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Open Book "The Old Fiddler" by Andrea Miniatures

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Jamie Stokes, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Jamie Stokes Well-Known Member

    Open box review of The Old Fiddler.

    given to me as a birthday present, I'd thought I'd do a review of this kit, as personally speaking, it's nice to see some civilians presented in miniature.

    It depicts an elderly man, with his canine companion, playing for alms in a street or a park.

    1/32 scale (also noted as 54mm) if painted well, it would depict quite some pathos.


    Time to open the box.

    Joe55 likes this.
  2. Jamie Stokes Well-Known Member

    First of all, before we get too far ahead, a quick visit to my scoring system.

    I'll admit, I already have a bias for the subject, so here is a breakdown of the scoring.

    Subject - no marks, just the title. Potted history, or back ground description.

    Ordering and Delivery
    Ordering - how easy was it to order on-line (or over the phone, out of a catalogue, via fax, carrier pigeon, etc etcetera) and then get what was ordered within a decent time at a decent price.
    Ordering - 2 marks. 1 mark for ease of ordering., 1 mark for timely (within 72 hours) replies
    Payment - 3 marks. 1 mark for ease of paying, 1 mark being for able to pay securely, 1 mark for acknowledgement of payment
    Delivery - 2 marks, did the item ordered show up? and did it show up within a reasonable time frame? (3 - 3& 1/2 weeks for a surface economy order)

    Was the figure (or paint, putty, reference book, brushes, tools, gadget, gizmo, do-dad or essential 'bit of kit') securely packed, padded or boxed to guard against the casually incurred damage sometimes viewed when items go through the mail or courier system?
    Packaging - Figure protected from transit damage and 'bruising'. 2 marks (box and padding)
    Security - reasonable steps taken to ensure small parts are not lost, and resist damage (ie, zip lock bags, backed onto cardboard) 2 marks

    Simply, How do I put this together, and then paint it? And in what colours? was it red cuffs for the cavalry, or the blue cuffs for the grenadiers, those kind of things. Is there a image (or two) that helps with the instructions
    Instructions - text, line art work, combination included. 1 mark if present.
    Image for reference - photo of at least front and back view. 2 marks if present. Additional marks for images (painted or otherwise) on how to put the figure together, or additional views. maximum additional 4 marks.

    What material is this made from; resin, metal, combination of materials for different parts, quality of casting also

    Casting - No air bubbles present? 3 marks. (or!) Air bubbles present, in easy fixed places? 2 marks. Good textures, 2 marks. Good fit, 2 marks

    Loose marks for the following
    - mould slippage - 2 marks
    - air bubbles, more then 11 over the figure.* 2 marks
    - rough casting or short pours. Where a casting is in complete. - 2 marks

    *I had to think over this number, and I have started with this figure of 11. Some air bubbles are almost inevitable in most figures. I chose to build on some lee-way, yet balance that against a number that still allows a figure to approach sale worthiness.

    Fit - How closely do the parts fit? I'd allow a 2-3 mm gap for figures above 70mm, 1-2 mm below that. 5 points maximum, loose a mark per poor fit, per part.

    *For the 30mm size minis (and lower) I don't usually see these in multiple parts, so I'd automatically award the points.

    So a quick tally.
    Payment & Delivery - 7 marks
    Packaging - 4 marks
    Instructions - 3 marks
    Casting - 7 marks
    Fit - 5 marks

    Total - 26 marks.

    So how does this figure stack up against this system?

    Quite well!
  3. Jamie Stokes Well-Known Member

    Ordering & delivery
    Ordering - easy enough, once the English/ Spanish button on Andreas home page had been found.
    Payment- achieved the results.
    Delivery - from Spain to countryside Australia, delivered and in time.

    Packaging & Security
    Packaging - sandwiched in between folded foam, was all the parts of the kit.

    Security of parts - Parts that were delicate (the arm holding the bow) or had fine detail (head, & fiddle) were separately packed in their own stapled shut folds of cardboard. And the entire smaller box was stoutly packed in a slightly larger box, amply packed with foam chips.
    Score, 2/2

    More details of the head & fiddle, resting on it's own packing sleeve.

  4. Jamie Stokes Well-Known Member

    Instructions, Casting & Fit.

