Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My 10th and Last Entry to the Lead Painters' League - Belgian Refugees, August 1914


The final round of the 8th Lead Painters' League asked the participants for submissions focused on the Great War. With this in mind, I decided to once again draw upon a previous entry to the Challenge, this time a group of greyscale Belgian refugees. The only real change I made from the original composition (but an important one, I think) is my respectful nod to the haunting 'Little Girl in the Red Coat' from Spielberg's Schindler's List. These civilians are welcome additions to my WWI greyscale project.


It would not be an exaggeration to say that the plight of the refugee has existed as long as war itself. The terror of impeding violence, the disruption of livelihood, the dissolution of security and the mortal risk to loved ones - these are all things that are clearly seen on the face of every refugee no matter their religion, colour, nationality or time in history.

The German destruction of the Belgian city of Louvain in August of 1914 is noted for contributing to the world's condemnation of the Central Powers' cause and pursuit of war. For five consecutive days the city was indiscriminately burnt and looted. Its famous library, housing one of the largest and most impressive collection of ancient manuscripts, was burnt and destroyed, as was Louvain's university. The church of St. Pierre was also badly damaged by fire. The citizenry of Louvain were subject to rape, robbery and beatings, but the most tragic was the mass shootings of hundreds of innocents regardless of age or gender. As Sir Edward Grey solemnly remarked upon the outbreak of  hostilities that summer, 'The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.'






So in these images I have tried to compose a plausible scene that would occur during those first few weeks of 1914. Seen here is a column of Belgian refugees fleeing the German advance while their hastily raised countrymen march to the front to attempt to stem the tide. 

The civilian figures are mostly new castings from Brigade Models' excellent range of Great War Belgians. The old couple with the wheelbarrow and dog are from Kawe's Westfalia Miniatures (meant for the Napoleonic period, but I find that they work quite well 100 years later). The cobblestones are hand painted, both on the figures' bases and the nylon roadway (being too cheap and lazy to get proper cobbled bases/roads). The others are older models from my collection, mostly Great War Miniatures, Brigade Models and the Minerva armoured car is (I believe) from 1st Corps. The buildings are from Kobblestone Miniatures.

Gripes about its format/rules aside, the LPL has become a much anticipated event in my hobby calendar. With it falling just after the hustle and bustle of the Challenge, I find it's a great way to get some of my own stuff done while enjoying what other participants come up with during each week's match-up.


Next up: Paris (really, I promise)!

28 comments:

  1. This has to be a winner, such a wonderful piece of work Clint. I've thoroughly enjoyed watching your progress in this year's league although I felt you were unlucky with some of the match ups and robbed in others. That said the quality of your output remained consistently high and a treat to the eyes. Job well done Sir.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Michael. I find that you have to have fairly thick skin when you enter into these types of events. Though I was quite happy with most of my entries there were a few matches where I was simply outclassed by some very talented hobbyists. That being said there were times where I think the 'set dressing' overwhelmed the figures and may have skewed the results - who's to know. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun to be participant and I managed to get some work done.

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    2. Set dressing... Grrrr! That's why I won't enter the LPL. I have no issue with being up against talented painters who whip my backside. Photoshop experts is another thing altogether.

      Regardless your entries have been top quality mate and like Michael I've enjoyed every one. This has to be amongst the best though...

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    3. Thanks mon ami! I very much appreciate your kind words. Now that I'm back we'll have to get that ECW campaign started up again. Drop me a note when you can.

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  2. This set is an excellent piece of art. Awesome work, Curt!

    And for the league I followed every round very interestedly since there were some participants I know a bit. Your entries were really great stuff and I was pleased to vote for a lot of them. Though I'm a bit disappointed to see your score that lowly.

    I'm sorry about that but the important thing is that you enjoyed participating and it sounds like you did so.

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. Thanks very much Stefan! The League was great fun to be part of. If one can't roll with the punches then its not a good event to enter. I think I managed to claw my way up to 8th place but several unfortunate match-ups saw post-paid to that! :)

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  3. This stunned me when I saw it, amazing work and I always appreciate talented people that can pull this off.

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    1. Thanks styx, I'm delighted you liked it.

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  4. Your greysacale is always superb Curt!

    Christopher

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    1. Cheers Christopher, that is high praise coming from such a talented brushmeister as your good self!

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  5. I too was surprised at how low you were on the results table given the quality of your submissions.

    This piece was outstanding. I notice that Prof Witchheimer chose to use it as a header for the final results board. Surely that says a lot!

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    1. Ah well, yes. As I've mentioned above, one has to be able to take a lashing in these things. Many of my 'losses' were much deserved as the quality of the opposing work was superb.

      I was very pleased to have this submission chosen as the header for the final round - quite an honour amongst that crowd of hobbyists.

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  6. Amazing work dude. And your patience with the LPL is a credit to the stamina of your mind. I can't event stomach the web site...

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  7. These are great..you nailed it. I do think there a little to much set dressing on LPL , and actually a bit much fan boy as well at times , but I get what you mean about it being a driver to complete things.

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    1. Thanks Dave, I appreciate your comments.

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  8. Oh heck, that's powerful! Inclusion of the little girl moves this piece to the next level!

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    1. Thanks Scott - as you know with your own excellent work: the devil's in the details.

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  9. This is a really nice entry, Curt. Fantastic the little girl!!!

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  10. I've always been a fan of your grayscale work, and seeing your scene on the LPL was definitely one of the highlights. Using the league to motivate you to get the entries done leaves you the real winner here because you OWN these lovely models and the rest of us are suitably jealous. :-)

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    1. Hey Jason, thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, I find the League a great source of inspiration and motivation. It's a real boon as I find my productivity really drops off during the summer months so its good to end the winter with a surge of activity.

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  11. It's been a while since I visited. It's great to see you still doing the greyscale, and it's better than ever. (I love those guns/caissons.)

    Carmen

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    1. Thanks Carmen! It was your gangsters that started this little project for me so you have much to answer for. ;)

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