Monday, 16 August 2010

A New Head Sculpt

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Here's a quick 1/16 scale head study realized in a compound of Super Sculpey and Super Sculpey Firm on a resin mannequin spare. A needle inserted through the ears helps gauge the symmetry as I sculpt. It's still a work-in-progress as I usually use such photos taken of the sculpt to identify mistakes and blemishes. The dots for the iris are placeholders and will be worked over before curing under a 60W lamp.
I've no idea what final form this will assume but I'm probably guessing an M-16 will be implicated ;)

Calvin



Wednesday, 4 August 2010

SS-Obersturmführer, Das Reich, Russia 1941


I've finally laid on the crowning touches to this protracted commission over last weekend. Hopefully I could squeeze in some time to do some sculpting before the start of fall.



Calvin



Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Helmet Cover Completed.

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Since the last update, I've finally made some headway in completing the helmet cover. Moving on to finishing up the rest of the figure and groundwork as I write.

Calvin



Saturday, 3 July 2010

Collar Tabs and Groundwork

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I managed to get moving on the collar tabs early last week. Rather then sculpting them together with rest of the figure, I figured earlier that I could save some time on painting by sculpting the details by dying the epoxy putty with their respective colors and later homogenizing the stark appearance with a thin glaze of paint. Not only did this approach save me some time but also allowed me to attain better relief and finesse with the runes and embroidered piping.


Preliminary painting for the groundwork was also accomplished during this period in tandem with the rest of the figure so as to ensure an consistency and harmony. To echo the colors of the figure, I worked in hues of violet and blue to the shadow of the groundwork. I might have gotten carried away with the blue and now it looks too cold for my preference. Reckon I'll lay some ocher tones over to balance the temperature.

Calvin



Sunday, 13 June 2010

Coming Along Slowly....

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Finding time during the past two weeks was particularly tough especially when my daughter is growing her first set of teeth. As of this week, I could only manage to get most part of the painting done for the back.

cheers,

Calvin



Saturday, 22 May 2010

This week's progress.

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Managed to accomplish some refinements to the pattern on the shoulder sleeve throughout this week. Progress is slow but at least it's going somewhere :P

Calvin



Wednesday, 19 May 2010

More intermittent painting this week

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More definition to the palm pattern on the front left shoulder and sleeve.

Calvin



Thursday, 13 May 2010

The "Palm-Tree" pattern Smock

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Snail-paced progress on the "Palm Tree" pattern smock for the past week. Despite my fourth outing with this intricate pattern, I'm nonetheless attempting a refreshed approach by employing primary and secondary colors to concoct my palette; which in tandem to the summer theme, be eventually dominated by saturated warm colors.
Bearing the hallmarks of my "Impressionist phase", notice that the shadows for the smock are rendered with varying warm tones of violet instead of cold shades of dark brown. I'm also in the process of purging pure black from my palette as well; opting for alternative dark colors such as Deep Purple and Maroon.

That's all for now til the weekend arrives.


Calvin



Sunday, 2 May 2010

SS-Obersturmführer, Das Reich, Russia 1941

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Over the past fortnight, I laid some garnishing touches to the groundwork with some shrubs before sealing everything with a mist of grey primer.

I proceeded to undercoat the figure with a dark maroon base before assigning the respective base colors. The sculpt of the smock was kept minimally clean so as not to pose to much conflict as I paint the elaborate Palm Tree with Clumps Pattern. I've only managed so far on the rendering of the face during the past week and hopefully I can squeeze in more bench time in the coming weeks.

Calvin



Friday, 23 April 2010

SS- Obersturmführer, Das Reich, Russia 1941

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After numerous distractions and interruptions, I've finally added the final details and christened it onto the groundwork. Here's hoping to move on to the painting this weekend.

cheers,

Calvin



Sunday, 4 April 2010

SS- Obersturmführer, Das Reich, Russia 1941

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OberstrumfuhrerDasReich_WIP

Here's another quick update on the sculpt. Thanks for all the constructive comments and as you can see some alterations were made. I decided to spread the digits of the left hand for a more natural appearance as the original cupped hand felt rather contrived. Also I had to lengthen the barrel of the Luger as it was almost a scale inch too short. The belt buckle and stick grenade were castings made by Taesung Harmms from my originals. I'm pretty much happy at this point with the overall look of the figure and I do hope to proceed to creating the groundwork as soon as the refinements are in place.

