Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Entry #11 to AHPC: 'An Alpine Duet' - Italian Wars Swiss Alphorn


It was a bit of a scramble for me this week, but I've come up with a vignette that I've been wanting to do since I began my Italian Wars project a few years ago: a Swiss alphorn player calling out to his reisläufer camarades. 

A very unique instrument, the alphorn has its roots extending back to antiquity, with theories believing that it originated with the lituus war horn from the Etruscan period.  Early medieval alpine myths frequently refer to the horn being used as a signalling device between mountain villages, while the first documented reference of the word 'alphorn' is in a 1527 account book of a Cistercian abby, where an alphorn player was paid two Batzen for his playing (or perhaps to stop).



So with this in mind, I've extrapolated that if the alphorn was a fairly common instrument amongst the Swiss from at least the early medieval period, one could conjecture that they would have used them in their military campaigns, for signalling purposes and, like the highland pipes, to raise the morale of their fighting men.






As there are no alphorn figures in the market (a shocking oversight, I know) I made my own by bisecting the torso of a Perry Swiss musician, removed his existing instrument, and reposed him (aided with a liberal amount of wire and green stuff) to accept his 10 foot alphorn.  



The alphorn itself was made from a length of plastic rod with greenstuff wrapped around it and then sanded to shape.



For a bit of fun, I've accompanied the alphornist in a somewhat mismatched duet with a Landsknecht flautist, while a few onlookers are taking in the concert, enjoying a refreshment. 

Take it away!





Song: 'Heart of Cairo' (2013)

Artist: Eliana Burki

18 comments:

  1. That's fantastic Curt! Great original fun idea (...now I want to do one!) - and really well converted and posed.
    Simon.

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    1. Thanks very much Simon. It was great fun to put together, though it makes me want to have a fondue now... :)

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  2. thats utterly barking - in a wonderful way - great creation

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    1. Thanks Dave. It is The Year of the Dog so barking is good. :)

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  3. You’re aware you‘ve just found a way to adress the most glaring gap in the miniature market today? I‘m utterly sure in no time we‘ll see hordes of Alphornbläser on every gaming table around the world!
    Great entry Curt and as ever I‘m absolutely taken by your creativity.

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    1. I know, I know, I currently have my legal team working on patents on this. The phone is ringing constantly from vendors... ;P

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  4. Awesome addition to the collection. cheers

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  5. That is superb Curt, very inventive and unique! Perhaps there should be special morale rules to accompany it!

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    1. Thanks very much Oli. Haha, yes that would be a fun touch. I was thinking of using it as an entry marker for games that feature Swiss reinforcements. I'll have to find an appropriate sound file to play it from my iPad when they come on. :)

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  6. Curt, that vignette is, from conception to execution, absolutely brilliant. Even the flocking on the base is fun to look at.

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    1. Very kind of you Matthew, I'm delighted you like it. :)

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