Sunday, 14 August 2016

TMS and the art of renovating toy soldiers

Over the past few weeks I have been making steady progress with the renovation, varnishing, and basing of my collection of pre-painted Napoleonic figures. To help me concentrate I like to listen to the radio or recorded books, and thanks to the recent series of Test Matches between England and Pakistan, I have been able to listen to the Test Match Special (or TMS) radio broadcasts.

Now for people who don't love cricket, I am sure that TMS is a total waste of time and broadcasting resources, but for those of us who love the sport and the programme, being able to listen to TMS is something wonderful. It isn't like any other form of sports commentary that I have ever come across anywhere else in the world, mainly because it isn't just a commentary; it is much more like listening to a conversation in a pub or bar. The commentators and summarisers are almost all extremely knowledgeable ex-professional cricketers, but more than that, they are characters with real personality.

Thanks to the likes of the late Brian Johnston and Henry Blofelt (better known as 'Johnners' and 'Blowers'), TMS has developed its own unique style. The 'conversation' one listens to not only covers the action that is taking place on the pitch, but also playing techniques and styles, past matches, famous players, passing buses, pigeons, what fancy dress some of the spectators are wearing, cakes people have sent up to the commentary box, and numerous other extraneous subjects.

Today is my last opportunity to listen to TMS until next year ... and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

12 comments:

  1. Glad your enjoying the radio Cricket BOB. Some time back when painting up figures and modelling etc ...I use to listen to talk back Radio- particularly after midnight- there was one regular host who was splendid - though, alas after 40 years of Broadcasting - Brian Wilshire is now retired...yes, there are new hosts - however it just isn't the same. I tend not to listen to anything recently- sometimes some older 60s to 70s Music on the same channel- Popular Music - on the Radio...and yes some 1940s Songs as well. Anyways- stay well. Cheers. KEV.

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    1. Kev,

      It is interesting to read about the things that other wargamers do to help them concentrate when they are painting.

      I have tried listening to music and non-TMS talk radio, but in the end I keep going back to recorded books and TMS.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. I watch TV and DVDs while I paint. I rarely listen to music and never to sport. My favourite movies are old Westerns and SF.

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    1. James James,

      How do you manage to watch TV/DVDs and paint at the same time? I have tried doing that, but ended up either just listening to the TV/DVD soundtrack or not concentrating on what I was painting.

      That said, your choice of TV/DVD is - in my opinion -very sound!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Have my painting tray on the computer table and listen to various podcasts and catch up TV, Tony

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    1. The Good Soldier Svjek (Tony),

      Your method sounds like a it sits somewhere between mine and James James's.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Bob, Sadly I seem to have lost my passion for Cricket over the years, but I understand exactly what you are describing and recall fondly the days of Johnson & 'Blowers', especially the cakes!

    I tend to paint now with a YouTube video running on the big TV screen, I have a way of sitting with my trusty 'daylight' desk lamp on my left and my body slightly turned to the right looking towards the TV as I paint! Mostly listening with glances up between brush strokes, got it down to a fine art now. Whilst painting my recent French & Indian War figures I listened to/watched the full 4 hours of the documentary 'The War That Made America' (FIW) and many hours of videos relating to native American culture and history etc, I like to keep the theme to what I'm painting.

    All the best,

    Lee.

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    1. 'Lee,

      Some of the newer commentators are not quite in the same league as 'Johnners' and 'Blowers', but I still enjoy listening to their badinage.

      I might try your technique of listening/watching relevant TV programmes/videos whilst painting as I am coming to the end of my large stock of recorded books and don't want to repeat them quite yet. I have - for example - the recent TV version of WAR AND PEACE as yet unwatched, and that should keep me going for a week or so!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Great post Bob.
    Im with you! TMS has accompanied my painting more than any other broadcast! Still love it!
    Best regards
    Phil

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    1. Phil,

      It's great to hear from another fan of TMS. I miss the broadcasts during the winter months when the overseas tours are on.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Currently the Olympics is fulfilling the same role as TMS.. I have a mirror on the wall in front of the painting table that I can watch the television behind me on when I need to see the action rather than just listen.. very enjoyable afternoon yesterday "watching" the cycling while rebasing 24 bases of AWI troops... I remember an old Wargamers Newsletter where Don Featherstone said that he had painted an entire Austrian army while watching the Olympics of that particular year so we're in good company...!

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    1. Steve-the-Wargamer,

      Until yesterday I think that I shared most London car driver's thoughts about cyclists ... but the events in the Rio velodrome have been so thrilling that my negative attitude has completely changed. My wife and I particularly enjoyed the first three events of the Omnium, and plan to watch as much of the remaining events as we can.

      I also remember Donald Featherstone writing about painting an entire Austrian Horse-and-Musket during an Olympics. I think it was in a chapter about narrative wargaming.

      All the best,

      Bob

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