Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Sunday, 18 June 2017

HMS Surprise

"The Surprise is not old; no one would call her old. She has a bluff bow, lovely lines. She's a fine seabird: weatherly, stiff and fast... very fast, if she's well handled. No, she's not old; she's in her prime."

Like a lot of people, I am a Patrick O'Brien addict. So when I got a little bit of good news at work last month, I decided to treat myself to something I had been planning for a while.

You may recall this is not my first foray into Napoleonic naval modelling; but those ships were a cheap joblot off ebay and a rescue attempt. How would I manage with a brand new kit? This was ordered from Langton miniatures and the difference between these and the GHQ ones I had worked on before was immediately apparent. The kits were clean and incredibly detailed.

One thing I had done was order brass etch sails. I've never worked with PE before because I'd seen the odd Cronenberg-esque tools people were using, but I figured this was as good a time as any.

The base was made as before, with plasticard and plastic putty for the waves:

I decided early on that I wanted to go for a screen-accurate version of Lucky Jack's ship, so I used the film and actual replica used for filming as a reference:

And then once she was painting, I applied the rigging and the photoetch ratlines for the final touch.

Here's a penny for scale :) 

Very happy with how she turned out. The brass sails are lovely and really enhance the look of the vessel.

The more eagle eyes among you may have noticed that there were two kits from Langton in the delivery picture. More on this soon....

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Beware the Jabberbot!

It was on Brillig that Magos Sly V. Toathe and his servitors Gyre and Gimbal finally cornered the experiment that had escaped so many years before. His servitors stripped to the bone within seconds, Toathe found himself alone. Armed only with his Warp Coil sword, specially constructed for this day, he bravely stood against his own foul creation: the Jabberbot.

This was constructed for an online competition in the Inq28 community entitled the Dogs of War. The brief was to create a creature of some sort that fit into the 40k background. As always, this build evolved as I created it.

The starting point was some spares given to me by a friend. An old empire griffin, and a shedload of undead bits and pieces. All I knew was that I wanted to extend the legs - I was thinking of Francis Bacon (who inspired Stilts) and his influence on John Blanche, I suppose.

To that end I picked up some styrene rod and made some hydraulic ones.

As the shape of the creature evolved, I sort of became aware of the similarity to the shape of the Jabberwocky, at which case the vignette started to suggest itself. That of course led to the design on the neck and the sort of flappy jowls thing.

Once I knew I would have a 'knight' fighting the creature it became obvious I needed a scenic base. First off I did the fairly copious greenstuff work and added the piping using the old favourite of guitar string.

Creating the base seemed like an opportunity to try out some crackle paint which I'd been meaning to do for while. I wanted to give the feeling of a mud crust over the copper sulphate so I painted the cork tile base a very light blue green and then slathered the crackle paint all over.

The magos was knocked together out of bits and then I added my usual rust and weathering. For the first time in ages I also used some decals, making sure to weather over the top of them.

Overall, I'm very happy indeed. Fun little build and an effective vignette.