Having picked up a copy of the new Model Rail (162) in the office on Tuesday, I'm pleased with how this month's Masterclass turned out. The subject - figures - is a big one and I enjoyed the challenge of compressing it into 7 1/2 pages. While Chris Leigh demonstrates a few ways of altering poses, I offer a few hints on painting and 'planting'.
We also decided to illustrate what we thought were 10 of the best miniature scale figures available. There are obviously more than 10 brands out there, but some of them are a bit on the dodgy side. There were also a couple of brands that I would've liked to include but sadly they're no longer available. Inkerman Castings is the most prominent omission, the small range of superb characters seemingly no more.
However, the brand new range from Supercast was a treat to work with and Dart Casting's ever increasing selection is full of believable characters. Painting figures can be great fun and a well turned-out and positioned character certainly brings a scene to life. But we all have our own foibles in this area of the hobby: many of us like to create amusing cameo scenes while others think this is sacrilege. But, who cares - do what you want to do! Maybe subtlety is the keyword, though. For years I've been populating my layouts almost exclusively with ginger haired figures, yet nobody except Mrs D has ever even noticed...
Sometimes less is more: a single NCB donkey jacketed figure adds atmosphere to this corner of Maudetown Colliery.