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Completed Das Boot

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Steve Ski, Jun 7, 2023.

  1. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    WWII German U-boat Crew on the Bridge
    120mm Resin Scale Kit, Sculpted and Designed by Jeff Shiu

    [IMG]

    From the movie, Das Boot, Jeff Shiu has sculpted this set of figures which also includes the gun deck. After finishing my own Sub Gun Deck, I saw this as a natural progression into the submariner arena. I’m really just beginning to get my feet wet, pun intended, lol. Though this kit is older and is a limited production run, it may still be available, I’m not sure. As per Jeff’s notorious ability to sculpt figures with action and very usable poses, this set is no exception, and this is my first go at his work.

    These figures have great action poses and several of the face’s bare close resemblance to the actors themselves. I like the chosen dynamic poses, all showing action and suspense, making for a great vignette. So, off we go, taking a “deep dive” into the submariner arena once again.

    This set comes with instructions for constructing the deck railing along with a properly angled guide piece to obtain the correct support angle before attaching the top rail. Also included are photo cards with color references for uniforms and gear as well as a general guide for placement of the figures.

    Working the Deck and Railing

    When opening this kit, you’ll find everything bagged separately including all the deck parts ready for clean-up. The amount of slag within the resin grid platform was minor and clean-up went rather quickly as with all the deck parts. Before I started working the railing, I drilled several holes on the underside of the deck now, to avoid damaging the railing later. I chose to go with a chunk of scrap wood from the shop as my base which will be painted flat black and I used large pins made from rebar tie wire to secure this deck temporarily. Keep in mind, there is a set angle that needs to be accounted for, so it may need to be adjusted as the figures are cleaned up and test fitted. The scene needs to show rocking and rolling at sea, so I did not secure the deck completely.

    The railing may require a third hand, but you’ll manage if you take your time. I checked and verified all the uprights and the mid sections before I drilled each part for pinning. This rail system is just like my Sub Gun Deck, it won’t survive unless you pin every joint, IMHO. But my deck was soldered, not super glued. I left off the middle floater piece until final assembly. I did, however, use a round file for the tops of each vertical support to accept the top rail more easily.

    [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]

    Once you have the base assembled and the rail system installed a good coat of primer makes this portion done for now.

    Prepping the Figures for Paint

    Time to make some resin dust and get this set going. Each figure has its own bag of pieces ready for clean-up and assembly. The first one out of the shoot is the reporter character, I’m assuming that’s who this is because he bares such close resemblance to the actor. Kudos to Jeff on this one! Clean-up went smoothly for the most part and by using a little bit of Tamiya putty I was able to align the arms and boots. The coat flaps are depicted as flopping in the wind, so if you attempt to secure them now you will have a difficult time painting the face later. I set the coat flaps aside for now and will do the same for the other figures as required.

    [IMG] [IMG]

    Mike-the-Kiwi said, “Give em names.” Well, I haven’t come up with names for these characters just yet, but I’m working on it. I think once clean-up is completed and the painting starts to run smoothly these characters will begin to come alive, then they will have names.

    A word of caution, and this is not a gripe session, just factual issues I found when I examined the entire set and an honest assessment of the quality of this kit; this set I received had several issues with heavy seam areas (more than I would have expected), arm assemblies were not accurate for a smooth fit, and two of the figures had serious fascial discrepancies, and a third face was only minor. Now, I know we’ve all seen this before, but the depth of some of the eye sockets and a partial nose missing leads me to believe quality control was overlooked. This is not a cheap kit, it’s expensive, so I would have expected a more careful examination of the items included before shipping. My set may have been an anomaly, and I will leave it at that.

    Ok, let’s get these issues fixed and back on track. Using tiny dabs of Tamiya Putty, I was able to reshape the eyes and reconstruct the nose and fill in the deep caverns alongside that nose. One eye was just a small BB like globe in the middle of the socket which I will fill in and reshaped. After working these discrepancies everything should begin to fall in to place leaving only a primer coat to reveal anything I may have missed.

    [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]

    An assembly issue to be aware of is having to do with how the coats and flaps that are to be attached to the figures. I’m not a sculptor, nor do I work with resin casting, but I can understand after close examination that this was the only way to cast and produce these intricate designs. This process will take some patience and persistence, but after clean-up it should be fine. Just keep going, cause it ain’t gonna get done looking at it.

