One of the stalwarts of the local DBA community, who ran the tournament at Advance the Colors for a decade -- teaching dozens and dozens of new players the game -- is hardly a "local." Year in and year out, Dennis Frank drove 9 hours from New York to attend our Central Ohio convention. For many, his was the first DBA Tournament they ever played in. So, when he finally surrendered the ATC Tournament reins to John Lawitzke and John Loy, those two felt he should be honored in some way. They decided to commission a DBA camp for him, essentially presenting him with a gift certificate good for one "Mike Demana" DBA camp, which they would pay for. I contacted Dennis after the convention and he expressed an interest in a camp for the Ottoman Turk army he was building, even forwarding me some jpgs of paintings that showed Ottoman costume.
Since the recipient was truly deserving, I wanted to make this camp special. So, I decided to make a vignette of the general or vizier holding court underneath a semi-ruined Graeco-Roman shrine. I used a mixture of styrene and wood to create the shrine. The main slab is balsa wood, with progressively smaller layers of styrene plastic epoxied atop it. The lowest level of the roof is also styrene, with a chunk of foam core board atop, and a "Wood Shoppe Turnings" wooden half ball as a dome. The columns are the usual "Multi Grooved dowell pins" that I use for columns all the time. The whole surface was painted dark grey, then drybrushed lighter gray to bring out the highlights in the columns and give it the stone texture. The dome was then given a light sky blue drybrushing to simulate faded paint still clinging to its surface.
And the cushion (an "ottoman," of course!) that the big man is sitting upon? A fancy bead that had been slightly deformed so that it was shaped to slide between his legs. An important construction note: Don't glue the roof on until after you've completely finished the columns and the seated general -- it makes things much easier. The big man himself is a converted Essex Arab cavalryman. I cut the shield off with an X-acto knife, snipped the spear into a scroll being held aloft, and wedged the cushion between his legs. The two sets of Turkish guards are from their Old Glory Arab spearmen pack. The supplicant or prisoner being interrogated (Dennis' choice...we'll have to ask him) is an Essex praying monk.
I was VERY happy with how this camp turned out. I have to put it in my top five. There is drama, nicely painted miniatures, a cool scratch-buillt structure -- all the elements of a great camp. I'm happy that it is going to a great man, one that as I said earlier, has been a Rock in the DBA community for years...