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Three Tommies in the mud of the Somme

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Dan Morton, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    This is WIP on a 120mm three figure vignette. An earlier posting with a similar title showed you the illustration used as the basis for the vignette. In the illustration there are about six Tommies pictured, but, the scene is really staged around these three - one wounded and buried up to his waist in gooey Somme mud and the other two trying to pull him out by hooking rifle slings together, under his arms and around a rifle.

    Just as an aside - these are my 29th, 30th and 31st sculpted figures since I started in late 2004.

    So - here you go...

    To answer some anticipated questions - the legs of both the standing figures are flexed and their footing is a little off balance. This is intentional. They are both trying to keep from sliding into the mud hole and pull their buddy free simultaneously. The footing, you may imagine, is terrible. They're both sliding, moving their footing for better purchase, continuing to pull with all their might. As they pull, they lose their footing, etc., etc. Anyways that's what I'm trying to show by putting them so off-balance. Does it work? You tell me.

    The big "trick" for this vignette (if there is one) is going to be getting both sets of rifle slings over the rifle, under the arms of the wounded man and keeping them very tight. My idea(??) for that [and I'm looking for a better one!!!!!] is to use a mix of Pro-create and Magic-sculpt at about 20:80, roll it out, cut it to fit, do all the detail and let it get nearly dry before putting them on.

    I may move the wounded figure further down into the mud.
    He seems a little high still - although it more or less matches the illustration.

    Neither set of hands and arms are where they will ultimately be. I need to finish with all the moving the figures in and out before I can figure that one out.

    I'm going to scrub off the nasty looking putties and wind on some paper tape. That should look better.

    The rifle in the photo is not the one I'm going to use - it is just there to determine spacing, etc. That's about it.

    In the fourth photo, you may think the nearer figure is bigger, but it isn't - it's just perspective. The wounded man is just a little bit smaller than the other two.

    This is a commission for a NYC collector who came up with the illustration and the original idea!

    Constructive critique and comment are welcome.

    All the best,
    Dan
  2. ghamilt1 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Canada
    Dan, I have to say that every time you post a new figure, there is clear evidence of the growth in your skills. I especially like the composition of this piece and am really looking forward to seeing it completed.

    By the way, I just have to ask where on Earth you found those superb helmets? Are they copies of some you made yourself, or did you manage to find a source for them? I have been trying my hand at sculpting, and have a trooper of Lord Stratchcona's Horse about half finshed, and would love to get my hands on some of those tommy helmets. In any case, well done indeed.

    Glenn
  3. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Glenn - Many thanks!

    I can take no credit for the helmets. David Parkins sells them. http://www.djparkins.clara.net/fline/flmaster.htm Take a look at "accessories". He sells them as a set of 5 heads, helmets and various other stuff. His trench accessories set is marvelous also - if a bit expensive. His metal cast SMLE rifle is (IMHO) the very best 120mm version of that rifle on the market. [At least until Jon Smith does one...:) ]

    I'm looking forward to seeing your Lord Strathcona's horse figure.

    All the best,
    Dan
  4. Christos Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Greece
    Very nice composition Dan!
    christos
  5. megroot A Fixture

    Country:
    Netherlands
    Really nice vignette in progress Dan.
    I really like it.

    marc
  6. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Chris and Marc - Many thanks! This morning I noticed how 'unbulky' the goatskins look, so after I've put on the field equipment and added the arms, I'll go back and fill out the fur properly.

    All the best,
    Dan
  7. flart1943 Active Member

    Country:
    England
    Good work

    Hi Dan
    The figures are coming on great, I think you were right to drop the fourth figure as three figures make a far better composition for a vignette. I like the idea of them being off balance as in real life all three of them could have ended up in the mud. Keep up the good work.
    Pete
  8. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Pete - Thanks! And thanks for the re-assurance that showing them off balance is understandable and works for you! I had my doubts! I hope I can pull this off!

    All the best,
    Dan
  9. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    My word Dan you've been busy. Looks great mate.

    Roger
  10. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks, Roger! It's actually further along than that, but I'm exhausted from MFCA! Too tired to take updated pics.

    All the best,
    Dan
  11. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Dan, I agree with Glenn, your work is ever evolving. Though getting the proportion right is paramount the othings, such as folds, textures and what have you come in time. Keep up the good work.~Gary
  12. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks Gary! I hope I got everything right this time! I very much enjoyed seeing your painting at MFCA!

    All the best,
    Dan
  13. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    A question - I don't think I can use 2- part putty to make the extended rifle slings going from the rifle to the wounded man. I'll use it where it makes contact with the rifle and the wounded man, but not in between. The distance will be about 50mm or 2 inches.

    The best material I can come up with is lead strip. I'm fairly sure all the metallized map tapes I know of wouldn't work. I need something that will be strong and will not loosen or become slack in any way. Also something that would survive being moved around a bit - transported to shows, etc.

    Any other suggested materials for extended and tight rifle straps?

    All the best,
    Dan
  14. John Belcher A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Hi Dan,just seen what you are creating .Looking Great Dan.Looking forward to the next step.Kind regards John:)
  15. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    John - I'm a big fan of your work! Many thanks for the encouragement!

    All the best,
    Dan

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