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WIP French Hussar, Le Cimier, 200mm.

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by patmaquette, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. patmaquette Member

    Hi all,
    This is my first thread on this fine site (so I expect to fumble around a bit until I find my feet) and my first serious bit of figure painting for ages. I recently retired from a working life and am looking forward to spending many happy hours at the modelling bench and making some further acquaintances with folks in the modelling community.

    My first figurine for painting has found its way back onto the bench after being placed on the shelf of doom probably some 20 years ago !

    hussar bench.JPG

    Here are some photos of where I left off. Even though I paint in oils, there has been plenty of time for the paint to dry !

    For the head, my next task will be to paint the hair. I have tried an acrylic mix of Model Color black/grey with burnt umber and ultramarine blue on a spare practice head and the result looks good (no photo as yet, though). However, I need to find a convincing way of highlighting the hair, particularly the tresses. If you have any thoughts then please let me know…...

    hussar head.JPG

    For the body, I have been working from the top down owing to the size of the figure. Cling film has been wrapped around the lower half so I can hold onto this without harm to the paint on the breeches. The next step for the body will be to further detail the braid and get the leatherwork completed…..

    hussar body.JPG

    I am really looking forward to working on this old model again and hearing your thoughts and ideas.
    Best regards to all,

    Perseas, KenBoyle, NeilW and 10 others like this.
  2. cinimod Active Member

    My god, haven't seen another one of these in ages. I bought mine ages ago from Bonaparte miniatures when they were still in Bath and got it as it's a really inpressive model with lots of well cast frogging. Sculpted by a chap called Nick Dransfield I think but not sure if he did anything else for firms.
    You're doing a cracking job Pat, keep it up............Dom.
    Borek likes this.
  3. clrsgt A Fixture

    You are off to a good start. Keep it up.
  4. Tom W. Active Member

    Great figure from a great sculptor,but it´s one of Le Cimier´s giants.Glad to have him in my GA,too.:D(y)
    patmaquette likes this.
  5. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    A very nice start, very good painting. Welcome to PF.
  6. malc PlanetFigure Supporter

    Welcome, 200mm full or busts are great pieces you can really go to town on .

    You are off to a good start and I look forward to more.
  7. TERRYSOMME1916 Well-Known Member

    Good luck with your return to figure painting after a lengthy break, I done the very same thing about 3 years ago, found it challenging but rewarding especially when you complete that first piece of work and like me you have chosen to re-enter by finishing off something that was started a long time ago and its a great feeling placing it into the cabinet.
    I long for the day when I can throw the work clothes into the bin for good (5 YEARS AWAY) and get lots of daylight hours at the modeling bench as at the moment I can only get a couple of hours at night and it seems to take forever to complete a subject, looking at the pics you haven't lost the touch and the figure is coming along nicely so keep at it and keep posting your progress as I am sure there are probably some other former painters looking in and you might just give them that final nudge into dusting of the brushes and finishing off an old project.
    malc likes this.
  8. Borek A Fixture

    The beginning looks great, the beautiful sculpt and your touches of painting are great. Keep it up.

    Cheers Borek
  9. Grod A Fixture

    Nice work on a great subject.
  10. Nap Forum Moderator

    Hi Pat

    A BIG WELCOME to PF good to have you here with us

    Thanks for sharing this SBS ...thats a big scale from Le Cimier ...( I amended the thread title ) but nice to see the shelf of doom with less on it .

    Ref hair try drybrushing that should catch the raised areas

    Looking forward to seeing more from you

    Spread the word as they say

    Anything I can do just message me

  11. Warren SMITH PlanetFigure Supporter

    excellent start and in this scale no where to hide.. looking forward to seeing him finished.. I have a couple of Le Cimier large scale figures in the GA and they are very well sculpted and cast..

  12. patmaquette Member

    Guys - first and foremost - thank you all for your welcome and kind words.
    Le Cimier rather than Metal Models - well I’m blowed! The only thing I have remaining of the original packaging is the box-top photo - everything else disappeared years ago. I knew I shouldn’t have listened to those voices in my head…..

    Progress for today. Having scanned through the Schools of Miniaturstry Painting Techniques for ready answers (you never know your luck!), I tried out painting hair on a couple of spare heads. These are about 150mm scale, so somewhat smaller than the Hussar’s head. The flesh tones had been painted recently for some practice. I have selected dark hair for my Hussar. I made up a paint mix for each head and blocked in the hair areas, highlighting the top and shading below. This included the mustache and beard of one of the heads. The mix was kept simple as I have only very few acrylic paints: dark grey + burnt umber + ultramarine blue & red pre-mixed to violet.

    spare heads undercoat.jpg

    I then used oils to add detailed shading. The mix was charcoal grey + burnt umber + indigo. Some Rowney flesh tone was added for shading, but I found it better to apply the flesh tone on its own.

