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.

The Idiocy of Modern EnterNewsment Broadcasts...

Well I have to apologize to my three readers out there, I have been swamped at home.

Rant of the day:

There is a "news" story going around that has so inflamed me that I have stopped watching those broadcasts altogether. On each of the big three networks, they opted to cover this non-story about a small town religious leader who has elected to burn (Nazi style) holy texts from another organized religion.

Now on the surface I support his right to burn these books, but I have to shake my head in disbelief that he would want to. In my humble opinion, this is a publicity stunt to raise monies by exploiting the emotional overreaction of the small minded. The fact that this moron can get on television for espousing bigoted concepts wrapped in faithful communication with his god is downright appalling to me. This is not news, this is emotional terrorism and hate speak. The best thing would be for this guy to not get another second of coverage from any media outlet!

I am equally horrified that our political leaders even give this guy any credibility by weighing in. Hillary Clinton props this guy up every time she comments on how poorly conceived his motivations are. And I heard General Petreaus voicing his concerns that this action will endanger the troops stationed in the Middle East. What a laughable statement! How about being moved into operational readiness in Afganistan and Iraq? I think putting them there is what places them in harm's way!

How can we, the United States of America, melting pot of the world, place of tolerance, continue if we fail to be balanced and moderate in our understanding of other languages, cultures, religious views, and customs? Now it is my belief, that America is in general a Centrist ideal based nation. So I also believe that extremists in any form will always be in the minority, but we cannot give that minority an unbalancing amount of leverage to move their agenda.

An Update:
Recently released on Der Spiegel, this same Florida moron was booted out of Germany by his previous congregation! Some members are still in therapy trying to rehabilitate from the "spiritual abuse" they suffered at his hands!