Monday, December 20, 2010

A Peculiar Village

Warning: This village is not your standard Christmas village. It has dead things, nudity and violence. If you are offended by the thought of these, then please stop reading now.
However, if you are like me and L, and enjoy things like vampires, pimps and orcs, then please read on and enjoy our village!

We spent many hours painting ALL of the people, monsters and animals that you see here - it took years. We paint figures as we roll them randomly (um, did I mention I'm a geek?), so sometimes a good village figure will come up - and then he/she/it is added to the village populace. The figures this year range from nearly 30 years old (L painted them as a kid) to only a couple of months old (this is my last figure I painted).

Figures are identified with an "S" or an "L" below to show who painted them.

We place the village on top of the TV cabinet. This gives us a nice big surface with an extra level from the centre channel speaker. We've tried doing cotton batting snow (the figures wouldn't stand properly) and sprinkling that white plastic stuff (too messy), and now we just ignore the base. It's a crisp winter day, just suspend your disbelief.

We start with the left side of the village, the business district: It consists of the Bakery and the Town Hall. I bought these two crappy buildings years ago, but I like the size of them and the scale, so until I find better, I'm keeping these.

First up is the Bakery!It's got stone walls separating it, a lampost and a nice little sculptured tree. Our villagers are: the aqua lady (S), the baker (S), a lady with a wreath on her head (S) and a man walking by with the sack of mail from the mailbox (L).

In front of the bakery is the main road - our version of the three kings are coming into town. Of course, they are all from the Orient:This king looks like he's in danger of being toppled out of his nice little carry-car by his two flunkies (S, all). The two beggars (L, both) have set up shop here on Elm Street (could there be a...nightmare... in store?). The kneeling beggar is modelled after Eddie Murphy's character in the movie "Trading Places." The donkey (L) and guy carrying the treasure chest (L) bring up the rear.

Ahead of that king is this envoy: The horse, chest and corpulent gentleman (S) are all one unit. The yellow king (S) is modelled after the sultan in "Aladdin" - I copied his colours (and yes, I have a Jafar, but haven't painted him yet).

The last king is actually this queen (that's for you, Wendy!): She's a hot mama with a pretty green dress slit up to there (S), and a handsome consort for doing the heavy lifting (S), and a bunch of camels and henchmen carrying her stuff (L, all).

The three kings all walk by the town square (you can tell it's the town square because there's a clock), which has a bit of a spectacle going on: Woo hoo! The circus performers are in town! There's a lady with tiger (S), a sword swallower (S), an acrobat (S), a strong man (S), and a juggler with flaming batons (S). A gypsy man (S) is watching them - he doesn't seem terribly impressed.

Maybe that's because he's checking out the drama going on outside the Town Hall! What could those ladies (S, both) on the right be running away from?

It's the Mayor, in his snazzy blue coat and red cape (S), hanging out at the mailbox (UK style!). But who's that watching him in the background by the edge of the stone wall? And who is the Mayor talking to under that lampost? The lady in green is none other than - *gasp* - the Mayor's wife (L)! Uh-oh, he's going to be in some trouble... That lady in yellow looks like she's saying, "Oh, now, I don't want any part of this." That's because she's a respectable lady, just out for a day's bread shopping at the bakery...too bad she had to walk by...

Maiden Lane! The Mayor is talking to one of Maiden Lane's chief exports - a prostitute (S)! Oh, she may be a classy-looking gal, but those ladies know a hooker when they see one. No wonder the Mayor's wife looks so pissed.

I guess "going to drop off the mail" has a different meaning in this town.

And right outside of Town Hall. It's like he wanted to be caught. There are a few folks visiting the very ancient thatched roof building today: The gent on the left (S) is obviously a beaurocrat (pasty, dark suit), and the somewhat eccentric gentleman in purple with white feathers (L) has seemingly posed a very ponderous question. Meanwhile, the fellow in teal (S) appears to be requesting a favour from the Department of Weights and Measures (the lady (S) is holding a set of calipers).

But wait, what's going on in Maiden Lane? Something foul is afoot...some evil lurks in the trees at the end of the lane... "Run, everyone, it's a vampire!" says the lady in the ragged bloody dress (L), as her hooker friend has a chunk ripped out of her neck by a filthy bloodsucker (L).

"A vampire?" thinks the floozy in the off-the-shoulder blouse (S), "I thought the nuns chased them all away."

"Hey!" she yells to her friend in the black hot pants (L), "Tell that pink-hatted pimp (S) we need more protection down the lane. A vamp got another one!"The pimp eyes his fang-faced bouncer (S), who's copping a bum-grab from the blonde tart (S): The main enforcer (S) is keeping an eye on the busty wench (S) who's busy hustling up some business from Johnny Big Hand (S). You know what they say about a man with big hands: he's got big...pockets!

That's an especially saucy wench - cover your eyes, kids, it's a nipple! And a lascivious wink!

