My little homage to Airfix. As a kid in the late 70's to early 80's, hundreds of hours were spent playing and painting these wonderful models. Esci 1/72 scale figures comes to a close second but Airfix will always be a first love. Particularly the American Civil War range. Though hideously inaccurate, along with some crazy strange poses, there is something about them...Maybe it's nostalgia. Donno, whenever I see that round red, white and black Airfix logo, it brings back some very fond memories. I played with other toy soldier/playsets but these "little men" from the UK will always be number one.
Another monster finds it's way on to my bench! This figure I've admired for some time. Mike Blank did a wonderful job posing and sculpting this fella. The scale is 120mm and is a massive chunk of resin. I had to do some surface filling...More than I cared to do. I made my own cords using Duro (green stuff) because the cords supplied were too stiff, and I don't have the patience to heat and manipulate finiky bits. My plan is to paint it in sections, starting from top to bottom. Unfortunately, this guy will see more of the cabinet than the workbench. It's one of those projects that has to be picked at.
I knew this piece called for something other than a static figure pose. I originally was going to place this painting, of his flagship the Zevin Provincien (seven Provinces), in a gilt frame, but thought that a gilt frame may be too much of a distraction. I'm sure there are some that say the painting alone is too much already...I don't, to me the subject calls for it. So, I decided on a textured base. I stippled modeling paste to the plastic card and lightly sanded when dried. Toned the white down with grey acrylic and went to transfering the image using simple tranfer paper (I also used this technique with my JFK portrait some projects ago). I wasn't sure how the textured background would look with color, but the more detail I put into it the texture seemed to fade more and more. When finished, a couple coats of satin varnish.
I gave this particular figure a little more "pop" than the typical pieces I do. The tile work went easier than I thought. I drew a grid pattern, then gently went over the lines with an Exacto knife. This etching gave the brush tip a stopping point. As for the painted background, I wanted something that would help set the figure off. Ruyter, being a pretty big name in his day, needed something to tell his story or give the viewer an idea of what he's about. More on the ship later.
This project just shows how easily inspired I can get. I know nothing to very little of naval warfare, let alone 17th century naval warfare. I picked up this book at a local flea market/antique mall about the history of 17th century life/politics, etc...It had some cool pictures. Anyway, there was this caption (small) on this man. I was intrigued, so I "googled" him and learned he was a big deal back in his day. More on Ruyter
Growing up, next to the American Civil War, British Colonial Wars was a favorite subject of mine...The Napoleonic Wars a close second. I'm not sure what made me do this Boer War vignette, probably a new book on the subject with neat pictures did the trick. These models were built with Airfix Multi-pose pieces and Miliput putty. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with myself when I finished the vignette. It no doubt inspired me to continue to make more original figures.
I live in the small town of Bath, Michigan with my wife and children.
I have been modeling figures for 25 plus years. Since I was a kid, I've always been fascinated by military uniforms of the past and soldier material culture. This then led me to express my interest through modeling figures from many time periods and scales.