This is my first post on this new blog! In April my wife Naomi and I returned from 7 months of traveling in Europe and I’ve decided to dedicate my time and energies to model building.
This probably sounds weird so I’ll explain: In the past I’ve studied and taught history, fixed bikes, planted trees, guided tours, worked in hotels and restaurants, and done a huge variety of other jobs, but all the while I’ve felt like there has been something that I’m supposed to be doing, that I’m not doing. During our adventures in Europe and North Africa we visited some amazing places, met some wonderful people, and best of all for a nerd like me we got to spend time reveling in the rich and beautiful history of these crazy places that I’ve been studying for so long – it was really cool! We rode our bikes along the route of Hadrian’s Wall from the west coast of England to the East. We went on haunted walks in Edinburgh and visited some of the best preserved standing stone circles in Ireland (one of which is conveniently located on the property of Naomi’s cousin’s farm!). We drank wine along the banks of the Seine and listened to an organ recital in Notre Dame. We stumbled upon crumbling coastal fortresses in Catalan, haggled in the markets of Marrakesh, cycled through the hill towns of Tuscany, and were treated to a Bavarian Breakfast in Munich. It was really an amazing experience and we were so lucky to have been taken such good care of along the way by so many friends and strangers.
But one of the things that really struck me all the way through was that even as we were visiting these amazing and historic places, I was as much obsessed with all of the historical dioramas of these places as I was with the places themselves. It took me a while to process this. I’ve always loved the dioramas and historical models that you find in museums, but in looking back at my photos of the trip, I think that I probably took as many photos of the huge model of Carcassonne as I did of the city itself! It wasn’t something that I was entirely aware of at the time, when I come across this kind of thing I kind of revert to being a 12 year old again and lose track of time, obsessed with inspecting all the details and methods of construction, photographing the layouts and interesting tricks and techniques the artists used to make trees or cliffs or whatever, but in retrospect it seems crazy that I was in these amazing places and was obsessed with their replicas – things that need not be there at all, that you could maybe see without ever going there in the first place. Now obviously this isn’t entirely the case since the best models of a place often only exist at the location, depicting a different stage of construction or whatever, but that’s beside the point. Throughout all these adventures I was noticing what it was that was catching my attention the most, what did I want to learn about the most. Building models.
You see, I’ve been into models and miniature games ever since I was a kid, but I never took them to be more than a very obsessive past-time, and since I didn’t accord them much credit I would rarely finish projects. For me it was always the creative urge that mattered, not the finished product. So even though I’ve been doing this stuff for years, I don’t have much to show for it. However, on our trip my thinking about this stuff all changed. Yes it does matter, it doesn’t just have to be a past-time, and yes I should make time to finish things because that is where you can share them with others.
SO, this year I’m working on models. I’ve started with finishing off a bunch of old terrain projects that I’d never finished and we’ll see where we go from there. In late July I took a leap and booked a table at the Victoria Mini-Makers Faire to display my stuff and I got a great response, lots of people (gamers and non-gamers alike) loved my stuff, and I met some really interesting people (I’ll write more about that experience in another post). Next I’ll be lending some of my terrain to Vancouver’s Astronomicon 40K tournament (August 18th-19th). In the future I’d like to make scenery for gamers and gaming clubs on commission, and I’m looking into taking courses in stop motion animation and sculpture because why not?
So that is the long-winded answer to what this blog is about. Perhaps I’ll write an abbreviated version later but since this is my first post I thought I should just lay it all out.
It isn’t much to look at so far but hopefully I’ll get some more stuff up soon, some pics of some of the great models I saw on our trip, some pics of my stuff, some online links and resources and articles and how-to’s that I’ve found helpful, some info about the maker’s faire and astronomicon, and we’ll just see where we go from there!
Cheers for now!