Thursday, 12 July 2012

A Consulting Defective [sic.]

The 'secret project' has Characters!







In 1903 S. Holmes Esq.  retires to a small farm on the Sussex Downs just outside Eastbourne.  Here he takes up a new hobby, that of Beekeeping!  Perhaps what is less well known is that prior to the publication of a "Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen", Holmes embarked on a lecture tour of the United States of America.  Is it a coincidence that the once great detective, a naturally inquisitive soul and a man with family connections at the highest level of the British government finds himself travelling across the 'Land of the Free' just at the time that it starts to flex its economic muscle as a leading global industrial power?  


The Holmes character was part of the wonderful set from 'Mutton Chop Miniatures' creatively named 'Sheer Luck Basil and Bruce, London Super Sleuths!'  Holmes was given a simple, but 'sharp' suit in a relatively conservative colour.  That said I couldn't resist a touch of tweed for the deerstalker.  




A veteran of Victoria's Wars in Afghanistan as part of the Army Medical Department and long suffering companion of Holmes, Dr. Watson  has become something of an emotional wreck.  After the sad passing of his first wife, Mary, he was hardly expecting his second wife to run off to become a suffragette!  'Shaggy' Watson, so called because of his propensity for growing his hair longer than was normally considered acceptable for a gentlemen has been seeking solace in his latest research, that of the hallucinogens most commonly used in shamanic rituals!



Once again this miniature started life as the companion piece of the 'Sheer Luck Basil', sculpted by the masterful Paul Hicks.  In order to give him his 'Shaggy' look a quick head swop had to be performed using a spare from a long neglected sprue of Games Workshop's 'Empire Knightly Orders'.   Colour wise I've used a palette that I hope reflects the character's more traditional garb whist hinting at the legacy of the 'Wild West'.





Baskerville, Holmes's Great Dane is fiercely protective of his master but paradoxically a coward at heart.  Perpetually hungry his insatiable search for snacks often inadvertently leads the team into danger.  Rescued from Battersea Dogs' Home little is known of Baskerville's early life, but it is assumed that he originally hailed from the East End of London.

Baskerville is from 'Hasslefree Miniatures' where he is better known as Hamlet.  A thinly disguised Scoobert "Scooby" Doo, his paint job was deliberately done to reflect the much loved character from the original Hanna-Barbera series, 'Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!'  The bright blue collar, again a nod to the original series is repeated in 'Shaggy' Watson's headband and Holme's tie.  The colour becoming a sort of motif for the team.


Clearly the 'secret project' is self-indulgent nonsense but the idea is that our intrepid team of friends find themselves in a bizarre series of scenarios that revolve around a fictional part of North America at the turn of the 20th Century.  The scenarios themselves will be influenced by mythology, folklore, popular culture and of course earlier episodes of 'Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!'

Plans have started to be drawn up regarding the 'local area' and I was wondering what, if any, map making programs people use?  Any advice would be great fully received.  The 'secret project', remains an innocent distraction where I can indulge my desire to create models and terrain, but I still intend to continue with the historical wing of the hobby; it is just that some itches have to be scratched! 







45 comments:

  1. Wow – just wow!

    Those models look fantastic – and the concept of the secret project is genius.
    You got the Scooby Doo colours nailed perfectly and the painting is definitely smoother. I really like what you did with Sherlock, one of my favourites of yours to date I think. Congrats.

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    1. Thanks Mike, that is really kind of you. I worked hard on Baskerville building up the layers and was really pleased with the results - a bit of a breakthrough!

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  2. This is wicked you could you these for EotD there are profiles for Holmes and Watson :D

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    1. Thank you; EotD just gets more and more tempting!

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  3. This is just brilliant, made my day!

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  4. Fantastic Michael. You really did these wonderfully....on a par with your Randy Lal!! How did you do the antiqued photo effect - photoshop?

    For mapping, I've looked for a decent mapping softward for ages, but without much success. I tried Campaign Cartographer a few years back, but it was pretty clunky. I've resorted to doing my own, or trying to find originals of the relevant area - which might be a bit tricky if your chaos are heading to the 19th Century Pacific NorthWest! I'll be really interested in what other people suggest.

    Great stuff....keep going!

