For some unknown reason, I came over all ‘fairground’ today. An unfortunate symptom of this is having Simply Red’s Fairground in my head for the duration. Sigh. Did you know that was their only number one? You do now.
So anyway, I just decided to draw a fairground ride, and this beast caught my eye, not least for the fact that the flashy sign before it suggests it’s called Terminator, yet the scenery insists the name Imperator.
The reference I used for this was taken in daylight, and though the scenery and backdrop was probably more interesting, a fairground is at its best when the gaudy lights are on, no? So I tried to create a nighttime scene from it, using coloured ‘hard light’ blending over highlights. It was also a cheeky way of avoiding having to paint the scenery, which was a rather elaborate diorama that would have taken a year to do justice… so I just emphasised the disjointed moniker with some quick type.
It has a nostalgic value to it aswell. A version of this ride was central to our Pleasure Beach in the late 90s, where it was most definitely called Terminator. It’s similar to the now-common Top Spin attraction, except, as you can hopefully see in my drawing, the arms rotate independently, causing the gondola to move in all sorts of weird and wonderful directions. I was never brave enough to take on the Terminator, but I did enjoy watching the fools who did being flung head over heels, and screaming accordingly as they were thrown before the countenance of a giant Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Indeed, I was/still am a bit of a wuss when it comes to fairgrounds. I get the impression I’d probably enjoy some of these crazy contraptions, but it’s figuring out how to get me on them that’s the conundrum. As such, I tend to stick very much to the old faithfuls: the pirate ship, the waltzer, and most of all the dodgems – which I’m hoping to draw next.
All this ride talk is now making me want to play RollerCoaster Tycoon. Wasn’t that a glorious game… watching those hapless little guests wander onto your death-trap coasters, getting hopelessly lost in the most trivial of areas, and refusing to pay more than £1 for a go on your biggest rollercoaster?
Still, that little jump of glee – presumably for making it off the ride alive – before excitedly going in for a second go made it all worth it. Truly, one of the finest. If you haven’t played it, play it.