Colonel Brekhov
Figure & Equipment:
Colonal Brekhov (Ď98)
Physical modifications: I filed off all the moulding lines and copyright embossing and filled in the waist area with Sculpey. This was my first Joe scale model, and I didnít fill in any of the other joints like I have since. I will never use Sculpey again, even though itís a lot easier to shape than modelling putty, because it always stays pliable (and therefore damageable). Secondly, the paint over it always has an oily sheen. For the weapons I drilled barrel holes. I also cut the ends off the ammo strip so it didnít look as fake. Initially I wanted to scratchbuild a completely new strip, but I couldnít figure out how to make one.
Painting: The most important aspect of figure modelling is that you have to paint the highlights and shadows in the clothes and so on. This was my first face, so I kept it pretty simple. I drybrushed silver on the weapons to give them a battered appearance. Iíve since discovered that a more thorough drybrushing makes them look less battered. What attracted me most to this figure was that the backpack had a lot of detail that could be picked out quite well with colour.
Groundwork: This was my first diorama and I wasnít up to creating realistic plants in such a large scale. Pine forests have the wonderful characteristic of not having any undergrowth, and they seem like a reasonable environment for a Russian soldier. The sticks, from my girlfriendís backyard in Maryland, were a key find. Whatever plant it was, the branches grew in a whorl pattern, so, turned upside-down, they look like roots at ground level. The pine needles were a huge hassle, and I gave up before producing as many as I wanted. In a real pine forest the needles are so thick you canít see the ground. I hope to do another pine forest scene once I come up with a better way than painting Woodland Scenics field grass and trying to cut the resulting mass into tiny lengths.
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