The penultimate bonus round of the 'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’, ushers in ‘Nautical’ as its theme and I have to say that I have been really looking forward to this one. What could be more impressive than a Spanish Man O’ War in full sail, the fearsome iron clad monitors of the American Civil War or perhaps the silent threat of an Akula-class submarine? All potentially wonderful entries and none of which I possess! Fear naught, for having checked the definition of nautical in my Oxford English Dictionary*, it would appear that I can unleash the Clocktopus in the certainty that it will, at least, be slightly less tenuous a link than a zombie killing tribute act or a Victorian gypsy!
*Definition: of or concerning sailors or navigation; naval; maritime.
But what, I hear you cry, is a Clocktopus? Simply put, it is the stuff of myth and fantasy dreamt up by the incredibly charming Kawe Weissi-Zadeh of ‘Westfalia Miniatures’ as part of their Steampunk Menagerie Kickstarter. Comprised of multiple parts, I cannot praise the quality of the casting enough; I have rarely, if at all, seen better. Given the sheer number of composite parts and possible weapon options I was a little apprehensive about the construction. Having selected my desired weapons, I pinned each of the tentacles to the body, giving them a little more strength. How and where you apply the tentacles seems to be left to the individual’s discretion and I was able to give a couple of the pre-formed appendages a gentle bend to allow this waterborne beastie to sit more securely – although I would be careful not to bend them too far and they might snap!
When it came to painting the Clocktopus, and for that matter the Steam Crab another of the menagerie’s bizarre frequenters, both were initially sprayed with Vallejo Glorious Gold followed by numerous washes and the picking out of details using different metallic colours before both pieces were matted down to take away the glare.
Bizarre Steampunk contraptions aside, I felt I wanted to keep some consistency with my bonus rounds posts and started to consider the possibility of a scenic base, sadly on this occasion my imagination was held in check by the grim realisation that time was already against me, that said I was keen to throw a couple more ingredients into the mix and happened upon a pack of ‘Foundry’ deep sea divers – a tale of derring-do beneath the waves started to unfold!
Not wanting to capitulate completely to the constraints of the clock I decided to re-appropriate another past creation – the gladiatorial arena from my ‘I am Gladiator’ entry in the 'IV Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’. This was already sand-like in colour and the ruined column could easily be suggestive of a long forgotten civilisation. Resolved to breathe new life into an old vignette, I needed some additional paraphernalia and the addition of some urns, an anchor and a ship’s cannon (a crewed weapon perhaps?) started to allude to the depths of some uncharted sea.
At this point, I imagined that the piece was finished, but a chance reading of Blog post about ‘Warm Acre Games’ led to one more addition – a shark! I just couldn’t resist and as luck would have it, this formidable fish arrived just in time for me to slap on some colour before it took its place menacingly circling above the action.
Given that this was a round that I felt that I had nothing to offer, I have to say that I am rather pleased with what I managed to cobble together. I am thoroughly enjoying this year’s challenge, particularly the dreaming up and execution of bonus round entries - a testament to the mutual appreciation and encouragement of my fellow challengers – thank you all.
Having indulged my whimsical fantasies once gain, it wold be remiss of me not to remind you that there are host of splendid entries to be seen, perhaps even What could that impressive Spanish Man O’ War in full sail, you need look no further than here.
This final atmospheric photograph was a little bit of fun that was created by shooting through one of the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry's' flower vases. The bubbles in the glass giving the illusion of expelled air underwater. A simple filter to change the colour and the effect was complete.