    [IMG] [IMG]

    Something I found a bit odd was some of the boot tips were molded separately and one leg portion was also molded separately. That seemed to me to be an unnecessary step adding more time and work to get this set cleaned, primed, and ready for paint. So, having never run into these types of mold issues before, duly noted, move on.

    [IMG] [IMG]

    There is still a bit more clean-up work for each of the figures shown and one more figure to work over before I prime them all and examine for any issues I might have missed. Regardless of the mold issues, this is an awesome action filled set and all credit to Jeff for his imagination, sculpting skills, and willingness to keep producing. Ruck On!


    Thanks for watching and more to follow soon. Cheers, Ski.
    BigDaddy, Briggsy, MalcC and 18 others like this.
  2. JasonB Moderator

    Country:
    United-States
    Interesting, I expect a complete coning tower and deck gun to follow...o_O
    I agree about some of the quality/casting issue with the JS figs. I have a number, and in addition to weird parts breakdown AND the continued mating surfaces consisting of what appears to be drilled holes (that usually do not match up), there have been some sizable seams and more than a few casting flaws in the figs I bought. The pant legs on the Guadalcanal Marines set were pretty abysmal and I ended up re-sculpturing them from the knees down, not something I wanted to do but otherwise they looked like blobs. As you say, this isn't just bitching about the usual steps involved in working with resin figs, this go far beyond that. There have been a couple of JS figures that I wanted that I decided against buying because of these issues.
    Babelfish, Nap, Richie and 2 others like this.
  3. sd0324 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thanks for the honest review Steve. I'd be very disappointed with those flaws and others reported. Great subjects of history means nothing when upon receiving them it's terrible quality. And hard earned money down the drain. No excuse for having to resculpt anything at that cost. Jeff seems concerned about recasters...they'd do better.


    Steve
  4. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Lol, no gun this time, Jason. This is my first JS set, but I'll work through it and get er done, onward.

    Thanks, Steve. Giving the benefit of the doubt whenever possible, but an honest assesment is only fair, IMHO.
    Oda and Nap like this.
  5. Panzer22 Active Member

    Country:
    Netherlands
    Hi Steve,
    I made this set a few years ago And you are right a lot of work!
    You actually expect beter quality from The set (expensive yes !!)
    But I was able to make something out of it
    So good luck Steve And patience Here Some pictures

    IMG_2405.JPG IMG_2406.JPG IMG_2407.JPG IMG_2410.JPG IMG_2409.JPG IMG_2411.JPG
    Monsoon, Mike Stevens, Oda and 3 others like this.
  6. Richie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Ski,
    Looking forward to seeing this one progress. All of your problems stems unfortunately from the design. Sculptors and producers should alway design figures for manufacture first. If they do not know this hands on process they should learn and would soon see the pitfalls. Sculpting a full figure and dumping it into a mould does not always work.
    We seem to accept the norm because that's how it's always been done!

    You skill as a modeller will overcome the issues and I feel your frustrations....as you said it's an expensive kit and you expected more.
    cheers
    Richie
    Mike Stevens, Oda, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  7. Nap Moderator

    Country:
    England
    Hi Steve

    Good to see what your currently working on .......not a mm of camo anywhere ...lol

    Really good explanation of the resin and the build

    Nice putty pushing as well

    Following with interest ....plenty of supplies including biscuits and a comfortable seat

    Looking forward to seeing more

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
    Oda likes this.
  8. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    That looks really good, Panzer, that's for sharing that. I like how you "winded" the flag, too. I caught that right away. I'll be using a printed one, not the resin supplied with the kit. A good review always goes along with an SBS, and this is no exception, quality being the only drawback.

    I've seen one of these builds with a partial gun placment as well, probably Shapeways item, it looked good too. I wasn't sure how I was going to do the "wet" look just yet. I know I can give a gloss hit to a lot of it, but I've also seen renditions of water droplets, etc. I'm still working it, so a bit more prep and then brush time, yehaaaa!

