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Review "Over the Top" from Model Cellar Productions

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hi to all on PF ,

    If anything there are 3 words that instantly puts a picture into our minds of the horror of WW1 , the split second when men faced the hardest thing ever ....I refer of course to the phrase "Over the Top" where men had to climb out of the relative safety of an often waterlogged trench with a barrage support at times , and a hail of bullets from the enemy ,some made it no farther than the trench ladder top before being hit , others miraculously got close to the the enemy line only to be met by a wire entanglement which the artillery barrage was meant to destroy, this trapped the brave men like a spiders web many dying on the wire.

    Led by their officers , often no older than 19 and just out of Sandhurst or Welbeck as a 2nd Lt, some who had by some miracle survived were older and possibly a Captain , this is the subject of the release from a while back and now even more poignant in this 100 year anniversary of WW1.

    It is of course the bust depicting a Captain from the Gloucester Regt 2/5th Bn

    Cas new pics 008.jpg
    2/5th Battalion:
    Formed at Gloucester in September 1914 as a home service ("second line") unit.
    January 1915 : came under command of 2nd South Midland Brigade, 2nd South Midland Division, at Northampton. Moved to Chelmsford in April 1915 and on to Park House Camp (Tidworth) in February 1916.
    Landed in France on 23 May 1916.
    August 1915 : formation became 184th Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division.

    The 61st Division:

    In February and early March 1916 the Division moved to Salisbury Plain. King George V inspected the Division at Bulford on 5 May 1916.
    The Division was warned in May that it would go on overseas service and entrainment began on the 21st. By 28 May the Division, less the Ammunition Column (which was still at Le Havre), had concentrated in the area of Merville - Gonnehem - Busnes - Thiennes. The Division then remained in France and Flanders and took part in the following engagements:
    The Attack at Fromelles
    The first major action in which the Division was engaged turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. An attack was made on 19 July 1916 at Fromelles, a subsidiary action to the much larger battle taking place further south on the Somme. The Division suffered very heavy casualties for no significant gain and no enemy reserves were diverted from the Somme. Such was the damage to the Division and its reputation that it was not used again other than for holding trench lines until 1917.

    This is an entry from a diary by Pte Fred Bell of the Liverpool Pals which conveys the feelings at this time:

    The date was July 27th, 1916

    All through that night I never had a wink of sleep. My stomach would insist on rising to my throat to choke me each time I thought of some lurid possibility. And so the night passed and we remained where we were.
    I have one chance in four of coming out none the worse. And the other chances, what are they? Maybe they are three to one against being killed.
    There is some comfort in that. One chance in four of being wounded, which means a respite, and one in four of being taken prisoner - almost as good as escaping scot free.
    Zero was 7.15 a.m. In a few minutes we should endure the supreme test. Furtive peeps over the parapet revealed nothing of the enemy trenches, for a mist lay over all. What if our artillery had failed to cut "his" wire? Were his machine-gunners waiting to mow us down as we struggled to break a way through his entanglements? The monotonous hammering of these questions must have had different effects on different men.
    In me, strangely enough, they induced feelings of utter weariness followed by spasms of fatalistic carelessness, which I could have wished to last the whole war through. But our emotions come and go like clouds in the sky, and my new-found peace of mind was short-lived.
    Suddenly the noise of the guns eased off. For a second or two there was quiet. Then the fury of our barrage dropped like a wall of roaring sound before us. By some means the signal to advance was given and understood and we found ourselves walking forward into the mist, feeling utterly naked. Who can express the sensations of men brought up in trench warfare suddenly divested of every scrap of shelter?
    Forward we stumbled into a mist that seemed to grow ever thicker.
    0aa.jpg 0a.png 0000000000.jpg 000000000.jpg
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    Well documented here are a few from my library :
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    Continued in next post:

    Joe55, BillW, Scotty and 2 others like this.
  2. billyturnip A Fixture

    As usual a great review Kev. I was really pleased to see you had posted a photo of Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Bertram LAWSON, D.S.O. & Bar - Killed 24th June 1918 - 2/5th Battalion Glosters.He is the third photo, the one under the group shot. He is one of the men commemorated on Bedale war memorial. The family lived in Bedale Hall.
    Eagle eyed viewers might have noticed they are not Glosters collar badges, anyone like to take a guess? ;)

    Wings5797 and napoleonpeart like this.
  3. smudger1960 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I picked one of these up from Steve Kirtley at euro and its a superb piece,if anyone is interested kev there is a really beautifully painted one on the planet site by Gerrard / Tarracus
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  4. Nap A Fixture

