Friday, April 11, 2008

Meet Woody

Wocha,

You wouldn't know it from the amount I've been blogging but I have in fact been quite busy.

With little else going on I thought I'd give you an overview how the special Woodbine Design giveaway miniature 'Woody' came into being.

So it was a Saturday lunchtime and I was, of course, in bed. The phone starts ringing and it's Darren (remember him?)
Yeah, that's the one. Well he'd rung up to tell me that he had received the photos of the Gallipoli officers packs and wanted a couple of quick changes made. As we discussed what needed doing before I posted them on the Monday he asked if I had any thoughts on what we could do for a promotional figure to accompany the first release. To be honest I was still mostly asleep and burbled something positive whilst considering what I needed to do to the officers. Anyway I got up (eventually) and after a strengthening coffee and a fag or two I set about chopping up the officers and making the required changes. By the time Dr Who started I was all finished and settled in for an evenings rest and relaxation.

What? The officers? Yeah they got finished, why? Oh you want to see them? Fair enough.


So Sunday rolls around and I'm up in time for a Sunday pub lunch to celebrate the nan in law's birthday. Rolling home full of roast and cider I get ready for nothing most strenuous that a little light smoking and an evening of telly. About nine-ish I get an e-mail from the Beast letting me know that the pictures of the woodbine greens are up on the site. Suprised that the chaps are at work so late on a Sunday I decide to give them a ring. Damn fool...

So whilst we are chatting, and if I'm honest the main reason I rang was to get another ego stroke, Darren asks if I've managed to come up with a promotional figure. I explain about the pub lunch and apologise (half heartedly) for not coming up with anything. Then it starts, Darren and M'Lord Sherwell start laying it on thick about how I've let them down and what a disappointment I've been. The bleeding cheek. Then they lay down the gauntlet.
"C'mon theres 18 hours until the post office closes tommorow and even with eight hours sleep thats a good 10 hours sculpting time. Surely a sculptor of your calibre can come up with something in that time."
Now I wasn't going to fall for that load of old flannel so I gave them a mouthful of the old Anglo Saxon and hung up.

Well needless to say after only a few minutes my guilt circuits went into over load and I rang back to see if they had any ideas for a figure. M'lord Sherwell was inclined to a 'medical inspection' vignette but this was quickly glossed over and moved way down the list although, to nobody's suprise, not off of it. Darren suggested a figure based on a Mike Chappell illustration, which itself was based on a contemporary cartoon, showing an Austrailian soldier sitting on a crate playing 'two up'. The figure was just in shorts but Darren said I could chuck a vest on it to save having to sculpt the torso anatomy. Naturally I took this as a challenge. I started spangling together a wire armature and after skinning it with a quick layer of Procreate I shoved him in the oven to speed up the drying time and went off to my 'office' for a sit down. Upon my return from the smallest room I find the oven door fully shut and the temperature wacked up to full! Disaster. Bellowing for the wife I open up the oven and fear the worst. My fears are confirmed. Sitting in my bestest baking tray are a small pile of blobby goo and metal. It seems the wife had fancied a late night pie (which explains the chubby knees if you ask me...) and so came out and pre-heated the oven without checking inside. There was no reason for her to have done so as I have a strict policy of not storing the grill pan or baking trays in the oven and I almost never 'cook' miniatures, especially when she is at home. I gave the wife an undeserved bollocking then became utterly ashamed of myself and escorted her to the boudoir to make ammends. If you know what I'm saying. Whilst she prepared to receive boarders I sent a quick text to the Beast to let them know that I had just melted the figure and that I wasn't going to get the job done.

A will leave out the details of the next 86 seconds of action as it really has no bearing on the narrative...

Duty done a repaired to the balcony for a smoke (as you do) and noticed that there was a message waiting from Lord S.
"Del says stop doing a Sherwell you've still got 15 hours"
Flipping cheek! So I'm standing there on the balcony smoking and incensed determined not rise to their bait. And failing.

I returned to my desk and for the second time that evening knock up an armature. By this time it's eleven o'clock and I determine to get the armature done, flesh it out a bit and then go to bed and finish it in the morning. Somehow this doesn't happen. I get started and then just sort of keep going. Before I know it it's half four in the morning and I'm done! Five and a half hours from wire to finished figure. Frankly I was stunned but actually quite happy with the result. I snapped off a couple of quick shots and e-mailed them to the Beast along with a request for a 1pm alarm call and went off to bed.

So at 1300 Monday afternoon the phone wakes me up and Lord S give me a hearty verbal pat on the back. Darren's on next equally pleased. Quite a nice way to woken up, but probably only second best. And then Darren (never satisfied if you ask me) pipes up with 'Did you decide not to bother with the fag in his hand then?'

Balls! We had discussed putting a cigarette or packet of smokes somewhere on the miniature (well it was for the Woodbine design company after all). Determined to get it just right I got up and straight to work. Twenty minutes with a bit of wire and some goo and Woody was finished, fag in mouth and packet of smokes by his side. A further photo shoot to get final approval and he was given a quick blast under a lightbulb (he wasn't going anywhere near the oven even if the wife was out) and despatched to the GPO.

So there it is, the tale of Woody the Digger, quickest sculpt I've ever done and one that I'm very pleased with indeed.

Huh? You want to see him too? Okay, only fair I suppose.

Meet Woody.
Yes it is a stock head but come on I was on a clock and you know how I hate doing faces...

Stay lucky,
Soaps.

11 comments:

Stephen said...

Very nice matey but a bit disappointed on the lack of detail on the socks - you must be slipping...

Soapy said...

Everyone's a critic! ;>)

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

I'll tell you what - to put me firmly back in my box - why don't I pop round some day (mitte vitals) and give it a crack. I've Miss Finland in town until Salute but thereafter...

Soapy said...

Always ready to take on a new Padawan.

Stephen said...

It's a deal!

Dave said...

86 seconds?

OMG she times you still?

Oh yeah the mini, I likes it.

webogre said...

Quite impressive!!!

The figs, I mean, not the 86 seconds...

WABit said...

To coin a North Eastern phrase, Lush.....

Cheers,

Darrell.

Helen said...

Greta work on the ANZAC Soapy :-)

Thanks for taking the extra effort and providing extra character for our games.

Helen

richard said...

very nice figure. I was also very pleased with the Anzacs purchased at Salute. I will send you pictures one I get round to painting..............