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Larrey on the Eve of Battle


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Hi. I have been looking forward to this a lot.

 

Here is a figure I've had in the stash for some time.

 

210714a Larrey

 

This is Dominique Jean Larrey, Chief Surgeon of the Imperial Garde till 1815 and latterly the Chief Surgeon of the French Army after the restoration of the Bourbons. He is a bit of a hero of mine. He is regarded as the father of battle-surgery, inventing the ambulance and triage. He was a believer in early amputation. He was also a massive self-publicist. The figure, and the others below, is by Metal Modeles. It is quite an old figure and the eyes need a bit of work before starting painting, but as you can see he doesn't need much before painting.

 

I was going to pair him with this figure:

 

210714b Geographer

 

He is a geographic engineer, or, I think, surveyor. This uniform seems to have changed very little between 1804 and 1812. So, I thought about a little vignette of Larrey deciding where to put his field hospital before, maybe, the Battles of Essling or Wagram.

 

The geographer is a newer figure as are these two chaps who are Imperial Garde physician and pharmacist.

 

210714c Surgeon1 210714d Surgeon2

 

These were really the inspiration for the whole thing. They are presented as a physician and a pharmacist but they only need a change in their facing colour, to scarlet, to represent surgeons.

 

I thought they probably needed an escort to tramp about in Imperial Austria, and would like to have a straightforward, soldierly, type of figure also:

 

210714e Chasseur

 

Apart from improving the slightly aging sculpt of Larrey's eyes, and turning the head of the geographer to talk to Larrey, I wasn't planning to modify the figures at all.

 

I'm interested to see how many figures are appearing in this group build. I'm also a bit depressed by the selection of GBs so far for next year: hard to see the possibility of figures in many of them at all.

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Alan 

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Alan,

 

Great to see more figures, the skills required to paint them convincingly astound me and leave me full of admiration.

 

That's three figure builds so far in the GB which is very pleasing.

 

Welcome and good luck.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Alan,

 

great choice!

What scale are they in?

Are you going to use model paints or artist oils?

 

Have fun!

JR

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8 minutes ago, jean said:

Hi Alan,

 

great choice!

What scale are they in?

Are you going to use model paints or artist oils?

 

Have fun!

JR

 

Hello

 

Metal Models are usually 54mm, that is to say about 1/32.

 

Patrick

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Bonjour Patrick,

 

thanks for the info. That is my favorite scale, although the models displayed are light years better painted than I will ever achieve!

 

Cheers

 

JR

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Hello JR and Patrick.

 

I'm sorry: this question and reply completely passed me by.

 

As Patrick says, they are ostensibly 54mm although they're a faction over.

 

In terms of painting, Jean, both! That is, humbrol/revell enamel base coat and finished in oils. This is based on notes by Shep Paine in the Historex catalogue ~1976(?). I had tried oils before that, having borrowed my Dad's oil paints, with no success. Philip Stearns was a big proselyte for oils in his book of about that time but, as a first coat on airfix 54mm plastic, i can tell you that they were disastrous!

 

Alan

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On 7/15/2021 at 12:02 AM, Angus Tura said:

I'm also a bit depressed by the selection of GBs so far for next year: hard to see the possibility of figures in many of them at all.

 

Dont worry. Like many on here I build aeroplanes but at model show I love to look at the figures and dioramas which have some real interest in them.

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Thanks, Colin. JR: here is Larrey with a ruler:

 

210723 Larrey size

 

So, he's very close to 60mm, or 1/30.

 

As mentioned above I wasn't very happy with the eyes as sculpted.

 

210724a Larrey eyes unmodified

 

They're a bit too narrow and I think they're a bit too low on his face. So, I've shoved his upper lids up a bit using a Tamiya needle file, and then shaped them a bit with the same tool.

 

210724b Larrey eyes modified

 

I'm happier with them now: I think they'll be a bit easier to paint.

 

210728a Compared with Historex

 

This is the Metal Modeles head compared to the Historex portrait head for Larrey. I had thought, if I couldn't get his eyes better, that I might replace the whole face with the Historex one. I do think the original Metal Modeles one is better, however.

 

Turning the head of the geographer, to appear as if he's talking to Larrey, was a bit more of a trial. Here's the effect I wanted to end up with:

 

210731a Conversation umodified

 

So turning and tilting back the head is easy enough. But the collar is cast for him looking to his left:

 

210731b Collar problem

 

Here's the start of a fix being a brass rod to mark his spine in relation to his head:

 

210801a Solution 1

 

, and then the collar drilled out to let me thin out the cast collar so as to move it into the right place:

 

210801b Solution 2

 

That has involved losing the stock and bits of the collar, especially the top of it on his left. So, then followed a round of clingfilm, magic-sculp and carving to use the collar to mould a new neck:

 

210801c Solution 3 210801d Solution 4 210802a Solution 5

 

and then another round of the same using the neck to mould a new collar:

 

210805 Solution 6

 

Then he justed needed a new stock.

