About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

T is for Two - Dioramas

A quick second look at the two dioramas I found in Peter's plunder bags, as stated earlier; one was a home-made affair the other more commercial-looking/seeming, and we'll look at them in that order as that's how the photographs panned-out!

Four medieval types, two foot, receiving and two mounted in the charge, all in pretty full armour. Well-mounted on a piece of pretty inflexible Perspex or similar and not over-landscaped they are painted not in the super-realistic oils of competition flats but rather the black undercoat with flat colour and 'sausage-finger' highlighting (really only to the horses furniture) favoured by a lot of war gamers these days, and they look good for it.

I don't know if this is Mr. Evan's own work or something he picked-up 'out and about'? If I had a large house or museum I'd have found them shelf or cabinet space, but I don't, and having straitened damage to all the long thin bits and stood a figure back-up, the chances of further damage is too great to keep them like this, so they were removed carefully . . .

. . . and added to one of the foam-core storage sheets for miscellaneous metal flats! Two unpainted shiny new cuirassiers have rather collected all the flash as they charge at a lifeguard (I tried several camera angles/flash settings, but flats are flats and are easily distorted!) and I will now be tempted to paint the kingly knight (he has a coronet) with battle-axe, started by an unknown artist years ago, to join them.

To mount the new figures I had to move the rather chunky demi-ronde WWI ANZAC MG No.2 (or is he an Italian with that semi-bowler hat?), leaving an unsightly dink in the row above the them, the other dinks show how by using a couple of sheets for spares, they get tatty, when there are enough for a thematic, set or maker-sheet they can be lightly arranged until they look right and then pressed-in to a 'final' resting place!

Also evident is an ACW officer missing a sword and what looks to be an Eriksson or 'after-Eriksson' home casting, semi-flat WWII German paratrooper. The sheets are pre-cut with a new scalpel to about half-foam depth, a rulers-width apart. Sheets with small parts (like the artillery set we looked-at here a few years ago) get extra, short, cuts between the main lines to help enhance/balance the display.

The other diorama (really they are both small enough to be technically 'vignettes') was this one, which is a more commercial thing altogether, the rock painting with wet over-brush in 2nd [only] colour is very 'factory' in aspect as are the off-the shelf trees and barely decorated figure.

The real question is what was it for? I know some makers (Noch, Bush and in the past Faller?) have produced/are producing little pre-prepared vignettes to include in larger model railway layouts as 'instant detailing' or points of interest, but the heavy foam base - still heavy after an unknown quantity has been removed - suggests it may be more of a stand-alone thing?

Is it a tourist memento of an actual cave somewhere? Or could it be from a jewellery/trinket box, music box or something of that ilk? Collectable lid? A 'no need for watering' decorative terrarium? Fish-tank ornament - it'll float but he'll drown! The figure is so poor he may have been added to something which isn't supposed to have a figure at all?

The trees are unusual in being a soft PVC and the foliage is the more modern foamed fragments rather than the saw-dust clumps or flock of yesteryear and - although civilian - the seated figure looks much like the [Russian?] driver of Airfix's old SAM II Guidline Missile kit!

Whatever the origin, being more robust than the flats; this has been given its own little box and saved 'as is' for posterity - thanks again to Peter Evans for both.

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