Tag Archives: Fairbanks Alaska

Thirty.

WordPress is very happy to inform me that this is my thirtieth post, I’m not sure why that’s special. They just seem to like inventing and then celebrating milestones, yay! I was going to talk about painting an iron golem, but it’s 30th post time so I’ll start with something else, I’m still going to talk about the golem but he’ll be farther down the page, just jump down to the pictures.

When I turned thirty the world had turned upside-down. I had been working that summer as a Scenic Design instructor at the Fairbanks Summer Fine Arts Camp, back when they still had a big theatre program. Fairbanks gets ridiculously hot (104 degrees+) so I ate a great deal of ice cream at a place called Hot LIcks-which was totally awesome-sauce! They made all of their own ice cream and had some amazingly good flavors like Alaska Blueberry and Prudhoe Mud-slide (extra double-chocolate) and they were a life-saver to me as I’m a serious heat weenie (it’s the ice in the blood).

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My then girlfriend and now wife…sounds weird to write it that way, feels like we’ve always been married 🙂 … came to visit me at the camp and I got to show her around to places like Hot Licks and a spot where the pipeline passed close by the city and there was a little park there, I guess for viewing the pipeline, although there isn’t really anything to see…it’s just a big pipe.

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However, when I took my later to be wife there I was overcome with the urge to propose, apparently pipelines are inherently romantic to theatre technicians, but didn’t, because I’m a technician and I analyze everything to make certain of teh consequences. She did sense that surge of excitement in me though and quizzed me about years later, she had guessed correctly what was on my mind, but waited for me to say it, but that didn’t happen for eight more months. She went home and I thought it over and decided it was the right course for my future, but then I got a phone call about my uncle Hans. I say uncle but actually he was no relation, my family kind of adopted him when they met him out in the Aleutians before I was born. Hans was a German immigrant who grew up in post WW2 Germany and had fantastic stories of being knocked out at a bread riot…by a loaf of bread, German bread is much harder than American cake bread. Anyway, Hans kind of raised me when I came along. My Dad and I never really connected, he wasn’t a bad guy, just busy, and tired, then sick for a long time before he passed away almost 14 years ago. He was a great guy, I just didn’t really know him. Hans was a huge determining factor in who I am today though and before I turned thirty, before I got married, before I had my children he died quite painfully in the hospital. The phone call I received in Fairbanks was that Hans was extremely ill in Homer and was going to be moved to Providence in Anchorage, which was good because small town hospitals are the death for serious illnesses, and he was seriously ill. Hans had been sick for quite some time it turned out, but hadn’t been telling anybody about it. He had also been a hardcore alcoholic his whole life and had managed to wreck most of his body internal body functions, but you wouldn’t know it as he always seemed so robust, unlike my dad who always seemed tired. I finished my summer contract and got back into Anchorage just in time to see Hans and talk with him for the few days before he passed. He gave me some money at the hospital to go buy him some socks as he claimed the doctors had stolen his so he couldn’t get away. A few days later he slipped into a coma and died. And I turned thirty. He did leave me a great deal of money, which was an immense surprise, so I was able to pay off my student loans, which left me free of debt and in a position to look forward in life, instead of always backwards at the mountain of debt I’d been carrying. Hans loved kids, I wish he’d gotten to meet and play with mine.

Thirty.

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Hey look, a bronze golem!

I was working away on him, close to being done, and noticed the cracks on the back of his kilt and thought they were an odd choice. I looked in the Reaper online mins catalog and it turns out he’s a stone golem…well, whatever. For this fella I painted him black and then hit his body parts with a dark bronze metallic paint, then dry-brushed a copper metallic paint on top of that as I thought that process would add more luster and depth to the metallics.

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I also washed him with a chestnut ink to see what that would do, seems to have made him shinier.

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A bit of leather for his armbands and belt andlots of white brushing so his kilt would be bright.

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Then some sand for his base, still not quite happy with my desert sand basing, I think I need to brush in some better highlights on the sand bits.

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Next up, some muscle-bound dudes and Superfly go toe to toe to toe. 🙂