Fembruary 2021 challenge WIP # 5

I had an absolute ball today with this little old project of mine.

First though, I went swimming with my youngest daughter. She’s seven and a complete nutcase haha. We had fun doing different jumps off the side of the pool. I also took to throwing her in the water and the further and higher I threw her the more she giggled haha. After our swim I got her a hot chocolate from the shop and while we were waiting for it another dad and his son came walking past us. The little boy asked his dad if he could get a hot chocolate? His dad said no because he’d left his wallet in the car. Hearing this little transaction, my daughter asked me, quietly, “how did the dad pay to get in then?” Hahaha. She doesn’t miss a beat this kid. Clearly the dad just didn’t want to buy a hot chocolate but I told my daughter that some dads aren’t as nice as me haha.

Alright so I’m quite pleased with what I achieved today and more ideas came to me as I worked.

Firstly, I built the lean-to workshop. Yes it’s meant to look ramshackle.

I didn’t want a closed shed because I want to see all the bits and pieces that’ll be in there, plus one of the miniatures (representing my youngest daughter) will be in there too. The little cabinet is loose and only there to show you what it’s for.
A lovely blogger called Dagger & Brush suggested showing some fixings like nails. Even though I liked the idea I didn’t fancy making anything but then I had the idea of just pushing in a pointy pencil to create nail indents. It’s a small detail but I think it really adds some realism.
I added a trapdoor for the ladder underneath. Before you ask NO it’s not ACTUALLY a functioning trapdoor, I’m not that clever. Hmm well maybe I could work it out but I think the way it looks is fine.
Then I started building up the lookout tower. It was actually higher originally but looked a bit disproportionate to the rest of the house so I took down a few planks. After all the whole treehouse is high up in a tree so how much “looking out” do you need right?
I did the old corrugated-cardboard trick for the roof of the tower.
The Imperfect Modeller had suggested some curtains so that’s what I did next. My middle daughter, who will also feature in the dio, is a bit of a crafty kid (in more ways than one) so she offered up some material choices. I quite liked an orange pattern she had but we both felt it would clash too much with the red window frames. I think the colour and the polka dots work a treat and give the whole thing a little bit more quirkiness. They were fiddly to do but I quite enjoyed it. Maybe I’ve missed my calling as an interior designer haha.
My daughter/budding young interior designer (or maybe a future diorama builder) suggested some wallpaper. As, in the story of the diorama, this is where my daughters will be living in a zombie apocalyptic world and I figured it was quite fitting that they’d try to “pretty” the whole place up a bit. It’s kind of fun to try and think how they would think. Sure we’ve been battling zombies for years now and we live in a reclaimed timber treehouse with a lookout tower but HEY we can still make it pretty-ish haha. Now I’ve got to say that I definitely struggled with the wallpaper. Mostly due to the fact that I was working in a very confined space and I have big hands but with the help of a scalpel, a pencil and a shit load of patience it turned out ok I guess.
I figured that as the viewer of the diorama will be able to partially see in, a bit of interest and colour was ok. I must admit I am tempted to build furniture now but NO! If I get too carried away I will run out of time.
Then it was time to add the roof beams in preparation for the shingles and that’s when it hit me… I should build a dormer window. You can see it in the top left of the picture above.
I’m no geometrist, nor am I builder so I’ve been pleasantly surprised I’ve been able to work out angles for this build because it’s full of them! Luckily, and it’s all by design of course, I’m going for “very bloody rustic”
Again, putting my mindset to that of my three daughters I decided on a cute little window for the dormer.
Rustic as hell but still cute I reckon and the girls liked it too.
In case you’d forgotten about the ladder I’d mentioned before, here’s a shot of it under the trapdoor. Also remember that this ladder doesn’t reach the ground. It stretches down to a lower platform and from that platform there will be a rope ladder.

As you can, no doubt, tell I’m having a great deal of fun with this project BUT I have a very busy week ahead of me with work. What does that mean? Well… I won’t have five hours in one go to spend on it like I did today. However I do plan on chipping away most evenings on it. I have so much more to do.

In other news, I published episode 48 of Imperial Rebel Ork Podcast today and it’s a tough one as it’s about racism in our beloved hobby. I was shocked and saddened to hear that such an ugly thing had reared its head in our hobby and felt compelled to talk about it. I try to keep the podcast light, fun and even a little silly but this one is the opposite. I was careful but blunt. You can find my podcast on Spotify, iTunes, stitcher and other places. Just Google “Imperial Rebel Ork Podcast” and you’ll find it.

One more thing, thank you to everyone’s kind comments on my last post in regards to the passing of my Grandma. The weird thing, to me, is that I’m a bloke who doesn’t talk too much about “feelings”. It’s that old cliche I guess but I just don’t. However there I was pouring it all out on social media. I guess, in a way, it’s like talking to a stranger. We are all blogger buddies of course but at the same time there’s a detachment. Anyway, thank you all very much for reading and commenting.



