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S/Sgt. "Wild Bill" Guarnere, E/506 PIR

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Pete_H, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Pete_H New Member

    Coming soon to this vBench ... a 54mm conversion of S/Sgt. "Wild Bill" Guarnere of Easy Company 506 PIR. It's in the planning stages at this time, but the conversion itself will begin this weekend. I'll post step-by-step pictures here along with notes. This will be my presentation for next month's SCAHMS and SDMS meetings as well.

    The outline for this project is as follows:
    1. research for references on the man himself.
    2. selection of the figure to be converted, as well as any accessories needed.
    3. actual conversion of the piece.
    4. painting & presentation.
  2. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Hey Pete!

    That sounds like it will be a good read! Looking forward to it buddy!
  3. RobH Active Member

    Sounds excellent Pete.

    Found the Wild Bill forums the other day. Loooking forward to it.

  4. LCoote New Member

    Pete, what figure are you using, did that package arrive yet ?
  5. Pete_H New Member

    I'll post which figure I'll be using tonight. What I want to do is photograph an assembled & unprimed version of the kit and then "Quang" it with Photoshop. I'll then place that figure besides the one I'm converting so as to see the subtle differences. It really won't be much in the way of a major conversion - a new right arm, new hands, new boots, new head, slight conversion of webbing. As for the package, it's not here yet; rest assured, I'm keeping an eye out for it since the Tommy gun is essential to this project. Thanks again, amigo :)
  6. Pete_H New Member

    To all,
    First, I wish to apologize for not keeping you posted on the progress of this project. To be honest, there hasn't been any progress until this evening. I've been bogged down with work-related issues - final exams are right around the corner, so my time has been consumed with catching up on grades and such. Although there have been other work-related issues that have kept me away from the workbench, I won't bore you with details.
    This evening, I finally sat down and worked on this conversion/project. Time permitting, I'll post the first two installments of this work-in-progress within the next 2 days. These will comprise of the research invested into the planning, as well as the beginnings of the conversion of the selected stock kit. But before I forget, I'd like to thank Leigh Coote for his invaluable contribution to this project - a pair of 54mm Tommy guns from the Airfix 8th.Army kit. Without them, this project would not be possible - thanks amigo, I owe you a margarita!
    Again, thanks for your patience. I'll have pictures posted soon.
  7. Guy A Fixture

    All good things......................take time!
    Not a problem Pete. We look forward to you getting back to the bench!
  8. Pete_H New Member

    Well, I finally got around to the conversion and it's well on its way towards completion. With any luck, it will be done in time for next week's SCAHMS meeting - in fact, it had better be done! :lol:

    What I'm hoping to do is write an article on this project for possible publication. I will be posting my writings here for constructive criticism. You know I can take it, so let me know what you think.

    So here we go .....
  9. Pete_H New Member

    The thought of creating miniatures of the men of Easy Company 506 P.I.R came after reading Stephen Ambrose’s “Band of Brothers” for the first time in 1997. After learning the next year that it would be made into a miniseries, my interest in this subject grew significantly. I began searching the Internet for any information on the miniseries, and I came across a fan site discussion forum. A conversation with a “fan” leads to the discovery that I was actually corresponding with Lana Luz-Miller, daughter of Sgt. George Luz. Before I knew it, I was well on my way to scratchbuilding a 120mm figure of her father, which I have since donated to her. The result of this project was one I never expected – she put me in touch with other Easy Company veterans and more such miniature projects. Since then, I have had the pleasure and honor of making figures of Capt. Richard Winters, 1Lt. “Buck” Compton, and 1Sgt. Floyd Talbert, all of which have been donated to them or to their families.

    Some time ago, I was contacted by Gino Guarnere – son of SSgt. “Wild Bill” Guarnere – about making a miniature of his father as he may have appeared in December, 1944, outside of Bastogne, Belgium. With any luck, this project will be completed in time for this year’s Easy Company reunion, where it will be presented to him as a gift from his children. This is where the “fun” begins.
  10. Pete_H New Member

    The project: planning
    Although my first two “Easy Company” miniatures were scratchbuilt, I have moved towards converting stock kits and to smaller scales for simplicity’s sake. Because of this, I’ve found it necessary to closely study 1/35 and 54mm stock kits of World War II paratroopers and GI’s. But before selecting a miniature, it is of greater importance to thoroughly research the subject to be depicted.

    The most important part of the planning phase is research, which can be broken into three related areas. First, when depicting a specific person in miniature, one should first learn as much about him as possible, particularly his life and exploits during the war. This will give you a “feel” for the person, thus focusing your energies on the project and making it more enjoyable. Second, research on the time period in which you are depicting the person is just as important, paying close attention to uniformology and the location you are depicting. Third, searching for pictures of the person’s face is essential in creating his likeness in miniature.

