Monday 30 July 2012


Holiday Time, as illustrated by "On The Beach" from the Britannia Model Village shoot, for want of anything more suitable.

Bit of a hiatus with the blog at the moment- work and holidays interfering somewhat.  Still, model-making might occasionaly feel like I'm wasting the precious gift of life gluing bits of plastic and card together, however it is my form of stress relief (and Airfix kits are marginally cheaper than narcotics) so who cares.  As regards model making, some work has been ongoing in between housework, actual work, and freelance work, just nothing in quite an advanced enough state to post on here at the moment. 

Mainly because it might motivate me to finish them, here is a list of the projects I'm working on at the moment (all of which ought to appear on here over the next 6 months or so):

*Warhammer 40K scratchbuilt Thunderbolt and Marauder aircraft (for use in an experimental photography shoot, trying to do all movement effects and explosions etc in-shot without resorting to photoshop).  For this one I'm also building a couple of special camera rigs too, which is adding to the complications and the build time somewhat...

*Dalek Kevin (a few of my mates who look at this blog may remember this from waaaay back as concept art, the miniature is nearly done).  Name altered from the original Chav-Dalek to appease the sensitivities of my friend Beth, who along with surprising me somewhat for reading this blog, has -perhaps rightly- accused me of participating in the act of Demonising the Working Class Youth of Britain.  Having been on the recieving end of more than one casually thrown brick from a member of said person whilst living in Carlisle, I stand by my demonisation, but for the sake of not starting a riot, I shall accept the namechange :)

*Project: "S-H-E-D" (large ongoing build for a comic)

*Project: Provisionally entitled "Here the Forgotten", abandoned vehicles built to resemble animals.  Trust me, it will make more sense when I post the concept art.

*Project: "Sunken World" (a return to some underwater shoots I did a few years back, with some better kit)

*Project: "The Angel" (Something I'm working on for a competition brief, leading off from the angel imagery I was using for Britannia/Steampunk stuff).

*Project: "Space" (unimaginative title I know, but I'm experimenting with shooting miniatures of spacecraft, in the best Red Dwarf/Space 1999 tradition)

*Project: "The Century Survey" (I've odd bits and pieces of Steampunk designs still to be made, but the project is kind of on the back burner for the time being)

*On top of these, theres also a small model railway built to represent some of the stuff I did for the Britannia Model Village, as well as a couple of modifications of some CJ Ward 3D-Printed loco bodies, which I'm going to heavily hack around just to show what kind of levels of modifications can be carried out with these starter-kits.

So rather a lot there going on- most of the models are part-built, so hopefully now we've got the house sorted, I can find the odd hour here and there in which to finish models and actually do some productive photography with them...

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Past Projects- Sleipnir

Been a little while... again.  Been busy with some projects which should be appearing on here in a bit, but had nothing particularly finished to condition that I wanted to post.  So, to avoid going another month without updates, another past project, and a concept piece which has found its way into half a dozen projects since.

Back in the day, when I was on the Foundation Year at Stourbridge I really got into making miniatures for projects (unhindered access to a large workshop facility full of power tools helped somewhat).  For one of my projects I decided to explore various aspects of mythology and prediction.  By my terms the resulting sprawling project was an Exploratory Process, though my lecturers described it as an overambitious, rambling mess with no conclusions that almost got me thrown off the course, and which scraped about the bare minimum marks.  Cest la vie.

Anyway, part of the project involved looking at various statues, including this beauty:

Commisioned by Midland Metro, it stands above the tram depot in Wednesbury (which has Norse connections) and represents Odins 8-legged horse.  My Little Mythological War Horse, if you will.  Personally, I love this statue- its one of the very few bits of public art anywhere in the midlands borough that I dont despise.  In an area of high vandalism and metal theft, its astonishing something like this can be left there.  I've always treasured a hope that when I'm a rich, famous (alright stop laughing) succesful person, with a mansion somewhere, I could buy this statue and have it somewhere in my Grounds.

As part of the project, and with a couple of hours to kill in the workshops, I decided to make a model inspired by the statue, just so I could play with photographing miniatures a bit- the wings idea was so I could try some pegasus-type, flying shots.  The body is a piece of thick MDF cut and profiled with a jigsaw, and the wings are thick wire with layered card (cut with shaped-edged scissors) to give styalised representations of feathers.

The model was shot in a box with a photocopied backdrop of clouds, and cotton wool clouds.  This isnt the best shot from that project as you can see the edge of the sky, but it is the only surviving image (two laptop crashes, and a very early digital camera, saw to that).

The model ended up on a shelf at home, and was taken to University just because it was something I was attatched to.  It therefore snook into several other projects, including the Britannia Model Village where it appeared as a piece of sculpture on the roof of an art gallery.  No doubt Sleipnir will ride again, in whatever madcapped project appears next...