Monday, 26 September 2016

CIX. The Wilderness Project vol.8

THE CHAPEL OF St. HUBERTUS -finished

 

The Chapel sub-project has reached its conclusion. Thank you all for your encouraging comments and interesting questions in the process. Without further ado, here it is:

The chapel has a belltower; however, during one of the particularly trying Hassanag invasions the bell was taken down and melted in order to be recast into a cannon. A small outdoor bell was installed around that time to take over its function. In the meantime, as the situation turned to the better, a new bell was put in the tower. The outdoor bell nevertheless remained as a reminder of that part of history.
The bell, as well as extra trophy posts with deer skulls were made and glued to the base way towards the end of the process. They would have been in the way when painting the ground floor of the chapel.
I mainly added the ropes with chimes to the back of the building because something was wrong with its silhouette from certain angles. I opted for this solution rather than building extra parts on the roof. I made the ropes by simply twisting two lengths of 0,6mm wire around each other. This can also be done faster with a dremel - a trick shared by Jordan Lee in his tutorial: LINK.
I flocked the base to match the rest of the Wilderness terrain. The rocks were rendered the same as well.
There is even a small surface of dry stone wall to tie it with the terrain pieces I made earlier.
Barrels. Remnants of the refreshments consumed by passing hunting parties.

The main entrance to the chapel. The year spelt out in Roman numerals on the heavily peeling plaster is in all probability the year the chapel was built. Another date is present below it - the year Waywodes had had extensive repairs done. The proud patrons of the chapel have put their coat of arms above the portal, supported by a pair of carved wildman figures. The skull and antlers of impressive size belong to a megaloceros, a species that has been hunted out of these woods centuries ago. Together with the shining cross mounted right above it it is a  nod to the legend of Saint Hubert's conversion (for those not acquainted with the tale - have a listen to this).
A few shots with minis. This time the Plague Doctor is sneaking around.
 In the end, just a few random WIP photos:
The very first step in the painting process - basecoats.
This is what it looked like after several washes and a bit of overbrushing on the roof.
The bell was one of the final details to be added. It's part Corpse Cart bits and part scratchbuilt.
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There are still a few more pieces I would like to add to my Wilderness scenery collection, but I think a little break from building terrain is in order. Therefore, next I will focus on making a small group of miniatures that accompany the Chapel and that will be used in scenarios tied to its location. 

The first of these creatures was the Wodewose I presented recently.  I have at least five others planned. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

CVIII. The Wilderness Project vol.7

THE CHAPEL OF St. HUBERTUS -the roof

 Part three of my chapel build. As the WIP photographs will show, I managed to accomplish plenty in the last two weeks:

I built box windows on the remaining three sides of the tower...
... and then the fun with roof shingles could begin. Starting with the smallest ones, I covered all the roof surfaces over the course of about a week.
Somewhere in between I put together a huge stag skull that will hang above the front entrance. I used bits from Mierce Miniatures and green stuff. Like the other skulls, it is not yet glued in place. They will be painted separately so that I can reach the walls behind them without difficulty.
The Countess inspecting the tiled roof. She approves.
There are close to 4.000 shingles in total, made of 1mm balsa and glued individually on the roof.

After that I finally decided to tackle the wodewose carvings above the door. I sculpted them with air-drying clay. There is paint on them in order to better see the effect. Not bad, but there is room for improvement. Perhaps I'll do better on my next project. I also put some peeling plaster on certain areas. These will later contain text.
The final bit I built was the very tip of the tower. It is removable for easier storage and transport, as the chapel is quite tall. The pyramid roof wasn't tiled with balsa; I rather sculpted the shingles with clay. The cross was assembled from jewelry elements.
So, this is it. I will most probably add more decorative bits here and there at a later point. But right now the chapel is ready for painting. You will also notice that I only have one trophy post - the rest will be crafted and added later as well. Much left to do.
What do you think about the progress so far? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

CVII. The Wilderness Project vol.6

THE CHAPEL OF St. HUBERTUS - an update

 It has been a week since the first WIP post. In the meantime I have done the following:

The main entrance. This one is a double door. The process and materials are the same as for the side door. I put the Waywode coat of arms above it (they are the noble family that had this structure built). I sculpted the shield and copied the boar from a Bretonnian knight helmet. There is space on either side of it that will hopefully be filled with symmetrical reliefs of wodewoses. If I fail to sculpt that I'll have to come up with an alternative.
My next step was building up a roof  over this part.
I proceeded by covering the rest of the bare polystyrene parts with planks. The planked area above the door will get more detail at a later point.
The protrusions on the side of the chapel are done apart from the roof tiles and windowpanes. The latter will be inserted after after painting. The deer skull is a green stuff copy of a bit from Mierce Miniatures. Antlers are from the same company. It is not glued in place yet (it's temporarily being held in place with a pin) because it would get in the way when painting.