35 thoughts on “Fembruary 2021 challenge WIP # 5”

  1. It’s coming along well. Any plans for lighting to see the interior once the roof is on?

    I don’t want to intrude on the hobby post but didn’t see a different post for the podcast episode. I’ve just listened to the racism episode and want to thank you for not only the honest way you went about it, but also many of the sentiments expressed. I came back to the hobby after some years on the periphery, and to be honest some of the vitriol I saw online really disgusted me. I agree that many people have an ‘oranges’ filter and that affects what and how they produce, and I stand with you on shutting down hate in my own corner of our universe. It’s important to recognise differences though, as people’s experiences are shaped by how they are perceived by others, as well as how they perceive themselves.

    Anyway, lovely treehouse!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I was going to light the interior but because I’m not furnishing it I thought it might look odd. Plus there will be so many other details on the whole piece that it might be too much. What do you think though? I am thinking of adding an outside light over the front door though. Thank you so much for the feedback on the podcast episode. I went into it with some trepidation. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to articulate myself well enough so I’m really pleased it was taken the way I intended. I’m glad you’re back to the hobby mate. We need to keep up the good fight to keep the balance. Cheers

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe natural light through the windows will be enough to see the internal detailing (like the wallpaper)? Outside light sounds cool. Gotta see those zombies coming somehow.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Loving the WIP posts mate and the diorama is looking excellent. For me details really make dioramas and pleased to see you adding in all you can. Listened to your podcast this morning. A difficult subject and one which winds me up a lot. Add it to the agenda when we meet for a beer or eight! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wonderful progress IRO the dio is getting better all the time, great idea of the pencil marks for the nail holes, and the slippery slope of more detail starts ! LOL
    Racism is a terrible thing in any form, GW have very rarely made models of different ethnicity, or only a token gesture one and would be great to see them do more to be more inclusive. Over the years working in this industry I have had the pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life and ethnicity, and it has been my pleasure to help all with their hobby and for as long as I’m able to, will continue to do so

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Dave. I think I’ve fallen in love with this treehouse haha. You’re bang on the money with GW but I really don’t think it was a conscious thing which isn’t exactly excusable but I think moving forward they should really be aware of it and be all inclusive.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. That tree house is coming along nicely, all the little details are starting to make it feel really lived in. Get some furniture in there though mate, your daughters have survived fighting off zombies for years and come out on top like the absolute champions they are, and now you’re making them sit on the floor? What kind of a father are you!?

    Just listened to the podcast, a difficult subject handled well I reckon. Your first point about “just talk to me about it” is so crucial I think. So many people now won’t have a conversation about these things, they just want to scream from behind their keyboards, hurl accusations around and ‘cancel’ anyone who doesn’t agree with them. There’s also a tendency to assume the worst of people. As you say, I don’t think the GW studio painters are racists, they’ve just painted a lot of white dudes, probably without really giving it much thought. That’s not really the same thing as bunging a bedsheet over your head and joining the KKK. Plus it’s relatively easy to do something about it, paint your miniatures black instead. They’re your miniatures, no-one will stop you! I’ve painted a few models now with African skin tones when the studio miniatures were strictly Caucasian and they look damn good as a result (if I say so myself!). The more people do it, the more it becomes the norm. Plus it offends white supremacists so that’s always a nice bonus.
    I dunno, I think sometimes people see offence where none is meant and turn a blind eye to real injustice. I just don’t believe that anyone has ever sat in a refugee camp, with no food, no sanitation and no medicine, thinking “You know, I really wish the ‘eavy Metal team at Games Workshop had painted more black guys, I’d feel a lot more comfortable about starving to death if I knew they were doing something about that”.

    I do think it’s a shame that white supremacists don’t understand that 40k was designed as a pastiche of totalitarianism and instead believe that it’s supposed to be a justification for it. Then again white supremacists believe so many stupid things I’m not sure that even makes the top 100. Come on guys, it’s the 41st Millennium, it’s supposed to be really, really horrible. It’s “the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable” and “a dark and terrible era where you will find little comfort and hope” to quote from the first page of every rulebook they’ve released. What part of that sounds aspirational to them and makes them think “Ooh, it sounds like the space nazi’s are doing really well, I’d love to live there”. Mind you the people who go around describing themselves as “woke” have zero sense of irony too, sadly. I saw somebody the other day saying that because miniatures have traditionally been a hobby full of straight white men (with nothing to back that claim up or clarify why it’s automatically bad) it’s “problematic” and should be done away with at once. The mind boggles.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Beautifully put mate. I think I should have asked you to script that particular episode for me haha. There’s definitely some people eager to jump on the slightest (in their minds) infraction and I for one don’t plan on treading on eggshells. I’ll always listen and talk about things but I won’t be scared to say what I think. Crazy world man. With the cancel culture in full swing it does make me wonder what the world will look like in twenty years.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Nah, mate, you spoke very well. To be honest I thought I went on a bit of a rant! The impact of cancel culture worries me a lot but I’m hopeful it’ll be a short-lived phenomenon – historically these things have tended to turn in on themselves before long.

