I would have liked to share all of my test videos from Sunday, however I’ve met some technical complications that has so far prevented me from editing the test footage. So far I can share the first of the day. Overall I completed four tests, two using the original test videos projected in consecutive order. I found straight away the impact of the 15 model miniatures have greater impact than four. I did however find that I need to stick with exterior violence – that enacted outdoors, not indoors as I have mixed it up for the original test.
Below is the original test video with audio, I decided to not record audio so I could focus on the imagery.
The next test which I’ll be sharing will be the 2nd video projected onto the model miniatures.
It was a rather quick day in the studio. I’ve been adding a few more details to the remaining models whilst I finally got the paint out and made a start on priming them all. Just as I was finishing I realised that I missed off the cross on my church piece. It’s a very minor detail which i will consider adding or not as I don’t want it to delayed the next test.
Next time I’ll be going into full painting mode. I’m hoping to undertaking another test later next month or early April.
A day later than planned but without any more delay I’d like to share yesterdays events in the studio. It’s been back to operation “add detail” to most of the model bar two or three which are ready for the paint to be applied. It was all about the matchsticks creating the detail, with them being almost to exact size in some cases I have used them to create simple gestures that are completing these simple model miniatures. I know I say this a lot but I am really please with how things are going.
I might be getting out the paint next time as I make a start on some of the models, whilst a few need more work to them. It wont be much but will make all the difference.
After writing last weekend off due to the weather I have made a much-needed return to the studio again. I decided to call a halt to making any more model miniatures for now. Focusing on my now scaled down collection, adding some minor details to them all.
I began by adding the roofing to sides of the models, which I should more or less complete next time. I also turned to using match-sticks for the posts for a few of the pieces. I’ve discovered that these pieces will be harder to paint, I’m also amazed at how these little additions complete them even before paint is even added.
I’m looking forward to adding the last details before painting gets underway.
I think I’ve reached a point where too many more maybe too many to work with for the moment. I’ve made a further 5 pieces today in the studio increasing my total to 15. I might have to return to some old sketches or photographs for more including a general store then I think it’s time to stop, add more detail and paint them all white.
So onto today’s model miniatures, first a very simple livery stables, followed by an expanded jail. I then made two smaller models, both very similar apart from their roofs, one flat, the other traditionally raised. I finished off with a more complex hotel/saloon.
I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made in such a short time, It will slow down now as I add detail which is always a slow process before I paint and see what overall effect they have.
I’ve been waiting all week to get back in the studio, just to get my hands on the cardboard and my glue gun, all to make a few more models. Well I’ve done just that today, focusing on 4 more new pieces. I’ve decided the smaller I go, the less detail and shape to the model miniature as you just can’t achieve it. Looking at the pieces which had steps I have reduced them to one, the pillars are just a quarter of a section of ca cardboard tube. Still I am very pleased how small I can still maintain some level of detail. If I went much smaller it would be lost.
I was curious to see how all 10 pieces looked together, which is something I had been waiting for, as I want more to project against (when finished). I was reminded of the full-scale pieces immediately, whilst also very excited about what I’m going to get next time I project, I can move the kit in closer, or even change the angle. It was also interesting to see the models so small in one location instead of spread out on the floor, they’re confined to not even half a studio space. I should really take advantage of this discovery. Below are a few shots I took of the town from above, the first time I really could now they are so small.
Its been the first day of the new year to have been working with cardboard, and it felt good to return to my favorite material. With so much in the studio I’m spoiled for choice, for the first 5 model miniatures of the year I decided to use 1ply cardboard. This has allowed me to work fast on a small-scale.
So moving this work forward I want to see how the project I want to see how they work against more models. I’m thinking smaller as I am reaching the full-scale of the projector. Also seeing the violent images falling onto more objects should’ve a different effect. Today I have started to construct more models, beginning with the four originally scaled down to half the size so I can still add some gestural detail later on before painting. I have produced 5 today, including a new model based on one of my livery stables.
I’m hoping to make a good few more, taking my whole collection and making smaller versions of them which will be nice to see how they compare. Otherwise its been a full on day of making which I have missed, I’m looking forward to making more, adding the detail before painting them all white again.
I think I’ve carried out my initial tests now before I refine from the results from the two days in the studio. I know I’m getting somewhere, at the moment it looks like a possible installation – something I’ve not done before, having gone more sculptural that is easily transportable. This is a whole different piece. I’ll tell how I got there below, coming back into the studio today, wanting to get at least one more series of tests out of my system. This time involving my cowboy figures from my animation. I decided also to shoot in black and white this time, wanting to focus on the shadows that are created by the light onto the figures.
It didn’t take me long to want to add more figures, populating this test to create more shadows, in turn a bigger gun-fight on the street. I again became frustrated, as I was struggling to create long shadows that I thought would come rather easily to the test.
I knew this was down to the height of the lights which I use. Leading me to lay them flat on the floor, not making use of the legs that stabilise them. immediately I had better shadows.
I made good use of a new tripod I bought during the week that gave me a lower angle, lifting it off the ground by under and inch. I feel that I captured some classical images. Reminding me of the gunfight in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) which lead me to use the projector for the remainder of the tests. Leaving the figures in place I decided to see what happens.
Ultimately I found this test produced mixed results, as much as I had a fantastic scene which told me I was doing the right thing in terms of gunfight’s projected onto the model miniatures, the figures were lost, the light and image was lost to them, Leading me to remove them completely for the next test which also saw me reorganise the models which has far more impact.
From the final test I can see that its about the models capturing the violence which is found on the models, they are part of the models history, the filmic history of violence. So where do I go from here you might ask? I’m thinking that I should make more models, and build-up a collection of gunfights to work with. Maybe I’ll build up a montage that can be projected across a town – so is that a video piece or an installation? I’m not sure yet, all will come clear in the new year.
Laying the Tracks (2016) is part of a larger body that confronts the American Holocaust through play, utilising the non-pc plastic Cowboy and Indian figures that is loaded with negative a racist connotations, having been played with generations of children who are unaware of the history in their hands.Using these figures and the expanded play-set language a more honest history is played out. Using the colours of the figures to define nations they each play out events loosely based on 19th century history. Laying the Tracks looks at the intrusion of the Iron Horse on the Indian plains of America, Yellow Indians who have moved closer to the now much depleted Buffalo for a summer hunt.