Friday, 22 January 2016

From Curt - Heidi & Hildegarde von Biguns and the Death Bell of Breugel-Bosch (30 Points)


I'm having a lot of fun with this Challenge, ricocheting between different projects and enjoying a wonderful variety of figures. This time I return to the Renaissance, or a perhaps a slightly skewed vision of the Renaissance.

This set of 28mm models is from Lead Adventure Miniatures. I'm a huge fan of most of their ranges and I really love the aesthetic of their Renaissance models. While they are certainly grounded within a historical context, these figures have a rather odd, very mannered, twist to them.  I've been so taken with them that I've collected a whole series of related miniatures that I hope to form into a distinct collection - but more on that later.

As soon as I saw this set advertised online I knew had to get it as it's just so whimsically dorky.  Depicted here is a 'crew' of a highly improvised artillery piece, the heart of which is a great town bell, 'The Death Bell'. The bell is just about to be fired in the defense of their town of 'Breugel-Bosch'.

The leader is a rather formidable woman, dressed for the occasion in helmet, partial Landsknecht regalia and sword. She wields an improvised rammer made of an old broom stick and scullery brush. This is Hildegarde. She is overseeing her sister, Heidi, in the firing of the Death Bell. Heidi, as we can plainly see, is a little more of a reluctant soul than her brash sibling. Both sisters are trying very hard to ignore the sage advise of their cousin Henri, who lost both his legs as a gunner serving in the Italian Wars. He is seen here on his hand cart, bringing up more ammunition for his cousins.


While working on these castings I came to the conclusion that they really deserved a little more pimping out. The stock bell came with a cavernous opening, but with nothing to put in it. This just wouldn't do. It was crying out for some deadly missile to be nestled inside, ready to be blasted out at their enemies. At first I made a big cannonball with some greenstuff and popped that in to see how it looked. It was okay, but it still seemed rather, meh, a bit boring. 


Then I came upon the idea that these citizens would want to pack this thing with whatever they could find in town that could be considered lethal. I immediately thought of a blacksmith's anvil and laughed aloud. I rummaged around and, surprise, surprise, found one as part of a Napoleonic forge set from Westfalia Miniatures (sorry Kawe!). From there it was just a matter of trimming down the anvil and adding some other bits, such as a sword, spear, and a few polearms (donations from the town's armoury). Done! Now the gun has a load of improvised scattershot to wreak havoc amongst their enemies!




I really liked the pillow as a recoil brake and made sure to give it a nice needlework pattern. I imagine that it's been donated to the cause by one of the town's worthy ladies - a noble sacrifice from her sitting room. 



For the groundwork I wanted to try something a little different. I really liked Sidney's cobblestone base which is featured in his latest theme entry. I didn't have anything like that handy, so I made a rather impressionistic version of a cobblestone road by gluing oblong shapes cut from an index card. Once dried I simply painted, drybrushed them up to look like flagstones, and then added some grass between the 'stones' (clipped-up tufts work well for this).








I've kept to an autumn theme again so that this 'HEAVY artillery unit' can fit in with my other Renaissance stuff.



So, there you have it. The Death Bell of Breugel-Bosch, crewed by Heidi & Hildegarde von Biguns (and helped by their cousin Henri).

Points? Um, I think the gun is worth 10 and the three crew are 15, so 25 total. Woo Hoo!

Thanks for visiting folks!

Well dude, I was a little disappointed you didn't bother with any zenithal highlighting for the bell, and this lacks source lighting for any fuses or lit cords which might otherwise draw the eye to the depth of substance in the...HAH! Just kidding! This thing is f***ing greatYou continue to entertain and inspire all of us with the skill and character in your submissions.

Leaving aside my immature snarkiness with regard to certain advanced painting techniques (which, let's be up front, are way beyond my own skills), the aptitude and appreciation on display here is truly impressive.  The "ammunition" load for the cannon ads loads of character to an already interesting little scene, so much so that I think it would be a bummer to see "just" the bell.  The brushwork is excellent all around, but that fine pillow really stands out, and really helps set the mood you are describing.  And as I have observed before, your groundwork skillz are just getting nuts bro! Those cobblestones look the business. Brings the whole thing together nicely.  I can imagine that polearm going straight through one of Peter's commanders as the intrepid crew lights that thing off...

Points-wise, yes, 25 for starters, but you get a few extra for the effort of the "ammunition", the work on that pillow and the base work.  Thirty points for you, my friend! Have a great weekend!  

45 comments:

  1. Wow! Really, REALLY impressive, Curt! The crew are loaded with character and the ground work is fantastic. I can almost see the village springing up around it through the black background. Really excellent work and a very inspired choice of ammo for the gun!
    " For whom the bell tolls" indeed! ;)

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  2. Wooaah! That is a seriously wonderful and whimsical piece Curt - lovely work! :)

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    1. Cheers Tamsin. You're right it is oddly whimsical (and a bit mental).

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  3. Amazing stuff - your painting and basing skills blow me away.

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    1. You're very kind, thank you Miles.

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  4. absolutly fabulous work!
    each of your submissions are stunning!

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    1. They are a bit of fun, aren't they.

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  6. Brilliant work Curt!! Love the cobble stones too, impressive work!

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    1. Cheers Ray, but I still need to paint something for our duel!

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  7. Jaw dropping. The cobbles are genius. I do like the way you had an anvil "just lying around"! Is there anything your lead pile couldn't furnish you with!?!?

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    1. Thanks Jamie. Believe me, the anvil was a complete fluke. (But I will admit I have a lot of crap in my hobby pile. Shhh, don't tell the missus.)

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  8. Amazing work Curt! Great looking vignette! The pillow is really a nice addition :) Though one might think it would not be that effective...

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    1. Yeaaah, I think it probably just makes the crew feel a bit better when they light the fuse.

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  9. What a stunning masterpiece! Fabulous work all round. How's about me painting something from this setting for our little exchange programe? Would be a nice excuse to buy some more autumnal basing stuff too...

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    1. Oooh, now, that sounds like a great idea Nick!

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    2. Ok, something Renaissance-ish it is then! Let me have a sneak around. I think there might be one or two things out there, fitting the bill. *Off to Miniaturicum*

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  10. Did I mention before how glad I ma you are not allowed to participate in the actual bonus rounds? The level of your painting both in detail, crispness and quality is absolutely top notch. Great evocative vignette!

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    1. Pishaw, you're too kind but I'm happy you like the team Sander. Maybe you have some ladies like this down your street in the Netherlands?

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  11. Just lovely Curt, lovely.......

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  12. Just to let you know ..... Curt does NOT have a "lead pile" ...... He has a "lead shed"!

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  13. Your imagination is running wild this year..a real creative piece

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    1. I'm not getting a lot of sleep but I am having fun while I'm awake!

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  14. That's fantastic Curt!! All of it's great, but the basing looks simply brilliant!

    Christopher

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  15. Really impressive painting work, fantastic base too!!! These figures are very good, perfect for the painting.

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    1. Thanks Juan. You are right, the castings from Lead Adventure are typically very fun to work on. I'm a big fan.

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  16. What a wacky and fun entry. Thanks for the flagstone tip, that should come in handy.

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  17. Lovely work, it made me laugh out loud.

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    1. Thanks, I'm always here to entertain. ;)

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  18. Brilliant work, Curt - these figs would make excellent Empire proxies for Warhammer, and GW be hanged!

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    1. Indeed, they would work well for an Empire army.

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