I have now completed my submission for the 3rd Annual FEMbruary Challenge! I posted on my FEMbruary figures recently and promised that I’d share something which ‘would complete the scene more fully’. Well, I went a little further than planned…
Entirely coincidentally, Catherine the first is the 2nd Russian empress called Catherine that I’ve painted for a FEMbruary challenge, Catherine the second (the Great) being painted back in 2018:
I had some real trouble with basing. At first, I just glued the figures to pennies with modelling clay as usual without thinking of what Catherine and the ladies of court might be standing on. Then I spent time, filing down the clay and adding some PVA glue to smooth the surface. Next I painted a tiled floor which looked great apart from being hopelessly uneven!
So I scrapped that and went back to the drawing board. I found some cheap HO scale mosaic card floors which I though might look the business in some kind of a stately garden.
Adding some hedges and flowers, the palace garden idea took shape. My Capability Brown talents in full flow, I made a gravel path alongside a hedge. Helpfully, my Strelets Roman Senate set also came with a roman statue which I added to my design. I wasn’t sure how to paint a marble statue but a little cream colouring with satin varnish seems to have worked well enough?
Aside from the statuary, there are the two court ladies I presented previously; one a lady glancing with a fan and the other patting her lap dog.
The other characters that I was planning to introduce are also from Strelets’ “Court and Army of Peter I” set. The Russian general is bending to kiss the hand of Empress Catherine, a fact correctly identified by a commentator on my last post.
There’s also some guards from the same set, veterans of the Great Northern War, which I’ve painted up to watch over her imperial highness. I know the early Strelets figures aren’t to everyone’s taste, but I do love the expressions on these guys.
Finally, you may have noticed the large house in the background. This is courtesy of Paperboys on Campaign 18th Century buildings book, which I had purchased recently anyway with a view to placing some of them on the wargaming table, their scale apparently being far more suitable to my 20mm figures than the 28mm they’re originally designed for.
The building is unfinished but I only needed the rear facing the garden. It’s far too small for any of the grand St. Petersburg palaces of course, but perhaps it will stand for a wing or even a little ‘out-building’ in the grounds of one?
And with that, like a genuflecting general, I bow graciously out of FEMbruary. Don’t forget to check out the other varied and fabulous work being created across the blogosphere for Alex at Leadballoony’s FEMbruary by checking out his original post here –
A sample of these glorious creations include;
- My old pal Imperial Rebel Orc’s predictably fabulous take on his three daughter’s kicking the decomposing butt of the zombie apocalypse – https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2020/02/19/when-the-dust-settles-fembruary-challenge-2020/
- Check out Wudugast’s astonishing range of some of the fantastical female models he’s painted over the years. – https://convertordie.wordpress.com/2020/02/06/fembruary-2020/
- Our budding Scout Master Mark at Man of Tin blog has been busy converting his boy scouts to girl scouts –
- And he also sends a Forces Sweetheart to entertain the Afrika Korps troops – https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/marlene-lilli-visits-the-lonely-nak-desert-troops-1941/