Friday, March 08, 2013


FredFred Dibnah is easily the most recognisable industrial archeological enthusiast who ever lived. Even those with no more than a passing interesting in smokey old buildings will have heard of him, probably through one of his numerous telly shows.

Spotting a miniature Fred on the Duncan Models stand last weekend, I though it would be great fun to have him on Clayhanger Yard and see how many people spot him.

The figure is supplied as an unpainted whitemetal casting. There's no flash or mould lines to deal with so it's straight on with a spray of primer - Humbrol No1 in this case as I had a can within reach.

Looking at pictures of the man, the closest match I could find to the clothes the model is wearing is a dark blue jacket over a black waistcoat. The later isn't the same black as his trousers - I suspect the waistcoat is a felt material which reflects the light differently. His cap is a similar black.

Colours used are:
  • Skin tones - Humbrol 61(Flesh) dry brushed with Revel flesh, although Humbrols version with a touch of white mixed in would be OK.
  • Pale blue shirt - Humbrol 68
  • Jacket - Humbrol 25
  • Trousers - Humbrol 33 (Matt Black)
  • Waistcoat and cap - Railmatch Weathered Black
  • Eyes - Satin white with Matt black pupils
  • Glasses - Humbrol 66

That list ought to be helpful for anyone who fancies painting the same figure. The colour matches look pretty accurate to me. Application was my first serious use of the Humbrol Detail Brushes. These worked well. The triangular handles take a little getting used too but they do provide a good grip. The only problem was that working under a magnifying glass, they were a bit long and hit the lens until I got the hang of it. If this was a bit problem then lopping a few cm off then end wouldn't be a problem.

In the raw whitmetal, Fred looked like an excellent likeness. Painted, the chin is perhaps a bit Desperate Dan but that's probably due to my crudeness with spectacle painting. I suspect a specialist figure painter would do a better job. Not to worry, once he's on the layout, with that paving slab he stands on buried in the dirt, I think he'll look the part.

This is the 2,500th entry on my blog. I hope you've been enjoying them so far. I've not run out of inspiration so plan to be adding to the total for a while yet! In doing all this, I've become a bit of an expert on blogging, so if anyone wants advice, please get in touch.


James Finister said...

First of all congratulations and thanks on 2500 posts. I don't know how you find the time to not only blog but do the modelling as well.

As for Fred - those glasses make him look like he should have a bag of swag in his possession. If you look at any photos taken of him from any distance at all his glasses are hardly noticeable and the frames are silver. As a glasses wearer I'm also aware that in photos spectacle lenses often look lighter than the face, rather than darker.

lnrmodels said...

I always enjoy your daily blog, and this post is no exception - a brilliant paint job on a great figure. I take it the paints are enamels? I've not used enamel paints since my days of gluing my fingers to the fuselages of Airfix Lancaster bombers...

Phil Parker said...

All the paints are from the enamel range. I've never really used acrylics - it's what I'm used to I suppose.

Glasses. Good point about the colour. Maybe a repaint in silver would help. I'll give it a go.

Bill Luty said...

As a fairly new reader I'm still working my way through the backlog. Congratulations on the milestone but please keep going, it's a lovely way to while away a few minutes in the otherwise relentless toil of earning a crust. Dreaming of what I could do if I had more time and skill.

Paul B. said...

How about a blog post on creating a good blog Phil?

Phil Parker said...

Paul - Sounds like a Sunday post. Perhaps in a weeks time.

Iain Robinson said...

This is great. The face kinda looks like Fred, but the stance is really marks to the sculptor who made the master, and of course, it is superbly painted!!

Congrats on the milestone, your blog never fails to entertain, intrigue or inspire. Here's to another 2500...

Chas said...

What a terrific paint job and thank you for the detailed description. Congratulations on the 2,500 milestone and for a fascinating blog.