Friday, 16 March 2012

Wilderness Camp

The 'Wilderness Camp' marks the completion of this latest little project that was heavy inspired by the wonderful 'Colonial Camp Set' created by 'Silver Whistle' over at 'Wargaming with Silver Whistle'.



The concept was to create a base camp that could compliment the wonderful 'Perry Miniatures' American Civil War, Union camp set that I painted up to represent the cantankerous Professor Challenger and chums; characters from Conan Doyle's 'The Lost World'.



Although billed as a 'Wilderness Camp', a possible jumping off spot if you will for intrepid explorers, I was also mindful that I wanted it to be fairly generic so as to encompass other periods from late 19th to early 20th Century.  To that end the 'camp clutter' consists of various versatile items including 'Ainsty Castings', crates, 'Renedra' barrels and 'Empress Miniatures' Anglo-Zulu War accessories.  I also pressed four 25mm MDF bases in to the pumice gel to form character stands, allowing for a choice of miniatures rather than four permanently fixed ones.   



There is, however a little more to this camp site!  I have already credited 'Silver Whistle' with the initial conversion idea but there is another gentlemen who must be mentioned at this juncture, 'General Wilde' . 'General Wilde's Civil War in Miniature' (formally Captain Richard's) showcases some of the most imaginative and creative terrain I have ever seen, but in addition to this he often illuminates his pieces, bringing them to life, as it were.  So if you look closely under the bell tent you will see that the 'Wilderness Camp' is concealing a little secret.



I've been desperate to have a go at this, simply because it looks so atmospheric and just damn cool!  I was determined that  this was the project to attempt my first illuminated work, but I was suddenly struck with the grim realisation that I had absolutely no idea as to how to achieve this!  I had gleaned some tips from the good 'Captain Richard' but was still mulling over the problem when a work colleague, Jemma, suggested actually casting the camp fire itself!

This, then, is exactly what I did.  A silicone mold was created of the campfire, then a small, red LED was set into clear resin.  Once everything was hardened a simple circuit was created, including the addition of a switch and a home made battery case (Jemma's idea again!).  I say simple, but this was actually my first attempt at soldering!

LED set into clear resin cast
Once the circuit was complete and tested it was then buried under off-cuts of foam board, a liberal coating of pumice gel and 'camp clutter'.  The switch and battery were to be accessible by lifting off the tent and so this was not permanently stuck down, but instead a housing groove was created by simply pushing the tent into the foam board, creating an imprint.


That was that; ridiculously fiddly, but great fun to do.  It was the following passage form Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's,  'The Lost World' that ultimately made me want to try this for myself:


"Well, suddenly out of the darkness, out of the night, there swooped something with a swish like an aeroplane. The whole group of us were covered for an instant by a canopy of leathery wings, and I had a momentary vision of a long, snake-like neck, a fierce, red, greedy eye, and a great snapping beak, filled, to my amazement, with little, gleaming teeth. The next instant it was gone—and so was our dinner. A huge black shadow, twenty feet across, skimmed up into the air; for an instant the monster wings blotted out the stars, and then it vanished over the brow of the cliff above us."


The Lost World - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


A hugh thank you should go to 'General Wilde' for his inspirational work and in you haven't seen it before  then head over to 'General Wilde's Civil War in Miniature' to see for yourself, you will not be disappointed.

Pterodactyl by Papo
The same scene in daylight. 


addendum:


What a wonderful day this has turned out to be; not only is the inspirational 'Captain Richard's Miniature Civil War' reinstated to the blogosphere but '28mm Victorian Warfare' made it onto an honours board!  Thank you to everyone that posted comments or have subsequently linked the post elsewhere.  I am absolutely delighted that you all liked it.



Still giddy that I made it on to 'Honor Roll 55' thanks chaps at 'Santa Cruz Warhammer'.

27 comments:

  1. Thats freaking awesome mate. It looks well atmospheric

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  2. Brilliant work here Michael. The Captain, I mean General will be very impressed. Even without the lighting it is a fantastic dio!!

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  3. Very clever. I must steal this idea, if I can think of a suitable environment in which to place it.

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  4. Fantastic looking model. Well worth the effort.

    Regards,
    Matt

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  5. Brilliant work, not only a great wargamer but an electronics whiz, great work mate....

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  6. Wow!

    Really cool. I'll post a link over on the Lost World Safari yahoo group. I'll bet the chaps will love it!

    Thanks

    Jim

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    1. Thank you so much, really pleased you liked the piece.

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  7. A great work! Really impressive!

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  8. Michael, I AM IMPRESSED...totally outstanding work ...you've taken the lighting effects to a whole new level...excellent, excellent,excellent

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  9. Michael, just to let you know...The Captain is back. I now have 3 blogs....general richard on wordpress, general wilde on blogger and captain richard...Im going to keep all three for now just in case I get shot off again. I got an apology from Google but no explanation and I,m still missing 115 of my followers... Anyways I really do appreciate your involvement in this situation and I thank you for all the help you have giving me in getting the word out. If you ever need anything from me...anything give me a holler.
    your friend always...The Captain

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    1. I couldn't be more pleased, absolutely wonderful news! An apology from Google; rarer than hens' teeth I imagine. More than happy to help out as I mentioned earlier it was a blog that was just too good to disappear!

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  10. Michael, I just knew that Pteranodon would pop up on the blog eventually. Nice to see another WIP come to fruition.

    Pip pip

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    1. Nice new avatar old boy! I suppose I'll have to return the Sheperd Paine book now; a truly excellent publication. And the difference between a Pteranodon and a Pterodactyl is?

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    2. The cranial crest on the back of the head. Avatar is the Staff Corps of Cavalry (200th birthday next year!).
      Keep the Shep book for further inspiration for a while.

      Pip pip

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  11. Excellent piece of work. I love the lighting effects - great idea and execution. I have been playing with "blinkys" to do someting similar - they look great for a burning fire.

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    1. Thank you, I've got my eye on some of those Warlord Games 'blinkys', but trying to save a few pennies until Salute!

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  12. Thanks once again for the mention Michael but you really do take your work to the next level. Superb all round.

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  13. A great piece even without the lighting - bloody amazing with it - well done!!

    Frank

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  14. Love the LED light! Great stuff!

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  15. Wow that is truly epic! Looks really really cool, and is one of those rare gems which would look great "behind the lines" on a wargaming table or in the display case. Top skills sir!

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  16. Jolly excellent Sir. Very atmospheric and dashed clever too!

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  17. Honour roll!!!!....Whoa so cool....congrats to you Michael

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  18. I echo the above comments. Hi-end Hobby in every sense.

    Congratulations

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  19. The nicest scenic mini diorama I have ever seen, I think!

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  20. Lovely work there. I really like the idea of the blank slots for swapping figures in/out. Class!
    Curt

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  21. Get all the best spirits and wines at Duty Free Depot!

    All the world famous brand name beverages for unbelievable discounted prices.

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