Next to the action going on in Maiden Lane is naturally the Village Inn - hey! There's Santa (L) on the chimney! The Inn gets gold lamposts and a nice shrubbery (niiii!), and an outdoor seating area for those wanting to have their pub food al fresco.

Looking down from above, we have on the right our blonde waitress in the mint green (S), and our brunette in the red at the back (S), balancing her serving tray.Our customers are the fellow tipping back his bottle of ale (I hope it wasn't lanted)(L), and the classy lady with her fancy drinking horn (S). Our balding bartender (S) polishes out a glass and keeps an eye on things. Two tables (S, both) groan with an abundant assortment of food, including bread, cheese and a bowl of fruit. Some joker has carved his name on the lower one..."Mulligan" (looks like he ran out of room).

Right outside the Inn, a pale gentleman in a striped frock coat (L) is accosted by another beggar (L) and his dog (L):But it's Christmas, so you know he'll give the beggar some change to go have dinner at the Inn, while Mr. Stripey Coat follows the sounds of music and merriment at the gazebo! We have dancers on the left, a gazebo full of musicians in the centre (and with a hawk (L) on the roof), and carollers on the right.

The dancers are kickin' it old school: We've got blondie in the puffy shirt (L) giving the pale black-haired woman in the jeans (S) as twirl. And the gal in the swooshy pink dress (S) is spinning to her own tune. There's a lady with a tamborine (L) keeping rhythm in the back.

We also have this guy in the grey jacket (L) dancing with the chick in the purple mini-skirt (S):That couple on the right are really cutting a rug.

She's a belly dancer (S) and he's actually Tom Bombadil from our "Lord of the Rings" display:Note his jaunty "boots of yellow."

Another belly dancer (S) is doing her thing on the other side of the gazebo:
There are a few "joiner" musicians who aren't in the gazebo band, like the harpist in the background (L), shown on the right here:

There's another harpist (S) on the left side - it's not a very big gazebo.

There's a fellow in a blue musketeer hat (L) playing a mandolin on the left. In the gazebo, we have, starting from the back/left: a skeleton drummer (L), an chaos drummer (L), an orc drummer (L), three more mandolin players (L, all), and our two featured soloists:

Skeleton Randy Rhoads, on polka dot guitar (L), and:
Skeleton Ian Anderson ("I'm not dead yet!") on flute (L).


When will modellers get the hands/grip right on flutes? This drives me nuts, seriously.


Another aspiring musician, Joey Bagpipes (L) gets told where to go by this orc drummer (L): No one appreciates bagpipes at a dance, dude.


Next to the (admittedly giant) park bench are the carollers, chosen for the village because they're all holding books.
The lady in the cream robes (L) is timidly singing along as our hippie guy in the yellow (S) booms away. He's one of those "loud singers", you know the ones. The lady in the purple (S) is actually a self-portrait from my heavier days.
A dashing gentleman (with a harp on his back) (L) has paused to sing along, but his lady-friend (L) is distracted by a commotion over yonder at the church.
The church and its graveyard are on the edge of town, in a more heavily forested and generally creepy region. Naturally. The gypsy woman on the left (S) sees a man talking to one of the nuns.

The man (S) wants to come in. "We've had reports of vampires again!"
Mother Superior (L) looks on as the nun tells the concerned citizen to take off. "Nothing to see here!"

No Jack Skellington (S) lurking amongst the tombstones:
Jack previously shown here.

"Um, no, there are definitely no nuns fighting off zombies rising from the grave."
Nuns are all by L, zombies and the tombstone with skulls at the base are S.
"Get back or I'll slice your head off, you rotting bag of bones!"

They seem to have it under control.

Up on the hill behind the church (disbelief being suspended, this is a hill), the moon rises:
All is quiet in the forest...or is it?

In the old graveyard, a Van Helsing type (L) wards off the seductive advances of a vampire siren (L): The fence looks to be in bad shape! How will we hold back the creatures of the night?

Like the wolf (S):
Or the owl (L):
Or the bobcat (L) on the left? Or...what the heck is that behind the fence, at the base of the moon?

Aieeeeeee! Run!
It's a zombie werewolf waving a skeleton (S)!

Thank goodness, the town's nun defense is bolstered by these two:
The blacksmith (S) and the wood chopper (L). And let's not forget their pet weasel (L) and racoon (L) (on the far left). They'll keep everything safe, I'm sure.

And yet...far out on the edge of town, not really even part of the village, another terror awaits at....
The covered bridge! Oh no! That lovely lady on the horse is about to get pumpkined!
"You brute! Don't you throw that pumpkin at me!"
"I must ride to the village and warn them!"
Uh-oh, looks like she's got to get past one more pumpkin head!

* * * * * * * * *

Erm, okay, so we get a little carried away with the figures and the stories, but it's all in fun. Hope you enjoyed your visit!

27 comments:

  1. "Especially Saucy Wench" is the name of my next blog.

    Cool village. Very cool.

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  2. Very creative! Now, you need to write this story! Happy holidays to you.

