Sunday, 26 February 2017

Miss Peggity Pollywhat`s House.......... written by BB

It is very strange how a story and a new character is born and without even hard thinking about it. Dear Miss Peggity Pollywhat,seemed intent to leap upon the white of the page as if she was an old friend.How this came about is a three fold story that jigged together oddly as if it were a laser cut kit!

It all started when I took time out from painting to do  housework which was so dusty,as the stuff I was doing was well dusted,dust upon dust, that is for sure. No not our entire Fiddle Wood home,but just odd stuff in one corner of it.A model house to be exact that had spent years way up on top of a very tall wardrobe the likes that is old and of thick wood, and  that has three doors that seem intent at certain times to swing open on their own.       Mrs B,says caused by vibration from the nearby road,however I know different,but that tale is for another time and is scary. The wardrobe stands in the corner of our main bedroom,and it was today that a very tall guy was installing an upgrade Internet connection,and TV Box in our bedroom. He was very tall and a man in his early thirty`s I would guess,and he could actually see on top of that old wardrobe with absolute ease. He could see the long ago made scratch built buildings on top which have been there for many a year. Well it is true I have been doing such stuff for many a year. 

"Can I see one of those? Because I have never seen such things before." He said and asked so nicely.I got the bedside chair as I am a short fellow,and standing there I fetched down the house of many angles that had once stood between Halfway House and the Honey Well Train Station  but that now lay as if abandoned along with other stuff upon that wardrobe. Of course I had not forgotten them because the rooftops of all the buildings were visible  always. "I`ll just go clean it up." I said,and so he carried on doing what copper wire job he was commissioned to do, and I trotted downstairs and gave that house a good dusting with a large new paintbrush. My word along with a few cobwebs it sure does get dusty in lofty out of the way places. Done and dusted I placed it on my small work table, and as I did so an idea sprang to mind. Soon the tall young man came down the stairs and looked at the house of many angles, and I showed him how it came apart, house from flower beds and steps and pathways and then roof from building with the the removal of each level floor.   He was beaming with bright smiles wide enough to reach ear to ear. Soon other stuff was taken down from that awfully high wardrobe, because quite frankly he was so enthusiastic he wanted to see more. He was so kind in comments that I could not refuse. So with that fun time spree for him, my morning I`d planned painting just disappeared along with lots of swirling dust. However as he set out upon his way with lots of stored up pictures on his phone,I decided  on a little photo shoot of my own. So I placed four of my Centre Company Guardsmen I`d painted last night as the whole of Fiddle Wood was in slumber except myself and the wise old night Owl in the woods just beyond our Hawthorn hedge. 

 They had been undercoated and the painting work of playful fun took a couple of hours to complete them good enough for my standards that is. I have over 200 of them to paint up for a panoramic view from a distance no more no less. I have waited all my life for decent Napoleonic British Infantry,to paint and imagination on how to use them is what nice splendid dreams are made of.

There they march and they are my first four Strelets Brits painted,and so brilliant they can represent other regiments too , especially The Kings German Legion.

As many of you already know I make props and paint figures in order to tell story`s,and so it is that this short setting can begin.Miss Peggity Pollywhat`s house of many angles, because its roof pointed out in very odd strange ways,lay content as if permanent fixed in the background,and the four young men are leaving that place where they had been billeted for a couple of months,it is early June 1815,and the dark sky forewarns of an impending storm ,and they being part of it are off to muster!                                                                                                                                             

They had been billeted with Miss Peggity Pollywhat an English spinster and teacher who taught at the local girls school, `English and Higher Mathematics ',but mainly it was a sort of crowd control as that ancient Norman School had more pupils than it was designed for,( a short coming seen as fact in our own time of over flowing unnumbered immigration.)  Peggity a rather rolly polly plump lady in her mid 50`s,  always had her long grey hair done up in a bun at the back of her head,wore a warn greyish black dress with an overlarge white pinafore apron that had deep long bottom pockets, at its front, and always and I do mean always wore a smile when not at school.Such was the lose of all those children who would go forwards in life remembering only her rather stern dangerous look. Such are the ironed on features of such a vocation in life.

