Monday, 21 December 2009

A very fine vintage:The Flanderkin Serjeant guide to classic modelling.

No doubt many of our readers will be taking advantage of the festive season to enjoy a quiet session or two painting and modelling. And what better time to shake off the pressures of our modern age and go back to the time when a gentleman knew how to get the most from his hobby. So Flanderkin Serjeant presents a guide to recreating the Golden Age of military modelling.

Firstly, and I can't stress this enough you will need a good dinner, then while the wife takes care of the washing up you can prepare for your hobby session. In any hobby having the correct gear is important and nowhere more so than painting figures so to the mirror we go. Hair tidily combed, tie straight? Of course if you are undertaking some hot casting or you are an American you may chose to work in your shirtsleeves but Most gentleman will find a tweed sports jacket affords the right combination of informality and comfort. It is rumoured that Ted Suren sculpts in the nude but of course he is Indian Army and we assume you will set your face against such bohemian practices.
Now then we can prepare our work station. Carefully take this mornings Telegraph and spread it out on the polished dining table. Now for the essential tools of the trade, place them so that those you will use most are most conveniently placed. So tobacco at your right hand next a box of matches these will be needed to stir the paint. Don't worry you will have an ample supply of spent ones. Next you require the figure, a brush and a pot of paint. That's all you will need for one session. Don't worry about brush cleaner you won't need it until you pack away.

If you decide to make your own figure range then you will additionally require a small lump of old Plasticine and a packet of plaster of paris, but I would recommend leaving the moulding of figures until after the wife has finished cleaning the kitchen and has comfortably settled with her knitting. You will need at least three of her best saucepans in which to melt the roofing lead

Of course back then molten lead was completely harmless so most people cast armies on their coffee tables without needing even a pair of gloves for protection. Home casting quickly fell out of favour though since it proved impossible to smoke while pouring the metal.
And there it is a miniature masterpiece created in an evening with an old blob of Plasticine and half a pot of Humbrol enamel. Time for a nightcap while the wife cleans her saucepans.

A Merry Christmas to you all.

18 comments:

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

..... shame on you for encouraging the profligate use of tweed sports jackets, and smoking.... :o))

Happy Christmas to you and yours John...

SteveGill said...

That's very much how we still do it here. I'm proud to be carrying on the old traditions.

Steve

Mosstrooper said...

Leather patches on the elbows of the jacket are essential, however wearing a cravat may label you as a Boheimian!

The Old Metal Detector said...

Did you forget the banana oil?

Clive

Stryker said...

Excellent John - you really made me laugh... now where did I put my pipe?

Ian

Conrad Kinch said...

There's nothing wrong with smoking a pipe while painting, I'll have you know.

Der Alte Fritz said...

Pipes, ciggies, knit ties and tweed jackets seem to be the dress of the day. I might have to don such kit for my next game.

Stokes Schwartz said...

Wonderful old photos! Wear did you dig them up?

Merry Christmas!

Stokes

The Old Metal Detector said...

There's a nice article on Smoking and Wargames by Jack Scruby in Table Top Talk July 1965, which is posted on my Vintage Wargaming blog. Scan down the labels on the right hand side of the page, click on Jack Scruby, and then look for the post "Fog of War". Enjoy.

Mike Siggins said...

I worry about the pipe and turps combo.

Conrad Kinch said...

That's just the sort of risk averse nonsense young Siggins that'll be the death of the hobby.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to close this door and several windows before I get down to some spray undercoating. It's drafty don'tchaknow.

old john said...

centrifugal casting machines and smelters have taken the fun out of producing figures, and i've being ejected by the mem sahib to the garage to cast figures, upside is i can have a cigarette there whenever i want, gone are the days of fag-ash in painting tin and splashes of Humbrol enamel down the front of of my kitted sleeveless pullover
old john

airhead said...

Big on the Tweed out here in the wilds of north shrophire, helps distinguish the Gentry from the peasants, who tend to favor man made fabrics of the sports clothing type these days.

Happy Christmas

Airhead

Sir William the Aged said...

Wonderful piece John! Now that's the era of figure modelling and gaming that I was originally introduced to. May it live forever, if only in our fond memories and wonderful photos like these!

Bill

Bloggerator said...

t-shirt and shorts are out then?

Greg

GEM Team said...

Very nice post. Put a smile on my face. Congrats for the blog

Peeler said...

Wonderful post John, did make me smile! Thanks.

Kenneth Van Pelt said...

Hey now you've been peekin' in my window.