    Roger that, Richie, agreed. Kudos to the sculptors, cause without em we'd be,......well,.............we'd be out to lunch.:eek::confused: :D

    Thanks, Kevin, pushing onward.
    Oda and Nap like this.
  9. Warren SMITH A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    Great start, and good honest non bias opinion.. I have a few JS figures, and they look good, but I have not build any to date to be able to raise any problems..
    Steve, did you get the Warriors 120mm deck gun an crew.. that would be good, you could build the U boat one kit at a time.. lol

    Smithy
    Oda and Nap like this.
  10. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks, Smithy! No, I did not get that set. I did however pick up Border's 1/35th scale U-boat deck and figures. They'll be up soon, after Steve Reedee's Ranger set. When you do get into Jeff's figure set and if there are any issues you'll need to just slog it out, cause they are great poses. I don't ever recall having to expend so much effort to get as set of large scale figures into an acceptable condition, but now I have. I say, Ruck On, Bby!
    Oda and Nap like this.
  11. TERRYSOMME1916 A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    JS releases a lot of excellent subjects and I have several in the Grey Army which are okay (I think, as I haven't got into the building stage yet) however there are some recent releases that I have passed on because of casting/sculpting issues that have been flagged up on PF, there is now a level of excellent quality being offered by many companies and this is setting the bar and other producers are going to have to raise their standards especially when prices are high.
    If anyone can see this project through, warts and all, you are the man.
    TERRY
    Babelfish, Oda, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  12. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks, Terry. We're gonna give it the good 'ol college try, for sure. Actually, it's moving along much quicker now, some of the figures are ok. I'm pretty much past the hump and almost ready to get some brushes warmed up, soon.
    Merryweather likes this.
  13. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Prepping the Deck

    With the figures cleaned up and primed it’s time do more work on the deck section. I made alterations to the flag pole and added two more wood seats to finish the deck. I put aside the flag included with the kit and printed a smaller one due to the original being way out of proportion. I was just too big. I had intended to use some hemp string for the flag rope, but used strands of copper wire twisted tightly to resemble rope instead. It was much easier to keep the flag in a “windy” configuration and also have the tail end of that rope appear “flapping” in the wind.

    [IMG] [IMG]

    Now that I had the main body set up, I pre-drilled all the mounting locations for each figure. This took some time to get the positions correct without looking awkward or unrealistic. Keeping the spacing between each figure without their coats interfering with each other was the issue. So far, they look good and the positions look natural. As you can see, these figures have great poses and the faces have a lot of character, that cannot be denied. The scene definitely portrays intense action on the part of the crew.

    [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]

    Being satisfied with the crew placement, it’s time to chip and weather the deck before painting the figures. We are now picking up steam and forging onward. More to follow soon.


    Thanks for watching. Cheers, Ski.
    MalcC, NigelR, marco14 and 8 others like this.
  14. Warren SMITH A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    You are a machine Steve... amazing work so far..
    Merryweather likes this.
  15. 1969 A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Definitely on the right track now with this one Ski, can see all the effort you put in so far has been well worth it.
    Looking forward to next instalment.
    Cheers
    Steve
  16. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks, Gents. I'm having fun now, lol.
    Canoehead likes this.
  17. sd0324 PlanetFigure Supporter

    This should be a good one. Looks like you have the figures figured out...


    Steve
    Mike Stevens likes this.
  18. Nap Moderator

    Country:
    England

    Figures looking good all well prepped up

    Look forward to seeing more

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
    Mike Stevens likes this.
  19. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks, Steve. Oils are on the pallete and the deck is almost done.

    More to follow soon, Kevin.;)
    Nap, Mike Stevens and sd0324 like this.
  20. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Facial Work, Lt. Werner

    Now that the gun deck has been worked to a semi-final stage it’s time to start oiling some faces and get this set going. Lt. Werner, the war correspondent, is first on the bench. I think Jeff got really close to the facial expression and features of this actor. The scene depicts a wind-swept and water-soaked deck which comes across nicely with this face in particular.

    Using my standard mix of Winsor & Newton oils of Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, and Burnt Umber, for the basic flesh tones, I started with the area around the eyes and worked my way around the face. I always use acrylics for the eye work themselves because of the drying time. If corrections are needed the process goes much smoother using acrylics; oils would get messy in such a tight space.

    [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]

    I kept the flesh oil application very light initially and will add the red cheeks and rosy tones in a few days. The beard still has a lot of work needed as does the eyes and the area around the mouth. Most of the final touches will be feathered in when the sheen has faded making it much easier to see the areas needing direct attention. It is important to remember that sub crews did not see daylight for extended periods of time so the flesh tones should reflect that fact. I don’t want them looking ghostly white, but I can’t justify a tan appearance either, lol.

    It should also be noted here that this figure is squinting, so the eyes will not be so clearly visible. Yes, they are painted as per usual, but the working areas is very small on this particular face. Lt. Werner will be set aside for now as I get started on the next figure in the line-up.


    More to follow soon and thanks for watchin. Cheers, Ski.

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