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Completed Toad in the Mud - 58mm Trench Mortar

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by NigelR, Mar 17, 2023.

  1. NigelR Well-Known Member

    Just started a new project which I hope will be a quick one, but we'll see about that......;)


    It's the wonderful JMD Miniatures French WWI trench mortar vignette, sculpted by Benoit Cauchies (now of Wars and Peaces fame). The French nicknamed this mortar "crapouillot" or little toad, so hence the title of the piece.

    I've had this in the stash since 2014 so dug it out as I thought it would be much easier to paint than the 1/35 ICM figures in my last vignette. These figures are around 65mm and beatifully sculpted. Here's the parts ready to go:


    Today I did the flesh on both figures. I'm still practising with acrylics and also trying to improve my painting style based on a lot of the work I see on here. I'm trying out various techniques and ideas, hopefully improving all the while...

  2. Warren SMITH A Fixture

    Nice start, excellent figures..
    Oda and NigelR like this.
  3. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Love this pair Nigel & keen to see your version of them.
    Oda and NigelR like this.
  4. David Spencer Active Member

    JMD WW1 figs are delightful.
    Looking forward to seeing this project develop.
    Oda and NigelR like this.
  5. Merryweather Well-Known Member

    Great start Nigel. I LOVE the sculpting of that guy's jumper!
    Oda and NigelR like this.
  6. Larsen E. Whipsnade A Fixture

    Faces look terrific. Looking forward to this one!
    Oda and NigelR like this.
  7. NigelR Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much Warren, Mike and David. Going well so far, fingers crossed for the rest of. Trying new paints (Scale 75 Artists) and some new approaches, so hope it all works out!

    Thanks Neil. The jumper is indeed incredible. I just painted it and the detail in the sculpt is amazing. Benoit is very talented.
    Merryweather likes this.
  8. NigelR Well-Known Member

    Thanks Rick, I now have a consistent colour palette which helps getting a good finish. In the past I would find my flesh going too yellow or too pink but it's much easier now I use the basic palette of Vallejo beige red, light flesh and black red.
  9. MalcC A Fixture

    Looking forward to seeing this progress.
    Good start.

    NigelR likes this.
  10. Steve Brodie PlanetFigure Supporter

    Coming along very nicely
    NigelR likes this.
  11. NigelR Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the encouragement Malc and Steve (y)

    Here's a bit of progress:


    The jumper was a joy to paint, so beautifully sculpted. The jackets are my first attempt at painting from "dark to light" - a dark undercoat followed by gradually building up the mid to highlight tones. Normally I paint a midtone overall followed by highlights and shading but I find that creates a very "even" appearance that isn't sensitive to how the light falls on the subject. I'm not sure it's made that much difference so far, I think I have a tendency to want to highlight everything. But it's been an interesting learning experience.

    The colours used were the AK Interactive 2nd gen WWI French uniforms set supplemented by some JoSonja and Scale75 Artists.

    The catchlights in the eyes look more obvious in the photos than in real life because they are dots of white oil paint and the camera is really picking up on them for some reason.
    KenBoyle, Alain11, Babelfish and 3 others like this.
  12. MalcC A Fixture

    They're coming on very nicely.
    You've certainly mastered using acrylics

    NigelR likes this.
  13. Merryweather Well-Known Member

    I'd be very happy with those, Nigel
  14. NigelR Well-Known Member

    Thanks Malc and Neil. I'm definitely getting more comfortable with acrylics and developing my own style.
    MalcC likes this.
  15. clubcat PlanetFigure Supporter

    They are coming on a treat. Both flesh tones and uniforms are great.
    NigelR likes this.
  16. Steve Ski PlanetFigure Supporter

    Great start, looking good from here, Nigel.
    NigelR likes this.
  17. marco14 Member

    that looks absolute very beautiful
    NigelR likes this.
  18. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Nigel

    Late in on this sorry , like the idea of this vignette , do like the way your painting now , the blue look great and as for the jumper .....lovely result

    How are you finding using the various paints ...ie do you mix them ?

    Look forward to seeing more

    Happy benchtime

  19. NigelR Well-Known Member

    Thanks Kev, I am making progress, just need to keep practising. Some things have gone really well with these two but some elements haven't worked as well as I hoped (I'll post more pictures soon).

    I do mix various types of paints together. I have been trying to use more artist's acrylics like JoSonja and Scale75 rather than AK, MIG and Vallejo in pots. But for WWI figures, the AK uniform sets are really a good base palette and they dry beautifully matt, which is important for WWI uniforms. So I've been using the main colours from AK and mixing in JoSonja and Scale75 artists colours to create the shadow tones and highlights.

    Hopefully this will be done for Yeovil next week.....
    KenBoyle, Mike - The Kiwi and Nap like this.
  20. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter

    Great work Nigel! Your use of acrylics is very nicely done. It's very satisfying when things come together.

    Looking forward to more. :)

    NigelR likes this.

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