NOVEMBER 25, 2018

This was not a normal workbench week.  I had two doctor appointments on Monday, and decided that I needed to follow up my workbench cleaning of last week with some reorganization of my Tuff Shed this week in preparation for moving on to the terrain portion of the Boxer Rebellion project.  Once the shed was sorted out, I transferred a number of Star Wars’ vehicles and space craft to a small cabinet I purchased at the swap meet last Sunday.  It was also clear that I needed to restock some of my Vallejo painting in preparation for painting the legation compounds and surrounding Chinese buildings.  Consequently I spent some time at Brookhurst Hobbies stocking up on needed paints and going through the Star Wars model section of the store where I was lucky to discover another Revell Star Wars EasyKit.  This time it was General Grievous’ Starfighter from the Clone Wars collection. 

With the housekeeping done, I returned to the workbench to work on a Star Wars piece I have been thinking about for quite awhile. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to find the Wizards of the Coast Snowtrooper with E-Web Blaster for fifty cents.  Given that it tends to sell for more than $10, that was a happy find, but Snowtroopers are not figures that I am building my collection around, so I looked at my Stormtroopers to see if any were suited to a little modification in order to give my E-Web Blaster a Stormtrooper gunner rather than a Snowtrooper gunner.  Happily I found a figure I thought would work.  I removed the Snowtrooper by detaching the body from the arms attached to the gun and replaced the Snowtrooper body with a Stormtrooper by removing that trooper’s arms and gluing his body to the arms attached to the gun… looks pretty good. 

Mid-week with Thanksgiving only a day away I decided that to start painting the legation buildings wasn’t practical so I pulled out a Playskool AT-AT with a missing bridge cabin roof that I’d picked up at the swap meet about five years ago.  I decided that I would see what I could do to scratch-build the missing piece.  Using Evergreen plastic and a few Legos I think the replacement piece looks pretty good, and once the three Playskool AT-ATs I have are painted, I think they will look pretty good together.   I should note that I have two additional Playskool AT-ATs also purchased at the swap meet but they required no repair work.  For those wondering why I picked the Playskool version of the AT-AT, I will say that while they are not as sexy as the big Hasbro AT-AT, I think the Playskool works better with 28mm figures than the Hasbro version, plus the Playskool is much cheaper (even at the swap meet) and the legs of the Playskool version are removable so they are easy to store.  The first AT-AT picture shown here is two Playskool walkers… the one on the right is unmodified/complete as found; the one on the left is the one that was missing the roof/front of the bridge and show the modifications I have done.  The second AT-AT picture shows the unmodified version of the AT-AT with the missing roof/front piece lifted to show the piece that was missing on my modified version. 

After returning home following a big Thanksgiving get-together, I was happily surprised to find a previously unnoticed box of Old Glory 15s that contained US. Marines, Japanese Infantry, Russian Infantry and Italian Infantry from the Boxer Rebellion.  I sorted through those to see what I could find that would enrich my collection, and will now have about 55 more “Great Power” figures to paint.  By week’s end I finished the painting of 9 Italian Bersaglieri.  To be perfectly accurate, the Bersaglieri painted this week are actually US Marines with Bersaglieri heads.  The Old Glory Italians lacked figures firing rifles so I did a little head swapping to get the figures I wanted.

 It’s been an interesting week… two routine medical appointments, tidied up the shed, modified a Star Wars’ blaster and stormtrooper, repaired a Playskool AT-AT, enjoyed a family Thanksgiving and painted 9 figures for the Boxer Rebellion.  I brought the workbench week to an end with some work on a Hawthorne Village O.K. Carroll piece that I got at the swap meet on Saturday.  Some of the excitement of the swap meet comes with finding things for which you have been looking for months or even years, and some of the excitement comes from finding something really nice that you didn’t even know existed.  The Hawthorne O.K. Carroll was the second type.  I’ve found quite a few Hawthorne pieces over the years that work well with my different 28mm collections, but I have never seen their Old West buildings and the O.K. Carroll is a wonderful piece because it is more than a building; it’s an interesting compound.  It needs some repair work, but nothing too difficult… a broken corner replaced with Milliput and Evergreen plastic and covering the current O.K. Carroll signs so that new sign content can replace them. Best of all, I got it for just $3.  Check it out on eBay.  They are asking $50 and up when shipping is included, so I did very well.


NOVEMBER 18, 2018

This week’s workbench brought the figure painting for the Boxer Rebellion to an end.  More than 900 figures painted for this collection.   I completed the figure painting with 15 of the Blue Moon 15mm Chinese passive civilians and a Preiser HO scale coach. 

With that work done I turned my attention to a Transformer Trade Federation tank that I picked up at the swap meet on Sunday.  The hull of the tank was in perfect condition, but it was missing its two side guns and its main gun.  I scratch-built the side guns using Evergreen plastic and built a new main gun using two Legos, part of a Sharpie pen cap and some Evergreen plastic.  The end result is not a perfect match to the originals, but when I begin work on my Star Wars collection (awhile down the road), I will paint all the tanks alike and when that is done my scratch-built piece will blend in with the originals rather well, and given the fact that the scratch-built piece cost only $3 and the originals on eBay go for $30 and up, that’s a pretty good deal. 

I ended the week doing some much needed workbench housekeeping.  When I paint or build I tend to work fast, meaning my attention is completely on the project, and as a result I make a mess of my workbench because I don’t put things away as I use them.  After a few months of that, the workbench needs a good cleaning and reorganizing before I begin my next project… in this case the terrain for the Boxer Rebellion.

NOVEMBER 11, 2018

This has been another week of figure painting for my 15mm Boxer Rebellion.  I got the pack of Blue Moon/Boxer Rebellion US Marines that I had on order and finished them up by mid-week.  I did do slight modifications that involved removing the right arms (holding pistol and trumpet) of the US Marine officer and trumpeter and giving the officer the trumpeter’s arm and the trumpeter the officer’s arm.  Once they were modified and painted, I returned to painting the Blue Moon/Boxer Rebellion Chinese passive civilians and two Preiser HO scale figures… one a geisha for the Japanese legation compound and the other a small European boy in a sailor suit.  Only a few more (about 15) of the Chinese passive civilians remain for the coming week.  When I finish those, the only figures that remain to be painted are the driver and two horses for the Preiser HO scale coach.  I should be done with all figure painting (more than 900 for this collection) by this time next week, and then I begin painting the legation structures and surrounding buildings.  That will probably take me through December.

NOVEMBER 4, 2018

My time at the workbench this week was pretty routine.  I painted more Chinese civilians for my Boxer Rebellion collection and put base covering on them and those from last week that I hadn’t had time to cover previously.  On Friday I received the pack of Blue Moon/Boxer Rebellion US Marines that I had on order.  With them and the remaining unpainted Chinese civilians, I now have only about 47 figures left to paint plus one Preiser HO scale carriage.  When those are done my figure painting will be complete in terms of the Boxer Rebellion collection… a total of approximately 900 figures for that collection.  I should have no trouble finishing the figure painting before the end of November, and hope to begin painting terrain before the end of the month. 

The only work I did at the workbench this week that was not related to my Boxer Rebellion project was to do some touch-up painting on a beautiful bust of G’Kar from Babylon 5.  The statue was a lucky find at the swap meet.  The bust is #032 of 1500; it is 10 1/2” tall, hand-painted and made from cold cast porcelain.  It had a few small scuffmarks on the original paint, but those were easily touched up; no other damage.  I looked it up on eBay and found only one, and that had an asking price of $225 plus shipping.   I paid $20 for mine.