Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rigging a ship's mast AMFS show thoughts

Workbench update; In the photos are a Marine from the War of 1812 period and a portion of the Fighting Top of the USS Constitution. The top is a challenging kit, I have to say. I guess I expected to get a kit that was all resin. I was a little intimidated when I saw all the bags of rope, thread and string. As I progress on this thing I find that I've learned a few new skills along the way. The instructions for the kit are excellent and that puts a beginning ship rigger at ease. It's going together slowly, but it's going well. Since I'm out of my comfort zone and the kit is off the market, caution is the order of the day. A broken part could be a disaster. I did opt to replace some of the kit parts with my own home-made versions as it seemed easier to do that than to suffer trying to manipulate the kit parts. The result is the same. Not photographed, but still on the bench is my paratrooper vignette. I was going to display just one as a single figure while I finished the others. I decided against that and have forged ahead with sculpting the other two. MAYBE I'll have it for Atlanta next year.

The 2011 Atlanta show was last weekend. It was a great time. The AMFS organizes a very fine show. The new venue was very nice. The exhibit room was a little lacking in the lighting department, and the vendor's area was tight with vendors. Not a bad thing really. Lots of vendors is an indication of an excellent show. I knew I didn't have my strongest stuff this year. I considered entering this show as "Exhibit Only". In the end I thought what the heck and entered anyway. I was fortunate to win Best American Civil War with my wading Confederate. I won a silver in Painters and a silver in Open. I was a little disappointed about this. It was a step back for me, as at the last AMFS show I was fortunate to get a couple of golds. It's not a bad thing to under-perform. So, it's time to review techniques and finishes try to figure out how to keep up with the constant rising quality in what I see in the exhibit rooms.

OPINION: Atlanta added a Fantasy category this year. I know some shows have done this recently. I can understand why. If you're going to attract youngsters that are in to figures, this is what they're painting. But outside of marketing the show to this group, I have to ask, what need is there for this category? In my opinion, a figure's a figure. I've seen these types of figures at shows for years. They've been judged along side their more historical cousins until recent years. I think all judges and spectators can spot an excellent or poorly painted/sculpted piece regardless of period or genre. I don't want to sound critical of any clubs decision to add a Fantasy category. I'd hate to see the field get cluttered with too many categories. I think the sparsity of categories is one of the beauties of the system Shep Paine designed. With regard to figures, to me there's no difference in a Grenadier Guard or a Space Ork. I know roughly the same amount about either. But I'm confident I would be able to tell if one or the other was painted/sculpted well. Just my two cents.