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"December 1941" 1/35 Vignette by Theodoros Kelessides
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headkele

Theodoros Kelessidis, has finished his marvelous Vignette! You have to see the expression of the faces...full of battle's suspense!!  

"December 1941" 1/35 Vignette

by Theodoros Kelessidis

headkele

LINE RED

HISTORY

the CONCEPT

Many years ago i saw  in a model magazine a fabulous vignette  of  a German Grenadier   leaping into a Soviet trench , made in 120mm or 1/16 scale.  This scene stuck to my  mind, but at this time i havent the experience to  build my own figures so i passed it, hoping that  some day i will be able to make a scene like that in 54mm, the scale i am comfortable with.  During the  last years i was involved in figure modeling more and more so recently i decided to  make this project come true.  Until now i made  conversions to figures including sculpting arms and legs but not building one entirely from scratch.  I decided to put my scene in December 1941 during the last efforts of the German Army  to capture the Soviet capital.  I choose a winter subject in order to give a more dramatic look with  muddy  and snowy terrain. This time frame sets the uniform patterns of both figures which are well documented. I also decided to portray a  machine gun position  bu using  a high quality  Maxim MG from Plus Models.

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CONSTRUCTION

The first figure i made was the  dead Soviet  mg-gunner  by using my own manequinn  and then i started building the leaping German on  a comercially available   manequinn  from Friulmodelismo. 

First  i  made the basic contours of the base , using   PVC plates and Styrofoam material 

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The figures are posed in order to decide final positioning

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Basic materials for  figure sculpting   Magic Sculp  two-part epoxy putty and  Duro  “green stuff” ribon.

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Three steps  for creating a dead body from left to right:    basic manequinn ,   dressing with Duro    and final  clothing  with  Magic sculp

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The dead   Soviet machine gunner  finished except the coat  buttons. Minor imperfections will be  fixed after priming

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The figure in place, checking the pose

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The pieces of the  high quality  Maxim MG from Plus Models. There is no comparison between this item and the plastic offerings of other manufacturers.

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The German  figure  starts with  the excellent   manequinn  from Friulmodelismo , a Hornet head and an airfix multipose helmet.

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Posing   starts  with the aid of  fixed tweezers 

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When  i  was satisfied with the pose  i filled in the body shapes with Duro, the advantage of Duro is that it remains flexible for many hours , so  little adjustments for final posing are  possible.

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Construction of the base  in progress. The wooden planks were glued in place and the  subcoat of the ground is created with   Valeho’s  coarse pumice (stone) material, a spatula and a  wet flat brush

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The basic groundwork completed, mud and snow will be added last. Meanwhile i built the Maxim MG from PLUSMODEL, here the elements are posed again.

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Work begins with the second figure, from inside out and from bottom upwards. Here, the right hose of the trouser is fromed. Only the visible parts will be sculpted.

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The left hose of trouser is built.

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The trouser area complete

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Magic sculp putty is rolled flat on a piece of glass, talcum powder added all the time to ease the procedure

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The thinned   piece is cut  in straight lines in order to make the coat and snow suit

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After taking measurements from the figure thin pieces from  our  “putty-fabric”  are added on the figure , forming the   torso area, the boots are removed to ease the sculpting.  Sleeves, hood, scarf, belt and the soldiers gear will be next.

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1 – 4  The German infantryman almost finished. Only the greatcoat colar is left, to be added last.   Boots and ammo pouches are temporarily attached with blue tack. I tried to  make the clothes bulky and loose as seen in wartime fotos.

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5.The elements of the vignette are posed again and again , in order to establish  a natural feel to the viewer. I decided to replace the bulky Maxim  MG with a lighter DPT light machine gun  as i found the first to be too big for my scene.  

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7.The DPT comes from a Dragon Gen2  Soviet infantry set and fits perfectly, without overpowering the scene. Here, details are posed to create the neccecary  “noise”.

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8.I needed many ammo clips for the DPT , so i made  a simple home made mold from plasticine.  The procedure is quite simple and needs only plasticine, talcum powder and of course a good quality resin.

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9. I glued the plastic prototype piece on a tool handle and used it to stamp the flattened plasticine.

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10. The finished  ammo clips. A little cleaning and they are ready to use

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Gun slings are made  with thin strips  of white  insulating tape, using ABER  1/35  straps and loops.  In order to be able to handle the tiny pieces, i cut them with a little piece of their fret and hold them with  helping hands (tweezers on solid bases) .  After  the sling is formed, i trim them from their fret.
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Work on the base  continues  by adding sandbags from epoxy  putty,  rivets from GrandLine  on the  wood retainers and   corrugated metal  patches. The  wooden box and its cover are glued in place in order to blend them with the next step which is adding more details, an abandoned   gun, a helmet, blankets and rags thrown around.  These details will be painted in situ, in order to  achieve  better  color  harmony of the elements. Everything is prepared for priming and afterwards a primer coat is added to everything  by using an airbrush.  For priming i used  mr.surfacer 1000  by Gunze diluted with cellulose thinner.

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figures are posed in primed state ,  several  tiny  blemishes  became visible so they will be fixed carefully before  final painting

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Hi guys. This is my new update. I decided to add a third figure, the arrows explain the flow i want to creat.

setup

the main frame is built on a friul skeleton. Τhen coat skirts added, helmet, balaclava hood and chinstrap added, white poncho garment sculpted and the head added

head frame coat front


head added  back belt


Special care  given to the belt area with  tucked grenades. As soon as I fiinished I made some tests.

PAINTING

The painting job, begins with a  coat of flat black , sandbags  receive a desert yelllow coat. The sandbags are masked , the woodwork receives  greyish coats. The ground is painted in brown hues, intentionally overspraying the woodwork. More variations added to the woodwork, shadows and hilights  added following  “zenithal lighting” and the base is ready for detail brushwork. The corugated panels received a mist  of Tamiya metalic brown as a base for further treatment, here , a closeup on the texture


sandbags airbrush finished ground posing

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I finished painting the figures and base. I tried to achieve a harmony between each element with balanced overhead lighting, incorporating a wet, dramatic atmosphere to the scene.

Valejo and Andrea acrylics were used for the painting of the figures and details and oils for the washes, mainly raw umber, sepia and black. I used commercial and natural products for the litter in the trench, and made the spend cartridges by cutting 0,4mm brass rod pieces. For the snow I used microballons mixed with white glue. When dry, I applied controlled washes to stain the snow. Clear gloss was used for the wet areas, applied in many thin coats. The slogan below the MG means "lets defend Moscow" in Russian, helping establish the time frame of the scene.

 

ADDITIONAL

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footprints zoom deadruski boots

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CONCLUSSION

I hope you like it

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Text and Photos by Theodoros Kelessidis

 

Last Updated ( Σάββατο, 23 Οκτώβριος 2010 )