Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Somebody give that man a hand!


The penultimate bonus theme round of the 'Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' saw me scrabbling around the lead hillock for something vaguely 'Comedic'.  Bag after bag of shiny loveliness was rediscovered and just as quickly dismissed - why have I got a set of roller-skate wearing waitresses?  After a couple of abortive ideas my mind turned to those halcyon days of summer when, with the release of 'Osprey Publishing's' On the Seven Seas, it seemed that all the hobby community chatter was of a piratical nature.


Not really looking to start yet another period, I did, briefly, dip my toe into the salty brine of the seven seas and plundered a box of Captain Hood's crew, for no other reason than they bore a striking resemblance to famous pirates of literature and stage.  The miniatures duly docked at 'Awdry Towers', but have since laid abandoned - until now!


What could be more comedic then a grown man, a pirate captain at that, being relentlessly pursued by a crocodile, whilst his first mate, a man so wonderful kind and yet completely incompetent looks idly on?  Yes, Disney's vision of Captain Hook was to create an archenemy for our ever youthful hero, Peter Pan that had the potential for menace, but ultimately, the inability to scare the children!  This, then, was to become my inspiration for the 'Comedic' round - an encounter between Captain Hook and he is nemesis, the crocodile.  Taking  a 'Warbases' 120mm MDF disc as a starting point, I set about trying to conjure up a possible scenario for my players to act out.  I have to confess that I really enjoy this process and in the back of my mind I am always considering that the area itself should go on to form a piece of terrain or become a 'set' for future painted miniatures*


*Given that I backed the 'Rum & Bones' Kickstarter this is likely to become a real possibility!

So to the build, I was channeling shoreline meets hideaway and combined some stone slabs with my usual pumice gel and some miniature seashells to get me underway.  To this a rather splendid set piece, in the form of a 'Reaper Miniatures' Dead Man's Chest sculpted by Kevin Williams, was added along with other bits of flotsam and jetsam to create some depth.  


The rest of the miniatures were all from 'North Star Military Figures' with the 'not' Hook and Smee from the aforementioned 'Captain Hood's Crew' and a the crocodile from their African range.  Working on miniatures of this quality is a joy, the sculpts and casting just make the whole process thoroughly good fun and I hope that this sense of fun is apparent in the final creation.


So in numbers the entry consists of four 28mm miniatures, two very much prone, a ship's cannon and a crocodile!  


Just as an aside, was Captain Hook's lot always to be be the comedic interlude to Peter Pan's adventures in the Neverlands?  Apparently not, J. M. Barrie's creation didn't appear in the early drafts of the play, but was added as a front-cloth scene depicting the children's journey home.  This was later expanded with Gerald du Maurier, already playing George Darling, taking the role.  With the character now established, Barrie was able to flesh out his creation a little more stating that, "Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze."  


An Old Etonian, James Hook is described as "cadaverous" and "blackavised", with blue eyes and long dark curls resembling "black candles".  Known as the "boatswain to Blackbeard", his two principal fears were the sight of his own blood and the crocodile who relentlessly pursued him after eating the hand cut off by Peter.  A callous and bloodthirsty pirate, Barrie makes it clear that these qualities are "not wholly unheroic", but are a far cry from the cowardly and comedic traits that the Disney animated film of 1953 imposed on our luckless seafarer - "Bad Form".


Do take the opportunity to see the latest submissions, perhaps even vote for your favourites entries, by visiting  the bonus theme round page here; once again there are some stunning entries, and certainly worth a look.

82 comments:

  1. Loved it on Curts blog and still do

    Ian

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  2. great work as always. I have these guys on the paint table too :)

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    1. Thank you and you won't be disappointed, great fun to work on.

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  3. Great work there Michael. Really set the scene nicely.

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  4. Inspired piece of modelling and painting.

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    1. That is very kind of you Matt, thank you.

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  5. Nice.. love the setting as well! Don't you get points for that as well? :D

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    1. Thank you and sadly no points for terrain, although Curt has been known to award the odd bonus for effort or extras as it were.

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  6. Lovely work as always Michael :)

    Did JM Barrie ever reveal who Hook really was?

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    1. Thank you Tamsin and I don't believe he ever did, taking the mystery to his grave, as it were.

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  7. An awesome masterpiece, Sir !
    Very well done and under my favourites once more. :-)

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    1. Thank you so much Stefan, your support is always gratefully received.

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  8. Yo ho blow the man down. Very lovely piece Michael I can hear the ticking of the clock.

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    1. Thank you Robert, I did think about incorporating the clock, but sadly it escaped me.

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  9. Great post Sir Michael! Beautiful work yet again, great choice of subjects too!

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    1. Thank so much Bob, always fun to do something different.

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  10. Fantastic little diorama! Very well done Michael!

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  11. great job with the minis and the base!
    thanks for the interesting notes.
    bye

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    1. Thank you Luca, great fun to work on too.

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  12. Great looking vignette, excellent job as always...Soon a crocodile skin wallet?

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    1. Thank you Phil, I think it might be an even match and could go either way!

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  13. Wounderful work..... the base looks ACE!

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    1. Thank you so much, I really appreciate that.

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  14. Superb vignette. Love the gator and the palms too!

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  15. Great work on both the miniatures and the base! Those palm trees are very nice and much better looking than most I've found, where are they from?

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    1. Thank you Brian the palms are from The Model Tree Shop:
      https://www.themodeltreeshop.co.uk/palm-trees.html
      They are not particularly cheap, but do have a certain quality to them.

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  16. Stunning stuff Michael... just mouth-wateringly good imho.

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  17. Excellent modeling, Michael!

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  18. Great vignette , and great work as always Michael .
    Cheers .

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  19. Love it. Can hear the clock ticking!

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    1. If you can hear it tick then look behind you Mark! Thank you so much.

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  20. A fantastic little vignette! Your skill and imagination never fail to amaze me.

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    1. That is a wonderful complement, thank you.

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  21. Another fine collection of well painted miniatures Michael.

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  22. Most excellent!!!
    Where did you get the palm trees from Sir M???

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    1. You are too kind Ray. The palms are from The Model Tree Shop:
      https://www.themodeltreeshop.co.uk/palm-trees.html
      A bit expensive, but they do look great.

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  23. Hola
    Magnifico trabajo el de estos piratas
    un saludo

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  24. My word young man - another masterpiece.

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    1. That is incredibly kind of you Dan, thank you.

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  25. What a lovely piece of work Michael!

    Christopher

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  26. Another triumph from the Lord of the Vignettes! :-)

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    1. Now that has got a ring to it, thank you Millsy, always so supportive.

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  27. You've really gone overboard with this entry, is it 'R' rated ?
    Is Smee saying "Where are your Buccaneers ?"

    Some wonderful pieces making up the vignette, but shouldn't there be eight?

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    1. Joe that might be my favourite comment, thank you so much.

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  28. Brilliant! Really nice piece of art Michael!

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  29. I so enjoy your blog. Big smile with every new posting. I enjoy the read and the models and the setting and the painting and ... well ... everything really. Good job sir. Another treasure.

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    1. That is an incredibly generous thing to say and greatly appreciated, thank you.

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  30. Lovely paintwork and a brilliant diorama!

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  31. That is absolutely brilliant - I love it.

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    1. Greatly appreciated Giles, thank you.

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  32. Brilliant, just brilliant. And that's just for your blog title. ^_^ Don't get me started on your beautiful miniatures.

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    1. You are far too kind, but thank you nonetheless.

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