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Murat at Aboukir - 1799 (2)

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Dani A., Apr 15, 2004.

  1. Dani A. New Member

    Well, let's begin modelling...

    I usually work in large sizes, 90 to 120 mm. I chose 120 mm in this instance, because I had some stocks which would be advisable to trim to size...

    I decided to keep with Gros's interpretation of Murat riding a horse accoutred in the light cavalry style, complete with a lavish (and very expensive) pantherskin schabraque. We can not know exactly what cavalry equipment Murat's horse was clad with; general's horse accoutrements were not regulated until 1803, before that date every individual had his choice on the matter, it could have been any of a number of styles, including Arabian harness in Egypt. So, I follow Gros here - it happens that I like the pantherskin, too!

    I had a Verlinden's "Cuirassier General" who rides a horse equipped with the mentioned kind of light cavalry equipment, so I could begin the work... Here is the original figure.

  2. Dani A. New Member

    First I modified the pose, too placid for my intentions. So, I reworked both rear hind legs, specially the left one, in order to obtain a more spirited and dramatic movement. The horse is going to be balanced on a single leg (which greatly contributes, I feel, to the dynamism of the movement), so, profiting from the fact that I had it severed at the middle to change the angle for the required new pose, I drilled it through completely, up to the body, and inserted a wire rod - this should make for a very firm attachment.

    You can appreciate how I repositioned the legs looking at the 2-part putty areas, where I had to rebuild the musculature.



    I will not use the original horse's neck, I will build one which matches better the new pose, so I have joined the head to the body with a lenght of twisted wire; now I can freely move it and select the definitive stance.
  3. Patrick Kirk New Member

    Wow...what a great start. :lol:
    I have been waiting to do a 120mm figger and horse, and as I watch yours come together, I might take that plunge! Can't wait to see you bring Murat and his horse alive! Excellent pose on the horse. I agree, the motion you have captures is superb.
    All the best
  4. yeo_64 Well-Known Member

    Dani, (y) (y) (y) ! Can't wait to see the progression on this one ! Cheers.
  5. Dani A. New Member

    Thanks for your attention...

    Now some improvements need to be applied to the horse...

    Verlinden 120 mm figures are cheaper than most - but, let's face it, there is a price for this (no pun intended!). More often than not, they are affected by cursory engineering and manufacturing shortcuts, to spare reproduction costs. Also, frequently there is an oversimplification on the original master. Hence, Verlinden figures usually ask for reworking and detailing, if you want to get a decent result. Is it worth the effort? Well, it depends on every one's approach. If you want a figure that can be built straight from the box, then look to the other side. On the other hand, there is usually a substantial price difference, and no other manufacturer can match Verlinden's catalogue as to variety. So you make your choices.

    Tackling the case in hand... the horse saddle is modelled together with the animal's body. Worse, its undersides are solid, and almost horizontal with the ground in angle - that is, not beveled, as would be necessary in order to minimize the problem. And this CAN be noticed. Corollary: you have to do the job. So, armed with a Dremel tool, I carefully removed the offending resin from the undersides of the schabraque (not carefully enough, I should add - I removed also a innocent lenght of the festoon that surrounds the saddlecloth, which I had to re-model later). There is no need to get a fine finish, because it will be invisible; the important thing is to make it more realistic; you have to suggest there is empty space where the schabraque falls separate from the body.

    IMPORTANT: remember to wear a protective mask!

    This is how it looks. I have to do some fine-tuning at the edges, but the main job is done.


    See you...
  6. Jim Patrick Active Member

    Outstanding work so far Daniel. I look forward to seeing you complete this piece. Keep us posted.

    Jim Patrick
  7. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Hey Dani!

    This is a very interesting project! Looking forward to see it unfold. Great pics and text so far, and ofcourse, excellent modeling too!
  8. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Daniel, I really like the look of your project thus far. It's going to be a gorgeous piece.~Gary
  9. Guy A Fixture

    Very exciting to see your work unfold.........keep us posted
  10. yeo_64 Well-Known Member

    Daniel, (y) (y) ! Like Guy said,do keep us posted ! Cheers.
    Kenneth :lol:
  11. Dani A. New Member

    Now to the horse accoutrements...

    As I mentioned, it is a light cavalry equipment, Hungarian style, with a leopard skin schabraque. Taking a look at the Verlinden figure, it can be deducted that the artist did not do his homework as far as research was concerned - in my opinion, he was not the least familiarized with what he wanted to represent.

    This kind of horse equipment was composed of two elements: first, the actual Hungarian style saddle, usually complemented with a brace of pistol holsters, and, second, the schabraque which covered it. Here you have a drawing of a saddle of this type, concretely the officer’s model which concerns us:


    The schabraque could be of one among different styles and materials, like cloth or sheepskin, for instance. It could be also made of leopard (or panther) skin, and this is the one I want to depict. Enclosed is an image of a typical example (there were variants) of a complete set, a leopard skin schabraque over a Hungarian saddle – you can see its cantle emerging.


    Both drawings come from Osprey title on French chasseurs à cheval.

    If you compare with the previous photos, you can notice that the interpretation of this equipment in Verlinden’s figure is fairly deficient. The major faults are: there is not enough volume to suggest the saddle underneath the schabraque, the cantle is absent, the cinch is too narrow, the surcingle is not there, nor is the strap going around the cantle; the one around the cantle is, but it is too narrow and incorrectly placed. Also, the forward part is little convincing – it is incorrectly shaped, and too “swollen”, and it has not a single wrinkle – it looks more like a motorcycle cowling that like a schabraque. In fact, the entire affair looks more like a “B-Series” film prop.

    You can find all the necessary details on this type of horse equipment in the appropriate Rigondaud and Rousselot plates dedicated to light cavalry troops.

    So, I have some work in perspective… I began by removing a good part of resin at the forward area with the adequate Dremel tool; here is the rough result:


    This one is for comparison: the red areas define, approximately, the original volume; the changes as to shape are evident too.


    The last one, for the moment, a profile view, showing the grooves where the forward strap will be, and some preliminary crease work. I have already modelled a basic putty form for the underneath saddle.


    See you soon...

  12. Roc Active Member

    Thanks for the posting.

  13. Robin Active Member

    Kewl work Dani

    Looking forward to seeing more.

  14. yeo_64 Well-Known Member

    AWESOME SBS,Dani (y) (y) ;looking forward to the next step.Cheers !
    Kenneth. :lol:
  15. Guy A Fixture

    Awesome Dani..........love the pics

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