IntroductionThis is an older kit of mine that I bought off Amazon a few years ago on sale due to damaged packaging. I wanted to make a figure that didn't require a lot of preparation or fuss that you normally associate with resin figures or sculpting one of my own. I'll be honest and say that I had forgotten that this figure was in my stash so I was a little surprised when I came across it!
The figureThe figure kit is as always superb quality with very little flash and great details. It gave the option of two poses; one with arms behind and one holding a pair of binoculars. I opted for the second choice purely because it looked more interesting and reflective of the man who was constantly surveying the battlefield and contemplating strategy for the next battle. I partially assembled the figure and gave everything a once over in white primer.
For the uniform the box instructions give two options; a white jacket with grey trousers and a complete desert brown uniform however from looking at photographs it seems his favorite outfit was that of a very dirty white sand stained jacket with the grey trousers over the pristine white that the box suggests. I opted for this option and began to paint in enamels followed by shading in oils:
The sceneAs the figure neared completion I started to think about how I would display it. The figure in my opinion warranted more than just a plain sandy base on a wooden block (how I would display a similar figure) so I started looking at photographs from WWII Africa corps and in almost every photograph there was either an oil drum or water canister present. I immediately thought of placing an oil drum in the scene with a map and some other bits and pieces to add some interest. My initial decision was to look around on the internet and source a reasonably priced drum in the same scale; however this does not exist! the drums that I did find were pretty extortionate for what they are so I decided to build one for myself! While I was thinking about the best way to make one and considering the material choices my daughter was happily yapping away to me about her day (I was pretending to listen!) and I noticed a can of soda in her hand. I immediately demanded that she finish it and I got to work. The dimensions were very easy to find online and I started cutting:
For the top and bottom of the oil drum I opted for some balsa wood discs. This served the purpose of strengthening the whole thing and I wasn't really concerned with realism for the top as I intended on covering it with a map. For the side wall plug I used a pop rivet which proved to be an almost perfect scale size and really looked the part once painted. If I had spent more time I am sure that I could achieve a true to scale replica of an oil drum using this method however when one considers that this is background scenery to add interest I am happy with the finished result.
There really was only choice for a base setting for this man; the desert! I used a bargain basement frame I picked up in Ikea and cut it to a workable size, then sprayed it black and infilled the hole with some scrap balsa. The whole base was then coated in painting medium followed by kiln dried and powdered earth (I have an endless supply from the civil engineering department at my university). A piece of tree bark was stripped of the top surface and then glued to the base to simulate a stone and with the addition of the oil barrel, printed map and other bits and pieces, the base was complete!
All together I would say quite an accurate estimate on cost for this entire vignette came in at £14 which in my opinion is an absolute bargain! This is one of my favorite out of the box builds to date and proof that you don't have to spend an absolute fortune on 120 mm figures to get a good result. final pictures of the whole thing complete are below. As always I'd love to her your thoughts: