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Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

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Old 01-16-2012, 08:34 AM
  #51
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

This weekend’s focus was on finishing the torso and gloves, then applying the texture and stitches to everything. I was happy with how the safety belts turned out. I was even able to apply that slight “pucker” that stiff material sometimes gets. The fur collar was fun, but it sure was time consuming. I could have just brushed it with a wire brush, but it just didn’t have the look and feel of rabbit fur. So I made my own smaller wire brush, feathered the ends of the wire with my Dremel tool and applied that. The results were much better, with some individual areas modified with a single wire. It wasn’t sculpted “hair by hair” but it was, at times, pretty close to that.

I finally found a sample of actual WWI German aviation gloves so I replicated those. They were just what I was looking for. Gauntlets with a strap. In the past, hands/gloves have been a bit of a challenge, these actually just fell into place. I must be learning something! Of course the leather texture makes these pop.


Some people have commented that the 1/4 scale must be easier to do since everything is bigger. Well, everything is easier to get to, but since it is bigger, there is more surface area to cover. Also, the larger size is less forgiving with the details. The smaller scales allow a little “fudge factor”, since they are so small. I’m not allowing myself that luxury on this scale, because those details are larger and therefore have to be more defined. In short, it IS easier on the eyes when sculpting, but there is MORE to sculpt.

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:38 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

This sculpt is moving right along! But it is now time to sculpt the most challenging item... SHOES! Yes, shoes are more difficult to sculpt than even the face. Mainly because they are two items that have to be identical, except a MIRROR image of the other! It was challenging, but very rewarding when they started to obtain the “lived-in” look I was after. From what I could see, Lothar was wearing the hobnailed infantry boot in the photo of him dismounting from the Albatros. This makes sense to me. Instead of wearing the dress boot, while on combat patrol, I would prefer to be wearing the infantry boot if forced down in No-Man’s land!

So how do you “hobnail” a 1/4 scale boot? It turns out, very carefully. I wanted “rivets” in the clay, and regular pin heads were a bit too big. So I hollowed out the end of a coat-hanger wire so that it was cup shaped. Then dipped that in clay and gave it a slight twist while applying it to the sole of the shoe. Ta-Dah! Hobnailed boots. Wish something like that would work as well for making raised rivets on a model!

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:41 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen


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Old 01-30-2012, 03:11 PM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Very Cool for sure
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:45 AM
  #55
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Thanks Bob! Glad to know you are following along!

The last component and the one I have been eagerly awaiting to sculpt... the leggings or puttees. Nothing says “The Great War” like puttees. Combatants on both sides wore them. To sculpt them, I had to do a little research, and found there was definitely a trick to wearing these, and if not put on correctly, one could run across the airfield and end up with their puttees dangling around their ankles! (That actually sounds dirtier than it is. Lol!) How embarrassing. Their function was to keep dirt out of your shoes and provide a measure of support for your legs. Lothar must have liked them, because he is wearing them in a lot of photos. They were amazingly simple to create in clay, just made a string of clay and wrapped that around the leg, keeping the spacing exactly as Lothar’s pair. Then feathered them into the leg. Last detail was the little clip on the side and texture.

As I was sculpting the legs, I kept remeasuring Lothar’s legs, for they seemed pretty darned skinny in comparison to his upper body and bulky coat. Nope, they are dead-on to the photo I blew up to true quarter scale. The guy had skinny legs, “bird-legs” if you will, which is fitting for an aviator I guess!


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Old 02-17-2012, 09:39 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Finally had a weekend to really finish up the sculpt on Lothar and harden the clay in the oven. Everything has gone well so far, no cracks or anything and next up is the making of the molds.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:15 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Amazing doesnt really say enough...

You're a talented man sir!

