At the time when I did this post back in July 2017 I didn’t think I would get quite so involved in WW1 themed figures and little dioramas. I went on to produce my own timeline all of which will be revealed in future Memory Monday posts. I also didn’t appreciate how much I would deviate from the Old West genre which had pretty much dominated my work up to that point. How times change!
28mm WW1 Diorama (No: 1)
Although most of my models follow an “Old West” theme I do occasionally deviate from the genre. Sometimes I do so because a model or figure comes along which simply takes my fancy but sometimes there are other reasons for doing so which is the case in this instance. I shall explain.
Modelling for many of us who are interested in the hobby is often a solitary affair; a great thing to do on a wet and rainy day, of which there are far too many in England. Whilst I am happy to spend hours indulging in my pastime I am if I am being honest more extrovert than introvert and decided I need to engage more with the wider community. To this end I made the decision to a) create a blog and b) find a nearby modelling club and join it.
The blog is doing OK despite my lack of computer know how and I am aware it takes a while to get these things up and running. I’m also aware that this is a niche area so I’m not anticipating a life style change anytime soon! I do now have a couple of followers, you know who you are and I am both flattered and grateful for your comments, thank you. So, objective number 1 is in hand.
So on to objective number 2 and its relevance to the diorama featured in this post. I managed to track down a club in Plymouth and a few months ago went along to my my first meeting. They meet a couple of times a month with the second meeting being a club competition evening. There are about 19 members, most of whom I have now met and they are a friendly bunch. Modelling is a diverse subject made up of various genre’s many of which are represented by the club members. That said few of the members are figure painters so my work has brought something new to the club.
At this point I should perhaps explain to those who do not know that Plymouth is a Naval and Royal Marine city and I think this has influenced many of the clubs modellers who specialise is WW1 and WW2 military planes, ships and vehicles (I on the other hand am a Londoner a who wanted to be a Cowboy!) The club also holds its own annual Modelling Show in the City and for 2018 they aim to hold the event on the same day that the City holds its Armed Services Day. As next year will be the hundredth anniversary of the last year of the Great War 1914 – 1918 the club thought it would be a nice idea if everyone produced a model with a WW1 theme.
The images of the diorama below represent my contribution to next years model show. Military uniforms are not my speciality so apologise in advance for any inaccuracies. The model was fun to do but I don’t think the era will dominate my future work. Although having said that the idea of doing more diverse subjects has captured my imagination.
A final few comments on the club I joined. Firstly, I would encourage anyone who is not in a club to join one. It’s great fun engaging with fellow enthusiasts even if you aren’t into the same genre. Most, if not all, modelling skills and techniques are transferable and so much more can be learnt in this environment. Secondly, assuming this to be true of most clubs, there is a wider audience via the attendance and participation at other shows.
I went to my first show a few weeks ago and took along some of my own work to display. To be honest I was a little afraid of what people might think of my work but having had a lot of positive feedback at club nights, and competition nights in particular, I went along with a positive out look. It turned out to be a great day, met and spoke with a lot of new people, picked up some great tips and received a few accolades along the way. One chap even took photo’s at the event and put them onto a YouTube video. If anyone wants to check it out then search for “Helicopter Museum Model Show 2017” there is a part 1 (which features 7 images of my models which blew me away) and part 2.
Images of the diorama – in progress to completion – below, hope you like it.