Sunday 22 September 2019

The real Mines of Moria

I have recently returned from a holiday in the wonderful city of Krakow, Poland - well worth a visit if you ever get the chance. One of the things we did while there was to visit the salt mines of Wieliczka. As usual when sightseeing, I slipped into nerdy mode and explained to my wife (in my best Gimli voice) that we would soon be treated to a "right royal welcome by my cousin Balin" as we entered Moria. As usual she rolled her eyes and we joined the tour. Of course I had just been joking, but when we finally made it down the 350 steps to a depth of 135 metres below ground, we really were in a dwarf mine.....

And here is the entrance, the dwarf statues here are a little tall, but check out the hammer above the entrance and those distinctive dwarf like columns. Note also the salt in the rock. Salt was a precious commodity in the days before canning and refrigeration, for thousands of years it was used in food preservation, and some historians believe that the first city in Europe developed around a salt mine. Food for thought. But enough of that, let's take a look at the dwarfy bits of the mines.

Dwarf Royal Guard

Balin's Tomb

Dwarfs read from the Book of Grudges

Anvil of Power

Dwarf apprentice (no beard!)

Dwarf treasure pouch

That's me sorted for salt for the next few years, I brought this 1kg bag up from the depths. It was a fantastic day out, interesting in a historical and a nerdy way. It's given me lots of ideas on how to develop the Oakenhammer dwarf story and collection. The next unit to be painted will definitely be the salt miners. After the goblins of course.........

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Goblins WIP

Things have been moving slowly on the hobby front, and will not speed up much for at least another week, so I have just a WIP to show for the time being. I have around twenty of these old goblin spear figures which I was hoping to get finished for the end of the month, but two things have been slowing me down.

I cannot quite settle on a palette. I do not want to copy the old style, it's not really me and I don't see the point in trying to replicate what others have done before. I am aiming for a cool skin, warm clothing look, but I cannot decide if the result is interesting and varied tones, or just a mess of too many colours. I probably should put the ground and shields on to make the decision easier.

The other thing that is bothering me is the duplication of poses. There are five different night goblins holding a spear, I have four of them, but multiple copies of each. It's a bit clone wars, probably looks better in a disciplined army like elves or dwarves, but not so much in a rabble/horde like goblins.

The big news is that I managed to find a giant on ebay that would not need a remortgage to buy. Prices on old metals has gone through the roof recently and have reached a point far beyond my budget. So I was pretty happy to stumble across this when browsing during a coffee break. A lucky break, in this case. The paint work is too bright for my taste, but it's nicely done and the face is particularly striking. The oily goblin from the previous post makes a good contrast. On that front, I have suspended experiments in oils on the goblins, I need bigger models to practise on. I will come back to oils at some point. I feel a need for a change, to reinvigorate my hobby.
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