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Model Mate

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  1. Some great work here. Nice to see all the ingredients coming together.
  2. From what I remember, builders’ sand or coarse sand, is pretty chunky, whereas play sand is the thinnest I think. I use tile grout for soil. It’s pretty fine and has the advantage of fixing with just a drop of water or diluted PVA. I’ve only used a light grey and added washes of water colour and oil paints after, but is available in a variety of colours. It might be a good “sand” for you possibly?
  3. Taking shape really quickly Marklo - good work!
  4. hey! The word is spreading! I'm estimatiing you'll need 1mm diameter (equal to about one inch at 1/24 scale).
  5. Thanks for the vote of confidence Graham. I'm far from a figure sculpting and painting expert myself, but the vehicle is going great, and I fear these two will let the side down. Still, plenty of time to go and re-evaluate. The practice is certainly worth doing though even of they do end up in the bin this time!
  6. Brilliant work - hard to believe this is 1/48! Great work with the hairy stick; particularly the figures.
  7. Once the green stuff had dried, I started slapping on the Fimo. This stuff is really nice to work with. It smooths and blends really easily using a simple set of sculpting tools; some bought and some home-made (pieces of copper wire bent and polished and mounted on handles. I started with the feet on the sitting figure. A dab of superglue was applied to the flat metal “feet” and little sausages of Fimo were stuck on. Once the glue had set, I started smearing the sausages into boot shapes. They ended up a bit “flat”, but I’ll stick soles and heels on after I’ve snipped the fella off his extended leg wires. I worked up the trousers to torso and arms. At first, I simply got the bulk of the material on, and set about adding the folds and creases afterwards. Pockets, belt and epaulettes were rolled out pretty thin and stuck on. After a session in the oven (half an hour at 110 degrees/gas mark ¼) I snipped his hand wires off. In retrospect, it’s probably better to cut these short before sculpting. I had left the shins bare and added strips of carpet tape to represent his puttees. I’d rather use masking tape, but don’t have any to hand at the moment. I was concerned that the exposed green stuff would melt, but I think the temperature is thankfully too low to be a problem. I trimmed and tidied up some of the Fimo parts using a scalpel – I thinned down the belt for instance. I cut a Hornet head and pair of hands off their sprues, trimmed the neck and wrists to length and superglued them on. They really do elevate the overall figure to a maybe-acceptable level. And so on to figure two – a standing gunner sporting a leather jerkin. Same process as for the sitting figure really with a really jolly head and a pair of rather limp-wristed hands. The right arm sleeve looks a bit short, so I’ll mould a green stuff sleeve extension later. I accidentally knocked his left thumb off – grrr. Maybe putting some tools in his hands will help hide this….. The jury’s out on these two – The leather jerkin is too thick, the pockets are too puffy and although the overall proportions seem to be ok, these aren’t the finest figures possible to say the least. I may end up biting the bullet and shelling out for the very nice Stalingrad tank crew set, or at least a couple of the figures from it, but it’s been a good exercise in practicing and improving my sculpting skills. I’m pleased to have discovered that 1/35 isn’t really that much more difficult than larger scales after all.
  8. Oh yes! right up my alley! I've considered this very project myself, though given the tiny size, I had planned to scale up to 1/16. Good luck, and I'll be following with great interest.
