Thursday, 26 November 2015

One of our Dinosaurs is missing!


Another ‘Dinovember’ comes to a close, but not before I unveil my final entry – a homage to the Disney Classic, ‘One of our dinosaurs is missing’.  This 1975 relic of my childhood sees a group of nannies outwit a Chinese spy ring in order to come to the aid of their former charge, Lord Southmere.  Of its time, the film is perhaps best remembered for the theft of a Dinosaur skeleton from the National History Museum and the subsequent chase around the English Countryside as the nannies try to evade capture. 
Although not the same make as portrayed in the film, I managed to track down an Atkinson 'D' Type Steam Lorry from the Matchbox 'Models of Yesteryear' range* - all I needed now was a dinosaur skeleton!  My web based research wasn’t proving particularly fruitful, but I did stumble across a pack of plastic dinosaur skeletons, one of which looked as though it might be able to represent the Brontosaurus, unfortunately I hadn’t checked the dimensions!
*The Atkinson was able to travel up to 30 miles at 12m.p.h. on one tankful (170 gallons) of water.
Clearly not up for the job my new purchase, and the twelve others that came in the pack, were consigned to the terrain box** as I scratched my head, pondering a solution.  I knew that I had a couple of ‘Dinosaurs in a tube’, another terrain project that has yet to see the light of day, but neither skeleton quite fitted the bill. As I stared at the cretaceous carcasses littering my paint table, inspiration finally struck!  By using the tail sections of both prehistoric beasties, I was able to fashion the, almost swan like, creation I was after, after all what was in the middle didn’t matter as it was going to be covered by a tarpaulin! 
**A mass of interesting odds and ends collected or purchased off the back of a convoluted plan, now long forgotten.
Now for the skull; again a rummage through the terrain box unearthed a couple of possibilities and although perhaps not an exact match for an Apatosaurus, I felt that the one chosen had a certain charm that I was looking for.
 Having already let my trusty Dremel loose on the existing decals out came the airbrush and the larger areas were blasted with an appropriate colour.  Once dried it was just a case of tidying everything up, building up the layers and adding some rust spots and smears.  The skeleton was simply give a base and then highlights added with a dry brush.
 All that remained was to base my creation.   At this point I need to draw your attention to the ‘The Lazy Forger’, a terrain builder and sculptor of superior skill who, fortunately for me, had an astonishing ‘Paved Road Tutorial’ on his blog.  I shan’t go into much detail here as the link will take to the tutorial proper, but it really was wonderfully simple.  An etched ‘Warbases’ MDF base is given a basecoat, before more sponged colours are applied.  Finally some road makings are added and the job is complete.***

***I have great plans to do some larger versions of these, none of which will see the light of day!

There are seemingly no ends to my self indulgent frippery, but as with all flights of fancy they are hugely enjoyable to put together and this, after all, is what matters.  With December almost upon us, my thoughts will be turning to the ‘VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’, with preparation and basing aplenty to see me through the winter months, but I’m hopeful to post a final few pieces from last year’s challenge before the end of the year.

82 comments:

  1. Well you have certainly left your very best til last Sir Awdry, with this posting. What an absolute corker!! It looks terrific and I'm especially pleased that you've taken the time to give us a blow by blow account of your work and thoughts. Terrific stuff and a truly fantastic piece. Looking forward to crossing swords with you on the Pulp Side Challenge my friend... I fear though I'm going to need to prep plenty of Bob Murch's "Pulp Figures" to keep up with you ;-)

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    1. Thank you so much Simon. This was a labour of love so I am delighted to see it finished and be well received. Have no fear with the side challenge as I seem to have bitten off more than I can chew, what with the Zulus that need painting and all those tempting bonus rounds! Regardless of output it will be a delight to measure each other's progress.

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  2. How wonderfully innovative and unique.
    Looks like you are all warmed up and ready for the painting challenge then Michael!

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    1. Thank you Paul, as I was applying the finishing touches all I could think of was how prefect this would have been for the 'Nostalgia' round! Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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    2. I'm sure you find something equally impressive instead :-)

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  3. Absolutely wonderful!
    you have a great ability in conversions and scratch building, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much Luca, this was so much fun to work on.

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  4. That is great, Needs some Tong bad guys chasing

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    1. Thank you Martin, I actually had my Tong models out for the photo-shoot and stupidly didn't follow through with the idea!

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  5. What a fabulous creation Lord Michael - lovely stuff! :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, you are always so kind.

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  6. Wonderful idea. Really nice work there.

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  7. Cool! Clever, and for me a very humorous model!

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  8. Awesome! A wonderful creation Sir Michael! Although you'll have paleontologists spitting feathers with your Piltdown dinosaur. The base is fantastic too and I love that old truck.

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    1. Thank you Bob and certainly not one for the fossil record. The Steam lorry was an eBay win and quite reasonable to boot.

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  9. Dinosaur skeleton = cool. Steam-powered truck = cool. Dinosaur skeleton in a steam-powered truck = too cool for words.

    BTW Brontosaurus has made a comeback: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-brontosaurus-is-back1/

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    1. Thank you Mr. Finch and what fabulous news about the Brontosaurus, I shall have to amend my post forthwith.

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  10. Having fond memories of that movie, I thought you were initially just using the title for something else. How wrong was I! Absolutely brilliant, Michael. An inspired idea, wonderfully executed and beautifully explained. Top marks to you, sir!
    Regards Jez

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    1. Thank you so much Jez, having only recently seen the film again myself the idea started to grow and refused to be dismissed. Of course, when I spotted the Steam Lorry I just had to go for it.

