Tuesday, 27 January 2015

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”


I have to confess that I will not be sorry to see the back of January, difficulty at work and the incessant rain have conspired to produce a gloom that has lingered for far too long over ‘Awdry Towers’ and whilst I have managed to submit miniatures for each of the themed bonus rounds thus far, I am still awaiting to score my first points in the challenge proper.  That said it could be worse, far worse and so without further ado and lashings of self congratulatory nonsense allow me to present the Jabberwocky!


First seen in Lewis Carroll’s, ‘Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There’, published in 1872, the Jabberwocky is, in essence, a nonsense poem, but one with a rhythm and suggestiveness that owes much to ancient Anglo-Saxon poetry.  What starts as a father’s warning to his son of a mythical beast that prowls over the land ultimately becomes a fierce battle before the boy returns, triumphant, to his father and all is returned to normality.


For me the works of the illustrator Sir John Tenniel are synonymous with Lewis Carroll’s writing and it is his depiction of the Jabberwocky, lumbering out of a dark forest to attack its latest victim, that have stayed with me into adult life.  Imagine, then, how thrilled I was then to find this 'Reaper Pathfinder Miniature', sculpted by Jason Weibe; a clear homage to those splendid Victorian Gentlemen.


Now it is worth mentioning at this point that this sculpt was a beast in itself to put together!  By no means a small model there was quite a lot of cleaning up to do; I guess the moulds are not in the first flush of youth?  Once prepared there was substantial pinning and filling required and the decision not to use the metal ‘slotta’ base provided in favour of a ‘Warbases’ 70mm MDF disc, brought with it some concerns regarding structurally integrity and balance.  These were duly overcome with the carefully positioning of small pebbles, a modicum of luck and the occasional harsh word!


Once primed it was time to fire up the shiny new airbrush and set about the base layers, affording me an opportunity to experiment with the blending of colours in a bid to achieve a leathery, almost prehistoric look to the creature’s wings.  The rest of the painting involved steadily building up the layers and picking out the relevant details.  


When it came to the basing, I was planning to have a fairly standard woodland base, but a chance comment from the ‘Provost Marshal’ saw me adding evidence of previous victims in the shape of various skulls and bones – a chilling reminder of the ferociousness of the Jabberwocky!


Finally then, to complete the scene, I put together a suitably naïve and youthful looking squire from the ‘Perry Miniatures’ War of the Roses Command Sprue to represent the hero of the piece.  My ‘Challenge’ may have been derailed somewhat by the pressures of ‘real life’, but through the bonus rounds and I am finding plenty of new challenges in both modeling and painting that give me that perfect escape.  That and the continued sense of community, good will and mutual support that pervade in this cosy corner of the blog-o-sphere are truly cherished – I thank you all.


If you can spare a moment or two then do go and look at all the other fabulous entries for this bonus round, perhaps even cast a vote or two for your favourites?  Just click on the link here.

Jabberwocky
BY LEWIS CARROLL

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)


’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

107 comments:

  1. An impressive model and a stunning paint job – very nice indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. That's incredibly kind of you Edwin, thank you.

      Delete
  3. Absolutly brilliant Michael, an excellent work...love the face and the eyes especially...sorry but I leave you, too scared!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil, I am sorry to have scarred you! ;) Thank you for your kind words, this was great fun to work on.

      Delete
  4. Stunning job there as ever Michael. I hope your situation improves soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mike, we just keep plodding away.

      Delete
  5. Hola
    Guauuuu Que escena mas buena
    Y el bicho,no lo conocía es magnifico,para crear una buena escena
    un saludo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much J.D. I told you your work was inspiring me to try different things!

      Delete
    2. Hola
      Siempre es bueno probar cosas y yo siempre digo que no hay que tener miedo y ni a los comentarios,siempre que le guste a uno los malos comentarios no sirven.
      un saludo

      Delete
    3. Thank you again J.D. your comments are always greatly appreciated.

      Delete
  6. Superb work Michael! A truly beautiful beast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Bob, he was certainly a beast to put together, worth it in the end though.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, that is very kind of you to say so.

