Work in Progress

Gordon meets the Mahdi

Posted by Santi Pérez on 17 Aug 2017, 13:53

I'm finally inmmersed in the development of my 1/72 project of this summer.

The inspiration came from the great movie Khartoum (Basil Dearden, 1966), more specifically from the scenes where General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) goes to the Dervish camp to meet Muhammad Ahmed the Mahdi (Laurence Olivier), with the only company of his servant Khaleel, to convince him to avoid the imminent war.

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The idea I had in mind was to reflect the courage and loneliness of Gordon surrounded by so many enemies in their own camp.

Of course, the main characters of the scene had to be Gordon and the Mahdi face to face, but I decided to include also Gordon's camel and some Dervish warriors around them in order to reinforce the idea of risk to Gordon.

Once the idea was developed, the next step was to choose and find the elements for the diorama, mainly the base and the figures.

I took a square base of 6.5 x 6.5 cm (initially intended for a Crucifixion diorama) and looked for the more appropriate figures among the wide existing variety for this period.

The result was the following diorama outline:

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In the next post I will tell more about the finished base.

Santi. :-)
Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 23 Aug 2017, 01:14

Today post is dedicated to the diorama base.

This is the plain base. I don't remember where I got it, but I bought it surely at a model shop in Madrid many years ago.

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The first thing was to cover it with real fine sand and two little stones, fixed with white wood glue which, beside glueing, also fill in the gaps between sand grains.

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Then came the painting. I always use matt acrylic colours from the extensive pallete of Spanish manufacturer Vallejo (http://www.acrylicosvallejo.com/), except for metallics, which are from Games Workshop). The first layer is of Brown sand (code 70876).

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Next a drybrush of Dark sand (70847).

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And finally the last layer of drybrushed Buff (70976) mixed with White. Here it comes the base ready to receive the figures.

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In the next post I will revise the preparation of the chosen figures. :-D

Santi.
Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Wiking on 23 Aug 2017, 03:56

Nice combination of figures.

Clean build.
My experience to glue groundwork on top of the lacquered base are not the best. Hopefully all is still fixed in a few years.
The several layer of color accentuate the 3D effect to the sand.

I too use Vallejo color. The bottle system is the best. I try Revell, Marabu, waterbased Humbrol, Heller, Tamiya, Hobby color and a few others.
In quality of painting I see no real difference. All are very fine.
But the bottle system is the best protection against drying out if you do not use it a long time.
Tamiya too is very good but the bottle are more handy.
You take it, shake it. Open the cab by turning and put some color at a board or to the brush.
All other systems get after shaking it color on the top part for closing process of the can. Make correct closing not so easy.
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 25 Aug 2017, 22:53

Nice combination of figures.


Thank you, Wiking. Every time I plan a diorama and select the most suitable figures for it, I don't like to place them on the base independent one from another. I always try to obtain some kind of interaction between all the elements of the composition, mainly between the figures. :-)

The several layer of color accentuate the 3D effect to the sand.


Really this is the very first time I use this method of painting sand. In individual figures and in old dioramas, I simply glue the sand on the base and don't apply any colour on it. But I have realized that the results are much better using this technique. :shock:

I too use Vallejo color. The bottle system is the best...You take it, shake it. Open the cab by turning and put some color at a board or to the brush.


I agree completely with you and have an added bonus: I can find Vallejo colours everywhere, not only at model shops, but also in usual toy stores. ;-)

Thank you very much.

Santi.
Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 26 Aug 2017, 02:59

I like how Vallejo paints do not damage my feeble brain with powerful chemical fumes.
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 28 Aug 2017, 14:24

Yesterday was my birthday and today is my first anniversary as a member of this great forum. Two good reasons for posting the pictures with the preparation of the selected figures before the painting work.

I always begin removing figures' bases. Later it's necessary to remove also the line marks and flash, if present. At least for my taste it's very annoying to see artistically painted figures completely spoiled by ugly marks crossing their faces or other body or equipment areas. So I think it’s worth dedicating enough time and effort to eliminate all the undesirable plastic of the figures using a sharp scalpel blade (a particularly complicated task in the case of difficult rubbery plastics, such as Hät’s figures for example).

Once the figures are free from excess plastic, is the time for conversions. Heads, arms, legs or weapons swappings are very usual, as well as bending different parts to obtain new poses. All the gaps between old and new parts (or on figures surface due to air bubbles in the mould) are then filled in with white wood glue. I also use this glue to model small parts as noses, ears, fingers, buttons, sword handles and so on, simply applying several layers and waiting until they dry and harden.

