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Andrew Stadden 4mm figures

Mikkel

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Line dance, 4mm style. I’ve been painting some figures from Andrew Stadden’s excellent new 4mm range of Edwardian figures.

 

 

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A group in primer, showing the detail of the figures.

 

 

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Being pewter, the Stadden figures are a little harder to modify than whitemetal ones. It’s not impossible though. This gent had his bag removed…

 

 

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… making him look more like a railway employee. I sometimes file the caps to represent the GWR kepi, although photos from the 1900s suggest that in practice, several different types of cap could be seen at the same time during this period.

 

 

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I still struggle with figure painting. In particular I can't seem to master that illusive shadow-work - but it helps a lot that the figures are so well modelled.

 

 

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On most of the figures, the close-fitting headwear conveniently hides the upper face, which I find particularly hard to get right. This is driver J. Chuzzlewit, a seasoned man of the footplate and known for his rough driving, poor jokes, and fanatical interest in leeks.

 

 

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Here we have GWR Policeman W. Walmsley of the GWR Goods Department at Farthing. This figure was modified from a guard/inspector. It required a bit of research since little has been written about GWR police uniforms. My theory is that in the 1900s the GWR police force had lost much of its former status, and the main distinguishing marks on their uniforms were a gold patch on one sleeve, and brass numerals on the collar. Later (possibly in 1918), they started wearing helmets. See this thread for details.

 

 

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Detective F. Benton of the GWR Detective Department at Paddington. The GWR seem to have had a separate Detective department from quite early on. Considering the total value of goods being handled by the railway, that’s not really surprising. I’m sure there was a scam or two going on!

 

 

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Stages of undress. What’s the weather like today? And what task is at hand? Miraculously, the temperature at Farthing always seems to be moderate, which is why some staff wear a coat, others wear vests, and the hard-working men only a shirt.

 

 

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I’ve decided that this trio will serve as "slipper boys" in the GWR goods department at Farthing. Slipper boys, as I understand it, would assist horse shunters with tasks such as “scotching” wheels and handling the horse’s chains. Clothes mattered a lot in Edwardian days, and photos suggest that even non-uniformed, lower staff grades could be smartly dressed. Even so, a couple of these lads look very smart indeed. Is there something fishy going on? Watch this space...

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Always a pleasure to see your work Mikkel.Really quality figures that you make some beautiful work with.

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Thanks Rob :-) 

 

Yes they really are quality figures. I bought the entire range, so that should keep me going for a while! (btw I have no connection to Andrew Stadden, other than as a satisfied customer).

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Lovely looking figures Mikkel! As you know I'm a big fan of Andrew Stadden's work, glad to see that his 4mm figures are as excellent as his 7mm ones:-)

 

I wonder if Mr Chuzzelwit is Welsh, it may explain his keen interest in leeks!

 

Dave

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Oh Mike I've got the same set sat here in front of me and keep putting off doing them and now you've shamed me into making a start. At least you've given me some ideas of colours I just hope I can get your standard of finish. Steve

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I have also looked to this set of figures. Think some of them are usable for a 1950's scene.

I'm also struggling with the illusive shadow-work of my 4 mm figures. Especially to get it right on the faces.

To get it better I have to practice more and just paint more figures.

 

Your figures look convincing and on a layout we look at the total scene and not just to a figure.   

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Bloody cracking Mikkel. The Model Colour paints are excellent.

 

Kind regards,

 

Nick

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Lovely looking figures Mikkel! As you know I'm a big fan of Andrew Stadden's work, glad to see that his 4mm figures are as excellent as his 7mm ones:-) I wonder if Mr Chuzzelwit is Welsh, it may explain his keen interest in leeks! Dave

 

Thanks Dave. I had not thought of the Welsh connection, but yes of course that must be it! A Welshman in Wiltshire, hanging on to his roots (literally!) through an obsession with growing leeks.

 

I think you're being hard on yourself when you say you struggle - they're really well painted figures.

 

On the shadowing, is it just a case of a very thin black wash afterwards ... or maybe using something like this (http://shop.thearmypainter.com/products.php?ProductGroupId=1)? Not connected with them in any way, but have used it when painting wargames figures.

 

Many thanks, also for reminding me of Quickshade, which I still need to try. I remember watching this video and thinking it looked fun (see 1:25):

 

 

The look I'm after is something like what "Purple Primer" does so expertly, although maybe with the shading a little more subdued: http://thepurpleprimer.co.uk/wp/?p=340

 

 

Oh Mike I've got the same set sat here in front of me and keep putting off doing them and now you've shamed me into making a start. At least you've given me some ideas of colours I just hope I can get your standard of finish. Steve

 

Sorry Steve, I know just how you feel ! The impetus for painting my figures came from ChrisN's work with these figures. Maybe you can start with the crew members on your Caley tank, they deserve more than skin colour  :jester:

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I have also looked to this set of figures. Think some of them are usable for a 1950's scene.