      Delete
  8. Wonderful work Michael. Both on the Jabberwocky and Squire. Love the flaming eyes on the beast and the colour on the wings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mark, the wings were a result of my new airbrush and was delighted that they came out as well as they did.

      Delete
  9. Spiffing work Michael and what a great entry to the Myth round.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tamsin. My challenge seems to have taken a rather different turn this year, not that a mind as I'm having a blast with these larger models.

      Delete
  10. Was browsing through the Reaper catalog and this mini caught my eye, very nicely painted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you András, it was certainly not a cheap model, but something I was keen to have a go at.

      Delete
  11. Arrgh! Great figure and beautiful painting! And what gorgeous terrain! Love your trees! I love the Jabberwocky as well, and within the last twenty years or so have managed to collect the old Citadel version as well as the Ral Partha 'wock, Bandersnatch and Jub Jub bird. Need to paint them all when I finally get back to the other side of the looking glass. Thanks for the inspiration! Great Post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mouse and nothing would make me happier than to see your versions; I came across some pictures of the ones you mention when looking for inspiration for this beastie - they do look wonderful, definitely need to dig them out Sir.

      Delete
  12. Just fabulous, the leather like wings really come off well

    Ian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ian, the airbrush is fine in theory, but the nuances of blending are certainly pretty tough to master.

      Delete
  13. Great model painting, Michael!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Absolutely frabjous work,
    an airbrushed gem, handmade.
    The excess lead did fall before
    his vorpal hobby blade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Far too clever, thank you so much - greatly appreciated.

      Delete
  15. Wonderful work on the Jabberwock! You really seem to have this airbrush thing down already. Makes me want to actually try using the one I have gathering dust.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Brian, not sure I'm quite there yet, but working on the larger scale certainly makes it easier to pick up the basics.

      Delete
  16. Fantastic vignette, Michael. You did a fine job putting together the beast - those huge wings look heavy too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dean, you are not wrong about those wings I was so worry that I wouldn't get the balance right and that it would topple over.

      Delete
  17. Oh superb my good, sir. Just simply outstandingly superb. I doth my cap to you :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is incredibly generous of you my good man.

      Delete
  18. Well worth the effort as that is a fantastic model and paint job! Really outstanding!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Gordon, that is really kind of you to say so.

      Delete
  19. wonderful job as usual and great quote!
    bye

    ReplyDelete
  20. That's a lovely miniature and a stunning paint job. Sorry your term has been a bear and I hope that the joy of producing something so worthwhile has helped a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Herbert, still rotten, but you are right escaping into the painting really helps.

      Delete
  21. A lovely piece, and a great post, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Simon, certainly thrilled that it came out as well as it did.

      Delete
  22. Top notch work, ans I love the background you provided!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Thomas, the trees were inspired by a fellow blogger, but details of my build are here.
      http://28mmvictorianwarfare.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/wood-for-trees.html

      Delete
  23. Outstanding work! Not just the painting, the assembly is quite a triumph too :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Paul. I still can't join your blog, not sure what I'm doing wrong there, I'll just keep trying.

      Delete
  24. Very charming piece of miniature and a lot of personality too.Great work Michael.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, he was such a beast to work on.

      Delete
  25. A cracker and no mistake. You'll be on the podium with this one mate I suspect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you my good man, not taking anything for granted with the amount of stella entries for this round including a rather special Pegasus! Just thrilled that he has been so well received.

      Delete
  26. Very imposing model Michael, the detailed nuancing on the skin is just masterfully done. True eye candy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, I can't tell you how thrilled I was with how it all turned out.

      Delete
  27. Lovely work Michael, Ahhh the Jabberwock - perfect addition to any collection. I still have the old RAFM model kicking around someplace...I may just have to dig him out again, though he would certainly be dwarfed in comparison.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Terry, I do like the look of the RAFM model, perhaps one day I'll add another to the collection.

