The figureFor an upcoming project of mine, I will have to really outstretch my sculpting talents, so this time though, I could probably have converted an existing figure, but I preferred to sculpt it almost entirely for training.
The problem is, I am a diorama maker; which means not particularly good at sculpting stuff, nor do I get a lot of training as the figures amount to maybe 1/10 of the building time. But then I took the risk of ending up with a bad figure in a good diorama.
As my diorama was settled in the early 1920’s I had to find the right figure wearing some clothes that would be either Intervention armies, Red or White Russians. That’s a lot of choice, but then as I wanted to use a lot of green in the diorama, I thought it would really be best if I could find a red uniform.
And there I found it, the ideal uniform, the one of Red Hungarian Hussar.
Now I don’t like to model either the Good or the Bad ones. I really like to model the Loosers, the brighter those Loosers are the better they are in my book, and those Hussars where bright Loosers according to my book.
During World War One, a lot of Austro-Hungarian soldiers got imprisoned by the Russians, and got freed during the revolution. Those were offered to fight either for the Red or the White Armies. Most Hungarians choose to fight for the Reds but didn’t have anything to wear. So they broke into an old wardrobe and found those red trousers they choose to wear. At first they didn’t have any horses and paraded carrying their saddles.
After The Communists took power, some special arrangements were made between USSR and Hungary so that those Hussars could come back, but some stayed in their new country.
So here I went. First: bits of paper clips and a Magic Sculp lump for the body. Then I let it dry overnight. I started with the shoes using the tip of some Dragon ones, then the trousers. I added the complicated scheme with Duro as you can stretch it thinner than Magic Sculp. Now as this diorama is my own story and that I had to get some reference, I simply took my own self as a model. After I got 2 weeks worth of evenings spent on this figure, I couldn’t be convinced of sculpting the hands by myself and took those out of a Nemrod set. So in the end my wife agrees that the guy is me, except that I am taller, look less nasty, and especially that she never saw me washing my own shirts.
The first time I ever sculpted a figure on my own was less than a year back and painting it proved horrible. At one point I remember seeing myself not really painting, but pushing the oily pigments in crevices.
For this one I made an effort to sand correctly at least the visible body parts, but that was not really enough, and it proved another nightmare to come through. As usual I painted it first using acrylics and then oils. Of course I tried to get the same light direction effect as the rest of the diorama. So the trousers are of a lighter shade on the top right side of the figure, and the skin is darker on the left side for instance.
To reassure myself, I kept telling myself that after 10 years of feeling the pain of painting my own figures, the day I am given an Alpine figure you can call me Bill Horan. (pic 24)
Copyright ©2020 by Jean-Bernard André. _OPINIONS Model Shipwrights, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2008-02-16 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 56581