Work in Progress

More French Steeds on the workbench

Posted by k.b. on 05 Feb 2023, 17:43

I have to say that these early Italeri French Dragoon horses surely must be some of the best sculpted horses out there until today. It's incredible to think they were sculpted around 30-35 years ago (at a rough guess). The fact that there were 5 different horses in a box really set the benchmark unbelievably high. Particularly taking into consideration the quality of each of the five sculpts.

I have spent considerable time searching for names of the original sculptor of Italeri horses. However, I have had no luck! Do any of you members have any idea how i might be able to find out? A contact/friend/phone number of someone who works or worked at Italeri perhaps. If so, i would be most grateful. From their style my intuition tells me they might well have been sculpted in the Ukraine or Russia, that is because they're so similar to some later Zvezda sculpts...

Anyways, I'd better show some piccies otherwise you'll all be thinking this thread is in the wrong place. As you can see I am experimenting with colours to add a little variety to my cavalry. Here I have used Vandyke Brown, Brown Madder, Mars Yellow, Naples Yellow, Indian Red to my usual palette of Yellow Ochre, Burnt/Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Black and Titanium White.

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Apologies for the photo quality but once they're finished and have added the riders I'll get some better photos taken.
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Posted by Minuteman on 05 Feb 2023, 19:09

Yes, I agree with you regarding the Italeri horses, very fine sculpts. My only observation is that it might have been good to have had an extra one trotting or cantering, not galloping at race-horse speed! I have painted a fair few (hundred) of these, and they do look good when grouped together, eg:

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Keep up the good work!
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Posted by k.b. on 05 Feb 2023, 20:40

WOOW they do indeed look good em masse. I agree that an extra horse in the box would be even nicer, (but I’d prefer a walking/standing horse on which to place the dragoon clasping a musket who is obviously on guard duty rather than a trotting horse). Saying that Franznap has plenty of such horses.
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Posted by CliosPaintingBench on 09 Feb 2023, 06:40

They are great sculpts, and a great colour scheme on them too!
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Posted by dms on 10 Feb 2023, 11:02

Hi, the sculptor's name is Domenico Greco.He also worked for Atlantic,Esci and still for Waterloo 1815
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Posted by k.b. on 10 Feb 2023, 16:02

Dear dms,
Thank you so much for helping me with the Italian gents name who sculpts minis. I had honestly almost given up. Thankfully you came to the rescue. I really appreciate it…..
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Posted by k.b. on 12 Feb 2023, 14:05

Here's a new photo or two of how things are coming along........

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Posted by Peter on 15 Feb 2023, 22:39

Looking good so far Keith! :thumbup:
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Posted by k.b. on 17 Feb 2023, 11:57

Here are a few others who have been cleaned with a sharp scalpel to remove the few mold lines and flash and they’ve had a base coat of humbrol, actually I’ve run out of humbrol Matt white so I used the Revell equivalent. After drying thoroughly I go back with my scalpel blade because often I will miss a mold line and the white paint makes it stand out more. Then a second white coat is added. I try to apply the base coat thinly so as not to clog up details in the fine sculpting.

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As can be seen from the horse on the right, only one base coat has been applied. After drying I’ve scraped a few more mold lines away, most notably from his front left leg and he’s ready to have a second base coat. As the original plastic was blue, he may even need a third coat because clearly the layers of white paint are pretty thin and the coverage is not so good. My adage is better use three thin base coats than two thick ones.
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Posted by k.b. on 17 Feb 2023, 12:03

A mini production line…..

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Posted by C M Dodson on 17 Feb 2023, 14:20

Super work and it is amazing what a coat of white paint reveals when you think you have removed the mould lines.

Similar to the camera seeing all.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by Peter on 19 Feb 2023, 11:54

C M Dodson wrote:Super work and it is amazing what a coat of white paint reveals when you think you have removed the mould lines.

Similar to the camera seeing all.

