Sunday, January 26, 2014

(WIP 4) Max Wünsche, 12th SS Panzer Regiment, Western Front, 1944, Young Miniatures

After some struggling with the highlights and shadows for the Italian Camouflage jacket, I am calling it done for now. Some lessons I learnt from tackling this camouflage scheme.
  • Blues and Reds as shadows Red, being the complementary colour green, when mixed with blue gives violet which gives a nice shadow when glazed into the folds of the sleeves and jacket. Adding more blue gives blue-violet which also complements the blue biased dark green base.
  • Work on small areas This time round, I took on the whole bust during each session as opposed to painting and completing an area before moving to the next section. I found this frustrating as given the larger area, it takes more session before results can be observed. Maybe I am just impatient. Next time I will try completing smaller sections before moving on.
  • Leather belt While this is not related to the camouflage scheme, it's still part of the jacket. Not wanting to distract the viewer from the camouflage scheme, I went for a simple black belt. Instead of painting it just black, the base colour of the belt was a mixture of Burnt Umber and Carbon Black. Followed by Burnt Umber for highlights and Burnt Umber + Raw Sienna for the final highlight to define the holes in the belt. Carbon Black was carefully painted into the areas where the belt buckle would leave a depression.
  • "Panel" Lines While I use a 2/0 brush to draw the lines, the lines are not consistent and are rather "fat" at some points. I guess practise is key here ...
With the camouflage completed, I can take move on to the easier stuff which are the cables for the headset and throat microphone, the map case and his gloves.

Friday, January 24, 2014

(Prelude 2) The Few, RAF Fighter Pilot, 1940 Battle of Britain, Life Miniatures

A week ago, I shared a preview of Life Miniature's latest bust titled, The Few. I was pleasantly surprised or rather blown away this morning when I saw Sang Eon Lee's completed box art for their 1st release of 2014.

The kit, comprising of 17 piece, is nothing short of a masterpiece and has taken the figure modelling community by storm. The bust is that of a youthful pilot, grinning away while giving his precious cocker spaniel puppy an reassuring scratch on the head. The pup with soulful eyes, clambering up the right shoulder of his master, gives an insight into the perils these men faced during each mission. Nothing short of amazing for capturing these emotions between the 2 subjects.

Coupled with Sang Eon Lee's awesome paint job, Life Miniatures puts the Life into figures.

I have placed my order with M Workshop and hopefully find some time for some unboxing and a short write up. Personally, I feel this is one bust that must not be missed and should be in everyones collection. 

Without further ado, here are the box art from Life Miniatures.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

(WIP 3) Max Wünsche, 12th SS Panzer Regiment, Western Front, 1944, Young Miniatures

Here's a short update with a WIP photograph showing the highlights and shadows painted in. There is still work to be done in pushing the highlights further.

Friday, January 17, 2014

(Prelude 1) The Few, RAF Fighter Pilot, 1940 Battle of Britain, Life Miniatures

Life Miniatures will be releasing it's 9th bust in the coming weeks and the first for 2014. As with the previous releases we have seen so far, Sang Eon Lee does not disappoint !

Aptly titled "The Few", the bust depicts a youthful RAF fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Faced with overwhelming odds, these dashing and brave young men took to the skies in defiant defence against the Luftwaffe. While not much details have been released by Life Miniatures, with Sang's past track record, this bust will be a stunner and keeper for sure. 

As we wait for the release date, and hopefully glean more sneak peaks from Life Miniatures, here's the teaser picture to keep us going a little longer ...

*The cocker spaniel sealed the deal for me :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

(WIP 2) Max Wünsche, 12th SS Panzer Regiment, Western Front, 1944, Young Miniatures

With the head completed, its time to tackle the main bulk of the bust. Thankfully I was able to find some pictures online with Max in Italian Camouflage. While these were not the best of photographs, they served its purpose and I was able to replicate some of the patterns on his jacket. Areas which could not been seen from the photographs were based on my imagination :)

The jacket was given a black basecoat followed by application of the base colour. The brown areas have been blocked in. I have yet to add the light green areas. Painting camouflage pattern is often time consuming and I suggest tackling the jacket by parts, especially when this is a big bust. Once the main colours are blocked in, highlighting and adding shadows to the jacket will follow.

Schirmmutze (Peaked Cap)

Field Grey = Ultramarine Blue + Yellow Ochre + White + Brown Madder
Pink piping = Permanent Alizarine + White

M1929 Telo Mimetico "Italian Camouflage"

Base colour = Hooker's Green + Olive Green + Prussian Blue Hue
Brown Areas = Burnt Sienna + Burnt Umber
Light Green Areas = Hooker's Green + Sap Green Olive Green + Yellow Oxide

Friday, January 3, 2014

(WIP 1) Max Wünsche, 12th SS Panzer Regiment, Western Front, 1944, Young Miniatures

Work on the face started after some cleaning, pinning and filling in minor gaps on the bust.

With a quick black basecoat, highlights and shadows were blocked in to define the shape of the face. As I found the face too round for my liking, I introduced more shadows at the cheeks and emphasised the jawline to give the perception of a sharper chin.

The colours (Jo Sonja Acrylics) used to render the face are as follows. 

Base: Raw Sienna + Skin Tone Base + Naples Yellow Hue + Rose Pink
Highlights: Naples Yellow Hue
Shadows: Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Brown Madder

Generally I will put a drop of each colour on the wet palette and mix them as I go along, varying the proportion from time to time. This serves to introduce variation in colours as opposed to painting from a fixed palette of colours. Some of these colours were also diluted for glazing. For example, Brown Madder was used to glaze cheeks, nose area while Raw Sienna mixed with some Brown Madder was glaze to bring parts of the face together.

The white of the eyes was painted with Skin Tone Base.The iris of the eye was painted in Ultramarine Blue with Skin Tone Base added to Ultramarine Blue for the highlights. Black was used for the pupil and White for the catch-light.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

(Prelude) Max Wünsche, 12th SS Panzer Regiment, Western Front, 1944, Young Miniatures

The first project of 2014 is a "bust" of Max Wünsche, Sturmbannfuher of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment.

This is a rather large figure as it consists of the subject inside the cupola of a Panther. It's evident that the inspiration for this figure was drawn from the photo of Max in his Panther, which was most likely taken post Normandy.

Atypical of a bust, the body of the subject goes beyond the chest. This presents a great opportunity to work on the M1929 Telo Mimetico camouflage pattern or commonly known as the "Italian Camouflage".  For this project, I am attempting to paint the actual camouflage pattern on Max's jacket and the following photographs will be useful references.

Photographs are crucial when it comes to scale modelling. Not only does it provide excellent reference material on the subject itself, it also sheds light on the setting or mood when the photograph was taken. One can also learn some bits of history and draw ideas from such photos. 

In the third picture, Max while wounded*, is conferring with Kurt Meyer and Fritz Witt. The situation looks desperate as suggested by the body language of both commanders who are both deep in thought.

* The head wound was a result of splinters from an exploding grenade that hit the front plate of a Panther. Max was lucky to survive the incident with a concussion while another 2 panzer crew were not as fortunate.