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I’m back online, finally. It took several weeks but it seems I finally found an internet provider that can do what it says on the tin.

So, you probably aren’t wondering what has been happening in the creativity department over the last few weeks, free of online distractions? What worlds were built, what problems solved and stories told?

The answer I’m afraid is “not a lot”. This is partly because at the same time as moving, I took on a new position at work, taking over the bike recycling workshop with a mandate to get it organised and at some point at least breaking even. As this workshop looked like the inside of a Skip when I started, this has taken a lot of time and energy. Worse, I’ve been unable to avoid being sent on training seminars which used up the final reserves of get up and go.

My solution to this is generally to start a simpler project, so I dug into the model making box and found the final two huts I’d been making for silly tabletop games; these were in the same sorry state as last Spring, but ideal for my purposes as they don’t require a vast amount of fine detail; they’re just background; details can and will follow but the main thing was to get them ready to plonk on a table ready for the dashing hero or dastardly villain to break into/ out of, climb on, hide behind, or blow up, depending on circumstances.

Now I just need to finish painting said heroes and villains…

To Be Continued…

In a not particularly surprising turn of events, the internet provider for my new apartment has gone from enthusiastically saying everything is fine, to much tutting and “service not available at this address”, so I’ll be without any internet connection for a while. Of course it isn’t that simple; despite the company’s technician visiting and saying the required connection isn’t available, I now have to confirm with the apartment owner that this is the case, which will delay matters still further.

I’m not sure why it is but German internet providers seem to be required to follow this process every time they are asked to make a new connection. I’m not sure if it’s in the constitution or simply the notion that actually should provide a service for the payment they receive is a bit confusing to the poor dears, but if they would spend half the time actually sorting out connections that they put into delaying responses to people who have already paid them and now can’t get online, then Germany would have the best internet access in the world.

And yes, I am supposed to confirm that I can’t get online using an online form…

And it begins…

I’ve been putting off packing for a bit in the hope I could paint up at least one more set of figures before moving next week. Unfortunately the apartment owner and I realised the last day for the handover was today, and we discovered this in Friday.

I didn’t want the potential awkwardness that leaving out the model making stuff would cause because apartment owners have a certain prejudice against sharp tools and large quantities of paint and glue lying about, especially in a furnished apartment, so Saturday was a fairly extensive tidying up session; so extensive that I accidentally packed up the paperwork I needed and promptly forgot which box it was in.

From this, and the evidence of the picture above you’ll gather that I’m being as organised as usual.

On the other hand, the owner will be moving into the apartment with her own furniture, and therefore needs to get rid of a lot of what is already here, so she offered me several items I urgently needed for essentially pocket money, including the shelves containing the model making desk I built way back in 2020, saving me a lot of time and money designing and building a new one.

The flip side is that I now have an unexpected logistics issue, because instead of moving a few boxes as I thought, I now have to haul several items of furniture across the village…

Moving date comes ever closer, but I can’t pack much because I only have the most necessary items here anyway.

I’m including model making tools as “necessary”, because if I don’t so something creative at least once a day then I tend to get grumpy, so figure painting is continuing. Paintbrushes can be packed quickly, right?

After Lev the Anarchist a couple of weeks ago, here’s a few comrades, or possibly opponents, This would depend on things like political allegiances, personal loyalties, and mostly of course, who happens to be offering the most cash…

I think I can get another handful of figures painted before I move, so there may be one final post before I go dark for a while…

Empire Building

I’ll be visiting family this weekend. Youngest Son is graduating and Beautiful Daughter has plans to expand her railway empire so I’ll be a bit busy.

See you when I get back…

Contract Signed

Finally the flat hunting which has been plaguing me for several months has been resolved; it wasn’t helped by the need to be within easy cycling distance of work because I’m a tree hugging hippy and refuse to own a car. On top of this it’s generally advised in social care not to live where you may be found by clients, and I had to leave at least one apartment viewing because I realised it was right next door to someone I’d worked with.

Anyway, I’ve found a newly renovated apartment a short ride from work but distant enough that it isn’t obvious. The payoff for this being that it is quite small so space for a model railway is likely to be limited especially as it needs to fit all kinds of “extras” like two bicycles. We shall see.

In the meantime I’m getting ever more addicted to figure painting, as seen above. Currently named “Lev the Anarchist” who is carrying enough explosives that he’s probably a danger to friend or foe within about 20 metres in a combat situation, I particularly like the way he has a detonator on his back but appears to be lighting a fuse on the dynamite in his hand.

