Saturday, February 05, 2011

Any Port In The Storm

Warning: This will be my first attempt at posting from my iPad. I want to try blogging from alternate locations besides my desk or couch. Though I have a wireless keyboard I am not quite used to it yet. No doubt, I am bound to make many mistakes as my fingers stumble around on the tiny keyboard. If I fail to correct all of the mistakes, please forgive me in advance.

Now back to the regularly scheduled program.....

I spent last night and part of today cutting out frames for my pirate port project and putting them together (don't you just love alliteration?). So far I have two single story houses along with two "government" buildings. One of the buildings is destined to be the governor's mansion while the other may find duty as a customs house. They are just bare foamboard and without roofs right now. I'm afraid they will remain so until I have enough for a small port town. Since I plan on using spackle to cover the exterior of all the buildings, I'd rather make a big mess one time rather than on multiple occasions for multiple buildings. The tile for the roofs will have to wait as well. Though I have a few sheets of plastic tiles, I plan on trying a method I read about online. Someone suggested that corduroy could be used to simulate tile if stiffened with PVA glue. Considering the cost of the prefab sheets, I hope the corduroy trick works....I have many buildings to cover.

I was also able to finally finish my navigator. He has been on the workbench longer than any other pirate miniature. The reason for the delay was mainly his jacket. I envisioned him as an old weatherbeaten sailor with a few pieces of finery left to him but mainly dressed in threadbare garb. I gave him a nice waistcoat but wanted to make his jacket a dark burgandy color that looked stained and faded. Unfortunately, no matter what color or mix I tried, I just could not get the color to match my vision. I must have painted the jacket ten different times and on each occasion the resulting color varied from pink to purple to bright red. Finally I gave up and decided to accept whatever color appeared on my last attempt.

I'm still not happy with the jacket but he stays as least for now. I am quite satisfied with the parrot however. Feeling rather defeated due to the jacket fiasco, I decided to really spend some time on his pet and work on blending the blues, greens, and yellows into a seamless transition. For the most part, I feel like I succeeded. More importantly, I think the parrot creates a nice strong contrast with the rest of the figure and acts as a focal point for the eye.

I would have posted a photo of him tonight but troubles with the base caused yet another delay. The miniature is standing on wooden planks or flooring but at the edge of the base, the wood ends and sculpted sand begins. I'm not very happy with this arrangement but I was too lazy to re-base the figure after all the delays I've encountered with him so far. So I decided to apply glue and sand around the edge of the base in hopes that I would cover the sculpted sand and maybe match the bases of my other pirates a bit more closely. Well, that plan failed miserably. The sand grains, though they look great as basing material, are the wrong scale to match the wooden planks. The result looked terrible. So now I have to clean off the glue and sand tomorrow and either paint the sculpted sand or rebase the mini on a standard base.

As a quick and humorous aside, this is also the miniature that I knocked off my painting desk last week. I was lifting another figure out of my stand when its sword caught the navigator under the arm and pulled him out as well. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch him before he tumbled several feet to the floor. If he had landed on carpet, perhaps the damage would have been minor or nonexistent. However the vast majority of floors in the Florida Keys are covered in hard tile in case of hurricane flooding. My house is no exception and I can't begin to describe what a three foot fall onto tile does to acrylic painting on a miniature. More delays....

I hope this navigator has better luck in-game than he did on the painting table. Otherwise his ship may end up on a well-charted reef or worse.

What miniature has given you the most trouble and why?

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