Tuesday 17 March 2015

Black Watch Sniper


This is one of the many half completed projects that I lost enthusiasm for and placed into "storage" around 3 years ago. I have set myself the challenge of completing the many shelved projects that I have once I have completed a new one. This way I will hopefully reduce the number of models that I have in storage at the moment. This one is a 120mm figure bought from a Hong Kong supplier from the internet. Unfortunately I don't know who the sculptor/manufacturer is. Its a very nice, simplistic pose of a WWII sniper with one foot atop a pair of sandbags (supplied with kit). I opted at the start of this work to keep the base very simplistic as well. In all honesty my opinion hasn't changed so I will keep the simplicity of this piece for the re-start of the work.

The figure paint and construction

The figure at the re-start had been painted in its base colour and partially assembled. Thankfully I had already sorted out some fit issues with the component parts when I first started to complete this figure. The following shots are of the figure as it stood before I started work on it again:

The camo scheme on this figure is slightly different to what you would normally see on a WWII British figure although after quite a lot of research on the internet I am satisfied that the pattern I will paint is accurate to the period and style of the uniform that the figure is depicted wearing. The following shots show the figure in the base colours before any oils/shading has been carried out:

The head, particularly the helmet needed a little work as far as I was concerned. The sculpted camo pattern and webbing were not as clearly defined as I would have liked. I cut off the existing parts from the helmet and then attached some camo netting from the spares box. To add more texture I glued strips of aluminium foil onto the webbing and primed/painted it to match the rest of the figure.

The rifle and shovel supplied with the figure are nothing short of shocking! The rifle was mishap-en and the only way that this could be remedied was by snapping it into three pieces and re-assembling it after some work with a needle file and filler. I also added some D rings and rifle sling from some aluminium foil and wire respectively.

The shovel was in worse shape than the rifle and I opted to get rid of the handle altogether and construct a new one from some stock plastic tubing:

 The final assembly of the figure went without a hitch thankfully and I'm really happy with the overall progress to date. I will add the rifle and spade to the figure at the end of the paining and shading process:

The Base
As I said in the introduction, I intend on keeping the base very simplistic. I had already cast a plaster base for this piece and drilled amounting hole for the sandbags supplied with the figure. I added some green flock to PVA, allowed it to fully dry then applied some 4mm static grass on top of the flock. While this mix was still wet I pressed the sand bag into it to create a depression that would hopefully provide a more realistic finish:

Finishing the figure

The figure had an initial wash with burnt umber oil while the webbing wash washed with some light green oil to hopefully simulate the washed out colour that was so common in the 1940's. Once this wash has dried, the figure will be pin washed in pure lamp black oil and then lightened with various shades of green/brown/white oils to provide depth of shade and texture:

Once the oils were semi-dry, the figure was glued onto the base and final touch ups were added to it. At this point I also attached the rifle and spade. The model almost completed was then allowed to dry fully over a period of a few days in a dust free environment so that the whole figure could be checked over before a final coat of matt varnish can be applied:

Final shots

I'm really happy with this figure and I'm glad that I didn't leave it in the "to do pile" any longer. Here are the final shots and as always I will welcome comments from anyone:

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