Monday, 29 December 2014

My Santa Clause Project & Happy New Year!

2014 was my first year blogging, and it was also my first year taking part in the Secret Santa and Santa Clause. The latter caused me a few problems as my recipient has his fingers in lots of wargaming pies! You would think that would make the gift easy to decide on - believe me it didn't! Coupled with the fact that the Blogger in question is an excellent painter, one that I knew I would struggle to match paint with, and I was in a right old dilemma....

Eventually I decided to create a small terrain piece that would serve as both an objective and a bit of battlefield decoration. I also decided to tie it in with the Blogger's beautiful ECW armies. Unusually for me I had the foresight to take a few pictures as I built it, so prepare for the wargaming equivalent of holiday photo's!

Here are the initial components:

I wanted to make a plundered wagon, perhaps part of a baggage train, with a few dead and wounded figures around it, and perhaps some strewn baggage....

The base was an offcut of ply covered in sand, and painted in burnt umber. I built the lovely 4Ground wagon and assembled some items from my bits box.

After a couple of dry-runs I decided on the placement of most of the items, and started painting:
At this point I neglected to take some intermediate photo's (typical), but rest assured there was a painted wagon (minus Lee Marvin - Laugh only if you are over a certain age...) with a few scattered bits of baggage and a couple of casualties. It was all looking a bit random. That's when the Current Wife asked if the bodies were plunderers or guards. I obviously looked puzzled. 'If they were guarding a consignment of wine it would explain why they all look drunk, she reasoned! I swear to god I have no idea where these occasional flashes of genius come from, but that must be why I married her!
I sourced some white metal bottles from Scotia Grendel, scratch-built a crate for the plundered booze and set about modifying the vignette. I also added another figure who looked as if he was on the point of emptying his stomach..........

So, after a bit of trial and error, and thanks to Mrs Pendragon, it turned out OK, and more importantly (at least to me) it told a little story that was readily obvious to the onlooker.
The recipient was the entertaining Mr Gary Amos of The Happy Valley, and thankfully (judging from his Blog), he seems to like it. Pop along to his post on the subject if you want to see much better photo's than mine!
And finally: As I said earlier, this was my first year of Blogging, and I have enjoyed it immensely. I have met some great people (albeit online, I hope to attend Salute to see if some of them are as weird in the flesh....), and it has given my painting a great big (much-needed) kick up the butt!
I would genuinely like to wish you and yours a happy, healthy and wonderful New Year. May it bring you everything you would wish for yourself. Here's to 2015!
Until next time.................


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