiny drills, and some dirty cash too.

I'm very impressed with the little Schwimmwagen kit, a resin body with seperate metal details. However, i've vowed that I can't start this until i've finished the 251 Stummel. This means I had to tackle the numerals on the side of the beast that i've been avoiding doing for a year. With no decals, I armed myself instead with a paper template printed from the computer. I cut it out with the trusty scalpel, lightly taped it to the Stummel sides and blocked in the numbers with an off white colour. Nowhere near as terrifying as hand painting them on I can assure you, I got the basic outline and got it fairly straight using this method. The thin red inside strokes needed a steady hand but the results are not bad at all I think. Now I only have to complete the two crew, an MG42 and add a bit of Siflor grass.

I'd like to recommend a company i've bought from recently who have an amazing processing and delivery time, in the two time i've ordered from them, my products (Plasticard, putty and CA glue) have arrived in 1 to 2 days. If you need some new materials for your next project, take a look at

The postage rate is very reasonable too.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Dog of War

And here is some of the recent brushwork. Another of my old castings from the golden age of Citadel Miniatures. This is 'Cowden' from the F2 Dogs of War range released in 1987. I always liked his pose, raising the fist to some unknown enemy.

I have also got some of his mates from the F2 range and hopefully one day i'll get round to painting them. I enjoyed painting him up, he's got a lot of character and being on the larger side of 28mm you can really get at the detail. Next in line are some 1980s undead cavalry.

Figometer Annual Tally Report

So here is the total amount of miniatures painted by myself for this last year. 12 miniatures. As you can see it has been a fairly poor showing even by my slow standard. It is all due to the arrival of baby Isla and moving house. I had an amazing spurt of activity in November 09, as I recall it was due to mum and daughter being away for a week! Just had a late burst in April and managed to finish 3 minis here.

I have found that as Isla is getting a little older, I am finding more time to paint now and have a permanent set up in my new study area where I can go and wield the brush whenever I can get a spare minute. Natural light is slightly poorer than it was in the old loft but it hasn't affected my brushwork significantly.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Colour plate WIP

I mentioned recently that I have been painting again. I've also been 'painting' in my trusty Photoshop in lulls at work.  There are a couple more uniform plates nearly ready to add to my erratic 'uniforms series' that I have been posting up here on occasion. I don't like just writing walls of text on the blog so.. almost complete are a Napoleonic Austrian fusilier and hussar. Here's a work in progress shot of the hussar. The pose is taken from the famous Ottenfeld prints. I might have these plates finished soon.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Recent activity

No pics, but I have been able to start painting again. The new dwelling place enables me to have my painting set up in the corner of our dining room which means I can come and go to the desk as I please. I can snatch some painting time in between baby Isla's naps and when she has gone to bed. I have noticed that this has increased my productivity and I have completed three figures in a relatively short amount of time.

My Plasticard has gone walkabout since the move and for the life of me I can't locate it. I was really wanting to base a considerable amount of miniatures but that's on hold until I get some new card ordered. Still, the painting increase bodes well for the summer so Figometer updates can be expected to arrive on the blog in coming weeks.

Isla's birthday coincides with the big Salute show, so I won't be making an appearance at it this year. I don't have much money to spare for mini's at the moment anyway, and i'll be just as happy drinking cherryade and watching Isla running about with new toys.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the new Perry plastic French hussars boxed set, these bad boys are earmarked to join my 28mm pile for my birthday in May. The poses of the figures are very dynamic, they really do look excellent. Take a look at them here:

Friday, 26 March 2010

Prussian Kuirassier, 1870

After yesterdays slightly mad rambling, and as there has been no offering up of newly painted miniatures, here's a pic of a Kuirassier I finished some time ago. I feel that the shadows on the white uniform are too stark, something I will correct a little on the rest of the unit when I get around to finishing them in the future. Still, I was happy with his face, riding boots and the horse hide.

