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Completed Critique "Christmas on The Somme, 1916", Ist Div AIF

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by tonydawe, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Guys,

    I haven't posted anything on my VBench for a long time, and now I can reveal why; I've been busy working on this project to present a converted version of Carl Reid's magnificent "Winter In The Trenches" bust on a scenic base for the Chief 2010 Competition. Now that I have submitted my entry into the Comp, I wanted to share some of the work that went into making it, and to explain the story behind it.

    Right from the moment I bought this bust back in May 2010, I decided I would convert it to an ANZAC and add a helmet to replace the original soft field cap. Thankfully the amount of converting required was minimal. I could see the bust had the potential for conversion, and initially I thought to sculpt the lower half of the body onto the bust, and have the figure sitting in the trench covered in mud.

    However I abandoned this idea once I came up with the idea of the soldier peering out from behind a curtain covering his trench hole. By tilting up the angle of the head and turning it to the left I also changed the context of the soldier from someone blowing on his hands to keep them warm, to some one looking towards heaven and praying for mercy.

    I wanted the face to show a man enduring such misery and horror that he was praying for the next German shell to fall on him so his suffering would end. Hopefully the mornful look in his face captured some of the despair and suffering that such men endured during the winter of 1916. This idea was inspired by reading accounts written by Australian soldiers experiencing their first northern hemisphere winter, and the utter misery they endured in that frozen wasteland being so far from home and in such an alien environment.

    I'm not sure if this type of bust diorama has been done before, but I thought it was worth having a go to see if I could do it. If nothing else, I wanted my bust to look different from the many other versions of this bust I've seen.

    The figure was painted in Vallejo acrylics, oils and pastels. The helmet cover was made from tissue paper soaked in white glue and the helmet chin strap was made from masking tape and fuse wire. The ammunition pouches and webbing straps were made from Super Sculpey. The collar of the great coat was bent into shape by using a hair dryer and repeatedly heating and bending the resin into shape.

    Thanks to Carl Reid for supplying the helmet, and for inspiring me with this awesome bust.

    Attached Files:

  2. tonydawe A Fixture

    Here are some WIP pics showing you the progression from concept to reality.

    Attached Files:

  3. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Outstanding! In my opinion, this is easily the very best thing you have ever done.


    All the best,
  4. tonydawe A Fixture

    Wow, thanks Dan, that's a huge compliment mate, thank you.

    Given the subject matter, I was pretty sure you'd like this.
  5. pmfs A Fixture

    What a original idea that looks amazing Tony.:)
  6. JGREEN A Fixture

    Brilliant idea, and well executed!!

  7. blaster A Fixture

    Very clever display! Rgds Victor
  8. SPrimeau Active Member

    Very cool, and nicely done!
  9. TWOMOONS Active Member

    Way to push the envelope,Tony! Cheers on this!
  10. gordy Well-Known Member

    Spectacular Tony! (y)
  11. Kreston Active Member

    Great idea and very well executed!
  12. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Pedro, thanks mate. I'm very pleased you like it and I appreciate your comments.

    Cheers Jason, I'm really pleased you like it. Thanks for your comments.

    Thanks Victor, I appreciate your comment.

    Cheers Scott, very cool indeed. I'm glad you like it and thanks for commenting.

    Hi Phil, thanks mate. I'm not sure if this has been done before. I've never seen it, but I'd be interested to know if someone has done a "bust diorama" before.

    Hi Gordy, thank you very much for your comment. I'm so glad you like it.

    Thanks Kreston, I'm so glad you like the way it turned out. Thanks for your comment.
  13. dancap3286 A Fixture

    Great great stuff Tony...

    really brilliant in all respects! Great execution as well.
  14. Michael Tse Active Member

    This will do well in competitions. Congrats, Tony!
  15. ghamilt1 A Fixture

    I wish I had known about your plans Tony, as I could have sent you some pictures of the Australian families visiting with us here in Canada for the past few weeks. I am pretty sure I've seen the very same expression on their faces a couple of times. :D

    All kidding aside, my congratulations on an inspirational piece of work, right from the conceptual stage through to the last detail added. Brilliant in all regards and you should be rightly proud of this achievement.
  16. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Dan, thank you so much for your generous comments.

    Thanks Michael, I built this bust for the Chief 2010 Competition, so I hope it does well there. As for other comps, I really don't know what category to enter it into. Is it a bust, a figure or a diorama??. I'm not really motivated by comps anyway, although I do like to participate in the judging.

    Howdy Glenn, thank very much for your comments mate. Perhaps the only comment I would make is that I think there should be more snow. I really appreciate your genrous comments.

    It's ironic that here in Perth we are sweltering through a drought and a heat wave with temperatures well over 40 degrees, while my mates in the northern hemisphere are shivering through one of the coldest and snowiest winters in living memory. At least you're not being shelled every few minutes!!
  17. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    That is ingenius, excellent concept and execution!
  18. Willem Member


    It's been awhile since something in this hobby of ours grabbed my attention as much as this.

    I think you achieved exactly what you set off to do - cudos!

    I have saved the pictures as an inspiration for 2011.

    Seasons greetings to everyone and your families.

  19. SRP Active Member

    Came out brilliant Tony......well done mate...!!!!
  20. kiwi45 Active Member

    Fantastic work Tony, a great take on Carls bust. cheers Les

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