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Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

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Old 11-15-2011, 05:34 AM
  #26
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Awesome acceptance speech Transatlantic!
Veltro - I use rubber-tipped sculpting tools, in various sizes, and they really help smooth out the clay.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:12 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

It amazes me the different varieties of goggles that have been used in aviation. Even within the same air force, there are different ones used. The Imperial German Air Force of WWI was no exception. I have photos of even Lothar wearing different types. I decided to settle on the round ones that he is wearing in the Spring of 1918 photo shoot. I've found a nice photo reference for ones similare to what he is wearing. See below. Nothing is quite as hard to sculpt and keep its shape as a flat plane. The second hardest thing to sculpt and have it keep its shape is a small tube. These goggles incorporate both shapes! Well, I’m not a purist in materials. I’ll use whatever works to arrive at the final shape! In this case I’m using aluminum to make the lenses and wire to make the rims. I made a little wooden form to shape the lenses around to keep them consistent and then CAed them to the aluminum lens. These should not get dinged during the sculpting process. I’ll sculpt the “barrels” and fur of the goggles in clay. So far I’m really digging the results.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:36 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

The last week has been busy filling orders. Thanks out there to all the Best Pilots customers! I’ve found I really have to discipline myself on time allotment when working on Lothar. When I start sculpting, I find it very hard to stop. It is liking reading a great “page-turner” novel that you just can’t put down. I want to see HOW IT ENDS!!


“UNSEXY” WORK - There isn’t much difference in what you see here because a lot of the work has been on the “unsexy” part of the project. Mixing clay and determining how the parts will fit together. Lothar will be, as all Best Pilot figures, cast in a couple of parts. This is done for ease of casting and it also makes it so the head can be positionable on the torso. I’ve also been going back and forth on what kind of coat LvR is going to wear. I’ve decided on the older style woolen type coat with the fur collar turned up. It should definitely be more visually exciting than the one piece combination suite worn later in the war. Of course, I go back and refine and fuss over some of the detials, so you might see some slight changes here and there.


SCARF? - As I was describing this set up to a friend, he was disappointed that Lothar won’t have a flowing white silk scarf trailing behind him. I know that is the image of a WWI fighter pilot but it seems that really was more of a Hollywood invention than reality. The Germans did wear scarves, but it looks like they were woolen and bundled/tied around the neck than left trailing in the breeze. I read somewhere that the scarf trailing in the slipstream is actually uncomfortable since it is constantly tugging violently at the pilots neck! One use of the scarf I’ve read about was to clean the oil coming off of the engine from the goggles. In my research I’ve seen several pilots with a handkerchief tied through a button hole in their coat for this purpose. Hmmm. Might be a neat detail to add on LvR.

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Old 11-23-2011, 09:57 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Ya know if I get one of those guys and put him in my DIV just think of what a chick magnet my plane will be! .. Yipeeeeeeeeee
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:10 AM
  #30
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

With your painting skills BobH, he will definitely be a chick magnet!
Funny story along those lines.... At the flying field last summer, I was sitting next to the "full-scale" Bob Sweeney. I had a friend bring a female pilot figure he had sculpted and asked me to paint it for him. I said I would and placed the painted female figure in my duffle bag full of Bob Sweeney pilots. I looked at the real Bob, and then yelled in the bag, "Now all you little Bobs behave with that lady in there!" The real Bob got a chuckle out of that.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:45 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Dude, what can I say?
I love what you're doing.
Great work once again.
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:55 PM
  #32
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Right back at you David. Your commitment to authenticity and detail is fantastic. Guys, if you want a feast for the eyes, check out David's work.

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Old 11-25-2011, 11:43 AM
  #33
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Hello LYLE !

Donny here, we met at the Monaville event, I was with my wife in our motorhome. We spoke of the possibility of you modeling Tuskegee airmen which would be fantastic as I am in the pilot market for my 1/4 scale P-51 in the 99th pursuit colors.

Reading your threads is quite educational, You do such beautiful work I could not think of using any pilots but yours though my workmanship is not of the detailed quality as yours.

The baron figure your molding is quite cool to say the least, I am in envious awe of the skills you are blessed with.

All the more power to you!

DONNY

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Old 11-28-2011, 05:59 AM
  #34
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Hey Donny, You know, going to RC events and meeting good people like yourself, is just "icing on the cake" in this hobby. Best Pilots WILL have a Tuskeegee airman some day. I just have to complete a couple more projects and it would really help if I could grow at least two more arms! Ha. All the best to you and your wife.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:11 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

A good friend of mine let me borrow a Balsa USA 1/4 Fokker Dr1 fuselage so as to check the fit of Lothar. (Yep, his triplane took-off more times than it landed, hate it when that happens!) Anyway, Lothar fits perfectly! I snapped a quick picture with my phone, with the resulting poor picture quality. Thought it might make a good "aged" photo and here are the results. I think Lothar is going to look very good in these Balsa USA models!
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:50 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Or anything else it is put in. Lookin Good!
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:28 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Yep, gonna want one of those.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:27 AM
  #38
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Thanks guys! Vertical Grimace, it would be an honor to have Lothar in your Fokker D-7, which is the best looking one I've ever seen. And you fly it very well.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:01 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

I chose the coat and flight gear from the original photo below. One can’t argue it isn’t authentic clothing, when he is photographed getting out of the airplane wearing it!

I like the overcoat with shoulder boards (epaulettes) and what looks like metallic buttons. Those will look very good on the finished painted pilot figure. Now, were they just FLAT buttons or ornate? After Googling “Imperial German Military Buttons”, (the Internet is an infinite resource for this stuff), and discovered there are people that collect buttons! I found a photo of what a standard issue button would look like if you were in the Prussian service, as Lothar was. Can’t tell if it is exactly like what is on the coat from the photo, but it can’t be far off.

