Thursday 9 April 2015

Wing Commander Guy Gibson


This is another figure from my favorite sculptor; Maurice Corry. I saw this figure advertised on the internet just before Christmas and it went  straight to the top of my wish list (2014). My fantastic wife as always sought to grant my wishes (within reason) and bought this from Mitches Military models for me.

The Figure

The sculpt as always is absolutely flawless and of the highest quality in terms of its rendering and presentation. It looked just as good in front of me as it did on the website pictures.  There are a few modifications that will be needed but I must stress that this is because of the molding process and casting restrictions and not the sculpt itself.

The modifications

I'll start with the parachute pack; once the casting plug was removed with a razor saw, it left a rather blank back face to the chute. A little research on the internet revealed the actual detail that was missing from the supplied piece. I have included a photo of the real thing for a little clarity below. To  match the actual item, I added some Verlinden lead foil for the webbing and the straps and some thin gauge wire to simulate the bungee cords.

The life vest has an addition piece supplied and sculpted as being mounted directly on top of the joint on the figure. Again after looking at various photographs I realised that this is not accurately represented on the figure and a little bit of stretched sprue and plastic tube later, it was remedied. 

The final modification was one of those fixes that had to be done out of necessity rather than choice. The hands, particularly the left hand, quite literally had to be excavated of excess resin. This left the internal part of the hands with no detail what so ever. Faced with either sculpting the details back in with some milliput or hiding the lack of detail in some way, I chose the latter solution. My solution will be depicting the final piece as holding a map in his left hand of the forthcoming mission over the dams. 

The painting

Again I am not going to write at length over the methods I will be employing as they remain pretty much standard for me with 120mm figures:

Grey acrylic primer
Humbrol/Revel base colours
Oil paints for finish with matt varnish once dry.

The following photos show the figure in the base colours that I have chosen.

The observer pack was also base coated and the figure was trial fitted holding a map of Europe and "Top Secret" documents pertaining to the operation chastise (dambusters raid). I'm happy with the overall finish of the piece at the moment save for the shirt colour which is not 100% accurate for an RAF shirt. I am hoping that this shade will alter drastically as I apply the oil coats to it:

The Base
This will be kept simple so that it does not detract from the quality of the figure. I will be keeping to some static grass that will represent the one of many runway surfaces or the edge of one of them. I sometimes think that a very simplistic base serves to highlight to figure and not take the observers eye away from it. The base itself is a cast plaster base that has been painted in some spare gold emulsion. The upper surface has had a coat of brown acrylic paint and then a quick coating of green scatter followed by 4mm static grass will see the base complete

Final Pictures
I'm really happy with this figure from Corry. There are a few things that I felt I had to change, but I am sure that there are a number of these figures already built straight from the box and look equally as good without the modifications. Below are the finished shots of the figure:

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