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75mm Hellcat Pilots build log part: The Fourth

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by elanlane13, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. elanlane13 A Fixture

    Hellcat Pilots build log part: The Fourth

    It was time to commit the body of the Fleet Air Arm pilot to the 'oven of terror ' (TM), so the clay could be baked before going on to the next stage. The title 'oven of terror' has nothing to do with the culinary skills of any member of the Lane family, but more to do with the feeling of nervousness I get when committing a clay master to the heating process. I had several problems with cracking when I initially used Bees Putty. However, after consulting others who had used the putty successfully, I learned that the trick was to leave the figure in the oven after it was turned off until it had cooled down. This had resulted in several bakings that had gone well.

    Unfortunately knowing what to do is an inefficient foil to rank stupidity. I placed the master in the oven and retired to the computer to do some Elan13 Miniatures admin. I didn't set a timer, because they are for sissy's, allegedly. After the requisite 30 minutes baking when the oven should have been turned off, I was still doing admin...after another 30 minutes I was still doing admin (probably playing a game by now, but let's keep that between the two of us). Suddenly it dawned on me I had forgotten to turn the oven off. Language that would only be appropriate for a lads night out in the 1970's filled the house as I rushed into the kitchen. Fortunately I remembered not to open the oven door once it was turned off, but I did have a worrying time while waiting for the oven to cool.

    Clearly the modelling gods were with me as the only effect to the figure was that it was a rather darker colour than usual, but there were no major cracks! Huge sighs of relief all round.
    I could now begin the next stage which was adding the life preserver. I decided to do sculpt this in an open position, to show off some of the detail of the shirt and give a layered effect to the piece. The work was carried out with Magic Sculp epoxy putty. (I get mine from Sylmasta in the UK.) The smudgy snaps below show this done and the beginning of sketching in the left arm.
    I do feel rather guilty about the lack of information about the US Naval pilot. Since we last saw him, he has moved on and now has a torso and head. The snaps below show this. The head is baked but the rest is still un-cured clay. This was a good job because those straps around his thighs are in the wrong place and will need fixing. More of that in Part: The Fifth.
    DSC_0838 (002).jpg DSC_0839 (002).jpg DSC_0841 (002).jpg
    DSC_0846 (002).jpg DSC_0844 (002).jpg DSC_0847 (002).jpg
  2. Landrotten Highlander Well-Known Member

    Lucky break there with the oven.
    Thanks for sharing your work, as I am considering moving to the 'dark arts' of figuring modelling in the near future
    elanlane13 likes this.
  3. elanlane13 A Fixture

    Thank you for the feedback

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