As several of you are aware I’m a fan of Reaper Miniatures. A little while ago I finished the last of a fantasy batch that I bought and promised myself that I would buy more Reaper figures in the future. Good to my word I bought a few a couple of weeks or so ago and began working on this little vignette during the closing stages of completing my recent WW2 diorama “Operation Overlord”.
I’ve been wanting to do something involving Pirates for some time but what with one thing and another never got around to doing anything about it. These two figures, along with another one, caught my eye as I was combing my way through the Reaper catalogue and so I finally bit the bullet and made the purchase.
The figures were a joy to paint, so much lovely colour after the drabness of WW2 uniforms. Nothing really to say in respect of the figure painting. The palm tree on the other hand is a complete scratch build.
I had never made a palm tree before so this was a new learning curve and what you see in the photo’s is my first ever attempt at making one. On a personal level it turned out OK but needless to say I learnt a few things along the way. Rather than go into full details on its construction in this post I’ve decided to do a separate “How to Make a Palm Tree” article (I bet you can’t wait to get started making your own!) which I will aim to publish next next week, not least of all because the lead up to Christmas will almost certainly leave me bereft of painting time! Besides, if I share it then between us perhaps we can refine the technique further.
I thought I would also enter this one into Azazel’s December challenge under the categories of Vignette and Scenery Pieces.
Slightly blurry photo’s below. I need to work on depth of field for close ups thats for sure!
Just managed to squeeze in a third entry for the July Challenge. Not sure I’ll be able to do that for future challenges but on this occasion I was on a bit of a role.
This figure by Reaper was clearly modelled on Harrison Ford in his role as Indiana Jones. Presumably copyright was responsible for the name Jack Harrison being given to the figure by Reaper but I’ve imposed no such legal constraints on this little model of mine.
On close inspection it is obvious that the painted face is anything but a dead ringer for Harrison Ford, however, I can assure you that the paint job is the spitting image of Jack Harrison! A fun model to put together.
Oh, and what has this got to do with July? Well he’s searching for the Jewel of course!
Photos of the completed model below.
My brother and his wife along with his son and his daughter visited us for a few days last week so little was done on the modelling front. It was great to see them all but I’d forgotten how exausting a 4 year old can be. It was as much as I could do to lift a brush after they left! I did manage to get some further work on the base completed and the other three figures have now been painted. I ran out of time to complete the whole thing for this post so a final part will have to follow in due course.
I’m still having my doubts on this one. Since I started it I’ve had lots more ideas on other ways I could have put this together. Not so much that what I’m doing is wrong it’s just that the scope for using either horror figures and/or a film crew offers so many alternative possibilities. Still, at least it means I’ve got plenty of future ideas to keep me occupied!
Latest progress figures below.
A while back I discovered a set of figures produced by Eureka Miniatures, an Australian based company if I remember correctly, of a golden age film crew. Right from the off I knew this was a set I would like to buy and a little while ago I managed to locate a UK distributor. From a diorama point of view the film crew opened up all manner of possibilities.
At about the same time I also discovered a company called Studio Miniatures. Their range is not huge but it is very good and included in what they have to offer were some horror figures. I purchased a few of them too and decided to explore the idea of a little movie set diorama comprising the two sets of figures. In the 1970’s a sequence of horror movies was rolled out under the Hammer Horror franchise. Although the film crew figures are more likely 1930’s I’ve decided to merge the two in the hope that nobody will look to closely at the end result!
Initially I was excited at the prospect of this little diorama but now that I’ve started it I’m not quite so sure about how well it will turn out. To make matters worse I’ve since grown more excited about some other figures I recently purchased and can see this diorama dragging on a bit if I don’t keep my act together. For now though I’m up and running and committed to this little project for better or worse.
So far I’ve managed to paint the film crew and have begun the base work. The door is made from coffee stirrers and the walls and flagstones from foam board. The outer plastic coating on the foam board was removed on one side to provide a rougher texture for the stone walls. Each stone was made separately to provide what I hope will be a better overall effect and stuck to MDF board.
Still plenty to do. More to be done to the base work and three more figures need to be painted along with the movie camera and lights and then it all needs to be pieced together some how.
Progress photos below.
On the 7th August 1888 the first of 11 murders potentially committed by a murderer later to be known as Jack the Ripper took place. The victim was Martha Tabram and the location for the ghastly crime was George Yard (now Gunthorpe Street), Whitechaple, London.
A few year ago now I started to investigate my family history. I was aware of a lot of things but unaware of far more. Part of my research revealed that my great-grandfather and his family had lived in George Yard at around the time of the Ripper murders. At the time I was unaware of the association of George Yard and the Ripper but when I googled the address out of initial curiosity it went ballistic! Since then I have been more than a little intrigued by Jack the Ripper and have read and acquired a number of books on the subject.
It was when I was looking for a suitable figure for the first model in my WW1 project that I discovered a set of four figures which included the newspaper seller. The other figures were a women, since used in another WW1 model, a policeman and Jack The Ripper. The latter two figures were primed but remained in my bit box neglected until the May Challenge got me sifting through my old stuff, which is the aim of course. Using various bits and bobs I decided to put together a little vignette. Another neglected figure was used to provide the corpse.
The macabre is not something I would describe as my usual modelling fair but it was fun to do. Not sure where I’d go with this genre if I chose to do something else but my mind is open to the possibility.
Getting everything onto a small base (4.5cm x 4.5cm) proved to be the toughest challenge but I got there in the end. Scratch built roof, brick and wooden walls together with some rolling pin cobblestones set the scene. Painted mostly in oils over acryllic undercoats. A wet wipe was used to create the tarpaulin covering the victim.
A couple of months ago Martin, an email follower of my blog, asked me if I’d ever considered doing a model of Lawrence of Arabia. I replied saying that I had thought about it some years ago but hadn’t been able to find a suitable figure.
My original inspiration came many years ago after seeing the film Lawrence of Arabia by David Lean. If you have never seen it then I would strongly recommend that you do. A big budget film where the people you see are all real people not half a dozen replicated by computer imagery. The sweeping landscapes filmed in Jordan are stunning and on top of that it’s a true story, how accurate though I cannot comment. Peter O’Toole’s acting debut if I recall correctly as well. Sadly nothing came of it in modelling terms.
However, Martin’s email prompted me to look again and was I rewarded by finding figures by Artizan Miniatures. It’s quite possible the figures have been around for sometime and simply passed me by because I would have been looking at 54mm scale in those days and not the 28mm scale that I am much more into now. Needless to say I purchased the figures.
The actual Lawrence figure comes as part of a pair and was nicely cast which is something I have come to expect from Artizan’s models and originally the figure held a pistol. For the little diorama I had in mind I thought this was inappropriate so I removed it and added a stick/crop instead. That’s about the extent of my figure conversion ability!
It’s been a while since I painted a figure that was essentially all one colour and I’d forgotten the challenge that comes with highlighting and shading. As for painting camels these are my first! Overall they didn’t come out too badly. Oddly the second figure didn’t come with anything to hold so I chose to resolve that by making a flag.
The base work was a simple affair but if I’m being honest it’s also my biggest disappointment with this little diorama. In an ideal world I would have put the two completed figures on a base 20 feet wide to provide a sense of scale. Alternatively I could have taken it to a beach in Cornwall and photographed it there! If you are familiar with the film then you’ll probably understand where I’m coming from with this, it’s all about the shear scale of the landscape. Still things are what they are and I’m pleased to have completed a model of an iconic figure.