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.