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WIP Mike's WW1 NZRB Lewis Gunner Bust in 1\6th

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Mike - The Kiwi, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. kilsh Well-Known Member

    Country:
    England
    Mike

    Can only echo what the other guys have said inspiring stuff, looking forward to seeing more!

    Cheers

    Neil
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  2. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    You crack me up Richie :)
    Make sure you get water soluble crayons too, easy to get off the walls & clothes ;-)

    Thanks for,kind comments

    Mike
  3. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Thank you Steve, interesting to get everyone's views here as you are never quite sure yourself how this looks at staring at it for many hours can confuse the mind :)
  4. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for your kind comments & questions - always useful to stretch my thinking about how we paint. Also helps share the learning here for which I've been appreciative of all the modellers who have helped me online over the years. Tips acknowledged to each of them below.

    I've used both oils & acrylics on this so far in an unconventional approach.
    Thought a couple more photos may help explain my technique.

    Does this help?

    Mike

    Below: Prework on Charlie's face. Textured Winsor & Newton Naples Yellow oil.
    Applied directly to polystone resin, using fine brush & sharpened toothpick.
    Hardy Tempest is the master who taught us this & I'm still an apprentice using technique when it seems it would look effective.
    CharlieBeardHairPreWork.jpg

    Below: My acrylics palette for skin & hair.
    Made up primarily of Jo Sonja (thanks Sang Eon & Man Jin for putting us on to these), plus Matisse Flesh Tint http://www.matissederivan.com/ courtesy of my wife Suzanne, who is also an artist & helps set me right on face colours ;-)

    Thanks to John Belcher & many other folk here too who showed me here how to make a wet palette. This has been revolutionary in my use of acrylics, though I do tend to work with quite a dry top sheet so have to keep adding extra paint as it dries over sometimes after a few days.

    Top left corner you'll see clear globules - John also tipped me off on Vallejo Acrylic Resin Satin Varnish. Mix this into top layers of paint to get skin sheen effect.

    CharliePalette.JPG

    Below: I've mentioned it lots before, courtesy of Kaz Tomufuri who shared his secret to adding variety in his face painting. William Powell's book is a steal & everyone should have a copy :)
    http://www.amazon.com/Color-Mixing-Recipes-Portraits-Combinations/dp/1560109904

    I adapted his Caucasian Medium Tones for Charlie & Golden Brown hair recipe.
    Almost feels like cheating using this but really helps get you started.

    color-mixing-recipes-for-portraits-more-than-500-william-f-powell-hardcover-cover-art.jpg photo 3.JPG
  5. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand

    I smile every time I see your avatar photo Derek, now that's disturbing mate! :)

    Thanks for support.
    Mike
    DEL likes this.
  6. Mariobusta A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    I am sure next time i see you , you will be cross eyed ! Don't know how you manage to get so much detail into your figures . I have trouble just painting eyes on a 54mm ! Amazing .
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  7. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Hey Neil mate! Thanks & good to hear from you, yes been to long since we caught up last :)
    So much going on for me with work, family & painting.
    Hopefully my eyesight survives this project ;-)

    Bet with your jeweller eyes you're still sharp though.
    What's on bench at moment?

    Mike
  8. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand

    Thank your Neil for your interest, just working my way through his hair at moment, then on to the helmet.

    Until next photo shoot, here's my painting desk that may be of interest to some of team here.

    Stay safe,
    Mike

    CharlieWorkbench.JPG
  9. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand

    Thanks mate!
    I know the story is all important to you too Nap. So here's a little more background.
    Originally intended as another tribute to my 3 Great Uncles who served - WIA, KIA, DOI
    Instead have decided to narrow it down so I can add a bit of personal detail to this bust.
    It is now loosely inspired & representative of Charlie Town, a Lewis Gunner with NZ Rifle Brigade's 3rd Battalion.
    I'm working on the basis photo was taken well before Charlie left for Europe, during his service he became more hardened, weary & grew his hair ;-).

    CharlieTown.jpg

    London Gazette, 28 January 1918, p1406, Rec No 1688: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack on the Paschendaele Ridge on the 12th October 1917. He did exceptionally fine work on the flank of his Battalion as No 1 of a Lewis Gun team, when an enemy counter-attack showed signs of developing. He showed great gallantry throughout the day."

