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Tommy of 1915

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Dan Morton, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I'm considering doing a 120mm figure of this Tommy of 1915 in winter clothing. The photo is from John Laffin's A Western Front Companion, page 39. Although it is a posed studio photo, there is something naive and a bit innocent in the young soldier's face and I like it. I think I'll stay pretty close to the pose and everything and use a simple base of some sort.

    What do you think?

    This guy would be started (probably) immediately after the British cavalryman is completed in more or less three or four more weeks.

    I'd like to have parts of the figure (original bits only) cast as I produce them -the trench cap, the two bags, PH gas mask bag, etc. Anybody interested?

    All the best,
    Dan

    Attached Files:

  2. theseeker Member

    Country:
    United-States
    A very inticing subject indeed.
  3. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Dan, That's a great image. The open greatcoat will be a blast to sculpt. Is he wearing a sheepskin coat or vest underneath? ~Gary
  4. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    THe photo has very period feel to it, which I am more than positive you'll be able to pull off. Should prove to be blast to paint as well. Your sculpting and eye for subjects has improved great over the last couple of years.
  5. amcairns A Fixture

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    Dan

    Good subject and nice pose.Look forward to you starting this one.
    Andy
  6. SerjeantWildgoose New Member

    Country:
    Ireland
    I have to say that it does look posed and while it has the distinct feel of a period picture, his dress would lead me to think that it isn't contemporary. I can't imagine any Great War soldier taking the trouble and expense of going to a studio to have his photo taken in anything other than his best bib and tucker. Studio photography was still pretty new then and certainly an event for the majority of British soldiers. I suspect that this picture was taken at least close to the front, with the face perhaps superimposed and cleaned up at a later date. Did they have Photoshop in 1915?

    Nevertheless it is a great study and reflects the casual untidiness that is the hallmark of the British soldier on operations (Even today) and is so infrequently captured in minature. I am an avid fan of this period and look forward to seeing this figure emerge.
  7. quang Active Member

    Country:
    Belgium
    You got it right.

    They didn't have Photoshop in 1915 but they had airbrushes which in competent hands proved to be equally potent.

    The picture has been retouched in several places. The head and cap came clearly from another photograph. The two bags were also heavily doctored (probably an add-on as well).

    It's the usual caveat when one has to rely on photographs alone for accuracy.

    Having said that, it's a great pose and a super subject for a 120mm sculpt. I'm looking forward to the next step.

    All the best,

    Quang
  8. diamond cutter Active Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Tommy 1915

    Hi Dan
    It looks a great subject regardless-go for it man!!!:)
    ATB
    Pete:)
  9. SerjeantWildgoose New Member

    Country:
    Ireland
    On a not so recent visit to the museum of the Royal Irish Fusiliers in Armagh I met the family of a young officer (Shillington-Cather) who was killed on the Somme during the night of 1/2 July 1916. He was awarded a postumous VC for his actions on the 1st day of the battle. The family were shown a number of photographs of him. One in particular was their favourite. When I asked what it was about that picture, they all said that it was because in it he was wearing the medal ribbon of his VC.

    I did not have the heart to explain to them the awful truth that this must have been added by airbrush.
  10. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Gary - That's a sheepskin jerkin worn under the great coat, I believe. Matthew, Andy Cairns, Andy Hart, Le-Van and Pete - Thanks guys! Yeah, it's been heavily retouched. How could you miss the air brush work around the edges and the shaky fit of the head to the rest? As Andy Hart points out, this was a lot more common than you'd think. And not just in portraiture. For example, there was a famous illustrated newspaper photographer of the period that used to combine the negatives of several single shots to produce much busier battle scenes than his comrades. Sold a lot more photos that way!

    Nonetheless, there is just something about this photo, at least for me.

    All the best,
    Dan
  11. yeo_64 Active Member

    Country:
    Singapore
    Go For It !!!!!

    Hi Dan !
    I have to agree with you on the photo; it does have a certain modelling appeal to it, even for me ;). GO FOR IT, my friend ! Cheers !
    Kenneth :p.
  12. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks, Kenneth!! It'll be a pretty simple pose and figure, but lots of lovely drapery to do. :)

    All the best,
    Dan
  13. rej Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Malta
    Looking forward to your sculpting life in this one Dan.......I really would love to paint him!!

    Take Care.......

    Ray
  14. flart1943 Active Member

    Country:
    England
    Can't wait

    Hi Dan
    This is a great illustration and should make a fine figure. It may be a studio photo but it looks about right for the time (winter 1915). It also has the look of a Bruce Bairnsfather cartoon of that period. Can’t wait to see this one finished.
    Pete
  15. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    ditto
  16. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Gee fellas - I haven't even started him! Actually, I'd love to have both of you guys paint one of my figures! Thanks for the offer and I'll seriously consider both. Please e-mail me directly at dpzpmorton@cox.net so we can talk about this!

    Are either one of you any good at casting? I'm lousy at casting. This one might be a good one to cast, eh? I can see making the hat, the bags, rifle, head separately and the rest of the figure would be one large piece(?). I could separate the rest of the figure into two pieces, but then the fit might be untidy and it might be more trouble than it is worth to do it that way. Really I'm clueless about casting, so need some guidance.

    All the best,
    Dan
  17. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Dan, Ray, has dibs on this one as far as I am concerned, though I would love the chance to paint one of your sculpts. Regarding casting, I got nuthin' ;)
  18. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Matthew - Sounds OK to me. I have 4 more cavalry projects planned - the Royal Scots Grey is going to Rod Allison in NZ; Rafa Gonzalez Aquayo has asked for either the French Hussar or Austro-Hungarian Ulan; no claims yet on the German Uhlan or the US 13th Cavalry 1916. I will eventually finish them all, but it is going to take some time. I have a couple of commissions in there somewhere also. Drop me a line. You're a very good painter and I'd like the opportunity to work with you!

    All the best,
    Dan
  19. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    The Ulan sounds cool or whatever you come up with works for me, I am partial to German East Africa for some reason, but you're the sculptor and I am your humble servant any WWI subject is cool, you have an eye for the period.

    BTW, thanks for the compliment.
  20. 1969 A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Very attractive image to sculpt Dan,i think its a great choice and will make a great sculpt,look forward to seeing it progress.

    Steve

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