I'm also struggling with the illusive shadow-work of my 4 mm figures. Especially to get it right on the faces.

To get it better I have to practice more and just paint more figures.

 

Your figures look convincing and on a layout we look at the total scene and not just to a figure.   

 

Hi Job, yes I think some of the figures could be used for later periods. Maybe especially those with a flat cap and braces. I agree about the overall impression being the most important. The faces are only really important for close-up photography. But then we tend to do a lot of that these days :-)

 

 

Bloody cracking Mikkel. The Model Colour paints are excellent.

 

Kind regards,

 

Nick

 

Thanks Nick, yes the model color paints are very good. I haven't found one yet that is spot on for GWR uniforms though, so I mix them with the result that the uniform colours vary. But then they also did in real life!

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Lovely stuff as always Mikkel - some interesting characters there - looking forward to see their future roles in Farthing ;)

 

Love the first pic with the iPod touch case forming the perfect plinth - iFigures... :D

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Thanks Pete. Ah yes, the Ipod case is a bit of unintended product placement (no I don't work for Apple). I've used it for photos for so long I've stopped noticing the text on there. That's how the best advertising works I guess!

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You may have struggled Mikkel but the results are very good. I have quite a few of his 7mm figures to do when I get round to that stage..

Don

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Hi again Mikkel, I've discovered with further research that a certain J. Chuzzelwit was drummed out of the Pontypridd horticultural society in the September of 1897. Apparently he was caught passing off one of the society president's leeks as on of his own at the annual county show!

 

I have grave reservations about the trustworthiness of such a dodgy character!:-)

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You may have struggled Mikkel but the results are very good. I have quite a few of his 7mm figures to do when I get round to that stage..

Don

 

Glad you think so Don. The 7mm figures look exquisite, and the loco crew sets are for particular companies! I nearly moved to 7mm just  to get a chance to use those figures and the Heroes of the Footplate ones!

 

 

Hi again Mikkel, I've discovered with further research that a certain J. Chuzzelwit was drummed out of the Pontypridd horticultural society in the September of 1897. Apparently he was caught passing off one of the society president's leeks as on of his own at the annual county show!

 

I have grave reservations about the trustworthiness of such a dodgy character!:-)

 

Thanks Dave for this very useful information. I'm not going to ask how you gained access to the annals of the Pontypridd horticultural society, famed among leek friends worldwide but guarded more closely than the shroud of Turin.

 

I'm now seriously in doubt whether I should leave my new 1854 tank in the hands of Mr Chuzzelwit !

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Great work again Mikkel, I will be more than happy if the rest of mine turn out like that when I get around to them, as for the shadowing I think the detailing on these create a good few of their own so I am happy to leave as is, just my personal choice of course.

 

I think I have another 100 or so figures left to do so lots of hours of painting to come, enough for a scene to create the opening of the Culm Valley Railway perhaps?

 

Thanks for posting

 

Jim

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Your paintwork complements the figures really well. I've worked on quite a few of the 7mm. variety with station bystanders and footplate crew, and do like the way they fill the scene in. The army painter has set me wondering if I would do better doing my painting with a pair of pliers rather than a brush?

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Hi Mikkel,

 

What lovely sculpted figures enhanced with your painting.  The Valejo paints are superb for this type of work as you've shown.

 

One thing though.  As Pete mentioned earlier I'm looking forwards to the accompanying tail for these figures on Farthing.  The GWR Police will have their work cut out but have we met the miscreant yet?!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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I'll simple reiterate what everyone else has said, totally believable and the use of Vallejo is my first choice.

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Great work again Mikkel, I will be more than happy if the rest of mine turn out like that when I get around to them, as for the shadowing I think the detailing on these create a good few of their own so I am happy to leave as is, just my personal choice of course.

 

I think I have another 100 or so figures left to do so lots of hours of painting to come, enough for a scene to create the opening of the Culm Valley Railway perhaps?

 

Thanks for posting

 

Jim

 

Thanks Jim - 100 figures, that sounds like quite a task :-)  I suppose you could find a way to do it systematically, eg three standard shades of trouser colour, each shade done as a batch. An opening scene from the Culm Valley would be quite a sight! Judging by this (very small!) photo a lot of the Stadden figures would work fine even for 1876: http://blackdownarchives.org.uk/2011/09/the-opening-of-the-culm-valley-light-railway/

 

 

Your paintwork complements the figures really well. I've worked on quite a few of the 7mm. variety with station bystanders and footplate crew, and do like the way they fill the scene in. The army painter has set me wondering if I would do better doing my painting with a pair of pliers rather than a brush?

