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Completed Airfix 54mm French Line Infantry

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Merryweather, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. Slowpainter Member

    Really enjoying what you've done with these! Believe I built all of the Airfix Waterloo foot soldiers in my youth so this brings back fond memories. Great job with reworking the poses and making use of spares. I've been trying to build my long held kits as well and it is satisfying to see them get done. Always feel like it's a shame not to see them get built. Best wishes on your progress.
    Merryweather likes this.
  2. Jed Active Member

    Great time in my youth doing these, I recently did the Legionaire which was fun
    Chris Oldfield and Merryweather like this.
  3. Merryweather A Fixture

    Thanks everyone for the encouraging replies- it seems to have kindled a nostalgia in all us oldies!
    Well, Paul's(Daddyo) 45th standard arrived and I was rather gobsmacked!
    I was right-it's WAY beyond my capability. In fact I'm a bit nervous about putting my humble efforts next to it at all!

    I was researching the uniform for the eagle-bearer or porte-aigle, who would be an officer, when I discovered the guy on the right with his Carabinier helmet, and pistols in his holster.
    The experts on this site will know this, but it's new to me .It seems he is a second or third bearer, a senior NCO promoted for bravery to be guardian of the eagle bearer, and presumably to take his place if necessary. So I thought I would have the officer wounded on the ground and the NCO in his Carabinier helmet holding the eagle. I ordered a few extra Historex spares and rummaged the spares box again, and this is what I came up with.

    It looks ok here but when I add the other guys it’s not so good


    The Eagle adds a nice height to the composition but the wounded officer is completely lost here.
    How about this?


    This is better, and it gives a classic triangular composition but I may just not bother with the officer. Or maybe I leave them both off and make another vignette?
  4. Merryweather A Fixture

    Damn I hit the wrong button! there's more!

    Still, the arrival of the eagle has dictated which regiment and which campaign it is- 45th at Waterloo! It’s the one captured by Sergeant Ewart of the Scots Greys, so maybe I will ‘return the complement’ from the previous diorama and have some Scots Greys’ paraphernalia as battle debris.
    I’ve got plenty of stuff to do whilst I make up my mind about these two, not least adding fur texture to five, now SIX French backpacks!
    I’m getting there by doing a small amount of it at the start of every session. GOD it’s tedious. It has also emphasised the classic discrepancy in scale between Airfix and Historex- Airfix is on the right

    I'm just going to live with it, I need a break from the angst of the last diorama-this is supposed to be FUN, right?
    Anyway, thanks for looking, and my thanks again to Paul for the eagle standard.
  5. Peter Day PlanetFigure Supporter

    Great work Neil - really coming together. I've found large size discrepancies in French backpacks at all scales, to the extent that it made me woner if such was the case in real life.
    Merryweather likes this.
  6. Nap Moderator

    Hi Neil

    Nice resuit from DaddyO there

    I see what you mean when adding the flags so here's a suggestion

    Stick with original idea ...so any Regt possible

    Use the wounded officer plus the current bearer but add the other SNCO protecting his fellow NCO , lunging forward

    Good point ref difference in sizes as well looking at the backpacks

    Whatever you decide a great idea

    Look forward to seeing more on this

    Happy benchtime

  7. frank h Well-Known Member

    Like how this is coming together

    Nap and Merryweather like this.
  8. Warren SMITH A Fixture

    Hang in there, dont get lost with all the idea's.. Build them all and then play with the layout....
    Jed, Merryweather and Nap like this.
  9. Merryweather A Fixture

    I have decided that I’m not going to do two models, because if I finish the first one I know I won’t feel like doing the second one. I’ve been given the flag and I’m damn well going to use it and so I’m just doing the whole lot - seven figures.
    Somebody made a point about being on the receiving end of the charge of the Scots Greys ,which made me think about the courage required to just stand there and take it, so I thought I would explore the idea of somebody in the front row who couldn’t. I wanted to lower the composition at the front, and try to lead the eye around to the wounded officer at the back, so I re-assembled the two front figures and came up with this


    I played about with the positions of the others, and I felt the two original fusiliers were too similar, so I decided to make one of them taller by stretching his legs and waist a bit.


    This guy has always been at the back and I experimented with bring him to the centre. I liked that. I thought about having our ‘bolter’ break through the middle of the scene rather than the edge, but that didn’t do it for me.


    It looks like he’s given the falling guy a right hook!
    I also thought the new chap reminded me of a Bill Horan figure, so I had a good browse through Bill’s book and what struck me most (apart from the awesomeness) was the facial expressions. I‘ve been very lazy about them, so I will be upping my game a bit in that respect.

    So this is where I am, more or less happy with the composition, so now I will concentrate on finishing one or two at a time, to give myself the illusion of progress.


