26 June 2014

Oldhammer definitions

In Half Man Half Biscuit-esque fashion, a debate is raging (okay, not raging, bit certainly taking place) right now about what Oldhammer is and what it should/shouldn't be. The usual locations offer up the most debate as expected, and here they are:

Interesting stuff. 

As far as my relationship with Oldhammer goes, nostalgia is the key to the whole thing.  I had no idea about Oldhammer until I came across realmofchaos80s, and I'm thankful that I did. I don't recall seeing any terminology of the sort during my previous incarnations on coolminiornot; nor did I (nor do I) see much reference to it in my forays into fu:uk (or at least not so much if at all in the past, but more so now). I always veered towards 'old skool', using the term in a completely complimentary fashion on coolminiornot when rating/commenting on paintjobs, and I even now have a fair old selection saved under my favourites on that site, 90% of which is mid-80's to early-90's stuff. There would be even more in there if Sturmhalo (see Stone Cold Lead blog) hadn't whipped his stuff down. He operates on fu:uk as Doremi Fasol Latido these days. I live in hope that his full collection of photos makes it back onto the etherweb one day. Anyway, digression aside, I came back to painting for about the fourth or fifth time recently, and it was when reading the afore-mentioned realmofchaos80s that I stumbled upon the Oldhammer thing. It was a revelation, an eye-opener, something to get excited about. And it's obviously not just me, as prices for older Citadel minis have doubled on eBay over the past year or two. Whether that's something that'll subside once everyone gets a bit sensible in refusing to over-spend or not, I don't know. It does get a bit daft though, with BIN prices somewhere between 2 to 3 times what some proper auctions sell for. Anyway, digressing again.

Oldhammer, in my view, is now suffering from what happens to all well-intentioned 'movements' (or even movements made without any intentions) once they gain mainstream-ish acceptance: increased participation and 'membership' leads to increased views and opinions, which in turn leads to splits in definition and understanding. In other words, its success is what's causing the current debate, and that's a good thing. But trying to pin down a nebulous idea is going to prove difficult for anyone, so I think the debate will rage on. I'm sticking with nostalgia - no-one can argue or tinker with that, personal thing that it is.

25 June 2014

Lawrence of Arabia

After many tens of seconds of slog, sweating freely as we struggled through the blinding white sand, our goal finally appeared before us. Exhausted, befuddled, addled even, we clambered down to the azure sea, slipping as the sand gave way beneath us. How long had we perambulated under that blazing sun? Three, maybe four minutes. Certainly no more than four-and-a-half. It was a miracle that we had survived so long, weighed down by fold-up ASDA chairs and a bag of beach paraphernalia, but we'd done just that. It was as much as we could do to seek out a favourable spot and set up the chairs, flopping into them, bereft of energy. Tough times indeed. 

17 June 2014


They don't make trees like this any more do they:

And while we're at it, how about a panorama of a near-empty beach on a Saturday summer's afternoon? It's why we graft all week, see. I'm sure most folk can work out  that it needs to be  turned...:


It's time again. Papillon and me, me and Papillon. Do it Papi!


I've discovered the newest sensation in display/basing: cuttlefish. And it's free for a beachcomber. The stuff is hilariously brittle, but the sea does some wondrous things to it. For instance:

I sealed it with a lacquer then sprayed it with grey primer. The stuff is so soft on the one side that you can press a tab into it and glue into place. The other side is a lot tougher though.

It makes my regular trips to the caravan at least doubly exciting, and they're exciting enough already. Incredible stuff. 

The budgies will be up in arms.

10 June 2014

Some Progress - RT-era SM Capt.

Not exactly setting the world alight at the moment, but getting some colour onto this piece has been enjoyable, though due to starting the piece and forgetting the scheme then reconstructing the scheme differently, I have had a bit of difficulty maintaining the look.  Anyway, early days (if you count starting it over a year ago 'early days').

8 June 2014

Self-indulgent Clap-trap

The BBC is a great institution, but they don't half throw up some guff.  I can't fault the fact that it allows opinion of all sorts, for what else should we expect from a public service?  A chance for free speech certainly, so it's nice to know that it operates a pretty inclusive ethos.  How else could something like the article below turn up on its website?