Also completed is a scratch-built 1/16 scale M-16A1 rifle built whilst waiting for my castings to arrive back from Taesung. I almost forgot how painful it was to scratch-build firearms. And yes, there are plans to use it with a figure ;)

M-16

Calvin



Sunday, 7 February 2010

SS- Obersturmführer, Das Reich, Russia 1941

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Today has provided me with another fruitful progress to the 1/32 sculpt. Sorry to disappoint but there are no plans for this to be a commercial sculpt as this is long overdue single figure commission for a collector I promised a long while back.
Another WW2 German nonetheless; I wanted to depict haugthiness of an SS officer embolden by the successes of Blitzkrieg and the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa.
The clay is still soft at this moment and I reckon I will commence the first round of baking(with the heat gun) when most of the primary folds and surface details are established.
I'm still having some issues with the posing of the hand holding the artillery Luger and judging from the pics I feel that it needs to be slightly angled medially. Apart from that, everything seems to A-ok for now.

cheers,

Calvin



Thursday, 28 January 2010

Finally back to doing some sculpting

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With most painting assignments behind, I just thought I'll get back into the groove of sculpting this week by picking up the pace of a 1/32 scale single figure project that was placed in hiatus for a long while.

The head is a complete re-sculpt of an old Verlinden head sculpted by Roger Saunders. The helmet came from the series of Gen-2 figures by DML with the helmet cover sculpted from epoxy putty. The grenade is from Alpine Miniatures which I felt was a tad too large for 1/35 but somehow just apt for 1/32. The rest of the figure is modeled using Kato Clay over a wire and epoxy putty armature. A lot more needs to be done on the back of the smock as well as the riding breeches but in all I'm quite satisfied with how everything is progressing for the moment.

Calvin



Monday, 18 January 2010

Alpine Miniatures - III/SS-PzGren-Rgt 2, Ardennes, 1944

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After a fruitful weekend of painting, here are some test shots of Sturmbannführer Josef Diefenthal and an accompanying NCO (no doubt modeled from the SS-Rottenführer with the MP-44 of KG Hansen at the ambush at Poteau) slated for release by Alpine Miniatures sometime soon.

Just to clear the air about Diefenthal's attire,it was brought to my attention before the commencement of this assignment by one of the co-authors of Duel in The Midst, Roddy Mcdougal l- from credible veteran accounts and close studies of war-time photos - Diefenthal was in fact wearing the Italian camouflage trousers at that time instead of the purported Oak-Leaf camouflage trousers.


With regards to color notes, I would like to mention that the choice of my color palette was steered by the principals of color usage of the Impressionists. Though I did not employ the same color mixes but should you prefer an "accurate" and less complicated guide may I recommend the following:


On the topic of painting principals, the Impressionists strongly believed that the shadow is not the absence of light but rather light of a different quality and value. Often so black/brown has always been used a convenient color to accentuate contrast with any subordinate color. The result is often stark, flat and lifeless. Not a bad thing for depicting conditions of war but what I am attempting to explore here is an alternative. Remember the Raw Umber wash technique to "shade" all colors fair and dull? Yes, it does create shades but in the process it also dulls and corrupts the color; especially the fair ones. Most of us including myself can get away by using dirt to generate shades but that however is not the only solution to create tonal contrast on a miniature space.

With this assignment, I attempted to enhance the dimension of the color field by substituting black for dark blues and violets in the shadows. This produces a much more natural appearance of shadows instead of just solid tones of black and brown. The key note about color is that its appearance is relative. Means to say that by itself against a white background it appears obviously violet but when juxtaposed against or over others and at a certain distance is perceived a dark value instead.

Using this technique of Broken Color as written by Camille Mauclair "produce upon the eye of the beholder the effect of actual colouring of the things painted, with a variety, a freshness and a delicacy of analysis unobtainable by single tone prepared and mixed upon the palette."

This is the main reason why I abstained from using colors straight from the bottle but instead mixed the shades and tones using primary and secondary color sources such as Park Green and Magenta. By varying the proportion of these component colors, one could generate more spectacular alternatives of tones and shades of Field Grey.


Complimentary color schemes are observed with the red-bias magenta for shadows and green-bias field grey as highlights. For the tunic and several parts, there are violet-bias for the shadows and yellow-bias for the highlights. In summary, I'm not creating dirt/soot effects but rather painting light to depict atmosphere to yield a more emotive and compelling result. Next week perhaps I shall continue to delve more into these principals to paint the 1/16 SS-Grenadier.

cheers,

Calvin



Thursday, 7 January 2010

Alpine Miniatures - III/SS-PzGren-Rgt 2, Ardennes, 1944

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Just managed to cram in a little more work on the SS-Erbsenmuster pattern yesterday evening. Only remains to the painting of this figure would be the trousers and the spare head before moving back to Diefenthal.

Calvin