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About elanlane13

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  • Birthday October 24

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  1. Tim, at the moment the scanning isn't happening, but I will look into it further. However, more 1/32 RAF/FAA figures are planned.
  2. A quick Smudgysnapovision update on the 1/24 (75mm) Hellcat pilots. Below are some snaps of the castings, produced in the usual excellent way by MDP. Examples have winged their way to New Zealand and Hove for box art magic. Full release date is still on track for May. (Though I may have the odd pre-release at shows where the Elan13 Miniatures roadshow is in town.)
  3. Tim, Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend my club meeting. I will email my friend about 3D scanning this week.
  4. Hellcat Pilots build log. Part: The Last (sculpting) Things have advanced since part 4 and the final set of smudgy snaps show the two pilots primed and awaiting their final checks before heading off to sunny Newport for the Welsh Wizard (and Tom) at MDP to perform their moulding and casting magic on them. The Fleet Air Arm pilot now has two fleet air arms and his parachute has been added, carried over his shoulder. There were no real problems with this stage of the process. The US Navy pilot (who looks rather grumpy!) had to have his legs altered ( possibly why he looks grumpy) and straps amended to match up with the strapping of the parachute that he is wearing. For both figures the extra additions were sculpted in Magic Sculp or Duro both from Sylmasta. Although it seems I am well on target for having both these pilots finished in time for the proposed May release of the Hellcat by Airfix, things will actually be tight. Moulding and casting has to be done. Boxart and photographing has to be completed and resin castings boxed ready to be dispatched. I'll keep all of you loyal readers (optimistic use of plural here) informed of how things are going.
  5. Max I'm afraid both the FAA and US Navy pilots will be in Newport on Tuesday in the queue to be cast into resin at MDP.
  6. Thank you for the feedback. That is the clamp I use, though mine is now covered in primer and has been baked in the oven a few times too! I hadn't thought about scanning masters and reducing them in scale. I am at my local club meeting this Thursday and there is a member I can ask about the viability of this. Max, The Mae West was sculpted in Magic Sculp because I didn't want to re-bake the figure after I had baked it for too long initially. The next instalment shows the arms, which are also sculpted in epoxy putty. This is because I currently use plastic tube for the male joint to the body. This would melt a baking temperature. I need to obtain some appropriate size brass tube to overcome this problem.
  7. Hellcat Pilots build log part: The Fourth It was time to commit the body of the Fleet Air Arm pilot to the 'oven of terror ' (TM), so the clay could be baked before going on to the next stage. The title 'oven of terror' has nothing to do with the culinary skills of any member of the Lane family, but more to do with the feeling of nervousness I get when committing a clay master to the heating process. I had several problems with cracking when I initially used Bees Putty. However, after consulting others who had used the putty successfully, I learned that the trick was to leave the figure in the oven after it was turned off until it had cooled down. This had resulted in several bakings that had gone well. Unfortunately knowing what to do is an inefficient foil to rank stupidity. I placed the master in the oven and retired to the computer to do some Elan13 Miniatures admin. I didn't set a timer, because they are for sissy's, allegedly. After the requisite 30 minutes baking when the oven should have been turned off, I was still doing admin...after another 30 minutes I was still doing admin (probably playing a game by now, but let's keep that between the two of us). Suddenly it dawned on me I had forgotten to turn the oven off. Language that would only be appropriate for a lads night out in the 1970's filled the house as I rushed into the kitchen. Fortunately I remembered not to open the oven door once it was turned off, but I did have a worrying time while waiting for the oven to cool. Clearly the modelling gods were with me as the only effect to the figure was that it was a rather darker colour than usual, but there were no major cracks! Huge sighs of relief all round. I could now begin the next stage which was adding the life preserver. I decided to do sculpt this in an open position, to show off some of the detail of the shirt and give a layered effect to the piece. The work was carried out with Magic Sculp epoxy putty. (I get mine from Sylmasta in the UK.) The smudgy snaps below show this done and the beginning of sketching in the left arm. I do feel rather guilty about the lack of information about the US Naval pilot. Since we last saw him, he has moved on and now has a torso and head. The snaps below show this. The head is baked but the rest is still un-cured clay. This was a good job because those straps around his thighs are in the wrong place and will need fixing. More of that in Part: The Fifth.
