Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Finding art in 28 millimeters...

I have always been fascinated in miniatures. I remember my dad building a ship in a bottle, more specifically the Cutty Sark. He then built a 1:72 scale model a couple of years later. It was amazing to see the whole thing com together. Not unlike a jigsaw puzzle, starting with a picture and then taking individual components to create a perfect replica was something that imprinted on me.

Now this minor obsession has cropped up a few times in my life. When I was a preteen I started painting 25mm miniatures for a D&D game that I was a part of. Then in college I took great delight in building scale models of my set designs. Now here is where my Lilliputian fetish flared up a little bit. The requirement was to build the sets at a scale of 1/4" equals 1'. Not bad, a full sized set would be about 18 inches by 24 inches. When I heard that famed Yale professor and Broadway set designer, Ming Cho Lee preferred to work in 1/8th inch scale I could not help myself. My next half dozen projects were done that size. My fingers and eye sight still curse the day I sat in that 400 level Scenic Design class and heard Mr. Lee's name.

Most recently, I find myself enamored with 25mm terrain and props for tabletop wargaming and D&D. In my scouring of the internet I stumbled upon a fallow website with the most amazing scale props.
Hand crafted by a mad Dutchman named Gerard Boom, I was instantly mesmerized by his attention to detail. I did not see any recent updates to his site (the last having been almost 3 years earlier), I clicked on his email link and sent off an inquiry about his status. This correspondence kicked off to date an 18 month discussion about the hobby of scale miniatures. We talk now, via Skype, fairly regularly and I have become almost evangelical in my attempts to introduce his products in as many people in the gaming community as possible.

I have decided that Gerard may be completely insane, but his work is truly inspired. He sculpts from the heart and paints with a clinical passion reserved for the masters. If only to reinforce my point, he has taken to creating cobblestone roads and sidewalks. After trying to sculpt a small sample and then repeat it over and over to create a large surface, he literally threw out the result because you could discern the repeated pattern in the cobblestones. The consequence was he carved every one of the more then 10,000 stones in his "cobblestone base plate". What scares me is that he carved them in less then two days! He has an amazing eye, and put out there a superior product! If you ever have any need for 25-28mm scale terrain, check out my facebook fan page.

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