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.