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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. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Sorry Roy lost in head & neck challenge at moment will come back to you with more detail soon as I can.
    In meantime check out early un-painted version of Charlie's face & head with thick oil paint applied on like a paste.

    Also check out some of my other SBS's where I've applied similar technique.

    Trust you understand,

    Thanks for kind comments

  2. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture


    "The first cut is the deepest..." :cry:

    OK Mike, took your advice on board - out came the new minitool to remove main neck shaft :eek:
    Used brass tubing to support head as no aluminium tube available, secured with Greentack.

    Man gotta admit I'm hoping third time lucky on this. Trust you but don't trust myself now :confused:

    Am I getting any closer mate? :depressed:

    Thanks in advance,


    P.S. Following this thread & also hopeful normal service will be resumed soon
    Charlie is suffering some paint damage but mostly resin dust after cutting to me cleaned off.
    Will do this once head is secured in place...

    NoNeckCharlie1.JPG NoNeckCharlie2.JPG NoNeckCharlie3.JPG
    NoNeckCharlie4.JPG NoNeckCharlie5.JPG NoNeckCharlie6.JPG
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  3. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture


    Man you cut me up Chris ;-)
    Not sure I'll be able to handle another bust after this project :)
    But do have Life Miniatures BoB to do before November.

    Will have to see about Bomber Crewman another day.

  4. bonehead A Fixture


    Hello Mike,

    Okay, bad choice with the brass tube! You cannot bend it. The whole idea with the wire was to make the neck armature bendable so that you can adjust it to get it looking right. That is why I was recommending aluminum armature wire. Sorry, tubing is pretty rigid. It won't do. If you don't have the aluminum wire or similar, you must have some copper wire of some description hanging around? If it is too flimsy, you can always twist two or three strands together to make something a little more rigid.

    From what i can see from your pics, you have put the head back pretty much where it was before. That is why you need something more flexible that can be easily changed if needed. Mike, it is needed!

    Sorry I opened this can of worms for you! I will help you all I can from this distance. But you have to use bendable wire. The tubing is not helpful. Sorry!

    Rootin' for you! :D:cool:

    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  5. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Got plenty of copper wire so can use that Mike. Will aim to later - can you perhaps do some more photoshop wizardry to indicate what you are expecting to see please?

    Talk soon,

  6. bonehead A Fixture

    Try a paper clip. The wire in a paper clip has the right combination of bendability and stiffness....
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  7. tonydawe A Fixture

    In this scale Mike, you might also consider using a length of wire from an old wire coat hanger. Still bendable but can carry the weight of the head better than a paper clip. I've used it before when swapping heads on Naked Army figures.
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  8. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture


    Armed with Aluminium rod as recommended Mike.
    Will send some shots later for you to feedback on, great to know you're on my side:)
    Gotta admit this is starting to get to me, but couldn't ask for better No.2 to sort out my Gunner No.1

    This photo is another inspiration to keep on going - these deserve being remembered eh!

    ChaosCossack and crf like this.
  9. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture


    Good suggestion Tony & thanks for your support - (Did you really say "Given how slowly you paint, this minor surgery is only going to slow down" ;-)
    I've already forgiven you this statement :)
    Though dished out a penance to you - 2 losses to our Chiefs team in Super Rugby Finals, plus another Bledisloe match!

    Yes cannot wait to get on to uniform, thought was home & hosed on it this time last week.
    Funny how learning stuff changes your perspective.

    Lewis Gun has a little more paint on in meantime,...
  10. tonydawe A Fixture


    I've painted 2 Naked Army busts this year already and I feel your pain mate.:D They are epic busts and demand such attention to detail.
    Having invested so much time and effort to get it right, it would be terrible shame and a wasted opportunity not to put the effort into making even minor improvements to ensure it's as good as you can make it. Keep going Mike.:notworthy:
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  11. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    OK Mike, here you go - ready for your advice.
    All set, aluminium rod in place, extra length ready to bend & cut.



    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
    image.jpg image.jpg
  12. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Tony, your threads on both projects were inspiring & helpful to learn from.
    I'm sure others have given Naked Army products a go as a direct result.

    Good on ya mate & hope I can round out a solid trio of ANZACs in 1/6th soon :)

    Talk again I'm sure

  13. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Hi Les,

    Well looks like there were a few folk who were thinking the same as Ulrich & too polite to say anything.
    Can totally understand this & often prefer myself to not say anything, rather than offer constructive criticism to someone I don't know. It may seem a helpful thing to do but can also come across as judgemental or negative, especially when you invested so much time & effort into a project.

    However how else can we learn & grow our skills without someone taking the risk to share what the think .
    The reader can always choose to disregard the opinion as it is their right to do so :)

    It's been good to get the subsequent feedback from yourself & others plus support from Mike Good to attempt to sort it out.

    Do hope I can protect helmet & scrim as was pleased with how this looked.
    Wanted to get a drying, sodden, muddied cover from a couple of days in rain & cr@p on Western Front.
    Glad you reckon this came out OK.

    Stay safe

    PS look forward to Chiefs/Crusader match next weekend too :)
    Scotty and crf like this.
  14. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Ok Roy, am glad you have got the busts & am sure you'll have fun painting them up.

    Look forward myself to doing pilot as one of my projects next year.

