Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thoroughly domesticated

The War Room 

The campaign to finish The War Room staggers ever on. It is painted, the ceiling rose is installed. the trap door has been adjusted and the shelves started. Things have been complicated somewhat by the fact that there isn't a straight line or a right angle in either alcove, but ways are being found around that. 

Mrs Kinch has done great work staining the shelves, though what is really perplexing us is that the stain is drying very light. Extremely light even accounting for the new wood. The shade of Dark Oak that I picked was only one shade off the darkest the shop had to offer, so we may have to go back to the drawing board. 

The paintwork is done and is mostly finished, I did the final job of neatening up the coving last night with a small flat brush and I don't think it looks too bad. 

Little mounds of curranty deliciousness, produced from...

I have what Mrs Kinch refers to as "...a very strong weakness..." (now there is a truly Dublin phrase) for scones and have had some difficulty minding decent ones locally.  They tend to vary wildly from not at all bad to thick pellets of stodge that would be more properly fired through a Soviet tank somewhere about the Fulda Gap. 

So I've started to make my own. They took a little while to get right, but I am very pleased to say that I am finally producing edible scones with reasonable regularity now. 

...from the ashes of the fallen. 
(please provide your own metal power chord accompaniment) 

One thing I haven't mastered is trimming the grease proof paper appropriately. Despite measuring, sticking it down with dabs of butter and generally trying not to set the whole damn thing on fire - I always seem to do exactly that. Strangely enough, it doesn't seem to effect the final product much. 

Artists impression of Kinch some time ago

But whither wargaming Kinch? I'm afraid there shan't be any this post - mainly due to a varnishing mishap that has taken the wind out of my sails a bit. I usually use GW Purity Seal as an easily accessible, perfectly consistent matt varnish. Say what you like about them, their sprays are good and I can get my paws on them without too much trouble. 

Unfortunately, I appear to have picked up a bad one and it's undone quite a bit of work on some 20mm Napoleonics I was working on. It can't be helped and to be fair, it's the first bad result I've had with GW sprays in nearly fifteen years. Still a bit of a pain in the backside though. 


  1. Bad form re the varnish.Utterly splendid looking room and scones too.

    1. Thank you very much - I'm just determined to draw a line under the room and push on until it's finished.

  2. Problems with varnish be damned! But those scones look delightful. I can almost smell them emerging fresh from the oven.

    Best Regards,


    1. Damned indeed. I got a new can the other day and it seems to be working fine.

  3. This is why I now only use brush-on varnish. Cuts down on bitter, salty tears.


    1. I use them to water the flowers on the graves of my enemies.

      Monkey, what is good in life?

  4. Stain turning out too light. Spray varnish not cooperating. Sounds like the problem may be of one not mixing either sufficiently. Stir stain from the bottom up, in a plunging/stirring motion. And the best advice I ever heard for sprays is to count to 100 as you shake the can.
    Room is looking pretty sharp!
    What's a "scone"?

    1. Thank you for the advice Bob. Fingers crossed it works.

      The room will be looking a lot better soonish.

      A scone is type of baked good, it can be brown or white (usually with raisins). Often eaten toasted with butter or if you can get it with clotted cream and jam. They are almost an unacknowledged sacrament in the Church of Ireland.

      The closest thing I've come to them while in the United States are the biscuits my Alabamian mother in law used to make.

      Actually now that I think of it, biscuits and gravy is a fine meal too.

  5. Scones are coming along nicely.

    Re the varnish - what went wrong? I hear a lot of such stories, must be heartbreaking. But there was a long thread over on TMP not so long ago, with some good practical solutions for overcoming the problem.

    War Room is almost there, looks good.


    1. We tried a variety of things, but it looks like they're a write off. Very dispiriting.

      There will be more scones and I'm happy that we're making progress on the War Room. I just need to keep at it!

    2. Even the old method of giving them a matte coat straight over the gloss? As I understand the mechanisms of it, the problem with "frosting" is that the varnish catches the humidity in the air and traps microdroplets of water on the model's surface, thus producing a small reflective surface to bounce light off in an irritating fashion via a combination of water's ability to catch light and the gloss varnishes'.... gloss. The theory is that a layer of matte over that should diffuse that backscatter somewhat.

      Other theories involve shaking the can for as long as you can manage and then spraying only in single passes at a time, which would take forever to get a decent coverage, and spraying it again but drying with a hairdryer or heatlamp.

      Best of luck sorting it out either way.

  6. Yes, I have also read of others who have solved the issue by applying a second varnish coat, can't remember the details though, might be worth looking up CK before you give up on them?