At this moment the figure is ready for the painting job. Then it is glued to a provisional base (plastic bottle stoppers are very useful for this purpose) and covered with a matt white priming.

The first figure is Gordon himself. I have used the model included in Waterloo 1815 Anglo-Egyptian Army set. It only needed the removing of the stick and revolver from both hands.

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Next is Gordon’s kneeling camel, which comes from Hät British Camel Corps set, without any conversion. Only a plasticine bridle, hardened with white glue, was added.

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The Mahdi figure was taken from Esci Muslim Warriors set. As Gordon, he suffered the lost of the sword and fly-swatter from his hands.

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The rest of the Dervish warriors will come in the next post. ;-)

Santi.
Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Susofrick on 28 Aug 2017, 14:51

Seems that page doesn't work here. No pictures. :-( And since I've seen what you can do I really want to see them!
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 28 Aug 2017, 15:31

I would love to see the pics, too. But I cannot see them now.
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 28 Aug 2017, 16:48

No one of the six pictures can be seen? :(

When I open the page I can see all of them except the second one of the Mahdi.

I post all again and hope this time it works.

Gordon before (pictures from Plastic Soldier Review: http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com) and after the conversion:

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Gordon's camel:

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And the Mahdi:

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Please, tell me if pictures are now visible. Thank you very much.

Santi.
Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 28 Aug 2017, 19:29

I can see them!
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Posted by Emperor on 28 Aug 2017, 22:26

@Santi- Santi you solved my problem. Now I can make that diorama I wanted to give to museum...
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 28 Aug 2017, 22:58

I can see them!


I'm happy for that, Bluefalchion, and hope you like what you see. ;-)

Santi you solved my problem. Now I can make that diorama I wanted to give to museum...


It's a pleasure to be of any help for you, Emperor, but could you tell me what was your problem? Perhaps when I advance in my project you could find more support to your own project. :-)

Thank you, fellows.

Santi.
Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Susofrick on 29 Aug 2017, 07:58

I can see them too now! Looks promising!
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Posted by udospreng on 29 Aug 2017, 15:16

Super good
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 29 Aug 2017, 23:41

Thank you, Susofrick and udospreng.

Here you have the rest of the figures of the diorama prior to the paint job.

The two following Dervish warriors have no conversion at all. The first one comes from the same Esci set than the Mahdi while the second one was taken from Hät Dervish warriors.

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This Fuzzy-Wuzzy is also present at Hät Dervish warriors set, but has his sword blade replaced by the one of his comrade from the Esci set, which has a more suitable shape.

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The last figure, which comes from the Esci set too, is the most heavily converted. Firstly the flag and upper flag pole were eliminated. Then a piece of the flag pole from the Waterloo 1815 Highlanders set was glued on the hand, crowned by the half moon from the original flag.

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And here are all the figures primed in white ready for the paint work.

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At the moment of posting this I have already begun to paint the totality of the figures. ;-)

Enjoy and thank you for watching.

Santi.
Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Susofrick on 30 Aug 2017, 08:11

Following! Already like the look of it!
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Posted by Hellboy on 31 Aug 2017, 07:39

Great story, a very interesting figurine group and a fantastic wooden base! Great!! :yeah:
I'm very curious how it goes on. Wish you good luck and have fun with this project !!! :-D
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 01 Sep 2017, 19:48

What type of glue did you use and how did you get the pole to end up so straight?
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 02 Sep 2017, 15:29

Thank you very much, Susofrick and Hellboy. I enjoy every project I do from the very first mental idea to the finished diorama or figure (and even later, every time I look at them in the showcase ;-) ).

What type of glue did you use and how did you get the pole to end up so straight?


Bluefalchion, I did nothing special to make the flagpole remains so straight. Fortunately, the plastic used by Waterloo 1815 in their figures is harder than others and don't bend easily.

The glue used is one from the brand CEYS, specially designed for "difficult plastics" and it really works much better than others I have used in the past. It has two components, the primer and the adhesive, and you obtain a fast and very solid bond in all the usual plastics employed by different manufacturers.

Now that I'm back to my work, once the holidays are ended :( , I'm spending less time in the project, but I hope to finish the painting and varnishing steps in the next weeks.

Best regards. :-D

Santi.
Santi Pérez  Spain
 
Posts: 90
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