Thursday 17 October 2013

120 mm WWII American Stretcher Bearer

This is another kit from my "stash" of E bay purchases a few years back. I'm not sure of the manufacturer or sculptor as figures from Hong Kong very rarely have any details other than the images of the unpainted figure and the price! What I will say is that it is beautifully sculpted and as I assembled it I started to appreciate the potential "atmosphere" that such a simple subject generated.

The build itself was very easy with very little mold lines and flash. There were thankfully very little air bubbles in the figure so in terms of filling there was also very little. following the initial assembly I primer ed the whole thing in Halfords grey acrylic car primer. I have also decided to paint this in four separate sections: the main body, the head, the helmet and the stretcher. I will only complete the whole figure once everything has been completed in terms of painting.

For the initial painting I will be using my trusted Humbrol enamels with a choice of oil paints once ready. The paint choices were hard in terms of deciding which of the many green paints that I had would be the most appropriate for the various articles of clothing that this figure is depicted as wearing. I think that my choices closely resemble the correct uniform colours and in any case I am very happy with the overall look of the figure so far.

I have also decided to "frost" up the base which is also provided with this figure. I will again keep this simplistic by adding only a few small branches, some small amounts of green flock and then some "frost" which will be a variation of the snow mixture that I used for my aerosan vignette. 

I have also had misgivings about the helmet showing the medical insignia. I have seen a few of these figures completed on various websites and the one thing that always bugs me is the insignia on the helmet. Every completed figure displays a beautifully crisp insignia that in all honesty looked far to good for something out of WWII. After a little research it soon became evident that my suspicions were correct. The designs varied and they were quite literally painted on by hand and in some cases not very neatly! There is a temptation on this hobby to make things as perfect as possible, however it has been my experience that replicating imperfection is sometimes more effective and ultimately more realistic. I will probably hand paint the white background and red cross onto the helmet in the hope that my less than perfect circles and crosses will look more like the real thing instead of producing a "perfect" circle and cross on a decal.

The face is beautifully detailed and was a pleasure to paint. Again it was base coated in Humbrol enamels and then shaded and highlighted with oils. The helmet again had the same amount of detail and I did decide to hand paint the circle and cross. I'm really happy with the result and the following photos show the finished face and helmet

The base that is supplied is simplistic and could just be painted and left as it is supplied. If you look at the figure though it screams out that he is depicted in a cold environment with the great coat and gloves, so I elected to add a few more details to the base to reflect the cold environment that the soldier is in. Hopefully this will provide a little more atmosphere to the piece. I added a few twigs from the garden to the base along with some green woodland scenic's basing material in small areas, painted the groundwork in Humbrol 110 brown and then dry brushed the whole thing with Humbrol 34 White. Once this had dried I then applied some frost/snow to the whole base to give the impression of frozen snow on the ground that you would usually see first thing on a cold and frosty morning. The following shots show the build of the groundwork in stages;

The finishing of the figure was as easy as the build and initial paint I'm pleased to say. The whole thing was completed in oils and once dry will be coated in Matt varnish to remove the sheen. I have kept the shading and highlighting simple and I have not added any dust or mud to any part of him including the boots. You may be thinking to yourself that this is an unusual decision but when you consider the environment that he is depicted in; there is very little mud or dust as the ground is completely frozen!

I have jumped ahead slightly as this figure literally fell together and to be honest I was enjoying the build and paint so much I neglected to take more build shots (sorry) the next photos are the figure basically complete with only a few little touch ups left to the eyes and after a week or so of waiting for the oils to dry fully; I will coat the figure in a matt varnish to seal the oil paint and take the remaining sheen off the paint finish that you will notice in the shots.


A quick update, I have now found out that this figure is manufactured by Jaguar

I hope that you like this figure and would love to hear what you think. 

No comments:

Post a Comment