    On we go then ,

    Beginning with details of the model:

    Title: "Over the Top" Captain 2/5th Bn Gloucestershire Regiment 61st Division 1916

    Reference: MC 19010


    Material: Resin

    No of Pieces: 11 plus some wire/cord and an insert

    Sculptor: Carl Reid

    Casting: Paul from Model Cellar

    Box Art: Dave Maddox

    The model parts were packed in plastic bags which was surrounded by bubble wrap before being held in a cardboard box ith a colour box art on the front.
    Cas new pics 008.jpg Cas new pics 010.jpg
    There is an insert with a 3 way set of colour pictures showing Daves artwork from all angles.
    Cas new pics 009.jpg
    The pieces (all cast in a creamy coloured resin) consist of the torso, the head , 2 arms,2 hands, helmet, gas mask satchel , pistol holster, whistle and base together with some cord/wire to use to make the pistol lanyard.
    Cas new pics 011.jpg
    The torso :

    Prep needed was a slight sanding to remove the final remnant of casting from the undersides,a small amount of work on one side of the shirt collar is needed ..easily done with a bit of putty , as this is an early sculpt from Carl the back is scalloped out and a dotted texture added.

    Our officer wears service dress with leather double strapped equiptment with the snake buckle , which has positioning recesses for the equiptment , together with a small pouch being cast on , details suffice to apsaycare really good nice undercuts , the leather pulling into the uniform .

    The uniform itself had creases in keeping with the position of the model , great buttons and definition of the collar area in particular, the pockets on the tunic could almost open very good undercuts , our captain has a tie on as normal with officers keeping the highest standards in front of the men .

    Across his chest we have the strap for the ph satchel , well done with the distinctive buttons in evidence

    There are some collar badges easily seen as the Sphinx with the "T" for territorial underneath....very nicely worked . Also we have a medal ribbon , perhaps the MC or DSO.
    Cas new pics 014.jpg Cas new pics 017.jpg Cas new pics 015.jpg Cas new pics 016.jpg Cas new pics 018.jpg Cas new pics 019.jpg
    The head:

    Prep needed on the review model was a bt of putty on one of the ears, no casting plugs to deal with

    As with current sculpts from Carl a lot of character has been put into the face catching hat split second as he blows the whistle , cheeks bellowed out , moustache slightly raised , forehead lined , leading by example to his men perhaps wondering how many of them will make it through this hell .

    Eyes are good with the helmet strap being cast around the chin and side , dry fitting into the torso showed no need for filler .
    Cas new pics 027.jpg Cas new pics 029.jpg Cas new pics 027.jpg Cas new pics 028.jpg Cas new pics 026.jpg
    The Arms:

    Prep was just a slight sanding on each elbow with a tiny bit of filler needed when fitting to the torso

    The arms are without hands , both have the same high level of creases being worked together with formation signs at the shoulders and at the cuffs we have the rank of Captain, these are very cleanly cast and will be brought out even more in detail with the painting.

    Positioning of the left is at shoulder level the arm turned as if looking at the watch for the appointed time, with the right being held slightly lower ready for the hand with weapon.

    The cuffs show the shirt cuffs in the jacket all recessed ready to receive the hands.
    Cas new pics 020.jpg Cas new pics 021.jpg Cas new pics 022.jpg Cas new pics 023.jpg Cas new pics 024.jpg Cas new pics 025.jpg Cas new pics 013.jpg
    The hands:

    Prep needed on the walking stick was only sanding of tiny casting plugs and careful removal of a small amount of excess resin at the wrist .

    Both are holding things , the left a walking sick as said , very often seen at the front , the hands holds this Ingres gripping onto it , nice finger work with the viral watch being at his wrist , fit into the arms was fine , no filler required.
    Cas new pics 039.jpg Cas new pics 040.jpg
    The right holds the Webley pistol , thumb on the cocking lever , really nice details on the weapon( don't forget the lanyard has to be worked from the wire provided)
    Cas new pics 038.jpg Cas new pics 037.jpg
    Continued in next post:

  5. Nap A Fixture

    Hi brian ,

    You are of course indeed correct and its a superb paint job Gerard has done ...amazing work

    Enjoy these...


