January 13, 2019
This week’s workbench was completely devoted to the Boxer Rebellion. It began with the painting of more Prieser figures found on the bargain table at my local model train shop… great figures at a great price (79 cents each). In addition to those figures I also painted an HO scale panel wagon that I purchased at the swap meet two or three weeks ago. It’s a unique piece in that it was made by a company called Roskopf back when there was a West Germany and its price was 89 cents. I looked it up on eBay and found that the 89 cent Roskopf wagons from that era now have an asking price of $20 plus shipping. I paid $2.50. The driver for that wagon is one of the Prieser figures from the bargain table mentioned above. On that same bargain table I picked up several HO scale boxes of fruits and vegetables which I based on Milliput and painted up for use with my markets stalls.
With the figures done I went on to paint the pre-siege and siege versions of the British legation. This legation project is unique among the five I have painted in several respects. First it is by far the largest of the legations. It is also the primary defensive position held by the Great Powers during the siege. As a result of that, Blue Moon cast this compound in a far more bunkered-up fashion than the others. That is reflected in bricked and sand-bagged windows in the main entrance, the main building and a blockhouse-style building within the compound’s grounds. Consequently in order to have a pre-siege version I had to scratch-build the main gate as well as the walls. I had to use a different building for the main building… I used an old Ian Weekley building I have owned for years but never before had a use for. I also purchased an additional blockhouse from Blue Moon and gave it as much of a pre-siege look as I could. The last unique element to painting the British legation is that it is the only legation for which I actual found a color description of the roof tiles… green.
My final work this week was painting a few of the planters that will go inside the different legation compounds. They will ultimately reflect the pre-siege and siege periods in that the pre-siege planters will have their trees and the siege planters will only have tree stumps.
January 6, 2019
The workbench week opened with a new year at the top of the page and my hobby focus on the Russian legation. The paint work on this legation went well, but where panic set in was when I discovered that I had misnumbered and failed to number sections of the scratch-built (pre-siege) version of the Russian legation walls. It took more than an hour to figure that puzzle out. With that completed, I turned my attention to a couple of small projects: basing some trees on stands that came with the Japanese legation, and painting four Buddha statues I picked up for 79 cents each from the bargain table at my local model train shop. In terms of the tree bases for the Japanese legation (there are two), I decided to add a low scrub surround (scored Milliput) along the edge of the garden plot to give it a more finished look. One would be the before version (pre-siege) and one would be the siege version… trees gone. I gave the Buddha statues two different color looks, and I’m happy with both. What made these so attractive to me is their small size. They are only an inch tall. It’s easy to find Buddha statues, but not that size.
With the above work finished I turned to painting the US legation… no small task. It took a couple of days to complete, but I’m happy with the end result though, because of the size of the compound, my photos aren’t great. That’s four legations (pre-siege and siege) completed, and one to go… the British legation that is the largest.
I closed out the week by painting some Prieser HO Victorian figures I found on the bargain table at my local model train shop. If you are not familiar with Prieser, they offer a huge range of figures from different periods and in very interesting poses. I have posted work I’ve done on them from this project in previous postings. Prieser figures are expensive. A pack of six figures can cost between $15 and $20, so when I saw these Victorians for 79 cents each, I bought them. Prieser figures generally come pre-painted. I tend to repaint them so they will match the look of my other figures. The person who owned them before me had also repainted them… terrible job in my opinion so repainting was absolutely needed. I bought a lot of these nicely priced Priesers so I will continue painting them next week. I’ve attached an additional picture of my bridges on this week’s Weekly Workbench not because I worked on these this week, but because I decided it would be nice to have a photo of all three types of bridges I have as options for this project. I have also included a picture of four market stalls that I did a couple decades ago for my Sudan collection because I am going to use them in the Boxer Rebellion project as well, and want the photo record despite the fact that I’m using them just as I made them back in the day.