    Refs:
    NZRB Official History Entry: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-WH1-NZRi-t1-body-d10-d3.html
    Charlie's Personnel Record: http://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/Cenotaph/15898.detail
    Scotty and napoleonpeart like this.
  10. tonydawe A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    Mike,

    As I've said before, you have an exceptional talent at bringing together both the hyper detail and realism of a large scale sculpt like this, which can withstand close up scrutiny at high magnification, but which also looks stunningly realistic when viewed from 6 feet away. I know how hard it is to paint these large scale busts and to capture all the details and do justice to the outstanding quality of the sculpt, but I think you're in a class of your own when it comes to the details, the textures and the weathering of these Naked Army pieces. Just stunning painting mate and truly inspirational. I can't wait to see the next pics.
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  11. alamac Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Brilliant skin tones Mike , really looking forward to seeing him complete ,
    Cheers
    Al
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  12. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Goodness Tony that is so humbling .
    Not sure I'm quite there but will keep trying & learning.
    Thanks so much for your encouragement.
    Let's hope I can achieve the standard you suggest.

    Stay safe

    Mike
  13. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Hi Al, without you none of these projects would have been possible.
    Thank you for your support & sharing your enthusiasm for these big Naked & Khaki Army products.

    Looking forward to a smaller version of Bull next year to mate ;-)

    Mike
  14. alamac Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Mike , through your talents all modellers can see just what is possible on these large scale pieces, great stuff mate ,
    Cheers
    Al
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  15. Wayneb A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Paint work is superb as all have said but would also like to commend the sculptor.........Wayne
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  16. bistray Well-Known Member

    Country:
    England
    Mike brilliant work mate, your desk looks similar to mine, My Nan had a lewis gun magazine for years and we used to play about with it when we were kids, apparently my grandad was 15 when he enlisted and he was standing sentry duty with a Lewis gun on a trench one night, a German soldier from a snatch squad appeared through the gloom over the top of the trench and my grandad was so scared he emptied the whole magazine from the Lewis gun in his direction, it was the only thing he ever said about the war
  17. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Thanks Wayne, agree wholeheartedly about sculptor & design of these - led by Scott, an exPat Aussie who lives in Hong Kong who is the mastermind behind the Naked Army & Khaki Army ranges.

    One point to note that never ceases to amaze me is level of detail that is revealed as you add colour to these.
    The white polystone is a lovely solid material, but much of the subtle detail of the masters is not immediately visible. This is also geared to being revealed by the bronzing process which most of these are produced in, both hot & cold cast bronzes. So it doubly delightful to find creases around eyes, retina positioned, stitching on clothing etc revealed as you paint.

    Useful?

    Mike
  18. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Mike ,

    Thanks so much for the information on such a brave man and what a subject to base your amazing work on ...

    It is truly art in every respect .

    I have the colour mixes books ..real good find

    Looking forward to seeing more

    Nap
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  19. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Neat story Paul. Just imagine what other story your granddad would have told if he could of.
    We can but imagine the hell these young guys went through.
    Getting real feel for this now with IWM's Voices of WW1 and look forward to seeing BBC series Great War Interviews:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01tcxg0/the-great-war-interviews-1-frank-brent

    I think we are doing them proud in a way by remembering so long after.
    I don't think they expected us to...

    From a veteran at 50th anniversary:
    http://somme1916.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/somme-50th-anniversary-veterans-return/

    "They went on waiting in front of the memorial on this turf so immaculately maintained by the War Graves Commission. Thiepval is the only place for miles where the flower beds don’t have a sign telling the public not to walk on them.

    “They would be irrelevant here,” Mr Hoadley said, “I think everyone understands what this earth cost. The only people who really know about it are underneath. I think this anniversary will be the last. When it comes to 75 years, we’ll all be dead too, and the Somme will seem as abstract as Waterloo.”
    bistray and napoleonpeart like this.
  20. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Good on ya Nap!
    What we do is as much about Why we do it as is the How?

    Looking forward to doing my best to acknowledge Charlie & his mates in a small, meaningful way.

    What do you think of the Powell Recipe book? How have you used it?

    Stay safe,
    Mike

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