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  3. Hi, I followed you over from Trystan's blog and I just wanted to say that this is possibly the most brilliant holiday season themed miniature village I've ever seen! Love it! :D

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  4. Apologies for not posting earlier, but I've been thoroughly enjoying your Christmas/Christmas related posts. You are the best!

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  5. I read the whole thing, and what imaginations you have! sounds like this has been a long time in the making~enjoy your holidays~Paula

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  6. Incredible- thinking it took lots of time to put this together - much less paint them

    love the busty wench and randy the skeleton

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  7. Wow, you guys have painted a lot of figures. I love your stories. Do you change it up each year? And have another story in mind? Too fun!

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  8. Hilarious! Love it. I've gotten as far as hanging a wreath.

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  9. You guys are so warped- I love it. Why don't you live by me???? We could play with your toys over cocktails....

    Just sayin'....

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  10. This is unbelievable... I loved it even before I saw the king-queen. Queen-king?

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  11. Love it! So creative and interesting. Once again, you cement your reputation as the coolest blogger around.

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  12. OMG Now THAT was entertaining. If I were a visiter to your home I could spend ages peaking around that village! Heee
    You ARE working on your own graphic novel riiight?
    ( I've been lurking for ages, just thought I'd pop in and wish you a Merry Christmas!)

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  13. This is great! We are kind of gamer geeks too and think that any village such as this should definitely include more interesting characters than what's in the standard Xtian mythology.

    For the record, we don't decorate (and aren't even remotely believers either, not that you have to be to decorate/enjoy the holidays!), but my mom used to put up a crèche display that came with a piece of smooth/flat white felt that had glitter on its surface for "snow." Maybe you could find or make something like that? The white would help make your figures pop visually of course.

    So fun, thanks for the great post!

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  14. nuns fighting zombies in the graveyard -

    it's the
    !!! BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!!!

    (stop, you're killing me...)

    merry merry! pet the cat! steph

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  15. Hi Sheila, Love the skeletons, I am a Day of the Dead freak!

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  16. Cynthia, that's awesome - "An Especially Saucy Wench" is a great name for a blog. Thanks!

    Terri, thanks! I did just write it! Merry Christmas!

    Trystan, I thought you would like this. :)

    Hi, Sarah, thanks for posting! Glad you liked the village!

    No worries, Rad - I haven't been around much either. Thank you so much!

    Thanks for reading it all, Paula! We've been doing the village for about 10 years - it's constantly evolving.

    Thanks, Alecia! It takes about an hour to put the village together. Those are my faves too!

    Alison, yup, this is only a small portion of our figs (we have over 4,000). We change the configuration of the village every year (as we get new pieces/figs), but it's usually the same little mini stories. We only added the church and graveyard a few years ago, so that side of it is pretty new.

    Thanks, Freeda. Hey, whatever works for you.

    Thanks, 'Doll! Ha, we don't actually let people touch the figs - they are pretty fragile.

    Thanks, Megan!

    Wendy, thanks! Let's just say "king" and not qualify it - it's obvious she's in charge. :)

    Thanks, Shy! Aw, that's sweet.

    Thanks, Susan - we do encourage visitors to check it out (usually with one of us narrating the story). Nah, but that would be fun! Merry Christmas and thank you so much for reading and commenting!

    Thanks, Someone! We like to incorporate the stuff that's meaningful to us. Thanks for the suggestion - I remember that stuff! I wonder if they still make it? The figs won't stand on anything much thicker than paper.

    Steph, thanks! Ha! Kitty appreciates the pets, thank you.

    Thanks, Kristen! I revel in my dorkitude.

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  17. Hilarious!
    I would not even BEGIN to know where to get a prostitute action figure...
    Awesome.

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  18. OK. I took the time to read the comments, too - so found the answer to my question: How many figurines do you have? Answer: Over 4000!

    Just amazing. Merry Christmas, get well, Happy Blog Break!

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  19. I'm late to the party on this one, but I have to chime in & say this really made me smile. Actually I think I might be in love with you. Okay, no, sorry, no, didn't mean to be creepy there. This is just so hilarious, nerdy, non-conformist, etc., that it makes me wigh I thought of it myself, and it has me planning my own odd christmas village for next year.

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  20. Argh, sorry - I called you nerdy in my comment without clarifying that I always mean "nerdy" as a high compliment. My favourite people in the world are the nerdiest people I know. I hope I didn't offend, Sheila.

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  21. Thanks, Rita! The prostitutes came in a pack with the pimps, naturally.

    Rebecca, yup, it's a lot! Merry Christmas to you, thank you!

    Aw, thanks, Karen! I'd love to see your own weird and wonderful village. :) And pfft! there's nothing to be sorry about - I love being a nerd! :) No offense at all, hon.

    Thanks, Kelly!

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  22. AMAZING! I think my fav parts are the shrubbery (niiii) and "I'm not dead yet!!!" It's all so very creative.

    - Tessa

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  23. Thanks, Tessa! I'm glad you got the jokes - you must be a Monty Python fan!

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Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think! I try to respond to every one, so please check back!

Cheers,
Sheila