Best wishes,

Chris

My thoughts to. ;-) :thumbup:
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Posted by k.b. on 19 Feb 2023, 17:04

A couple of horses given their first coat of oils, Mars Yellow this time. The other is almost finished.

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Here we have a few dragoons nearing completion too. Am a bit undecided about the colours of their facings .... let's post them and dwell on it for a while.

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Posted by Peter on 19 Feb 2023, 18:09

Mars yellow? Is that humbrol paint? :eh:

Do you use gloss paint? The horses look so shiny.

But the almost finished miniatures look great! :thumbup:
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Posted by k.b. on 19 Feb 2023, 23:28

Hello Peter,
Thank you most kindly for your words and interest in my work. Mars Yellow, like the vast majority of my paint, is Winsor and Newton oil paint. I am sure I have mentioned it before but I paint undercoats in Humbrols on top of which I paint with oil paints, mainly W&N but some Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and more recently I have experimented with Maimeri and Sennelier (neither of which I liked as much as W&N and Rembrandt, too little linseed oil and as such they dry on my palette too quickly). This is the reason why a lot of my work appears to be painted in gloss paint. The oils are very slow drying AND despite having more different matt varnish from most manufacturers under the sun, alas with inconsistent results, I have yet to obtain these new varnishes that are readily available in Europe nowadays, which are supposed to be the biz. I affectionately remember in my younger days, before coming out to Brazil, using a varnish which was all the rage in England - can’t remember the name I’m afraid - all the painters used it, it came in big tins and 1 tin would last an entire lifetime, which gave a beautiful egg like finish on my miniatures, but was later banned due to the fumes which were apparently dangerous.
Consequently, most of my work is unvarnished and am waiting for my next trip home to buy some ultramat varnish. Mind you I think I’ve said that before my last 3 or 4 trips home but silly me always ends up forgetting. Oh well I am still an eternal optimist - which perhaps explains what I’m doing in Brazil after 30 plus years - so I am sure one day I will remember! To tell the truth I am hoping it might be this year….. but let’s wait and see what surprises lay in wait for 2023.
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Posted by k.b. on 19 Feb 2023, 23:40

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Not for the weak of heart as my wife says, here’s a photo taken in my hideout, 5 minutes ago!
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Posted by Minuteman on 21 Feb 2023, 10:54

Ah, the sight of a busy painting table. Mine looks similar....lots of paint, lots of brushes, and a certain amount of 'disorder'!

Keep up the good work. I very much like the fact that you are using artists oils to paint these fine horses. Last time I did that I was creating an old Airfix 54mm British Lifeguard, circa 1815 (the old Airfix historics range if you remember those?).

I tend to use acrylics for almost all my needs now, although the fact that they dry quickly does sometimes create issues when painting horses. I find layers of thin colour works best. I also use Humbrol enamels to undercoat, where the plastic is fairly hard and will not bend easily ie: the Italeri plastic for instance. I use Humbrol sand as undercoat for any 'brown' horses, dark grey for blacks and light grey for greys.
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Posted by k.b. on 06 Mar 2023, 14:00

Here are a few more dragoons in various stages of completion who will take their places on their mounts as soon as both are complete. Looking closely you will notice a couple of gatecrashers........ a Saxon Cuirassier and a line Chasseur, (perhaps a clue to my next regiments to join the battlefield).

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Posted by k.b. on 06 Mar 2023, 20:34

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....here are a few of their trusty steeds. The brown horses have had a second thin coat of Van Dyke Brown oil paint added over their Mars Yellow undercoat. Normally i use Burnt Sienna and then Burnt Umber instead of the Van Dyke Brown but let's see if skipping one coat will make much difference.

The grey, on the other hand, has had a second coat of Payne's Grey to which I have started the blending process with some Titanium White.
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Posted by Peter on 06 Mar 2023, 21:07

Tip: clicking on the picture brings you to a bigger picture, and of what I see the result will be good on these horses, Keith! :thumbup:
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