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People Profile – Keith Field Model Maker

Hidden away, in the loft of a double garage in Betchworth, lie glimpses of Middle Earth – the fantasy world of J.R.R Tolkien, described in his books ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

Back in 1994, Keith Field made a promise to act as Godparent on behalf of his friends’ son, David, and set him an example of good Christian living. Little did he realise it would involve over 14 years of creating miniature scenic models for David’s Hobbit Strategy Game figures!

Keith’s love of model-making began early in life. At the age of four, he had developed acute bronchial asthma, which eventually resulted in his attendance at school totalling a low of 30%. When Keith wasn’t in school -which was most of the time- he spent his time cooped up at home or in bed. Since he was naturally unable to participate in sporting activities and outdoor games, he gravitated towards creative pursuits he could enjoy indoors, such as: playing the piano, drawing, and arts and crafts.

Enrolling at the age of nine, Keith spent nearly two years at a home for asthmatics on the Isle of Wight. His class teacher, Mrs Vine, sought to encourage his creative spirit further. Every Wednesday afternoon, she brought out a large box, full of what we would now call ‘recyclable rubbish’, for the children to enjoy a junk modelling session in which they were
allowed to use rubbish to create ‘works of art’.

When David began to show an interest in Games Workshop’s Hobbit figures, Keith was only too happy to help him create some realistic scenes for David to display them in.

Since the age of 8, David, now 22, has developed and meticulously painted an impressive collection of figures, from the huge mumakil, to whole armies of orcs, goblins, elves, rangers, hobbits, and dwarves. Using Keith’s living-room in Cranleigh as a makeshift workshop, the pair enjoy working together to create some of the most beloved places from Tolkien’s mythical Middle Earth. Keith still loves the excitement and challenge that sculpting these mythical habitats brings. Typical materials include: builders’ off-cuts, house-hold rubbish, and DIY and artist’s materials.

Through the modeller’s eye, sheets of insulation board and powdered filler can be carved into rock faces, transparent sealant becomes waterfalls, multicore cable and builders’ caulk become trees, sheets of foam board become fortress battlements, and a piece of braid makes a carved wooden barge board.
In 2014, David and Keith were delighted to win the Gold Medal for their ‘Barrels out of Bond’ white-water river in the Epsom Games Workshop’s ‘Armies on Parade’ competition. Their current project is the “meeting of the White Council in Rivendell”. Through the creation of each model, the duo are still learning new skills and techniques.

Most of their models have never been publically displayed, but they have planned a first ever ‘Model Showcase’ on 9th April at The Reading Room of Buckland Church near Reigate.

This showcase will provide a unique opportunity for others to view their meticulous models, and ask questions about the process behind their construction. In doing this, the pair want to raise funds to support one charity working with Syrian refugees, led by two former teachers from Cranleigh School, who are providing a basic education for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, and “The United Soci- ety”, who are working in the refugee camps in the Diocese of Europe.

If you would like to see these models for yourself and support a worthwhile charity, see the full details below:

Tolkien’s Middle Earth Model Showcase
David Coslett and Keith Field

Featuring:

Scenic landscapes and buildings
Advice on painting model figures
Ideas for creating realistic scenery
Sat 9th April 2016 10.am-4.00pm
The Reading Room – St Mary the Virgin Church, Reigate Road, Buckland, Surrey RH3 7BB

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