Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Great Escape


I seem to have been somewhat  remiss with my posting of late, here we are in the second week of January and not a review of the previous year in sight!*   So in a manner familiar to Blue Peter fans everywhere, here’s one I prepared earlier - my entry to the ‘Nostalgia’ bonus round of the  'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' with a couple of additional photographs!
*Fear naught gentle readers there will be one coming before too long!
Nostalgia is a multifaceted and curious thing; it is about happiness, recalling a person, place or event with a fondness that time has shaped to a perfect ideal, regardless of the small matter of factual accuracy.

For me nostalgic memories can be triggered by the smallest thing and most recently that has been whilst thumbing through the, now legendary, Christmas edition of the Radio Times.  I was instantly transported back to boyhood as I eagerly sought out what marvels of celluloid entertainment were in store for the Awdry family over Christmas holiday.  In the those days there were staples that were as important to the festive period as Brussels sprouts and mince pies – I refer, of course, to ‘The Great Escape’.
This 1963 war time drama tells the story of Allied Prisoners of War and their attempted mass escape from Stalag Luft III. This is a film that is infinitely watchable, boasting a stellar cast, stirring soundtrack and Triumph TR6 Trophy motorbike!
So to my submission, five 28mm 'eBob miniatures' on a scenic base designed to instil a sense of nostalgia in all of us that love classic war films.  The miniatures themselves are interesting insomuch that there is enough detail to suggest cast members without slavishly replicating them and although not the most dynamic of poses there is a quality to them, giving me an opportunity to interpret them in any way I chose.  The three main characters were based on a ‘Fenris Games’ planked floor to tie in with the theme of the submission.
The base was initially conceived as a small set to showcase the miniatures with elements from ‘4Ground’ all constructed on a ‘Warbases' 120mm MDF disc,** but why stop with one floor when you can have two? Devotees of the film, and for that matter history itself, will know that the Allied Airman, had planned to start a series of tunnels to make good there escape and it only seemed fitting to try and incorporate that into this build. Scraps of blue form, coffee stirrers and cooks’ matches formed the basic construction and them came the detailing.  The tools, littered around to show evidence of industry, are from ‘Essex Miniatures’, whilst the timely rediscovery of part of an ‘Ainsty Castings’ ore cart was pressed into action as the trolley system used to transport the dirt and men through the tunnels.
I have actually run out of old blank CDs!
The final addition of some photographs of sweethearts and flickering LED lights just seemed to help bring the whole thing to ‘life’.  This was a hugely entertaining diversion to work on and I couldn’t help but hum the theme tune whilst I tinkering away on it, all helping to reinforce those feelings of nostalgia that this film evokes.
 Just when I start to think that I'm getting into my stride, painting wise, the school bell tolls and I can safely say that my next entry is unlikely to be so ambitious!  That said if you get a chance, do pop over and cast a vote for your favourites, just click the link here.

99 comments:

  1. Simply breathtaking. Bravo, maestro!

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  2. Astonishing!
    i just can't say more!

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    1. Just that is gratefully received, thank you.

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  3. That was an exquisite piece of work Lord Michael :)

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  4. "Nostalgia isn't what it is used to be."

    Who am I kidding?

    Thats brill!

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    1. Thank you, I certainly had fun doing it.

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  5. Amazing work Sir M! I think you'll be getting top marks for these!

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    1. Thank you Ray, any points would be gratefully received this year.

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  6. Just realised I haven't watched The Great Escape this Christmas! What is wrong with me! Absolutely stunning job, sir! Truly awe-inspiring stuff!

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    1. Thank you Gordon, I was actually disheartened to see that it wasn't on this year - I actually checked the Radio Times!

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  7. Now that is very, very clever and superbly made. You have a good eye for setting the scene and all the extra little details make this really stand out.

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    1. Thank you Pat, I have to confess that it is the details that give me the most satisfaction, just trying to scale down the sweethearts for the wall was a fiddly job, but I was thrilled with results.

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  8. That is a stunning diaroma!

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  9. "WoW!" and "WoW!" again - nuff said I think.

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

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    1. I'll take it that is a good sign? :)

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    2. You're doing all the hobby things I want to do and just don't have the time (or start and never finish!). Stunning work sir

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    3. I do thank you, mind you I'm not great at finishing things either! ;)

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  11. Do you know, I think I have only seen The Great Escape once. I found it a bit depressing! Lovely diorama though.

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    1. Thank you and you are, of course, absolutely right. All the build up to the escape only to have them rounded up at the end - all very sad.

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  12. Just fantastic! It's a very creative entry.

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  13. That's brilliant! It captures the feel of the movie perfectly.

    Certainly makes me feel nostalgic.

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

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  14. Excellent work! Like everyone else said, it captures the feel of the (great, fun) movie in a nice compact diorama.

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    1. Thank you, it was great fun to do something completely different and out of my usual periods.

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  15. Wow! Beautifully modeled, sir.

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  16. Fantastic as usual - very top drawer and for you Sir a quote:

    Hilts: How many you taking out?

