Sunday, 26 July 2015

Stonework Painting part one

Today was very wet, so there was no chance of working out on the table to start the painting of the stonework. So the painting work was brought inside. I built up the layers of varying shades of grey. 

Although over several hours I managed to cover several rounds I was unable to complete the whole cycle in one go, so a further session will be needed. I decided to also use the grey layers for the roof tiles as well, rather than the terracotta I usually go for with roof tiles.

As this is such a large model, holding it and painting it is quite a task. I have found a way to support it and paint it whilst in the living room, a bean bag. The model can be held in a snug embrace by the bean bag keeping it in position whilst I work on it. It also allows me to take interesting angled photos. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Gentle reminder

A gentle reminder, because I know how distracting things are. A chance to get something for nothing. As I write this, the competition to win Karl's mug ends in one week and one hour from now. Next Friday, at midnight, the competition closes and we will begin to verify the entries. Then with all the entries in the hat a winner will be drawn. You don't have to answer all the questions. There are three, so if you answer all three your name goes in three times, but just one correct answer gets your name into the draw.

So what have you got to lose?

A reminder of the three questions:

(1) What is the name of the business that is run by Karl’s father?

(2) Where and when does chapter eight of book two take place?

(3) Who was standing in the town square of Applegar at the beginning of chapter twenty-one in book three?

You can even find the answer to question 1 on this blog by viewing the preview of book one, chapter one.

Remember, email your answer(s) to: by midnight on the 31st July 2015 to be in with a chance.

Good luck

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Haunted Undercoat

Just a quick update this weekend. The haunted house has now been rubbed down and the undercoat has gone on. I used a basic black acrylic paint. This took several hours to cover and used an entire 120ml new tube of paint, plus a couple of squirts from another tube when I was touching up around the windows.

The next job will be to clean any paint off the broken glass, then start painting the stonework around the base.

BTW if you want to try and work out how long this took, add together the running time of these albums: Buffy the Musical + Rent (Original cast recording) + War of the Worlds + Rocky Horror (The Full Gory Story)

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Coming Soon

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

In Glorious Black & White

Doctor Who started back in 1963 in black and white, it was one of the last BBC shows to switch to colour production in 1970 when Jon Pertwee took over as the Doctor. Until then the Daleks, Cybermen and all the other beasties were never seen in their full glory (Except of course in the two Peter Cushing films).

Then it happened, the TARDIS arrived on Earth, the Doctor was put into exile, along came UNIT in force and so did colour and the Autons.

Although I have used colour throughout the tapestry until now, even on the William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton panels themselves I decided some time back to try a panel in just the shades of black, white and various greys. (Maybe not quite 50 shades).

At first, I was concerned it might not come out too well, but after a short period working on the first selected characters that were pertinent to the era and to be honest where it was hard to find colour reference photographs to work from, I soon found that it created quite an effective piece. Then for various reasons that got put on hold, and not so long ago that panel resurfaced as I was sorting through the tapestry materials and I knew now (or back then) was the time to finish it.

This photo shows what it was like when I rediscovered the panel back in March of this year, and above is the finished panel before I started to fit it into the main body of the piece.

The black and white panel is going to go in the space between Hartnell and Troughton but although having originally measured the gap, and used a frame to maintain tension in the material there is a slight sizing issue to contend with.  For one thing it’s too tall so the rest of the tapestry is going to have to be extended upwards by a good few centimetres as well. I’ll worry about that once this is firmly fitted in place – less of an issue. The slight extra width on the other hand might need some gentle persuasion.

There is one other slight issue, you might notice from the picture below, the different material that has been used for this section means the stich size is also inconsistent. Think of it that one section is in higher definition than the other!

Basically to join the panels together I’m using extra wool to stitch across the two panels, pulling them together, in some cases over sewing what was there to ensure that enough stitches cross over from one side to the other to form a strong join. I start by putting in a few tacking stitches with cotton, just to hold everything in place, I really could do with Alpha Centaui’s extra arms to make sure everything stays in place as I work.  These will be taken out as I go.  I’ve just started that piece of work, and I expect it will be a good couple of months before I have another update about the tapestry on here. Also with it being the summer months, it is very heavy, hot work, holding the huge thing hanging over my lap.

Other posts on this subject

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Remedial Work

This morning I took on the Krynoid, Vervoid and Triffid tag team, I fought back, and armed with Flymo and sheers I think I won. After that, with a tidier garden, I got back to work on the haunted house model. I had already completed the windows and the other day I had a first bash at the door. However I was not happy with the door and promptly stripped it back and started again.

The first door filled the whole door space; this was too large for the model. This would have meant that inside the building the floor would have been too low for the position of the ground floor windows. The initial design was with the assumption that the floor was higher. I raised the position of the front door with some extra foam board and covered it with sticks to establish two steps up to the door with an additional doorframe added around the door.

After this I started an additional round of clean up and decided that some additional remedial work was needed before the final clean up. I had hoped to get on to the undercoating, but not today. I felt some of the stonework did not look robust enough. This house is supposed to appear unlived in, but it has to appear as if it would have stood up to time and some of the stonework looked too weak, like a thin coat of clay on the foam board and would never have held up the rest of the structure. I mixed up more of the DAS clay paste and added extra depth to the stones that form the base of the model, ensuring that the stones are built out to fit with the wooden framework.

Once all this is dry then I can do a final clean up before the mass undercoating begins.

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Another evening spent on broken windows

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Haunted Undercoat

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Another evening spent on broken windows

Ring ring. Ring ring.


Can I interest you in double glazing?

I’ve got around fifty windows here...

Click burr...

Another evening spent fixing up broken windows on the haunted house, and the other night I miscounted, there were actually another seventeen to do. One Bon Jovi and one Eagles album later this evening, I had got through ten of them. So now there is another seven to do on another night or over the weekend. I think given fair weather and the garden gets done first, then there might be a chance they could be finished by the weekend. Let’s hope so, but I am now running very low on the plastic box so the glass shards are going to be getting much smaller in the windows that are left to do, as you can see in one of these photos.

Smaller shards of "broken glass" from slithers of plastic

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Eight More Done, Another Fifteen To Go

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Remedial Work

Monday, 6 July 2015

Eight More Done, Another Fifteen To Go

Having loaded up the garden waste wheelie bin to bursting point this evening, I once again took a short time out to continue with the windows on the haunted house. I managed to get another eight on one side completed, although you can only see seven of them in this photo. At a quick count I think that leaves me around fifteen on the front face of the building to complete.

Before anyone asks, yes the grass is now almost up to my waist out in the back garden, thanks to the fact that the green bins have only been emptied TWICE so far this year. 

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