Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Final assembly

A bit of a delay for this post, as I've been making moulds and casting the weapons and heads required. And this is only a hobby for me so other pressures inevitably take precedence.

Casting the weapons and heads to a satisfactory standard is difficult using the "drop casting" technique. The basic problem is that as the individual items are small, there isn't really enough mass of metal to keep the heat as it goes into the mould, the result is that it cools more quickly and its difficult to achieve the fine detail. This is an area where a centrifuge would pay dividends. However after a bit of perciverance I've got a reasonable stock of heads and weapons that I can use.

For the first figure, I intend to do a marching fusilier, as its a good "generic" pose.

In this photo, I've just assembled the figure with the basic components I've cast, so a body, head and musket. The head is attached to the body with a metal pin, drilled and glued to both parts. At this stage I normally bend the arms, move the head etc, until I get a pose that I'm happy with.

The next step is then to start to build up the figure working towards a completed master. Initially I will add the basic, form of the coat sleeves, the shirt around the neck area, and some minor repairs and beefing up of the vulnerable areas on the coat/turnbacks and between the legs that the master for the Torso suffered from.

Here he is having completed this stage of the process, I have also added a little more to the nose, as whilst it was ok looking from the front, in profile it was still a bit weak. I'll stop, now to let this harden, next time finishing the coat, and adding the cartidge box and belt.


tim said...

Wow that looks great!

I can't wait to see battalions of them painted up!

I can't thank you enough for doing this blog. I've done a little bit of modelling and casting of metal figures myself. It's great to see how other people do things - especially people who really seem to know what they're doing - because I always learn something new!

I'm planning to document on my own blog the next series of masters I'm going to work on this spring - not so much to inform others how to do it but more as a cry for help. Hopefully people who actually know what theyr are doing will post comments that start: "You moron! That's not how you do it - do it THIS way..." or hopefully they'll be a bit more kind and say things like: "You know it would be easier and things would turn out nicer if you did it like THIS..."



Stokes Schwartz said...

Hello again John,

U agree. Your master-in-progress is very martial looking. Keep up the impressive work!

Best Regards,


Stokes Schwartz said...

Ugh! That should read, "I agree." Clearly, it's time I was in bed asleep.

Best Regards,


A Thousand Hats said...

Absolutely fabulous stuff, I've only just discovered your blog via 1listsculpting on Yahoo, someone mentioned you there, and I've read your blog twice.

Very inspiring - keep up the great work.

I'm going to have a go at making some minis myself now - although I seem to remember when trying before that sculpting is a lot harder than it looks.


Giles said...

Hello, just wanted to say that your blog is fascinating. It's marvellous being able to see how a figure takes shape like this.

Best wishes


Steve said...

...and not only his nose has been built up, or am I imagining things?? :o))

Brilliant blog - it's fascinating watching the little guys come to life..

Bluebear Jeff said...

To me he looks pretty darn good right now!

I always look to how simple a figure is . . . for painting purposes as a gaming figures (as opposed to a display cabinet figure), I want as little extra on it as possible. When standing in ranks, the simpler the look, the better as far as I'm concerned.

I'd be happy with your fusilier as he stands right now. I wouldn't worry about all those extras.

-- Jeff

John Clements said...

This has all been fascinating and very instructive - one of the most useful blogs in the wargames world. I'm definitely going to give it a try myself, and will probably start with some accessories to add to figures with defective or missing kit. Can't wait to see the end result of your work.