    Bartlett: Two hundred and fifty.

    Hilts: Two hundred and fifty?

    Bartlett: Yeh.

    Hilts: You're crazy. You oughta be locked up. You, too. Two hundred and fifty guys just walkin' down the road, just like that?

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    1. Quite possibly one of the best exchanges in the entire film and thank you.

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  17. Just wonderful stuff Michael. Out of blank CDs? Car boot sales might be a source.
    Cheers, PD

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  18. No need to apologise for the delay, Michael, when you have such treats to show us.an absolutely stunning job, which I at first didn't realise was scratch-built. I'm speculating that the flickering light is one of those fake tea lights popular at this time of year?

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    1. Thank you so much Jez, greatly appreciated. As for the light it is actually something called a Blinkie, a very small, flashing LED that I was given. Warlord Games are selling them in a pack called Firepower Lights.

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    2. Interesting...I will have a look at these, as I'm sure I have some transparent ghosts who could be enhanced with a bit of flickering light.

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  19. Wonderful work Michael - I have just in recent months rediscovered the film through my sixteen year old son who is an avid WW2 gamer as well. Great combination!

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    1. Thank you Carlo and what a great way to rediscover the film, moments to cherish I would suggest.

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  20. Marvelous! Michael, your THE Mr. Diorama in our little hobby. I love those bonus rounds just because I'm eager to see what you come up with this time.

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    1. Thank you so much Nick, that is a wonderful comment to receive, particularly as it comes from a chap whose work remains a constant inspiration to me.

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  21. Ingenious diorama, excellent looking results.

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  22. That is one brilliant model par excellence!!!

    Wow! Wow! And wow(!) again!! :>)

    Darrell.

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    1. That is a very lovely comment - thank you Darrell.

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  23. Nostalgic feeling achieved, "summa et cum laude". Thanks for sharing, Michael, this is truly outstanding work. Greetings!

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    1. Thank you so much, that is very kind of you.

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  24. Your ideas are always fantastic! Creative and beautiful...

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    1. That is a lovely comment, thank you Phil.

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  25. Excellent work and great blog post!

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  26. I am glad you re-visited this post, Michael. I am ashamed to say I think I missed it originally. What a stunning portrayal of a classic film. You have the characters and scenery down to a science. I could see the original cast and production team truly appreciating this work of art.

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    1. What an incredibly kind comment, thank you so much Dean.

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  27. Another excellent vignette Michael, & now with this post made, anxiety abated. Cheers!

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    1. Thank you Terry, more to come soon. ;)

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  28. Oh my.....what can I say, but - that's really wonderful! Well done, Michael!

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  29. That is truly stunning work Michael!

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

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  30. It's absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing this with us, Michael!

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  31. I think you just won the APC hands down, Michael, or at least have set the bar stratospherically high. Such a fine entry.

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    1. That is a very kind thing to say Peter, but there are a lot of very talented painters in the mix this year.

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  32. Smashing work, sir! Excellent in every way.

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    1. That's incredibly kind of you, thank you.

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  33. Truely a most excellent piece of art rather than a common vignette. It's indeed one of the most characterful and best executed scene I was allowed to see within the wargaming scene. You've even outdone yourself.

    Kudos, my friend!

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    1. Stefan, once again I am truly humbled by your kind words, thank you so much Sir.

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  34. Well thats awesome! What a cracking piece got to be one of your best!

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    1. Thank you Simon, certainly one of my favourites to build.

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  35. That is a cracking start to the year..Bravo

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    1. Thank you Dave, might have picked too soon though!

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  36. As ever this is inspirational Michael. Top drawer stuff.

    I would say that 'Nostradamus Nige' did predict a Great Escape vignette on 9th December !

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    1. You certainly called this one, right on the money Sir.

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  37. Just gorgeous! Don't know how you do it! You're a master, Sir!

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    1. I'm not sure about master, but having fun is definitely important.

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  38. This was definitely my favorite from all the Nostalgia entries! Excellent paintjobs, but the scenery is what really does the trick! Amazing work. And the choice of subject doesn't hurt either :) Great movie

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  39. Excellent work! Very atmospheric!

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  40. Mate - you are nothing short of an inspiration! Truly outstanding piece of work.

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  41. Hola Amigo
    MAGNIFICO si señor,un gran trabajo de escena y miniaturas
    un saludo

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    1. Thank you so much J.D. I really enjoyed putting this one together.

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  42. Amazing vignette ! And great paint as always Michael .
    Cheers .

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  43. You have outdone yourself, Sir. Magnificent.

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  44. Ahhh nostalgia ... I remember them days when I used to wield a light sabre ... oops wrong life!

    On a more serious note, that is one awesomely cool piece. Superb! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, light sabre eh? I must remember never to upset you!

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  45. Fantastic modelling and painting! So much to look at and like here, but something that really stands out for me are the wood parts, especially in the upper room. Very nice weathering effects!

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    1. Thank you Jonas, a little bit of course sandpaper on the balsa wood just gave the washes something to fill, the rest is all done with paint.

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