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    1. Thank you Sidney, that is very kind of you. The photo effect is done using picmonkey, an online photo editing program. At present it is free to use and great fun; I use it a lot now for the collages of miniatures. This effect is the daguerreotype frame.

      Thank you also for the thoughts on the mapping. Some food for thought.

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    2. Thanks Michael. Picmonkey looks to be a very good programme. It's like Picasa (which I use all the time), but seems to have quite a few more effects. Time to try it out! Thanks again!

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  5. Brilliant! Very fun! I want to see their Steam-powered 'Mystery Machine' conveyance! ;)

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    1. Thank you and funny you should mention the mystery machine...

      Plans are underway, but it won't be steam powered.

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    2. Having seen the under-coated mystery machine on a recent visit to Awdry Towers, I can hint that you are in for a wonderful surprise!

      Pip pip

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  6. "Shcooby Shcooby Doo!" - fantastic stuff!

    ps - it was the janitor wot did it!

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    1. Thank you Tamsin - I would've gotten away with it too... more nonsense to follow.

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  7. Beautiful paint job on all the models. Nice idea to have a colour motif as , really helps to tie the figures together.

    Regards,
    Matt

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    1. Thanks Matt, I remembered reading about a similar idea with your ogres! A great tip.

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  8. I think the whole thing is a great idea Michael. Love the conversion and paintwork. Well done Sir.

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    1. That is very kind of you Rodger, stay tuned for more nonsense.

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  9. Really excellent work, great paint job the colour pallet is spot on.

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  10. Wonderful figures - love the not "scoobydoo". I have a wonderful figure in "smoking jacket" which i will donate to your madness !

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    1. That is very kind of you Dave, thank you. Mind you I don't think the madness needs to be encouraged too much!

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  11. Baskerville-Dooby-Doo! doesn't quite roll off the tongue! :D Your creativity is boundless, Michael!

    I use MappingBoard, a free web download, to create my maps.

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    1. Thank you Rosbif, will certainly check out mapping board.

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  12. Great job! Minis, figures, and motivation all wrapped up tightly in a package of "self-indulgent nonsense!" IMO...it can't get any better than that! Onwards and upwards to mini-mania!

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  13. 3 excellent figures! You've just gotta love the not Scooby Doo figure!!

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    1. Just too good to leave out! Now trying to shoe horn the girls into the scenario.

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  14. Lovely work Michael. Watson just kills me - I especially like his beard!

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    1. Thanks Curt, that is very kind of you.

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  15. Excellent! Is there a shaggy fig to go with the scooby doo?
    Cheers
    Paul

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    1. There is the whole gang Paul! Very nice they are too. They even do a post apocalyptic version - very funny!

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  16. This is going to be such fun Michael. I thought that was Scooby when I saw it, but your paint job has made him more noble than the character that says "Rut-ro Shaggy"

    This isn't self-indulgent, this is fun. The world of miniature painting is the ultimate Never-Never Land and I'm never growing up!!

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    1. You are too kind Anne, but you are absolutely right - it is going to be a giggle and a wonderful distraction.

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  17. EotD?

    Excellent work on the miniatures!

    As far as mapping goes, I found Campaign Cartographer to be too much for my purposes. Too difficult for something that is meant for fun in my spare time (I use all sorts of software in my daily work; I don't want more work to do in my free time).
    Depending on what you want to do - I would suggest any graphics application you're comfortable with, or even paper and pens/pencils. Or possibly using real maps - you can find a LOT on-line in digital form for free, from different time periods.

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    1. Thank you, some great ideas. I must admit I do like the idea of 'enhancing' already existing maps to suit my needs.
      EotD - Empire of the Dead!

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  18. As always Michael, wonderful painting, and as for Baskerville - he quite literally is the dog's boll.......

    Pip pip

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  19. This collection just gets better and better. Superb painting and conversion work Michael.

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  20. Simply Charming! You could perhaps use these figures for Empire of the Dead, as the starter scenario features Holmes & Watson.

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  21. Very nice work, Michael...your colors are spot on.

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  22. Lovely miniatures, entertaining commentary, unique themes... always a pleasure visiting your blog Mr. Awdry!

    Jason

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  23. I say my good man that is a nice, simple and very effective conversion. Coupled with a great paintjob they are wonderful to behold.

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    ReplyDelete

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