        Anyway, speaking of racism, what’s this I hear about you being a filthy elf-hater eh? (Been catching up on recent episodes in case you didn’t guess). I think one of my hobby goals for 2021 should be convincing you to paint an elf (in your own inimitable style of course). 😉

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Neveeeeerrrrrr… Unless of course you join me for a chat on the podcast then I might just paint an elf hahaha. No pressure and just jokes. Another listener pointed out my “racism” to elves actually too haha. I’ll bring it up in episode 49. I hope you enjoy the other episodes mate.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Coming along nicely. The wallpaper, polka dot curtains and naturally the heart shaped window add soul and life to the building. I would definitely add a table, chairs or a sofa in there. The idea to light it up is also great. You could always make the windows a bit milky so that you can see the light and silhouettes of furnishings.

    I did not listen to the podcast yet, but will do so later while painting. Generally speaking recent events have shown how deeply entrenched racism and bigotry is all around the world. Almost like you have this nice garden, only to find bugs under a rock and subsequently you find them everywhere if you look closely.

    The more important it is to call people out and to be welcoming to everyone. Having more representation in games and miniature lines is obviously also good, but I think it is more about being welcoming of difference in tje community.

    I am not a fan of cancel culture. I think it does not allow for redemption or remorse and people bettering themselves. You can’t cancel all racist, you have to reform them and remove their fear of change, as it is at the centre of why they hate “the other”. Obviously there is only so much one can do, but I think one should try to get those millions of people back in the fold, can’t see it working otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Looking really good mate, I’ve never wallpapered a model for gaming myself but have seen some lovely (?) ww2 bombed out houses at a show that had scraps of wallpaper on the exposed inner walls.

    Sorry for the late reply but wanted to get the podcast listened too before I replied. Interesting stuff and I don’t think you came across as making it to heavy. Racism isn’t really something I’ve ever experienced in the hobby (but then as you say I am also a middle aged white man, in a still predominantly white country). I can say that back when we used to do the show circuit or indeed at any of the clubs I have been a member of, it was rare to see a non-white person in the show hall/ club, why this was I really don’t know, I have never seen any animosity toward people of race, but then as I said there wasn’t really anyone to be racist too.

    Probably the closest thing to this I have experienced is when we did a society show in “west Bromwich”, in the midlands of Britain, we set up in this sports centre as normal, with the normal Caucasian clientele, but at dinner time we went out into the town to buy some dinner (sandwiches or pasties or such like), leaving the stall to be watched by a friend, and I’m not exaggerating, we were the only white people there, now everyone was perfectly nice (though we did get a few looks), but it really hit home that this must be what it’s like for a foreign person coming to this country, and how intimidating it must be for them. Did make us think, being put into their shoes. Strange though that even there, not a single person at the show appeared to be a “local” as it were.

    As for the “Games Workshop” angle I do think as they are the “big boys” of the hobby (a hobby that I think a lot of people just don’t get!), they are easy targets, it was only a few years back they were accused of inciting devil worship. Yes they do have a predominantly white male group as the “good guys” of the 41st millennium, but there were also Black fighters in WW2 but you don’t see many of them turning up in games or advertising there either.

    Personally I have always painted people of colour in my armies, if I think a figure looks Asian or afro/Caribbean then they are painted accordingly, not for any “woke” (hate that word) reason but simply because it looks right to me. Sadly idiots on both sides of the racist divide will jump on anything that they can use as their “cause” of the week, yes more diversity in the hobby would be a good thing, but then more new blood of any age, colour or gender is a good thing.
    I have never heard or read anything racist on any of the blogs I follow, and quite frankly I don’t know what colour a lot of my “blog’friends” are, and to be perfectly honest it doesn’t make any bloody difference to me anyway.

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Excellent progress! The tips from TIM and Dagger really paid off and the level of realism is getting higher and higher which is always a good thing in my mind. It sounds like your hobby time is likely to be a bit restricted this week but I’d say keep plugging away at this one when you have time. You’re putting a lot of heart and effort into it and it shows 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good podcast mate and sorry to hear about your Gran, I missed your post that mentioned it… so I personally think you did a good job, coming from my background I have to say I have had white privilege even though I am from a working class background. It never even registered that there might be, maybe naively so, but now I think of it, I have only ever seen caucasian’s in any of the clubs I have been at. The Shetland club’s I am part of have males, females, straight, gay and transgendered members so I know we are a pretty open group. We however don’t have many people of colour up here (except we do have 23 languages spoken). So this got me thinking about the clubs I had been in, they would have been just as open, however there were a couple of guys there that would use phrases that probably weren’t meant to be racist, but pretty much were. As for Gw and their painting predominantly white skin tones… I think it was based on the paint range they had/have. Now good old Foundry makes various skin tone ranges as do Vallejo. Do GW make anything other than Caucasian skin tones (I only use their Contrast Paints so I haven’t got a clue). God forbid they should use paint from another manufacturer. Apologies for the rambling reply, was a bit of a stream of consciousness… my Mantra is be nice, do nice and don’t be an absolute shite. I don’t give a shit about your colour, gender or body weight. I just want you to be nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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