  8. Bryan, the two Hellcat pilots will become part of the Elan13 Miniatures range. The aim of this series is to show the different stages from concept, through sculpting to casting, box art and finally bringing a product to market. Yours Robert
  9. Thank you all for the further feedback. Tim; I'm using Bees Putty 100g, grey, tripple firm for these two figures. Max; For 1/32 figures wire around 0.50mm should do. I must admit for this project I used the wire that was wrapped around a roll of chicken wire that I bought! The key is enough rigidity balanced with enough flexibility.
  10. Max, I use different diameter wire for different scale figures but they vary in type; copper, brass, and normal garden stuff.
  11. Hellcat pilots build log. Part: The Third The smudgy snaps below show more progress with the Fleet Air Arm pilot. I have worked on his shirt and refined some of the detail on the shorts. As with the shorts, his shirt is made of cotton so some liberal creasing was added. I was fairly pleased with the progress, but my smugness was soon shattered (if you can shatter smugness) when I realised most of this work will be invisible once his life preserver is added! I have also included some snaps of progress for the US Navy pilot. He has legs! As will be seen in the next couple of instalments, they may not stay as they are depicted here however. All sculpting is still using Bees Putty, with only the head of the FAA pilot baked so far. This means changes are relatively easy to make if proportions or equipment look wrong. As an experienced sculptor this never happens....or perhaps it does...often. In response to Tim's enquiry, Max is right so far only Bees Putty has been used for sculpting, over a Magic Sculp and wire core. This is a clay, which has to be baked in the oven to harden. As mentioned above this has the advantage of enabling changes to be made fairly easily. However, it has the disadvantage of detail being lost by less than dexterous application of a wayward digit. This happens often, but is worth the initial frustration and gnashing of teeth.
  12. Thank you for the information about Lt John ‘Jack’ Haberfield. Adding individual experiences really helps with getting into the feel of the sculpting. I'll post part three tomorrow.
  13. Thank you for the feedback. The photo of the bearded FAA pilot was one of the references I used. I had to do extra research into the object on his life preserver, which turned out to be a dingy knife and will appear on the completed figure. The pose is not the same, as will become evident as this log develops.
  14. Hellcat Pilots build log Part: The Second The second part of the build log (with accompanying smudgy snaps) shows the development of the Fleet Air Arm pilot. After basic mannequin build up I always sculpt the head next. While proportion is key to a figure, for me the head is the most important part. If its wrong the whole figure will feel wrong. The head was sculpted using Bees Putty. I wanted a bearded face, to make the figure a little different and ensured I had reference for this. If a commercial piece is being sculpted accuracy is important. Any error will be criticised by someone! The head helps also with proportions. A standard figure should be 7.5 heads tall (heroic figure 8 heads tall). It also begins to give the figure attitude and helps develop the pose. The next step was to add more detail to the legs. This pilot wears shorts so the legs needed detail and were built up with Bees Putty. Once the legs were done the shorts were added, again with Bees Putty. Some work was also done to correct the position of the crotch. The actual shorts are made from a cotton which creases a great deal so it was important for this to be represented. In the third part I will update on the US Navy pilot and realise I have wasted my time with some detail work !
  15. I appreciate this thread might not fit in this section but I thought it might be of interest to members, please feel free to move it or delete. The announcement at Scale Model World of a 1/24th scale Hellcat being released by Airfix in 2019 got my sculpting senses twitching. Here was a subject that would be ideal for an accompanying pilot (or two) I thought. Wouldn't they fit well into the Elan13 Miniatures range I thought. So here is part; The First, of a log that shows the process of bringing a figure (or two) from clay and putty to being available commercially. Stage 1 research: Once I knew what decal options were going to be available, I selected the pilot types to work on. I went for a US Navy pilot and a Fleet Air Arm pilot. These offered two quite distinct options. I went through my collection of books consulted the oracles that are Google Images and Pinterest and collected together a range of photos to work from. Accompanying this series will be the usual smudgy snaps of how the figures have progressed, taken on my mobile phone. This gives that instant 'how things are going' vibe. (This is code for I'm sorry the photos are smudgy.) The first snap shows the basic mannequins used, made from wire and Magic Sculp torso and hips. As you can see the figure on the left has a shoe started. I always sculpt the feet first because I hate doing them and like to get the basic shape in early. The next two snaps show basic bulking out in Magic Sculp ready for a Bees Putty outer layer. Sometimes anatomical errors are made at this stage (happened this time) which can be corrected. I don't sculpt a detailed under body because it will be covered later. The last snap is the FAA figure with head sculpted as the other three photos are rather boring. Stick with it the pictures get more interesting as we progress (allegedly).
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