Friday 24 December 2021

New Modelu Figure in Service

Favourable economic development in the construction business has enabled an expansion of the Nystrup Gravel workforce. In fact the recruitment of the new worker took place some time ago, but 'onboarding' has taken time. The figure is Modelu item no 1001 'Fitter'.

First image of the new figure released. As usual for a Modelu figure the pose is outstanding.

The figure exhibited some of the worst detail I've yet seen on a Modelu figure. The figure's left upper body was one soft, bulging area with no clear demarcation of overalls and shirt. Both arms were also connected to the body much farther down the body where they (in my view, at least) in a scale as large as 16 mm should be separated. While I have done minor work on my previous 3 Modelu figures, the amount of work on this one was more comprehensive. 

Freshly out of the parcel from the United Kingdom shortly before Brexit. 2 Modelu figures with the usual faults - and the well known qualities.

Front view of the worker showing a particularly problematic area of detail on the figure's left upper body.

The figure's back side isn't without issues as well.

On this figure it wasn't enough to work the usually weakly defined line between shoes and trousers with files, sandpaper and a sharp scalpel. The soft detail on this figure demanded deployment of heavier machinery to additional areas: my dremel was used to remove the most annoying material, a saw blade in the scalpel handle helped separate arms and body. The scalpel, file and sand paper were used to remodel the folds and major lines in the clothing. I also added a small etched brass chain to the oil can as often seen on prototype cans. The chain made sure the lid (when screwed off) was kept attached to the can itself. 

The figure on the work table having details enhanced with a selection of tools.

During sanding I decided to add some 3-dimensional detail with copper foil and wire as well as buttons punched from plasticcard.

When I had finished the remedial work on the figure it was washed with hot water and a soft brush. After drying overnight it was then primed with my favourite primer 'Chaos Black' from Citadel. For the layers of covering paint I used Vallejo acrylics. The overalls is in home mixed light bluegrey (based on Vallejo Pastel Blue 901) with shadows and highlights accentuated with darker and lighter tones as appropriate. The shirt is 'Pale Sand' 70837.

Painting in progress. The main colours are on and the skin areas next to the shirt are marked in. Next are skin and face as well as shadows and highlights.

Halfway through the painting process I made a swift movement at the workbench and the figure attached to a pin vice fell to the floor. The result was a broken off right leg and oil can. Of course the setback was annoying, but you have to expect a mishap now and then. The leg was reattached with gap filling AC-glue, the seams carefully sanded down and the paint damage repared.

Major mishap! Having rescued all parts from the wooden floor I wondered if a soft carpet wouldn't have been better. On the other hand with no carpet I usually find every item I loose during modelling.

Detail painting commenced with shoes being painted 'Black Grey' 70.862 and the oil can 'Gun Metal'. As the can had broken away from the figure in the fall to the floor, I kept it separate during painting and weathering. Skin areas were done with 'Flesh Base' 341 with differing layers of diluted oil paint. I made a miserable effort at painting eyes. Not a result I'm proud of, but an outcome I can accept. I attached the oil can with AC-glue and then fixed my worst painting faults before giving the figure a spray with clear matt acrylic varnish. I then gave all skin areas a final wash with heavily diluted rust coloured oil paint. This gives the skin a slightly glossy appearance creating a nice contrast to the matt clothing.

Having just left the oil depot with a filled can, one of Nystrup Gravel's workers checks for passing trains before he proceeds any further.

With full focus on the figure some of its faults shows quite clearly. Once placed in a setting with other items I'm sure the figure will help to create a good, overall impression.

Having been notified here on 24. December that my last pcr-test was 'positive' for covid-19 I'm currently in self isolation in my modelling room, while my family is preparing Christmas dinner and busy gift wrapping. I have no symptoms of the virus having been vaccinated 3 times. I hope to stay asymptomatic and look forward to join the hustle and bustle again in about a week. Merry Christmas!

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