26 July 2013

Zombie SS-Panzeroffizier

I am having a ball with Oberschütze Senfgas. . . so much so that I decided to get a head-start on things and ordered the third release in Quarantine Studio's The Dead Reich series, Panzerkom-mandant Jürgen, over the 4th of July weekend. This bust was unveiled/ [pre-]released at WF this year, and I was frankly doubtful that the studio-casts/APs would still be available. But I contacted the folk at QS, and luckily, William was still casting!

(display sample painted by the sculptor, William Paquet)
It finally arrived today, and yes, however frustrating, it was worth every minute of the wait! This is a gorgeous one-piece casting!! MANY THANKS to William, who is every bit as good a mold-ma- ker and caster, as he is a sculptor and painter!!!

As a sidebar historical note, while the piece is generically titled--as is this posting, the rank of our subject, as provided, is that of a SS-Untersturmführer (2nd LT).

That's it for now. . . Stay tuned!

KATŌ Yoshiaki -- REDUX: Review

IT . . . HAS. . . ARRIVED!!!!

And it is a beaut! Steve and the team did a superb job of molding and casting!! Kudos all around!!!

For those not familiar with the kit, the sculpture is cast in 4 pieces: head/kabuto; torso; shikoro; and ushirodate.

A couple of items of note:
  • The bust is cast in the now-standard grey PUR. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this medium, but it should be noted that it is a bit softer and more "plastic". The reason I mention this is that you might find the crest of the kabuto slightly bent. NOT TO WORRY! My sample's right "wing" was just that, and all it takes to make it good as new is 30-45 seconds under a hair dryer at high heat: resin has memory and it will return to its original shape on its own. A word of caution if you have never done this before, or you are using the hair dryer for the first time: proceed slowly and do not hold the hair dryer too close to the resin. Depending on your dryer, "High" might be too hot--I always use my thumb as a heat sink and a temperature gauge: if it's uncomfort- ably hot on your skin, then it is too hot for the resin. The usual disclaimers apply:         1) Proceed with caution; and 2) If you are relatively new at this, test on a scrap piece of resin first!
  • Steve included the original Ft. Duq. refsheet in my sample. I emailed him a revised refsheet when I sent him the master to reflect the most up-to-date information available to me on this helmet. The information contained in the original refsheet is regrettably not correct. Since Blogger does not appear to have a way to attach a Word .doc or a .pdf, here is the link to my posting on planetFigure which contains the revised refsheet as an attachment.
Pics to follow shortly. . .


25 July 2013

Oberschütze Senfgas -- Prepwork: Phase (1) - cont. [UPDATE 2]

Making serious progress. . .

The right lens is just about done. Final "distressing" still awaits, but it is all-but-done.

More importantly, the left lens is mounted and the lens/frame unit is now in the process of fitting (read: curing under the lamp). AND. . . the left eye has been mounted/permanently attached. Looks great as is, but more detailing and build-out to follow. . .

KATŌ Yoshiaki -- REDUX

. . . and now available! 

This is just a newsflash for the forthcoming full review of SK Miniatures' version of my bust of KATŌ Yoshiaki. This is the sixth release in their reissue of the Ft. Duquesne's Great Warlords of the Sengoku series of 1/8th scale busts.

While this is old news to those of you who have been following my involvement with the resurrected line, it is worth repeating that this is effectively a new release! I completely reworked the kabuto and the shikoro before surrendering it to Steve so that he and his team could work their magic on it. . . 

The bust is now available from The Red Lancers on this side of The Pond. Please note that the boxart Steve used is the original boxart: it is not that of the revised sculpture. To the best of my knowledge there is no image of the reworked piece anywhere on the Web. . . YET!

Stay tuned. . . 

21 July 2013

Oberschütze Senfgas -- Prepwork: Phase (1) - cont. [UPDATE]

This is the first time I've touched Oberschütze Senfgas in over two weeks, and I am again surprised how much had been accomplished in the last few sessions. . . 

Today, I went ahead and cut-out the gas mask lenses, and mounted the lens on the partial right frame. The left lens might be a bit more challenging depending on how I decide to mount it.

More to follow. . .  

FOLLOW-UP. . . The left lens has been tentatively fitted, and it looks GREAT!  I remain undecided to what extent it (the lens) will be distressed/damaged; and as to how much of the face behind the lens will be built-out (read: traumatized). But since I am starting with nothing, I now have the right eye/orbital area in rubber, and I should have a casting available to play with by the end of the week.

Stay tuned!

14 July 2013

Red Skull [FF] #4 -- It has begun. . .

When it rains. . . it's time to do some modelling!

My rendition of SS-Standartenführer Johann Schmidt is going to be approached as a "filler" project-- i.e., no schedule, per se; just a fun undertaking to pass the time. Thus, the postings may appear sporadic, to say nothing of erratic. . .

This is the TD list as of this writing:
  • Add liner to trenchcoat - DONE
  • Assemble and fit skull to torso - DONE
  • Detail and finish skull
  • Rework collar tabs - IN PROGRESS  
  • Add EK2 ribbon
  • Make and fit RK
  • Make and fit skull-handled swordstick
I don't believe there are too many mods remaining to be listed, save for the right arm: I am still not sure how this will play out.

Back to the bench!