He’ll soon be joined by some comrades in arms to travel the world and awaken the proletariat to their oppression, or possibly of course, oppress them a bit more in service of the highest bidder; even anarchists gotta eat.

The remaining Wurttembergischer Düsenjäger or “Württemberg Flying troops” are painted, with their own officer, and are ready to quell incursions on the borders of the Republic of Württemberg, as well as attempted uprisings by Royalists, Nationalists, Communists, Anarchists, and in the worst case scenario, physicists.

For the rather convoluted reasoning behind these characters, see the previous post.

Figure painting will likely continue for a while as the house moving saga continues…

I told you the silliness would continue, although to be fair I didn’t warn you that it would reach new heights.*

Pulp Alley is a set of rules for some rather silly tabletop games which I’ve gone and got myself drawn into, loosely based around the pulp comics and films of the 1930’s to the 1950’s or thereabouts; as such they tend to include caped crusaders, dashing heroes and mad scientists, so a bunch of commandos with rocket packs should fit right in.

In December 1916 Woodrow Wilson tried to broker peace in the aftermath of the Battle of the Somme. I’m assuming that in this world, all sides were sufficiently horrified that they came to negotiate, and thus were spared from the damage done by the last two years of the First World War. The German Empire dissolved in the aftermath, with Prussian domination of the Empire being seen as the ’cause’ of Germany’s involvement, and reverted to lots of large, small, and in some cases, tiny states.

And via this rather long route, we come to the independent state of Württemberg, and its corps of Dusenjäger or Jet Troops, because um… reasons. This was the first, while I worked out what the uniform should look like; the other three should be quicker.

What do you think? Johann clearly isn’t impressed…

*See what I did there?

Silly people

After the last post’s attempt at deep thought, the workbench is back to being a Silly Place, This is mostly because it turns out that taking over a bike workshop and looking for a new apartment at the same time is rather hard work, and by the end of the day the brain cells are usually out of energy to do sophisticated things like model making, or things with words in them… sentences, that’s it, sentences are…. thing… wossname… complicated.

I have some silly Tabletop Game figures in reserve for this sort of situation, so now they’re going to get painted, which means I can at least do something creative without too much brain investment…

What with work, and moving at an imminent but as yet unknown point in the future, not a lot of model making is happening at the moment, but I’m still reading lots and a recent entry by James Hilton caught my eye. Aimed primarily at exhibitors and called “Why are you here?” the post expresses dissatisfaction with the “normal” discussions at an exhibition about the techniques used or sources of models.

His question is why people don’t ask “deeper” questions about motivation and why people choose to make specific models:

What is holding us back from asking deeper questions and having better conversations with one another?

… there are tiny glimmers but at best all we manage is a sentence about how the modeller remembers standing on the end of a platform as a child, or perhaps making models with their parents, even these are superficial and stumbled over quickly so we can get back to the comfort of talking about technique and materials.

https://paxton-road.blogspot.com/2022/05/why-are-you-here.html

I don’t think I’m suggesting anything radical when I say model making tends to attract a fairly similar demographic. Most of us, for example, are of the male persuasion. In many cross cultural studies, men tend towards the traits of Openness to Ideas, whereas women report higher Agreeableness, which includes interest in feelings.

On top of this, model making involves a lot of time sitting alone and gluing small fiddly things together or writing blogs about it. This is something that appeals more to introverts than extroverts, and speaking as an introvert, this same trait makes us much less likely to strike up a conversation in public with a stranger.

A (noisy) model railway exhibition, in short, may not be the ideal place for exhibitors to get peppered with questions that require spontaneous and personal answers. As one painter once said when asked about his reasons for painting a certain picture “Kindly be respectful enough to look at the painting instead of expecting me to explain it as well.”

Writing is better; we can think before we put those words out there, but it still involves risk; would people really be interested in my feelings? Can I write it in a way that would interest people, especially in demographics not generally inclined to talk about such things.

So, do we need this generally? I’m not sure. I can see that for some people it would be a new and exciting element to model making, but for a number of others it could be a dis-concerting societal expectation that they are trying to get away from.

As this doesn’t actually answer the question James put forward, I’ll inflict my reasons on you at a later date, probably next week, to hide a further lack of progress…