First of the wooden posts that will surround the chapel. It is scratch-built from balsa, card, pins, deer skulls (plaster copies this time) and a length of chain from my bits box.
This is it after painting. I'm happy with what I managed to achieve here. The only thing I don't like are the metal rings, which to me seem too thin for this diametre. A trip to the hobby shop for some better rings is in order before I get to work on the rest of the posts.
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This is where we are at the moment. Stay tuned for more. Again - all comments, questions, critiques and suggestions are much appreciated.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

CVI. The Wilderness Project vol.5

THE CHAPEL OF St. HUBERTUS

The chapel I mentioned earlier is is finally in progress. I'm building it from scratch, and it is my largest and most complex attempt at a scenery piece so far.

My coloured sketch. However, the building is actually based on an illustration by Paul Bonner.
It's just awesome. I've had a desire to build this for a while, but I could find no purpose for it. Now it will get built, although in adapted form. I have to get away from the Scandinavian aesthetics of it and add details that will identify it as a sacral structure dedicated to St. Hubertus, patron of hunters. Since I'm not recreating the illustration "to the letter", I didn't bother to get all the proportions right.   
The base: two layers of polystyrene.
After adding more refinement and detail to the base, I built the rough shape of the tower and entrance.
Ground floor takes shape around the tower. It's balsa wood. I glued the wall planks before moving on to the roof because it would get in the way.
The part of the roof that protrudes horizontally was next. Every plank placed individually.
Skeleton of the roof. Since it won't be visible at all when I'm done, I didn't bother to make it pretty.
Some plaster+PVA+paint applied on top of the roof planks to fill holes in between (as well as to some other areas). The first layer of the roof is masking tape. Roof tiles will later go on top. So many roof tiles...
View from a lower angle.
This is a decorative carving of a wose head. I sculpted it from air-drying clay and cast copies in plaster. It's not as good as I hoped it would be, but it works.
Again, the roof was left off from this part because it would get in the way when building and painting the side entrance. I made the door from balsa, plasticard and pins. Glued the decorative head carvings in place on either side of the door.
The side door, mostly painted. I can finish it later. Now I can  add roof over it.
The current state. More updates will follow as I proceed.

All comments, questions, critiques and ideas are much appreciated.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

CV. Wodewose


According to legend, the Chapel of St. Hubertus in the Waywode Hunting Grounds is guarded by a group of supernatural beings. Among those creatures are a handful of Wodewoses, feral people from ancient times. These particular Woses were tamed by the Waywode ancestor who had the chapel built, and remain bound to it to protect it. They are said to inhabit the surrounding woods.  


INSPIRATION and REFERENCE


Wildman, or woodwose/wodewose, is a figure that appears as an allegorical device in 13th-15th century European art and literature (and as decoration in architecture and as a heraldic device). It is depicted as a humanoid creature with a hirsute body that inhabits wild places - forests and mountains, where it dwells in caves. The wildman is naked, with hair covering the body except the face, feet and hands (sometimes also knees, elbows and/or breasts). The head hair is longer than body hair (like head hair and beards in humans). Usually carries a wooden club or mace.
Albrecht Dürer. 1499.
The woodwose of Medieval literature used to be a human being but went feral when separated from God's grace. The degeneration might be due to insanity, being brought up by animals or some great trouble in life. This instantly reminded me of king Nebuchadnezzar, and the time that he lost his wits and lived in the wild like an animal for years. Just like the Babylonian king, a wildman is able to get better and return to civilized society. The fuzzy body and fuzzy mind are both a part of an acquired state which can be reversed. 

 Nebuchadnezzar. Artwork by William Blake.
There are wildman figures in European rural folklore as well. Unlike the literary ones, they are not of human origin but a separate natural species or supernatural spirit. The folkloristic wildmen are described variously as ugly, unable to speak, supernaturally strong, having a savage temper, posessing knowledge of plants and mastery of animals. In many cases they are anthropofagous. The males have a habit of abducting human children and women, while wildwomen like to captivate human men (often using shape-changing to accomplish that). 
Medieval depiction of a wildwoman.
Hunting and capture of wildmen appear widely as a folk dramatic performance (and we can find that trope in Medieval iconography, too). The wildmen of art and literature most probably came from folklore and were then transformed. Other possible sources/influences are the Bible, writings from classical antiquity of mythical creatures and gods like Pan and satyrs, and contemporary descriptions of encounters with primates. 

Source: 
Forth, Gregory. "Images of the Wildman Inside and Outside Europe." Folklore, 2007, pp. 261-281.



THE CONVERSION


The base miniature is a plastic Plaguebearer. I filed down the gut and cut off its legs. The head came from an old Empire State Trooper. The shield is from the current State Troops set. The rest is green stuff.

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An update on the corpse markers for the Troglodytes. I think I have enough now.
I finally have all I need for the chapel, so my next move will be starting work on it.