Thursday, 9 February 2017

Painting Again presented by BB

After well over a year  i am painting tiny figures again for benno`s Figures Forum, a place that is close to my heart, because of the nice guys who quite often visit there.It is a Free Site,and it costs nothing to join and become a member.It is an awesome place that let me spread out my wings of free expression in both writing and in the art of scratch building,along with a few painted soldiers as well.

                                        The Guards Cheer Good & loud! BB`s Back!

Below the first test figures of the very first ever AIRFIX HO OO Figure Sets of Marching Figures and the last for there are none like it,apart from the Guards Band they also produced way back in the day of a dreamy 11 year old, little Me, in 1960.

They were produced in three colours. A Red,Yellow & a White,in the 60`s and 70`s.Then production stopped as AIRFIX went BUST!

Above shows all the first ever AIRFIX toy figure boxes.

                                                 THE BEANO BOY TABLE

As many might realise who visit here often,i am not a conventional artist, and certainly not a great figure painter that is for sure. I`m into lots of stuff,and at 68,it helps keep my mind active and young.

It is much better I find to stick them on old paint cans with blue tack. This means that no figure is handled again until finished.

Only shown part painted at present but when finished these figures will go in the post to be presented free of charge along with other painted figures at    Benno`s Figures Forum, Great Miniature Parade  2017 at FIGZ,in ARNHEM. ( Sadly they will not be coming home again but I am replacing them.)

( BUM,a plastic figure company in Spain copied them,and there were copies made in China,and those came in rather mixed up jelly bean colours as can be viewed above.)

                                                   More copied figures above.

It is hoped that a hundred or so of the original AIRFIX Guards Band & Colour Party which I am painting, will lead the Figures Parade, consisting of many a painted toy figure sent in by other  valued members with all differing styles of painting panache.
I`ll show the end results of my wobbly real work soon. 

  PS I am no longer posting on FACE BOOK, BB

Breaking In New Brushes

My old painting table has been brought out from a cupboard and it feels once more comfy like as it slips under my chair once more.
Lots of figures mean lots of undercoating, which is just the job for getting some wear and tear into brushes and to oddly get used to painting again. I do not buy expensive brushes,but do buy good quality ones,that will paint many a hundred figures in their lifetime use of play.

I used thinners to add to the new enamel paints,which are way to thick because alcohol is used in the mixing process. My own mix dries within 10 minutes which is_____ Fast! No more waiting all day for sticky paint to dry. I am short of little old cans so I stuck 3 figures around the sides of each can.

Above painting one of the AIRFIX Astronauts.

I`ll stick a flag later Stars & Bars of course.

                                 Above the Guards Band

The painting has geared up to a point where I`ll finish the rifle and finer detail on these off later.

As the helmet is fish bowled at the front with no face features I looked at old TV footage and noticed a shadow on the visor so I  assimilated it by colour washing the whole visor, then whipping half of it away with a brush dipped in thinners, and it worked out fine,and hopefully adds much more interest to a featureless helmet.

Daleks undercoated twice in white and black await a home made water based colourwash,that will help make them Pop! These will join my massed formations of these tiny pepper pot aliens.

With the Band & Marching Guardsmen nearly finished I got another box ready for painting.

 Everything that I need is  placed upon my 2nd table.
   20 minutes later the first undercoat was on them.

This blue oblong box has aided me over many years of painting thousands of toy soldiers. It forms a step on my table and I rest my hand upon it and while hold the little can in the other hand I can paint away for hours on end in relative ease of play. So while it supports my hand it helps me paint all the finer details as they come into range of my brush. Yes it certainly works for me.

Another Guards Band box is opened up,and will be painted like the rest already nearing completion.

160 + will be painted and sent off to FIGZ!

A Giant Step For Mankind. If only they could get off the tins! The wonder of blu tac!

Much More Later

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Another Paper Ships Gun for The Budding Scratch Builder .....designed & built by BB

These Are Toy Guns

This design is aimed at those in the hobby that get a kick out of making their very own stuff to suit their needs,and fancy. Imagination is the first key to any new thing made. Over the past few weeks I`ve seen war gamers boats that were scratch built by them but that had no guns,so I formulated the cheapest way possible ever to make ships guns from Paper. Yes a much better looking toy cannon the likes of Hornblower's crew would love to spark off a broadside at any enemy in sight.


