La Contre Attaque - "Ils ne passe pas!"

Dave S4

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#1
Finally! This took almost 6 months from start to finish (an hour here, two hours there, and a gap in the middle), but here is the French Infantry vignette circa 1916.
Photos aren't the best, and don't really reflect the tones properly, but who knows? Maybe I'll take it to a model show one day and try my luck in a competition.
Feedback appreciated (especially on the vexed issue of photographing these things).
Cheers
DS 016.JPG 017.JPG P2.JPG P5.JPG 038.JPG 039.JPG
And it looks like I'm running out of space...
P6.JPG

The figures are by ICM models (part of a 1/35th 4-fig set and you can get the same ones with gas masks on if preferred). The barbed wire is by Verlinden (and had languished unused in the box since ~1990!), the broken bottle & rusted tin likewise. The stick grenade is by Tamiya (WWII: hence its application of 'mud', to hide the contoured grip and represent a bit of battlefield debris, rather than a threat to our brave heroes).

The figs are painted with Humbrol enamels. Horizon Blue is a general term, but I used modified Matt 89 - as the figs were painted a month or so apart, you may see a difference in the tones of their uniforms... I don't care! You can't use the paint 'neat' as it's way too bright, but this colour gives you a starting point for French uniforms post-1914, and looks good for Union Army trousers for the American Civil War (suggestions of decent figures for that conflict appreciated). Everything else was painted with, usually, modified Humbrol colours. Except the Chauchat LMG was washed with Tamiya Smoke (a favourite in my modelling world, as you'll see).

The fence posts are a couple of cocktail sticks snipped in half (hence their smooth profiles - something to work on in the future). The broken bits of wood are just that.
The base is a rectangle of 9mm ply, with wood laminate edging ironed into place, varnished & topped with acrylic paste. I then completed the figs on thin plastic sheet bases , which were glued down so they sat horizontally (No1 (gunner) was painted in situ). The posts & wire were put in place once the gunner was sorted. After No 2 was fixed into position, a sprinkling of Polyfiller Exterior made the rough terrain of No Man's Land, and I pressed the few accessories I had into place.

Then the ground work got two coats of matt enamel varnish to set it firmly. I liked the variety of tones & shades this created, so dropped the idea of painting it and washed it three times with Tamiya acrylic Smoke. The posts and splintered wood were stained with Smoke and left because this brought the grain and splinters out so nicely.

The wire was rather shiny, so had two coats of matt varnish (Vallejo) before washing with smoke, then three matt coats to take the sheen off again, and finally a dry-brushing with Humbrol gun metal enamel.

Painted the can, bottle & stick bomb, washed them (Smoke again), matt varnished everything but the broken bottle, then dry brushed highlighting onto the ground work etc in successively paler tones of 'dust'.

A nice project and a subject that, for me, is all too scarce.
 

Jim R

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#2
Hi Dave
I think it is superb. I can well appreciate the time it takes especially having read through the stages you went through. It is often the simplest ideas which are the best.
As for photos. This is my set up
P1050070.JPG
I think I changed the bulbs for some daylight ones which don't get hot.
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is it. Not expensive really.
Jim
 

rtfoe

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#4
I think it's really nice Dave. Normally the smaller the subject the more concentration is put on it which is evident on the time you have put in on this.

Cheers,
Richard
 

wotan

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#6
Dave

A really nicely executed little vignette. Photography only really makes a difference when you are posting online. You have the real thing, and at a show it will speak for itself. If you do want to take more photos Jim's set up will certainly help. I find that a black background often makes figures look more dramatic
. Voltaire done.jpg

This old bust was just photographed with a "day light" spot and a background of black craft paper. I usually crop and adjust tones slightly in photoshop which can also help.

John
 
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#7
Great to see this finished.lovely little scene.
The uniform colours turned out really nicely.
Jon.
 

Dave S4

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#9
Isn't it nice having nothing to do for a few days?
Till the fingers start twitching again.
There's a very faint whiff of Egypt on the breeze... and the sounds of men & horses.
Must mean something, I'm sure.

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Dave S4

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#10
Ha! Right after I posted the above, someone rode down the street on a horse.
 

Windy

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#11
That's a cracking little vignette Dave. Really like it.

Windy
 

Jakko

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#16
As for photos. This is my set up
View attachment 315119
I think I changed the bulbs for some daylight ones which don't get hot.
I have exactly the same thing by the looks of it, but with three of those lights with the pop-out legs (one I have hanging above the booth from some wire). The original halogen lamps proved to be fragile if they were on for a while — knocking one over broke it — so I replaced them with LEDs that don’t run nearly as hot.
 

Jim R

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#17
I have exactly the same thing by the looks of it, but with three of those lights with the pop-out legs (one I have hanging above the booth from some wire).
Three lights sounds a really good idea. I often end up holding one the lights up high.
Jim
 

Jakko

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#18
Here’s part of my hobby room before I made room for a spray booth (where the old iMac is in the picture below) a few months ago. You can just see the way I’ve hung one of those lights above the photo booth on the right:

 

Steve Jones

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#19
Six months work well spent. Stunning work and despite the issues with the photos the figures look awesome. They must be even better in the flesh. They certainly look like competition winners too me. Look forward to seeing your next build
 
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