After checking it out, the size of the 1/4 scale buttons looks to be around 3/16 of an inch. Now I need to draw a crown within a 3/16” circle and create about 8 of these buttons. Hmmmm. So now you guys are really getting to see how anal I am about this stuff.

I got out my finest needle and inscribed a crown within a “dimple” in clay. I then poured resin in that. That created a master. The master was then pressed repeatedly in the clay to make multiple moulds of this little button. After casting these, the results were then punched out and I think I got a pretty good 1/4 Imperial Prussian Army button. As good as my hand and eyes could create them. This is some DINKY stuff!

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:13 PM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

When sculpting from a few photos, you have to translate what you see in 2-d and make it 3-d. The more photos I have from all angles of the subject, the better. It seems like there weren’t any photos available of Lothar that were true profiles until I happened across the films by Anthony Fokker that happened to show Lothar. I caught a couple of frames with him in profile and was completely surprised by the side view of his nose. Instead of a nose with a hump, it was more ski-slope shaped! It doesn’t look like it in the 3/4 quarter views because the nose is also wide at the bridge, due to the high contrast of old photos and reproductions, it looked like a hump. When I resculpted the nose, it all “clicked”. I love it when doing this and I discover something. Really neat. For some reason, the new nose makes Lothar look younger, which is good.

I also took a whole day to pretty much finish up the head, goggles, and flying helmet. Lots of leather and fur to apply textures to! This texture should really be awesome to paint and I can’t wait to see how realistic this leather and fur will look.


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Old 12-13-2011, 09:40 AM
  #41
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Well, I’ve got all the major components “blocked in”, Head, Torso & Legs. It is a touch & go process, since these parts are separate and then have to fit together, it sometimes feels like you can’t finish one until you finish the other... and then vice versa! But through working it out and thinking through the process it comes together. Because of the size of this figure, I had to create an armature, which is essentially a skeleton of heavy wire to support the weight of the clay. You can see a bit sticking out from his left foot.


The overcoat and collar is working for me and I really like the scarf in there. The head will be able to be positioned quite a bit like a socket joint inside the scarf.

I decided to go with the “puttees” or leg wraps that were in vogue during the Great War. They are more intricate to sculpt, but will look oh-so-cool!

Check out that fur on the collar! It isn’t very hard to do, but does take some patience to get right.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:26 AM
  #42
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Just killer!
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:22 PM
  #43
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Any time frame for release? I'm picking up a BUSA 1/4 DR-1 this weekend and Lothar's plane has always been one of my favorites. Though I do like Udet's Stripy version and Baumer's as well, or Kempf's
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:35 PM
  #44
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Manfred, (I like the name!) I'm shooting for the middle of February. Of course that is dependent upon the unforseen.
I will be glad to have you as a Best Pilots customer!

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Old 12-13-2011, 07:13 PM
  #45
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Thank you and I am already a customer with my new Bob Sweeney going into my TF GS P-47, I will send some pics when he's done. Great work, still need a 1/4 to 1/5 Reich defense pilot please
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:30 PM
  #46
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

I had a little technical difficulty the last couple of weeks when our 7-year old Canon camera shot craps! So the last few updates have been taken with my Android phone and they don’t look too bad for a phone, but I think the pics taken today with our new phone and micro-lens, will show the detail and texturing much better for you guys.

I finally “pulled the trigger” and baked Lothar’s head, (that sounds downright mean! Lol.) permanently curing the Sculpey into a rock hard state. It is worse than packing for a 5 day trip: Did I get that? Did I smooth that? Is all the texture popping? What about the eyes? etc. I was sweating bullets putting him in the oven! After cooking for some 6 hours, there were no cracks or soft spots. Yay! Looking at his portrait in its final state, the result is a success!

I am excited about how the Best Pilot “top secret”-texturizing worked out on the helmet, scarf and goggle strap. The eyes are believable non-painted, which is a good indication he will paint up well. I did get to include eyelashes if you look closely. Whilst flying, he should be able to pick out the “English Lords” from quite a distance!

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Old 12-20-2011, 08:45 PM
  #47
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Another work of art sir....

Casey
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:50 PM
  #48
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Here is wishing you all had a great holiday season!After knocking in the upper torso, I began to wonder if I shouldn’t put the lap belts on the sculpture. I didn’t think of it before, because in my mind, in WWI there were no parachutes (until the last summer of the war on the German side only), therefore, no belts. I don’t think other pilot makers include lap belts either. BUT, It would add to the visual interest of the pilot and save my customers some time by supplying them. That’s added value folks! Well, lets do it!


Now did you ever have a change of plans and then that change tended to wipe out some previous work? That NEVER happens in RC right? Remember the buttons I fixated on earlier. I cast around a dozen of them... now with the belts in place, they cover up all but TWO buttons! What can I say, nothing beats good planning.


The Germans were pretty consistent in the design of safety belts. I was able to find actual factory drawings from Fokker, scaled them down and voila! 1/4 authentic safety belt fittings! I cut them out of an aluminum can. Once again, something this geometric will keep its shape better than if made in clay. Since this will be cast out of a mold, it all has to be filled in with clay behind to avoid severe undercuts. This will help the piece come out of the mold much easier when done. When painted black, and dry-brushed with a touch of silver paint I expect these will look great! Next the belts themselves have to fashioned with texture and historically accurate stiching and seams. After the saftey belts are in place I can rest assured that Lothar has “clicked it, and won’t get a ticket”.


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Old 01-02-2012, 07:56 PM
  #49
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

As always well done!
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:12 AM
  #50
Fly4Real
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Thanks Terry!
Couldn't resist a little Photoshop fun.
Many smooth landing for the New Year everyone!
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