- for those of you already familiar with this place, it needs no introduction: for those of you who don't know, it needs this introduction (those who read Pratchett can go 'yeah, I knew that already', and add +2 to their die roll next time they have to check for smugness):
Great A'Tuin the Turtle comes, swimming slowly through the interstellar gulf, hydrogen frost on his ponderous limbs, his huge and ancient shell pocked with meteor craters. Through sea-sized eyes that are crusted with rheum and asteroid dust He stares fixedly at the Destination.
In a brain bigger than a city, with geological slowness, He thinks only of the Weight.
Most of the Weight is of course accounted for by Berilia, Tubul, Great T'Phon and Jerakeen, the four giant elephants upon whose broad and star-tanned shoulders the disc of the World rests, garlanded by the long waterfall at its vast circumference and domed by the baby-blue vault of Heaven."
Terry Pratchett, 'The Colour of Magic'
- anyway, this is a reeeeeally old model, and I think you can tell - anyway I needed a big something-or-other as a centrepiece for my diploma show at the time and couldn't really think of anything, when big brother suggested this as an idea - I'd never read the books at that point, but the notion was a good 'un so I went with it, and then read the book later when I wasn't so tied up in getting the whole finishing-college thing done;
anyway, after all the hullaballoo and whatnot, the model ended up in the attic gradually going manky, until it just so happened that a certain Mr. Pratchett was doing a book-signing at the posh new bookshop in the near city: my mum got wind and promptly rung up the shop to ask if they wanted a nifty window-display - yes they did, ta very much, and could they have it by the end of the morning- instant panic, as I knew for sure that at least one of the flippers had all but cracked off, and the thing needed several other repairs doing besides - and also I'd never quite had time to finish it to the state I would've wished what with the rush to get it done on time for the diploma show and all - so I had to do all that in the space of the next four or five hours after my mum rang and told me this bit of news.
As it turned out, a bit of mad dashing around and gluing stuff and things to the piece made some degree of the intended improvement - you can just about see that the model on the right matches the description a little closer, I basically gave the thing some aging so it looked like it had gone through a few eons on its travels - and fortunately the various glues and resins had all just about dried by the time we had to shift it to the shop.
- had a bit of a chat with Mr. P after he'd had a long afternoon's signaturising (got a signed copy of 'Interesting Times', too), a very genial chap - and he decided he wanted to buy the thing off me right there and then, was that okay? - hmm, let me think.
Anyhoo, the pic on the right is a photo from The Guardian newspaper, an article about the author from about ten years or so ago I think - unfortunately with him taking the thing right there and then at the shop I never did get the chance to get a good photo of the updated version of the model, ho hum. The model isn't that big, by the way, they've either stuck it right up front near the camera, or done a bit of that superimposing stuff they're so fond of.
...latest 'news' is that - possibly - meself and several other people reckon we saw it on the made-for-Sky-broadcasting programme/film of Hogfather, the model 'seen' very briefly in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene in the front of a toy-shop window display - I'll have to write a letter to the grand fellow himself and see if we were just imagining things...
- anyway: milliput (as per usual), fibreglass, resin, perspex, papier-mache, polystyrene foam, car body-filler, latex, plaster, glass, and the kitchen sink...
The Discworld and any other books, characters, etc. mentioned in connection with it are the copyright property of the author Terry Pratchett.
p.s. apologies for the shameless name-dropping - and for waffling on for about half an hour: probably discover now that my description is waaay too long to fit in the box.
- quick edit - got my hands on The Hogfather DVD now, so I've dashed off a few screencaps of the model in its in-movie
appearance - if you wanna, go see it on my Terry Pratchett's Discworld page.
The b/w photo is taken from the Daily Telegraph, Saturday April 15th 1995, an article entitled 'On a planet just outside Salisbury'. Photo by Jack Daniels.