Friday, 25 July 2014

Head for the Huey

Not quite up to tackling the three-figure merged group so I will do the guy with the M79 "Blooper". I thought this was an excellent pose when I first saw this set but by angling the body a little, I may be able to add a little more dynamism.

This is where we are so far, bits are just tacked together with blue tack to get an idea of what fits where and I have started my usual undercutting and scribing of the detail to enhance the figure. Masterbox plastic is noticeably softer than say, Dragon, so you have to go a bit easier with the pointy blades. Replaced the MB head with a Hornet one and as you will see he has the pronounced neck muscle indicating a head turn.

To show you how much difference it makes when you start refining seams and undercuts, here are a few pics to show side-by-side my altered figure and what you get as standard out of the box.

As you can see, it makes a massive difference to the crispness of certain parts, downside is that it does take a long time to do. Thus far, I have been working on this figure for about four hours. Hopefully I won't need to tell you which one is which !! (Apologies for the slightly out of focus pictures, I had to use my phone)

As you can see, I have removed most of the detail that I am going to be replacing; buttons, straps and such; and I have started to add some buttons to the trouser pockets using sliced sprue, gently sanded.

Moving forward then, now that I have scraped the be-jezuz out of this, it is now time to start adding the details back in. This is going to have to be painted in sub-assemblies I think, mainly due to the amount of gear this guy is wearing. I'm going to try to explain some of the gear as I go along just to add a little interest (I hope).

I originally wanted to paint the ERDL, (Engineer Research and Development Laboratories) camo on this but the cut of the uniform is more suited to one of the Tiger Patterns. I've done it before using Humbrol enamel with a some success, so I wanted to try this out with acrylics. There are subtle differences in the cut of the uniform, mainly in the pocket details, and as far as I know the ERDL pattern wasn't used on this type. I'll cover this in a lot more detail when I get to the painting so don't despair, but in the meantime, this is the ERDL pattern;

And this is one of the Tiger Pattern variations;

That isn't me by the way, I found these online.

The main feature that I have started to detail is the vest specifically made for troops armed with the M79. This vest is a mesh with pockets to hold the rounds at the front. Found these pics on the internet too.

If you look back at the model pictures, you can see I have tried to add in the re-enforced edging and the adjustable rear strap.

Added the press-stud buttons with the nutter, although they look a little large in this shot.

Next up is the lightweight rucksack frame, and the M1956 Combat Field Pack, affectionately known as a"butt" pack for obvious reasons. It did take a while to clean up the frame, and for a split-second I thought about scratchbuilding this from brass wire, then decided life was too short.

I need to re-do the "eyes" on the fabric cross-members as I was a bit sloppy placing these but you can see how it works. I will post up some pics of a real one soon, so you can see how various bits are attached.

Anyway, as you can see, there is no way I can make a decent job of painting that vest with the rucksack frame glued on so all these bits will be left loose and added along the way.

I mentioned above that I had already done the ERDL pattern in Humbrols, this is the said figure. Cobbled it together from Dragon bits back in 2009 and there was no extra detailing or scribing done here. My painting style has changed somewhat, don't you think !

So, I mentioned the rucksack frame earlier. These are a couple of shots showing an actual frame from the front and back;

As you can see, there is a great amount of detail in this little item and in plastic it is a very fragile piece. I still have a lot more to add (and remove) on this frame to make it look halfway decent so I fully expect to break it several times. 

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