Since the last update, I’ve managed quite a bit of progress – the eider, mergansers and shoveler are all done, and I’ve also finished up a pink-eared duck with ducklings. This leaves two ducks for the whole display, and then I can move on with my life and paint something weird.

So, the eider, crested mergansers and shoveler, with water finished up:

I’m pretty happy with how the shoveler’s splashdown came out – it was sort of an extension of the splashing that I’d put on the torrent ducks’ base: bits of acetate attached with sculptable water, then coated with more (especially on the edges and corners) to make it more natural.

The pink-eared duck is a strange one, but what else would expect from an Australian bird? The name comes from the small, bright pink spots behind its eyes, which has to be unique among ducks. On top of this, they’re zebra-striped and, like the shoveler, have a massive shnoz. They also have really sturdy neck, almost like body builders. As I say, they’re weird. However, all the weirdness did make it pretty enjoyable. If anyone needs a duck for a fantasy scene, may I recommend the pink-eared duck.

I imagined it was in a sort of canal setting, or perhaps an old park. They’re apparently common even in urban areas in Australia, so it seemed appropriate. It also gave a nice opportunity to put the very pale ducklings against a relatively dark scene. Lots of the ducklings elsewhere in my collection are almost hidden, but these are less timid.

Finally, Martin has made the display base for the whole collection, which is pretty fantastic:


It’s a solid lump of plastic. The corner was chipped, so I’ve patched that with a bit of milliput. It’ll be sprayed black and varnished, so don’t worry about the garish blue.

Of course, now that it’s in my possession, I had to try it out – which also shows just how close I am to finishing up:


Caveat: This isn’t the actual order they’ll be laid out. I’ll need to decide the best way to display them and write that out so I don’t forget.

Needless to say, I’m quite excited to take them all to SMC, although I am a little concerned that the whole thing might take up quite a bit of space in a relatively cramped competition. Having said that, it’s only 20cm square, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I also won’t be gluing them to the display, so I guess I can always just cram them in together (although I dread to think of the potential damage as judges move things around and other contestants shuffle models to make space).

I’m also hoping there’s a wildlife category at the World Expo next year (there was at Stresa in 2014) because I think it’d be nice to see them surrounded by other works of the same type, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.

So, the last two ducks will be a musk duck (IT HAS A NECK SCROTUM) and a wigeon (because that has to be the silliest name for a duck I’ve ever heard), and then it’s finally time to move on…

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