Friday, September 4, 2020

Indulging our creativity in our hobby

I would never really describe myself as creative. I have never developed my ability to draw, or sculpt, for example. That said, I played music in my younger days (the violin, and then the viola.. and I was quite reasonable at it), and of course I have painted miniatures since 'I were a yung laad'. I guess that counts.

On top of that, in my professional work as a school leader I have lead our kura to a school vision to be a centre of creative excellence, recognising the importance of creativity to our capacity to be human.

Our school vision, writ large at our main entrance.

That said, I love nothing more than the creative challenge of creating interesting things from rubbish. It is enriching, invigorating, and most of all challenging. When Lorraine presented me with the empty reals from some ribbon she had used in her own hobby craft work (she is an amazing and prolific knitter), I relished the challenge of what to do with it. I am not one of those creatives who conceptualises things , sketches them, and then creates. Rather, I will take 'bits', and literally 'play' with them, shuffle them, hold them against other interesting bits, play with them to see what I can come up with.

The ribbon reels 'au natural'

After lots of 'playing around, I added them to a few paper towel rolls/cardboard tubes. I could se was piece of wargames scenery, from one of those dismal dystopian worlds, a chemical complex making deeply noxious poisonous 'gloop'. This would be ideal for HotT (Hordes of the Things) games set in the Weird World War 1 concept.

The basic cardboard pieces

I wanted that 'industrial' or 'steampunk' look, which in my head means rivets. So I took some heavy paper, and punctures rivets into it. The idea was that if glued to  the 'towers' and vats with the indentations facing inwards, I could create the raised profile of rivets.

Black paper strips with the indentations created.

The first strip glued to a tower.. I often do this with a single piece as 'proof of concept'

I also rummaged though my spares box looking for 'bits' that I could use to create detail on the components of the industrial complex.

Include din the detailing was the use of old Bic biro ink tubes, and the plastic sprues from old kits, to create some pipe work.

Oh, and there was a ladder...

I painted the 'towers' before assembly. A red brown coat over a black undercoat, with steel grey 'stipple' over the top

In addition to the strips that were 'joiners' of the sections of the towers and vats, I also used the same 'rivet' technique on an irregular rectangle of card to look like a'patch' on one of the towers.

The pipework was given a pseudo industrial look

The open vats (the inner parts of those ribbon spools) were filled with 'No More Gaps' to create the 'goop' that filed them. I also added a piece of an aquarium plant. I wanted the idea of a mutant plant grown because of corruption from the chemical goop that was being produced at the plant.

The goop was painted in greens, layered up from dark to light green to add light back into the terrain piece.

The new inductrial complex placed alongside an earlier creation made again from 'rubbish' (a piece of packaging, and a ping pong ball

The finished piece, with steam/smoke rising from one of the vats

Goop leaking from one of the vats

A mutant plant growing form a large spill of goop from one of the open vats

The terrain piece with a couple of Weird World War 1 pieces, the left a behemoth tank created from another 'ribbon reel'

With some 40K orcs

And with 40K mutants

And with some HotT 20mm Orcs

So this is me indulging my creative urges.  find this absorbing and relaxing, engaging and immensely satisfying. I love this stuff.

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