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U.S. Navy Pilot, 1/6th scale Naked Army bust

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by tonydawe, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi guys,

    My latest project is the awesome 1/6th scale Naked Army bust of a WW2 U.S. Navy pilot.

    As with all Naked Army busts and figures, the research is faultless and the uniform details are crisp and perfectly rendered in poly resin. Given the spectacular job Mike Butler did on his Kiwi Lewis Gunner bust, I'm trying to push myself to go the extra mile in terms of details. I'm not sure if I can achieve "Butleresque" levels of detail, but I'll have a go.

    The face and hands have been painted first in acrylics and then over-painted with very dilute oils - not quite a wash but almost. It looks a bit pink at the moment but I will tone it down a bit as I continue to work on achieving a realistic skin tone.

    The rest of the bust has received a basic coat of acrylic colour, more to provide me with a guide to harmonising the colours later on, and the webbing straps and parachute rigging is primed but unpainted.
    IMG_2612.JPG IMG_2614.JPG
  2. bwildfong Well-Known Member

    Fantastic start Tony! One of my favourite subjects - pilots (actually, it's a sickness...) Watching this one closely! Amazing face!!


    sherman93 likes this.
  3. Mongo Mel Active Member

    Great to see this one being painted. I have it too and am looking forward to seeing more.
    Off topic: how goes the Centurion bust Tony?
  4. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Brian, yes pilots are a great subject for figure painters and it helps keep me in the good books with most of my modelling mates, who are model aircraft builders.

    Hi Craig, still very early days on this bust but it's coming along nicely. I'm glad to see you have this one too. The Centurion bust is currently residing in the Hall of Shame. It's not a permanent member of the HOS but I'll probably need to start again as he fell off the work bench and there are some scratches and chips on the paintwork around his helmet and face. This new project is more than capable of distracting my attention for the next couple months.
  5. FigureLover A Fixture

    Nice one Tony. Greta to see you doing more of these larger scale items. The level of detail you put into figures will bring this one to outstanding levels
  6. Macca G A Fixture

    Looking good Tony. Do the eyes have the pupil and iris detail moulded on like their previous releases? It takes all the hard work out of getting the eyes right
  7. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Great work Tony.
    That face is awesome and I just know that you will be splashing a lot more paint on to it before the game is over.
    Another mini masterpiece on it's way.(y)
    All the best,
  8. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Ben, yes the irresistible lure of Naked Army busts couldn't be resisted for long. I'm trying to take my figure painting to another level on this bust. having been inspired by Mike The Kiwi, I can't take a backwards step.

    Hi Macca, the iris is sculpted within the eyeball but the pupil is not. Certainly makes it easier to get the eyes looking straight and avoid that awkward cross eyed look but you still need to have the eyes focused on a point to make them look realistic.

    Hi Keith, I'm not sure splashing is the word I'd use mate, but I know what you mean. So far the eyes alone have taken a week to paint and I'm still not finished with them. I'm so glad you believe this will be a masterpiece. I'd don't share your confidence at this stage, but I do appreciate your encouragement mate.
    Mike - The Kiwi and Wings5797 like this.
  9. Perseas Well-Known Member

    Excellent work so far Tony as we use to see from you!
    The face is so realistic and i expect to see how far can you go with the skin tones!
    Your work is always a lesson, your romans (pegaso 200mm) and andrea's centurion is a precious sbs for me!
    Waiting for your next post progress...
    tonydawe and Wings5797 like this.
  10. tonydawe A Fixture


    Thank you very much for your kind words. I did some more painting last night. First step was to apply a very light 5 o'clock shadow to the face and to start to define some of the shadows on the face. This is very fiddly work and from a distance probably doesn't look that much different from the previous pics.
    IMG_2615.JPG IMG_2616.JPG IMG_2617.JPG
    sherman93, Martin64, Perseas and 5 others like this.
  11. NickM Well-Known Member

    Top work Tony, that face is looking outstanding already. There's a really nice colour and depth to the skin tones.
    tonydawe likes this.
  12. SPrimeau Active Member

