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120mm Figures

by Federico Kereki


120mm Stosstrup





I am building a collection of World War One 120mm figures, and these were my first three attempts.

The Red Baron is from MODEL CELLAR, and both the American BAR gunner and the German Stosstrupp are from VERLINDEN. The detail on all figures is outstanding, and they aren't hard to build. 



Parts preparation is the first step. Removing the pouring blocks of resin can be long and boring. My original technique was to remove the blocks with a saw but it was hard, slow work, and left lots of dust in the air. I started using the "scribe and snap" method, which is quicker and cleaner. Now, if only I could find a way to avoid sanding afterwards!

I assemble the whole figure before painting, leaving only accessories and weapons (and sometimes heads and hands) out. I start with a base coat of a sand-like color (done with enamels), which doubles as a flesh base. My painting technique is a mix of many methods (such as Sheperd Paine's, Verlinden's, and others) and thus can hardly be called original -- but it works for me! 


Painting Technique

I use oils for the final painting. 

I mix of titanium white, raw sienna and cadmium yellow, for a flesh color, and apply it as a first coat. 

Next comes some raw sienna in the middle shadow areas (the sides of the nose, the ear, under the lip), and afterwards burnt umber in the dark shadow areas (the eyes, behind the ears, the hair border). 

Finally, a small red dot (blended carefully) on the cheeks, and dabs of pure white on the tip of the nose and the chin, bring the face to life. 

The eyes are last; I use black acrylic paint or indian ink, I pick out the corners of the eye with some off-white color, and I finish with a small drop of gloss varnish. Eyebrows and hair are easier: I use just a dark base coat and some drybrushing for contrast and highlights.

Now to the figures. 



German Stosstrup


The assault trooper went together easily, but I had to leave off many accessory parts including all of the grenades (eleven of them!) and some accessories like the gas mask container or the canteen. 

For the uniform, I started with a slate gray base coat, and then managed to mix Feldgrau for the blouse and Steingrau for the trousers. I will probably never manage to get the same mixes again, but since WWI uniforms show plenty of variations in shades, I won't worry too much. 

I painted the buttons and medals black, and finished them with Humbrol metallics; the black provides a "shadow" which suggests a three dimensional look. 

The boots were black, heavily drybrushed with khaki drill. The camouflaged helmet also got some drybrushing, as well as some aluminum on the edges. The rifle sling was scratchbuilt out of lead foil and thin wire. The rifle itself was painted with oils (sienna, yellow, burnt umber) and the metal parts were drybrushed with some dull silver over a black coat. 

Finally, for the mask I used some washes and drybrushing (I usually avoid washes, for I generally manage to foul things up, but this time they went on fine), and a drop of clear gloss varnish provided the lenses.



American BAR Gunner


The American BAR gunner was somewhat more complicated to build, and some filler was needed. 

After painting the figure (more or less like the other two) I used thin burnt umber oil washes applied with a 000 brush to highlight the edges of belts, the canteen cover, the ammo pouches, and so on. This wash simulated shadows. 

The puttees were easy enough. I simply drybrushed olive drab over a dark brown base. The dark brown stays in the "shadows" and the results are speedy and nice. I also used this method for the pouches (khaki drill drybrushing over dark grey) and the helmet (dark earth over black). 

I added some color variations to the helmet with pastels, which also gave a more matte finish. 

The base was scratchbuilt. I used cardboard of different thicknesses, cutting stones and bricks of the right sizes, gluing them on to the "wall" and "ground", and finishing with a acetone-diluted putty coat. I stippled the result with an old brush for a more realistic finish - check the cobblestones. Finally, I got the poster from the web (just don't ask where; I surfed around until I found it!) and printed it out on a inkjet printer: a cheap and easy way to get posters for dioramas or vignettes!



Baron Manfred von Richthofen


The Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, was originally a cavalry (Ulan) officer. Mixing the right shade of green (or at least, the right shade according to some references I found, but I refuse to be dogmatic about it) required plenty experimentation. 

The buttons and medals got the same treatment as the Red Baron.

I really enjoy painting leather or wood with oils. I find that a raw sienna base, shaded with browns, yellows, or black acheivess a very authentic look. The black leather jacket was easy, but the epaulettes stumped me; what color were them? 

The kit includes no instructions (as usual) and the box photo didn't help either, but I got lucky at the Track-Link newsgroups when someone told me how to paint them. They look very much like the ones of the Luftwaffe in World War Two. 

After gluing the left aside parts, I finished with a matt coat and brushed the jacket and boots semi-gloss. The grass on the base is finely cut hemp rope, painted green and drybrushed with yellow tones.




A d d i t i o n a l   I m a g e s


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Article, Images and Model Copyright 2000 by Federico Kereki
Page Created 16 April, 2000
Last updated 26 July, 2007

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