Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Unleash the Clocktopus!

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.

88 comments:

  1. You really do never cease to amaze with your skill and creativity Michael. Bravo!

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    1. Thank you so much Paul, but it is certainly getting harder dreaming new ideas up.

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  2. That is such a great diorama! Truly excellent work.

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  3. Another absolutely cracking entry! Just brilliant!

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    1. You are too kind Francis, thank you.

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  5. Excellent entry Michael! As I said I really like the blue looking glass and bronze!

    Christopher

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    1. Thank you Christopher, I got lucky with the blue as I had some very bright pigments from the Mars Attacks miniatures and these just seemed to give the glowing effect.

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  6. Simply brilliant, Michael.

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  7. Clever, unusual and splendid!

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  8. Stunning - well done sir.

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  9. What a weird and wonderful figure the Clocktopus is (one I've never seen before) and your rendition is wonderfully imagined too.

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    1. Thank you Joe, I have no idea what I'm going to use it for, but it was great fun.

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  10. Stunning as ever - I especially like the clockwork crab!

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    1. Thank you Mike, the crab was really lovely to put together, such good casting.

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  11. Amazing and ingenious again, Michael. You never fail to impress! That Clocktopus is fantastical :)

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    1. That is very kind of you thank you.

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  13. Wow! Great work of weaving together a vignette plan, watery tale, and photo journalism both on the modeler's table and thru a flower vase.

    The Clocktopus is so different I'm speechless.

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    1. Thank you so much Jay. I should have taken more photographs through the vase but I was running out of time. I also thought of filling a glass bowl with water and shooting through that, perhaps with some weeds, but again time was against me.

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  14. Now that is lovely, I was only thinking the other day about a pulp type adventure in Atlantis, you may have just pushed me over board Michael.
    Best wishes.
    Stuart

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    1. You must let me know how that idea pans out, sounds like great fun.

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  15. Hola
    Magnifica recreación si señor
    un saludo

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  16. Wow, this is such a fantastic entry. I am lost for words!

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  17. See the above comments mate as I agree with all of them. Warmacres miniatures are fun aren't they? And I love the clocktopus :-)

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    1. Thank you and yes Warmacre are great fun, I picked up a copy of their 'No Go Zone' rules for the bargain price of £2 too.

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  18. Not only is the subject excellent but the idea to create the underwater effect is as well...

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    1. Thank you Paul, quite fancy trying so more of those at some point.

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  19. As I said elsewhere Michael: mindbogglingly brilliant!

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  20. Absolutely gorgeous. Fabulous concept and execution. You've taken a lovely miniature and made it magnificent.

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    1. That is a lovely thing to say, thank you.

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  21. I did like this it opens up the whole underwater steampunk feel. And that would be a great game. (I will be looking into it!)

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    1. Can't wait to see what you come up with as I have some more divers around here somewhere!

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  22. WOW Michael! That Clocktopus is fantastic! I MUST HAVE! Leave it to you to show me yet another manufacturer to look into further!

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    1. I do like to share and thank you Terry. I should have mentioned that you can also get Westfalia Miniatures through Empress Miniatures too.

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  23. Another piece of fantastic modelling Michael! I really dig the metals on the clocktopus – superb work.

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    1. Thank you Jonas, I used Vallejo Matt Medium which allows the washes to build up nicely.

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  24. Rather spiffy, that! I can see the Clocktopus as a formidable guardian of some mad scientist's underwater lair.

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    1. Thank you A.J. and what a great idea.

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  25. Amazing! i just can't say anything else!

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    1. Thank you Luca, that is very kind of you.

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  26. Wonderful Vignette!
    I`m really impressed by how you painted bronze on Clocktopus.

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  27. Yep what they said above, beautiful work and a great concept as well A+

    Cheers Roger.

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  28. Excellent work on the entire vignette! And especially the gleaming cephalopod and crustaceans! I didn't get the clocktopus, but I did get the crabs. I haven't been brave enough to put the crabs together and paint them yet. They don't seem to snap together as well as the monkeys did. I think they will require some pinning or something, to make them sturdy. Or did you just glue the crab parts together?

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    1. Thank you, they were great fun to put together. Although I pinned the clocktopus, I didn't pin the crab, I'll probably regret it later, but it seemed to hold together with just superglue.

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  29. Well thats bloody brilliant isn't it. There you go having me think you can't top your latest masterpiece then you go blow it out of the water with this one! What an awesome bit of kit it is superb mate well done!

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    1. You are too kind Simon, but thank you.

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  30. Well done! I think Doctor Maton may need just such a diabolically clever clockwork contraption to cruise the canals of Mars, inevitably interdicting all who would oppose his rightful claim to mastery of the Red Planet!

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    1. Tank you my good man and what a wonderful idea.

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  31. Just stunning! I love it! An amazing mini and beautiful painting! Very, very cool!

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    1. Thank you so much Mr. Mouse, it was certainly a blast to put together.

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  32. Awesome work in every respect Michael!

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  33. Amazing work! You really have a knack for coming up with wonderfully weird and unique subjects!

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    1. Thank you so much, I do love the painting challenge as it gives me an opportunity to indulge in so many flights of fancy.

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  34. Fantastic modeling and painting Michael. It's a real treat for the eyes.

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  35. I do not need a cloctopus, I do not need a cloctopus, I do NOT need a cloctopus! But it's so shiny...
    An inspired vignette, Michael and a very cunning use of household objects.

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    1. You keep telling yourself that Jez, but I have to tell you that it didn't work for me!

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  36. This is so cool for so many reasons. Capt. Nemo would approve.

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    1. Thank you, now I'm sure I could find a Nemo!

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  37. All of the above...!!!!! Cheers Michael!! :D

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  38. That was just so frickin' cool Michael! You seem to be a source of never ending inspiration. I tip my hat sir!

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    1. Incredibly kind of you Nick, thank you.

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  39. Fantastic work Michael ... a great sculpture made better.

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  40. I have obviously never seen this... Lovely work Michael.

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    1. Thank you, I managed to get the Wasteland Survivors done as well. Do use the photographs if you would like.

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