Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Glories of the Silver Screen

I have lately found that my burblings on the topic of cinema have attracted a damned sight more notice than my incoherent mumblings on the topic of toy soldiers. I like toy soldiers, and do not mean to abandon them. I was away from home the other evening, and saw a cross-eyed TV representation of some fantasy battle (on Lewis, British viewers) with figures of wildly different scales taking adjacent places on the same battlefield. I have been unable to do anything with my 6mm models of late for one very simple reason: I have no brushes. Ask any wargamer what brush to get with a Lottery win, and s/he will almost certainly say "Kolinsky sable" or something along those lines.

I have no desire to buy hairs plucked from some corpse, nor to support the assassination of some poor little chap. I feel bad enough when I see a dead badger on the roadside, let alone when someone farms critters for fur or our government lazily decides to murder brock rather than respond sensibly to a medical situation. Sorry. I find the deliberately cruel murder of badgers very upsetting, and it has thrown me off my stride. I was talking about the question of brushes.

I am in a stupid situation. I don't own a pig or a goat. We do have a rabbit. So I am in the ridiculous situation, since our dear Spot sheds fur faster than Speedy Gonzalez with Telogen Effluvium, of having to choose as a source of hair for paintbrushes either my own beard and head hair or rabbit fur. As I have suggested, I am not keen on murder, and there is only one way to be sure that animal hairs don't come from corpses: personal inspection. I have a copy of a rather depressing volume from about a decade ago, which lists human profits from animals' suffering, and gives a figure of about 29% of ovine wool being from dead sheep. Given sheep hang about to be drained of milk, I can reasonably predict that sable and similar critters are in rather higher demand for dead bits and bobs.

Anyway, as things stand I have several battalions of 6mm Napoleonic Brits (let alone Frenchies!), and I cannot paint the little beggars. I do not have, nor can I find in any art shop, a set of small-bristled paintbrushes to allow me to paint the faces (let alone the hands) of the models. I am all set to look online for some synthetic bristles. Drop me a line, folks, if you have any in mind. It is a hard life, attempting to combine a disinclination for any animal cruelty with a desire to paint anything! With luck in a few days I shall have some more painted thingummies to show you!

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