 

Hi Northroader, painting with a pair of pliers - now that would attract attention at en exhibition demo :-) Seriously, for 4mm figures there is the problem of how to grip the figures without damaging them, but maybe the old trick of a wire up through one leg would work. I'm going to wait until spring before trying this technique though - I like the colour of our floor as it is!

 

 

Hi Mikkel,

 

What lovely sculpted figures enhanced with your painting.  The Valejo paints are superb for this type of work as you've shown.

 

One thing though.  As Pete mentioned earlier I'm looking forwards to the accompanying tail for these figures on Farthing.  The GWR Police will have their work cut out but have we met the miscreant yet?!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

 

Thanks Mark! As for the GWR police: I came across an intriguing little story of petty theft on the GWR, and thought I'd "model" it. More on that in due course! :-)

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I'll simple reiterate what everyone else has said, totally believable and the use of Vallejo is my first choice.

 

Thanks bgman, believable is what I'm after. BTW the primer I use for my figures works very well as a base for the Vallejo/Modelcolor paints. It's Plastikote light grey primer. Beware as they have several different variants that sound like they're the same. This is the twist-and-spray "new" version, ie here: http://www.kbt.co.uk...st-spray-primer

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I've been away for a while, so just catching up. Like many others, I have a stack of these figures waiting for me to pluck up courage to start.  With long Winter evenings on the way, there's a chance of getting going, together with all the stock that needs finishing. 

 

The results you have achieved are very encouraging and I do like the idea of that 'Quickshade' stuff, though I'm not sure how Blanche will react to being dipped, head first, into a tin of varnish :)  She quite enjoys being sprayed and thinks that the idea of taking a 'shower' might catch on, in the future....

 

Mike

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Hi Mike, welcome back! I was beginning to wonder if you had left us (the blogs)   :)

 

Be warned that these figures are dangerous. They're the sort of simple satisfying project with quick results that keeps on grabbing  your modelling time, instead of getting on with more complicated projects (such as the pointwork and buildings on my new layout!).

 

There's a place that sells the Quickshade stuff not far from where I'll work, so will get some next week and try it out.

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Mikkel,

Late to the party as ever.  My email alerts do not seem to work so I have to remember to look in.

 

I am honoured that I have given you the impetus to paint your figures.  I have said elsewhere that although I painted figures when I was modelling 20 years ago coming back your figures inspired me to continue and also to modify mine, when necessary.  Your always seem to have a solid quality that mine seem to lack and I am not sure it is just that you take the trouble to set the up properly and have the light correct.  As for shading I also give the figures a black wash, or rather try and put a black wash in the cracks or folds.  On dark figures it does not work too well and I wonder if a lighter paint on the 'surface' areas might do better, although I have not tried that.  My faces are thin washes over a grey primer and sometimes work and sometimes not, so not recommending it.

 

Although I have Vallejo paints I have used enamels for so long I am more comfortable with them but it means my figures take ages, so getting on with the station buildings and other things are getting postponed.

 

The man with the bag does look very much like a railway employee due to his cap but I never thought of removing his bag, although I will think again about modifying by removal the Stadden figures.  My man with a bag is Lewis Williams, Williams the Tap, the local plumber, although I suppose he could just be employed on the railway and need a big container for his sandwiches.

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Hi Chris, 

 

I know what you mean about washes giving random results. Frustrating!

 

As for paint we all have our preferences. What I like about Vallejo is (i) that they dry fast, allowing me to quickly and continously go back and correct errors and get lines straight (I do that a lot!), (ii) that they are so richly pigmented, which gives a nice cover and deep shade and (iii) that they mostly dry up matt. Having found a good primer has also helped.

 

As I mentioned above, the Stadden figures has some nice close-fitting caps and hats which helps to hide the faces. I wonder if he did that on purpose, if so it is very clever.

 

The shadows are particularly strong in those photos above though. I'm still getting to know my new camera. I had vowed to buy a quality camera this time, but at the last moment decided to spend the money on a weekend away with my wife intead. A good investment I think, although it left a limited budget for the camera. So I now have a Nikon Coolpix S7000. This is lower-end price range (GBP130 here) and so far a major issue has been that it doesn't seem to handle artificial light very well, making the contrasts very strong. On the plus side, the macro seems good, there is a degree of manual focus (though cumbersome), and it can be fired from my mobile phone which should be handy for interior shots.

 

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You made the right choice in spending the money on the wife and not the camera, another camera is fairly easy to acquire...........

 

All Andy Stadden's figures are real people who he has copied from photos so perhaps the caps are 'as is'.

 

The acrylics I use tend to dry too quickly and I am forever washing my brush when I use them, although using enamels means that you have to wait until tomorrow for the next colour or fix what you have just done wrong.

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