    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
    Inaki, MCPWilk, garyhiggins and 5 others like this.
  6. Nap A Fixture

    Now to the final pieces:


    First the pistol holster , a nice shape as per examples , the secured down, well shown , good undercutting on the flap , fit into the belt on the right side no problem as it's fully flashed with the belt ..well cast in all area's.
    Cas new pics 034.jpg Cas new pics 035.jpg Cas new pics 036.jpg
    The same comment goes for the satchel , which would hold the ph mask , this bellows out at the bottom, the restraining buttons , looks the part and really brings home the horrors the troops fought in...gas a silent killer.
    Cas new pics 030.jpg Cas new pics 031.jpg

    The Helmet now , prep was a slight sanding underneath , with fit onto the head being tight and accurate, some might want to add the liner to the inside before fitting...easy enough if you choose to do so.
    Shape of the Helmet is good with the distinctive button on the top , I might be tempted also to add a regimental badge to this..back and front by using a small amount of putty ...when in position the helmet looks the part.
    Cas new pics 032.jpg Cas new pics 033.jpg
    The Whistle next ..no prep except to position in the hole thoughtfully provided in the mouth area , you could add a cord as in the box art .....this simple but oh so vital bit of kit gave the signal and also helps makes the piece .
    Cas new pics 012.jpg
    Finally the Base , prep was just to sand the underside , I would suggest ofcourse that you pin the model , the base is textured the same as the back of the torso, on the front we have a view looking up a trench , scaling ladders are empty , duckboards no longer have the tramping of boots ...the Captain and his men have gone " Over the Top" .
    Cas new pics 043.jpg Cas new pics 041.jpg Cas new pics 042.jpg
    I like the work put into the base and it certainly adds something to the completed model.

    Final Thoughts:

    This is as said an early release from Model Cellar and is IMO one that should be in very one's collection , it says it all about WW1....sculpting is very good , plenty of fine details from the rank badges to the whistle , well cast with nice presentation , painted up versions all add that special something to the display cabinet .

    For more info please go to the Model Cellar website at :


    Lots of great models to tempt you and full details of worldwide suppliers.

    Thanks to Paul for the Review model and...

    As always to you all also for looking in

    Enjoy your hobby

  7. megroot A Fixture

    Thanks Nap, for all the info and revieuw.
    Gonna pick this one up next sunday at Veldhoven.

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  8. Nap A Fixture

  9. Eludia A Fixture

    Thanks for the review Nap, lots of great references (y)

    I didn't know the bottom collar dog represented Territorials, I automatically assumed it represented the rear cap badge typical of the Gloucesters (the entry and exit wounds as we used to jokingly refer to them) but it was just a case of me not looking closely enough at the model as it looks nothing like the rear cap badge. I have removed the bottom badges from my version along with the recognition flashes from the arms.

    Billy (y)
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  10. Eludia A Fixture

    One thing I might add...the helmet fits in 3 different positions but only one is correct (obviously), so once you have the position that looks right then it's a good idea to mark the inside front of the helmet for future removal and fitting. Only saves a second or two admittedly but I did get a little frustrated with it.

    Billy :)
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  11. Jimbo A Fixture

    superb review Kev(y)
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  12. Nap A Fixture

    Billy ,

    The collar dogs have the "T" under which does denote a Territorial Bn as you said , as for the helmet on the review piece there was a cut out that matches a lug on the head so could only go one way but abig thanks for pointing it out based on your model version .

    Thanks for taking the time to comment


    Bootneck and Eludia like this.
  13. billyturnip A Fixture

    Yep, 11th Hussars. (y)

    Wings5797 and napoleonpeart like this.
  14. swralph A Fixture

    Excellent review Kevin.Graet looking kit.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  15. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Outstanding review!

    All the best,
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  16. Nap A Fixture

    Hi guys ,

    Thanks for all the comments ....but please feel free to PM me with any suggestions or if you want other things included in these little threads.

  17. Bootneck Well-Known Member

    Excellent review Kevin. Your own personal standard keeps getting better. Don't know how you find the time.

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  18. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Super work Kevin,
    as Peter says you are getting better with every review......just like a fine vin rouge improving with age.
    Top class this fine review Mate, many thanks for the effort you put in to it.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  19. Santiago Moltó Active Member

    Absolutely great!.
    I love your reviews !, those are very clearly

  20. Wayneb A Fixture

    Have to agree with all the above......finished this piece a few months ago; and I must say,to take the base(barbed wire) takes it to another level.
    I will add that it is a great sculpt and casting......Watch you don't break that whistle though or you might end up with a look a little different then you might have hoped for.All is O.K. though.......
    If you are looking for a masterful rendition......all I can say is I wish I would have seen this before I did mine..............Regards...............Wayne........................P.S.........love the flower but don't understand it..............................................Nap.....thanks for the review............Love the original box art also.....
    napoleonpeart likes this.

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