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.
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 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 man (S) wants to come in. "We've had reports of vampires again!"
No Jack Skellington (S) lurking amongst the tombstones:
"Um, no, there are definitely no nuns fighting off zombies rising from the grave."
They seem to have it under control.
Thank goodness, the town's nun defense is bolstered by these two: