[Freebuild] Notomys: Fish tales...

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The build: Anton's Bait Shop




The story:


Anton was something of a fixture in the sleepy hamlet of Notomys. The burly and gregarious fisherman was always ready with a tall tale or a free filet for a family in need. While his Bait Shop sold supplies – hooks and bait, smoked fish and seafood – many villagers stopped by more for entertainment. There was that story of Anton riding a manta ray right up the estuary; his claim to have caught a gorgeous naiad with his lucky lure (actually a rather furious were-beaver); or the yarn about how he drunk some visiting dwarves under the table – and what a low table it was!


When the Drow incursions into Avalonia reached the Enchanted Forest, Anton was one of many local men lining up for the Notomys’ militia. It was a mixed-race contingent, reflecting the diverse population of the village and its surrounds: men and wood elves, jerboans and were-beasts, even the odd local orc. Unsurprisingly, the militia operated in a somewhat chaotic fashion but it did enough to harass and harry the Drow and buy enough time for support to arrive from a unit of fleet-footed elven stag cavalry.

Sadly, while Anton returned from the war, he did not survive it.

Shot in the leg by a poisoned Drow arrow, Anton was carried home by one of his fellow militia, a weathered grent known as Rimurapa. The unlikely pair had bonded when Anton shared a few, stumbling words of greeting in the old Druidic tongue with the tree-man. The fisherman had learned the phrase from his wife, a wood carver and devotee of the old ways, until she passed on after the birth of their second child, Gorki.

Anton spent his final week with his children, Sofia and Gorki, retelling familiar stories. Most stories ended with a rip-snorting punchline, but they also contained wisdom and nuggets of fishing knowledge – where the fattest trout liked to sun themselves on winter days or the best bait for catching the rare, blue woolly eel. In truth, he needn’t have worried: although still a young woman, Sofia was a natural at crafting traps and snares that even the wariest crustaceans were draw to. Gorki was still merely a boy, but Anton knew the village would help raise him into a man.

Still, fathers were fathers. Anton’s final words were directed not at his children but at Rimu:

“Promise me, you’ll watch over my kin. Promise!”

Rimu promised.

Grent ways were mysterious, even to those that had lived among the forest folk for centuries. Anton couldn’t have known he would be taken literally by the grent with Rimu sinking his roots deep into the soft silty soil behind the fishing shack, going to seed.


Years passed from that sad day and still Rimu stood tall, watching over the grave of the father and his dear children. Seasonally, the grent’s limbs bore juicy purple plums while edible mushrooms sprouted from his trunk. Between this and Sofia’s seafood catch, the orphaned siblings not only survived but were able to set aside a little coin. Sofia bought chickens – the lucky birds were allowed to shelter inside the shack when storms struck – grew a veggie patch with some gifts from the market gardener and even mended the leaky roof.

The Notomys villagers did their part, too, by continuing to support Anton’s Bait Shop. Now, though, the roles were reversed: it was the villagers sharing their favourite story of the gregarious fisherman or supplying a free meal to a family in need.


Build notes:


This build and story was inspired by two of the characters from my CMF entry, Sofia and Gorki.

Build-wise, I wanted the building to have no square angles given it is meant to be a poor family. I was pretty happy with that, except when it came to the roof. I really struggled to get something that worked with the odd angles so eventually went for this pretty simple building style. I think it looks okay, but included a reference to fixing the roof in the story as a nod to this! I intend the stickered panel around the back to be a wood carving by the children's mother.

It is tricky to see but the inside includes hammock bunk beds using a net. This is built into the wall and doubles as a drying rack around the back of the house, with the fish and herbs. I was really happy with how this came together! I removed the top mattress in the below picture and you can see the bottom level is crates, then the animal skin blanket and then another blanket goes in the top.


I've been wanting to use that large Groot torso for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go.


I also had some fun with two side builds. As a bonus here is Anton going for a ride on the manta. I used another net to get the more flowing water angles. I found this pretty hard to photograph though, so here are a couple of options (day-ride and night-ride!) :wacko:


Some additional photos on Flickr. If I'm honest, I quite like this little build but don't think I have captured it well in photos. You'll see I used a light box for some photos but it was too small to get a nice pic of the whole model. I was happy to try out a few new techniques in this build like the net water, mixel balls for the tree-man, and the hammock bed.

C&C welcome and appreciated.

Edited by Eyrezer

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This is a neat MOC, has kind of a LEGO set vibe with those bright colors!  It's cool that you're showing us more of your CMFs... I've kept a couple of mine with that in mind, but who knows when I'll ever get around to it (I mean, I haven't even got around to posting the figs yet :laugh: ). 

The net water is super cool, but it doesn't really show well, sadly.  It's definitely cool that you went the extra mile and did a couple extra builds to present this story though. :thumbup:

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Thanks @Kai NRG. As I’m new to GOH, my CMF are my only characters so far. I’m also keen to get my settlement to official “hamlet” status so I’m going to focus there for a bit laying the seeds for a story to develop. 😊

I came to the conclusion that a couple more nets worth of water would be needed to get the up-and-down undulations of waves, but I don’t have that many in my collection! Maybe in the future…

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Whst a great story. You are really good on the storytelling part!

The build is full of details and npu.

I like that you have built a few extra scenes.


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Well done!  I usually discourage two tone backgrounds, but in your case, using the carpet as a sea works.  Amusing take on Anton's bait shop.  I like the use of the shark mini as a caught shark.  Some of the later close up shots are actually more appealing than the overall, possibly because of the point of view (eye level shots tend to be more spectacular although they are less helpful to the builder for determining how something was built).  The wall is particularly good, especially with the spilling bucket!  I like the depth implied in the water through the use of dark plates underneath the trans light blue, and the anchor tattoo sticks out here.  Kudos to getting some interior into that house!  The groot character is seamlessly integrated into the tree, although the tree is a bit chaotic.  It might need to be that way to disguise the groot character, though, I don't know.  I think you did a good job with the roof and it fits into the little build quite nicely.  I also love the side builds.  The story is well done, and I look forward to reading more!  I like how you take the time to read guild lore and incorporate it into your story and builds.

Oh, and thanks for the elven stag cavalry shout out!

Edited by Grover

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Thanks @Grover, the comments on the photography in particular are helpful. I’m facing a similar issue with my Ancient Wonders build in that I don’t have a large enough space for a “clean” pic. I might try an outdoors pic, which I’ve seen others use well.

Yes the side builds were fun. You can’t quite make it out but the initial pic of Anton fishing uses a woman’s hairpiece only for it to become the were-beast in the second. I plan to keep the groot tree so may have a go at improving it. The model joints enable more natural curves but do mean it’s quite bulky…

The stag cavalry too cool not to see re-emerge 😁

Thanks @LordDan. The grent Kawa now has his own build too for my small build in the ancient wonders category. Another large tree-man features too!

Thanks @mrcp6d! Me too! It wasn’t actually part of the initial concept of the fisherman’s hut but when I thought to add a tree it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. That idea then influenced the story significantly as I’m sure you can imagine.

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Great story and wonderful MOCs to accompany it.  The roof pattern is a nice technique and the many irregular plates form a believable shoreline.

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