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    2. Thank you very much Michal and email sent.

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  12. Oh thats brilliant ... and instantly transported me back to my youth, I remember seeing that movie at the cinema with my Dad... will have to check it out again now!

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    1. Thank you Scott and I'm thrilled it had that effect on you. Having just revisited the film myself, I too, was instantly transported to another time.

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  13. While I do like it very much. I have to wonder how many times will you get to use it!
    Which takes nothing away from it's brilliance.

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    1. Thank you Clint and you are, of course, absolutely right about how useful it will be. That said, I do have some Chinese Tong miniatures so just a set of nannies and game on!

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  14. What a fantastic bit of modelling!

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    1. That is very kind of you Roy, thank you.

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  16. It is worth checking out the original book the film was based on. Although the plot is similar it is totally different! The spy only lasts a few pages, after an accident with his cyanide pill, the nannies 'get naked' during the robbery (for logical reasons) and there is a really odd group of detectives on their trail. Oh, and the museum is the American Museum of Natural History. The original title is 'The Great Dinosaur Robbery'.
    The author's first novel 'And To My Nephew Albert I Leave The Island What I won Of Fatty Hagan In A Poker Game' is also worth checking out.note to self, write about it on my own blog.

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    1. I hadn't even considered that there was a book until I was putting this post together, I understand that the authors were not too pleased about Disney's use of humour. I am definitely going to have to pick up a copy now that you have heighted it, many thanks.

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    2. Strange they didn't like the humour - it is a comic novel, after all. Perhaps it was Disney's 'take' on it they didn't like. Bet they took the money though.

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  17. I can tell that you are just having tooooooo much fun!!! I love it matey. Well done indeed.

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    1. Thank you so much, not sure a chap can ever have too much fun with dinosaurs. :D

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  18. What a splendid piece! Kudos!
    Your report is a wonderful read and the result is simply stunning. And you brought a great film back to my mind that I enjoyed very much in my younger days. Especially the unforgettable Sir Peter Ustinov.

    I'm looking forward to hearing from your preparations for the Painting Challenge. And those buildings in the background - Sarissa I presume? - look very promising. Is there a larger Victorian city project going on?

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. Dear Stefan, thank you so much and I am delighted to hear that the film holds fond memories for you too. Good spot with regards to the Sarissa buildings, but no Victorian city project - well not yet anyway! |They were bought for my dalliance with the Batman game and I am hoping to add to them at some point. As for the challenge, I am sad that we will not be having our usual charge at all the bonus rounds, but like you, I too felt that there were other things to focus on. That said, having seen the themes that Curt has posted, so many ideas come to mind!

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  19. You, sir, are a talented chap! That is just superb!

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  20. Fantastic work there Michael!

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  21. Well that just looks fantastic and is suitably pulpy looking as well!

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    1. Thank you Simon, there may yet be a use for it!

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  22. Well that's certainly an eye catcher! Well done there!

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  23. Wow! I don't remember the film but it is a fantastic model. I love the old steam wagon.
    Cheers
    PD

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    1. Thank you Peter, the steam lorry was a great find and rather set the whole project up.

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  24. Excellent idea, and very nice execution. :)

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  25. You're a genious Michael, I love this post!

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    1. That's far too kind, but thank you Phil.

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  26. Rather splendid, that! I remember the film well. Not so PC these days, but Peter Ustinov made a great baddie.

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    1. Thank you A.J. and you are right, it certainly plays on very outdated stereotypes.

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  27. A great flight of fancy and wonderfully realised - good "cheat' too on not having to actually build an entire skeleton.
    A truly fitting climatic end to Dinovember

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    1. Thank you so much Joe, I really enjoyed tinkering with this, the problem solving just adding to the build.

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  28. Once again I sit, with mouth agape at the fine work you've accomplished...yet again. Kudo's Michael!

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    1. Now stop it Terry, you'll make me blush!

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  29. Aaah Michael , that is a wonderful creation. Top marks

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    1. Thank you so much Dave, now what next?

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  30. Aha, the little known but much sought after Tubeasaurus Rex! Congrats on a masterful piece of modelling chicanery once again mate. You're obviously in top nick for the Challenge Bonus Rounds...

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    1. Thank you Millsy, not sure if warming up for the challenge or peaking too soon, we'll have to wait and see.

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  31. That's cracking stuff. May I ask how you did the tarp?

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    1. Thank you Herbert, the tarpaulin is a Jeyes cloth, the blue and white one, but don't tell the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry'!

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  32. me encantan los dinosaurios
    magnifico

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    1. Thank you so much J.D., that is very kind of you.

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  33. Great work Michael! I'm always impressed by your creativity.

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    1. Thank you Nick, that is very kind of you to say so.

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  34. I love your work.Very creative and also good paintjob!!!

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  35. 10 out of 10 Michael, everything about this is superb. The creativity, conversion work and standard of painting and overall finish really is top notch.

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    1. You are always so kind Pat, thank you.

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  36. Well that will certainly turn heads in the city! Very nicely done Michael!

    Christopher

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  37. Models good but if it's to be used in n English setting, we drive on the left hand side of the road and the marking you have on the side of the road/base would be on the curb side on the left side of the truck so it's driving the wrong way.

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    1. Oh my goodness, you are absolutely right Paul, great spot! What on earth was I thinking?

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  38. Oooooo very nice Michael. Recapturing our childhood is what makes miniature painting that much cooler as a hobby.

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  39. That is truly fantastic!!! I am so in awe of what you've got there Michael.

    Cheers Roger.

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  40. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you need to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Why your ex will NEVER come back...

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