I was first exposed to fantasy fiction when I lived in Kuwait, with the limited library the school had having a single copy of Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis. This opened my eyes to the fact that there was a whole World of fiction out there that catered to a young boy who was more interested in the fantastical than the mundane.
When we returned to the UK, my uncle lent me with his battered paperback copy of The Lord of the Rings, advising that I should read it, so I did, reading it under the covers when I probably should have been going to sleep.
I have recently reconnected with my uncle, as for many years, influenced by my mother’s opinion of him, I only sent birthday and Christmas cards. However, whilst my uncle is quite outspoken with his views, he is not as black as my mother painted him and as we share similar sensibilities, so I reached out and have been corresponding with him ever since.
Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with hobby stuff, but I shall explain. Since 1969 (the year of my birth) my uncle has styled himself as Adrian, Lord of Menadine, with all his letters bearing the legend O. L. A. S., which stands for ‘On Lord Adrian’s Service’. This persona of his is a warrior king, lord of the trees and has appeared in paintings (as he is an artist) accompanied by elves and dwarves, as I believe that Menadine exists, at least in my mind, somewhere in Middle Earth.
Now, due to my hobby leanings, I thought that it would be nice to create a custom miniature of Adrian, Lord of Menadine and send it to him, so suggested this to him. He liked the idea and decided to send me some reference pictures from his years as the Lord of Menadine, as he has accumulated various items of apparel and weaponry to realise this persona of his.
(I also remember seeing black and white pictures of him dressed as a Cavalier, complete with basket-hilt Claymore, taken at Hampton Court. Not because he was part of the staff, but because he wanted pictures taken with the appropriate backdrop for his costume. I guess that at the time, tourists would have assumed he was part of the experience, as this was long before you’d regularly see Anime characters on the London Underground, heading for Comicon…)
So, having got the necessary reference pictures, including one showing the emblem of Menadine, a phoenix rising from the flames, I searched through my figures to see if I could find a suitable donor figure and chose this:
I first cut off the wings, like so…
Then I reshaped the helmet to make it less fussy and removed the sticker from the kite shield, so as to give a blank canvas for my attempt at recreating the emblem of Menadine. The figure was removed from the base, a drawing pin fixed underneath and the base covered in fine sand to give it some texture. Once this was dry, the figure was then reattached to the base, with the spike of the pin going up inside his right leg.
I then got out out my paints and started to add some colour;
Whilst I was painting for a while, as I had to wait in between coats for the figure to dry, other figures got a lick of paint too, with all my Chainrasp Wraiths being undercoated and some additional work done on my Action Man inspired figures – which I failed to take an pictures of…
As I’ve not been active hobby-wise for a while, I’d forgotten how cathartic sitting quietly and painting can actually be, so hopefully I’ll be a little more active going forward.
And before anyone suggests it (I’m looking at you, Keith), the reason I haven’t been active on here isn’t because I’ve been sojourning on Barsoom, as evidenced by my lack of tan. I have been chronicling Alexander Crowe’s attempts to prevent reality being overwritten in the novel I’m attempting to write, which I mentioned back in this post. It’s currently sitting at 127 pages, which is the longest continuous narrative I’ve managed, and as I have yet to suffer writer’s block, should continue until it’s done.
Of course, having spent so long with these characters, I now want to know what happens to them after this tale is done, so a sequel may be in the offing.
And this was in the face of someone saying to me recently “There’s no point in you trying to write a book, as you’re not as good as you think you are and you’re too old to get published.”
Given that this person has NOT actually read a single word I’ve ever written AND that everyone who has read it so far has both enjoyed it and wants to know what happens next, I think we can safely disregard their opinion.
Right, that’s all for this time. Next time more Lord of Menadine, hopefully with some of the reference photos, so we can see how close I’ve got to the real thing…