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Porters and Barrows

Mikkel

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These days 4mm modellers have an excellent choice of figures from Model-U, Andrew Stadden and Dart Castings - but there's always room for a bit of tinkering!

 

Here are some porters for Farthing Old Yard, modified and pieced together from various sources. The figures have all been attached to something - e.g. a barrow - as I find this helps "integrate" them once placed on the layout.

 

Our first subject mixes a Dart Castings body with an Andrew Stadden head and arm. The barrow is a Shirescenes kit.
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Below is another Dart Castings/Andrew Stadden combo. The wheelbarrow is a modified Springside kit.
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Next is this gentleman, a modified Andrew Stadden figure that I bent forward in pursuit of a more casual pose.
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This chap was made from various Andrew Stadden parts, including his useful loco crew "kit". The basket is from an old Preiser kit.
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Next is a modified Airfix 1:72 figure with an Andrew Stadden head. The Airfix figures proved a rather difficult material to work with.
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This porter was built from a mix of body parts from Andrew Stadden figures. The barrow is a modified Langley kit.
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Lastly a few shots of the "accessories", including some equipment for my lamplighters.
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Wonderful work as usual Mikkel, I have enjoyed reading about your adventures with figures and they has given me plenty of ideas and inspiration to do something with my 150+ figures I still have bagged up waiting my attention. For me though it will remain a task for those long dark winter nights some time in the future.

 

Jim

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Excellent Mikkel, so good to see “bespoke” figures rather than the usual endless Airfix offerings!:-)

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Hello Mikkel,

 

As always, wonderfully studied.

 

Your posts entrance and inspire me.

 

You capture perfectly and bring to life our collective memory of the grainy, faded Victorian photographs of perceived halycon days, and the details and characters within them that often catch our attention.

 

Absolutely sublime!

 

Mark

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I love the natural poses and how you’ve fitted them in with a “prop” rather than isolated on their own. Great work.

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Very thought provoking. Top quality craftsmanship as always.

 

Rob.

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You're at it again ! 

Go on then , show us up, eh :)

 

Fabulous work once again matey, so, whats next ?

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Brilliant stuff as ever Mikkel, the combination of figures and accessories is most evocative of the era. 

 

I have painted 60 of Andrew Staddens figures, the more I do the more I appreciate his artistic genius. Really, I don't think anyone has created Edwardian figures as accurately. ( I have had a go at making my own figures. Er, I'll post a pic of blobs in the bin sometime. It is a skill beyond me.)  

 

Mixing the parts up takes it to a new level. 

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Wonderful work as usual Mikkel, I have enjoyed reading about your adventures with figures and they has given me plenty of ideas and inspiration to do something with my 150+ figures I still have bagged up waiting my attention. For me though it will remain a task for those long dark winter nights some time in the future.

 

Jim

 

Hi Jim, many thanks. 150+ figures, sounds like quite a task! You'll be hoping for a very long dark winter then :-)

 

 

Excellent Mikkel, so good to see “bespoke” figures rather than the usual endless Airfix offerings!:-)

 

Thanks Dave, it's been great to see some of the 7mm quality figures brought down to 4mm with Andrew Stadden's figures in particular. I hope the time and effort he invested in the 4mm range has paid off - it certainly has for us modellers.

 

 

Hello Mikkel,

 

As always, wonderfully studied.

 

Your posts entrance and inspire me.

 

You capture perfectly and bring to life our collective memory of the grainy, faded Victorian photographs of perceived halycon days, and the details and characters within them that often catch our attention.

 

Absolutely sublime!

 

Mark

 

Thanks very much Mark! I'm glad if you think there is a period feel to them. I can't paint to the exacting standards that some can, but I've found that getting the colours right is a big help for a period feel.

 

Most of the credit should go to those who sculpted the original figures, though: They really are well crafted, and modifying/combining them is fairly straightforward thereafter. 

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Wow now you need to make some form my N gauge layout

 

Only if you do them in Z gauge first :-)

 

I love the natural poses and how you’ve fitted them in with a “prop” rather than isolated on their own. Great work.

 

Thanks Northroader, glad you like the poses, getting them natural is important I think. Yes "prop" is a good term. As long as they are not too contrived I think they can work well.

 

 

Very thought provoking. Top quality craftsmanship as always. Rob.

 

Hi Rob, thanks, do we get to see some kit-bashed sheep on Mutton soon? :-)

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You're at it again ! 

