Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Thirties in Colour

Last night I started watching The Thirties in Colour (BBC DVD, 2009). I would not say I'm disappointed with the DVD but there are certainly elements that are less than ideal to my mind.

I was hoping for a general look at the period with simple background info on the footage. Stuff like, where, when, what, etc. There would have to be some interpretation to put the footage in perspective but this might have been kept to a minimum and simply factual.

Instead the DVD is a series of video opinions from a series of academic and "expert" talking heads, overlaid on admittedly spectacular footage. The commentators spend a lot of time explaining that the people taking to pictures are white and upper middle or higher class which is hardly earth shaking news to be honest. Everything is coloured (no pun intended) with the commentator's perceptions and opinions.

This doesn't detract from the footage itself but it does make you want to turn the sound off at times so you can absorb what is on the screen and take from it what you want, not what somebody else thinks you should. In the end the footage is worth the effort though. There is a good combination of subjects and places and the quality itself is quite surprising at times. Thankfully there is also little in the way of reconstructions which are fine in their own right but are often used to pad out a lack of genuine material.

Still worth a watch but not a DVD I'd be in any hurry to buy. I got mine from local library. More details are available on the bibliography page.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Port Sunlight Worker's Militia (PSWM)

Today I properly kicked off plans for the first of my factions - the Port Sunlight Worker's Militia a.k.a. the PSWM.

As I said in my opening post, the PSWM are more socialist than communist. They are composed of workers from the soap factory who have formed themselves into a militia to defend their jobs and homes and often "borrow" factory assets like trucks to further their activities. Whilst the factory managment don't directly endorse the PSWM they certainly turn a blind eye to their activities, happy to derive the benefits of their efforts whilst remaining in the background.

I've designed a flag for the PWSM to be carried into action alongside the unit. The sun and anchor represent Port Sunlight, whilst the red, white and blue are popular colours with the soap brand.

The initial strength will be a meagre 10 men composed of Leader, 2iC, Colour Bearer, LMG Gunner, Bomber and five Militia. They already have transport so it's time to get painting.

For more info see the factions page.

Cheerio comrades!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wheel meet again...

Gentlefolk, good morrow!

Here's the next batch of diecast repaints, hot off the production line. This set are Lledo / Corgi / Lledo from a couple of eBay auctions. Little in the way of modifications or repairs to these were required with the exception of the bus which had the wheels replaced with set of Lego ones ("liberated" from the kids).

Remember to click for bigger images...

Stately Saloon, Wirral Socialist Collective Bus and Lever Brothers Steam Lorry
The saloon was disassembled, rubbed back and given a spray of matt black. This was followed by a coat of GW Dark Angels Green and dry brushed in GW Snot Green. The wheels and tyres were left "as is" because I was happy enough with them.

The bus was disassembled, given a rub back and then a base coat of GW Foundation Red followed by GW Blood Red and a final dry brush of GW Bleached Bone. The wheels are a really old set of Lego solid rubber numbers from when I was a kid (yes, me). That makes em 30-35 or so years old and still going strong. Some cutting was required but they fit nicely and are much better than the tatty Corgi plastic ones. Signs done in Photoshop completed the job.

Finally, the steam lorry was once again disassembled, rubbed back and given a coat of matt black. GW Dark Angels Green followed with a dry brush of GW Goblin Green. The wheels were dressed up a bit with the nuts painted but nothing else. A new timber tray was added and stained / dirtied up and finally some more Photoshop signage added.

As with the first set these are awaiting only number plates and a spray of matt varnish but until the weather improves for a few days that won't happen.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

BUF Signs & Posters

I produced a bunch of BUF images, signs and posters for the diecast vehicles I repainted recently. A number of people have expressed an interest in a PDF version for their own use so here it is! At some point I will most likely produce a second sheet of material but I'll need some help with inspiration - slogans, images and the like so feel free to leave comments...

You can download a hi-res version or lo-res version depending on your needs.

It's also available on the resources page.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Some light reading

I received my copy of 1930s Britain by Robert Pearce from Book Depository yesterday. I've already read through the first couple of chapters and it seems OK.

To be truthful I was hoping for something a little more comprehensive and with some info on the political situation in the thirties but there is a definite lack in that area.

Having said that it's a good general introduction to life in the period and certainly not money wasted. I will need to keep my eye out for something else with more detail on the political side though.

Full info on the bibliography page...