Sunday, April 21, 2013

"St. James Infirmary"

With the timely release of Eureka Miniatures Jazz Band, I put together a little display piece as a gift for my Dad's 84th Birthday.
The video below will show all of the pictures set to music or you can just scroll down and click on just those you wish to see enlarged.

The figures are nicely cast and well sculpted. I primed everything but the piano white and added paint on top of that, then inked them and etc.

The lovely ensemble worn by Bessie Smith was "painted" with ink only with a bit of ink/white paint mix.

The paints were a mix of Army Painter and Vallejo. The inks were from Vallejo.

The figures represent the following greats of the Jazz Age:

Trumpet - Louis Armstrong (holding instrument and singing)

Clarinet - Johnny Dodds

Trombone - Kid Ory

Piano - Jelly Roll Morton

Drums - Baby Dodds

Double Bass – John Lindsay

Banjo (six strings) - Johnny St Cyr

Singer - Bessie Smith

However I "converted" Jelly Roll into Earl Hines by straightening his hair and slicking it back.

Mind you it is impossible to tell at viewing distance!

The backdrop for the piece is the floor of TVAG's excellent Mean Sets Night Club.

>I simply cut out the parquet dance floor and stuck the rest to a mirror to give the piece some depth.

Love the set and one day hope to actually build the night club but that is a ways off yet given the figures lined up on my painting table.

So here are a few shots of it almost complete in the shadow box.

My friend Patrick Wilson, aka The Virtual Armchair General offered a few quite good suggestions.

One was to add a brass plate to the piece.

It says, surprisingly enough given the title of this post, "St. JamesInfirmary"

Another suggestion was to insert a voice chip that could play the song. However I left it to too late and could only find 10 second chips which I found unsuitable.

However a nice double CD of Louis Armstrong music, including "St. James Inirmary" was included in the gift box.

Dad seemed to really enjoy the gift.

Hope you have enjoyed reading about it.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. What a wonderful gift, beautifully done.

  2. Oh this is just beautiful! You've put so much into the work and I'm sure that it will be appreciated.

    I'm a jazz drummer of 30 years and I really respect this work.

  3. Fantastic gift. Pretty cool.

  4. Thanks all.

    Great figures and highly recommended!

  5. That's a really nice gift, and great work!

  6. Wow, that looks fantastic.

    A very special gift.