Saturday, 13 August 2016

Varnished At Last

It’s been a long time coming, but finally the haunted house has been varnished. Last weekend, after blowing up the mower, I decided that Sunday would be dedicated to the models, weather permitting. 

Fortunately the weather was, quite breezy but warm, so with the shade up I finally got the mother of all varnish jobs finished. After a few hours with the tin of varnish and the brush the haunted house is now all but complete. 

The only thing left is to reattach the stone ‘support’ pillar which keeps coming off. I also got four of the larger ghost town models that had been recently painted up varnished as well in the mammoth session. 

The painting of these had not gone as well as I would have liked. The Wilko paint I had been using for ‘Burnt Umber’ has been changed since I originally discovered it. 

Although the tube are much larger, so more paint yay! this new version of Burnt Umber has come out more redder than before and I was forced to add a lot of additional black and white into the mix to tone it back to the darker wood effect I had previously taken to.

With Hobbycraft having had a special offer running this month on their acrylic paints I have taken the opportunity to pick up a selection of black, grey, white, umbers and others from their range and will be trying those out soon. 

Meanwhile, whilst the mower was blowing up, I’ve also suffered a hard drive failure, some data was recoverable from backups but other data wasn’t. Hence the blog silence for a bit. I have however made good progress on the tapestry and will be posting some new photos soon. 

(Oh and I not mention the boiler... They say things come in threes so I hope that’s me off the hook for several years now please!!!)

Friday, 24 June 2016

Karl Gets Kindle Preview Tool

The pages on the blog dedicated to the trilogy that tell the story of Karl Axilion, the boy who should never have been born, now have Kindle style previews courtesy of Amazon.

This allows you to view, Kindle style, the beginning of each adventure as if you were previewing it on Amazon.

Monday, 6 June 2016

June Update

Thought I would share a quick update on some of the models that have been gathering on the workbench.

The four larger additions to the coffee stick ghost town have all now been undercoated and have received their first round of brown shading, the burnt umber & black mix. Next stage for these will be the burnt umber layer.

The other smaller buildings are beginning to start taking shape. These have all been given roofs which have been tiled with tiny pieces of cut cardboard. Chimneys cut from foam board off-cuts which will be covered in putty and the rest wooden exterior walls.

And finally this one, with cardboard shuttered windows – still not quite sure about them, but we’ll see. The wooden overlapped roof has now been finished.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

And so it begins

Now that I have finally succeeded in the annual rediscovery of the back garden, hacking through the undergrowth that looks like a scene from the 'Lift After Humans' DVDs, I can venture forth and start sanding down and painting some of the models built during the cold dark days of winter.

This is not this year's photo, but the scene before and after from a couple of years ago, however it was very much the same.

Hopefully from now on I will not be delayed posting as the problems with syncing the photos from the phone to the laptop have mysteriously gone away (after trying many online resolutions regarding turning settings off and on, deleting profiles and sacrificing chickens - none of which worked) it just started to work without any prompting, just as I was about to resort to manually transferring them.

The first three buildings have been rubbed down and had final fixes made to them, and two of them have now received their base coat, when this is dry I'll check for gaps where crevices need to be touched up before starting the first round of varying shades of brown.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Little Houses Part Two

So far so good, getting somewhere with these smaller models. Continuing on, a little later than planned* from my previous post.

Roofs are on and I even managed over the recent back holiday to get a lot of tiles cut ready to stick on to them.

They are now beginning to take shape, and I find I can pick these up and do a little bit on them in short bursts when taking the odd break between doing garden clean up stuff, yes it's that time of year again, and the housework and the writing.

I found myself watching a DVD boxset of an old series 'Life After People', by the end of the first series it did begin to feel a bit monotonous but there were some great images of deserted places and buildings being reclaimed by nature.

I'll certainly be returning to these programmes when the time comes to build some more abandoned worlds.

(*) This post has been delayed due to problems with photostream syncing since I upgraded my phone. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Little Houses Part One

Getting too large
One thing I've noticed recently is that the models are getting larger. There are not many basic homes coming out of the coffee stick ghost town production run. Aside from using random boxes used as the basic structure, I think I'm getting larger in order to get through the stockpile of sticks that are threatening to take over the kitchen.

It also means that to do any modelling starts to become a larger undertaking, shifting boxes and large models around before I can begin. I started, a few weeks ago, to prepare small boxes whilst waiting for the microwave or kettle to do their thing.

I've decided to keep the models from these boxes small, and to tile the roofs with small card squares like on some other models rather than use the wood. I should be able to work on these quicker, see results faster which might encourage me to work on them in odd moments rather than put off the modelling until I have a longer free period.

This small collection of buildings will be more basic and homely, and I have a game project in mind for them.
But that's for later. In the meantime, let's get started sticking the boxes together and getting the roofs on.

To be continued...

Sunday, 27 March 2016

A Stitch In Time

The B&W section, how many can you name?
In the last post I mentioned that other things have taken my attention above building the ghost town.

So what have I been up to? Well the heating hasn’t been behaving too well, so I have been retiring earlier than normal and taking up the work on the Doctor Who Tapestry with more gusto.

Some evenings I have been spending a good two to three hours stitching away whilst listening to the BBC Audio releases of the Target novelizations, taken in story order.

This means that I have managed to progress the tapestry quite well since my last post upon it, back in July. Then I was working on the black and white section.

Joining the panels together

That is now attached and due to an error in measurement, I worked the piece larger than initially marked out on the material, I have had to add an additional strip along the top of the canvas to level the top up again.

This is what I am working on at the moment, having to join it to the main body as well as joining some strips together because of the size of the original work.

This means I have been extending backgrounds upwards, some additional camouflage for the UNIT section and blue and green time tunnel above the section for the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee.

At the moment I am listening to the three stories that have been released in the Key to Time series, a section I completed a few years back on the tapestry. 

It does feel more engaging when the area I am working on matches the material being played, but that cannot always be the case.

Some areas have come out more satisfactorily than others, and there are sections I intend to go back, unpick and rework. There can be various reasons for this, and the first thing to do is to identify what has exactly gone wrong. Not always easy, it is easy to see that something is wrong but not so clear as to what remedial action is needed to rectify it.

The Key to Time, elements from all 6 adventures.

Spearhead from Space & Terror of the Autons

I’ll cherry pick some of my favorite Target based audio books in my next post.