Saturday, 2 September 2017

Don't pick the berries.

One of the great joys of being part of a hobby community is the sharing of thoughts and ideas.  A great many of my flights of fancy, or even whole projects, have started as a result of seeing a related article on one of the many splendid weblogs that I follow.  This latest piece of floral frippery sprang from a chance comment posted by Peter Douglas, of 'The Single Handed Admiral' fame, who asked as to whether Audrey II would make an appearance in the newly created jungle terrain?  Now sometimes these little kernels of an idea are sown, they take root and sprout and the only way to sate them is to harvest whatever comes to fruition.  
The 'Dangerous Terrain Table' in the Congo ruleset* makes mention of a 'zone full of venomous plants and their contact is extremely irritating'.  Now whilst Audrey II's manner is renowned for being acerbic she wasn't, by definition, venomous.  Still I felt there was a little leeway to include a carnivorous plant and with little more web based research unearthed mention of the Ya-te-veo in In J. W. Buel's Sea and Land, 1887.  Listed as being native to Africa and Central America the Ya-te-veo, or I see you plant, is described so elegantly as having tendrils that resemble 'many huge serpents in an angry discussion, occasionally darting from side to side as if striking at an imaginary foe'.
*To be consulted when exploring a piece of dangerous terrain for the first time.
So with a precedent set next came the design, how would this work?  With Audrey II's head attached to her original body with a magnet, I knew that I could re-use that element so it was just a matter of creating her a jungle base to live on.  I chose to employ most of the same techniques that were used in the original build with Milliput for roots and paper covered florist's wire for the whipping tendrils.  I also managed to find one last silk leaf that I cut up to make a number of smaller ones for Audrey II's foliage along with some plastic berries languishing in the bottom of the bag.  
All that remained was to find a body to build upon?  Inspiration came in the shape of a small fir cone and this was duly appropriated for the task in hand, although I did make a slight schoolboy error here.  What I had forgotten, of course, is that the fir cone would open up as it dried and as you will see in the initial build photograph the rather nice, curving shape of the cone gave way to the slightly more open, obviously fir cone shape, of the final build.  Still with a few Green Stuff tendrils and some remnants of the moss roll used in the 'Dangerous Jungle Terrain' build, I was able to plug the unsightly gaps.
A rummage through the bits box unearthed some suitable macabre remains and I drilled out a couple of plastic skulls and threaded them along the Audrey II's terrifying tendrils, hopefully giving the impression that they grown through their victim!  This rummage also saw light fall on a couple of Dave Stone's Amorphophallus Titanium, from his Flowering Amorphophallus pack available from the wonderful 'Wargames Terrain Workshop'.   Now I appreciate that these are, geographically, a South American species, but I felt lent something to the Lost World feel of the piece and so was happy to oblige them a matching paint job to complete the project.  
So Audrey II has an 'away kit' and the jungle has a new nightmare awaiting the luckless adventurer who is foolish enough to pick her berries. 
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78 comments:

  1. Fantastic stuff, Sir Michael, absolutely gobsmackingly good :-)

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  2. Cool and creative once again, Michael! Your amazing handiwork is always enjoyable and impressive.

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  3. Life would be much easier if you were occasionally slapdash. Fab

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    1. I shall take that as a compliment Martin, thank you. :D

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  4. Creative and beautiful job, love the impressive, atmospheric...and scary last picture...

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  5. I am suddenly NOT doing any jungle adventures. Brilliant job.

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    1. I don't blame you Clint, frightfully dangerous places.

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  6. I recommend that when in a jungle "do not talk to the flora!"
    Very nice modeling, sir.

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  7. Lovely work Michael. Glad to be an inspiration on this one. Flora is always happiest when not restrained by pots.FYI now my wife wants me to make a real life version that we can stuck in our garden.

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    1. Thank you Peter and you really must make one for the garden! :)

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    2. I'm not sure where I'd find a big enough walnut! Now you need Seymoure and Audrey (I) as explorer figures.

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    3. Ah yes that could slow you done a bit! :) As for safari Seymour, I may know just the miniature.

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  8. Really great idea Michael. Nothing better than a scratch-built piece have multiple purposes!

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    1. Thank you Rod, having put so much into the original build it was great to see her on the table in a different guise.

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  9. Great use of a walnut for the head of Audrey, the jungle base for her wouldn't be out of place in any jungle or alien world. great use and painting of the Amorphophallus

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  10. Triffid stuff, Michael. Been looking at living plants, myself, so this has giving me food for thought.

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    1. Thank you Roy can't wait to see what you come up - nice punning too. :)

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    2. I think the first port of call will be to buy some of those flowers from Dave Stone, and then I may get some of the new triffid models from Crooked Dice (as I was looking at them in the display stand at Gateshead, yesterday). I may try some irregular-shaped vegetation patches using those as the mainstay, and then will have to have another think.

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    3. Sounds like a plan, have you seen these?
      http://blackcatbases.com/shop/figures/figures-aliens/carnivorous-plant-genera-wyndhamis/

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  11. More lovely work, mind you don't run out of skulls!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you Iain, I may need to restock soon! :)

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  12. Oh, awesome work sir! What a climat!

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  13. Fantastic stuff and perfect for any jungle adventure.
    Cheers
    Stu

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    1. Thank you Stuart, nothing screams dangerous terrain more than a carnivorous plant.

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  14. Excellent work on Audrey II's away kit. Superb stuff Michael. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, great to see her with more than one use.

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  15. Another excellent botanical specimen! Splendid work!

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  16. Absolutely spiffing Michael and a great way to multi-purpose Audrey :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, really pleased to see her with a multitude of roles.

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  17. Yep. Definitely nicking that idea too! Keep it up. :)

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  18. Flamethrowers. Roundup. Flail tanks. So many places to go with this...

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    1. Industrial quantities of Roundup sprayed from so bizarre contraption - so much fun to have.

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  19. Brilliant! I love the idea of an 'away kit'. :-)

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    1. Thank you, perhaps it should have been a different colour. ;)

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  20. I am once again astounded by your skills and creativity Michael

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

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  21. Awesome love the idea of an 'Away kit' Brilliant Michael!

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  22. Lovely job........congo congo congo the itch needs scratching 😀

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    1. Thank you Matt, it is worth scratching.

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  23. HP Lovecraft about to be eaten by a plant ... cool

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  24. Truly stunning, very impressed by your work !

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  25. Impressive an a great re-imagining.

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    1. Thank you Joe, it was fun giving her an opportunity to appear in other games.

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  26. OOoops, I seem to have missed this one. Busy busy busy week, and still not stopped lol.

    Love the post.

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    1. Not to worry, I know the feeling! Mad busy with work at the moment that hobby time has been pushed to the corner.

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  27. All I can say is stunning work Michael!

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  28. me like this, me like a lot.

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