  9. Hi All, I’m left with a bit of a challenge at the moment – I’m selling my narrow boat and have already bought a new widebeam canal boat, but the two of them are at least three counties apart and to complicate matters, I’m spending at least half of my time at my girlfriend’s flat, somewhere between the two. As a result, my already somewhat itinerant modelmaking is spread even thinner and wider than usual with tools and materials scattered all over the South East of England, and I don’t have much time, or a reliable base to get really stuck in. Consequently, things may go a little quiet on my particular 1/35 Western Front…. To enable me to carry on in some productive manner with the scant spare time I’m going to have over the next few weeks/months, I had a good think about what I could more realistically achieve. And the answer is….. the figures! I haven’t really mentioned the crew yet, but many of the photos I have of a Mk1 gun carrier are of “Darlington” traversing the battlefield. Looking at these pictures a little more closely, they seem to follow a natural path, with a whole series being taken in a few minutes. The vehicle trundles across a field, over an embankment and drops onto the road. The various crew members can be seen in a variety of poses as she goes. The most obvious is the officer, sitting on the roof of the rear compartment, with his left hand resting on boxes and tarps. The gun appears to have three chaps sitting, leaning or standing around it, and there are clearly a couple of bods in the driving cabs. The Landships II site states that the gun carrier had a crew of 4 + 8 gunners, and in a few of the pictures, others can be seen observing or jogging alongside. I’ve decided to interpret this scene my own way, loosely based on the photos, but with a few dashes of artistic licence to make my life a little easier. For instance, I won’t plant anyone in the cabs – just trying to work out how to get the painted seats in place to allow the overall vehicle to be painted is tricky enough. Trying to mask around a pair of seated figures is just too much to take on! So, let’s do a google for 1/35 WW1 guncarrier crew at rest….. Hmm, nothing popping up….. Guess I’ll have to scratchbuild again – doh! I did a bit of figure scratchbuilding a while ago: …but that was 1/12 scale – 1/35 could offer some fresh challenges, the first of which is the heads and hands. Now I had fun doing 1/12, and even dared to sculpt the heads, but there’s no way I’d be able to get anything remotely resembling a realistic head at 1/35, so Hornet it is. I bought some helmeted and capped heads and all the hands they make. They are beautiful. They appeared a bit cartoonish looking to me on the website photos, but the reality is fantastically animated and characterful faces that I’m hoping will draw attention away from my own efforts on the bodies. I have a nicely contained kit for sculpting which all packs into a relatively compact hobby box. The top tray has a variety of sculpting tools, corks and metal foil and the base holds pliers, wire and the sculpting materials – milliput, green stuff and Fimo oven-bake clay. This lot is hopefully small enough for me to drag around my various abodes for the meantime. I started off, naturally, by twisting up some armatures from 1.0mm copper wire (stripped from electrical mains cabling). To get the size and proportion, I mapped the arms, legs and so on against a Tamiya German tank crew member in a suitably neutral pose. These two chappies got scratched up with the toothed jaws of the pliers and doused in superglue to offer a key and then some green stuff plopped on their hips and chests. The tape strips are there to describe the extent of their legs/feet. And talking of feet, I did consider getting some 1/35 boots, but the prices (and I suspect the quality) were a bit variable on the 3D print market. I found that boots weren’t too tricky in 1/12, as long as you have a reliable “footprint” to work from, so I traced around good old Jerry’s tootsies and cut some soles from wine-top foil. These might end up being a bit too floppy, but we’ll see. If need be I can make some stiffer versions from thicker foil. Plastic might seem to be the obvious way to do these rather than metal, but remember that these fellas will need some sessions in the oven. Once the feet were superglued on, I started to form the arms and legs using a touch more green stuff, keeping them very skinny – when the “clothes” go on, they won’t be to scale thickness of course, so having skinny limbs helps give a bit of wiggle room. Green stuff works well for the early stages as it’s naturally sticky and adheres pretty well to the wire and has a bit of plastic “give” unlike milliput. There’s not too much worry about it melting in the oven, as it will be entirely covered by Fimo before it goes into the furnace. As I had a small ball of green stuff left over, I bulked out their torsos a bit too. And that’s where I’ve got to so far. They look a bit daft at the moment, but the proportions seem reasonably natural, so that’s a good start. I’ll make two more chaps to fill up the carrier and aim to pose it on the raised bank as per the photos above. Cheers for now!
  10. Absolutely superb on every level and in all respects. Brilliant work.
  11. nice work! those figures look really convincing and very nicely painted.
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