 

210806a Solution 7

 

So that's all of the modification I was intending to do.

 

Meantime I've been cleaning up the other figures and I should be able to start on the base this week.

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Alan

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Hello

 

Your step by step pictures are very interesting. I think the 54mm height is from feet to eyes so we are about at 56mm. Maybe Dominique Larrey was a tall man.

 

Patrick

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  • 1 month later...
3 minutes ago, JOCKNEY said:

Hi Alan

 

Any progress since we last heard from you ?

 

I have to say this picture below instantly reminded me of @jean standing outside his chateau in Zimbabwe  !

 

210723 Larrey size

 

Cheers Pat

Hi Pat,

 

these are my day-to-day working clothes. You should see my Sunday's best! 

 

JR

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Pat and Jean,

 

Thanks. I have been progressing this, Pat, albeit slowly. The Chasseur's carbine swivel comes moulded on and I've drilled it out and carved it back to look better. I think this might be just flash, but there is, or was, plenty of it:

 

210905a Carbine Swivel 1 210905b Carbine Swivel 2

 

I've assembled and filled all the figures. I wanted them all to be free standing on their bases which took a bit of time and then I wanted to cut back the bases to pose them together more easily. That made all of them unstable on their bases again, however. Here they all are, ready to go, but stuck on with blu-tack again.

 

210912a Finished figures base to start

 

I thought that a diamond drill bit in a rotacraft drill would make short work of the bases but the hacksaw in the picture was a lot quicker and less stressful. The base is hardwood by Oakwood of Leeds. I've taken the felt off the bottom of the base and the already finished top has become the bottom. Here they all are on the base but before cutting different levels in the base.

 

210914a Figures on unshaped base

 

, and here they are after starting to cut up the base.

 

210914b Base shaping 1

 

The wood cutting is with another new blade for the mini-drill, but it's still hard work. You can just about see some scratches in the base on the front made with a handsaw for finishing off the horizontal cut: I couldn't get a wide enough circular mini-saw to do it in a oner. Luckily, or otherwise, I haven't taken the front of the base low enough so I'll be cutting off the scratches next.

 

I'm hoping to get painting started this weekend and, if I make that, I think I should be able to finish on schedule.

 

More later,

 

Alan

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/15/2021 at 12:10 AM, Angus Tura said:

I'm hoping to get painting started this weekend and, if I make that, I think I should be able to finish on schedule.

 

No...I didn't really believe it either.

 

Thanks for the comments. I'm loving your taxi, Bertram. The figures are all Metal Modeles. Historex haven't done white metal figures, I think, Bertie. They do have some resin things now but traditionally were all injection molded polystyrene.

 

Here is my base cut-up at least to the point where I could get the figure bases secured at the different levels I wanted.

 

210926a Base shaped

 

I've been surprised how difficult the hardwood was to shape. The bases are stuck on with 5" Devcon and some of them have been put on lumps of Magic-Sculp to support them. 

 

Here are the people with gaps filled and primed ready to start painting. I had thought they'd be ready just to prime and get on with it, but their arm-to-torso joints needed some love. I also had to fill gaps around the necks between the collars of their shirts and the collars of their coats. 

 

210926b Figures undercoated and posed 1 210926c Figures undercoated and posed 2

 

 

On 9/15/2021 at 7:58 PM, Old Man said:

Looking forward to seeing these with a lick o' paint on!

 

I have actually put two licks of paint on each of them, being upper eyelashes, but it hardly seems worth showing you that.

 

Thanks for looking and see you later,

 

Alan 

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On 9/26/2021 at 9:14 PM, Angus Tura said:

upper eyelashes,

Well you've gone past the limit of my figure painting skills already!

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Colin,

 

Hello. I just like to do the eyes first and the upper lashes define the size of the eye. I tried a new thing of painting the lower lids in flesh enamel this time to try to define the eyes better before trying to get their iridae in:

 

210930bEyelashes 2 210930a Eyelashes1

 

I'm really happy with the chasseur but the geographer needs a bit more defining at the inside corner of his left eye.

 

Alan

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ah me!

 

I have had the last week off work and thought I would get loads of painting done on this. So, then I spent the entire week working at home. More than a little bitterness inducing. There is not a cat's in hell of me finishing on time now, and if I persevere I'll be a DNF on Nordic 2 also. So, I'm putting this on hold. Here it is so far:

 

211017a Stalled

 

Sorry and see you in KUTA.

 

Alan

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Ah, happens sometimes. I’ll be following your thread in KUTA with interest!
 

Cheers,

-M

Edited by Mjoo
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On 10/17/2021 at 5:49 PM, Angus Tura said:

More than a little bitterness inducing.

Well with a moniquer of Angus Tura I expect you are bitter a lot of the time!

 

Sorry that you have stopped working on this as I was quite enjoying the process. I'll look out for you in the KUTA.

 

 

 

 

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