Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sphinx Head by Maja

When I went to Cold Wars, I had but one mission: bring back something Egyptian  for my five-year old daughter Maja.  She's been fascinated with ancient Egypt since we saw Mr Peabody and Sherman last year, so much so that's she's managed to wrangle out multiple books on the subject out of the school library that are easily at a fifth or sixth grade reading level.  

I was a bit disheartened by the dealer's hall.  The one dealer selling  Ospreys and magazines used to some interesting Egyptian baubles and bric-a-brac interspersed among the stock,  but that seemed replaced with military paraphernalia.  Nothing truly caught my eye until my last pass of the hall, in search of Zap-a-Gap or general superglue, I spotted a Sphinx head from Windsword Accessories. Between a $6 Sphinx head and a $4 Tomb Accessory Pack, I had a deliriously happy little girl on Sunday morning.

To up the ante, I gave her a challenge:  instead of painting another Michael's birdhouse or a small canvas on our painting night, she would paint the sphinx head all by herself, just like Daddy.  I would give her instruction, but she would do all the painting.  

One small obstruction in this plan was Maja's four year old sister, Millie.  Unless they are in separate counties, when one gets to paint, the other wants in.  Luckily, I had a Michael's jewelry box on the workbench for just such a special occasion.  

I had planned on making this a three night affair:  one for priming, one for base coat, and one for her first-ever attempt at dry brushing.   Throw in two separate stomach bugs, PTA meetings, and a Millie that wanted to paint each side of her box a different color on a different day, and it took over a week real-time. 

Night One:  Maja's first priming.  After having her prime it black, I found other blogs online that used a dark brown as the primer.  Night Two:  I had Maja paint the statue portion dark brown.  She did not question her father (yet).
After Night One:
After two nights of queasiness, Night Three was Drybrushing.  After three years of  Maja getting taught not to waste paint and to wash her brushes thoroughly, she looked at me like I had three heads as I asked her to wipe most of the paint off a piece of newspaper before she learned what a "flecking" motion was.    After only two or three passes, her expression changed from exasperation to exhilaration, "Daddy, I can see the face.  It's soooo cool!"
Night Three:  Drybrush with Americana Sand
After the first coat, she hit the Sphinx with a drybrush of Bleached Sand, and Daddy had to step in for one minor detail.   I have to admit I did drybrush the underside of the back of the headdress.  For some reason she kept completely missing it.  Perhaps I should cut her some slack until she's six.

Night Three:  Drybrush with Americana Bleached Sand
After another dose of stomach bugs and some overtime at work, we finally had some time to flock the base (tan fine railroad ballast).  Since we already had some glue-related fiascos earlier that week helping Maja with a school project, I decided to control the glue and let Maja do the flocking.

Brigade Gnomes surrounding one 25mm Foundry fig
Not bad for a five year old... heck, better than some of the terrain being toted around by middle aged men!  But I am a bit biased.

One word of warning about Windsword.  Their castings are made out of dental plaster and can be very fragile.    The girls were playing with the Tomb Accessories a bit rough and two pieces dropped on the floor. One disintegrated upon impact, but lucky for the mummy, only its legs broke off.  While handling the Sphinx, Maja put in down firmly on the table at one point and sheared off a sliver of the base.   Definitely not for most kids and I can't imagine they should be handled roughly over the course of game. In fact, the packaging does say, "Not for children under 8,"  and for display only.

Regardless of our little problems, Maja approves of the products, and can't wait till Daddy orders more.

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