    Each of these three parts is of equal importance. Failure in any of these will likely result in a figure that looks like any other soldier instead of the person you are depicting. Sufficient and accurate research will result in not only a convincing likeness of the person, but in a figure that has enough unique details that would set it apart from other figures of the same era. For this project, I relied on books, magazines, the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, and the Internet. When working with World War II U.S Army ariborne subject, I have relied on one single book: "Geronimo! U.S Airborne Uniforms, Insignia, and Equipment in World War II" by Bill Rentz. Just about any detail about airborne uniform, gear, and weaponry can be found in this book; the wealth of color photos this book contains is far beyond whatever I've seen in any other three books on this subject combined. For historical background, relied on Mark Bando's book "Vanguard of the Crusade, World War II magazine's "Band of Brothers" special issue (which contains color photos from this period as well as interviews with Easy Company veterans), and, of course, Dr. Ambrose's book. Episodes 6 and 7 of the "Band of Brothers" miniseries helped me get a feel for the land and what they looked like in the most deadly environment they ever faced.

    Nevertheless, the Internet provided the most importnat references I needed for this project. Some sites gave me the chance to ask general questions about the 101st. Airborne in Bastogne, such as Mark Bando's "Trigger Time" (www.101airborneww2.com). Other sites gave me specific information on Easy Company, such as Jake Powers' www.e506.com and Chris Langlois' site dedicated to his grandfather Eugene "Doc" Roe (www.tricuit.com/bandofbrothers.html). But the most fruitful site was Gino Guarnere's "Wild Bill Guarnere Forum" (www.wildbillguarnere.com). It was here that I found the pictures necessary for creating Sgt. Guarnere's likeness - front portrait, 3/4 portrait, and profile. I was also able to ask specific questions about his uniform and the gear he carried into Bastogne; in a couple of cases, Sgt. Guarnere responded himself (you can't get more accurate than that!).
  11. Pete_H New Member

    Project SITREP ...
    Well, I'm about 2/3-way done with converting the stock head from the kit I'm using. I should have it done by this evening ... or should I say "early this morning?" What can I say, I'm in the middle of a yearly habit of mine on this day - to watch "Band of Brothers" (right now on episode 3) and "Saving Pvt. Ryan" non-stop :)

    So far, I've only posted the beginnings of the "article" and I can really use some constructive criticism. Does it provide any appeal? So far, is it too lengthy? Is my grammar all screwed-up? I know you guys want to see pictures and you'll see them in "later today's" addition to the article - the decision of which kit to convert, planning the conversion, and actually executing the conversion. I've got 12 pictures to include so far, as well as 3 of "the man himself" from the period. But in the meantime.

    Stay tuned, the best is yet to come (y)
  12. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Hey Peetey!

    It is sounding very interesting and a thread that I will follow with interest! You are right, pictures are always the way to go! Looking forward to see Wild Bill take shape!
  13. Johan Well-Known Member

    Ooops ... sorry, forgot to log in. :lol:
  14. Patrick Kirk New Member

    I can't wait to see him come alive! ;) Hurry up with the pics, brother; I am dying over here! Nothing is better than bringing a figger to life and having it tied to an actual person that you have met...what an honor Pete!
    All the best and I'll give you a call this weekend!
    Take care,

  15. LCoote New Member

    Hey Pete, it reads pretty well to me, I think it'll make a great article, at least to those of us with an interest in WWII. Post those pics of the man himself, I'd love to see em.
  16. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Pete, I thought my postings on sbs stuff were too lengthy and folks might get bored with them until I read yours. I will NOT change what I do at all. As a matter of fact I'll try to add more. In a word word EXCELLENT. I love ALL of the details in putting something together as long as it provides a clear reason as to how and why something was done the way it was. Keep it up, it's a subject that a lot of us have interest in. Great job.~Gary
  17. Pete_H New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement, amigo! To be honest, this is my first attempt at an article of this magnitude. I promise that "later today's" installment of the article will finally have some pictures. The problem is that I'm too damn lazy to sculpt, take pictures, and write at the same time. It is my hopes that I'll give reason with the pictures to what I've written so far. Perhaps after a few hours sleep I'll get to it ;)

    Again, thanks for the encouragement ...
  18. Patrick Kirk New Member

    I agree with the distinguished gentlemen from PA...more is definately better!
    Enjoy the weekend my brother

  19. Pete_H New Member

    More is on the way, my friend!!! I could have posted some pictures this evening - or should I say "early morning" - but I was unavoidably distracted online by a fellow painter. Gee, I wonder who that was? Haaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!!! (y)
  20. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Pete, I can't wait to see the figure. Are you watching the D-Day stuff on the History Channel? There's a program on now with some neat cgi reconstructions along with some great accounts by Major Dick Winters. There was another on earlier about the 507th PIR at Normandy which would make a neat movie.~Gary

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