I was struggling to pin this feller's oeuvre down on the first read, not just due to my escalating agitation at the content, but also because he keeps his powder completely dry till near the end of the article, at which point he (figuratively) throws his cards on the table with (I like to imagine) a knowing look that screams 'you weren't expecting that were you son!'  Or something like that anyway.

There are some things in the article that annoy me, not least the suggestion that humanism is in some way narrow and introverted whereas religion gives its adherents a greater sense their place in the universe.  Humanism, in rejecting the religious, is stepping away from the sort of solipsism that typifies religious belief. How can humanism be banded together with, say, christianity, a religion that believes God himself had to die to save each one of us?  That's as self-centred as anything I can imagine really, that a creator god can only save his own creation by offering himself for it.  Compare that to humanism: I can't think of anything inward, self-centred or ignorant in trying to ensure humans treat other humans with the sort of respect each would expect for him- or her-self.  That's pretty progressive in my view. It's The Golden Rule.  Even Jesus promoted it in one of his less fiery moments, but it's as old as society.  Humanism is also - in my experience - often driven by a realisation that, in the absence of the divine as sold by religion, we only have this one life to live, and as such we should live it to best effect for those around us, eliminating suffering and pain.  That viewpoint in itself is also tempered by the knowledge of our ridiculously improbable existence in a beautiful but incredibly dangerous cosmos.  One chance - live it well.  Realism, betterment, togetherness: you don't get that in religion too often, or at least you get the togetherness, but not necessarily the other two, and even that togetherness exists only within the context of whatever denomination you happen to find yourself (more often than not) born into, as opposed to a great religious whole, operating together in harmony.

Anyway, the gist of the article is that the 'spiritual but not religious' outlook of some westerners is a form of pick-and-mix meant to satisfy an individual's needs, which he rightly scoffs. He scoffs for the wrong reason though, before falling on his own sword by accident. It turns out that our man is trying to promote religion without spirituality as a means to promote togetherness.  You can read it through to make your own decision as to why he feels this is better than being religious AND spiritual or being a humanist, but then he plays his ace by revealing himself to be a Quaker.  Now, short of going the whole hog and turning Unitarian, being a Quaker is pretty much the pick-and-mix classic, such is the breadth of what they use for instruction and contemplation.

I can't disagree with the benefit of the togetherness such groups offer, whether it's an inclusive bunch like the Quakers or the exclusivity of, say, Judaism: being part of a crowd is a great way of feeling exactly what evolution and the group dynamic intended us to feel, but the suggestion that without religion such opportunities wouldn't be available just stinks.  Quite simply, religion has had a stranglehold for so long that it is almost a default setting, people turning to (for instance) 'the church' as an extension of community, etc.  For centuries, religion has been the ONLY readily available route to the sort of community the writer of the article promotes, but times have changed.  The more society progresses, the more it frees itself from the controlling forces of religion, the more it opens up other avenues and options.  Does the writer think that a humanist meeting offers none of the benefits of a church group?  If so, why not? And, in mocking the 'spiritual but not religious' crowd but then going on to suggest people have a go at reading religious texts with each other and spending time in contemplation together with those same people, does he not realise he's offering just another form of nebulous spirituality, not necessarily 'religion'?

And anyway, to pick up another point, what is religion without spirituality?  Surely that's just rules and/or philosophy.  That's not a bad thing, but to what end is it employed?  What if we can demonstrate a moral high-ground when comparing what humanity offers over what, say, the bible or koran can offer?  What if our philosophy has superceded the bronze age traditions of those books? 

Anyway, I'm still confused by what the guy is trying to sell here, other than Quakerism. 


This game is twisting my melon. Lovely freeplay for android.

Why The Long Face?

Why the long face?  Probably because the service was shite and the dessert very rubbery. Not the greatest offering from the usually reliable El Puerto's. The crianza was pretty hot though. Sexy.

5 June 2014


I loves filing but I thinks it's time I gots meself a dremel or whatever. Get with the programme. Modernise.

Tara FB!

The good thing about a blog is that when a blogger blogs, the only people who have to read it are those who read the blog. As I have now jumped out of facebook, I can post my comments here, on my blog, without any concern for who they might offend. Not that I've offended anyone (that I know of). But I won't need to censor anything now, will I?

On my first post here, I wrote that I'd shoot shit in my blog as and when. I've not done much of that, but I will now. Not for the sake of it, but when the urge comes over me. I'm more than a frustrated miniature lover. Honest.