2019-06-14

Father Brown

The last two creations have been Japan-inspired, but this one has its sources on Victorian and also 1950s's Britain. Father Brown is a crime-solving Catholic priest who appeared in number of short stories by British author and philosopher G.K. Chesterton, and currently on a BBC series which combines the more philosophical content of the books to traditions of British countryside crime TV fiction. Both are worth of inquiring. In BBC series Father Brown is portrayed by Mark Williams, also known as Brian Williams (Rory's father) from Dr. Who and Arthur Weasley in Harry Potter films. I've actually built Arthur before, as part of my Iron Builder two years ago. It wasn't particularly inspired by movie content, as they've always been quite remote to me, but Williams is such a great actor and decent Arthur so why not; but I wasn't particularly building Mark Williams during the Iron Builder, but I was on this creation, back in February (I'm still catching myself up, badly). Mark Williams brings warm humanity, bright insight and occasional humour to Brown's character in a charming way. This creation is a way of paying homage to the subject of joy, in similar way than Circle project some time ago. 

Overall Father Brown felt like an easy job, as largest part of the build is the cassock, an angle-length-garment worn by the clergy. It is very simple piece of clothing and ultimately monochrome, so no details or rare colours were bothered. I simply tried to get the shapes right, with the belly sticking out a bit and the lower part broadening slightly; There are some studs visible, as tiling them would have made the garment blocky and jarring. The buttons are 1x1 round tiles to distinguish them from the studs. The back is built mostly sideways, and while the construction is simple, I'm happy how the shape came out. The neck is angled to capture the correct posture. I was told that it had a sort of sacral feel, so I guess I succeeded in it. The neck band is made using a cheese slope on mudguard; the mudguard piece felt somehow obvious for this use. The arms are simple and poseable, with round-plate-with-bar joint on the elbow and ball joint on the shoulder. Father is able to hold his umbrella in several ways. The shoes are usual type seen on several other characters.


The most interesting part was the head. I've built dozens of characters, and the beardless ones are always hard. With them the features are subtle; proportions of nose and eyes, nose shape, jaw lines... Father Brown has little round glasses, and Williams' eyes are quite deep behind them. 1x1 quarter round tiles are used to make the wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. At some point he looked almost exactly like professor of civil engineering at my university, and now he looks somewhat like my great-aunt; but I'm quite happy with it. A TECHNIC connector has been used to create the small round chin, and tan 2x2 jumpers on the sides give the head overall some roundness. The brimmed hat uses old large tyre as a band to hide connection to give it slight angle, and it is surprisingly sturdy, althought it took couple of versions to get it right.

I wanted to make Father Brown a little base, as the colours didn't stand out. I though some green made it more eye-catching overall. The final design has some Gothic architecture around it to associate the build with verdant yet historical English countryside. 

-Eero









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