Thursday, 6 January 2011

メリークリスマス - Merry Christmas!!

So here's the reason I have got nothing done on the Orc's Drift Project for the past month or so...

The wife's Christmas pressie! She is a bit mad on all things Japanese and happily was over the moon with it.

The inscription reads (I hope!) -

In this shimmering spring day
Ah, with ever anxious heart
The blossoms are falling

Thanks again to all those who gave sage advice on the Workbench forum over on the LAF - much obliged and the wife quite liked it too!

The mounted samurai (lovely minis but a bit fiddly for my painting tastes!) and peasants are Perry miniatures. The geisha is from Taban miniatures and the lovely cherry trees which I'd love to claim as my own were made by a company called Model Trees. Not forgetting Just Bases who do a great line in made to measure or "off the peg" diorama and presentation bases.

Got to say it was a bit of a roller coaster putting this together - I had to get to grips with quite a few new things: Working with styrofoam for the hill and paddy fields, pouring E-Z water (meltable plastic pellets), reshaping E-Z water with a heat gun when it dried too quick in places without melting the styrofoam(!!), cleaning E-Z water off the oven top when I spilled it on the hob(!!!), researching and painting samurai armour(!!!!). All in all a great learning process and a lot of fun to do!

It does look, however, that January will be a lean month for all things green as well. My next project is a Birthday present for my Dad. Can't remember if I've mentioned this already so apologies if I'm repeating myself! He has been researching and writing a book on our illustrious ancestor, Captain Charles John Moore Mansfield, who commanded the 74 gun ship of the line, Minotaur, at the Battle of the Nile and Trafalgar, among other smaller engagements. So what better present could I get him other than a lovingly crafted diorama of one of Mansfield's exciting escapades aboard the good ship Minotaur!

Although the thought of recreating the British battle line at Trafalgar crossed my mind briefly I have decided to focus on one of the Minotaur's smaller skirmishes! The capture of the French frigate, La Franchise, and the French general who was on board at the time to be exact.

So I have some rather nice 1/1200 ships from Rod Langton Miniatures waiting to be painted up. Four in all, representing the Minotaur, supported by Thunderer and Albion and of course the French frigate, La Franchise.

New stuff to get my head round this month - 
Sculpting a rough sea onto a diorama base
Painting and varnishing it to make it look like the sea
Rigging very fiddly looking 1/1200 ships with black thread!

Should be an interesting month...

I look forward to cracking open the green paint again soon! 

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