There are 6 strips of paper not included in the photograph, because being so tiny they would just curl up. Winding the small strip around a cocktail stick  forms a plug for the back end of the gun.

When making more than one ships cannon all the measurements of the paper strips must be the same.
Mine were as set out bellow.
I used white PVA Glue!
3-1/4 inch x 1/1/4 inch turned around and around on the brush made the main tube up.
2 - 1/4 inch x 1 - 1/4 inch Winding a strip of paper  around and around from the back end inwards formed the rest of the main tube.
All this made a reasonable foundation for the winding on of the smaller strips.
The front strip of paper was stuck into place a pen point tip away from that end.
That gave a good pattern of design to that open end.
The back end plug with point cut off and  glued up for purpose was pushed into the back end, but stopped short of  where the cock-tail stick is pushed through and out of the other side.
Later when the glue had set good and hard the pivot point cocktail stick was pushed through after a metal pin had made its way entirely through the tube,and a sharp pointed craft blade had widened out those two holes.

The cocktail sticks are left complete to aid later painting.
The tiny brush used,the paper strips and cocktail sticks needed to make one cannon up.
Most model making buffs have this in the home.

Below the cannon seen in the raw which gives a better look at this stage in the fun.

                                       Stuck in row upon row into waste Polystyrene

Projects are for having fun, and this one cost practically nothing at all, except for a little bit of time.
More results will be posted later. Entirely designed by little me,for the likes of you. BB

38 X 18 pdr Guns,all primed for a metal dry brush.

More Next Time. BB

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Changing the Guard Windsor(Extended), April10, 2015, Band of the Coldstr...

Just needed to see the Band set up, of which figures go where for my AIRFIX BAND, that I am painting in toy town style.

The Band of the Welsh Guards, Changing the Guard at Windsor - 18th Augus...

Yes wanting to see were each brass section goes in a Band,is good research to do.


I was 11 years old in 1960,when HO OO Railway Scale marching figures first appeared.           

For the Group Build on, `Benno`s Figure Forum`,this year I am going to paint some of these tiny to the eye things up. Perhaps even a full set for The Parade,of marching figures. Not Action Poses. These  Guards figures have no faces ,and hands are blobs with rifles just plastic sticks showing no detail what so ever,but these are the first ever toy figures produced by AIRFIX in HO OO Railway Scale,and are indeed the last.They are the beginning of Toy Town History as I often term it.                                                                                                                  

Where other scales have produced costly Military Bands,the smaller  scales have not,so there are no bands of this type after 1960,which is, a full stop!  To be sure on the Benno`s Figure Forum.

                                                   THE GUARDS CHEER THE QUEEN

The first thing to do is opening the boxes, and then review the troops available. I thought it best to share this information because it a fact that 50 odd year-old figures often suffer from age. ( As indeed we do too,and in reality, those ultraviolet light  patterns of which there are many are in a process of slowly killing us.)

                                         THE DREADED PLASTIC  FATIGUE STRIKES!

Test the plastic this way,bend the base slightly using your finger and thumb,and if the legs snap and crumble away like dried up tooth paste ,that is plastic fatigue! These figures were bought loose in a plastic bag on E Bay, a few years ago and there they stayed until the other day. So the boxed sets are the best and most expensive way of obtaining them to try and avoid this breakdown of the plastic. However one buys and take the chance that they will be OK.

However Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, as the old saying goes, so I simply opened up other boxes in my vast Collection of Toy Figures. Which are perfectly OK! The broken ones I left on the table, and the colour comparison of the yellow figures can be noticed.  The Colour Party where produced in a nice red, which meant heads including face, hands, trousers, and rifle stick and base only needs painting. Basic colour only need apply here, because like skittles there is no detail on them at all.
Below All Are Fit For Muster

A Beginning To An End

It was early morning and winter time 28/01/1960,and the The Guards 1st and 3rd  Lt Companies were leaving their barracks on Barrack Street in Norwich. The road void of all traffic welcomed the hob nailed boots of spit and polish for there were none better in Norwich that was for sure. Lead out by their overly keen Brass Band, they filed out past the old iron gates with its two  Sentry Posts.The lights were still on in the Officers Quarters as the marched past.                                                          

                      This will wake up all the sleepy heads that have no want of it that is for sure.

As the 1st Foot & Mouth, march away into toy town history, they bring this part to a funny ending it is hoped.I`ll paint a few up for samples and show them later. BB