When I was writing The Merchant of Dreams I bought two Playmobil pirate ships and a bunch of figures to help me plan a small sea battle and the climactic land battle. It was so helpful that I did the same for The Prince of Lies, winning a vintage castle and a bunch more figures on ebay. Not all my recent purchases have been vintage, however; when I was in Hamleys (the famous toyshop in London), I spotted a black-haired, bestubbled medieval dude who struck me as the spitting image of one Mal Catlyn!
Of course I had to buy him so that I could use him in my plans, and it was only a short step from there to a flash of inspiration: maybe I could recreate the Night’s Masque book covers with Playmobil…
I duly hunted down a female figure that could stand in for Coby (a “highwaywoman” from ebay), and set to work. I apologise in advance for my indifferent image-manipulation skills, but I’m still rather proud of the results. So, without any more ado, here they are (click on an image to see it full size):
Obviously I was somewhat limited by the figures, as their arms don’t bend, but my castle pieces came in very handy as backdrop.
Now I just have to work out what the hell I’m going to do with this big box of pirates, knights, musketeers and other characters. I suppose I could write them into my new book…?
Postscript: I later spoke to Larry Rostant, my cover artist, and he thought my Playmobil versions were great! 😀