To My US Tank Crewman Page.
This page is about my tank crewman I have made,
the figure is based on the Guffy character from the film The Battle Of The
Bulge. I have had the nude figure of Big Joe (Telly Savalas) sitting around in
my spares box for a while now, and I never seemed to have the time to make this
So when I received the two 1/6th bottles of wine
from the MDFC forum, I decided it was now time to make the figure up. The
uniform on the figure came mainly from spares I got from the DML Josh Ackerman
figure, this was the jacket, shirt, goggles and overall trousers. The boots came
from Newline and are the US two buckle type.
The picture below left is of the basic headsculpt,
which I have given a pastel wash to bring out the detail and add some depth to
the creases in the face. This I did three times as I was not happy with them,
once I had wiped the dried pastel chalk off. The third wash was done with a
slightly more watery wash, to make the colour lighter.
Once that had dried and I was happy with it, I
then used Model Colour acrylic paint numbered 540 Matt Medium, to take away the
glossy look that came through the washes. I also then used
some Model Color Transparent Red acrylic paint,
heavily thinned with water to add a red colour to the headsculpt.
This figure was a bit of experiment with me and
the Matt Medium paint, as usually I use the Dullcote paint. But for this figure
I decided to use just water based paints, and I actually find them a lot better
to use and are a lot more forgiving if I go wrong.
The other pictures above are of the tank crew
helmet that came with the Josh Ackerman figure, this is a very nice piece but I
was not happy with the plastic look to it. So I repainted the top part with Revell enamel paint numbered Matt 46, and
the side ear flaps were repainted with Revell enamel paint numbered Matt 116.
The tan edges of the ear flaps have not been repainted, but I am going to use
some Model Colour acrylic paint numbered 540 Matt Medium to get rid of the
glossy look to these. Finally, I gave it a drybrush with some grout, to make it
looked weathered and lose the new look it had from the re-painting.
The only thing I have left to do with the figure,
is add some sergeant stripes and fix him on a base so he can examine his 'merchandise'.
The sergeant stripes below were printed out onto cotton
paper sheets from an image I have, they were then cut out from the sheet. To
cover the white edges of the patch, I found for this image repainting it with
Model Colour 142 US Field Drab acrylic paint, re-coloured not only the edges but
the whole patch to make it look better. The images below are of the patch's
after painting and left to dry, as the backing paper is easier to remove this
way. The other image is of the patch applied to the arm of the jacket, because
of the thin cotton paper I used, the patch sits very nicely on the arm.
Making the patch is a matter of a lot of trial and
error, as all I have used is the full size image I found on the internet, and
then by using Microsoft Word. It is just a case of resizing it, until it looks
correct. I don't claim to be an expert at this, but for my figures it is a lot
easier to make these myself rather than buying the patches. The image below
right is a screenshot I have taken of one of my films, I use these to get the
sizes and positioning right for the patches.
In the U.K. I get my cotton printer paper from
Cotton Printer Paper , and I always run a rough copy off of the image sheets
on normal printer paper first, at normal settings to check for the image sizes.
Once I am happy with them, I then select the highest printer settings and feed
in the cotton paper and wait.
How To Use information on how to use these cotton sheets.
The above images are of the
PVA treatment that I have
given to the uniform, because one thing I do like about these large scale
figures. Is how I can set the folds and creases in the clothing, this was
something that I was never able to do with the 1:35th scale figures. And I have
found that the stiffness in the fabrics when they have dried, gives me a good
base to use the pastel chalks on.
This update shows the uniform once it has dried
off and I have given the uniform a light dusting over of pastel chalks. The
sergeant stripes I made have come out very well and to me are more in scale than
the DML one's I was going to use. And because they are printed on the cotton
paper they are both thinner, plus they take the pastel chalk a lot better as
well and make them look very subdued on the sleeve.
The picture on the right above is of the base I am
going to pose this figure on, and I have already put the plaster mix onto the
base and made the footprints to show the weight of the figure. As this is going
to be another snow covered base, I decided to make this one at the same time as
my Ardennes diorama. Because that way I am hoping that I will be able to cover
both of them at the same time with the Snow material, which will allow me to
finish off these two figures.
For this update I have finally made up the headset
wiring for the helmet, as this is the main thing that was missing from the hat.
I got hold of the headset from the DML Horst Lerner figure loose and tried to
fit the smaller headphones under the jeep cap and the tankers helmet.
But I found that although it fitted I could not
get the helmet on as well, so I cut out the side parts of the helmet to make two
holes. I then glued a small flat piece of plastic on the inside, cut off the
wiring from the ear pieces of the headset and glued the ends in place through
the holes onto the plastic pieces.
Once that had dried I cut off the three pronged
connector at the other end of the wire, and made my own single pin plug up from
sprue and glued it onto the wire end. Once all of that was dry I then painted the wiring
and plugs with black paint.
Adding the Snow
This base was finished at the same time I did my
Ardennes figure base, because I thought that there is no point in doing each one
separately. So I might as well get them both out of the way at the same time.
To apply the Snow material I was told to paint on
a coat of watered down PVA, and then use a shaker or sieve to sprinkle the Snow
onto the base. This I did making sure that I kept as much of the water mix off
the base edges as I could, once I had covered the groundwork with the Snow. I
then tipped it up slightly on it's edge to remove any excess material, this I
then saved and put back into the bag.
Any spots that I had missed were covered by
dripping the water mix onto the groundwork, and then pinching some material
between my fingers and sprinkled it onto the wet patch. The next step I was told
about to do with this, was to get a sprayer something like the bottles the
gardeners use to spray feed onto plants. Mix up a very weak mixture of PVA glue
and water, shake well and set it to a fine mist setting.
spray the whole base gently at arm's length, I aimed the spray so that it would
go past it and the water mix would drop onto the base. The whole point of doing
this is to gently dampen the Snow material not soak it.
This was then set aside to dry ( I am not sure how
long it takes so I am leaving it overnight) and the result that has now happened
is that the Snow material has started to 'fluff' up, and it does actually look
like very fine snow. Also I have found that taking my time to smooth all of the
lines and brushmarks out of the plaster mix when I was sculpting it, has had the
added benefit of making it all look like smoother deeper snow.
Many thanks to Terry for helping
me and sharing some of his Snow material with me.