Casey
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:44 PM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Splendiful!. I'll be getting one once they become avail
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:16 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Wow! This has been quite a journey. Sculpting 1/4 scale figure has had a few unexpected surprises, like the eyes had to be sculpted with more detail to look right, the figure uses exponentially more resin, and the size of the mold required a much larger motor to rotocast. It got a little hectic at times juggling the sculpting and filling orders, but that is a good thing for the business. On the plus side, they are easier on the eyes to paint, actually they are a lot of fun to paint if you like that sort of thing. Luckily I do! It has been a rewarding process, not only because the vision I had of Lothar was realized, but you guys on this forum have been an inspiration to me to strive beyond my best.

Here are the beauty shots and the first batch of Lothars itching to take to the sky in search of that next victory. Available now on the Best Pilots website!
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:53 PM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Congratulations, Lyle!

Another stunning masterpiece!

If I built and flew WWI models, I hope that you know, he'd be on order... Nevertheless, your most recent work is worthy of any of the best WWI models, anywhere... flying or in a museum. Seriously.

Hope to corss paths again on the flying circuit again soon.

Regards,

Noah
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:05 AM
  #61
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

One cant say enough just how talented you really are...Lothar looks simply amazing sir...

While we all assemble, you create masterpieces!

Casey
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:02 PM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Absolutely outstanding..... I am now ashamed of my pilot figure.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:53 PM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Awesome he will be going into my BUSA DR-I... NOw about that 1/5th Defence of the reich G-6 pilot?
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:55 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Well gee whiz guys! Thanks for the compliments. I am very flattered. I’m glad you guys enjoyed the “build”. You know, I really believe that all of us modelers have lot of artistry within ourselves. I just happen to have more training/experience in creating a human likeness. To me, a beautifully crafted RC model aircraft is just as much a work of art, if not more so, than some objects in art galleries/museums. Of course, they look even better with a good looking pilot in the cockpit! The cool thing is after creating our works of art, we get to go out and fly them!

I look forward to meeting you guys at the fly-ins this summer! And yes,Manfred, after getting Lothar squared away, and getting my RC planes ready for the summer, I will be starting on a 1/5 scale WWII German Luftwaffe pilot. Stay tuned!

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Old 03-30-2012, 05:59 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Adolf Galland perhaps?

I could use one for my Fliteskin 109F("Galland special")

Thanks for sharing!

Casey
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:12 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Lyle, here's the guy I have in my 1/5 Sis-T FW. He looks ok etc. But I'm sure you guy would look as good or.. better!. Bear in mind that he's 1/6 scale and still looks ok.

The one thing about all these Action figures is that you can't really scale down cloth. So while they look good there are still some issues.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:08 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Great Lyle, ANYONE but Galland please! Just my opinion, he was an arrogant gasbag according to other experten. Maybe a full on facemask RTF experten. I love the detail on the German masks.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:56 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

So tell us how you really feel lol. I must have mis-read all these books on Galland then. Which books should I read Manfred that tell the story your conveying? I'd love to know please, as all the books I've read refer to him in that mannor only with his superiors, as he was known to be quite protective of his flyers.

He was known as a "Dandy", always well groomed and such. There are tons of pics of him because of this(also why I suggested him for a subject)...the German girls loved him! My wife's Oma tells how he was in the papers all the time.


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Old 05-21-2012, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

I am very excited to share with you guys here on RCSB the following email I received...
"Dear Lyle, WOW! That sculpture is amazing! In my opinion, you definitely captured Lothar! Yes, I can imagine that it would be hard to sculpt a three dimensional figure of someone where you can only see two dimensional photos. I will show my family! But you have done very good, and that's great coming from a von Richthofen! Thanks again! You are very talented!" ~Saya von Richthofen - The great-great-granddaughter of Lothar von Ricththofen.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:01 PM
  #70
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

