Sunday, January 24, 2016

Entry #9 to the AHPC - Heidi & Hildegarde von Biguns and the Death Bell of Breugel-Bosch


I'm having a lot of fun with this Painting Challenge, ricocheting between different projects and enjoying working on a wide variety of figures. This time I return back to the Renaissance, or a perhaps a slightly skewed vision of the Renaissance.

This set of 28mm models is from Lead Adventure Miniatures. I'm a huge fan of most of their ranges and I really love the aesthetic of their Renaissance models. While they are certainly grounded within a historical context, these figures have a rather odd, very mannered, twist to them.  I've been so taken with them that I've collected a whole series of related miniatures that I hope to form into a distinct collection - but more on that later.

As soon as I saw this set advertised online I knew had to get it as it's just so whimsically dorky.  Depicted here is a 'crew' of a highly improvised artillery piece, a great town bell, 'The Death Bell'. We see that the bell is just about to be fired in the defense of their town of 'Breugel-Bosch'.

The leader is a rather formidable woman, dressed for the occasion in helmet, partial Landsknecht regalia and sword. She wields an improvised rammer made of an old broom stick and scullery brush. This is Hildegarde. She is overseeing her sister, Heidi, in the firing of the Death Bell. Heidi, as we can plainly see, is a little more of a reluctant soul than her brash sibling. Both sisters are trying very hard to ignore the sage advise of their cousin Henri, who lost both his legs as a gunner serving in the Italian Wars. He is seen here on his hand cart, bringing up more ammunition for the ladies.


While working on these castings I came to the conclusion that they deserved a little more pimping out. The stock bell came with a cavernous opening, but with nothing to put in it. I thought that this wouldn't do. It was just crying out for some deadly missile to be nestled inside, ready to be blasted out at their enemies. At first, I made a big cannonball with some greenstuff and popped that in to see how it looked. It was okay, but it still seemed rather, meh, a bit boring. 


Then I came upon the idea that these citizens would want to pack this thing with whatever they could find in town that could be considered lethal. I immediately thought of a blacksmith's anvil and laughed aloud. I rummaged around and, surprise, surprise, found one as part of a Napoleonic forge set from Westfalia Miniatures (sorry Kawe!). From there it was just a matter of trimming down the anvil and adding some other bits, such as a sword, spear, and a few polearms (donations from the town's armoury). Done! Now the gun has a load of improvised scattershot to wreak havoc amongst their foes!




I really liked the pillow as a recoil brake and made sure to give it a nice needlework pattern. I imagine that it's been donated to the cause by one of the town's worthy ladies - a noble sacrifice from her sitting room. 



For the groundwork I wanted to try something a little different. I really liked Sidney's cobblestone base which is featured in his latest theme entry. I didn't have anything like that handy, so I made a rather impressionistic version of a cobblestone road by gluing oblong shapes cut from an index card. Once dried I simply painted, drybrushed them up to look like flagstones, and then added some grass between the 'stones' (clipped-up tufts work well for this).








I've kept to an autumn theme again so that this 'HEAVY artillery unit' can fit in with my other Renaissance stuff.



So, there you have it. The Death Bell of Breugel-Bosch, crewed by Heidi & Hildegarde von Biguns (and helped by their cousin Henri).

Thanks for visiting folks and have a great week!

29 comments:

  1. Very inspirative painting work. The choice of colours is perfect, and the base, fantastic.

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    1. Thank you Juan! The source material had a lot to do with it. Great figures.

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  2. WooooooW!!! Fantasic! sooo realistic!

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    1. Thanks Michal, I'm delighted you like them.

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  3. Brilliant idea, and well executed work! Really charming to blend some fantasy into ITW.

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    1. The set is already pretty fantastical but I thought I'd riff with it a bit. Nothing like going a bit over the top. :)

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  4. That's a stunning model! Fantastic work :)

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  5. Very nice and so full of character.Great work, great post.

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  6. That is excellent... and it brought a smile to my face too!

    I also really like the 'size does matter' joint photo. :-D

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    1. Heh, I couldn't resist putting together that last shot. The debate will continue, no doubt, on 'length versus girth'... :)

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  7. A fabulous piece of whimsy Curt :)

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    1. Thanks Tamsin, it proved to be a nice little diversion from historicals, yet not firmly in the fantasy camp.

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  8. Curt, this is probably my favorite artillery piece ever. Not the casting, what you've done with it, the diorama, the mod, the painting, all of it. This is brilliant stuff.

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    1. Thanks very much Aaron, I'm really happy you like it!

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  9. Wow! Figures, painting and basing all a delightful vision.

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  10. I just loved this Curt, beautifully executed, but such great fun - another one on my highlights list.

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    1. Thanks Michael! It has a little bit of a wink to it to be sure.

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  11. That is some seriously amazing work there Curt!

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    1. Cheers Robert, I had a load of fun working on it.

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  12. Oh my ... that's crackers, but I love it! I particularly like the pillow and the embroidery - such a brilliant Renaissance touch. Add the assorted scrapings of the town armoury into the Death Bell is a work of genius. The whole thing does look very much like a Bruegel or Bosch mash-up - I can see huge giant egg-shells and enormous bubbles appearing for your next entry ;)

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    1. Thanks very much Sid. I'm happy you picked up on the town's name, very good! Yes, I sense a few more odd and disturbing denizens of 'Breugel-Bosch' capering forward in the future.

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  13. A very unusual stand but amazing well done.

    john

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  14. Excellent vignette!!Took me some time to discover this blog!!I have a lot to explore here!!
    Regards, George.

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    1. Thanks very much George! I hope you enjoy your visit. :)

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