Sunday, December 30, 2012

A neat "Longstreet" opportunity!

Hey all!

Okay, a really neat story... After playing a test of Sam Mustafa's upcoming ACW rule set "Longstreet" and annoying all present by taking a bunch of photos, Sam asked if I would be interested in doing some photography for the rule book (or whatever format, I am just assuming it will be a book) itself!

Obviously I said yes... I love taking photos of toy soldiers:). Anyway, that should be a lot of fun!  I do hope I don't stink at it:)

So!  Neat news! :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Death of Nelson

Hi all!

Well... my greatest work, complete!

For those of you who saw that keep up with the blog, you may have seen my plans mentioned a few months back about a Christmas gift for my father.  My father, who was the one who started my love of toy soldiers with plastic Afrika Corps sets and amazing handmade forts, is a HUGE naval history guy, and like all naval history guys is obviously a fan of Lord Nelson.

So I thought I'd do a Christmas present for him based on Lord Nelson!

I've done a few miniature based Christmas gifts before... there is, of course, my Harry Potter gift for my wife (the only 25mm Harry and friends I've ever seen) and an AWI display for my father in law, but this was a pretty huge project compared to those.  It consisted of upwards of 20 figures, equipment, and most of all touched on a part of a period I know NOTHING about.  This made it very hard, and in the end I really had to go with display attention to detail instead of historical attention to detail.  For example, I had all of the blocks and tackle and line for rigging the guns (my boss is a ship model builder) but in the end it was just too much for me to tackle (no pun intended!)  Also there are fewer decks than the actual Victory, the colors might not be right, the decks are FAR too tall (this was on purpose... my hands are big and clunky and I was afraid of working in too tight a space) so... well, cut me some slack as far as the accuracy of the model:)

I did work in a lighting element... or two, actually.  First, in the bottom of the scene I rigged a yellow light that focuses on Nelson to draw the eye, as if there is a lamp above him.  The top photo is a shot, completely in the dark, with only that light on.  The photo does NOT do it justice:)

I also rigged up some flashing orange and red lights on the OUTSIDE of the ship INSIDE the box, which, when flashing, look like artillery fire outside of the ship.  It is hard to capture on film, but at least you can get an idea.

Anyway... let's get to some photos!

Here is the whole scene, with the front removed.

Here is the top deck, with the men preparing for a boarding action.

The first gun deck.  Love the powder monkey figure, even if he isn't very "kid" looking.

The next gun deck.

The orlop, with Nelson being attended to by his officers and doctor.

The whole scene, closed up.

And here is a shot of the whole thing with the lights on and low light outside... unfortunately, because of the shutter speed, the outside just looks red.  With the bare eye it actually flashes and looks like cannon thundering away.

So, that is my Christmas gift for my dad!  Hope he, and you all, like it!:D

Oh, and coming up... some fun ACW news!  Don't worry, I haven't forgotten you guys!:)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My greatest work, just about there...

Just a teaser...

More tomorrow.  Best thing I've ever done.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hi all!

Well, the basic framing is done (and actually some of the painting, but no photos until that is done!)  Yes, it is not correct, but it looks roughly correct, and that's good enough for me!:)

There are still a number of details needed, and yes, as one comment suggested, I am going to do a grate on the top deck as well, as I think that would just look nice... I will have to be a bit careful cutting it, but it should be doable.

Anyway... oh, and the rest of the crew is painted and dipped.  This thing is chugging along nicely!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Okay... some serious work on the naval scene to show

Okay!  Well, I am working a bit on the scene.  First off... be kind.  I know it is so completely illogical and ahistorical.  I know that bottom gun would go falling through the grate if it fired.  I know.  But it is what it is, and that's all I can do:)

Still... at least some work is getting done!  The guys in the shot above aren't all in the right places... I have to work on the gun crew layouts a bit.

Here you can see the guys waiting for paint... largely gun crews, but also a few officers, one for a gun deck, and a few for standing below around Nelson dying.

Here is the approximate layout of the guys who will be gathered around Nelson as he dies.  I might mess around with it a bit.

I still have a LOT to do, I know... the block and tackle for the guns in particular scares the crap out of me.   I also have to plan the background scene... should I use a painting?

Anyway... be kind!:)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

25mm British sailors dipped

Howdy all!

Okay; the photo turned out craptastic.  But I finished up and dipped the British sailors I've got here (a buddy of mine is clipping the bases off another group of them for me... nothing like an antique bone clipper to get the job done!) and frankly, in person they look AWESOME.  They are definitely dark, but I think that will look nice in the diorama itself... I'll just have to be sure that the ship itself isn't too light colored, making the guys really stick out.

I'm also going to play a bit with the light in the display, and using the figures around it to help show off the light and dark... the parts of the figures that are in shadow will be painted a bit darker, and the parts in the light will be given a nice light highlight to show it off.  I won't actually be doing object source lighting, but...

Anyway... more updates as I have more done!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25mm British sailors begun...

Hi all!

I know it has been a long time since I've mentioned it, but I am working on my Christmas present for my father; a diorama of the death of Nelson.

Now, I will say... I've been totally stagnated.  I am not sure why; I think that the boat design is just SOOOO far outside of my comfort level that it's been disheartening.  I am not sure what I am doing, or how it should look, and frankly I've almost given up:(

But I thought I didn't want to totally give in, so I got some paint on these fellows!  They will be VERY simply painted and then dipped, as they won't be THAT visible, so a bit more and they will be ready to go!

It is a shame I've struggled so with the project... such a neat idea, but I just don't think I have the knowledge or skills to pull it off the way I'd like:(