Sunday, October 29, 2006

Back to the bench

Usually I return from a show ready to crank out many inspired pieces. While I have plans, life gets in the way. A very busy week and fatigue have precluded any model building. I've packed away most of the stuff I bought at the MMSI show.

The Cards won the World Series this week and I could have peed my pants. I watched the last 1 1/2 innings standing up. The first world Championship since I was a Junior in high school. Awesome! I know noone outside of middle America cared, but here it was incredible.

The other day I was walking down the hall at work and had one of those episodes when certain smells trigger memories. I don't know what the aroma was, but it was distinctly like the one I used to smell at my Grampa Long's when he lived near our house. I used to get off the bus at there and stay there until my folks got home. The aroma was a potpouri of supper cooking, oak smoldering in the wood stove and plug tobacco. If I could I'd bottle the stuff and then I'd self medicate with this nostalgic elixir. Because for an all too brief instant I was seven years old again and sitting in his living room with a tv tray of after-school snacks in front of me and a quiet old man behind me. How could a boy feel more secure?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Back fom Chicago

My good friend Anders and I returned from the MMSI show late last night. The trip home seemed a long one this time. The show was an excellent experience again. I'm truly amazed at the openness of figure modellers to help one another attain another level of achievement. It was great to see old friends and meet some new ones this year. I was able to make face-to-face contact with a very nice gentleman for whom I had sculpted a couple of masters. Michael Von Kolpinski, the owner of Der Bunte Rocke had travelled from Germany to Chicago for the first time and I believe had a terrific time. It was very enjoyable to discuss past and future projects with him. I was also fortunate enough to get some very helpful advice from one of America's most talented painters. Greg Difranco was very complimentary of my work in general while at the same time providing some excellent advice on what to do to improve my work. There was some truly inspirational work on display. I used to read the show coverage in the magazines with slight disbelief when I read that the shows were about meeting old and new friends. I always thought they were about seeing the excellent work of other artists. After I had the opportunity to visit a few shows, I found that what the reporter said in their articles was true. The work becomes a medium for coming together. These are truly social events, where much fun is had.

I do have a few minor negatives. The hotel, while very nice and accomodating was like all hotels geared toward the business traveller. Extra charges for local calls and internet access was unfortunate in my opinion. This is obviously geared toward the business person on expense account, and not the casual weekender on a budget. The hospitaliuty suite would have been better if it could have been housed in one room instead of spread between two or three. The room where the awards were given out was a bit too small and it was difficult for the crowd in the hall to hear. A page of the awards was left out for about the third time that I know of. This seems to be a recurring event at the Chicago show. Not major things, but I felt they were worth mentioning.

Overall this was one of the best figure events I have attended. The new hotel was nice, the club was accomodating, the attendees were friendly and open, I sold a piece and obtained a couple of future deals, and bought a handful of useful items. What more could a person ask for. Advice for other figure modellers...Get thee to a Show!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Finished Australian

Here is the last piece that I wanted to finish for Chicago. It included many experiments not the least of which was making the figure submersed in water. I used a new product for the water. Vallejo has released several new products for simulating water. The one I used is "Still Water". It is a crystal clear, medium viscosity fluid. You basically squeeze it from the bottle and usher it into place with brush. I am very pleased with the final piece.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Here's the completed Chasseur. I'm pleased with the finished work, but not so much with the photography. I guess I need better lighting. I am nearly finished with my last piece for Chicago. If all goes well, I should have two (maybe three) painters pieces, and two open pieces.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Here's the groundwork for the Chasseur in the last upate. I used a kit piece for the post and created a wrought iron fence from brass rod and tube. I topped it with some beads from the bead section at Hobby Lobby. I like this part of figure modelling as much as anything. I also have gotten quite a bit done on my Aussie in the swamp. Lots to do in the coming days before Chicago.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I'm well in to the process of finishing this figure to the left. It's actually further along than the photo shows. I'll post some new ones soon. I have the basework completed. The base was damaged by the tap I used and had to be refinished. I decided to have our Chasseur here standing on a sidewalk near the corner of an iron fence. I have to admit to knowing little about the subject. It is one of the Napoleonic uniforms I thought might be interesting to paint. I'm looking forward to getting this one done. I have another project in the works that needs to be finished before the 2006 Chicago Show October 20th.