    Now ref oils for texturing hair, hopefully these Important Steps, with Key Points will help you & others give this a go:

    1. Squeeze out large blob oil paint.
    >Approx 0.5cm on non absorbent surface
    >I use Winsor & Newton's Naples Yellow, as per Hardy Tempest who introduced me to this.
    It dries relatively quickly over couple of days at room temperature which allows it to be worked.

    2. Apply oil "paste like" to hair area
    >Use flat brush like a spatula to layer on thickly ~0.5-1cm
    >leave to settle 30-60mins

    3. Tease "hair"
    >use sharpen toothpick tip
    >leave to set ~12-24 hrs

    4. Fine tune & tease "hair"
    >again use sharpened toothpick
    >can also try drawing pin or needle
    >leave to dry fully ~72hrs+

    5. Paint hair colour
    >use preferred medium. I've used both oils & acrylics on my projects.
    Prefer acrylics nowadays with small amount of Vallejo Satin to provide hair sheen

    Similar approach can be used for stubble too:
    in Step 1 stippling instead of laying on oil thickly

    I've used both methods on Charlie's head, hence desire to try & protect this in rebuild work due to time involved.
    I like effect this provides but do not do on all my figures,sometimes just paint sculpted hair.

    Hardy is the master with this & his results are nothing short of stunning so would encourage you to also search out photos & articles of his work to give you a feel for what is possible.

    Does this help?

  15. bonehead A Fixture

    Hello Mike,

    You will have to grind out that lot of "neck" still remaining in the torso. It will only get in the way. That very short length of wire you have exposed will not allow you any significant adjustment anyway. You will need to have some "air" around the wire to be a able to be able to make the needed adjustments.

    Looking at your pics, the head positions still has not changed from what you had previously. You need room in there to get to business with the neck wire and drop the head forward. When you get to that point, send pics and I will photoshop them to show you where the head should be......

    Sorry for the aggro! We will get this thing right in the end!


    crf and Mike - The Kiwi like this.
  16. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Buddy! How did I know you were going to say that ;-)

    Ok project for tonite or weekend, let's see how we go.

    Talk again soon.

  17. nautilas Member

    Thankyou for your help i will be starting the bust after my holiday and i will try to post some pictures of my work which i have never done before, how do i find your other works? all the best roy. Can i also ask what you use for the helmet cover.
  18. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Hi Roy

    Glad it helped & feel free to keep asking questions.

    Ref "Helmet Cover": don't tell my missus (love her to bits but...;-) she bought me some handkerchiefs.
    They were white cotton with a tight woven, coarse textures.
    Immediately I thought they could work as a 1/6th hessian helmet cover :)
    So I cut a large round hole in one... Voila!
    With right paint- enamel & acrylic plus pastels it seems to work.
    Also added some nylon thread to simulate twine used to secure the lid.
    Opted to cut small sections & carefully glue for this effect as opposed to sewing cotton as I did with Maori Sergeant.
    That was too tough last time.

    Ref "My other work"...
    Click on my Avatar or profile picture & check out VBench or search for Mike & NZ
    Almost all my articles here start with "Mike"

    You can also check my site on Facebook if you user that:

    Does this help?

    Stay safe
  19. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Another set of unflattering photos of Charlie slowly being ground away Mike :)

    Trust I'm finally ready for a touch of your virtual sculpting wizardry.

    Really hoping I can start blocking his neck in on the weekend.

    What do you reckon?


    image.jpg image.jpg
    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
  20. bonehead A Fixture

    Hello Mike,

    I reckon the wire is a bit too short! It needs to be a bit over-long to allow for bending and adjustment. But there is a way to fudge this if you have the wire glued in already (please say you have NOT glued the wire into the torso!): just cut a short length of the wire and stuff it into the hole on the torso. I generally glue the wire into the head and leave it loose in the torso. It is easier to work with that way. But honestly, a longer wire is preferred. The best way to go is to drill a fairly deep hole in the torso - say an inch or so. Then use a wire which is obviously too long. You can always shorten it as needed once you start bending it into shape. But you cannot lengthen it if you cut it too short at the outset!

    But I can offer an alternative to using a longer wire - see my comments below the photo.

    You will be glad to have the extra length when it comes time to smooth the neck and paint. Then you can just pop the head off, stick it in a pin-vise or block of wood and work away at the head and neck without the rest of the bust getting on the way. Wouldn't that be nice?

    Either way, the wire is too short (utilizing your present drilled holes) to bring the head forward to a reasonable position. The pic below should show you about where the head needs to be.


    Notice here that I simply cut and pasted the head over your original pic. You can see where your present wire emerges from the torso just above the collar. If the wire is still loose, one really easy way to go is to drill a new hole in the torso in front of the present one to align with the upper wire in the photo.

    See, no sweat! But if you are using a new wire, make it a bit over-long and drill that hole deep. It will make your life easier, trust me!

    So, the red lines show you about where your new neck should be. Stay inside the lines! You do not want his neck getting too fat. Notice how that rear line now goes up at a forward angle - rather than the straight line of the original - and - how it leaves a bit of a gap between the neck and the collar.

    That is what you are aiming for mate!

    Once you have the wire in place and have the head positioned where you think it should go, post some new pics and let me have a look before you glue or start filling in anything! Stuff is easy to fix when it is just wire and air. But not so much when you have filled in stuff before it is right. I suspect you have figured that out at this point...... ;)

    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.

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