Monday, March 8, 2010
End of Term Terminators: The Book Wardens
I mentioned in yesterday’s WIP that it’s the end of the Winter Term here at University, and to celebrate that fine event, we’re going to be looking at Terminators for the entire week, but not just any Terminators. These are Academic Terminators. These first two of five stand out to me as both utterly fitting and strange.
Let me back up one moment. This week we are going to reach into the bag a bit to dig out the first plastic Terminators that I ever painted. These were mashed together for a local competition celebrating the release of the new plastic kit, which must have been at least 6 years ago now, correct? More? It feels like a lifetime ago considering the store was in Randhurst mall -a mall that was mercifully leveled this past summer. Times are tough. (I believe that they will be replacing it with a “lifestyle center,” but I’m not really sure I know what that means –nothing good certainly). Anyway, the entire mall is rubble now. Keep that in mind when you read tomorrow’s post about the idea that inspired this peculiar chapter… (!)
I wanted to push my boundaries a bit for the competition, and so I folded these Terminators into a small but ambitious army of SM that I was working on at the time. To be candid, that army is mostly quite forgettable, but these Terminators stand out in the bunch for three reasons: one, they’re the first ones I painted; two, the color scheme was tangentially inspired by the Blood Angels –whom you may have been hearing about lately; and three, they are my first (admittedly misbegotten) attempt to string a strong narrative element through my models (again, there’ll be more on this final point as the week progresses).
Largely forgettable. I mentioned yesterday that I’ve always struggled with the color red, and these Terminators are precisely the kind that initially turned me away. Red always turns out either grotty or orange for me, and these most certainly fall on the side of grot. Perhaps it works for this theme, but it’s not an ideal situation when grotty was the only real possibility anyway.
We can see here some initial attempts to create strong narrative themes, particularly on the basing of the two Terminators pictured here. The gargoyle, for me anyway, stands out as appropriately Gothic and menacing –although I’d have a hard time explaining exactly why the gargoyle should be sitting upright on the floor. Perhaps that’s just how they do things in the darkest heart of the distant future. I’m not really sure. I wasn’t then, and I’m certainly not now.
The Terminator with the Chain fist also stands out for me as somehow pleasantly misguided. I think that I was hoping he’d appear to have just chopped his was through (what is all too clearly) the spool in front of him. While I like the rust and seediness of his surroundings, they certainly don’t lend themselves to the effect that I was hoping for. And about that spool, I distinctly remember finding these things at the Hobby Lobby and thinking, “hmm. That will come in handy some day.” As it turns out, I didn’t really have the patience to wait for the right moment, or even for a time when I could have worked with the material somewhat convincingly. Instead, I simply stuck the spool sideways on the base and hoped for the best…
So. The lesson here today: Narrative bases are good. Narrative bases without genuine thought or for-the-sake-of-it are not necessarily very good, and often quite bad.