Saturday, January 29, 2011
Saxon Warlords Vignette - Visualizing A Setting
I am starting to do the prep work on a vignette that I have wanted to do for a while. I had read the Bernard Cornwell "Saxon Stories" series of novels and had developed a vision of a group of warriors standing in front of a wooden hill fort palisade. These three 54mm figures from Romeo fit the bill nicely with their strong yet simple posing and seemed to belong together on the same base. My initial reaction when I opened the kits was a happy surprise because the details are actually stronger on the sculpting than initially appeared on the box art.
I always start any project by putting a lot of thought into the staging of figure and this is especially true when more than one figure will be on the same base. Typically for vignettes I will create a few simple line drawings as studies for the project. This helps me visualize and flesh out my ideas. My vision is to have a gentle sloping hillside going up to the outer face of the wooden hill fort walls. I will be positioning the figures as shown in the photos, with the figure on the right being slightly behind the other two. I see them as looking off in the distance at some Northern Raiders (Northumbrians or Norse Raiders).
After trying out various base choices I settled on this round oak base from Ken Thomas that I have had around for about ten years now. It's simplicity, color and wood species fit the setting well. The paper template that you see on the base will be used to cut out Balsa wood pieces that will be layered to build the core of the hill. This saves on putty and gives a solid structure to build the wall on. For the wall I have pieces of Basswood that will be weathered with a steel wire brush prior to cutting and assembling the structure.
My goal is to use this project as part of the basis for a seminar I am giving in March at the Three Rivers IPMS Regional Convention in Pittsburgh PA. I will post photo updates as I progress, so stay tuned.