    Here are the results (although the photos look a bit flat owing to the artificial lighting)….

    spare heads finish.jpg

    • Acrylic undercoat: the undercoat would benefit from being a tad lighter and with greater contrast from light to shade.
    • Oil layer: I need to go and buy some acrylics!
    • Highlighting: so easy to overdo things. I’m glad I found this out on the practice heads.

    Kevin: owing to my using oils and having wet paint, I will try out dry brushing once everything has dried.

    What are your thoughts?

    I’ll turn my attention to the leatherwork and frogging tomorrow, or possibly start on the eyes once I have studied Paolo’s SBS on the topic. I quite like how these eyes turned out on one of my old figurines….

    Photo I.jpg

    Thanks again for your wonderful welcome,
  13. NeilW Member

    Hi Pat and welcome from another recent returner (in my case after 40+ years, including re-visiting a Chasseur, but in my case one of several very old 1/12th Airfix conversions!).
  14. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter

    Welcome back to the fold Pat. :)

    Great start and looking forward to more.

  15. patmaquette Member


    Too true, Smithy, and I’m finding that just a bit daunting at the moment!

    Time for a WIP update……

    A dark neutral grey was mixed from burnt umber and ultramarine blue acrylics. Two lighter tones were made from this by adding a flesh tone (Reaper’s Rosy Shadow). The hair was painted with these, applying general highlights and shade as if the hair was a solid object [photos 1a & 1b]. The dark neutral grey was then used to pick out detailed areas of shade before being thinned and applied as a wash. Highlights were picked out using more flesh tone added to the lighter tone, taking care not to overdo this [photos 2a & 2b].
    Hair and face paint.JPG

    The whites of the eyes were blocked in with Bone White, with white added at the centres. A little more ultramarine blue was added to the dark neutral grey for the eye irises. The irises were placed to look to one side, as this seemed to best suit the position of the head [photo 3a]. Some white was added to the mix and placed into the lower half of each iris, leaving an edge of the dark colour visible. Black spots were added for the pupils, followed by a dot of white in each for a catch-light. A thin white line was added to represent moisture where the iris meets the lower eyelid [photo 3b]. The eyes were subsequently given a coat of gloss varnish once all the acrylic paint had thoroughly dried. Incidentally, the figures’ left eye is sunken in the position of the iris. I don’t know whether this was a deliberate act by the sculptor, or a flaw in the casting. It made it difficult to paint. I am now thinking of adding some clear acrylic gel to fill in the dip.

    Trial fitting of the shoulder and cartridge pouch belts showed the need for some fettling and filling. Once the cutting and filing was done, the inside faces of the belts were highlighted and shaded in a hide colour. As the cartridge pouch would be trapped in place once the belts were fitted, painting was completed on this item in advance of assembly. Some wear and tear was depicted using Reaper Rosy Shade and Game Color 72.034 Bone White.

    The white metal slide for the musketoon was burnished and a dark wash applied to the swivel, followed by some clear coat to protect the lustre. Some further fettling of the belt was needed before the slide could be slid into place.
    cartridge pounch.JPG
    The musketoon shoulder belt was epoxied into place, making sure the cartridge pouch and slide were positioned correctly. I had an anxious overnight wait for the 5-minute epoxy to set (I really must invest in some fresh glue!).
    Perfect Putty was used to make good the gaps and this was smoothed using a homemade sanding stick of 1800 grit Micromesh glued to a wooden coffee stirrer that was narrow enough to get into the narrow space where the joint was located.
    Still some further trimming of the cartridge pouch was needed to get things lined up. Superglue was then used to stick it in place. Further filling and filing was needed. A strip of plastic card was used to reinstate a belt loop that was not cast in full.
    Several coats of off-white mixed from Foundation White and Bone White were needed and it is now ready for finishing coats - that will be my next challenge as I find painting and shading white quite difficult. I’ll look back at my notes on how I did it for this figure…..

    Now on with the belts, finishing the head and painting the shako. With those done, I should be in a position to remove the cling film from around the breeches and work on the lower half of the figure.

    Thank you for looking and please don’t hesitate to suggest ways that I can improve - this is very much a learning experience for me.

  16. patmaquette Member

    WIP update.

    It took me three attempts before I got a satisfactory result for the shoulder belts. The paint mix was the same: burnt umber + ultramarine blue + white. The first attempt had too much contrast between highlights and shadows. Also, the darker shade looked blotchy over the white undercoat - but that was probably me getting used to working with acrylic paints. A fresh, but lighter, mix was applied for the second attempt. Whilst I really liked the outcome, I thought the contrast was still too high. The third attempt had lighter mixes and came out reasonably okay, but some of the detailed shading & washes were untidy. So today I followed up with oil paints in localised areas. It was my first use of Liquin Fine Detail oil medium, at it did the job splendidly.
    shoulder belts.JPG
    Detailed shading was carried out around the buckles. General shading was applied where the two belts at the front overlapped each other and where the crossed the buttons on the Dolman, helping to reinforce the shape. I’ll now leave the oils to dry for a day or so before painting the metal furniture of the belts (a clear example of how oils slow down the painting process in comparison to acrylics).

