While the scenery paint tins are handy and I still have some enthusiasm, I knocked off another building last night. I rather like it, I have to say. As to what it is? - well it certainly isn't a town gate in the sense of being a controlled opening in the enceinte which can be locked and defended, and which could withstand the efforts of a hostile army with serious equipment, but it is a point within a town which could have a sentry, and (I suppose) be barricaded if necessary, and which announces that you are now leaving such-and-such a place, and entering such-and-such other place, and, by the way, it is twenty-five past two.
I have no idea what the casting is - it is very heavy resin, and I bought it secondhand a while ago - I had thought it was JR Miniatures, but it isn't, and it isn't Eureka/SHQ either - no idea - I suspect it's quite old. Anyone recognise this? Good quality, anyway - one of my better eBay efforts. While I was painting this, some passing thoughts cropped up, viz:
(1) whatever this is an entrance to, it would make sense if the door to the actual building, and therefore the clock, were on the inside - no point telling outsiders what time it is, unless we wish to impress...
(2) Hmmm - the clock. I am not exactly sure whether this clock would have been in this form in 1640 - my guess is that it is OK - I saw a lot of very old public clocks in Germany and Austria recently which predate this, but am not sure if the appearance of this clock is an anachronism (how ironic would that be?), and therefore I do not propose to investigate the matter too carefully in case I get the wrong answer [I can't hear you - lalalalalalalala etc]
(3) The clock (continued) - to be on the safe side, I picked out the details in an understated manner by drybrushing with a pewter colour - that way the clock does not hit you in the face, and reduces the chance of some smart-ass on TMP noticing that, like Einstein's famous clock seen from the Bern tramcar, it is a time-travelling clock. However, I seem to have understated it to the point of invisibility, so I may revisit it with something a little brighter. I'll think about it.
This now joins the queue for varnish. My latest thoughts on this matter are that the idea of fiddling round with a pile of aerosols is highly unappealing - apart from the toxic hazard and the collateral damage, there is more than a slight chance that I, being a Klutz, would not achieve a decent coverage anyway. Thanks to very useful input in response to previous post (for which, again, thanks), I am now obsessed with the idea that my new paintwork is just waiting to leap off again at the first excuse, and at the first contact with tissue paper, so it is a no-brainer to get on with the varnishing job. In fact, I shall also set up a cottage industry for a few days to catch up with the backlog of other buildings which I never quite got around to varnishing. I'm quite looking forward to a few moronic evenings of brushing varnish onto walls and buildings, and I'm looking online for a decent-sized can of artists'-quality acrylic matt varnish to do the job. I may even consider varnishing some of the Lilliput Lane and David Winter stuff - that would be seen as sacrilege by true collectors, but these items are heavy and have very delicate paintwork, so it might be an idea.
It is, it goes without saying, essential that this varnish should be fully matt. If my buildings end up even the tiniest bit shiny then I shall be forced to run, screaming, around the country. It will be on TV - people will know when I'm passing their way, and will turn out to watch me. It will be the tantrum to end all tantra.
Next up is the mighty star-fort. I shall be especially careful to make sure this is a reasonable colour-match with the existing Vauban bits, though I do not intend to flock it. There will be more about this soon, I think.
Passing mention of Lilliput Lane reminds me that, if I propose to have a bash at something like the Great Leaguer of Chester, for example, then some representation of a section of something like a proper town would be a good idea. A row of cutesy LL cottages doesn't really fit the bill, quite apart from the nausea factor. I'm not sure what (if anything) I am going to do about this - my scratchbuilding days were long ago, I think - certainly on any kind of industrial scale. While I was looking about for ideas, I found that Tey Potteries (now defunct, but once of Norfolk) did a section of the Chester Rows as part of their range, though it is very rare and thus expensive. It did, however, introduce me to the idea of Tey houses - their Britain in Miniature range includes some nice pieces, and they are available cheaply on eBay if you look around.
I'll include some pictures of Tey stuff, to give the idea. I'm not really thinking terribly seriously about this, but (as ever) here are some thoughts on the subject:
|This is the Chester Rows piece - probably too small and too|
Victorian, and this particular example is in the USA, but
amusing. All pics very kindly supplied by eBay.
(2) The stylised appearance of these is obviously something of an acquired taste - they are not in any sense realistic, and would not mix at all comfortably with other makes. Some of them are charming, though, in a wacky sort of way - the idea of playing with toy soldiers with a backdrop of blatant toy houses is not unpleasant. A small group of these would make a nice town, and most of the models seem to be gratifyingly rectangular.
(3) Being pottery ornaments, they are obviously offensively shiny, and a good coat of the aforementioned artists' varnish would be needed to calm them down. Again, serious collectors would be horrified, but they are not valuable, and they would mine anyway (heh heh) if I bought some.
(4) You know what? - I think I probably won't do anything about this range, but it was interesting looking at them, and it's useful to come up with something unfamiliar now and then. So there you have it, gentlemen - Tey Pottery.