Thursday 29 May 2014

A Tribute!


We all know that painting miniatures is therapeutic to most of us. It might not be to our spouses or the rest of the world, to us it is. Lately I've had two cases of needing to paint miniatures to get rid of some lasting impressions on my life. The first of these I'll showcase here today. 
Let's try and put this into perspective for you. I work as a teacher in history at a local High School, while teaching itself is great fun. a school is more then the sum of it's parts. Doing extra-curricular stuff is what makes the job worth while since you get to know co-workers and pupils at a totally different level. So when the music teachers at our school started drafting people for this year's musical I found myself mysteriously inducted into arranging the props and costumes as well as playing a few small parts in the actual play itself. The greatest part about the play is that it has been arranged and partly written by one of the music teachers himself. It's about a guy, Jan Claesen, who lived during the Dutch Revolt and had to flee from his home-town and listed with the Dutch army as a trumpeter. He later became a bit of a clownish figure in Dutch folklore and eventually became a figure used in a pretty much "Mr Punch and Judy"-like puppet play.

Usually when we have a show or something at school, I stay way clear of the stage, this time as said, I had to venture upon it. While terribly plagued by stage-fright I persevered and after the dress rehearsal I found I was actually enjoying myself... As it goes with these things afterwards I still had this musical in my system for ages and also wanted to do something in return for co-worker Jos, who had given me my first real taste of the theatre. So I decided to make him a figure vignette. Inspiration came from a figure he had used himself as basis for the cover of the script.


Finding a suitable figure was less easy but in the end I found Wallensteins Staff by Warlord Games to include a trumpeter with almost the same gear as the one in the picture. Jos had provided us with a digital script which had the picture in colour and the chap had mainly blue and white regimentals for wear so quite a nice colour-scheme.
The figure was based, painted and then came the next phase: the vignette missed a certain wow-factor so I painted the hind-quarter like it was the head-stone of the grave that is said to be Jan Claesen's last resting place. Coincidentally this head stone had been eroded so far that, precisely while we were rehearsing, the town of Andel, was going through a restoration process for the monument... 
To finish the thing off, I asked friend Mark to laser me a little plaque with some words of thanks for Jos and so here is the end result.

I get the impression Jos rather liked the little piece ;-)

And to finish off the narcissistic experience:

Me helping the lead player out during rehearsal

Me playing a drunk soldier

The grand finale

Cheers Sander

Listening to: The song is Jan Claesen the trumpeter (while the pictures are anachronistic the song is "original")