Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spring Break

I was reminded this week of a live chat thing that a few of us in the hobby used to be involved with. It was a live chat room in which the participants talked like we were on a party line or conference call. It was a lot of fun. I met and got to know people from as far away as Australia, and Scotland. It was quite a bit of fun, very close to a local club meeting or a show hospitality room.

Workbench Update: The photos are examples of what is going on in the studio lately. I actually have a lot of sculpting going on other than what you see. I only have one painting project going on right now and that is the Royal Horse Artillery by Elite. This is a real cracker jack of a figure. It has been pleasure to paint so far. I've also gotten a little bit of an education along the way as I researched the uniform. The sculpting project in the photo is a joint project I've entered into with Kreston Peckham. I'll reveal the subject after the project has progressed futher.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


As I sat in church today listening to the music, I thought of how moving "Ode to Joy" was as the young lady played it on the violin. Afterward I thought, "That is the stuff of art." A piece of music, a painting, a sculpture, these can all evoke emotions. Perhaps this is the difference between art and craft. Do we, as miniaturists, create art? The answer, sometimes. I've seen a few pieces that I would consider "moving". Most of them merely recreate in miniature some scene, usually historical. They do require artistic skill, but so do many other things that are not art. I would like to say that what I do is art. I think more accurately, it is artistic. I aspire to art when I create something, but I have to admit to myself, I haven't gotten there yet. I also have to say that the skill, and craftsmanship must be present before art can be accomplished in this medium. I'll continue to hammer away until I get there. I think I've found a new motivating goal.

I have been experimenting with poses this past week and had one of those lightning bolt moments. I had assembled a mannequin and was trying to accomplish that relaxed, weight on one foot pose so common in miniatures. It was not working. The guy was wooden and unnatural. I tried everything I could think of, then as I stood in my studio grinding away with my dremel, I became aware of how I was standing. Then it was clear, tilt the pelvis! I dropped the Dremel, grabbed the figure, tilted the pelvis, the result was like magic. I haven't been able to quit thinking about it and why I didn't get it before. This is why I do this. One of those moments is worth all the frustration and failures of the entire year.

Workbench update: As stated I've been working with poses and anatomy. I have sculpted a Harpooner, and what will become a 1920's miner(see above). I have also embelleished a sci-fi piece. I built a life support backpack and helmet for him. What a hoot. I have undercoated the RHA discussed in the last update. I have started on the sculpting for a joint project with Kreston Peckham. More on that later.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

There is nothing as dumb as.....

someone else's hobby. The Atlanta show is a week old by this writing. It was an excellent time as usual. This was my fifth or sixth trip to Atlanta. I always find it a terrific time. This one was no exception. Shows have become such a social event for me. I used to read on the message boards and in magazine show reports that it wasn't about the awards, it was about meeting up with friends. I used to think that was a lot of BS. In the past three to four years, I've come to realize the truth. It is about the social aspect. I enjoy having the recognition of a medal, but this has really become secondary. Sharing my hobby with others that are just as enthusiastic about it as I am is truly satisfying. Other folks that aren't involved in the hobby may appreciate the work, but unless they have done something like that, they don't really know what it's about. When you go to a figure show, everyone has the same interest. To share with others something that is so enjoyable to yourself is how friendships are made.

Workbench update: I started a sci-fi piece. I plan to convert a Andrea/3d miniatures slightly. I can't imagin that it was a very popular kit, but it is nicely cast. I'm in the process of creating space helmet and life support pack for him. I haven't decided the context for this figure yet, but I'm thinking something like "Outland". I also received the Elite Miniatures "Royal Horse Artillery". Cleanup was minimal, which is the reward for buying a figure while it's relatively new on the scene. The molds haven't begun to age yet. I want to improve my painting and I've found the best way to do that is with a high quality figure, a "painter's figure". Minimal cleanup and filling are two qualities of the "painter's figure", good sculpting casting are two more. A few thing to work on for me are blending, and simulating the direction of light. This figure has some unsculpted details that should be fun too.