I need to add an epilogue to the sculpting of Lothar. I get a LOT of request for custom pilots but that has not been remotely affordable for the customer or for me in terms of time. Well, no longer! My company Best Pilots has teamed up with Thatsmyface.com, and now any of my pilot figures can have the face of your choice...even your own! So Lothar doesn't have to be Lothar, it can be his big brother, Voss, Lowenhart, your dad, wife... or you! If interested, go to BestPilots.Typepad.com for pricing, etc. How it works is you email me a photo of the person you want the pilot to be. Think mugshot... (more obtainable for some than others at the local post office . The first one shown was taken with an iPhone. I do a little Photoshop magic, and send that to Thatsmyface.com. They create a rough 3-D digital draft. If that is acceptable, we then go to production with a High Def, digital 3-D proof. If that is approved, they 3-D print the face in color, and the effect is amazing! The realism is actually a bit unsettling when working with an inanimate object that is so realistic, but man, does it look awesome in a model aircraft!
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:55 AM
  #71
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

When I first told my friend Steve Forrest that I was planning on doing a 1/4 scale Lothar von Richthofen, he said he had always wanted to do have a Fokker D-7 and I gave him an excuse to do one. Well, he just has it ready to maiden and he was kind enough to share some very nice photos of it. Sure was nice of him to build a plane around my pilot! Lol.
He decided to paint this one up just like a full scale Fokker that Lothar was photographed getting ready to fly. So we know he definitely flew this one.

Steve says that if you are planning on detailing out the cockpit of the 1/4 scale Balsa USA D-7, you should purchase Lothar first. Having the pilot to "build the kit" around helps save some time since some of the detail could be covered up by the pilot figure. Also, the cockpit opening according to the Balsa USA plans are actually too small for scale and needs to go out to the fuselage edges.

Specs for the model: Balsa USA 1/4 scale Fokker D-7. The lozenge pattern is fabric from Glenn Torrance Models which is highly accurate, and it should be since the dyes in the cloth are made by the same company that made the original in 1918! The paint used was latex house paint. Wheels are by Balsa USA. Cockpit details are combination of hand-made and Glenn Torrance. This beauty will be powered by a Fuji 34 4-stroke gas engine and guided by a JR radio system. Oh! Last but not least, the pilot figure is by Best Pilots!
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:57 AM
  #72
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

That's a great looking combo!

Casey
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:31 AM
  #73
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

Not only does Steve know how to build 'em, ain't too shabby on the sticks either!

Here is the maiden on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTFvw...t=HL1367602165
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:39 PM
  #74
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Default RE: Sculpting a 1/4 scale WWI Lothar Von Richthofen

That is a super nice Fokker DVII. I am getting close to covering my Fokker DR1, and still need to paint Lothar. As soon as I get some god pics, I will post them. Crazy how big a 1/4 scale pilot looks in the triplane. That was a small plane and will be a tight fit. I will have to hold back on some of the scale cockpit details to make everything fit. I am looking forward to that though. Cockpit details are a lot of fun.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:10 AM
  #75
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Congratulations to Best Pilots customers Olen Rutherford and Steve Forrest for bringin' home the "hardware" from the 2013 Northern Alliance Military Fly-In at the newly named "Karen's Field", Owatonna, MN.
These guys brought their beautifully detailed Balsa USA Fokker D-7s to this fantastic event and were awarded the Best WWI Aircraft First and Second place. They really award beautiful trophies at this event. Check out Steve's below!

These planes weren't "hangar queens" either - these guys flew them throughout the event with Olen masterfully flying around the trees and Steve puttering by in an extremely scale-sounding fashion with his Fujii 4-stroke. And then they got together to fly a little formation with these masterpieces! At one point the flying stopped just so people could watch them fly. One could easily imagine being at a Jasta aerodrome in the summer of 1918!

Now all of this certainly didn't prevent them from winning the awards... but (shhhhh!) just between you and me... the item that pushed them "over the top" was the Best Pilots Lothar von Richthofen pilot figure in both cockpits!!
Seriously, these guys are not only master builders but highly proficient "thumbs" as well. Can't wait to see what they build next!
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