Saturday 19 January 2013


So that was 2012 then.  We had some laughs, we had some fun, the world failed to end (to my, it has to be admitted, slight irritation.  All that hype, then in the end a feeling of slight disappointment and that I had somehow been cheated.  Much like "Dark Knight Rises").  I swapped Day Jobs, exhibited my photography work a few times, didn't visit the Olympics, shouted "Huzzah" for the Jubilee, developed a slightly alarming caffeine addiction, and didn't get anywhere near as much photography work done, mainly for the above reasons.

Projects-wise, I kind of feel like 2012 didn't really feature much.  The "Britannia Model Village" saw a brief revival for an exhibition, and reminded me why I buried that damned sprawling leviathan back in 2009.  "The Century Survey", my attempt at Steampunk also happened, was exhibited, and then completely failed to take off (largely because I feel I can't really get into it heart and soul, like the dress-up-in-top-hats brigade do).  I shot a new miniatures project, "Intercity", which got exhibited at a gallery in Bradford, and the experience of trying to shoot a project with large-scale miniatures in a small cupboard under the stairs made it exactly as clear as possible that I really, really need to either build a bunker-like studio under the back garden, or work in a smaller scale.  As for other projects, there were so many ideas, but I didn't have much time for making models.  Then again, with the country in recession, and a mortgage/car/food to pay for, prioritising earning a crust is probably preferable to building Airfix Spitfires, and stops my wife feeling the need to beat me to death with my own cutting mat, so hey-ho.

"So what will 2013 bring?" I hear none of you cry, but decide to answer anyway.

Well, for starters, I'm almost in a position to start shooting for "Project Thunderbolt", my only slightly fan-wanky (technical term, that) appreciation of the book "Double Eagle" by revered sci-fi author Dan Abnett.  The pic at the bottom of the page shows the state my freelance bomber miniature has got to, just needing a few bits of detailing adding.  The Thunderbolt itself just needs the canopy glazing now, then its ready for photography.

I have some reshoots planned for the underwater series I did a couple of years ago, along with some one-off projects I never really got around to finishing.  The main motivator being the need to have quite a lot less crap taking up space in the house- the spare room being filled with boxes of half built model kits, and it displeasing both myself and my wife, who quite rightly would like the spare room to look a bit less like somebody attacked a model shop with a bazooka. 

The main revision of the projects is that the space-themed stuff has been junked, as I don't really have the time or motivation to do it.  And I've decided to abandon the Steampunk-ery, as I reckon that Steampunk has firmly Jumped The Clockwork-Mecha-Shark-In-A-Top-Hat, and until it rolls around and becomes more niche in a few years there's no point in doing a load of work on a project that stylish-types are just going to sneer at with a "steampunk? that was soooo last year, darlings" type attitude, with the attendant my 'being arrested for kneeing them in the knackers' problems which I tend to feel the urge to do when confronted by trendy idiots with more money than sense, more teeth than brain cells, and black polo-necked jumpers...  Where was I?  Oh yes, pontificating.

 The big theme for this year though is going to be a lot of work expanding on the Britannia alternate universe.  Despite coming to hate the Britannia Model Village project itself, I retain a lot of affection (if that's the right term) for the alternate-timeline Britain I created for it.  I have in fact recently completed an entire timeline for Britannia and the wider world, with important historical events (and when in that timeline my various related projects are set), from the divergence from 'real' history in the 1880's up to basically the apocalypse some time in the mid 21st Century.  Writing the timeline has been a nice return to creative writing for me, has helped me properly document where each of the projects like "The Century Survey" and "Happygoth" fit in, and has firmly cemented my personal suspicions that I am a nerdy social outcast.

For this year then, there are planned a number of projects which all loosely tie-in with each other, set in Britannia- firstly there's some model railway ("NERRRRRD!") stuff set in the Britannia universe around the same time as the model village is set, and which should prove a pleasant way of either confusing or annoying the traditional railway modeller with his GWR Branch Line Terminus.  There's a photomontage project called "The Iron Monsters", some creative writing, and a couple of other projects planned which I shall expand more on when the time comes.

The other big project of the year will be the rebirth and expansion of my Team SHED stuff, and a webcomic featuring muchos miniatures construction, which will all get its own blog.  There's a post in this blog somewhere detailing the first attempt to pull this off, and its catastrophic failure.  Having learned from those mistakes, I look forward to the project crashing and burning with entirely new mistakes this time. 

So that's the plan for 2013.  Of course, I'm aware that the best laid plans of mice and men, and especially me, tend to come to buggering naught, but assuming the end of the world doesn't arrive with typically British-ly lateness (wrong kind of snowy leaves on the line), then at least some of the planned projects should come off.  In any case I shall be updating more frequently, as this kind of photography work is my stress-relieving way of coping with life in general.

I leave you with this quick shot from "Project Thunderbolt", taken outside in the snow...

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