    Excellent skin tones so far! Looks to be a fun sculpt to paint, look forward to seeing it progress.
    tonydawe likes this.
  13. alamac Well-Known Member

    Great start Tony ,this is one of my favorite NA busts , i did the box art for this one and I really enjoyed painting this beauty, following this one my friend
    tonydawe likes this.
  14. Adrian Cowdry Well-Known Member

    Looking Good
    tonydawe likes this.
  15. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Hi mate neat to see you getting on with this one & thank you for kind comments.
    I'm sure you'll go to another level with this as you've done with each of your previous busts

    Also have you got a new camera? If so what is it?
    These photos are much crisper & orientated correctly, making easier to study them.

  16. Perseas Well-Known Member

    Quality work Tony, better and better with every new post...
  17. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Nick, thanks for your comments mate. I've spent far more time and effort than usual trying to get the skin tones to look real, so your comments are gratefully accepted and appreciated.

    Hi Scott, thanks mate. Yes, the Naked Army busts are all fun to paint and challenging because there is so much detail and everything is visible. I've said it before, but one of the reasons I like painting these large scale figures is they force you to be honest as a painter. In smaller scales you can fudge things a bit through using shading techniques and covering up areas with dark washes. In this scale everything is visible and needs to be properly painted, shaded and highlighted.

    Hi Alan, mate I remember speaking to you about this bust and you said that it was one of the best faces Naked Army ever produced. I totally agree with you. Your box art painting was what inspired me to get this bust in the first place, and I am using it as my primary reference for the colours (along with the excellent colour painting guides provided in the kit). I just hope NA continues to produce these excellent 1/6th scale busts. Thanks again for your comments and I hope you like my progress so far.

    Thanks Adrian, still early days but I'm making slow and steady progress.

    Hi Mike, nice of you to make some comments while you're wandering through Europe and enjoying the sites and sounds of Greece. Yes, a new iPhone 6 has made a difference to my photography and hopefully you wont get a stiff neck anymore trying to look at my photos sideways. To a certain extent we all inspire each other on this site, but a great deal of my inspiration for trying to lift the standard of my painting and achieve that level of super detail in these large scale busts has come directly from the work you did on your magnificent NZ Lewis Gunner bust "Charlie". It's still a mystery to me how you achieve that stippling effect, but one of things I love about this hobby is that in trying to learn how to use that technique myself, I am challenging myself and trying new things. This is what excites me about this hobby after 40 years, and keeps me going back into my hobby room every night to unwind and relax and have some fun.

    Hi Dimitrios, thanks again for your comments. I'm trying to be patient and methodical as I go, so I'm only painting a small section of this bust at a time. In the past I've tried to do too much too quickly, and it hasn't always looked as good as I wanted. This time, I'm slowing down and trying to be a more disciplined painter in the hope that I will be satisfied with the finished result. I did a little more last night. Started to work on the pilot's helmet and goggles.

    Wings5797, Martin64, Ferris and 2 others like this.
  18. Stephan Well-Known Member

    very nice so far, like the eyes and your flesh
  19. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Stephan, thanks very much for your comments.

    Ive been working on the city helmet and goggles tonight.
    Wings5797 and Perseas like this.
  20. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi guys,

    I've had a great weekend. It rained so I couldn't mow the lawn or do any gardening, so instead I stayed indoors and watched football and drank beer.

    I also managed to slip into the hobby room for several very productive sessions with the brushes.

    My idea was to create a ring of grime and dirt around the goggles where oil and other debris had sprayed onto the pilot's face, and then show the demarcation line when he lifted the goggles off his face. Still a few touches to add to it.

    The Mae West life preserver is starting to come together and I've also base coated the QAS parachute webbing. Lastly the lightweight cotton flight suit is starting to take shape and I've been outlining fabric seams and textures.

    Still a very long way to go, but it's starting to take shape.
    IMG_2666.JPG IMG_2668.JPG IMG_2669.JPG IMG_2670.JPG IMG_2671.JPG
    Wings5797, Bootneck, Mark S and 4 others like this.

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