Go on then , show us up, eh :)

 

Fabulous work once again matey, so, whats next ?

 

Thanks Grahame, it's only a handful of figures but it felt like a whole project on it's own - which is the great thing about this hobby. Next up are some more scary projects including some loco work, ie finishing the Dean Goods and building a 1813 class loco with side tanks that Jim C and I are doing a bit of research on.

 

 

Brilliant stuff as ever Mikkel, the combination of figures and accessories is most evocative of the era. 

 

I have painted 60 of Andrew Staddens figures, the more I do the more I appreciate his artistic genius. Really, I don't think anyone has created Edwardian figures as accurately. ( I have had a go at making my own figures. Er, I'll post a pic of blobs in the bin sometime. It is a skill beyond me.)  

 

Mixing the parts up takes it to a new level. 

 

Many thanks Dave, I didn't know the population at Kelvinbank was that big already - impressive! I fully agree regarding Andrew's genius. I have often wondered how on earth he does it. The details of the faces in particular is extraordinary, given the scale. My rather sketchy approach to face painting doesn't do them justice.

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Thanks John. I have started placing them on the layout and it always amazes me how a few figures can bring a scene to life.

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Setting the standards as ever Mikkel.  You have transformed figures that look as if they are having their photo taken into real life poses. An inspiration as ever.

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I look forward to the photos

Just got to plant a few weeds first!

 

Setting the standards as ever Mikkel. You have transformed figures that look as if they are having their photo taken into real life poses. An inspiration as ever.

Many thanks Chris! As mentioned, the airfix experimentt proved difficult. It's not a very forgiving material, and harder to glue. But there must be webpages dealing with that in the military modelling hobby.

 

The Igors would be proud of you.

Can't remember who they were. Something to do with Frankenstein maybe? I'm off to Google it :-) Edit: Yep!

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Stunning work again Mikkel and love the way you deconstruct them - you are not in the medical profession are you? ;)

 

An inspiring read as ever and look forward to see them placed in context...

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Hi Pete. Many thanks! No, I am not in the medical profession. My motivations are.... different. :crazy:

 

invasionofthebodysnatchers-emailable.jpg

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Airfix plastic is horrible stuff, I have tried before with several military offerings in the ope moulded ranges and never got anything to stick. The only thing I could think of that might work is Devcon Plastic Welder, which is EBay only but is very strong and might be worth trying. It’s about £10 a go though, you should separate both tubes to help mixing and keep it in a cool place.

Stunning work as usual!

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Many thanks for the tip. It's a shame the Airfix plastic is so difficult to work with. I have a lot of sets from when I was a boy that I haven't had the heart to dispose of (the Gurkhas were my favourites!). It would have been nice to employ some at Farthing.

 

Apart from the glueing problems I find them difficult to file smooth, as the plastic somehow tears and becomes stringy. I found a brief RMweb discussion here.

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Brilliant stuff. It’s amazing how you get 4mm figures to look better than 7mm stuff. I sometimes get military modelling mags and admire the little 1/35th dioramas - I’m sure those modellers would be taken aback at the depth of detail of your stuff. It’s the painting of them and how you get the faces to look so real.

 

Loved Airfix figures as a kid too - a small group of friends would play war games with them (simple rule stuff). Oh, those happy summer days! My favorites were the American Paratroopers. Love the poster too.

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Many thanks Mike. Again I must emphasize that most of the effect is down to Andrew Stadden's sculpting. If you look at the faces of my figures you'll notice that the painting itself is really very straightforward - and there is still a lot of room for improvement.

 

Indeed the one thing I have learnt so far with figure painting is that if you have a well sculpted figure, you are 90% there. All one then needs to do is avoid mistakes that look odd. My current approach is to keep it simple and take the impressionist approach. E.g. you'll notice that there isn't much attempt at painting in the eyes. This is deliberate as I find it often ends up looking odd when I try it. More skilled painters would probably be able to do it though!

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Hi Mikel,

 

I agree about trying to paint eyes. I’ve seen this attempted on 1/35 scale figures and it looks really odd. The way you have sculptured and posed these 4mm figures is so realistic that the viewer buys the reality and therefore doesn’t try to look for ‘real’ eyes. After all, how many of us actually perceive another person’s eyes until we are face to face with them? I really can’t see on how you can improve on the painting - you’ve nailed it! Another masterclass in 4mm finescale.

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