Monday, 3 February 2020

A work in progress#2

It's been a while since we shared any discernible progress of the game boards.  In November we left you with the tantalising prospect of the four assembled boards with the castle looming above a mass of expanded foam filler.  In the run up to Christmas, James had worked tirelessly to get as much of the drawing and cutting done as he was due to start his new job, at a different school, in January.  This was going to present us with no end of logistical issues, not least to mention depriving me of the opportunity to talk hobby related ideas all day!
We met up briefly for a day in the Christmas holidays, a final opportunity for James to saw, spray and sand, before handing over his keys.  As promised, he had left me with four serviceable boards, three seen standing on their ends above, a castle that was now free standing and the promise that he was at the end of the phone if there was anything else I needed. 

I had, rather like the much maligned ostrich, buried my head in the sand when it came to the boards.  All the time James was cutting the castle, there didn't seem any need to worry.  I would tinker around with some miniatures, perhaps a bit of card design, but then as I stood alone in front of the incomplete boards the realisation of what needed to be undertaken finally sunk in!  Fortunately, my boarding duties have been rescheduled to allow a good period of free time on Monday and Tuesday evenings, now dubbed, 'Castle Time'.  This has proved to be a godsend and an ideal opportunity to really get to grips with the Herculean task that lies ahead of us.  
Having established the contours of one board, the application of some simple colour lifted my spirits to the point where I felt confident enough to offer up the second board.  Sketching out the design it was just a matter of hacking the geographical features into the foam before using a combination of sculptamold, tile grout and builders' caulk to complete the effect.
Although many of the techniques that have been employed are familiar to me, I am now operating at a scale that is completely outside my comfort zone; for instance I have now made fifty conifer trees to date!  My hobby progress is usually painstakingly slow, not least because of my butterfly like approach to focussing on any given task for any discernible period of time, yet, stick at it, I have and we are now finally starting to see some measurable progress.  

The level of finish is meeting our expectations, but there is still plenty more that needs to be done.  James has been able to visit on a regular basis and although this has been great to boost morale, we do seem to find ourselves becoming distracted by more and more flights of fancy.  That said, these are often the pieces we most enjoy and hope that they will add a sense of fun to the project.

We hope that you will be able to see some real progress, but of course we are mindful that there are another two boards to go before we can say it is finished.  January has come and gone, but even with our enforced separation James and I have managed to keep the project going, not least because it keeps stretching us creatively and throwing up no end of wonderful surprises.  After our collaboration with Dave Stone of 'Wargames Terrain Workshop', James had coined the phrase, 'the Castle the internet built' and this continues to be the case.  As I write this I have just seen a picture of an amazing piece of artwork that is heading our way; thank you Nick of 'Moiterei's Bunte Welt', it looks amazing!  We also look forward to sharing with you a tangible connection to the past that has galvanised our determination to see the project through to its completion, but more of that another day.

49 comments:

  1. That table is looking cracking Michael - great work to get it so far without being distracted by other projects :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, I have even impressed myself with the lack of distraction!

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  2. You and James both deserve a well earned pat on the back Michael, as what you have both achieved is EXCELLENT ! ! ! Don't forget I'm at the end of an email if you need help with anything

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    1. Thank you so much Dave, we are really pleased with progress to date, but only too aware of how much more there is to do.

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    1. Thank you Phil, we have enjoyed taking photographs as it progresses and each time have been pleased how well they come out.

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  4. Amazing work Michael, I take my hat off to you both.

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  5. Looks lovely. A lot bigger than I imagined it would be..any plans for what happens to it in the future?

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    1. Thank you Paul. As for what we are going to do with, we just don't know. There have been a few suggestions including contacting the current owner of the Schloss, but nothing set in stone yet.

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    2. I´ve found the Name of the present owner. I won´t put it here on public view but if at any Point you want it then just ask.

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    3. Just a mo..was the "set in Stone" a pun? :-)

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    4. Thank you Paul, that might come in handy at some point. I think we need to see how the castle board comes together first. Sadly not an intentional pun, but now claiming it. ;)

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    1. Is exactly the reaction we were hoping for. Thank you so much Terry.

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  7. Good Lord, that's just brilliant! Well done on getting such a daunting task done.

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    1. Thank you so much A.J. the pressure is on to get the other two boards done now.

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  8. I love it! It's even better in the flesh. So many vantage points and little scenes within scenes. Can't wait for the Salute 2020 reveal.
    Well done Sir! :)

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    1. It has been great that you have been able to pop over and see it James, just the incentive I needed to push on.

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  9. Starting to take proper shape but truly an enormous effort !

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    1. Thank you Matt, just getting some colour on it has really helped.

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  10. Absolutely incredible Michael!! What a jaw dropping post to come back to after months of no internet access, great stuff mate! Can't wait to see more 😀

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    1. Thank you so much Ivor, we have really had to push on and so much more to do, but we are starting to believe that we will get there.

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  11. It's looking great, worryingly large and not long to go, but you're cracking on well. I was hoping to see this in the flesh at Salute but I can't get the timing right so will miss it I'm sorry to say.

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    1. Worrying large is certainly true, we were just thinking of timings and looking at the 'to do' list last night - gulp!

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  12. Brilliant Michael! That is coming along very well indeed!

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  13. Very impressive terrain work, Michael. Looks like model railroad terrain.

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    1. Thank you Dean, I have had a couple of colleagues ask where the trains will run. Hopefully it will still work as gaming terrain too.

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  14. Excellent. Welcome to proper scale projects !

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    1. Thank you Dave and yes I have seen the light, bigger is better! :D

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  15. "Castle Time" - I like ti and it's probably the only way that you'll get to the end of this project on time and in a state you'll both be happy with.
    Good progress imho - the boards so far look great. Lot of work still to do, but I've no doubt you'll get there.

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    1. Thank you Joe, taking time to chart the progress and getting some feedback helps to keep us on track.

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  16. Holy cow, this looks like it will be bloody amazing...

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    1. Thank you Greg, really pleased with where we have got to so far. A lot more to do, but we offered up the third board last night so we are definitely getting there.

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  17. Looking gorgeous already Michael! I seriously can't wait to see pictures of the finished piece. Thanks for the mention and I'm actually a little proud to have contributed a tiny part to this project.

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    1. Thank you so much Nick, we are definitely making progress, but still a long way to go. Can't wait to see your contribution in situ!

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  18. Wonderful work so far, no doubt lots to do but there is still time! Looking forward to seeing it at Salute!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you so much Iain, we are probably still just on track with regards to the terrain, falling a little behind with the miniatures, but half term holiday is looming.

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  19. Going to struggle to say how much I like that without resorting to swearing, but that looks truly stunning.
    You deserve to be really proud of yourself for getting this far!

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    1. Thank you so much Mike, we really are chuffed with progress. I can't help smiling every time I walk into the classroom.

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  20. Very nice scenery and great detailwork. I must say that your "man-cave" is very spacious and one of the largest.Only the space makes me want to start som grand project. Please keep posting!!!

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  21. That's truly impressive. The amount of work it must have taken. Lovely work all around.

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