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Red Trousers Against Machine Guns

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by NigelR, Aug 4, 2022.

  1. NigelR Member

    This is my first actual figure thread on here after many years of lurking. This whole project is a lot of firsts for me, and I have no idea if I am up to the job but I will give it a go.

    This will be my first diorama/vignette that is "properly" planned using composition and storytelling principles I've learned from Marcus White (thanks mate!) and also from listening to Mike Blank's talk at the last Euro Miniature Expo pre-Covid. This will also be my first attempt at using heavily converted plastic figures. I've done dioramas and vignettes before but always using commercial figures out of the box, some of which had minor conversions. I'm now trying to animate the figures properly using the principles I first read about in Shep Paine's book all those years ago and again thanks to more help from Marcus (and watching Bill Horan at the same Euros....). I've even dug out the pyrogravure I bought from Historex Agents in about 1974.....

    The idea of the diorama is to show a French bayonet charge in 1914 being hit by machine guns. The plan is to have a line of infantry charging with a guy in the centre of the line looking on with horror as he sees all the guys to his right being mown down. To his left there will be figures still charging forward, including a standard bearer (so I can have a nice triangle in the composition). I have no idea if this will work out but that's the plan....

    I plan to have 9 figures in total. I've started work on the first three, an officer who will be leading the charge, the "horrified" guy and one of the casualties. Early days, still got a lot of work to do on all of them (they are all missing at least one arm!) but I'm pleased so far. This is going to take quite a while though......

    RTAMG01.jpg RTAMG02.jpg RTAMG03.jpg
  2. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Can see concept unfolding with these three Nigel.
    Any reason you went for 9 to tell your story?
    Look forward to next steps.
    MikeTheKiwi
    NigelR and Oda like this.
  3. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    I like it..and your animation..my two cents on choice of 9 might be a sufficient number posed being hit, fallen…to show futility …
    NigelR and Oda like this.
  4. Warren SMITH Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Great start, I will be following your build on this one..
    NigelR likes this.
  5. Oda A Fixture

    Looks extremely promising.I will be following with interest.

    Oda.
    NigelR likes this.
  6. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Nigel

    This is a great idea and I am following you right behind , like the story you have , Marcus's work is inspirational to say the least , you'll do some great modelling for sure

    Is the idea based on a picture or painting perhaps ?

    If I may I know Marcus is also working on some WW1 projects , hope we see them here as well

    Enjoy the benchtime

    Nap
    NigelR likes this.
  7. NigelR Member

    Thanks for the positive feedback both. My original idea was to have enough figures to show a line of advancing French, with part of the line being hit but the rest as yet untouched. But it may be overkill, and the risk is too many figures could draw attention from the guy in the middle (who is supposed to be the focus of the story). I may well get to a point where fewer figures than 9 works, I'll post in progress shots to see what everyone thinks.
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  8. NigelR Member

    Thanks Warren and Oda. This will be a test of my skills but as they say, every day is a schoolday.....:)

    Thanks Kev, I've learned so much from hanging around with Marcus that it's given me the courage to give this kind of thing a go. It is based on both contemporary illustations and also photographs (most of which are posed/taken in training, but they give an idea of how the French actually attacked in 1914). I've posted a coupld below.


    He'll be with us at Avon on Sunday, so we can both give him a nudge ;)

    FrenchBayonetCharge.jpg French chargen.jpg
    Martin64, Mike - The Kiwi and Nap like this.
  9. Ferris A Fixture

    Great project. Please keep up posting progress!

    My bit of advice (feel free to ignore): Whatever number of figures you choose, keep the composition as compact as possible. This will more effectively simulate a massed attack than a larger, stretched-out layout with the same number of figures. Or, when desiring a larger base, group the figures closely together (advancing to the empty space on the layout).
    Hope this is comprehensible....

    Regards
    Adrian
    Merryweather, Nap and NigelR like this.
  10. marco55 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Will follow this with interest. What scale are these?
    Mark
    NigelR likes this.
  11. NigelR Member

    1/35 - they are ICM figures with Hornet heads and hands added to some of them.
    Nap likes this.
  12. marco55 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States

    (y)
  13. NigelR Member

    That all makes sense to me, good advice. The plan is to make it similar to the first picture - a line of figures advancing to the right of the scene (the empty space) with the officer out in front.
    Nap, Ferris and grasshopper like this.
  14. NigelR Member

    Here's where we are after more progress:
    RTAMG04.jpg

    The base is only temporary and it's too small, at the moment the officer looks like he has shot one of his own men....! I am thinking that 7 figures may be enough for the feeling I want to convey, I will have another casualty at the front and another charging guy plus a standard bearer at the back. I'll post pics when I have more figures done to see what you all think.

    I've attached some individual photos below. The figures still need a lot of tidying up (and arms!!) but I think I am making progress. The casualty is quite a heavy conversion, the first time I've really done anything that approaches sculpting, the others are fairly simple animations to make them look like they are really moving. I'm getting to grips with this whole approach, it is a bit more challenging than I thought it would be but it's great fun. Marcus is giving me a lot of advice.......:)

    RTAMG05.jpg RTAMG06.jpg RTAMG07.jpg RTAMG08.jpg RTAMG09.jpg RTAMG10.jpg
    Merryweather and Andrew Belsey like this.
  15. Merryweather Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Nice work, Nigel. These ICM figures are very nice to work with. Very good for a first attempt, especially the casualty.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how the scene develops.
    My only advice would be not to be too precious or perfectionist, just power through it, get it finished and learn lessons for the next one.
    all the best
    Neil

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