Moving away from the Franco Prussian angle - I know that research is a fundamental part of our hobby, and there's nothing better than poring over some good reference photo, illustration or text of the subject you want to depict. So I wanted to give a heads up to a book I purchased recently called Waterloo Relics by the publisher Histoire and Collections.

This book is a little gem, though it's not meant to go into deep detail of events of the said campaign, it does present a great photographic and illustrative reference of many interesting artefacts, uniforms and period paintings of Waterloo. I recommend it to anyone interested in painting the period. Check it out if you have a spare few quid.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Where, where is the town. Now, it's nothing but flowers

This doodle is my sad face at work today. My apologies for a long absence.

Its been a cold luckless winter for us: Main reasons for woe are house related, and they have gone like this: Selling the flat. Putting everything in storage. Buying a house. Losing out on the house due to vendors financial 'difficulties'. Being homeless. Living out of backpack at friends' places. Lots of beard scratching. Deciding to rent a while. Deciding to sit on capital.


On a happier note, Isla has lots of teeth. She walks alot and she is into everything. She is getting really strong and developing her character, squawking, playing chase and flashing that cheeky grin.

So, not had time for any miniature painting whatsoever! My brushes and paints are currently languishing in the dark down at the Big Yellow Storage. During this horrid few months, the only miniature related activity is that I managed to slip and to drop a tupperware box - with some of my most precious miniatures safely padded into it with cotton wool - onto the pavement and broke a few standard bearers and a diorama. Mind you, I just about avoided breaking my elbow during the fall so I guess that's a plus.

The wife took Isla up to Scotland for a couple of weeks to see the grandparents and to escape the homeless situation. So I was dossing down at my mates flat. I channelled some of the negative energy I felt from being let down by the sellers of the house we should now be living in into something productive and have got my painting mojo back. Not the mini painting mojo (i'm sure that will return soon, when we move into the new rented flat and the little desk and daylight lamp comes out), but in the brush to canvas way.

I'm thinking I might post some of the results of my endeavours here. My interest in drawing and painting obviously has a military bent so I guess it would be relevant to Diniums Loft.

Anyway, we're hopefully moving this weekend, and we can all have some space, Isla can have her own room, and family life can get back to some kind of normality.

The new place is a ground floor garden flat. The real Diniums 'Loft' has gone with the sale of our old place, but the name will live on like a shining beacon wherever I choose wield the 00 brush.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Dutch 27th Jager

Painting time is extremely limited at the moment, hence the meagre post offerings recently, there's lots going on and it has severely curbed hobby time. Isla is now walking, at nine months old! So keeping an eye on her scurrying around keeps me busy!

It seems there's some great miniatures being released at the moment, the Perrys plastic Dragoons and soon to be released Hussars look great, and at 15 pounds I might be able to afford to scape up the funds to buy some later this year. Also got my eye on the new Bolt Action WWII Schwimmwagen. I just want one.

I have been painting a little, and have some results, but no pics of them as yet. I do have time to mess with photoshop on occasion (I whisper 'at work') so i've reworked the depiction of the Dutch Jager I created a while ago. I'll be painting these chaps at some point - and I find illustrating always helps me to visualise the uniform.

Monday, 4 January 2010

A Happy New Year

A Happy New Year to one and all, and a big thanks to all who pop by or follow my little blog. This last year has seen a small but steady trickle of visitors from all over the world. I do hope you get some enjoyment out of my ramblings and what not.

The Christmas break was a relaxing time for me and the unit, spent with my parents back up north in Doncaster. Having the grandparents to hand meant K and I had the luxury of a lie-in each morning while Nana and Grandad were kept busy by little Isla from 7am! The wee one did very well out of Christmas, so many toys and clothes that it took all day on and off to open all her presents, and being 8 months old, she enjoyed scrunching the wrapping paper more than the contents! She is also now the proud owner of one tooth.

The new year will hopefully bring a new residence to live in, eventually, and hopefully an upsurge in painting too. I've already managed half an hour in the loft, but only undercoated 3 minis - ha ha. I'm determined to test drive the Foundry Napoleonic Artillery paints I got for Christmas very soon though.