UPDATE 15.07.2013. . . After much consideration, I have decided to reposition and reanimate the right arm; rework the right hand; . . . and have Herr Schmidt holding the Cosmic Cube! The right hand is now pegged; the right forearm tapped to receive it; and all the basic reanimation cuts to arm and hand have been made. So much for not wanting to get sidetracked with a major project! In for a Pfennig. . . 

12 July 2013

Red Skull [FF] #4 --Introduction & Kit Review

Given that I am immersed in working with the Dead Reich busts, it should come as no surprise that I would gravitate to my favorite Marvel Nazi, Johann Schmidt, better known as "The Red Skull".

I have completed 2 renditions of the Red Skull, both major conversions: a full figure and a bust. I have 2 other full figures underway; and I have one bust waiting patiently in the [extended] wings. I don't want o get sidetracked with a major project, so I thought I would start playing with something a bit less involved. . .

Enter ST Models' Oberst iG Claus Schenk, Graf von Stauffenberg. I stumbled across this beauty of a kit at the Atlanta Show this year, and I immediately grabbed it: this is a perfect base for a Red Skull conversion!

The figure was sculpted by SEO Ho, and though it scales out to a just about perfect 90, it should be noted that this is quite a petite figure that will be dwarfed by just about any commercial "90mm" offering!

The kit is comprised of 8 pieces + groundwork. As my sample was one of the first hundred issues (16/100), I also received a complementary 3-piece bust of von Stauffenberg, which is nothing more than a "cut-down" of the full figure.

The pieces are exquisitely cast! Superb resin; no air holes/bubbles whatsoever; and seam-lines, while there, have to be diligently looked for--once found, they are simply lightly scraped, or wet- sanded. The only negative re: the casting is the location of the sprues at the shoulders. These are butted against the shoulder-boards, and it will take a light touch to remove them without damaging the latter: FWIW, I removed both in less than 5 minutes! 

As with any Red Skull project, the conversion is a relatively simple one, provided the base figure is up to snuff. The entire project essentially revolves around the resculpting--or replacement--of the kit's head with that of a--THE--Red Skull. I haven't decided what I am going to do this go- round as of yet. . .

The left hand (holding the briefcase) will be reworked to have it hold the RS's skull-handled swordstick.

The optional gloved right hand. . . Not really sure what to do with it. . . It could be reanimated to have it holding a cigarette in a cigarette holder; but I might rework the entire arm to have it holding the Cosmic Cube. . .

Beyond that, most of the work will be enhancements of a cosmetic nature, requiring little if any actual conversion work. Von Stauffenberg was a Heer officer, so there will be some work chang- ing his army insignia (specifically the collar tabs) to that of an SS officer -- an SS-Standarten- führer to be precise. The figure is rather sparse in the insignia department, so I will add -- at the very least -- the EK2 ribbon, and the RK.

In the interest of full-disclosure, it should be noted that the figure is wearing a single-breasted leather trenchcoat--as best as I can tell, a StriWa (Striegel & Wagner?) trenchcoat.

To date, I have already removed all of the sprues, and pegged the boots at knee and sole. The one significant drawback to this figure is that there should be a distinct attachment point of the boots to the knees: as it is, extra care needs to be taken to ensure that the position of the feet are just right.

More to follow. . .

FOLLOW-UP 13.07.2013. . . I have decided that the head of the subject will be modelled using an Andrea 90mm skull as the base. It will have to be modified to varying degrees, but it is an excellent jumping-off point for an undertaking such as this.

06 July 2013

Holiday sidebar. . .

This in and of itself has very little to do with modelling--other than the fact that it indirectly put the kibosh on the anticipated bench time this weekend.

As I mentioned earlier, there were some high priority home repairs on the slate, the priority status due to the endless amount of rain we've had in the last week or so. Well, that was effectively accomplished on Wednesday, and while there is some finishing still to be done, it can wait until things are a bit less soggy.

Well, the rain wasn't going to let me/us get by that easily. This morning I was awakened by a booming thud; and I quickly realized there was no power in the house. I looked outside, and one of our Bradford Pear trees had decided to undergo meiosis--right unto the power, phone, and cable lines! The tree, while seemingly healthy, was obviously water-logged; so I assign this mishap to Mother Nature.

Nine hours later, things are somewhat back to normal--we have power and all the amenities back--but my lady and I are whipped! There is still the tree (half up, half down) to contend with, but that will hopefully be dealt with next week. In the meantime, this is a perfect instance to paraphrase Robbie Burns, "The best laid plans. . . "

04 July 2013

Oberschütze Senfgas -- Prepwork: Phase (1) - cont.

Though it might be too early to throw in the towel, I might as well resign myself to the fact that my 4th of July goals will not be realized--at least not in their entirety. Between the all-but-non-existent benchtime in the past fortnight and some last-minute, high-priority home repairs, things are running a bit behind schedule. But just "a bit". . . 

In any case, I have been able to spend some time at the bench in the last few days, and at least Private Mustard Gas is making significant progress. The refinishing of the helmet is just about done, and I have begun working on the filter mount of the gas mask in earnest. I hope to get the lenses cut out sometime over the weekend -- once that is done, things should start falling into place rather quickly.

To those who celebrate the day, hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July!

'Til next time. . .