    Nil on assembly, how ever, if you cant work out human anatomy and how it goes together, you may not be a native resident of Earth.... which is a cheeky way of saying it goes together as obviously as most other 1/32 size figure kits) and the pose makes it self evident.
    Score 1/1
    Painting instructions and/ or reference photos.
    Both included.
    generic painting instructions are included in the box (the back of which doubles as "more products are available from Andrea" as well as images of the finished figure (painted) back and 3/4 views of the completed figure. ( I reduced a mark, as I felt that the instructions included although good, were a bit too generic)
    score - 3/4

    Cast in white metal, it has quite delicate detail, well sculpted in this scale. the casting does show some sign of oxidation, some gentle work with a brass brush should remove this easily enough, leaving it ready for the next step in painting.


    casting showed no signs of air bubbles, textures seemed correct with good details finely caught.
    Nil mould slippage or wear, nor air bubbles,

    Fit seems good too, with the torso, head/ fiddle unit and both arms appearing to have good alignment.
    score 4/4

    A tally for the scores
    26 marks

    So over all, it seems that this is a high quality kit, well sculpted & cast, with good delivery times.
    Ordering from Andrea can be done with confidence.

    Quibbles -

    The bow length seems quite long, however I am no musician. 29mm on the sculpted figure = 92.8cm in real life. Almost a metre long!!

    If someone can clarify this for me, it would be appreciated!


  5. Jamie Stokes Well-Known Member

    not a new figure, it has been handled wonderfully by some very good painters, whose work is here and here and also here on the planet
    combatartist and Meehan34 like this.
  6. megroot A Fixture

    That's some awesome revieuw Jamie.
    combatartist likes this.
  7. housecarl A Fixture

    Thanks for the in depth review Jamie.
  8. arxo Active Member

    First of all thank you for including my work in your list of references.

    I had the following issues with my figure and I don't now if it was just my figure or not (or my inexperience)...so please accept the following as possible suggestions and by no means not as a critisism for your review...all the below became evident AFTER priming/painting and trying to actually glue the pieces together (again, inexperience) :

    a) Alignment of the head/hand with the torso - if you align the hand with the sleeve a small gap in the neck appears and vice versa- I aligned the hand as best as I could. The gap in the neck is nearly invisible below the violin and can be concealed if you paint the inner part of the scarf in the same color....

    b) check how the figure fits with the bench...I had to put some putty to conceal again a gap - you may have to file some of the excesses in the inner parts of the legs for the figure to fit...I couldn't because i had already painted and glued the legs...

    c) minor gap also in the folds of coat in the waist when fitting upper torso with legs...if you paint in other colors than black, it may show...I had to hold the figure in eye-level and rotate it to spot this...

    d) coins in the pavement and inside of hat - easily neglected :)

    highly recommended and a very beatiful theme...
    thank you again
    Jamie Stokes likes this.
  9. Jamie Stokes Well-Known Member

    Hi Arxo,

    thanks for adding to the review.

    I'll admit, I failed to do a full figure fit check, and the quick fit I did I missed any fit/ alignment issues, as I used blu-tac (a cross being kids play-dough and a post it note) and this was probably enough to hide any fit issues.

    After doing the review, I started to find similar issues. to address them in the same order you did:

    a) haven't done the fit of the head to torso, I'll be mindful of this. Thanks for the heads-up!

    b) A dry fit to the bench does show daylight; I've glued to lower legs to the torso, and have also assembled the bench too. I'll be using some air hardening putty to fill this gap. By trying to get the fit of the legs to the torso, I created a different gap in the groin, also puttied over.

    c) Found the same gaps in the folds of coat also. Again, I have reached for the putty to help fill the gaps.

    d) I missed the coins both in the hat and on the pavement - after reading your completed work, I went and looked again. Yep, there they were. I think that if they were painted silver on the box art, it would have been a greater clue, and really helped with the details the sculptor put in there.

    So, what can I learn from this?

    1- Use a different medium other then blu-tac to check fit
    2 - Do a full figure fit check, to alert others of what I have found
    3 - Be open to input
    4- Learn from oversights.

    So thanks again Arxo,

    and thanks also to Marc & Carl, great figurists here on the planet!

    Cheers gentleman.
  10. arxo Active Member

    Glad to have helped Jamie...
    ...and yes the groin gap (minor as it is - painful to look at though - :p) was there too but i used mostly black and it doesn't show...

    Can't wait to see your painted figure...good luck!
    Jamie Stokes likes this.

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