    The same mix was used to shade the white areas of the cockade on the shako. However - I think this looks somewhat messy and I may have to revisit it once the oils have dried.
    shako straps.JPG
    The black neck band had already been given a dark wash to shade the fabric folds. This was reinforced with dark oil paint from each side of the dolman neck opening, aiming to leave the central region relatively highlighted. Some highlight will be painted on later.
    The red of the collar had been undercoated with an orange-red acrylic, mixed from cadmium red, cadmium yellow and a touch of blue. I shaded it today using alizarin crimson oil paint, but the result was too vivid. I added cobalt green to the crimson to desaturate the colour, and went over what I had done previously. I think a glaze of the same mix will help harmonize the highlight and shade and will apply this once the shade coat has dried.
    I’m thinking about the brasswork for the shako now. I have blocked in the areas with brown (burnt umber plus Rosy Shade). In the past, I would have used gold printers ink mixed with oils for the finishing coat. However, I have seen recommendations for the Darkstar “molten metals” acrylics on YouTube - so may try out one or two of these first of all. (www.darkstarmini.co.uk/darkstar-molten-metals.html).
    As always, I would love to hear your comments and ideas.



    KenBoyle and Kevtk135 like this.
  17. patmaquette Member

    Whilst I wait for some paints to be delivered, I switched attention to the smaller items to be attached to the figurine later on. The belts for the sabretache and cartridge belts are cast in white metal. These needed a lot of tidying up with a rotary burr, file and hobby knife. Many belts actually have two straps, one over the other. These were represented on the castings as a small step (unless it was a mould separation line!). I used an Olfa cutter to give a sharp cut that made shading with a pin wash easier later during the painting stage. This was done by placing the casting on top of some packing (the base of my hole punch was just the right height) and then lying the Olfa cutter on its side to scribe the groove [photo 1].
    swords and stuff.JPG
    I thought the way depicted on the box art for holding the sabre looked awkward, so I toyed around with different ideas for a while before settling on a decision. Some material had to be removed from the top of the sabre handle and also the figurines left hand using a rotary burr until a good fit was reached [photos 2a,b,c].
    The sword guard casting also needed a lot of cleaning up. Fortunately, I found that a jack (cochonnet) from a game of carpet boules was just the right size for forming the guard to the right curvature for the sabre [photo 3a,b]. Unfortunately, I failed to notice how the guard was supposed to locate into a slot in the sword handle until I had committed to glue, by which stage it was too late, so it did not go together as neatly as it could.

    Having set the sabre position with Blu-tack, I then bent the webbing to shape so the straps lined up with the hoops on the scabbard. The hoops are part of the scabbard resin casting and will probably need to be cut and repositioned during final assembly, as they are pointing the wrong direction. The webbing, along with other bits and bobs, were then given an airbrushed coat of Mr Resin primer before undercoating: straps Revell SM301 white + Humbrol 121 Pale Stone; musketoon Humbrol HG7 German Pale yellow, with Humbrol 160 brown pre-shading; sabretache Humbrol 67 dark grey.
    head and bits.JPG

    Dry fitting showed that it would not be possible to have the musketoon held by both the metal clasp and leather strap: the strap being too long.
    Work was completed on the head and it is ready for assembly later. The cockade has been painted, not that it looks that good. The brasswork of the shako awaits the delivery of paint.

    Having completed as much as I could of the top half of the figure, the clingfilm around the boots and breeches that had been put on many years ago was taken off and the sword belt and yellow trim all given an undercoat of Vallejo Foundation white + bone-white.

    sword belt blocked.JPG

    The next stage will be to complete painting of the sword belt and yellow braid. The musketoon will have some wood grain drawn on before receiving some transparent glaze coats to complete the woodwork. Hopefully by the time this is done the paints will have arrived so I can complete the metalwork.
    Thoughts are turning to the basework. The kit comes with a resin base which has groundwork cast in. I am thinking of adding some tufts of grass and perhaps some flowers. I came across these as potential candidates: https://badsquiddogames.com/shop
    I would welcome you thoughts, ideas and suggestions on this and the figurine I’m working on.

    Many thanks for looking,

    KenBoyle, Kevtk135, MCPWilk and 2 others like this.
  18. Tonton Well-Known Member

    Hugely impressive, both the painting and the step-by-step and a welcome return to the figure modelling fraternity. (Fraternity? Is that sexist?)
  19. malc PlanetFigure Supporter

    Only if it bothers others.... : )
    Tonton likes this.
  20. Tonton Well-Known Member

    Only thinking of the hugely impressive Russian lady and others who occasionally post here. Wouldn’t want them to feel excluded.


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