    Thanks for watching

  10. DaddyO A Fixture

    Shaping up nicely Neil :)

    You go for it - I like the idea of a larger group and I think having the 'bolter' at the front not only lowers the composition, but draws the viewers eye into the composition nicely revealing a level of humanity (y)

    Crack on I'm looking forward to progress shots
    Troy Smith, Jed, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  11. Nap Moderator


    There's some very clever thinking going on here , the way you have positioned each works well and they all tell a story

    Nice idea about the figure at front

    Look forward to seeing this progress it's going to be great to see the actual way the figures build up

    Following with interest

    Happy benchtime

    Jed and Merryweather like this.
  12. Merryweather A Fixture

    It's time to bite the bullet and look at the heads for Fusiliers 1&2 as promised.
    Here’s Fusilier 1 straight out of the box
    head 1.jpg
    Very annoyingly at this time Airfix started making the heads in two halves, (and actually sometimes in 3 pieces), attached to the headgear, which makes converting much more painful. It’s a shame because the sculpting is quite refined, but it vastly increases the opportunity to blob the face with glue and leave your fingerprints all over it-especially if you’re 12 years old!

    Our boy here suffers from a huge gap behind the ears, both of which are devoid of detail anyway. I HATE sculpting ears but they’ve got to go.

    Here is Fusilier 2 before surgery
    Head 2i.jpg
    He is from the Imperial Guard Grenadier, and at least he is in one piece below the headgear, but he needs his ears doing as well
    I carved into his brow a bit to create a frown, and sharpened up his lip. I also defined the lines from the nostrils to the corner of the mouth a bit more.
    I left the ears to cure at this stage to avoid damaging them when I did the rest of the hair and stuff.

    So here they are with their necks, their hair, and a bit of eye enhancement- hopefully- I will have to see how it looks after priming
    These two don’t have the extreme expressions of some of the other fellas- they are just getting on with the job like the veterans they are. But hopefully they have a little bit more character than before.
    Next stage is the equipment
    Thanks for looking

    Troy Smith, KenBoyle, Nap and 6 others like this.
  13. Steve Brodie PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thats going to be special
    Merryweather likes this.
  14. Peter Day PlanetFigure Supporter

    The great work continues....
    Merryweather likes this.
  15. Merryweather A Fixture

    Thanks Steve and Peter.
    So it's on with the equipment. As I promised myself, Fusilier no 1 is pretty much as Airfix intended…well ALMOST.

    When I ordered the Historex spares I included a couple of cartridge pouches but this is where the size discrepancy reared its ugly head again.
    Looking at re-enactors I decided to go with the larger Historex size, so I had to scratch a couple more of them, which at least gives me the option of having the flap a bit open.
    Also looking at re-enactors, most of them have some form of non-regulation haversack and water bottle over the right shoulder. So in the spirit ‘of out of the box’ I just went with the water bottle for our guy.

    Epaulettes were next, and they posed the opposite size problem, Airfix were twice a thick as the Historex ones, so they had to be thinned down -at great cost to my fingerprints!
    As I’ve made our boy a bit taller I decided to use the larger Historex pack for him, and I just added the rolled straps- which means I will have to do THAT another five times.
    I’ve added the pack straps to the figure but I’m leaving the pack itself off for painting. And he’s got a bayonet as well, which I mustn’t forget.

    So here is Fusilier no 1, ready for priming, and we’ll see how well I have disguised the surgery.
    IMG_20210329_201945652.jpg IMG_20210329_202005676.jpg

    I mustn’t forget the chin scales either….

    And here is Fusilier no 2, ALMOST ‘out of the box’ but with one of my scratched cartridge pouches and a non-regulation haversack (looted from an Airfix Coldstream Guardsman, no doubt…)
    IMG_20210329_202827157.jpg IMG_20210329_202753599.jpg IMG_20210329_202804463_HDR.jpg
    So it’s on with the paint next- let’s see what a hash I make of them.
    Thanks for looking

  16. Peter Day PlanetFigure Supporter

    Fine work Neil. Coming along very nicely indeed.
    Merryweather likes this.
  17. Warren SMITH A Fixture

    Amazing start... looking forward to more..
    Merryweather likes this.
  18. Merryweather A Fixture

    Well I’ve been cracking on with the painting of Fusilier 1. As I’ve said before painting doesn’t come so naturally to me, and every time I have even a short a break from it I end up having to relearn stuff. I’ve started keeping a few notes now, because my poor memory is really frustrating. BUT I can still remember who had various obscure hit records in the seventies, much to my wife’s annoyance!

    Anyway, here he is, for better or worse. Having made such a big deal about the faces I’m really not happy with this one, but not so unhappy I’m going to do it again! He still needs a coat of matt lacquer and a few little touch-ups. I really struggled with painting under all the equipment, so I’m going to see if I can get away with leaving it all off till after painting next time. Hopefully by the time I get to the last one I’ll have my eye in a bit more. At least I’ve got that Eagle Standard to distract the eye…..
    IMG_20210409_150805048.jpg IMG_20210409_150835527.jpg IMG_20210409_150844691.jpg
    It IS all a bit more subtle than the pics show, not sure what happens between pc and internet
    Thanks for looking
    Tonton, KenBoyle, Waterlooman and 8 others like this.
  19. Scott Sheltz Well-Known Member

    Love the concept!
    Merryweather likes this.
  20. DaddyO A Fixture

    These are shaping up very nicely Neil and great to see some paint on them (I know exactly what you say about re-learning painting after a break whilst you sculpt figures; something I always struggle with)

    There's always a compromise between perfect and finished, but I like the face and overall feel of this :)
    Press on young man your audience awaits:D

    Troy Smith, Nap and Merryweather like this.

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