So there was another side few ever would see,however these brave lads had,and she treated them much better than those that had set deep in place the flogging marks upon their backs.For a few short weeks they were her prized boys,and family,for she had no others as others about her had.Now it was time for Eddy,Austen,Jamie and Bob,to leave. She had thoughtfully made her guests a huge breakfast before they left, of sausages,bacon and heaps of fresh fried eggs all sunny side up and smiling,there had been masses of toasted doorsteps. Bread that was held against her breast was turned and sawn off by a bread knife of sharp metal teeth,that crumbed the floor just right enough for the Mice that shuffled it into place high in their squeaky wheel barrow,and then off they went fit for a party through the well worn opening in the skirting board. Toasted thick cut slabs of home baked bread soaked in flowing melted butter had been topped off with marmalade spooned from the largest jar the wide eyed boys had ever seen. All was washed down with hot steaming tea in large earthen ware mugs some chipped from age others not so,one without a handle was paid no never mind for these were well set in the mould for pressed adventure in the service of a very fat mad king. History records it,but these lads served it at the drop of a silver shilling. The piping hot tea was poured out by Miss Peggity,from a huge white enamel tea pot,that had seen better days it being blackened by the ping of bashed enamel, and the tea pot lid being missing had been replaced by a fine china one of blue and white Delftware which sported a blueish windmill with wide awake sails for all four to see if it was safe?  Splendid was the feed these lads were served up and now we see them upon the Brussels road with a heavy back pack filled with a pack up wrapped up neatly in Miss Peggity Pollywhat`s four best tea towels. Unseen from the house of many angles she waved them goodbye from the top most window of her now silent place,and as they disappeared from her view with eyes welled up with salty tears she wondered if she would ever see them again.

  As pictures like memories fade away ......... But the house of many angles  remain intact.

                                        I guess she loved those tea towels!   

                                    Here below is the House of Many Angles.

I hope you like____________and Miss Peggity Pollywhat, will return I dare say for there is much to write of the House of Many Angles.  BB

Friday, 24 February 2017

BB`s Scratch Building Day`s

What can possibly be cheaper than paper?
And a little glue,and a cocktail stick?

With the full routine of how to scratch build ships guns ironed out it was time to crank up a gear,and produce 28 X 18 pdr Cannon.  These are designed toy guns made from paper,
pva glue,and cocktail sticks.                                                                                                                                                          
The paper stages are simple to wind onto a small brush handle, and each piece of paper has to be the exact same size and cut to length in order that a good look of uniformity can be achieved along a ships gun deck within a Napoleonic Toy Ship.  Above is my tiny but comfy to work on little table that tucks under and over my chair perfectly!         Making a very stable base with which to work on. It makes for Magic Times, of making stuff practically for nothing.                                                                                                                  

 The sticks need the point cut off.  That was quick and now they are ready to push into the end making it looking quite neat.

The long pointed stick is perfect to stick into a piece of scrap styrene and thus will aid painting when that job begins.

 Dipped into the white glue,and pushed in to the halfway point of the paper preformed block.

                                   28 Cannon for a French Corvette named UNITE.

PVA Glue will dry out and will be very hard making this project much more than mere paper.
It is very tough !

Another cock-tail stick is pushed right through and forms the pivot points of the gun.

I used a pin off our pin board to make the pilot hole,which was widened out further using the point on a pair of scissors.

Left over night so the glue set good and hard,then cocktail sticks were push through and into place.
It took about 8 hours to make 32 X 18 Pounder Canon.
two Bow & two Stern Guns were added to the list. 
Like on a production line in a factory,it is the repetition side
 of doing it that improves the quality and the speed of making things.

Everyone of them was painted and stuck into a piece of styrene sheet.
later the back end stick was cut off and the whole piece was primed again to accept the brass or bronze paint. Although paper,these composite materials combined make for a solid hard cannon.

After the wooden gun mounts are made including each ones wooden wheels then the cannon pivot points can be cut to size,painted and mounted. iron fixing`s will hold each of the pivots in place,these will also be made of paper. HO-RAH!

Well being behind in other stuff that I am doing I knocked up one gun mount with wheels,that certainly looked like it has been salvaged from a long lost ship.

Warships 17th century gun carriage raised from the bottom of the Thames estuary it had been discovered in the wreck of the English Warship,THE LONDON,built by Oliver Cromwells government 1650`s.


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