      Delete
  28. That Jabberwock is simply outstanding Michael! I knew you would come up with something weird but this one is definitely a true masterpiece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sir, this has certainly been keeping me out of trouble for a couple of weeks!

      Delete
  29. That is amazing and your mastery of the airbrush does you credit as the result is very natural and very life like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Pete, the airbrush has proved to be a wonderful diversion and I've enjoyed learning the basics.

      Delete
  30. A fantastic work of art there dear Sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dan, certainly worth the effort of putting the thing together in the first place.

      Delete
  31. He totally scares the crap out of me. A tribute to your artistry and to the imagination of Lewis Carroll - you've painted a fearsome beast indeed, sir. I am especially creeped out by the leathery, nasty looking wings and to the head on that serpentine neck that seems to hang in thin air. A lovely work of art. I shall be rooting for that young squire to succeed and bring home the monster's foul head!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Michael, the Victorian love of Palaeontology and the discoveries of the time surely must have influenced Tenniel?

      Delete
  32. Fantastic work Michael! Don't want to meet this "pet"! ;-D

    Greetings
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Peter, I'm not sure I'd mange to keep him on a lead!

      Delete
  33. Fantastic, Michael! I've never even seen this kit before. Everything your brush touches, you bring fully to life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monty that is incredibly kind of you, thank you. In this case I was determined to give it everything I could.

      Delete
  34. Excellent work. Really impressive job on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Great execution of a wonderful model, you've really captured the Victorian flavour of the original.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well, this wonderful piece of work has sure garnered lots of notice and praise (and deservedly so)!
    I had a jabberwocky once upon a time, but it disappeared ages ago. I have long been a fan of this critter and Lewis Carroll's other creations. Getting minis of jub jub birds and bandersnatches and others would be cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, the feedback is certainly great fully received. As for jub jub birds and bandersnatches, I couldn't agree more!

      Delete
  37. Really stunning work, Michael!
    I'm deeply impressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Stefan, we are both still managing to keep up with our side bet. ;)

      Delete
    2. Momentarily we are but the next bonus round will be hard for me...
      ;-)

      Delete
  38. This is splendid work, Mr Awdry - you know my sentimental attachment to the poem already, and this complements Carroll's work perfectly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Ev, I felt a duty to do my best with this one.

      Delete
  39. Such brilligness! It doth make me gyre and gimble, Good Sir!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Excellent work and the poem always brings a smile to my face, mater used to recite it to my brother and I rather often. Nice fading over the wings and skin tones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you my Lord, I had a lot of fun with the airbrush on the wings and hopefully managed to get something that passed as leathery.

      Delete
  41. Totally Amazeballs Michael. Love it. Thanks for the poem as well. For some reason the name Bandersnatch makes me giggle like a small child. The Squire is awesome they are both beautifully painted additions to the collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Simon, although I can't believe that you used the word 'Amazeballs', you hip young thing you! That certainly made me smile though.

      Delete
  42. You know I always look forward to your blog. There is a depth to your posts that draws a person into the scene. I love it mate. A job truly well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's one of the nicest things that you could say, thank you - certainly brightened my morning cup of Earl Grey tea.

      Delete
  43. Fantastic work on the Jabberwocky!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Beautiful scene... I love the hero!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, given the original illustration, I had to include something - quite useful for scale too.

      Delete
  45. You received my vote, you're definitely going to win the challenge next Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, I was thrilled to have picked up another win.

      Delete
  46. Great work on a beautiful model! Great blog:)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Joel and welcome aboard!

      Delete
  47. Michael,

    My brothers had the 1971 album HMS Donovan. Thought you might like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ-AGLyMVHM

    Pip pip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent, thank you for that - of course, I would only be one when it was released! ;)

      Delete
    2. You'd only be one what? ;-)

      Pip pip

      Delete
  48. Great model and very nicely done, the Lewis Carroll Jabberwocky was always a favourite 'snicker snack' :-)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Brilliant back story and your miniature is superb. Good job Michael. Sorry I haven't been around here at late...

    Jan

    ReplyDelete
  50. Beautiful work! First time with an airbrush? You are a natural.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...