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WIP Critique Sikh Cavalryman at Evening Prayer, Western Front, 1916

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Dan Morton, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Some of you may be familiar with the wartime photo, “La priere du Soir”, (Evening Prayer) of a French Colonial Spahi taken near Oise in 1916. I found the photo on the web site Spahis.fr.

    To me, “La priere du Soir” captures a simple North African soldier reverently seeking communion with his God before bedding down for the night.

    Talking about this photo with friends online and via e-mails, I mentioned that I thought it would make a good vignette. An Australian friend said that he’d like to see a Sikh cavalryman (a private Sepoy or Sowar) posed in the same way. So my intent was to capture, as nearly as I could, a Sowar in the same pose and showing the same reverence as the Spahi in “La priere du Soir”.

    After some kind assistance from Great War Forum members and Ms. Sital Singh Maan of the UK Sikh Healthcare Chaplaincy Group, I was able to adapt the pose but show the Sikh prayer practices, not those of the Spahi pictured above. The last thing I want to do is to offend any Sikh by unintentionally making errors in the portrayal of their religious practices. In prayer, according to Ms. Maan, a Sikh stands shoes removed with hands reverently uplifted, palms touching, as in the second photo. The night time prayer is the last of at least three prayers each day and is called Kirtan Sohila.

    Hopefully I got the pose right. The 1/16th scale figure stands 115mm in height from base of feet to top of head (not turban) - roughly equivalent to 6 feet or 1840mm.

    I used mixes of Magic Sculpt and Kneadatite, sometimes with various acrylic colors added. I'm finding that doing this makes it easier for me to see clothing, folds, details, seams and equipment features. To keep the viewer from being needlessly distracted by the multiple colors, I've primed the entire figure, horse and ground in white. The horse came from a MiniArt plastic kit, the head from Verlinden, the rifle from D.J. Parkin. Much of the horse equipment are resin castings of originals I produced when working on the Lancers projects. The Indian Army cavalry used the same horse and field equipment as the British cavalry with a few exceptions. I’ve used the sword from the Verlinden Indian cavalryman kit, thinking that perhaps it might be a family heirloom and the Indian cavalryman might be allowed to retain it in combat.

    I’m somewhat guessing about how the horse would be staked and what would be done with the lance. Those of you with more experience with horses, feel free to correct me and I’ll fix it.

    Hope you like it!

    All the best,
    Dan

    Attached Files:

    luisg, yeo_64, arj and 14 others like this.
  2. Oda A Fixture

    What an original and thrilling idea.I definitely want to see him painted.Will follow this one.

    Oda.
    Nicolaos and clrsgt like this.
  3. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    ME TOO!

    Thanks so much Oda! Glad you like it!

    All the best,
    Dan
    Oda likes this.
  4. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Again, not being a good enough painter, I'm kinda looking for a collaborator to complete this piece.

    We have what I believe is an equitable and beneficial working agreement with three other PF members collaborating on one each of the three 'one-off' pieces I've completed recently. Negotiating with a fourth. The agreement is more 'barter' vs. 'commission'. If anyone is interested, please drop me a PM.

    All the best,
    Dan
  5. Gull Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Very sensitive treatment of a novel piece - well done..
    Liam
    Dan Morton and clrsgt like this.
  6. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    You are most kind, Liam!

    All the best,
    Dan
  7. tomifune A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Now thats what I call kit bashing!! Super job, Dan!

    PS Working on your stuff(y)

    Bob
    Dan Morton likes this.
  8. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks Bob and thanks for keeping me up to date.

    All the best,
    Dan
  9. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Is it possible the horse would be hobbled rather than staked ? I would imagine the lance would be "planted" in the ground or laid flat
    [IMG]
    Steve
    Dan Morton and Oda like this.
  10. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks for the nice figures of lances - Cool! The lance is a 1/16th scale of the 9 foot lance. The info I was able to find indicated an M1894 version and that's what I used to make the above version. Still made of bamboo and roughly the same as those above. Incidentally the "bamboo" is actually basswood which has been sectioned off and sanded and cut unevenly to simulate the concave and uneven way bamboo grows in segments.

    Steve - Are you a rider?

    Hobbled? Maybe - I'm not a horseman so I'm looking for some advice from those on PF who have been or still are more acquainted with that subject. In the Spahi photo above, it looks like the horse is neither hobbled nor staked. ??

    Would the lance be planted in the ground? Again, maybe. The bottom end looks rounded in all the diagrams and photos I've seen. So that it can fit into the stirrup lance cup when being carried. Maybe it still would be planted in the ground. Hopefully, again, a horseman will provide advice.

    All the best,
    Dan
    Oda likes this.
  11. clrsgt A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    A very novel idea. I like it.
    Dan Morton likes this.
  12. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    no Dan but Mrs Helm is, she's at work right now but I'll get her to take a look,. All I know about horses is they have a leg on each corner and come in various sizes :unsure: The lance definetly seems to have a point to the butt though
    [IMG]
    Steve
    tomifune and Dan Morton like this.
  13. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks Steve! Yes that one looks like it has a bit of a point but some are more rounded. All are 1868. Couldn't find any images of M1885 or M1894 lances. Anybody got some?

    All the best,
    Dan

    Attached Files:

    Oda likes this.
  14. Mat Lambert A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    A very interesting subject brought together in an unusual scene. Well done and looking forward to seeing it painted.
    Cheers
    Mat
    Dan Morton and Oda like this.
  15. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    It's quite possible they were of Indian local manufacture Dan and no doubt varied slightly in pattern if that's the case
    Steve
    Dan Morton likes this.
  16. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks Mat! Much obliged! Yes, I agree Steve - KD clothing, for example was all designed by/for the Indian Army. Wouldn't surprise me at all.

    All the best,
    Dan
  17. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Having consulted with the missus there are three options all equally likely from her point of view. Staked but probably a longer rope or reins, this was a common practice for over night giving the horse room to move about. Hobbled if only there for a short time, or finally he may have simply stood on the reins, this does appear to be what's happened in the original photo looking at it.
    Steve
    Dan Morton likes this.
  18. martin tabony Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Notice the bit is the "Universal Reversible Port Mouth Bit" a civi version is called a "Pelham bit". The bridoon rein is attached to the large ring at the mouth and the curb rein is fixed to the bar. From personal experience I would say that the curb rein would've been lifted over the horses head and just looped through the riders left arm.
    There is a piece of kit that fixes to the off side wallet to hold the lance in the bucket while the rider is dismounted. If you don't want to do that you could stick it in the ground. That's probably why we called it a ground spike! :) I think you'd be surprised at how light the lance is.

    Martin

    Martin
    Dan Morton likes this.
  19. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks Martin! I may have to re-fit a new curb rein to have enough to allow the rider to hold it, but that's do-able. The lance in the ground - can do easy. I'll put the stake and a bit of the rope and add the collapsed water bucket on the sword and add a leather strap and buckle. In looking at the photo of the 1912 saddle and equipment, I also notice I forgot the strap and buckle on both wallets, so those will be added.

    All the best,
    Dan
    peedee likes this.
  20. peedee A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hey Dan this is a great idea and it's looking good.

    To solve the lance dilemma how about leave it in the stirrup bucket on the riders right side sloping backwards, and pass the 'wrist loop' around the rifle butt, it would just push the stirrup leather forward and you need a lance bucket on both stirrups anyway.

    Bearing in mind the way this strap is normally around the upper arm when riding at ease, I am sure this is the sort of thing a rider would do, and the lance is in place ready to use for a quick remount.

    Keep up the great work.

    Paul
    Dan Morton likes this.

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