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The Ambush.....1/30th vignette from Castle Miniatures

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by fogie, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. fogie A Fixture

    This one came my way recently..... It's Vladimir Danilov's
    superb vignette of the French and Indian Wars - or more
    accurately of Pontiac's War, as I intend it to represent an
    action that occurred in the densely forested Alleghenies
    near to a place called Bushy Run Station, after hostilities
    with the French had ended. It's a thrilling piece and might
    be interesting enough to feature here as this old duffer's
    attempt to bring it to life......I've been told my approach is
    a bit different.
    01.jpg 02.jpg
    The history which surrounds Pontiac's War reads like a
    movie script - full of heroism, hideous savagery, typically
    inept British arrogance, lots of shooting, even an attempt
    at early biological warfare. I actually like research - for me
    it's part of this whole figure painting thing - but we don't all
    think the same, so rather than give chapter and verse in
    one hit now, I'll add it in italics as we go along, so those
    who find such guff boring can skip over it.
    03.JPG 04.jpg
    Tempting though it is to pick up the brushes straight away
    and make a start on the painting, this one requires us to
    begin on the ground floor, with the two individual bases
    Vladimir supplies with his vignette. They have to be sorted
    first because I'm using them rather than creating a base
    of my own. I'm not being lazy here, let me add, it's simply
    too easy to get carried away with simulated groundwork,
    that unless we show restraint, an overworked base can
    unintentionally alter the entire character of the figure(s), or
    even, heaven forbid, wreck the sculptor's skilfully contrived
    compostion. The aim instead is to indulge the individual
    creativity Volodya's work always seems to inspire in us,
    while at the same time keeping a sharp eye on his original
    Another thing is, with it's strong narrative, this piece hardly
    needs a busy landscape. Texture is required more than
    distracting detail - after all, what we have here essentially is
    a luckless Highland Officer with the fear of God in him as he
    almost certainly draws his last breath on earth.....in the face
    of that, superfluous scenery surely misses the point. So after
    both bases were carefully drilled and firmly joined with metal
    pins (three of them) and Milliput had dealt with the gaps, just
    simple layers of simulated 'forest-floor', and 'tree-moss' were
    considered enough.
    05.jpg 06.jpg 07.jpg
    The 'forest-floor' came from plywood....when you cut the
    stuff, especially with a coarse-toothed rip saw (....don't
    forget to count your fingers afterwards) there's always a
    kind of fur of wood splinters on the underside of the cut.
    Scrape 'em off and they're just about right for 1/30th scale
    Allegheny Hemlock Tree debris - the moss is softwood
    sawdust. The base was coated thinly with bog standard
    PVA glue, and layered with the materials, and allowed to
    dry. Then everything was misted over with a 5 to1 dilution
    of H2O and PVA, in a cheap and cheerful atomiser, and
    again left to dry thoroughly. Misting is essential in fixing and
    sealing all the textures, so after a final coat of pre-painting
    primer, everything looks as if it's integral with the original
    casting and not a stuck-on afterthought.
    A quick check on the relative positions of the two figures, to
    make sure they still interact properly, and it's time to reach for
    the brushes .....but more of that next time.
  2. Babelfish A Fixture

    Great subject, good start with the wood chips. Will follow this one.

    - Steve
    Oda and fogie like this.
  3. fogie A Fixture

    Are you getting all the images Steve ? I'm a bit of a techno idiot and
    haven't got 'em this end. I've consulted the oracle (Kev) so hopefully
    he'll tell me how to sort it

    Oda and Scotty like this.
  4. OldTaff PlanetFigure Supporter

    Looks to be a great start, Mike, although, as you say, no images as yet. I confess to being a duffer, too,...can't manage the tecchie stuff regarding posting pictures. I seem to post them everywhere on this Devil's dustbin but where I want them.

    Oda and fogie like this.
  5. fogie A Fixture

    A cup of coffee. a bit of swearing, and a lot of help from Kev, and all
    now seems OK.....on with the motley.

    Oda, Scotty, Babelfish and 1 other person like this.
  6. Airkid PlanetFigure Supporter

    I admire Danilov's work - this one being typical of his excellent historical eye. Like you Mike, I do this modelling hobby as an extension of my love of history and technology. I shall therefore lurk quietly and read the italics too(y)

    Oda, Nap and fogie like this.
  7. Nap A Fixture


    Fear not alls good ..great start .........if anyone knows the winning lottery numbers ......my oracle system is down ....lol

    Following with interest

    Happy benchtine

    Always happy to help

    Oda and fogie like this.
  8. Banjer Well-Known Member

    This looks like a very interesting project.
    I'd be tempted myself but this scale is too small for my tired old eyes.
    Following with great antisipation.

    Oda and fogie like this.
  9. clrsgt A Fixture

    Great idea and start; will be following closely.
    fogie likes this.
  10. Oda A Fixture

    Well Mike,where do I start? First things first I consider Vladimir Danilov one of the top 5 sculptors in the world right now.His talent is unmatched and whatever comes out of his hands is nothing less than a masterpiece regardless of subject,historical era etc.Second I am one of those slightly damaged individuals who actually enjoy researching their modelling works as much as painting them if not even more.I often say that through the years I have spent more money on books than on paints and brushes and as you remarked that does not work for everyone but it does for me and it gives me great joy.
    Having cleared all this I will now comment on your work.It is simply excellent so far.You have done your research,you have planned ahead and you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve on all levels (presentation,atmosphere etc).This is bound to be interesting and I will certainly follow with great interest.

    Airkid, Nap, fogie and 1 other person like this.
  11. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter

    Great project Mike and one of my favorite periods. Looking forward to more posts. :)(y)

    fogie likes this.
  12. fogie A Fixture

    Thanks Ken...me too .There's something highly appealing about that point
    in history. . The next post will follow soon...Storm 'Arwen' has rather taken
    my eye off the ball for a day or two (bloody great tree down in the garden.,
    some slates off the roof, and a twenty-seven hour power outage to boot !)
    As my old Grandpa used to say - Bugger!!! Back soon......

    Oda and KenBoyle like this.
  13. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter

    I totally understand. Never a dull moment as a homeowner. Take care my friend!
    Oda likes this.
  14. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Got this bookmarked, gonna be good!
    Oda and fogie like this.

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