Friday 29 March 2024

Another shoot for Hornby: The Collector

Obviously I (Ben) will go into excruciating detail about this on the model making blog, focusing on the miniatures work.  But the short version is; another 'what-if' project, repaints of the Hornby/Lionel "Hogwarts Express" set, and the production of a fake advertising campaign for the models.

The sets as they come, usually available second-hand or on clearance at very low prices.

Repaints underway (including the Thomas the Tank Engine sets).  Spray paint after masking details, then some finer painting with Citadel acrylics.  But like I say, I'll go into detail about the models work, this is more about the shoots.

I tried doing some shoots outdoors (because of how many models I had to shoot, I wanted to stay close to home), but I was limited with angles.  The lighting wasn't great either.

So instead, it was back indoors for an improvised studio shoot.  White backgrounds, to produce catalogue-type shots...

...such as this...

...and this, a little photo-shoppery to deliberately copy the style of vintage Hornby catalogues.

Like so.

Then it was out with the trusty backdrop boards and hanging basket liner.

Some Britains figures too, and plastic trees, as set dressing.

I wanted to do a fake train set box too; feeling the effects of a grim, horrible winter and missing the seaside, the plan was for a holiday-themed set.  This was a plan that went all the way back to the earliest plans for the project, drawn up whilst on holiday in Minehead, sat on the platform of the heritage station right on the promenade.

Artwork drawn up for the box, done with markers.

Box artwork.

Done, printed out to size, cut-out, and glued to the box.

I had another unusual shoot to do; with the idea of having a kid-friendly junior starter set, I was lacking for a suitable location.  

Luckily the library where we do scouting had a kids corner, and I improvised some set dressing.  The beachball is one we use for games with the younger section, the teddy was taken along for doing "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" with them that evening, the plastic horses were out the charity bag in the car (Younger Child now being a super-cool grown up nearly-teenager who doesn't need the kid stuff), and the cuddly husky is mine (because I'm not a super-cool nearly-teenager, really like that husky, and it's appeared in about 2-dozen projects since Uni).

I thought I'd do another outdoor shoot right at the end of the project, but the weather was appalling, with random downpours between the sun.  I tried to make some use of the somewhat-neglected garden line.

In the end though I didn't use these photographs, I'd managed enough from the other shoots.

So that was that; a really fun project, doing a 'what-if' job, and it was enjoyable doing all these fake catalogues, posters, and so on.


Friday 22 March 2024

York Station by night.

Having been to the Aesthetica Art Prize open evening in York, we were off for the train back to Poppleton (park and ride from the station, considerably cheaper than the parking in the city centre, without having to worry about the stupidly early times the 'official' park and ride stops running.

There's something really nice about a station in the dark, especially once rush hour has been done with.  I (Ben) used to travel a lot in the evening for the cheap fares, and would often try and arrive an hour or so in advance of my train at Carlisle, just to take in the atmosphere.

Nothing too interesting, trains-wise, just units.

Quite liked the colours and yellow lights around the station.

Thought we'd do some monochrome shots too.

An hour or so of pottering around, and it was time for the train home.

A quite nice evening, spoiled only by the fact that -without us noticing- Poppleton car park had gone pay and display (app only, of course) and we were fined from within ten minutes of parking, having missed the sign angled away from the car park, but hey-ho.  Don't want to encourage people to use the train to travel to York, better to rely on the buses (which stop running by 8pm).  Better just stick to the car then...  Quite ironic, being a railway enthusiast who finds the actual act of travelling by train to be a pain in the posterior.


Monday 18 March 2024

Beach Litter; open-call exhibition, Ashford

Another exhibition on at the moment, where Amy is showing some of her work from an ongoing project documenting litter on British beaches.

One of our regular haunts in Wales is Criccieth, where the beach tends to attract litter.  There's a dedicated effort to clear it, but the combination of on-shore currents, and littering tourists in the summer, means it ends up with a fair bit of waste.  Last summer, we took a walk to get some pics (whilst clearing what we safely could... we were a bit more prepared when we did Scarborough a few months back, taking gloves and some proper waste bags).

It's a big project which Amy is dipping in and out of, whenever we're somewhere suitable...

...and through the excellent Curatorspace website, she spotted an open call for a group show, which it would be suitable to show with.

An interesting feature was that the show featured work exhibited using old CD cases (a good way of re-using another source of plastic waste).

Pictures from their insta feed; being based in West Yorkshire, a trip to Ashford to see the show wasn't going to be on the cards sadly, but Amy is very grateful to have been included.

Details of the show:

Always nice to be in an exhibition; Amy has some more work on display imminently with our friends at Cupola Contemporary Art in Sheffield, hopefully more on that in a future post.


Friday 15 March 2024

York Art Gallery; Longlisted in the Aesthetica Exhibition

Today on the blog; a trip to York Art Gallery in late-Feb, to see some of Amy's work long-listed, and on display, as part of the Aesthetica Art Prize 2024.

See? :)

We dressed up fancy, and went to the invite-only evening do.  Been a while since we've had a chance to attend an opening night, even though we've done a fair few exhibitions the last couple of years.  Most of the shows we've been in with have been too far to easily travel to, combined with the Day Jobs we do.  There were drinkies, speeches, and the chance to stroll around the impressive ceramics displays (of great interest to Amy, a ceramist in her own right).

On the Chaise Longue (chaise longue, chaise longue- sorry, we've been listening to Wet Leg a lot lately).

One of the pics in the show, where the art world gets to see my (Ben's) hairy legs, in this shot from the Chair Project which keeps on giving, having come back around to being popular again apparently.

There were 10 finalists with some very impressive and varied work, the majority of people were clustered around the tellies to see their long-listed work, which also demonstrated a lot of variety in theme and media.  

It was an international call, but even with a lot of artists based overseas there were many people there looking for their own pics.

Back outside, and the impressive music and lights show was on again, we stayed to watch another run through of it.

York itself was very pretty by night.

And then it was off to the station for the train out, where we managed some more photography around the station whilst waiting for our connection (of which more in the next post).